Therapy Thursday

I wanted to get down some of my last session, but man, I’m tired.  Work is going well though, in that it’s interesting, and no one is on my case. I don’t have friends, but everyone is OK. Once I have interesting things to work on, I don’t care so much if I don’t have anyone to chat with.

At the start of the session, I say I’m not sure where to begin. Usually Ron just waits when I say that – he really believes in letting the client bring the material. However, this time he mentions the angry email I sent him. I know I need to address that, but at this point, those angry feelings have vanished. I tell him I no longer feel angry, and that when I re-read the email, it seemed kind of harsh.

We talked about bringing the anger into the session where we could deal with it. I decided that yes, I would tell Ron how I was feeling about what he was saying.

It didn’t take long before something he said kind of irritated me, so I said it, and it was OK.

Ron made kind of a long speech about how my anger doesn’t scare him and that he can handle it, and that I need to express it so we can be in right relation to each other. Then he asked me how I felt about him at this point, and about what he was saying. I said I felt touched that he was OK with my anger. I did. He made a really touching speech. Other than that, I wasn’t totally sure how I felt. I think I felt pulled towards him somehow – closer. I’ve never had anyone be OK with my negative feelings.

I can no longer remember the details, but I know I did express how I felt about Ron, more, and that it felt really good and connected. He does say a lot of stuff that I don’t really agree with, and/or that I find painful. Telling him at the time he was saying it felt really pretty good and relieving somehow.

For instance, he has this odd theory that parts decided not to grow up. He says well, parts aren’t really children – they’re parts of you. Which is true enough. But this theory about them deciding not to grow up? I told him it was an unusual theory. That parts just happened – there they were – they didn’t decide anything. It’s like they come to and discover they’re alive….Kind of. He didn’t press on. I have no idea what he’s trying to say with this.

Oh yeah – in contrast to last week, where he told me I wasn’t making progress, this week Ron was more positive. He said that he thinks that at my core, I like myself. That expressing anger is part of that self-love. I say something about how a lot of women carve themselves up, or starve themselves, and I’m glad I can express anger outwardly instead of doing that. Definitely not to judge anyone who does that – just, I don’t, and I’m glad. I feel it’s better to get mad at your therapist.

I wish I could remember more. Must document sessions Friday or at least Saturday. I think my painful shoulder has maybe pushed everything else out of my mind.

About half an hour in, I had the strong feeling that I wasn’t saying what I needed to. I felt like I needed to communicate stuff, bad stuff, but I wasn’t doing it, because I wasn’t sure what that was. So it was a cue for parts to take the stage. First B, who chatted a bit about some programs we’d watched. Then another part, very shy, and deeply and painfully sad. Just so much sadness. It seemed to be enough to just sit with it and try to give voice to a bit of it. It was somehow helpful to do that, although no real story emerged. Just this split off unspeakably sad part.

I think that part was called up again when I got massage on Saturday. I cried a bit on the table, but spent most of the weekend feeling weepy and unable to do much grown-up stuff. Those emotions that I just touch on in therapy come bubbling to the surface under the kind hands of the massage therapist.

Overall Ron just seemed to be really paying attention and on top of it. So there.

  1. Ashana M said:

    I’m glad you had a better session and that it helped.

    I’ll tell you my own theory on parts, which I think I’ve posted a little bit about, but it’s sort of evolving as things go on and I don’t know if my posts reflect this current idea. It may or not be correct.

    I think they are not parts of me. They are ways of imaging a person who feels like me but isn’t me. The pain of various traumas is so great that I can’t cope with the pain in any kind of productive way, but I can’t totally suppress it. That would probably make me psychopathic if I did. The only way to think about it is to create a degree of distance from it. Imaging the parts creates a distance so that the feelings and experiences start to be things I can make some degree of sense out of. So I’ve spent all my life kind of hypnotizing myself into believing these feelings and experiences happening to someone else while simultaneously denying to myself I’m doing it–because if I accepted I did it, I’d have to accept that the things happened, and I’d be back in the same place of being overwhelmed by it. The parts are mostly children because I was a child when first began doing this and children pretty much imagine other people being a lot like themselves. If I was three, I imagined a 3-year-old. If I was 7, I imagined a seven-year-old. Allowing the parts to take a more conscious role allowed me to learn about the parts of my life I had imagined happening to them. So this was really necessary for a while and sometimes it’s still necessary. The pain of certain traumas is still so great I can’t process it at all without resorting to splitting into parts, but being in parts does not mean I am delaying the healing process or avoiding things. I’m titrating it. As the pain diminishes, I need to do it less and less.

    • Ellen said:

      That’s an interesting way of looking at parts – thanks for sharing. In the end, what matters is how we make sense of this. Another blogger I follow also has talked about parts being a kind of imagining, a mix of conscious and unconscious. For me, I don’t know how it happened. For me also, parts are not parts of me as in this part is Anger, this part is Outgoing, in that simple kind of way. They’re children basically. I don’t know – I get confused trying to think about it.

      Thanks Ash. Hope you are well.

      • I know what you’re saying. They are whole complex people. They aren’t facets of oneself. I mean, that is how they feel to me also.

  2. e.Nice said:

    I’m glad you were able to connect more with your therapist. I liked this part “It didn’t take long before something he said kind of irritated me, so I said it, and it was OK.”

    And this one “Telling him at the time he was saying it felt really pretty good and relieving somehow.”
    These say a lot about where you are in being able to recognize and then express your needs directly to him. I’m glad he handled it well and that the parts that are ready for help are able to get it.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, I’m finding expressing more of how I feel, including about the therapist, is an interesting part of therapy. Where else can you tell someone you’re really irritated by what they’re saying, with no bad consequences? 🙂

      Thanks Nice.

  3. Neloran said:

    Phew, Ron asks some good questions. Sounds like you have a good therapist there. I’m very happy to hear you keep going & doing the work with him.


    • Ellen said:

      Yes, Ron can definitely ask probing questions. Thanks Nel

  4. Rachel said:

    Glad this job is serving you better. And that therapy felt connecting for you. I know its hard when therapy doesn’t feel nurturing, and you’re left feeling so alone with all this. He does seem to try, he really does. Even if he is amiss or uninformed, I really do think he has your best interests at heart and genuinely cares for you.

    • Ellen said:

      Oh, Ron does care, no question in my mind. Thanks Rachel

  5. Glad Ron was attentive! It sounded like you had a lot to process and it turned into a good session. XX

  6. Andi said:

    Good stuff! And, yes, I wish I could turn my anger outward.

    • Ellen said:

      Anger is so tricky and so important. Thanks Andi.

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