Monthly Archives: September 2014
This coming Tuesday evening will be my last Group Therapy session after 9 months. My mind and time have been so filled with work, G, and other self-care things that I have not honestly taken any time to think about what it will be like not to have that time to work through things, listen, talk, express, process for myself amongst a few other regular human beings.
I think I will miss it after the sessions have been done for 3 weeks or so… I will try not to simply get panicky or worried, or disappointed or freaky. I will try to simply pay attention to myself at these times… As I was sitting here trying to rewrite a chapter it occurred to me…’what do I have next week?’ Therapy on Monday, Group Therapy on Tuesday… and then it occurred to me… I have been going to both of these every week. And usually just feeling in ‘work’ mode about it. Feeling like I need to do these things, ‘tasking’ myself with these things, figuring out how to do them ‘well’, gearing myself to learn, absorb ‘knowledge’ about how to feel better. Like it is a course at school. But what I just heard in my head was also a recognition that I have been taking care of myself with those things. I secured those things (as well as 12-step meetings, dance class, sailing) as a wellness and self-love regime. Waiting for the love to come from elsewhere. But I have created a safe week for MYSELF.
I remember months and years before now, wanting a more consistent therapy schedule, feeling like once a month or once every couple of weeks is too far apart for sessions for me… And I kept on looking for more help, more resources, kept on trying to bring things out about myself that would convince therapists that I needed more help (while trying to pretend I was not feeling THAT BADLY at the same time.) I finally did it. One more weekly group therapy session left and I see that I got myself weekly help on my own. I kept it on my own. I asked for it and somehow expressed that I needed it – while being terrified of appearing weak or needy…
I have been taking care of myself. Building trust in myself. Building a sense of security in my every day and weekly life…
What does it feel like to feel not stranded, not overwhelmed, not like I have to carry every difficult thing on my shoulders no matter what? If feels great – I am still getting used to that feeling, and will continue to get used to it… But what feels the most surprising and not at all formidable (finally), is that I created that without anyone else’s help – well, with others’ help, but help that came only after I decided what I needed and kept on pursuing it. I didn’t even know exactly what I needed all of the time. I just knew I needed help…
It’s not a terrible thing to be in need of help, support, safe relationships, etc.
It just hurts to do nothing about being in need of those things.
Affective (def.): of, caused by, or expressing emotion or feeling; emotional.
News to me – I am of emotion. I am caused by emotion. I express and feel emotion.
And none of this is a bad thing. All good. I am emotion. I am many other things. But I am a trove of emotion.
Saturday my pain came out. For the 1000th time. And I set myself up for it. I could not keep my space in the world peaceful. I was doing a good job for a little while, and then I let him back in. Thinking that he really might, this time, value the peace and un-troublesome world I am trying to create and live in.
But no, he doesn’t REALLY appreciate it. He just likes that it is there when he decides to ‘come back’.
When I talked about my decision in a session today, I experienced a major emotional flashback…
It was more than a flashback. It was like time travel for my emotions.
As I recounted the moment(s) where I finally, after hours, responded to G’s text and let him back in, I felt faint, light-headed, overwhelmed, out of breath, zapped of energy. Like I did when I was 9yrs old and my mother was ‘nagging’ at me incessantly one Saturday morning to do the housework. I literally pretty much fainted right in front of her. It was like her demands knocked me over. The reality of my fragility. The truth of what I feel, how much I am capable of doing, absorbing, hiding, putting up with, how tired and scared and angry I really am…
Before, I would always deny the truth of how tired I am. How angry I am. How sucked dry I feel. I am letting it come up more now. The efforts at giving myself comfort are allowing the contrast to show – how bereft of my true experience of things I have allowed myself to get. Ashamed of my experience. Scared of how the truth of my experience will distance me from people that I think love me, from whom I think I receive caring, admiration.
More often now, when I don’t receive those things, when I discover I am not really receiving those things my gauge swings sharply to the minus side of “0”. I hadn’t noticed before, allowed myself to notice before, or allowed others to notice…I masked it by compensating for them. Lying about where my focus was or how much I felt screwed by their actions (or lack of). I thought I was worth less, I thought I looked less strong, less worthy, less loving if I could not handle people’s ignorance, insensitivity, disregard, deception, abuse.
It is a harsh truth to learn – ironically – that my own emotional truth is the truth I am supposed to live by. That fainting when I am overwhelmed and yelling when I am 10 miles past my patient point are actually valuable signs of what I need, what I want, how I feel. Value. My impatience and disappointment are not negative attributes. They are signs of what I WANT, what I NEED, how valuable I think my time and energy and feelings and needs and wants are.
This emotional Trove is not ugly or scary or crazy or anything bad. It is a Trove of answers to the questions, what do I do today, how do I respond today, what do I choose today…
I should be writing a lot down these days. I am just now trying to title and print out some (relatively) rough drafts of 6 thesis chapters, a day after I found out that my Supervisor is not keen on giving me an extension for the degree this year.
It’s not like I didn’t know I have frustrated her.
I lie to myself too much. And I am suffering for it.
I am keeping close to me a person who I am absolutely ‘sick’ of listening to because he lies to himself constantly. But I can only say that I have kept the relationship in my life for so long because I am good at lying to myself too.
And when you’re this good at lying to yourself it is really more and more difficult to identify the truth…
Last week I skipped Group Therapy for example, because a friend of mine invited me on a friend’s boat for race night. It the past couple of weeks it has really come so clear to me how I WORK so hard at everything. Work hard at therapy, work hard at thinking about work. Work hard at work. And abandon myself as I am slave-driving myself. Someone at Group actually said to me a couple of weeks ago how they are amazed at how much I think about my ‘stuff’ in between meetings…and that they don’t think about it almost at all. I realized when they said that that I feel like I am spinning my wheels. And when I was invited to go sailing I thought, “I need a break from ‘working’ on my therapy…I should go do something that is supposed to be fun…”
When I decided to skip the meeting all I could do was think of what I could say about why I didn’t go. Anything to cover up what I actually did. And I just realized in the last couple of days how my decision was not that ‘bad’. I made the decision based on what I needed… And it was a good one, I think.