J has told me many times that if I have a tendency to forget our sessions, I should try journaling. Well, I’m going to journal about this last session.
I so appreciate her patience with me. She’s incredibly thoughtful and is more careful than I think I’m even able to pick up on. I told her about how I’ve had some horrible dreams lately. She asked if I’d ever talked about what has happened in the past, and I said that I briefly touched on it with my last therapist. What I didn’t included in that is how it was almost re-traumatizing to share when I can now clearly see that I wasn’t ready. But J encouraged me to share a bit, even very vaguely…Just nudging me to share a bit. I ended up sharing just a general theme of the dreams, which is more than I’ve ever shared with her before.
She checked in with me after I told her the theme of my dreams and asked if I would share what I was feeling. I told her that a part of me was very scared that simply talking about the events, even vaguely, would make them happen again. She asked if I could comfort that part of me and assure her that nothing like that will happen. I just said that I had no clue where to even start with that.
So she stood up and went and got a stuffed animal that she had on a shelf and asked if she could show me how she would comfort a part of herself like that. I hesitantly said yes and pretty much immediately regretted it. Hearing her talk to “that part” (which was really just her cradling a stuffed cow..) made me tear up. I fought tears the entire time she was talking, and when she looked up, I guess she could tell I was fighting tears because she just said that any reaction I might have is okay. I was relieved to hear this because I had gotten this impression that maybe tears weren’t okay.
We talked a bit about how hard it is for me to cry and when I told her that tears weren’t safe when I was younger, she said, “Well maybe that is where we need to start.”
We talked a bit more about the origins behind my fear of crying – or being open – with others. I eventually told her that I have a fear of people being nice or having any compassion for me because it always comes with a price. She asked if maybe I could take in that I am in a safe place with someone who will be compassionate without any negative consequences.
Toward the end we talked about my progress. She said that I am working very hard. I said that I feel like I’ve progressed very little. So she asked me to point out any improvements that I can find since we started working together. I said that I’m a little more aware of my feelings and I now realize that, through my work with horses, I already channel an ability to calm and center myself.
She asked if I’d like to hear what she thought, to which I said yes. I was curious to get her interpretation, and I also just don’t trust my own perception. She agreed with everything I said and also pointed out that I am staying MUCH more present than I did when we first started. She said that she “nudged” me a bit today in asking me to share my dream a bit and that she was very impressed that I stayed present. I was happy to hear that she thinks I’ve made progress. She also said that it has taken a long time for me to get this way, it will take a long time to work my way out.
I can’t remember now exactly what triggered this, but at one point she said that I have a lot of players. I said it makes me feel crazy and it drives me crazy. She said something understanding to that, like how it would of course make me feel crazy. I just looked at her and then said, you really believe me? You believe me when I say I have 10 different reactions to one thing? She simply nodded and said yes.
Her acceptance hurts and strikes fear in me.