Talking to A Monday brought stuff up, but I’m not totally sure what. There’s a lot of the past floating around, and I’m finding myself really easily startled and frightened…
My head was literally spinning today, it triggered vertigo somehow.
There’s body stuff I’m feeling, and… I don’t even know what else. My heart races over nothing. I feel shaky, like I haven’t eaten in days, but in reality, I’ve been stuffing my face. I wanted to cut; to destroy my body; to pulverized it and stab it and shred it and break it and burn it… and by my body, I mean my pelvic area, where the feelings are creeping in again.
I wish we hadn’t talked about body. The kid really wanted to reach out, but my mouth was glued shut. I wasn’t sure how to speak about it without just screaming… so I kept quiet.
Only now the things I didn’t say are finding other ways to be noticed.
I really wish you were here coz I could talk to you about it, but you are still away through Monday… I don’t feel comfortable bugging A about it. There would be too much to explain… she kept saying she didn’t know my history; she hadn’t read what you gave her. Part of me wished she had. That way I wouldn’t have to figure out how to cram an explanation into the session and still have time to address what was happening in the moment… or just skip it all together because I couldn’t condense it that far.
I can feel the anxiety rising again. There are memories and fantasies and fears all happening in my body at the same time. It feels like I’m throwing imaginary scenarios in to drown out whatever is trying to surface. Imaginary stuff that I create in my head is much easier to control (and tolerate) than the stuff that actually happened (maybe? They’re memories, right? They’re valid? Or maybe even those are all stories?…).
I want to do that body drawing stuff she mentioned because it feels like something the kid could use to communicate. He still needs a translator, but maybe that would help? He seems connected to the idea…
I want to try some more kid techniques sometimes. Maybe the stuff that’s stuck would become unstuck? The kid that talked to De while I colored really likes that idea too. She wants to do more of that. She liked talking… I think she told the boy, because he keeps peeking around the corner wanting to try it…
There’s really not these others inside, but it just feels like there are others there, and I just don’t have a better way to describe the feeling.
SJ’s gone. I miss her. She was the most brave about talking. She was the face of the other kids. I dunno where she went. The boy misses her too, and the other girl and little blue monster all miss her. She was both 7 and 70. She was protective, but little, but also… I dunno. A container for the other kids? Now that she isn’t here, the others have to speak for themselves? Maybe she split into them when she ran off? She was older when she left though. She felt… I dunno. She wasn’t really older, but now the memory of her feels older? Does that even make sense? She left as a kid, maybe 5 or 7, but now the memory of her leaving feels like a young adult having moved away from home to get on with her own life. She pops by to say hi every once in a while, mostly to the kids, but she’s moved on with her life… like the babysitter going off to college or something.
I know these are all constructs of my head to order and make sense of things (and to keep safe), but it feels so separate. It kinda feels like other people who maybe speak a foreign language, or are extended family, or something… I dunno.
And they shift and change over time. I guess it’s me shifting and changing things as my understanding does the same. Sometimes they make sense as they were, other times the narrative needs to change to compensate for discrepancies. I guess it makes total sense if you look at it all as constructs of my head to help navigate life… they change with my understanding and head-space.
I’m really glad you will be back next week. I hope the trip was fun. I’m really glad you are back (and I was really relieved when I saw you post stuff on ig)…
Tag Archives: stories
I like this. we are so often told to be mindful of the moment, but remain silent in our pain. It’s in our pain that we need to speak out and have someone share it. I even struggle with this in therapy lately. De isn’t big on talking about what’s eating me, just how to cope with it. Sometimes that’s helpful, but a lot of the time I need to be able to give voice to what’s inside. It took me so long to be able to talk about things, then I get a therapist who focuses on the distractions and coping skills without much energy devoted to just being in the moment of the struggle. I know she has helped me learn some invaluable skills, but at the same time, I feel more alone than I ever have much of the time. My family does not hold a culture of speaking about what bothers you. L tries, but I resist much of the time. It’s so easy to fall back into pushing things away. We need to pay more attention to opening ourselves, to feeling and being less alone in our hurt…
When I am struggling, and much of the time my depression makes me feel like I am searching for a life raft in the middle of this sea of hopelessness, I have a hard time with…
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I was re-reading my post from yesterday (the one on si just being “right”) and I realized that my take on why T’s have always been taken aback by the statement “it just feels .right.” may have missed an important piece. In my training, and in my work with kids in the state system, I vowed to myself to never let their stories become common-place to me. I vowed to hold abuse as horrific. I told myself I would never become desensitized to suffering… While I can maintain that with my clients, I have found I have become desensitized to my own struggles. Things that should cause revulsion, fear, or (in the least) alarm now barely serve as a blip on my internal radar. It has long-ago become common-place and “old news.” Things that should make me cry out against injustice have become reflex reactions I myself have adopted. Things that turn my stomach when a client reveals it barely register in my conscious mind half the time. I have taken over the role of my own abuser. In the same breath that I express torment from having experienced it from someone else, I do it to myself.
When does that switch happen? When does someone go from fear and revulsion to acceptance and self-infliction? How does that happen? Even when away from the abuse or trauma, how does it suddenly translate to being ok when done by your own hand (or voice)? Why is it that I can look at a client and feel sad for the things they must have had to endure to get to this same space, but hold none of that compassion for myself? There is no awe at the thought of slicing my own flesh to relieve emotional pain. There is no sorrow felt for the child in me who learned that physical pain can cease to register. There is no gut-reaction to my own story, it’s simply a story.
I feel more for characters in fiction than I do for myself. While I may be swept up by emotion elicited by the unbidden memories, I have learned to steel myself against the re-telling. I have learned to separate myself from that same emotion to make it through the days and nights. When I no longer separate myself is when it gets scary again. The only thing is, it’s not scary because of anything I may do to myself, it’s scary because I may be lost in that emotion forever (and even though I know better, it always feels like it will go on forever whenever it hits).
See, I know the emotion is there. I know the disgust and anger is there, but I can’t ever access it from this “outside” vantage point. The professional part of me never has direct connection to the emotional part. When I think hard about it, I know I feel something otherwise the depression and the self-injury and the self-medication would not come. If I didn’t feel anything about it, I would not be haunted by the PTSD. I would not need therapy. So I know I feel something, sometimes, but I can’t empathize with my own emotional self when I’m not in the midst of it all.
Ugh! Clinical detachment can come in very handy when working with clients, but it just messes things up when I’m trying to work with myself. Some days I wish the walls were not so big and thick and ever-present. I wish I could be aware of the good amidst the bad and vise versa. I write this blog to be able to remember what it all feels like, but if I’m not in that space, it’s like reading a poorly-written story. I can’t access the emotions of the characters. I’m let in to their surface thoughts, but the feelings behind it elude me. And if I’m reading the more “professional” side while emotional, it all feels foreign. It rings about as familiar as something a stranger may say to me. I know I wrote it. I know at the time I felt connected to it, but that connection is lost when I’m on the other side. It’s frustrating!
Right now, if someone were to tell me my story as their own, I would feel saddened and angered and motivated to help them out. When I realize it’s my own story however, it all melts away and the little voice in my head whispers “all is as it should be” …more defenses to help me make it through the days. It opens the door to the feelings. As soon as I’m to that side, the door slams shut behind me and I’m trapped until my brain makes the switch once again.
Some days I wonder if any of it really happened at all. Some days I fear I’m just really really pathetic and made it all up to give myself something to pass the time… After all, people have different accounts of some of it, everyone’s memory is different…
I wish I had made it all up. I wish I was just a really good liar… I wish this was all a nightmare that I mistakened for reality, and in actuality I am living a happy life. I will wake up any moment and this will all fade quickly. I’ll realize that my life with my wife is the truth, and the “memories” of the past are all just bad dreams… a girl can dream can’t she?