I think that went ok

TL had gotten the message I left, and we tried to talk about it. I managed to shut down and not really be able to communicate much, but I had the stuff I had written to her printed out and she read that. I was pretty checked-out most of the time. I do remember though that she summarized that a lot of it had to do with not feeling heard. I hadn’t really thought much about it all in those terms, but it clicked when she said it. Most of it does really have to to do with feeling like I’m unable to effectively communicate with others… I really don’t remember what else she said, or what I said, but we agreed to spend all of next session on the stuff in my art journal. She said she didn’t want to insult me last week by getting her interpretations wrong about it, so she didn’t want to keep guessing at the time. I on the other hand, couldn’t get past my walls to be able to speak about any of it and would have been happy for any interpretation she attempted. Now that that’s cleared up, hopefully next week will be a bit more productive on that front. I will try to tell her what it’s about, but if I can’t, she is ok telling me what she thinks it means, and I am ok correcting her as best I can when needed.

One thing I didn’t quite put together when starting with her is that they generally do therapy only for about 3 months then reevaluate, and often refer out. I guess we were supposed to be done by those standards, and here I am just getting started. Oops. o_O

I think we also talked about the concept of being overwhelmed. She wanted to know what it was like, what it felt like, but I don’t think I was able to put words to it. My head kept going blank and I couldn’t think of anything to say. I know at some point during that conversation we switched topics because of how overwhelmed I felt in the moment. She had asked how I feel about Likert scales: did I like them? Did I hate them? (apparently, some of her clients have really strong feelings one way or another about them). I don’t feel strongly about them either way, but if she finds them helpful, then I’m fine using them. That’s how she figured we should change the topic: I rated my feelings of being overwhelmed at a 9 out of 10… I suppose in reality it was maybe only a 7 or 8 since I wasn’t totally dissociated, but at the time it felt really high. Though maybe I’d rate complete dissociation at a 10 or higher? I’ve been known to rate myself off the scale when things get really bad because my presentation doesn’t always match how bad I’m feeling inside. Like that Ani DiFranco song Studying Stones, “using all of my will/to keep really still/still, even on the inside/…I’ve cut all of the pertinent wires/so my eyes can’t make that connection/I am holding my breath/I am feigning my death” (full lyrics at the end of this post), I’ve mastered stillness… it also describes dissociation pretty well, and that disconnect that has become second nature over the years. I have become the queen of understatement when it comes to emotions within myself, so others often have a really difficult time reading me. The only way I know to give any indication of how intense things are is to rate emotions off the scale when they are incredibly intense. It’s a crappy way to communicate, but I have not learned how to safely let the masks down to show even a hint of what’s going on inside…

I left feeling compelled to apologize over and over again to her; for voicing my needs, for being difficult, for not being able to trust her yet, for existing… I didn’t really know all of that was behind the apologies at the time I left session, but I was able to point out that I felt compelled to apologize to her at least for communicating about the transference and everything that was in the journal entry she read. She said I didn’t need to apologize for anything. I hope some day I can take that to heart.

:deep breath: here’s to waiting another week to get further. It’s all so painfully slow. :/ (Though this week was the first week in about a month(?) where I feel ok after having left. I don’t feel any pressing need to explain something further at this point, it’s just waiting to get to the stuff that she already knows about. I was checked-out leaving, but not in a bad way. I think I was just processing the session, trying to integrate what I consciously remember with the stuff I can’t pinpoint off the top of my head. ).

And now those lyrics I promised:

“Studying Stones” by Ani DiFranco

I am out here studying stones
Trying to learn to be less alive
Using all of my will
To keep very still
Still even on the inside
I’ve cut all of the pertinent wires
So my eyes can’t make that connection
I am holding my breath
I am feigning my death
When I’m looking in your direction
‘Course numb is an old hat
Old as my oldest memories
See that one’s my mother
And that one’s my father
And that one in the hat, that’s me
It’s a skill I’d hoped to abandon
When I got out on the open road
But any more pent-up emotion
And I think I’m gonna explode
There’s never been an endeavor so strange
As trying to slow the blood in my veins
To keep my face blank
As a stone that just sank
Until not a ripple remains
I am high above the tree line
Sitting cross-legged on the ground
When all of the forbidden fruit has fallen and rotted
That’s when I’m gonna come down’Course numb is an old hat
Old as my oldest memories
See that one’s my mother
And that one’s my father
And that one in the hat, that’s me
It’s a skill I’d hoped to abandon
When I got out on the open road
But any more pent-up emotion
And I think I’m gonna explode


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