Therapy Saturday

Therapy once again left me unable to deal for a few days, but I think I’m through the worst of it. It seems that if a part speaks, I get all the emotions that part holds coming up afterwards, so while it doesn’t seem so bad in session, at home it’s pretty bad. Sigh.

First I asked Ron if he was away next week as in previous years. He said yes, and I protested that he hadn’t warned me…for which he apologized.

I was feeling scared about being there in his office. I suppose because last time the session sent me to bed for a few days, and I didn’t want a repeat. At the same time, I didn’t feel like not showing up either.

What did we discuss? I talk about the job offer, how it was changed, and Ron looked satisfyingly mad on my behalf. I told him the details, but then didn’t feel like going on about it anymore, though it is something that’s been preoccupying my mind.

I explain I went to the dentist, but don’t seem to have had any bad effects, which is unusual. I did feel some ‘wanting to die’ feelings when she got to the back teeth – they are so distinctive. Maybe because I felt something during the cleaning, I wasn’t triggered when I got home? Very mysterious.

I talk about the previous day, when I had a nap and woke up just in despair, in the bottom of a pit. It took hours and hours to come back to myself. After trying to push it away, I ended up going back to bed and just lying there, awake and staring at the ceiling for two hours. But then….I came out of it, or through it or something.

I did have a dream that day, which I didn’t write down, but remembered just the tail end. It was to do with my sister. We were walking through an art gallery, then went to a restaurant that was closed but had a sign it would open soon. It doesn’t seem like an upsetting dream in any way, yet that was my dream when I woke up in despair.

I ask Ron if he thinks switching into a child part, like I did last session and then in the days after, is helpful to me overall. And he said no, not necessarily. Which is different from what he used to say. He used to think that if feelings came up, this was good and I was working through them, even though it was painful. Now he was talking about how it’s helpful if it helps build bridges between parts, or lowers the wall between them. He asked if I felt like I could contain the part’s feelings. I didn’t feel I could do that. So I guess, the switching and suffering was not in the end helpful. Sigh.

It’s slow going. Conversation stops and starts. I’m feeling a lot of things, but what I’m talking about doesn’t match the feelings. I tell Ron I feel sad he is going away. Afraid. I guess that’s a younger part feeling that, I say, and he nods. I do feel afraid, though not sure of what. It seems endlessly sad that he’ll be away for a week and we won’t meet.

We have a bit of a disagreement. I say you know, I wish my life was working better. For instance, I haven’t been able to switch my summer/winter wardrobe – everything is just lying out in a mess. Ron says what if someone was there with you, maybe not directly helping, but just encouraging – would that help? Well, yes, I say, but there’s no one. I have no one to ask to help me. What about your sister, could she do it?

Now I’m angry and exasperated. My sister? We don’t even talk. Now I’m going to ask her to help me? She’s always been the star of the family – the one who knows everything, and I’ve been the dunce. Even now her life has not turned out very well. Asking her would just reinforce that – she’s the helper, I’m useless. No way!

We go back and forth on this a bit. I feel like Ron doesn’t understand my life at all. Plus why I was saying that about needing my life to work better. I said it meaning that if I keep falling into these non-functioning places with therapy, it’s even less likely that I can get things done that I need to do. And then his solution is useless for me – I really have no one to ask to help me with something like that. He doesn’t seem to get how alone I am.

Anyway. It’s not that it was a terrible idea – I can see how this would help. It’s just that it’s of no use to me.

I still feel an underlying anxiety and fear. Ron winces when I say something about his stupid ideas. That was unkind, that I said that, especially that it was said in such a childish way, without explaining myself. I should have explained it like I did here.

In a break in our conversation, I look over at Ron. I have this sense of unreality about him. I say that he seems a bit unreal, but really, he’s obviously present, so I don’t know what it is. Ron says that perhaps I (Ellen) am not entirely present – when that happens, people can seem unreal.Well, I am in parts, I say. There’s always going to be parts that are not in front, so parts of me are always not present.

I think about this. Maybe I should let parts speak a bit, I say. I’m worried about doing this, but I hate the sense that I’m not really connecting to Ron – he seems a bit like a shadow person, and that scares me. So B chats a bit, about being sick and being at home.

I’ve heard a lot from V. while I’ve been home. I tell Ron V really wants to talk, because I get that sense. Now there are only a few minutes left, but I let it happen anyway. V talks to Ron about what she likes and dislikes. She like wearing jeans, she hates business clothes. She’s reading novels that are hers. She likes walking outside, she likes sneakers and hiking boots. V has a quiet shy way of talking. It’s obvious she’s a lot more mature than B – her mind is almost like an adult’s. She has logic and more complicated things to say. My energy as V is so different.

V. says she feels as if no one likes her. Ron says quietly, do you think I don’t like you? And V says well, you don’t know me very well, because I’ve barely ever talked to you.

Ron does seem to like V. He likes her quietness and thoughtfulness.

V says she feels as if everything is black. Like…..being in a boat on a stormy ocean. Ron asks if she’s seen a famous Japanese painting of a boat and a mountain, and she says she’s seen one with a big wave, and he says that’s the one.

It’s time to go. I say I have to get back to being me, and so Ron tries grounding me – do you feel in your body, do you feel your feet, your back….

It’s interesting, because as V, I did feel that Ron was real and didn’t have that feeling of disconnection.

I get up to go, then quickly ask if I can borrow a book. I like having one of his books when Ron goes on vacation. I choose one, and go.

At home, I’ve had some trouble functioning. V is so very sad. But the fact that she’s older seems to help a bit. I’m not as confused as with younger parts, where the mind is so different. I think I’m better now, a day and a half later.





  1. Rachel said:

    Hi Ellen, sorry you had another rough go-round in therapy. Interesting Ron changed his tune about the parts and feelings. What he said, about it being helpful if building bridges or enhancing communication amongst parts is aligned with the more recent trauma research, perhaps he is doing reading and expanding his mind after all? The optimist in me speaking here. V sounds to have promise in assisting with functioning, she seems to be a flexible part with more ease. Maybe I am not reading into it accurately, but that was my impression. Anyways, hope you have a nice day.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, it might be that he’s reading, or maybe talking with someone? Maybe I’ll ask about it when I next seen him. I know he does read, as he often has new books around, but the books I see are never on trauma. He seems to focus on the evils of biological psychiatry, which I don’t care about.

      V is a teenage part. She is much more functional than the very young child part, just because she is closer to being an adult. But she’s so very depressed, it’s difficult to get use of any energy she might have. It’s an interesting thought though.


  2. It sounds to me like ron seems to have more of a connection with parts? do v and b ever have issues with him, like you do sometimes? related to talking of the therapy going a certain way? what book of his did you borrow? i love reading. i read a lot. XX

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, could be. Ron has always been good about talking to them really. Yes, they sometimes have issues with him. Sometimes that they didn’t get time. I have more issues with him than parts do though, because they are just so happy someone will talk with them. The book I borrowed wasn’t that great – it’s called Making Therapy Work. It’s really old, and has these checklists and things for considering your therapy. It wasn’t a book Ron picked out for me – I just grabbed it on the way out as a reminder of him for when he’s away.

      Thanks Many.

  3. e.Nice said:

    Is Ron more of a feelings guy? If the parts have more feelings maybe thats why he connects well with them. Maybe you like the more intellectual part of it? I don’t really know. I like things to have outlined steps, and goals and be able to measure progress. Life seems to be a bit more messy then that. But being able to come back to yourself after a couple of days seems like progress.

    • Ellen said:

      I’m not sure Nice. Another way of looking at it would be that parts are more emotional, so they feel the connection more strongly.

      Maybe you’re looking at yourself as a project, needing to be improved with goals and steps? Though I know what you mean – wanting the sense that we’re moving forward somehow or other.


      • e.Nice said:

        Oh, it makes sense to have more emotional parts. Some parts are going to be more primed for connection then others too. You caught me there. I sort of thought I could go to therapy, set some specific goals, have some specific things to do, work on those and tadaa! all better!. Like A+B= C. From what you’ve said, your therapist seems even more go with the flow then mine. Do you feel like you are moving forward, because even with the hard times it seems like you are from over here.

        • Ellen said:

          I’m believing less and less in specific goals….I just do not look at myself as someone who needs ‘fixing’. Even though, um, I have parts. I want to listen to all parts and have them communicate better, I want to be more whole…I want to be able to connect to others authentically. I have goals like that. The therapist is not like a mechanic looking for broken bits IMO. I can see how it might be comforting to think of them like that, but then when this doesn’t work, as it tends not to do, you’re up the creek without a paddle.

          Thanks for saying you think I’m moving forwards – I think I am but it’s awfully slow.

          • e.Nice said:

            Having the mind set that you don’t need fixing is awesome. Good job!

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