How to describe my last session. It was yesterday. It may be it was really helpful, but I kind of can’t tell. It was very painful for the rest of the day. Today I feel odd – spaced. Everything seems empty. I might feel sad but I can’t really feel it. I do lack all motivation to get anything accomplished, which sucks – my last precious day off – I start my new job Monday.
It is good to have time free. One big advantage is that my continuing sleep difficulties don’t impact me as much. I’m routinely up a few hours in the middle of the night, and with no work, I can sleep in, and no harm done.
So the session. Ron seemed a little different – very solemn somehow. He’s always quite serious, but this was extra. I had the impression something has perhaps gone wrong in his personal life. I didn’t ask him directly, but he gave absolutely nothing away at all, where otherwise he might tell me this or the other. I asked if he was going away this weekend, because he couldn’t see me on Friday, and he just shrugged no.
I started out by saying that I’ve had lots of triggers this week, and what should I do? He asked me to describe what they were. I described three triggers – last week’s therapy, then the Easter dinner, then the acupuncture I’d been to on Tuesday.
I’ve gone to acupuncture to help with this virus that has been hanging on for weeks and weeks. The treatment seemed to plunge me into body memories. They’re like a state I get into, with choking, but I don’t feel much, I tell Ron.
Ron says body memories can be a substitute for whatever the feelings are, and the way to deal with them is to try to feel the feelings.
We then took a detour to the Easter dinner trigger. I complained that it wasn’t clear what caused my depression the next day. Ron said sometimes an event is a reminder of something else that was very sad. Like if someone’s spouse died a year ago, then they attend a wedding, and then feel very sad. The wedding didn’t cause the sadness, it reminded the person of their lost spouse.
That did make sense. I talked a bit about how many years I’d wasted with my ex, how I’d wanted to leave, but couldn’t get work, with no experience. And with a baby, you can’t just rent a basement bachelor, you need more than that, so it wouldn’t have been cheap. But now I think my parents would have helped me, and my ex also. Not emotionally, but they would have given me some funds.
Ron just listens and nods.
Then we’re back to how I’m feeling. This whole time, I’m still feeling the effects of the acupuncture. Ron asks me to describe it more. Like black clouds….blackness, I try. The feelings are swirling around me, but I have trouble articulating what they are. I feel angry…like kicking something. And of course, now I switch into a part, maybe B. My speech becomes more child-like and intense. I’m fighting to stay with all this swirling blackness. I tell Ron it’s really hard and it feels really bad. He nods. He mostly just sits with me while I go through it. When I don’t say anything for a while, he asks me a question. It’s taking a lot out of me to just keep staying with the black feelings. I feel small, angry, sad, and as if I’m being attacked. There are no clear pictures of what is happening though.
I use most of the rest of the session to stay with this stuff. I’d rather feel it than be in this odd disembodied state that the acupuncture put me into. At one point I tell Ron I feel I am bad. He asks if someone told me I was bad, and B. replies Yes, very positively. Personally I don’t remember any of this.
Close to the end of session, I say I need to switch out, and Ron tries to help me ground a bit, asking if I feel my body and such.
And I leave. Right after the session, I feel this was good work. I’m trying to feel the feelings. Because as Ron pointed out, I keep getting triggered, even though I try to avoid it – by the dentist, the acupuncture, therapy….if I exercised, I’d get triggered by that also, and many other things. Theoretically, I see it’s better to try and feel it.
I’m disappointed though that today has been mostly a wash. I have no motivation, and feel kind of dissociated. It seems like making any effort brings up a lot of sad feelings, so likely I’m avoiding that by staying home and reading.
So I’m still losing quite a bit of time to therapy aftermath. I’m still thinking of interviewing a few other trauma oriented T’s. I missed my opportunity to do that when I had time off – now I basically have to see someone evenings or on the weekend, which is hard as more experienced T’s tend to work business hours it seems. Could be after a few weeks at work, I’ll be able to work from home once in a while, so then, I could see people on those days.
This seems disloyal to me, as I’m appreciating Ron again and I think he’s doing a pretty good job. I don’t think it’s easy to keep accompanying a client to these dark places. I just have an itch to see what other methods might be like. It’s not that I don’t appreciate Ron. But I’ve read quite a bit about trauma now, and I know there are other methods to try and help with it.