Last time in therapy.
Talk about the book Ron lent me. Doesn’t go anywhere much. I tell him I identified the most with the man who suffers from catatonia, and is afraid he’s going to go into that state again. I’m not very articulate and don’t get to why this moved me.
I tell him I had a difficult dance class. I was super tired, because I’d had to work all day on site, and I’ve been sleeping very badly.
My main problem that week was the sleeping. I wake up every night after a few hours, feeling scared, blank, and so lonely I think I’ll die of it. Then if I do get back to sleep, I just float instead of sinking into sleep. I think of it as traumatic sleep – I don’t dream, I wake up blank and super alert, I’m awake really early and don’t feel tired at that point, but it hits me later. It’s like being super tense all the time, then suddenly not being able to cope with the stress of it.
So I force myself out to dance class, and my friend, who is the reason I’m taking the stupid class in the first place, tells me I look very tired. And I forget to take any meds to calm down, I’m so out of it. So I’m scared the whole class.
I tell Ron about this. I forget to tell the part that bothers me the most – I end up switched into the kid for parts of the lesson. Not a traumatized kid, but the sociable kid. It makes some sense, because the kid likes dancing. Theoretically, a five year old can do this stuff. And any chat required is basic, which the kid loves. So the things I say are all in this kid voice. I’m not that aware at the time, but when I get home I’m embarrassed. I suppose I switch when I’m exhausted – I lack the energy to hold things together.
I think the sleep problem is due to a traumatized part. So we work on the parts. One part says over and over that she doesn’t want to go home. I tell Ron about this. I sit there on his couch and try to find that part, let her speak. So she says her piece, she doesn’t want to go home. Why not, Ron says. What happens there? You know you don’t have to go there anymore. Do you like Ellen’s home?
But she has nothing further to say. She, or I, find Ron’s words reassuring somehow.
I do feel though that something is happening to me, sitting there and allowing this part to come forward. I feel scared, and I feel my legs tingling, which happens when a new part emerges sometimes. I remember things from our apartment in European country – the carpet, the toys.
I remember being punished one time. This is me remembering, I tell Ron, not the part. I remember I was outside, playing with my friends, very happy and excited. My mother calls me and my sister in for dinner. My sister goes in, but I don’t want to go. I’m having too much fun. Finally, our game ends and I rush home. My mother sends me to my room without dinner as punishment. I remember furiously kicking at the door of my room, crying. I am so angry. It was a favorite dinner of mine – potato pancakes.
That was a severe punishment, Ron says.
Yeah? I don’t know….
Can you imagine treating a child like that, who is five?
Maybe. Not now, but in the past. Well….I never withheld food from my child.
It was severe punishment, Ron insists.
Perhaps. It wasn’t abuse. For those times, I think it was pretty average actually.
I think about this afterwards for a long time. It disturbs me. What I find really troubling is that I’m remembering this angry child, kicking at the door of her room, from the outside only. I can’t remember being her. I can remember being the child who played outside, who was excited and happily rushing around. By the time I was punished though, I seem to be hovering outside of myself somehow.