V.

So it’s maybe a case of too much therapy. I’ve been barely functional this weekend. Darn. I have so much to do. With working, I don’t do much on weekdays, leaving everything for the weekend. If I don’t do chores on weekends, and cook, nothing gets done at all.

I told Ron my tale about work, and how I’d realized that it triggers my feelings of childhood, when my father stopped speaking to me. So he was very interested in that. Then a particular part that carries a lot of those feelings, V, came forward to speak to him. She’s older than some of the kid parts so she can have more complex conversations, sometimes. Not that we did though this time. She is so very sad and so very depressed and wants to die, and it’s hard. It was hard allowing her to be there for any length of time, because then I get swamped with those feelings also.

Ron never does much to get me out of these states. He’s trying to allow the part room. After a bit, V asked him what she should do to feel better, because he was supposed to help people feel better. He asked her what do you need me to do? V didn’t know. Then she said ‘talk to me I guess’. ‘What would you like me to talk about?’ V is so sad, she can barely speak, and she doesn’t know what she wants him to talk about. Ron says something about how he understands how sad she is, and how it makes a lot of sense she feels like that. V just sits there, miserable.

Ron goes back to how extreme he feels the situation in my family was, how he couldn’t deliberately not talk to one of his kids for two minutes, let alone years. He’s said this a few times before. We talk about how I argued with my father a lot, being a young teen, and how that triggered off the silent treatment. How my father was the complete boss of the family, and everything was all about him. How my mother never had a dissenting opinion, or wants of her own, that in any way conflicted with his. How difficult I still find it to comprehend that – how she could subordinate herself to such an extent.

So the rest of the weekend, I have this ‘I want to die’ voice going on, though she doesn’t take over entirely. It’s very hard to deal with.

Then I saw my trainer yesterday. I guess it was too much exercise, though it felt OK at the time. I’d asked her to go slow and she did. Just exercise brings up trauma, so today I’ve got that going on too.

So not a good weekend. I feel kind of frantic that I’m not getting anything much done. I at least need to cook. Sometimes it’s all about survival. That is all there is energy for. I’m going to ask if we can go more slowly in therapy, so I don’t stop functioning entirely, like this weekend. I’ve got to hang on to some hope somehow.

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26 comments
  1. Grainne said:

    I do the same with my weekends and it makes me feel frantic when I’m so wiped out I can’t get it all done. I hope the start to your week is an easy one and you feel caught up soon xx

    • Ellen said:

      Sorry you have similar issues. Sometimes we just can’t do it. Thanks Grainne

  2. It’s amazing how much can keep on resonating inside, post session, isn’t it. Sometimes, when I write to my therapist the evening after the session, I have done some of my most productive work, because things are ready to come together at that point.

    • Ellen said:

      It is amazing. I’m glad you find that about emails – sometimes I feel embarrassed about writing to Ron when I’ve just seen him. But it can be really helpful. Thanks Cat.

  3. My counselor also recommended going slowly enough that I didn’t get flooded. Bit by bit seems longer but allows functioning in the mean time. Certain jobs still need to be done. Hugs. Hugs for V too.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, I overdid it this week. Ron theoretically doesn’t want flooding, but it’s always up to me to set that boundary, and sometimes I don’t realize. I think it was too much training also. The combo was not great. Hugs to you Ruth

  4. One thing I have realized is my anxiety about what needs to get done makes things worse. The further the part is away from the surface, the more it takes to soothe it and the more exhausting the whole thing is. My last two weekends have been like that too. I wonder if it helps if the first thing you do on a weekend is something really, really soothing. The part has been holding her breath for the weekend to be let the feelings out and you’ve been holding your breath to get some things done. Does it help to let the part go first?

    • Ellen said:

      Interesting how you say the further the part is from the surface, the harder she is to soothe. I find that, but hadn’t thought about it in black and white like that. You’d think it would be the other way around. That is a difficulty I’ve had with V.

      I’m sorry your weekends were similar. I couldn’t really find a way to help V – she mostly rejects everything. So going first, not going first, wasn’t an issue because nothing much helped. In general though, it’s a good thought.

      Thanks Ashana

  5. Andi said:

    When I started working with a trainer a few years ago, it brought up a LOT of trauma. She was pretty understanding, but I could tell she was always kinda nervous that she’d ask me to do something that was triggering. Sorry your weekend didn’t go well. I hate it when that happens because weekends are supposed to be what recharges you for the week! Hope you’re feeling better soon. xo

    • Ellen said:

      Interesting. I don’t let the trainer know about trauma, and I don’t start crying or anything like that. I think I dissociate these feelings automatically, and then it has come up, but is stuck somehow. It’s an awful feeling. The only thing I know how to do is to do less of the exercise, so the after effects are not as severe.Thanks for sharing your story.

      • Andi said:

        I didn’t tell her until she asked me to do an exercise that triggered a flashback. Then I figured it might be best if she had some context. I have a hard time being present in my body, so sometimes I don’t realize I’m upset or triggered until it’s “too late”. I think pulling back and doing less of an exercise is a great plan. And a great way to honor the feeling without letting it completely deter you from working out.

  6. manyofus1980 said:

    I’m sorry Ron doesnt do much to help when your in a triggered state. Thats got to be hard. I hope V is going to be ok. Sending you our support and some hugs, too. XX

    • Ellen said:

      Well, Ron does care about the part, and does try to help, just neither of us really knows what will help. I think he thinks it’s best to let that part emerge and express herself. Thanks Many.

  7. Cat said:

    It must be so difficult trying to balance everything. I’m lucky that I don’t need to work, but I’m not sure if I could, even if I wanted to, my 2 sessions a week and blogging would have to go. House work and cooking are always a priority otherwise my depression hits the floor.

    I must admit, I have read before about Ron saying “What do you want me to talk about?” and it gets on my nerves a little. He is dealing with a child part. Could a child know what they want an adult to talk about? This must make parts feel even more uncomfortable, but that’s just my personal view. I mean, I get that he is giving the child room to explore/speak, but a little bit of interaction might not go amiss. It must be so difficult to explore parts in the therapy room and then have to switch back to get yourself home

    I agree, I think you should ask Ron to take it slowly and I was wondering if having therapy and training leading up to the weekend is just a bit too much.

    • Ellen said:

      Balance is difficult. I feel work is a priority for me, because most other things I can pay for, as long as I can keep working. Cooking is also a priority for me, especially as I need a particular diet for digestion issues. Plus I feel better if I eat right, so I make it a priority. Anyway, there’s no one to support me if I don’t work – it’s a must.

      Yeah, I know what you mean about the talking. That part was too sad to think of conversation topics. That is a thing about Ron. He doesn’t easily launch into conversation, and sometimes isn’t seeing the value of just chat, just to connect a bit, even if it isn’t deep and meaningful. On the other hand, he never monopolizes the conversation! This aspect of him has it’s pluses and minuses. It’s never all about him.

      I’m thinking too, the training and the therapy is too much. I’ve paid in advance for three more training sessions. I’m taking one every two weeks. So I’m going to go, but I’m going to tell her I can only exercise for half an hour. That should help. Because this way, I got overwhelmed.

      Thanks Cat.

  8. I was reading this again, and just thinking of how difficult maybe it is to see the impact of the abuse in your family. The violence is not at all physical, and it’s very, very subtle. It’s emotional and a “smart” kind of violence–a scalpel rather than a club. It’s still profoundly wounding, especially when there is just no warmth or support.

    • Ellen said:

      Yep, that’s for sure. Quite a contrast with your own situation, which was complete insanity and criminal behaviour. For me, it gets really confusing – was that abuse? Why does it feel so awful when all seems ‘nice’? And yes, if there had been a nurturing person there, the damage would not have been so severe. We get what we get. Thx.

      • Yes, that is one nice thing about my situation. It’s all just incredibly clear, but I was in a long-term relationship that was emotionally abusive. I think maybe it was somewhat like that. Why does it hurt? It’s totally mystifying. But the more obvious stuff hurts for exactly the same reason.

  9. Jay said:

    It sounds like you have so much on your plate at the moment. I am glad you have become aware of needing to slow things down a bit. Silent treatment can be extremely triggering… it is cool that Ron seems to strike a balance between not being completely silent and not taking over the session. Sending you a big hug x

    • Ellen said:

      The silent treatment i received as a child damaged me a lot. It was so unrelenting and unacknowledged. Thank you Jay.

  10. Another thought: usually teenagers want to be asked about themselves. They want you to ask them what they like to do, what music, what TV shows they watch, which teachers they like, what their pet peeves are. They are busy sorting themselves out and it’s nice when someone else takes an interest in that process. Maybe suggest that to Ron.

    • Ellen said:

      That’s a good idea. I’ll do that, next time. Cheers

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