Perception and perhaps some progress

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.  

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2 thoughts on “Perception and perhaps some progress

  1. I can so relate to your blog post. I, too, have trouble remembering anything from sessions. In fact, last week I told my therapist that I feel like the only safe place to feel any of those feelings is within the confines of her office–and the rest of the week, I tend to do anything I can to forget/ignore whatever we had discussed. A week to week challenge. I’m trying to get myself to write more about our work together; after all, it’s not working too well if I don’t incorporate anything into my “real” life outside of therapy…..
    But damn, it’s hard.

  2. My T has also suggested journaling to help remember sessions and get me through the week. She said to email my journaling for her to read, in order to keep her posted on my status. Anyway, was just curious how you are doing since no entries since March? Hope all is well with you!

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