This weekend is better. A lot better. I’ve been sad, thinking about my marriage, but it’s been a feeling, rather than the shocked kind of shut down of last weekend. This morning at one point, I felt almost happy. About nothing in particular. Maybe it’s starting to sink in for parts that we no longer live in the ex’s house – we are safe, in a quiet place that is ours to do with as we like. No one will start with a buzz saw at unexpected hours. No one will be furious that I haven’t done such and such.
I think one thing I wasn’t expecting from a partner, which I should have been, was that he would care how I felt. I think that’s basic – the partner should care. As I should care about him also of course. My ex did care, when it didn’t impact him, but anything that interfered with his goals was completely dismissed. His own traumas and upsets always were centre stage. There wasn’t much room for anyone else on that stage. I think when we met, I hadn’t had the experience of anyone caring much how I felt, so any crumbs of attention or caring seemed wonderful. I just didn’t have the expectation of being cared about much.
Just to be clear, I know I was completely dysfunctional also in that duo.
So the rest of the therapy session Thursday. I’m still trying to figure out what goes wrong, why I get so depressed after therapy. I ask Ron what he thinks causes depression. He says depression is a lid you keep on your feelings, and those feelings could be anything – sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, excitement. That for me, I explore parts in my session, but once I get home, that dissociative mechanism is so strong, I slam the lid back down, leading to exhaustion. It’s exhausting to push down all those feelings. Plus the feelings are not getting out, so that is exhausting also. In my mind, I see this old fashioned metal garbage can, complete with Oscar the Grouch, open, Oscar peeking out, then slammed shut.
It could be true. At other times, Ron has had other explanations for my depression, but this one makes sense to me at the time.
In the last fifteen minutes, parts are getting frantic to have a say. So in quick succession, out come V, then B. I am not wanting to slam any lids, so I let it happen. Then, I tell Ron about another part. Not sure if this is a part like the others, or what. It’s the part that beats me up. I visualize it as parts being beat up with sticks. Ron asks to speak to that part, Red.
Red is not sure she wants to speak to Ron. Than she does. She tells him how awful I am, how everyone can see the awfulness, my bad clothes, how everything about me is wrong. So she beats everyone up to keep them in line.
Why do you do that?
It’s my job. When she goes out, everyone can tell there’s something wrong with her. I’m just trying to help.
Maybe you could have a different job.
Well, you wanted to speak with me, now you’re just arguing with me!
I don’t think I’m arguing, I just want to understand.
That’s all I remember of the conversations. It feels quite good to have that part be more conscious. I certainly feel her a lot of the time. At the doctor’s this week, she was busy screaming at me how awful my t-shirt was – baggy or whatever. Pink. It was so painful. She often fixates on what I’m wearing as proof of the way I can’t fit in.
So I leave. On the way out, I see Ron hasn’t locked the door to his office the way he usually does, so I chide him for leaving it unlocked! There’s not a lot of danger of anyone coming in – I’m still in Red critical mode.
He just says ‘take care’. I suddenly see how tired he is, trying to be supportive to the last. It’s an evening session – I bet he’s had a long day.
Then the next day, I send him this email about how I think we’re not connecting – that’s why I’m getting depressed. Sigh. I feel bad for him. He doesn’t reply, so the next day I send another, saying I’m doing better, and wishing him a good holiday. To that he does reply, and says writing seems to help me.
I’m hard on therapists. What can I say.