I thought I’d wait out the heat before going out, but I checked, and it’s not going to get much cooler for a few days, even at night. I hate the feeling of being trapped in my apartment. Though I can enjoy my balcony still.
Ron sometimes looks really tired after vacations, but this time he looked cheerful and relaxed.
What did we talk about? I told him I hadn’t really missed him, as I’d enjoyed a break from dealing with ‘stuff’. Later in the session I feel bad about what I said, and say actually, I did miss him somewhat – I’d had two feelings side by side. A bit of a relief then? he said, nodding agreeably.
I said it seemed the therapy aftermath was getting worse. He was surprised to hear that. I am less upset in sessions than I used to be, as I used to actually pursue feelings and parts, and now I really don’t. However, whatever we do seems to bring up a lot of stuff for me now after the session is over. Sometimes that is so intense, it feels counter productive – I just shut down to cope with it.
I mentioned my problem of shutting down after things, like walks. I never feel like Ron takes this issue too seriously – so I go to sleep, so what, type of a deal. So I say you know, I don’t abuse substances, I don’t self- harm, I don’t do some other things people do to cope, but this shutting down problem is still wrecking my life. And Ron says something about how I’m witnessing the emotions, rather than using an addiction to numb them. And I say I would use an addiction, but they don’t seem to work for me. Ron says something about how I’m witnessing the emotions, but then I get overwhelmed.
I feel like he doesn’t understand. I have this problem with dissociation, but he doesn’t understand it. It’s hard to explain something to someone when they don’t have a theory in their mind which this can fit into. He always ends up explaining it as if someone who was not dissociative complained to him about my symptoms.
I talked about a barbecue I’d had for my son and my ex, to celebrate my son’s birthday. How I’d stood up for myself more than I used to – how I’m now able to say what I feel sometimes, in the moment. For instance, I was describing my feelings about work to my ex (he’d asked about it), then my son came over with some steak, and my ex instantly dropped our conversation and started talking to my son about the steak. I felt so dropped and disregarded in that moment, because what I’d been talking about was genuinely upsetting to me. My ex is not that comfortable with problems anyway, so it’s just like him to change the subject. Plus, for him food is always the most important thing. So, I just said ‘you don’t even care about what I’m talking about’, which was how I felt. Then he said ‘no, I do..’. Which wasn’t much, but it made me feel better. More like I’d stood up for myself and taken my feelings seriously. I’ve been discounted all my life, and I’ve never caught it in the moment, and I’ve never said anything about it. So this felt….connected somehow. And I liked that it wasn’t a huge deal – there was just that moment, then the dinner went on.
In general, I’ve been finding I do speak up when my feelings are hurt, when I never used to do that. It seems like a positive change to me.
I’ve brought my art supplies, so I pull them out and do some colouring. In my adult state, I tend to just play with colour, not drawing anything figurative. Then after a while, I start a new page and the kid gets time. She draws a large tree, and a fox, and a duck, and a canoe. It’s not as great as before, because the kid and Ron don’t really create a story this time. Ron says something about do I know the Little Prince? She does, but it’s a story for bigger kids. The tells him about how there’s a picture, it looks like a hat, but it’s really a snake who swallowed an elephant. Ron says there’s a fox in that story, which she doesn’t recall. That you have to be very quiet, and very gentle, and after a while the fox will trust you.
B starts feeling really sad, drawing. She draws a storm cloud and tells Ron she feels sad. So much sadness. Then anger. Bits of anger, just at the edges. Who are you angry with? She doesn’t say anything. After a while she says the names of her siblings.
In the last few minutes, Ron talks about how there’s my trauma, from my uncle, but then there’s also this other trauma, of being completely abandoned by my family. And I nod and say yes, that makes sense.
So I go home. Because the kid part got so much attention, she feels happier than usual, and so it’s easier to do some chores and things. As the day wears on, I feel more and more sad. The next day, I feel consumed by this ball of grief. I can barely function. I cry a bit. I’m also angry – this seems again to be Ron’s fault. I don’t understand what’s happening to me. But, I think maybe it is the accumulated grief of living with my family. It all seems to be coming up now, maybe because Ron is being kind and receptive.
I went out last night, and seem to have switched out of all that feeling, so I feel more normal today.