Art: Egon Schiele, Mother with Two Children
I went to therapy yesterday in a triggered state. I’d been to the gym the day before, and I guess I did too much. If I can feel the ache or tiredness right there in the gym, I’ll know it will trigger me. I did three reps of a small sequence, and it was too much.
When I woke up the next day, I felt caught in a web of blackness. I went back to bed until I had to leave for therapy.
Ron looked stressed and a bit sad. I guess his holiday was over. I wondered if something had happened, but I didn’t say anything. I don’t want to pry.
I started off the session in parts. I felt I couldn’t focus into an adult without huge effort, and I didn’t bother. The kid told Ron about the gym, about the reps. She told him about the book we’re reading, about dragons, and a girl who is part dragon, part human, who at first doesn’t know she’s part dragon. How does she find out? Ron asks. The answer is complicated, and the kid doesn’t explain too well. She bumps into her uncle, who is a dragon, but can take human form, and he becomes her teacher.
I think Ron is kind of taken aback. He’s all set to talk about my feelings about my boss, which I’d emailed him about. We do talk about that a bit, when the kid has said what she wants to say. Ron thinks I have a touch of PTSD – where a small reminder of what happened to me as a child sends me into a tailspin. I agree it could be like that. He points out that one time in the group, I felt he’d never made eye contact with me, and yet he’d remembered that he’d tried to look at me many times that evening, but that I was always looking away.
I say yes, I remember. I’d told him about the lunchroom, where the boss invited me to sit with some of the team there, but then never looked at me once as he was telling some story, while he was looking at others, so I felt he didn’t like me. Combined with the rest of what was happening.
I didn’t think the situation was the same, but who knows. It’s such a small thing.
But because of the gym situation, my inner world was in turmoil, so we didn’t spend much time on adult things. I tell Ron I sometimes cry now when I brush my teeth. He asks what I make of that. I say I guess I’m not as dissociated anymore – stuff is leaking through more. The kid starts to talk to him again. He asks her why she cries, she says she’s sad. She doesn’t seem to know. Ron says she has a technique of avoiding things. I say she just doesn’t seem to know the answers to his questions. So she came after the trauma happened? I have no idea, I say.
It’s very confusing for me sitting there, because parts seem to be swirling around, and I’m not staying in one part very long. I feel things as if I was dreaming. I try and explain to Ron.
He says the way to get through things is to keep expressing how I feel, until the feeling changes, and then express that.
That’s all I remember. The session was mostly Ron trying to talk with parts, and me sitting there, feeling kind of dizzy and out of it. It was like sitting with blackness swirling about, and not really knowing how to talk about it.
The good thing was I didn’t have that intense loneliness after, or the next day. I suppose because parts were engaged in the session. From their point of view, it’s so lonely to have a session with the one person who will take them seriously, and then not get to speak with him. The other good thing was that since I was already triggered, having parts out didn’t make me feel worse.
I didn’t shut down on the way home either. I felt OK to do chores – return bottles, do groceries, go to the natural butcher. Those bottles were rattling around in my back seat for months – it was great to get that done. Plus got the car washed clean of winter muck and grime. Once home though I crashed.