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attachment

Therapy has not been helpful lately. I believe that I do have to do my own work, my own healing. It’s not magic happening in the therapy room that will do the trick.

I have felt absolutely full of criticism, complaint and hurt feelings concerning Ron. His style of therapy seems unsuited to my situation. I’m not sure I want to write out all the mental criticism I have of him, because I’ve been working on letting it be. Not thinking about it any more. I considered quitting, but am not quite at that point I don’t think.

It doesn’t help much to bring it to him, because a lot of it is just how he practices. This is what he offers. If I don’t think that’s what I need, I should try something else, or be therapy free for a change.

I am somewhat better for going to therapy. But, the things that are better, Ron doesn’t even see. They’re not things we ‘worked on’. It’s just that because he is supportive, I’ve been able to feel things and think about things during the week that have helped somewhat.

I’m still in parts. One of the most hurtful things Ron did was last week, when it somehow came up that I’m not sure therapy is helping, was that he thought because I’m not speaking from the parts lately, or leaving session in such a dark place, that this means I’m better.

I’ve been going to session right after work, and am in this buttoned-down coping kind of a place. So I haven’t had parts speak, and haven’t accessed any difficult emotions. Sessions are boring, where I tell Ron I don’t know what to talk about, things are OK. Or I talk about some things that bother me, but this doesn’t really go anywhere and the conversation peters out.

Does this mean I’m better? Because I can’t relax enough in therapy to feel anything?

So, that hurt my feelings. Plus the idea he has that if parts just stop speaking, they have integrated magically. Does that happen by magic? I don’t actually know, but it hasn’t happened in my case.

Another big divide we have is that Ron has no vocabulary about therapy, on principle. I do believe that if you have no vocabulary, you can’t really work on anything in any systematic kind of a way. So I feel that I don’t know what I’m working on or what I’m trying to do. Everything is just one big ball of badness.

I wrote him some of this in an email last week, to which he didn’t really respond. We did agree to try a different time, later in the day, so I have a few hours to come down from work.

I’m intending to work on parts. That’s who needs Ron. I’m personally fed up with him. I know a lot of people go to therapy for a sympathetic ear. I’m wanting more.

The other thing is his super receptive attitude. To me, it reminds me of my very very withdrawn mother in particular. The whole session seems up to me – he doesn’t offer much direction, if any. I can see how it can be good, to simply be receptive. How it can be a practice for the therapist even. But for me, it feels like too much emptiness. Especially if I go there without much of a plan, if I’m reluctant to plunge into hard topics….It feels just like not much guidance.

I believe there is some transference/counter transference stuff going on, but this is not Ron’s area, so we don’t discuss it. I wish he did have knowledge in this area.

So I’ve complained about Ron afterall. Couldn’t resist. But since I’m not ready to quit, I want to stop resenting him, stop criticizing him in my mind. It reminds me of how I get when a relationship goes wrong – this is familiar territory. It feels bad to think so negatively. I want to be able to soak up the goodness Ron does provide, and stop thinking of how I wish he were different!

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Last session was one of the few that didn’t leave me with a major therapy hangover. We spoke about the interview. I can’t remember what else we spoke about – something about staying adult I think. Ron said being an adult in conversations is being as authentic as you can…or something. I should have written this down, because he said something more complex. I commented that I’m just talking about staying adult as opposed to flipping into a child part.

I talked about the difficulty I have going to things. More than half the time, I don’t go to things I’ve had planned, because I feel too overwhelmed, and I feel in the wrong state to go out and interact with people. We talked about my 12 step group. Ron thought if I am able to be somewhat honest about what I’m going through, I’d feel better about being there. I said I didn’t think people would relate to being in parts, and then I’d feel more of a freak than I already do.

Ron thought if I can bring in some part of my honest experience it would be helpful. Which I agree with, and I do try to do.

There’s more to my difficulties than being in parts, though that’s a big piece of it. I’m getting inappropriate emotions in various situations, like a kind of loud mouthed irritation at a job interview, which is really really not serving me at all. It is very frustrating.

At the end of the session, Ron suggested tracking my mood and any parts that are forward hour by hour for a week, emailing him the tracked results at the end of each day. I’ve been doing that and it’s been interesting, because I forget pretty fast what state I’m in during the day. I tell him it seems like an unusual request from him – he never seems to want to track anything or be at all systematic. It’s always ‘tell me about your family’ or exploring feelings.

Another part of the session I remember. I keep bringing up my relationship with Ron, because I find when I talk about it a bit, it helps me feel connected to him. If I don’t talk about it, I feel as if I’m speaking, but no one is listening. Although I know he is listening, really, but I can’t feel it. I was speaking about some feelings, and then felt kind of ashamed. I mentioned that, and that I was wondering if he thought it was wrong to speak of these kinds of things. That I felt ashamed and like it was wrong. And that my mother would always have rejected any emotions being expressed, and shamed me. Ron said he felt the opposite of it being wrong to speak of feelings. And that my mother had absolutely no idea of how one should be in the world.

Which made me feel good. Always, my mother gets off the hook. She is the essential ‘good girl’, never angry, always providing cooking and cleaning services, and if not, reading. She never actively opposes or corrects anyone. She’s more like this absence. If you’re her child, it is quite agonizing to not be seen or responded to though. I don’t think I’ve literally ever heard anyone say a word against her. Oh, except my best friend in grade school one time. She said something like ‘your mother’ and rolled her eyes. I’ve always remembered that small exchange, as it’s the only actual time anyone made any kind of criticism of my mother, in my presence, ever. To the present day. Now Ron’s comment makes the second time.

Because this session was more focused on the present, a little more practical, I wonder if Ron did hear me, about wanting to improve my life. It needs improvement, believe me. It’s hard to fix my life if I need to spend several days in bed after each therapy session to recover. I miss a lot when that happens. Not being as triggered by therapy would be helpful, for a while anyhow.

And…I’m now very stressed. Writing the previous post gave me a bit of energy, but also intensified my feelings. I then wrote an email to Ron, describing how I’m not doing well. I’d hoped he would reply, but he didn’t. Now he may still reply, tomorrow sometime, or he may not. I didn’t ask for a response.

I guess since I took the risk of emailing him, because I feel so low, I’m now on tenterhooks waiting to hear from him. Reaching out intensifies how needy I feel. It makes me less shut down, I guess in the hope that he would care. But I so often feel bad after therapy. I just looked at last week’s day after therapy email, and it was pretty similar to this week’s. Some details are different – different parts are involved – but otherwise the same old same old. It’s likely boring to get them.

Part of the sorrow of this is the intense isolation of it. I feel like I can’t communicate it to anyone. At the same time I’m not up for light social conversation either.

Well, I feel needy and bad and wrong for writing.

Should I write a follow-up, saying I do want to hear from him? Please? Which is always embarrassing, because I should have known in the first place I needed a response and not waited in vain for a response. Or should I wait, hoping he will respond by tomorrow?

It’s surprising how unsafe I feel suddenly. Lethargy and depression are maybe protective – I really don’t feel much in their grip. Trying to move through it by reaching out is very painful.

Anyway, I’m not at risk for anything at all, except staying in my apartment forever. I don’t SH, I’m not addicted to anything really, I am not self-destructive. The worst I’ll do is skip a few meals because I can’t bear to cook anything. Wow.

I still wish he’d write back. I may be boring, I may be old, but, I am still a person and I’d still like him to respond to me.

Well, I’m going to have a glass of wine and go finish my mystery novel. It’s a plan. I’ll sit on whether to write an extra plea for a response.

I am so depressed. Arggh. I don’t know what’s wrong. I did go to Easter service, and it was OK. Lots of parts popping up, but that is OK because no one can tell. I like the ritual of it all, the stories. The sermons also tend to be interesting. I like the hymns for the most part, I like singing along, or humming my own tune if I don’t like the hymn or it’s too high. I like giving the peace – the congregations walks around, shaking everyone else’s hand and wishing them peace. Coffee time after is hard for me. I think people who are part of it could try harder to include others. Anyway, I decided to skip that.

At home, I cleaned up. So I guess the depression didn’t hit until the afternoon. I lie down, but don’t sleep. I am going for a family dinner, and need to leave soon. I feel oppressed – stifled – as if the walls are closing in and I need to get out.

I have felt lonely this weekend. My therapy session left me lonely, and I keep waking up and feeling lonely. However, I don’t actually have the energy to go out and do non-survival activities. And I wouldn’t have the energy to devote to a relationship with a partner, if I found such a thing. Lately I actually haven’t been feeling lonely – too many other feelings to deal with, plus sheer exhaustion.

Therapy was problematic this week, but it might have opened something up that I want to deal with. Ron said he was working on Good Friday, a holiday here. So I went off for my session late in the day. He looked more relaxed than usual, wearing different clothes, altogether quite relaxed and happy. He tends to look a bit mournful, generally. It turned out I was his only client that day. I hadn’t known, or I would have maybe cancelled. I felt like a loser – all his other clients had cancelled, likely having a life, while I don’t. I felt as if I was interrupting his social life actually – he’d emailed asking to meet an hour later, so I figured he’d just left someone. So of course my mind goes to his romantic life, which I do not want to think about at all. Somehow when I thought he was married, thoughts of his life didn’t bother me. Now they seem to. It’s likely sheer jealousy, because I do not have romance in my life of any kind, and haven’t had since I’ve been going to him for therapy. Anyway.

I did bring up the two items from last week from my last post. They weren’t even bothering me anymore, but I brought them up because I thought I should. We had this kind of weird conversation about the book. Ron said he’d thought he was just following my lead, where I’d said I couldn’t decide what my attachment style was, and didn’t think the book was that good. I reminded him I’d said that after he’d disparaged it.

Anyway. It wasn’t a good discussion. Ron noticed that I seemed to be taking our discussion personally. It was true – I was getting agitated, trying to describe the philosophy, and counter what he was saying.

The next day, after the session, I woke up and felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach – like there was internal bruising of some kind, although I knew it was emotional. I felt like I’d been in a huge fight, and that I’d completely wrecked my relationship with Ron, who now no longer cared about me. It was such a devastating feeling – as if everything around had died.

Finally I emailed him, and asked for a response, and told him how I felt I’d irritated him, and I was really upset. He emailed me back almost at once (thank you Ron) saying he wasn’t feeling any conflict with me whatsoever, and he could see how I fragile I feel our relationship is.

I’d been so upset. I was crying, and I rarely cry. I was relieved at the email. So I calmed down to plain puzzlement and sadness. I still feel our relationship has ruptured – for instance, I woke up this morning with the same emotional stomach ache, as if I’d caused huge harm, and was now abandoned due to my own behaviour. Not as severe though, and I can live with it. I just don’t feel a connection where usually I was feeling one.

It really disturbs me to disagree with Ron in person and out loud. He was not as accepting this time as he has been in the past – we argued about the book, I’d say, though not in a mean way. I felt afterwards I’d been petty, nit-picky about nothing, when he’s done nothing wrong, and I wasn’t even hugely upset about this book.

Even now it feels dangerous, the argument. Just not good. As if my safety is at stake. And I do feel abandoned, even though Ron has done nothing. Just that magic thread of connection I usually feel to him isn’t there.

I know arguments with my father ended up with him completely abandoning me, and this isn’t happening now in the present. Just I’m afraid it is. That fear is a hard feeling.

 

 

I was very glad to see Ron back from his break yesterday. Different parts of me were missing him a lot.

Other than sheer relief that he was back, the session was a little underwhelming. I have this feeling therapy is going nowhere. I have thought about it, and it does seem that whenever parts don’t have much of the session, I do end up feeling as if I’ve wasted my time.

At the same time, I don’t have the therapy hangover. I have been wanting to back off on the trauma and parts stuff, and wanting to stay more in the present. Ron always follows my lead. So, we talked about my present day concerns. Ron was in a kind of mood also where he talks a lot. I never feel this is a good thing – it’s different from when he says these deep insightful things. This is more stuff that seems obvious, and that I know. He just seems to want to talk, sometimes. It’s always about me though – he never veers off to talk about his own concerns. Yet somehow it does seem impersonal – more theory than anything that’s really responding to me.

Maybe I can’t get a feeling of making progress and connecting without going to deeply disturbing places.

As well, I was very tired. I’d done some more exercise the night before, push-ups and squats, basically, and so had slept very badly. My world feels thin and shaky after a night spent not sleeping properly.

I don’t know. I didn’t feel like this right after the session, but today, a day later, I feel kind of angry. As if I was missed altogether, in the one place where I look for understanding. I don’t know what it means that I didn’t feel this at the time, or after the session. Is the anger maybe about something other than the session? Right after, I felt as if I’d been talking with a good friend, and felt fine about it. I don’t have many friends where I can talk freely, so I thought, why not just enjoy that part, the support, the chance to talk?

I can remember two spots in the session where I felt annoyed and missed. True to form for me, I didn’t react much at the time, and brooded about it later. When will I learn it is safe to speak up at the time, when I disagree, or something is hurtful?

The first was when I was telling Ron about a self-help book I’ve been reading, about loneliness and attachment. The basic premise of the book is that if we’re lonely, it may be a problem with our attachment style, so that the relationships we have are not satisfying. Then he divides the problematic styles into two – anxious and avoidant attachment. Then there are various exercises to help you discover if you have one or the other problem, and exercises to help you tell the story of how that developed, in your relationship to your parents. To me, it seems like a reasonable and helpful approach.

So I’m trying to explain the book to Ron, maybe not doing the best job, as I’m tired. He gets this frowny expression on his face, like someone brooding and unhappy. After I’ve talked a bit, he doesn’t say anything, so I ask him what he thinks. He says he doesn’t think it’s helpful to just divide people into two attachment styles – people are more complex that that. I say something to the effect of probably a self- help book won’t really help, but I’m finding it interesting, and at least I feel I’m doing something to try and help myself. He looks like he disagrees but doesn’t say anything else.

Oh yeah. Then I say I seem to have aspect of both styles.

I forget how the conversation went exactly. I was just left without much of anything except the feeling that Ron thought the book was silly. But actually, it’s not. He could give me some credit. The book actually doesn’t divide all people into two attachment styles. It’s just saying if you have a problem with loneliness, here is a psychological problem that may be causing it.

I understand that Ron doesn’t believe in labels. However, then how do you talk about anything? Does he believe in vocabulary?

I feel really irritated that he was so dismissive of my reading and attempts to understand. And I feel irritated with myself that I didn’t attempt to stand up for myself in any way, when this is such a safe space to do so. It’s like I’m trying to make this relationship go smoothly, instead of trying to discover what’s real. It’s not my job to make the relationship go well is it.

I said that i can see now that the people I’ve tended to try and become friends with are the avoidant, distant type of people. My ex was like that, my one ex-boyfriend, a current friend. Because of my family, those dynamics feel familiar to me. I really want to change that.

I described a dinner where my parents had invited me and my son out to a restaurant. It was an odd event, because my parents didn’t feel the need to talk. To me, if it’s a social occasion, you make attempts to talk, but they didn’t. So I tried to make the evening go well. I chatted a lot with my son about various shows we’re both interested in, and some other things. I asked my parents a few questions. In the end, my mother joined in a bit, though my father remained withdrawn.

Ron commented that with your parents, you don’t really need to ‘chat’ – they’re your parents after all. He thinks if I can learn to be more real with them, voicing some real concerns and feelings I have, it will help me in my relationships to other people. Even if their reactions are not positive (I know they won’t be), it would still be helpful for how I feel. An example was I could have said, gee Dad, you’re being very quiet tonight, what’s up? Which I guess I could do. My family never comments or asks about anyone’s feelings, so this would be unusual behaviour in the family. The idea is to make some of those unspoken feelings spoken.

This is something I do want to try. I couldn’t sleep after the restaurant dinner, and I think it’s that sense of unreality that maybe is the cause.

That is the thing I did get out of this session – a thing to try.

The other thing that irritates me now that happened is tiny. I was pondering the age old question – what the h is wrong with my ex? Why did he act as uncaringly as he did?

Someone had suggested that he has a form of Aspergers, which is on the autism spectrum. This made so much sense to me. He is peculiar in a way that is difficult to explain to people who don’t know him – it always seemed to me as if something was different in his brain. Aspergers would explain his difficulties in seeing other people’s points of view, and in a way that doesn’t totally blame him.

I know Ron doesn’t like labels, so I ask him if he believes in this. He said yes, but he thinks it’s wildly over-diagnosed. He asked if my ex has trouble with eye contact. No, not really. That is one of the huge markers apparently.

I was talking to him recently, and mentioned a problem. Then my ex, J, starts to go into massive detail about a related problem he had thirty years ago. He doesn’t seem to have processed it at all – it’s just as vivid to him now as it was then. I tell him I’m not sure where this is going – but if he really needs to talk about it, I’ll listen. He cheerfully says no, not at all. He doesn’t get the idea of talking about problems in order to process them at all. Something that really bothers him, he’d likely never tell me about.

To me, this is so strange. Ron says it sounds like he’s narcissistic – everything is about him. I say I don’t think he’s narcissistic, and stop talking about it. It wasn’t so much that he started talking about a problem, it was more that he was about to spend thirty minutes going over all the details, which would be boring, without actually needing to talk about it. For something that took place thirty years ago – to do with a work issue he had.

It’s like Ron didn’t really hear much of what I was saying – just that J started talking about himself. Therefore he’s narcissistic. Which just seems trite and off the point.

Thinking this over now I’ve written it out – I may be incredibly nit-picky. I wish I’d give my honest response in person at the time, instead of being angry afterwards. Who knows what is right. I think the point is I withhold my response automatically, then get mad after.

In general I greatly appreciate Ron. Just not at this minute.

There’s a bunch of stuff, adding up to my feeling unmotivated and down. There are so many perspectives to tell you about, if I can summon up the energy to do it.

First of all, it’s damn cold. It’s hard to go out just because I will freeze my toes if I do. However, I did venture out this morning, just desperate to feel a bit better, had a walk, a tea and a lavender shortbread cookie. And I did feel a bit better. At least I’m not immobilized.

I went for a second interview for a contract yesterday. I wished I wasn’t depressed, I worried my mental state was seeping through, that the (young and corporate) VP interviewing me would disqualify me based on that. I got a call today asking for references, but they haven’t decided between myself and another writer. I was surprised by the quick request for references, hadn’t contacted mine yet to tell them I was looking and that they might get a call. So I dashed off two emails. Neither has responded to me yet. I worry worry worry I said something to offend them perhaps. I hate having to ask for help. And then I sent off these emails when I wasn’t in a very great space, but wanted to contact them before this client did. Sigh.

But, it seems my depressions wasn’t that evident, because they are interested enough to check the references. So. So a lot of my worry worry worry is about things that haven’t happened.

Therapy on Friday was intense, for a part of it. Since then, I have been struggling.

I think I’ll only mention the parts that made a big emotional impression, though we did touch on a bunch of other things. First up, was a dream I’d had that night. I dreamed my sister is also seeing Ron for therapy. She tells me that Ron has girlfriends (he’s married). She knows because friends of hers know him outside of work. I feel betrayed and scared. I wake up scared, and can’t go back to sleep for a long time.

I’m somewhat scared to go and see Ron. Not sure at all what that is about.

So I tell him my dream. He sits back and considers, and asks me what I think it’s about. I look at him, solid, trustworthy, and decide it’s likely not about him. About my father? Did he have girlfriends? I don’t know. What about your sister, what do you make of her seeing me for therapy, and telling you this information? Well, in my family, my sister is very close to my parents. If anything is going on in the family, she would likely know, and wouldn’t necessarily tell me. It makes sense that she’d know something I didn’t.

Ron mentions I’d asked him a bunch of questions about his holiday when I first came in, and that I don’t usually ask him questions. He wonders if that’s a way for me to try and figure out who he is, if he is who he says he is. Then he says something about how it’s important that we treat other people well, that we’re honest with them. I switch for a bit, and the kid says yes, you should be honest, you should be nice to people. Ron nods in agreement. I actually hadn’t thought about infidelity like this, but it makes sense to me. It is about honesty, transparency. And I believe that Ron is honest and kind to the people in his life, at least in that moment, as I’m sitting there.

He also says maybe I’m trying to figure out if someone I think is a good person (not his exact words) is maybe two-faced, different from the face he presents to me.

I find this whole conversation reassuring. Maybe the dream was about my fear that a trusted person is two-faced. That would make sense, that I am afraid of that.

I don’t think of this until later. But when I ask Ron if he got any good Christmas presents, at the start of our hour, he mentions he got a ticket to the opera. Which one? Don Giovanni. lol.

So that part of it was about trust I’m thinking.

The second part that was more emotional was allowing a teenaged part time to talk. I thought at the time it was V., but now I’m not sure. V is a suicidal part, and this part seemed suicidal, but otherwise, seemed different. I don’t know how to describe this. She (I) was so full of pain and sadness, she could barely talk. I don’t remember much of what was said – she complained that no one wants to talk to her, so she is by herself. Ron asked if Ellen could speak for her. She didn’t know, we hadn’t tried. Ron asked if she knew how come she was so separate – what had happened? And she didn’t know.

It was kind of shocking to suddenly be a person who was so sad she could barely speak. Ron seemed eager to help, sitting forward, asking some questions. V. couldn’t think at all clearly. She did say some of the things she likes – rock music, science fiction. Ron said he likes rock music also. It’s important for me to figure out what she likes, so I can support that part by doing those things. So I’ve been playing radio stations I don’t usually listen to this week, for instance, and it has helped.

After a few minutes, I switched out of that part, because it was just too intense. Ron sat back in his chair, looking kind of stunned / surprised.

We were meeting at a new time, so I misjudged when the session ended. I chatted about my weekend and my interactions with my friend E. When Ron said the session was ending, I jumped with surprise. I hate not knowing when it’s ending. I’d actually been feeling V’s presence the whole time, and had wanted to talk about what had happened. I’d been chatting as a break from the intensity. But, there was no time.

At home after the session, I felt so soothed and held. I was also no longer feeling the need to see Ron, it was as if I’d said what I’d needed to. The days following though, V was out a lot and it has been difficult. I spent a lot of time crying, dancing to rock music, trying to let that part be here. That part is so distressed, it’s pretty difficult.

I had been leery of my session last week, but leeriness was not needed after all. It was one of those sessions where i left feeling calm and heard and nurtured. Doesn’t happen often. Mainly because we usually discuss upsetting things, and so I leave upset.

Ron started off in an honest way, by asking me about the email I sent after the previous session. I appreciated that. Mostly, emails I send don’t get discussed unless I bring them in. In this one, I’d been angry the session hadn’t seemed helpful. Then Ron did not reply. He asked me how I felt about that. I said I thought he’d maybe been angry with me for sending it. He asked if any part of me was able to think that maybe he was not angry. I said a part of me could see it was therapy after all, and probably it was OK. But another part thought he was angry.

He said he hadn’t replied because in the email, I’d complained about him asking endless questions, and when he got the email, he just had more questions. So he thought he’d be perpetuating a painful cycle by asking them. lol. I don’t actually totally believe this, but it’s OK. Ron rarely has much of a response to emails anyway – he might just say it sounds difficult, or that we should discuss it in person. He could have done that. But at this point, I can remember how angry I was, but I no longer feel that way. From where I was sitting now, the previous session seemed reasonable and I no longer really knew what my problem was.

Anyway, at least he brought it up. He wanted to know more about what had happened for me, but I didn’t remember.

I’d been to a family birthday, so I talked a bit about that. How no one seems to relax or laugh – I’m not the only one who is not that comfortable. There’s just a lot of expectation of performance, and people showing off, it’s not relaxed and homey.

Did I talk about loneliness? Probably. I remember clearly that I got onto the topic of my mother. That’s an important topic for therapy, yet I’ve rarely discussed my parents and what they were like. This is complaining, and I feel kind of bad about it, because there are other sides. But anyway. It’s therapy.

My mother is not a warm person. She doesn’t talk much. She is not the type to sit down with anyone and talk about life, or problems, or anything really. Ron comments that it sounds like she represses most things, and I guess that’s accurate. You’d never know, from growing up with my mother, that some people discuss things, that it helps to talk about things to sort things through. Anything really. It’s not even that she’s just uncomfortable with emotional subjects – she’s uncomfortable with talking about almost anything. Ron says she doesn’t connect with people, and I think that’s true.

Ron says something about talking to my mother about this – something like she doesn’t have to be so afraid of people….I reject that out of hand. How would that help? She’s not about to change. Ron thinks the point would be I’d be in a more honest relationship to her. Or something. I’m not going to do it. She wouldn’t understand what I mean. She’d just withdraw further.

Talking about this is depressing. I wish I’d had a mother who was more caring. Well, she does care, I tell Ron, somewhere back there. But she doesn’t express that in any way. If I mention something that has gone wrong, like me losing my job, she doesn’t sit down and want to hear about it. It’s as if there’s nothing more to say, once you have the bare fact of it.

I don’t say this in the session, but the fact is, my mother would sacrifice any of her children for my father. He always came first – his needs trumped our needs.

Ron says something about how my situation was extreme. I’m not sure that’s true really – I don’t think it was, compared to what others have gone through. But it was hurtful.

I can see that my difficulties connecting to people are related to the way my mother related to me as a child. But I do have a completely different personality. Where my mother completely shies away, I tend to attack, or to spill all. Or at times, I also take her path and shut down. I’m more of a mixed bag. It’s also not effective, because I’m usually not considering the other person much. Anyway, we didn’t get into this. I just know, you don’t get to be as isolated as I am without trouble with your upbringing.

I mention that I’ve been remembering a lot more about my childhood. That’s a good thing, Ron says. But, I’m remembering it as if it’s still taking place, and it’s confusing. It’s not a regular memory, because I think it’s parts that are remembering.

Ron asks me to tell him some things I remember. And I switch into a kid part for the rest of the session. This kid explains her house to Ron – what her bedroom was like, what the kitchen was like, what the front lawn and garden were like, about raking leaves, and how the streets had those little stones embedded in concrete, and the ditches where the raked leaves were left. It is so vivid as I’m describing it.

But it’s stupid. It’s not a real story, she says shyly.

No, Ron says. It’s important for us to speak so we can be known and appreciated.

So the kid gets right back to describing this house. Plus her two friends, their names, their families, plus she went to guides, and brownies, and swimming lessons. Plus piano.

I flip out of the kid part for a few minutes to discuss the piano. I tried so hard as a child. I practiced a lot. And I got very little praise. When I think back, I think, wow, I really did try. The family was perfectionist, so they rarely had much praise.

But people aren’t perfect, Ron says.

And the kid pops back out again. People aren’t perfect, right Ron? Right? No one’s perfect, are they? And Ron nods in agreement.

And so the session ends. I go home feeling calm and understood. It’s mysterious, how parts work, and that they would want to talk about such mundane things. Mundane things make up a kid’s life perhaps.

I know that there was bad stuff that happened, to cause these parts. However, this session wasn’t about those things. It feels so great to have Ron listen to parts tell their tale. Even if it’s not the complete story. It just feels like a warm bath, being held somehow.

The next two days though, I do feel emotional, sad, confused, and switching around quite a bit, if i can put it like that. So I guess though the kid who talked in therapy wasn’t upset, rather was really happy to have so much time with Ron, maybe those other feelings come along as a kind of package deal.

It’s all a bit mysterious to me.