I feel

Feeling calmer again. It feels like a victory, to have this island of calm after such rough holiday seas.

I don’t want to jinx anything by writing it, as this peace feels fragile and hard won. And yet, I want to make sense of it.

I had a make up session Friday afternoon. In terms of Ron and his therapy, I felt a lot better, although upsetting feelings came up that I have been processing ever since, until tonight. I was determined not to pretend in my session – by pretending, I mean I ignore some of my feelings about Ron and the therapy, and just go ahead and talk about my issues or events in my life, such as they are. Ron asked me how I’d felt after last session, and after briefly revisiting his lateness, I said that mainly, I’d felt criticized. So we discussed that. He also brought up that he’d been getting the impression I am thinking some other form of therapy would help me more. Which I agreed I had been thinking and considering leaving.

It was a hard discussion. It’s hard to say you feel criticized and unsupported. He wanted me to point to specific instances, but I just stuck with what happened last session. We talked about how I was wondering if it was related to my issues with my father, who was very critical of me. It’s hard to describe my feeling about Ron, especially because it changes so much. I had been feeling like either he’s not really there, which is like my mother was, or at other times, that he is super critical of me and any attempts I make to help myself.

I ask him what’s wrong with going to the gym, with reading self-help books, with going to groups? And he replies that those things are all good things to do. I say I understand that I’m in therapy to explore my feelings, but that when I’m at home, not in his office, don’t i need to try and feel better?

Ron said about how it seems like sometimes I don’t want to talk about things that come up, and he’s interested in understanding why that is. I say sometimes I’m just maxed out on feelings, and can’t deal with one more bad thing – say we’re talking about my mother, and then my son’s situation comes up – I just can’t handle everything at once. He says that the reason I feel maxed out is that my energy is bound up in the thing I don’t want to talk about, and if I talked about it, it would help. Or something. That everything is basically stemming from one root. Um.

I really find it difficult to verbalize and articulate an argument in his office. My feelings are so involved, somehow, it’s like trying to see through a thick fog. Arguments become foggy and indistinct. I no longer know what’s true for me.

I liked how Ron stuck with it. He does invite me to say anything I wish to say, about him or about his therapy. Well, at least that session he did. And I really sat with how difficult trying to connect with him felt, how far away he felt.

And I stayed with my feelings, even when they didn’t make all that much sense. And of course stuff came up. I remembered about a self-help technique I’ve been doing – shaking and dancing. I told Ron about it. You put on some music. First you shake your body, from the feet right up your body to your head, all parts shaking and jiggling, for about five minutes. Then you pause. Then you dance, again five or ten minutes. Then you rest a few minutes. This is supposed to help with depression, to shake lose stuck energy. The resting allows you to absorb the benefits. I’ve found this really helpful to do.

Ron is interested in this – he is interested in body based type healing, even though he doesn’t ever suggest doing it. For me, because of the dissociation, the shaking tends to shake lose bits of things – I’ll cry for a few seconds, then stop. Also slices of trauma come up, then are gone. It’s not enough to plunge me into despair, but enough to lighten the depression as I guess it’s a bit of a release.

So I easily call up one of the slices of whatever it is in Ron’s office, to demonstrate. I become younger. Then I realize I’m seeing an image, of myself wandering through a wasteland, brown mud, full of these deep dark disgusting pools that I’m afraid I’m going to fall into. It is like in Lord of the Rings, one of the terrors of the voyage. I feel the lostness, the fear, the overwhelming nature of walking around these pools, afraid.

What would happen if you fell in? I’d be covered in blackness, in black goo. It would be awful.

I wish I could remember what Ron said here. I tell Ron that now i’ve told him about this image, I feel ashamed. Why? I don’t know. It’s like news from a foreign country. Here I am, telling my therapist about difficult feelings I’m having, which is an OK thing to do. So the feelings are like a memory. My mother would have not reacted well to difficult feelings. I would have been made to feel ashamed. Ron says something about how as a child, I was devastated by my mother’s complete negation of my experience. Or something. I never can remember what he said when I’m in the grip of these experiences.

I leave feeling connected again. I really like how seriously Ron takes images that come up for me – as if they were actual occurrences, which is how they feel to me. He kind of leaps right into whatever it is that is going on.

So since then, I struggled with the devastating feeling that came up in the last part of the session. And tonight, I feel like I’ve come through it. I did keep trying things and didn’t allow myself to collapse for more than a few hours. Maybe the key is to pay attention, but keep trying to help. So I stopped reading my novel that was making me feel worse. I started listening to a children’s book on my ipod instead. I went to the gym in the afternoon. I cooked a decent supper. I didn’t push myself to go to my group when I didn’t want to go. When parts of me didn’t want to go.

I also feel trust in Ron, and that helps. It cheers parts of me up a lot.

The pain from the session was severe, and now it’s lifted it’s like I’ve come through a short illness. I would like to know what I did, what helped, and this is the best I can come up with. I actually feel if someone was here that I needed to interact with, I could do it, I could be normal. I feel like things are OK again.

  1. First of all, I am happy you’re feeling well! Don’t overthink it, just enjoy it and possibly it’s a combination of everything you’re doing.

    Secondly, about your session, I just wanted to say that I really really get it but I can’t find the words to explain how I identify, only that I do. I get how one thing leads to another. I get how I don’t know what is wrong with me or why I’m upset or sad. Sometimes I don’t even know if it’s my own story or something I’ve heard or read and none of my life feels real at times. I was able to share my story or experience in session recently and it was everything, a conglomerate of everything that came with silent teears. My T looked at me and asked what it felt like to finally share and honestly I’m still not sure but it was the grown up me who shared.

    Lastly, the images–when I left therapy on Thursday (I go on thursdays too) I had this feeling which turned into an image of my mother inside me. It was totally bizarre and so real. Maybe like medusa but I don’t know and it’s not just in my mind but she is a part of me and I’m never sure what to do with the images and I really wish I was an artist! Have you ever seen Ray Caesar’s work? Google him, I think you might enjoy his creative pics!
    Glad you’re feeling better and still wish we could go to yoga together!

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for sharing AG. Glad you could relate. I wish we could go to yoga together also.

  2. I’m glad that you’re feeling better than before, and are feeling closer to Ron.

  3. One thing I’ve been remembering lately is that therapy isn’t linear and relationships aren’t straightforward – I think you did a really good job navigating this with Ron. I do like that he invites you to share your feelings about the relationship.

    • Ellen said:

      Relationships really aren’t straightforward, especially in therapy. Wait till you’ve been going for six years! Ron is great in many ways.

  4. this is great to read Ellen! So happy you came through it. And happy you know some things that work for you and help you feel less dissociative and in less pain after therapy. xxx

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