Weekend and session

I am feeling somewhat more cheerful. I even got the vacuuming done, and other things. Going out Friday night was good for me. I have been going home directly after work and collapsing, so this at least expanded my world. Maybe I forget that I am no longer a child, in that I can pay for things now. I can go out and have dinner, if I wish, it won’t break the bank, and it can really lift my spirits.

This weekend, I was out and about a lot. I am simply too lonely to stay at home – I end up dissociated and kind of frozen if I do. If I can get myself out the door, my spirits start to lift, and I start to feel more like a regular human, living in this city, employed, part of it. Lots of people spend some time alone, I’m not looking unusual.

I also dressed up a bit more than usual. I’m older now, and just look sloppy in my cheap weekend clothes. I put on my new straw hat with the black bow that I paid full price for, as it was sunny. And I wore some cotton pants that I wear to work, and a decent top. I got treated just that bit better, and I felt more confident. Things like this matter. You’d think they wouldn’t, but they do.

I bought some prosciutto from the deli to have with my salad for lunch. Little treats. I spent time at an outdoors cafe drinking tea and reading a book about a woman who takes up ballroom dancing after her rich husband dies. I consider dance lessons again, and remember all my mixed feelings about that. I think I’d rather read about it than do it.

I can barely remember my therapy session. I seem to be blanking my sessions out. Lets see. We talked about my previous weekend. I’d had some unsuccessful social encounters – meeting a friend and her friend for a drink, where I felt they couldn’t wait to go home, and I was keeping them out, as I was so eager not to be alone. I’d gone to a family dinner to drop off a supplement for my son, who lives with my parents, and had a lot of anxiety afterwards.

I told Ron how depressed I’d been feeling. I talked about trying to feel. How I’d noticed I go into this dissociative haze quite a bit at home. It’s actually not unpleasant. I don’t really feel much, it’s like a soft blankness. The thing is, my life goes by and I’m not in it then. I can’t function, can’t get anything done. This state numbs the pain, but I get kind of stuck in it. So I’ve been trying to feel, and then I get into trauma type feelings. I keep asking Ron if he thinks this is a good thing. He says yes, it’s good to feel your feelings. But it’s a problem if you can’t get out of the trauma stuff….

Which is unusual for him to say. He’s usually all about feeling everything.

Last week, we’d discussed his theories, to my complaint that he hadn’t read anything about trauma written in the last decade. He’d said he draws from different traditions – self-psychology, object relations, some other thing….But that he doesn’t want to use one type of theory because that’s limiting and may not be what I need. So I say but a theory gives you away of proceeding at least, a direction to follow, while we don’t seem to have any direction at all.

I forget what he said to that. Something like that I think that if he had a theory, we’d have a plan, and I’d get to my goals much faster. I said I didn’t want a plan as in CBT or a manualized approach, otherwise I’d go for CBT therapy. I don’t need that kind of  a plan.

I didn’t say this, but I think I’d like it if he said something about a self-psychology theory sometime, or object relations. He never does. I suspect he’s read a book on each of these, but that this doesn’t actually inform what he does. Anyway. I’d hate someone spouting theory instead of relating to me in any case.

He did say he thinks if I can let different parts of me speak as they come up in therapy with him, the walls between them will lessen. Which at least is a plan of a kind. Then last session, he said he thinks a goal for me is to bring the switching under more conscious control, so I’m not ambushed by parts.

Another thing he said the previous week. I’d complained I’d gone to the farmer’s market in my neighbourhood, and felt as if I was acting bizarrely, and was distressed about this afterwards. As always, he asked me what in particular had happened that was difficult. As usual, I said, nothing much in particular. I just felt I wasn’t being very adult, I felt scared of everything, but at least I’d pushed through and gone out.

He said that he thinks when I’m interacting with people, if that interaction is not coming from a very adult place, if there’s a lot of child parts mixed up in it, I feel humiliated. Which I hadn’t thought of before, but I think this is very true. I have that feeling of humiliation, but nothing much has really happened. I’m thinking more of tones of voice, or people’s expressions.

It’s something to think about. Because I quite often feel somewhat humiliated or shamed, when nothing super bad has actually occurred. It could be because child parts were involved, and that feels humiliating to me.

Phew. It was tough to force myself to even verbalize any of this therapy stuff. I am seriously blanking out a lot of it.

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10 comments
  1. Ashana M said:

    I know what you mean about feeling you need a direction, or you wish for a direction. When things are really bad, I feel really focused on that: I feel I could cope with the badness of everything, if I had a clear direction. Usually i end up deciding the clear direction is to work at regulating the feelings. This seems to have worked in the past, and i just need to keep doing it. And it does help to feel I am doing something at least productive. Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      I often think about how you say your main job is calming down so you can actually process. It seems like a good direction to me. Thanks Ash.

      • Ashana M said:

        It does seem like nothing useful happens unless I am in a calm enough place. It seems like it’s about learning how to do a process.

  2. Rachel said:

    I think going out after work on Friday was a great decision – it sounds like it really helped. What you write about the isolation really resonates for me – when I have an afternoon or evening at home alone, I find myself becoming dysregulated/numb/ruminate so much more. Something happens with the being alone that doesn’t feel healthy or productive and it is a lot harder to get what I want accomplished. Glad you are seeing that for yourself, and making some changes.

    • Ellen said:

      On Friday, it actually didn’t feel like a decision – my feet just started walking, and I had no interest in going home. It did help.

      Yes, home alone is not a great situation for me either. I do need a lot of down time to recover because I get exhausted, but otherwise I’m better off out and about, even if I’m not with anyone else. Thank you Rachel.

  3. e.Nice said:

    Glad you were feeling a little better. Do you think feeling better and blanking out therapy are connected?

    • Ellen said:

      No, I don’t think so. Blanking out therapy is because of my dissociation problems – when things make me anxious, I can’t remember them. Thanks nice.

      • e.Nice said:

        less anxiety is better 🙂

  4. I’m glad to hear you went out and connected with others. I know if I’m home too much, alone, it’s easier to numb and dissociate as well. I know I’ve said this before, but maybe consider what Ron is saying about allowing your younger parts time in therapy. I know it’s not easy, at first, but you will get used to it happening and being more conscious of them. Just a thought. It’s good that you two are communicating better too!

    • Ellen said:

      I actually do give younger parts time DID. I just am not really writing about it here, as it confuses me and I don’t know how to explain. I have become more used to it, for sure. To me, that is the part of my fifty minutes that feels the most important – those few minutes where parts have time. Thanks

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