This weekend is for re-grouping. I’ve lost another job, and it is partly my fault, my issues. It feels pretty bad. I know it’s not all me, but I’m not blameless that’s for sure. They’ll never tell me – when people are let go, if it’s not a budget issue or some such, they will always make it about performance. The end product just wasn’t good enough. They’ll never say it’s your attitude.
Anyway. Therapy Saturday. It was better than it has been for a while. We did get into it a bit at the start, but it seemed like Ron listened and got it more than in the past. Right at the start, as I was already feeling completely dragged out, I said I hope this doesn’t make it worse. Then Ron says – so it’s hard to know what to do, when you don’t want to get upset. Which was not at all what I said.
I explained about how I skip right over feeling things to overwhelm and shut down. How I do want to feel. We always get into this tedious discussion about how you have to feel things to heal. I know. I agree. It’s just that what we do sometimes doesn’t help me feel – it just spins me into overwhelm.
So, Ron said, you’re just reacting to feelings, instead of feeling them? Yes. That’s it. I react instead. So he seemed to understand.
The other main thing I talked about was how I’ve noticed in the past week that parts do not know how to label what they’re feeling. I noticed that especially with the teenage part V. She gets overwhelmed right away and screams about wanting to die. Nothing I did seemed to have much effect. But this week, I noticed if I say, You’re feeling angry at this situation, or frustrated, or sad, or whatever – it helped. She stopped screaming. Having labels and words for feelings makes them manageable. Oh – that’s what that is. It’s a feeling. It has a name, it’s about something. If you don’t have that, everything feels like a huge cyclone of badness.
I have that to some extent also I think. I’m not very good at labeling an emotion and telling some kind of little story about it. And feeling emotions separately, instead of altogether.
So the rest of the session, we worked on labeling what I was feeling as I was feeling it. It was hard work. Plus I felt more right there in the session. Instead of talking a lot, and feeling it all in one horrible lump after.
We also talked a bit about what had happened at work. Ron was sympathetic, not blaming me much at all. At these points, it’s nice to have a sympathetic ear. I already feel horrible about it all, and I can see my part in it.
I was drawing/doodling for most of the session, as we slowly talked. That really helps a lot. The part that’s drawing, a really young part, gets to be there too, without having to plunge into that part’s trauma. It is so very important somehow. This time Ron expressed some interest in what she’d drawn, and that felt good too. We made up some story about what it was, and then he said something about what it looked like to him.
I left full of feelings, as naming them seemed to bring them out more. Kind of teary and vulnerable. And Ron did seem to care – he sat forward on his footstool and leaned in a bit towards me, which feels caring to me.
So was I overwhelmed this weekend? Not as much. I coped both days somewhat, but I’m really bummed about my job. I’ve taken care of some basics at least. I didn’t end up switched into a child part, so that is a real bonus. I think this idea of carefully naming feelings is going to be really helpful.
One feeling we discussed was fear. I was talking about work, and how I felt attacked. The feeling attacked was maybe like a memory – an impression of being young and being attacked. So being attacked – that’s not a feeling, I say. What’s the feeling? Fear, says Ron. And I realize, a lot of my angry responses at work must have been based on fear – on feeling attacked, feeling powerless and full of fear.
Kind of too bad there wasn’t time to work this out, so I could change my behaviour. It does take time to change responses – if you just get punished right away, that possibility of change disappears.