Last session

Last session was different. In a good way I think.

I don’t want to describe the whole thing. Just a few things. After the previous session, I’d written Ron an email somewhat like my last post. A little softer, but I made my points. He didn’t reply except to offer a day and time change that would mean I’d have a few hours after work to decompress before going in to see him.

Therapy day, I actually worked part of the day from home, which also helped me be less buttoned up.

In the session, it seemed like Ron had heard me. Or, um, read me. He asked me questions instead of just gazing at me, so I felt as if he was more present. For my part, I didn’t launch into chat about my week or about work. The whole session was more about my psyche and about parts. Although sometimes I need to deal with the everyday, the everyday stuff takes up time. And it basically is my adult voice, leaving other parts shut away in the dark as it were.

We talked about a dream I’d had, of being chased by a panther while driving through the desert in a jeep with my ex. I find relating dreams in therapy quite powerful – they evoke a lot for me.

Both V and B had a say. These were the really sad, traumatized sides of these child parts. It’s so hard to deal with this. Because while letting them speak is a relief, they don’t just subside again after the session. They come up trailing a lot of really bad feelings. So I’ve been feeling less fragmented and less fake, but also in more pain.

I was so surprised that Ron changed his approach just because I wrote him an email. He didn’t directly address what I said, but he’d obviously taken it to heart.

I’m not sure what to say about our relationship. In a way, it was less personal. He acted like a therapist. And I acted like I was in therapy. This wasn’t a friend to whom I was relating the events of my week. I was there to address the damage of the past however I could. He wasn’t there to offer suggestions. He was more there to witness and to draw me out. So I feel cared about, but in a kind of impersonal way, if that makes any sense.

Dissociation is hard to describe to people who don’t have it as a major coping tool. And, it’s hard to figure out how to heal it. For one thing, the usual therapy type interventions basically target the adult me, leaving parts untouched. I could be therapized forever and would never feel better, because the feelings aren’t coming from the adult.

These parts are full of emotion, and not a whole lot of reason, though V has a lot more than B does. It’s like taking a leap, letting them speak and letting them express how they feel. It’s kind of hard to do, in a way, and I imagine it’s also hard to listen to and deal with. Traumatized children take a lot out of you.

I had the feeling afterwards that this was really worthwhile work that felt meaningful and deep to me.

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7 comments
  1. leb105 said:

    there’s a lot in here… you’re figuring out what works for you. Maybe those frustrating sessions are the dark before the dawn – they make us realize what we’re not getting and what we want – with enough anger to give voice to it.

  2. This.shaking said:

    Oh, such good descriptions of parts. Really hard to let them out into my life. Such pain. But how else to become real?
    Reading these blogs helps so much. Apparently, I’m not crazy. Thanks! TS

    • Ellen said:

      You’re welcome TS. Glad it’s a help.

  3. I agree that talking in therapy generally doesn’t do much for the parts. I think what helps me the most (to the degree anything does) is for me to write to a part and invite her to write back. It sounds crazy, but for me, it does help.

    • Ellen said:

      It doesn’t sound crazy – glad that helps. thanks

  4. I’m glad you had a session that you feel good about. Parts are unique for each person. My parts wanted to be heard, to express what they were feeling, they didn’t want to have to be logical and the list went on and on. Acceptance was key for me. Accepting that they existed, are important, and vital to my survival. It is survival in a way that few understand. Hugs cheering for all of you, parts and adult.

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