I’m still attending therapy. Still working.

Work is OK. This time I have no conflict with a boss whatsoever. This boss is fairly nice. I want to listen to her and understand from her point of view. That’s new. But I’ve realized that I don’t know this organization or what her life there is like. I am trying to listen more.

Mostly though I am working from home. It’s kind of lonely. But, in one way less stressful, as if I don’t sleep well, or am not doing well for any other reason, I don’t have the stress of getting myself together early in the morning, flinging myself onto the subway and coping with an office all day. So there is leeway to feel down while still earning a daily rate. Which maybe sounds bad, but really, a lot of office work is spinning in circles anyway. I’m probably average on productivity.

Therapy continues to be very hard to recover from. I’m actually not sure why. Last session, we did not get into trauma or any parts work. I discussed the family Easter dinner, that actually didn’t go badly. A few glitches of course. Maybe even mentioning my family is majorly upsetting. I did not cry or feel any deep crazy emotions in the session. It was adult. We also discussed the difficult reaction I’d had to the previous therapy session where I’d gotten stuck in a child part.

Sometimes strange things catapult me into trauma reactions. One of them happened the week before. I’m following a new health diet and had ordered a blender online. Picked it up on foot from the post office. That blender is huge – you can’t tell from the online picture. So I had to carry this huge and heavy box about a mile back to my house. I rested a few times, and made it in the end.

That night I couldn’t sleep at all. I felt completely blank – I couldn’t feel or think about anything. It’s one of the states that happens to me after physical exercise sometimes. So very aggravating. Ron suggested when that happens again, I could try using my mind to plan something, like a trip somewhere. A mental project. He thinks that might help get my mind online again in this situation.

I like the idea. I think it might help and i’m going to try it next time the blankness happens.

Meanwhile, I tell Ron I’ve decided to avoid things for now. I’m trying not to get triggered, because I want to have a life. So I’m avoiding exercise beyond my daily half hour walk. I try to avoid my family. Because these trauma reactions are consuming so much of my life. The Easter weekend I was mostly unable to function for instance, though I did get out to Easter family dinner.

Because I want to have a life. Not hole up in my apartment while I wait for whatever trauma has been triggered to wear off.

However, unexpectedly my session last Friday once again put me into a place where I was so very sad, I couldn’t do any of the things I’d planned on the weekend. So very frustrating. I can’t say it’s Ron’s fault either – he’s not pushing me to talk about anything in particular. And even though I avoided talking about the past, I ended up in this overwhelmingly sad place.

I’m thinking I’ll cancel for this week and see if I can have a weekend of some kind. I didn’t go to anything I’d planned, so spoke to no one. Now I’m back to working from home where i also don’t interact with anyone. I feel I can’t stand the loneliness of this.

I know I can’t avoid things forever. But wow. I am having no life at all if I keep going to therapy like this. And I’m not entirely sure the therapy is helping anyway. I respect Ron, he’s good to talk to, he doesn’t insist on his way. But I can’t seem to make it work. I don’t know why I get so sad I can’t function after therapy. Ron doesn’t know either. So maybe a little vacation from therapy will help.




Such a difficult day. Nothing’s happened, but my mood plummeted. Finally at five I decided to go for a walk and that helped a bit. The sky was purply with some interesting clouds. I just feel so freekin lonely I guess. I suppose that’s it, but i don’t really know. The wind is making this eerie whistling sound. I feel hollow and sometimes on the verge of tears but I don’t cry. If there was someone, I likely couldn’t explain what’s wrong. I mean, lots of things are missing in my life, but I’m not usually this down. Maybe it was bad dreams that I can’t really remember.

I went to Unitarian church this morning. I’ve started taking notes of the sermons. Seems maybe odd, but I can’t remember very well what was said if I don’t. Though today’s maybe I would have remembered as it was not that complex. The congregation is trying to find a new home so this was the topic – about being true to the past and yet moving into the future and changing as needed.

I stay after for coffee time. I have been feeling like crap already all morning, but I’m there to try to connect so I go. I do chat for quite a while to a nice woman. It’s small talk I guess. I’m trying to communicate like a grown up and so don’t mention any heavy topics. I do want to have meaningful conversations, but isn’t it best to keep things very light when you just meet someone? On the other hand, then the conversation is not very exciting. We talked about skiing, snowshoeing, the congregation’s move, that the minister is a cool guy, that she’s thinking of buying a canoe, how long we’ve been coming to the service, where we live, and right at the end that she has a grown-up son as do I. Then I excused myself and left. I was feeling more and more stressed and just wanting to leave.

I had that feeling of being fake in the conversation that I sometimes have in therapy also. But really, I wasn’t fake. I just wasn’t speaking about my deeper concerns. I was trying to keep the conversation going and hoping she liked me. I have this fear that I will be rejected by everyone so it always seems I have to work hard to prevent that from happening.

So I didn’t find out that much about her. Neither of us asked what the other did for work.¬† She had been going to the church a lot longer than I had. I wondered after if she actually wanted to talk to me or was just being nice to a stranger. Who knows.

Spent some time on an online dating site. Not something to cheer anyone up. Men who contact me are ten or more years older than I am….Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again. I want someone my own age. Then there was the catholic gentleman – we messaged back and forth for two weeks, then it emerged he wants someone ‘god-fearing’ for marriage. I message that I’m not religious and I never hear from him again. He was my age and I like how he looked…Better to find out right up front that we’re not compatible, but this did not lift my mood.

BTW unitarians are spiritual but non-creedal. There is not much mention of God and there is no sacred text. I’m sure a practicing Catholic would not be impressed.


Ron was sick last week so no therapy. I still want to write about my sessions but I’m too depressed at the moment.

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.

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 assists¬† 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.