It was an emotional weekend. But I tried to do something that my T asked me last week. She asked, when I cross the stage to get my diploma, if I could take that moment for me and recognize that I accomplished something great and worthy of pride and something that I did for me and no one else. It was technically difficult to think of all of those things crossing the stage, since it went so quickly! But once I sat back down and I had my diploma (actually, it’s just a leather case with a letter saying that as long as I’ve given them all of their money and have passed my current classes, they’ll mail me my diploma in a couple months :)) in my hands and then we switched our tassels to the left – I made sure to carve that moment in my mind as something to take pride in. That I made it there out of a goal that I wanted to reach for me and no one else, and that I got there as Summa Cum Laude even while so much was going on in my life. And that even if no one else truly understands how much it’s taken to get there except for my T, the only thing that matters is if I understood how hard I worked to get there.
Now if only I had that kind of deep, nice, philosophical understanding of everything else in my life, I’d be set! On with the not-so-nice stuff..
I met with my T today to process the weekend, and I felt guilty for being in any pain at all. I feel guilty for a lot of things, actually. It was hard for me to stay present and not dissociate, and I felt guilty for that. When I apologized, she said that it’s okay for me to be wherever I am. I had been on the verge of tears for the entire weekend, and yet when I was in session today, I had trouble feeling anything at all. She said that I didn’t have to hold it together, that it was fine for me to fall apart, but I was still dissociating, and I simply don’t cry when I’m dissociating. So I felt guilty that I’d asked for this extra session to just breakdown, and I did anything but.
I had a hard time explaining how my father acted this weekend, because it felt like I was just taking pity on myself for having to “suffer” through that. As I explained to her all that happened this weekend with my father, I felt the hate for myself growing. He equates physical affection with love, and so he always wants to have some sort of physical contact with me when I’m around. So it felt like I was playing with fire when I (for the most part) denied him of that this weekend. Anger is such a huge trigger for me, because that was a time when the CSA used to happen, so knowing that I was pretty much tossing gasoline into a growing flame had me on edge the whole weekend. And I did make him angry, although he has a way of acting sullen and pouty, wanting someone to ask him what’s wrong just so that he can blow up and go crazy. So I just allowed him to be sullen and tried to stand my ground, for the most part, and keep myself safe. But with him up here, it felt like I could only keep myself safe to a certain extent. His very presence makes me feel unsafe, whether he’s doing anything or not. And I suppose I’m suffering the consequences of that now. I feel guilty for not protecting the parts of myself that hold most of the pain from everything that happened.
Yet, I guess I can see a small bit of progress I made. My mother had been trying to get me to drive home with them so that we could have Mother’s Day dinner together. And while my father being..himself the whole weekend wasn’t a good thing, it did give me some “ammunition” of sorts to use as a way of explaining why I didn’t want to go home with them. But I felt guilty for leaving my father with my mother and forcing her to deal with him while I just stayed back and did nothing. It’s not something I normally do – I normally feel like I need to protect my mother from him, even though she continually allows herself to be hurt by him. My T was glad I didn’t go home and reiterated that my mother is an adult and can take care of herself, and that it’s not my fault if she allows herself to get hurt by him.
It wasn’t until the last few minutes of the session (of course) that I started to feel a little bit and began to tear up. It’s funny that no matter how much I’m convinced that my T will hate me for one thing or another or will inevitably be frustrated by me, she never appears to be either of those things. I was convinced that it was “wrong” for me to start crying so late in the session – that it would be viewed as a sort of manipulation on my part, but she was only compassionate and just asked me where the tears were coming from and simply nodded when I answered. When I’m scared and feel stuck in the past, I have a tendency to glance compulsively (and unknowingly) at the door, and when she noticed it today, she commented on it in this voice that indicated she understood the gravity of that simple action and how that one thing indicated some of what was going on inside. She said she was sorry I was suffering, and I felt guilty that anything I was doing or feeling could be causing her any pain at all.
Before I left, she asked me what I needed to help make this time easier. I said that I’m still angry with myself for allowing him to come up here, even though I know I wasn’t ready to make any other decision. She asked me if I remembered what I’d said a few weeks ago when she had been angry – she said that I’d told her that I’ve just done it this way for so long. I see that as an excuse for me to pity myself. Apparently my T sees it as a reason to have compassion.