Sadness of the past

I will just post even though nothing is clear. I tried writing out my therapy session long hand, and it just stressed me out to do that.

I believe I’m working through grief. I felt sad for most of today. Sometimes I teeter off again into numbness, that glass wall feeling, but then I get back to sadness again. Ron said in my session he thinks I may be working through a lot of grief for a lost childhood. He didn’t say this, but I know it, that I hadn’t really been realizing the damage done.

I slipped back into the past at the very end of my session. Usually the first two thirds of it are taken up by my adult concerns. Then parts get turns. All parts that spoke were pretty sad.  Then I started to see images of our old apartment in European country, the balcony, the courtyard where I ran around with other kids, how I loved being out with the kids. And I was crying as I was talking about this. Ron said maybe I’m crying because I’m remembering a good time, before the trauma, before my father ‘went crazy’. I so want this to be true. I know that’s not it, but I don’t say it. I think with parts, they have different tracks, where the visually remembered things on one track are not the things causing the emotion, though the images may be from the same time period, just related that way. I think that’s what happens. So I don’t know what was so sad, when the visual stuff she was talking about were happy.

I’ve been having a problem again this past week that I hadn’t had for a while – the ‘naps from hell’ problem. Every day I get home from work and feel unbearably weighed down and sleepy. I go to sleep, and wake up so down, down in a deep and dark well, and it takes hours to get back to functional again. I seem OK at work – I don’t feel particularly depressed there, even though there’s nothing for me to do, and that has made me depressed in the past. It’s just when I get home, I fall into this state.

I tell Ron I think it’s something to do with dissociation – maybe I cut off all other parts and bad feelings, and then they come crashing in on me when I get home? He asks if I feel depressed that I’m home by myself. I tell him no. We don’t get any further with this – I’m not sure it’s dissociation, and if it is, what to do about it.

I tell Ron I feel we argued last time, and that it upset me. He said what did we argue about? I say I don’t want to get into it. I know it would be the same argument, and even to go near it makes me feel sick, so I don’t.

Ron says I seemed to feel that he didn’t understand me and couldn’t help me. So I say yeah, but then, who really understands all about someone else anyway? He understands some things. Ron says to help him understand more. I say no, it’s OK. Anyway, I’ll speak up as we go if he’s getting it wrong, since I don’t seem to have any trouble doing that.

We also talk about how for me, it feels like Ron could turn on me entirely because of an argument, that our relationship could be over. I agree with that. I do feel that. Even though I know in my mind, it’s therapy, and he’s likely always trying to help me, but emotionally, I feel he dislikes me now. Anyway, I just don’t feel like discussing any more. I actually do believe my arguing words make an impact on Ron, and that he is not entirely honest when he says they don’t. However, I know it’s not as serious on his side as it is for me, and that in a week’s time, he’s probably over the resentment or irritation.

I still don’t have huge amounts of trust that he has knowledge about trauma. However, since we are no longer triggering it off, I’m not being thrown into shut down, so it doesn’t seem so urgent for him to understand. He is very able to make a connection, to care, and not to judge parts. I’ve been to various therapists at this point, and just because they are educated about trauma, doesn’t mean they can help me. I really didn’t connect to any of them very much. I never knew you could honestly discuss how you felt about them or therapy – that’s totally new to me. It makes a big difference. Plus, it could be I don’t connect well to women, and most of these other therapists were women. I do have a connection to Ron, good or bad, he always affects me.

So this weekend, I’ve been sad. I haven’t accomplished much, but I haven’t shut down. I hope tomorrow I’ll be able to do more again.

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13 comments
  1. Kelly said:

    I’m sorry you’re experiencing some difficulty right now. I hope it gets better soon.

  2. I’m really, really glad you’re in a place where you can access feelings but they don’t overwhelm you.

    I wonder if the closest you can get to the events that made you sad are these happy memories that occurred in the same time period–as if it’s like the closest you can approach is being in the same year with it.

    It seems good–are they more closely associated with B? They sound like B’s memories: social, joyful, happy. And then mixing with the sadness. It’s always good when the different tracks start to blur, even if it makes things hard to understand for a while.

    • Ellen said:

      It is good isn’t it? Not too many people get that.

      Yes, that’s what I think.

      They do sound like B’s memories. To be honest, it wasn’t clear to me what was happening or who was crying / speaking though.

      Thanks Ashana

  3. Cat said:

    Hi Ellen… I would find it to tedious to write out a therapy journal, I type mine. Sometimes I like to spend time thinking as I type, other days I can’t get it over quick enough.

    I think we both live life feeling guilty for other people’s feelings and what they may be thinking/feeling about us. It comes from the highly critical environment and that inner critique seldom shuts up. If we speak our mind, there is that fear of abandonment for not conforming.

    I’m not sure if changing Ron is the answer. Trauma is only one part of the jigsaw and I think he does well with the rest. In the UK, our Therapists come from NHS, unless you want to pay privately. Everyone pays high taxes and National Insurance for these services, so they are always my first choice. If we don’t get along with a Therapist, they see it as an important part of our healing to be able to talk that through rather than hop off to another Therapist.

    • Ellen said:

      Interesting you type it out – I haven’t been, aside from writing here. I wonder if it would help me. Therapy can seem pretty ephemeral if I don’t record it somehow – I forget a lot so easily.

      Yeah, it could be guilt. My father did in fact abandon me for disagreeing with him, so I can see where it comes from.

      Yeah, that is the situation with insurance covered T’s. Here also. I could see a psychiatrist and have it covered. There’d be a waiting list, as for you. Mostly they diagnose and prescribe though – not too many do therapy, but some do. The one I saw when I was unemployed, years ago, provided ‘supportive therapy’ – which was useless. I think it is good to try and talk things through with the T in any case. If it’s an interpersonal problem, then yes, talking about it is the answer. If it’s a problem that their approach isn’t helping me, then I would need to leave though, or never heal.

      Thanks Cat.

  4. leb105 said:

    “And I was crying as I was talking about this. Ron said maybe I’m crying because I’m remembering a good time, before the trauma, before my father ‘went crazy’. I so want this to be true. I know that’s not it, but I don’t say it. I think with parts, they have different tracks, where the visually remembered things on one track are not the things causing the emotion”

    This reminds me of my therapy. Howard will throw out an idea – usually wrong, and I’ll clearly know it’s wrong, altho I couldn’t say what’s right. It does help to clarify what’s going on. Ron made a plausible suggestion as to what was happening, and you knew that it wasn’t right, that it was more complicated. He’s working with you to help you understand yourself, he’s willing to be wrong, he’s willing to risk that you’ll think he’s clueless! But, he needs your feedback.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah. I wasn’t criticizing Ron here. And at the time, I was hoping he was right – just after, I realized he probably wasn’t. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t venture an opinion or guess.

  5. cardamone5 said:

    I am sorry for your pain.

  6. Rachel said:

    What you wrote makes sense to read. It does sound like you are going through a grieving process. Since grief doesn’t follow life’s timeline, I wonder if your exhaustion and dissociation at home is from having to shut off the grief process to function at work. That has been my experience, at least. When I am at home, alone, I feel a lot of the unpleasant and negative feelings that were contained when at work. Or that I can’t even bring up in therapy. So maybe its this balance between grief and a break, teetering on a fulcrum, and you’re just finding your balance with it. Right now its off balance, so you’re losing time and getting so overwhelmed by it that you can’t do things you want to. But as you continue to process the grief and can feel it, the balance will be better for you.
    It does sound like you have a positive connection with Ron, and despite his shortcomings and lack of knowledge of trauma per se, does care about you and is genuine in his desire to help you. In ways he can. And that you connect to him more than you have to other therapist’s in the past speaks volumes. I think you’re doing everything you can do at the moment, and this is just part of the (painful) process of healing. Including the doubt and questioning. Hope some of that makes sense 🙂

    • Ellen said:

      It all makes sense. Interesting you have similar issues being at home after work – that’s what it’s like for me too. It’s not that something bad is happening at home – I think it’s stuff I needed to wall of in order to work. Maybe.

      Thank you for the reassuring comment. I sure hope it’s going to be how you say, that’s it’s a process moving forward, however slowly. I’m glad some of the positive aspects of ‘me and Ron’ come through also. Take care.

  7. Its good Ron has a connection to you, I think your right, a trauma therapist isnt always necessary in order to heal, go with what works, your attached to ron now, that works, he may not always get it right, but he tried, thats the main thing. XX

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