Different things to discuss. Different aspects of life. Feelings good and not good.
Therapy this week felt not good. I don’t feel particularly understood or cared about. I feel like Ron doesn’t ‘get’ me. I did feel distrustful of him before the session also though, I remember that. So trying to disentangle what’s what – what does he actually do or not do, what is my own bias and projection. It’s not easy.
The main disturbing thing was that towards the end of the session, we were talking about some odd parts type things that happen to me – I’ll suddenly be crying in the shower, then suddenly stop, without knowing what it’s about. I’ve been waking at five a.m., in a child part, who protests going to work. My fractured experience, where I feel plunged into emotions, without knowing why, and the emotions then leave, and I can cope again.
Ron asked me to think about when I’m crying in the shower, and try to feel what it’s about. So of course I switched into a part. The parts want to tell him their story. The thing is, they don’t seem to know very much of it. However, this time, I remembered being back in my abuser’s apartment, and being terribly upset, and my aunt (always kind to me), seemed to be tucking me into bed, trying to soothe me. That’s about it. Then just a lot of jumbled impressions of their stately old apartment.
This went pretty much right to the end of the session. Ron said something about stopping, and I realized we were out of time. I needed to sit and come back, so I apologized for needing a minute. I got myself together as soon as I could, in about a minute, said goodbye and left. There was a heavy downpour, so at the bottom of the stairs, I just stood at the glass door, looking out. I had an umbrella, but I felt so stunned and dissociated, I just stood there, staring. I was Ron’s last client, so he came past me, gave me a little smile as he went out the door. I wished him a good weekend, in my child voice, and he wished me the same, and off he went.
So I went home, left to deal with this. I felt so bad. I woke up at night every hour or so, the way I do when trauma is triggered out. At about 3 am, I wrote Ron an email. I haven’t written to him for a few weeks, but this time, I felt I needed to. I felt really angry with him for triggering this stuff out, then leaving me to deal. My email wasn’t that angry though. I just said I was having trouble dealing, I couldn’t sleep. I’m not sure this triggering stuff out is helping me at all. And that he doesn’t seem at all concerned with grounding me, or even just concerned when I end the session in a child state. He assumes I’ll switch back just fine. Or he doesn’t think. I didn’t say those last things though.
Then I asked whether he could tell me the name of anything on trauma he’s read, that I could search out, because I think if we had a theory that we both agreed on, it would be helpful.
So, he hasn’t replied. I asked for a reply. He tends to not reply very quickly to emails where I’m angry. This one was much more circumspect though than my usual angry email. I brought up my issues with therapy but didn’t accuse him of things.
Besides being left in a triggered state, another thing happened that makes me severely doubt he knows what to do about my dissociation issues. I was complaining about my problems functioning, and switching into moods that are difficult. He talked for a long time about his theory of integration. His theory doesn’t make sense. Plus, I’ve never seen this idea in anything I’ve read about dissociation, so in my mind, he’s making it up.
First he talked about the benefits of integration, how all parts would be available all the time, and i wouldn’t have to choose, and some wouldn’t need to be shut away. He was kind of talking as if I wouldn’t agree, but I did agree, and told him so. The difficulty is, how do I accomplish this?
Then he said he thinks I’m doing my part, by allowing time for parts to speak. But he seems to think it’s the parts themselves that are hanging on to separateness. They feel they will disappear if they merge with me.
Which to me is ridiculous. The parts are just there – they don’t will themselves into existence. All they know is they’re here.
So I say something about isn’t it more that parts need to tell their story and be heard?
So then somehow that morphs into me switching into the part that cries in the shower, and the flashback that happened.
I’m really leery of this strange theory Ron has about integration. The parts are willing themselves to be separate? Then the way he left me standing at the door, looking out at the rain, without a thought of asking whether I was OK….
After the session I started internet searching for trauma therapists. I have the strong urge to quit. Especially since he hasn’t bothered answering my email. I know he will eventually, who knows when.
There is a therapist who says she studied with Bessel van der Kolk. Whatever that means – could mean she took an online course he sponsored. It’s so hard evaluating therapists. The last one I tried before Ron was listed on the ISSD site. She was terrible. Turned out she’d taken some online course with them. She knew the obvious theory of trauma, but didn’t know how to connect. I mean, having a bit of theory about trauma doesn’t mean you have the other really deep skills of being a good therapist.
Then there are the psychologists. Whom I mostly can’t afford. It’s just daunting, thinking about finding someone else.