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sadness

I’ve been feeling as if I were kicked in the stomach since my session. It feels so very physical, yet when I press down around my gut, nothing is actually sore. It’s like a shocked feeling – what you might feel around the pain, without the actual pain.

I haven’t written to Ron about it, and I don’t think I’ll send the daily tracking to him either, this week. Sending reports on how you feel is for someone you trust and feel close to, and I am lacking that this week.

We really didn’t discuss anything very unusual yesterday and I am not sure what triggered the pain. We spoke about looking for work. We did have two small conflicts, but nothing major really. I had the overall impression he thinks I’m avoiding important things, and I did not know what it is I am avoiding. That endless mostly unspoken difference of opinion on what is going to help me. Then there was the very strong and unusual sense I had at end of session that he was angry, or at least very stressed, and wanted me to leave as quickly as possible.

It reminds me somewhat of all the bad relationships I have known. Including to be honest my father. And I feel like a rebellious client, who won’t conform, and at the same time is completely devastated at the lack of approval and connection that results.

I am containing the pain and trying to get a few tasks done despite a portion of my body being in all this pain. At least I am up and have done the dishes. I am glad I’m not spending the day in bed, even if I did get up late. I won’t try and see my son because I need my emotional resources somewhat intact if we are to have a decent time together.

I suspect my difficulties with severe therapy hangovers, even when nothing huge seems to be discussed, is a difficulty I have with Ron and the way we relate. I didn’t think this for a long time, but I suspect that has something to do with it. The feeling of trying to work through vulnerable stuff while not trusting that I’m being cared about. It would be worth discussing but this doesn’t seem to be Ron’s area at all.

A dark day politically. I’m on a media diet for today – I don’t need to see the spectacle of a malignant narcissist ascending to power in my neighbour country. I just don’t want to know anymore about this than absolutely necessary. Must look out for some hopefulness somewhere instead.

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I am so sad today. I think it’s from a mess of different things. It often helps to write it down, so here I go.

I’ve been triggered into trauma by the dentist. Somehow going to therapy intensified those feelings in a way I don’t understand. I described my depression to Ron in the session, and we spent a few minutes on that, but I didn’t go into it any deeper, as per my new policy of not diving into trauma. So I don’t get why the feelings intensified afterwards. I spent a large part of yesterday in bed. I tried to read, but gave up after a while and just lay there for a few hours.

In the afternoon I obeyed an internal prompting and watched a Disney DVD – Cinderella 2. B loved this story – actually three linked stories about Cinderella after she marries the prince. And somewhere in there, my mind clicked back into place, and I felt calm, as if a fever had broken. I was actually able to cook and eat and have a more normal evening.

I’m not sure that this trauma response is getting me anywhere, as in processing, but it seems out of my control, whether it happens or not. I guess therapy intensified everything, moving from depression to more of remembering bits and pieces, and unfortunately to a kind of shocked place. When I’m in that place I don’t feel in the normal way – I don’t feel sad for instance. It’s more a feeling of overwhelming stress and despair and being lost in the dark.

Today I’d like to go down to the beach. It’s going to be hot, so I need to go early, and it’s already almost noon. I wasn’t able to push through the morning fog.

I guess being sad, like today, is progress. It seems like a real feeling, no longer shocked.

I haven’t decided anything about therapy. I was wondering if Ron had been in town, if I would have asked for a check in call, to get me through Saturday. He’s kind of the person I tell about things like that, but at the same time, I’ve been so angry with him, I don’t feel trust that he’d want to help me. Or if I would feel comforted speaking with him.

Well, off to therapy first thing in the morning. Now I feel so low. I’ve spent the day mostly in bed. I was doing some reading and watched a bit of DVD. It’s like a punch to the gut.

The session was good really, in terms of what happened and how I felt. I talked about how I hadn’t felt connected last session, and also my fears that Ron doesn’t have the specific expertise I need. He wasn’t very defensive – just a bit. It’s tricky because there’s this whole psychological element present – my feelings, about him, about challenging him, about feeling he’ll disown me if I tell him how I feel. We talked about that also.

I don’t really buy what he says. I’m too depressed to go into the argument at the moment. But, I kind of stop discussing this after a bit, because my emotions are so involved and stirred up. I can’t have a rational discussion because it’s with Ron, he is my therapist and I’m attached to him.

I don’t totally get why I’m so disabled after the session. I’m missing the entire lovely early summer day, staying in.

At one point, two of the main parts I know about came out and talked to Ron. They didn’t talk about anything new, but both were sad and crying. It wasn’t clear why they / I were upset. I found this overwhelming, so I switched out of those parts to have a more normal conversation. But, I think those emotional states didn’t go anywhere, even if I switched out of them at the time. Now I’m at home, maybe they came rushing back up.

I have a rough time in the mornings, and need lots of time to wake up and start to feel happy enough to function well. The session was early, so I was still in the morning roughness. Maybe that’s why they / I were upset? It’s mysterious to me. I didn’t feel that bad right after the session – I even did a few chores.

The other theory I have is that I never processed much of anything all through my childhood, so now all those feelings are surging to the fore. I asked Ron if he thinks that’s possible. He said he did. That in my family, feelings weren’t ever allowed or discussed. That we process feelings through connection with other people, so that maybe never happened with my family.

I think that’s likely the case for lots of people with difficult families. Not sure why I’m having quite such a hard time learning to feel. And why is it that the feelings are so painful? Couldn’t I have repressed happy feelings, that need to come back and haunt me? Just sayin’.

Hopefully I can eat supper – I still have stew in the fridge. A walk might be too difficult. I can sit out on my balcony. Read a bit more. Watch the news?

aura-angel2Such a humid, undecided day, with rain threatening, then spitting, then receding again. My plan for the day was going to dance practice, which turned out to be cancelled. The regulars huddle around the door, locked out. And it starts to rain.

Well. I’ve taken up two energetic practices from my new book, the Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren. Grounding and boundary setting. Grounding is old hat. I’ve heard about that from the very first time I ever ventured into therapy, many years ago. It never did much for me. The idea is that you set up an energetic connection between your body and the earth. The author of this book is a trauma survivor, so she says it’s an essential skill to stop from dissociating. Her type of dissociation is getting airy, foggy and spacey. Which I do also. What you do is feel your breath coming in, feel a warmth in your belly, then imagine a cord stretching from your centre to the middle of the earth. She says this brings up sadness, and you then thank your sadness. Sadness assists us in letting go of old baggage, and it assistsĀ  with relaxation. She calls it a ‘gorgeous emotion’.

The second part of this is to feel with the inbreath, a clear, awake energy filling your head and the top part of your body. She says this brings up free flowing fear, which is what keeps us alert, outward seeking, and activates our intuition. We then also thank our fear. The benefit of doing this is that just grounding can make you feel heavy and with low energy. The focusing clear energy in the upper body helps even that out, leaving us ready for whatever life throws our way.

It sounds wild and crazy, but I’ve found it mildly beneficial. The author says our society in general is severely ungrounded, so by grounding ourselves throughout the day, we are going against the grain of society’s sickness, thereby being of benefit.

The second practice is defining boundaries. McLaren says we each have an energetic boundary that surrounds us. It is further out than you’d think – an arm’s length from our bodies in all directions. We are to start visualizing that boundary in a nice bright colour, surrounding us on all sides. Between the boundary and our bodies, is our personal safe space. Boundaries can be weak and ill-defined, or in the wrong place – either too close or too far away. So the exercise is to visualize our personal boundary, whole and clear. I think you’re also supposed to feel it. Not sure how that works.

I like doing this boundaries exercise. I can see how if I visualized good boundaries while I’m around other people, I might feel safer and more complete, without the need to get anything from that person, so that person can also be themselves, and does not have to change according to expectations I might have.

There are three more practices I haven’t got to yet.

I haven’t had a chance to practice these out in the world much – just here in my apartment. Where it’s fairly easy. I think this kind of stuff might help me. I do tend to feel unsafe and ungrounded a lot of the time.

This is not at all the kind of thing Ron does. But I’m going to keep working with it for a while, see if it helps.

Aura Angel found here

My session yesterday was interesting. So a quick update re my work situation. Mental update, as nothing has changed or happened there.

Ron has pointed out quite a few times over the last two years that I live in a ‘hostile world’. I expect people not to like me and I see rejection everywhere. So he thinks this work stuff is the latest installment.

It’s too painful for me to remember much of the session at the moment. I remembered, in a way, or re-experienced, how I’d felt growing up when my father didn’t talk to me for several years. I don’t think I fully felt it at the time, it was locked away in a part. But the feeling is of complete devastation and humiliation. Just feeling annihilated. At the time, no one else in my family acknowledged what was going on – they played along.

To feel so unprotected and uncared about is really hard. As children, we need to feel belonging and caring. We also need the world to make sense – that what people say, corresponds to what we see happening.

I’m mostly staying in bed just absorbing this.

I don’t totally agree with Ron that I’m only being triggered. That makes it sound like the work situation isn’t happening. I think it is happening. However, because I’m getting overwhelmingly triggered, I’m doing things to make it worse, and it feels more stark than what it probably is.

Trying to come to terms with how horribly I was treated as a child is hard. I knew intellectually, but I didn’t know emotionally.

And now, having evaded a sibling birthday dinner, I have said yes to a birthday tea this afternoon. So I have to face the people who did this to me. They’re not doing it now. I haven’t wanted to cut ties entirely. It’s not good timing for me to see them now, but the guilt of always saying no seems worse.

I’m pretty sad. Trying to breath into it at various times of the day. After my breakfast banana, I lie back down, too sad to move around.

Everything in my life appears bad. I do have problems, but there’s no use thinking about them in this state, as they just seem overwhelming.

I’m going into work later this morning – already have my business clothes on.

The sadness is like a metal disk, flat, lodged in my belly somehow.

I picture going in to tell Ron about it. In my mind, I just sit there on his couch, not able to speak.

I must get out of this funk somehow.

I got lullabies out of the library and listened to them last night. Soothing.

I will go grind beans and make myself a cup of coffee – I do like the aroma at least.

I wish you a good day.

fragmentsMy last session was different once again. I plunged right in with the difficulty I’d had after the previous session, getting stuck in a young part, and also feeling unconnected and alone. Ron as usual asked me what would he be doing differently for me to feel more connected, and I didn’t know. I always feel he doesn’t want to hear about this – like he wants me to tell him what to do differently. I don’t know what to tell him to do differently – it’s just how I feel. We get nowhere with this. Then I suggest maybe the feeling is coming from parts, not me.

So from then on, parts take over and the session doesn’t make logical sense anymore.

The kid tells Ron he never wants to talk to her, because he only wants to talk to sad people. And she doesn’t know sad things. Like he didn’t care when she told him about our Christmas tree. Ron just listens quietly.

Then somehow, a part whom I call Beth comes up. Beth is very shy, and she cries a lot. So somehow, she ends up crying for most of the rest of the session.

Beth seems stuck in the distant past, when we lived in a European country, before I was seven. She remembers bits of our childhood apartment. No memory comes clear though, I just see bits of things, and mostly feel overwhelmed with grief, if kids that young can feel grief. Maybe overwhelming sadness. She also feel tremendous guilt or shame, that she’s ‘bad’.

And that’s about it. Ron asks a few questions, but there are few answers. Just crying.

At then end of session, I’m trying to switch back out, but the attempt is not that successful. The grown-up part of me tries to chat with Ron, as a way of getting back. I touch on work, which is going pretty well, and my son, who is not doing well at all. But in the face of so much grief, I cannot stay adult. Beth talks about Ron’s car, which is one of the few things we know about him, what his car looks like, and that he has kids.

I stop crying enough to leave his office, and drive home OK. But at home, I’m back to Beth who is in pain, and I lie down the rest of Friday and most of Saturday. Sunday I manage to do laundry but not much more.

I don’t really know what’s going on beyond feeling pretty much crazy.

Beth does not communicate well, so she doesn’t get relief from writing to Ron for instance, the way the kid does or I do. I write him a short email Sunday, to which Ron replies (yay), but that’s it for human contact.

Ron wants to know how come her name is Beth. It just feels right I tell him by email. Doesn’t mean I have DID or anything. Just I want to keep the parts straight – hard to do without names.

Art: I cannot find the artist, apologies. I remember only that the piece was painted by a Holocaust survivor.