Feeling Raw

I’m feeling a bit beat today. I had a session this afternoon with a new therapist I’ve been seeing… 

…two sentences in and I’ve lost my trail of thought because the baby started whacking me in the face with maracas. You can see why it’s hard to get a blog post out, jeez. 

So anyway my new therapist, let’s call her Doris, is pretty awesome. My first therapist, aka Marge, is awesome too and we bashed through a lot, but it was more on the logical side and missing an emotional depth for me. I’ve found that with Doris and boy is it leaving me raw. 

I feel like years of pain have suddenly seen a green light signalling that it’s safe to come out, which is great but also unexpected and a bit overwhelming. I cried so many times in session today and struggled to describe why, other than to say it felt like the tears just needed to come out. I would consider myself an emotional person but I hadn’t realised I had started to put up barriers when it comes to showing the real deep vulnerability through tears, because for one reason or another it hasn’t been ‘safe’ to do so. And yet Doris has been able to tap into it straight away. Compassion comes very naturally to her and she is very attuned to me already. I’m not sure if excited is quite the right word, but I’m feeling very good about seeing her. I feel hopeful about healing these deeper wounds.

Today we talked about how I get upset and angry when I feel overwhelmed by the demands of my young children. Not because of the demands themselves, but the guilt and disappointment I feel when I don’t meet a need I think I could or should be meeting, because it’s impossible to do that all the time. It is clear that beneath the surface I am petrified of my children feeling rejected or unimportant. I set very clear boundaries for most things, and I am both loving and firm. I’ve come such a long way in tackling this but STILL I fear them sensing my exhaustion and need for a break, and them internalising it as there being something wrong with them, when in fact it is my issue and I just need a break to recharge. 

Then Doris asks me, what do I think of myself? And I could not stop the tears

I tell her I feel like an unlovable mess, that I’m weak and needy. She tells me that for all I’ve been through I’m actually quite strong and resilient. I heard her words, and whilst on some level I agree with her, deep down I obviously don’t see it that way. The way she says it, it sounds like something to be proud of. But I tell her, it’s more like ‘lone survivor’. She gives a silent understanding nod, then asks me do I feel alone? I tell her, I think I’ve felt alone all my life. 

These are heavy words for me to say, and I don’t think they really convey just how damaged and distressed I felt today. Day to day, you wouldn’t even see any obvious evidence pointing to the level of pain that was unearthed. But there it sits, still. There is more to be done. 

For the first time, I am apprehensive about therapy. I sense a danger of being unravelled, when I thought I was already a fairly open book. It seems I’ve been holding on to more than I thought. 

18 comments

  1. It seems like Doris is able to tap into a side of you that your other therapist hasn’t which is good. But it also sounds like she might easily engulf you as she accesses a side of you that’s been hidden or well defended. It’s important that you and she can work to contain you and titrate your emotions. Will you tell her how raw you felt afterwards?

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    • Yes I was very open. We had 90 mins booked but because of how much came up she suggested leaving it at 60 minutes but I said I was actually afraid of leaving the session, that I felt unfinished, so we kept the extra 30 mins just to soothe me and contain me. She said from the beginning that she’d need to do a couple of things with me so that the work would be safe. One of those was the ‘safe place’ technique, where I describe a safe place to her that she can help me go to in my mind if I need a break…but it was so sad. As I went off to this place for the first time (which was just by the lake, warm breeze, bird chirping etc) I cried because being there made me feel empty which obviously wasn’t the point and caught me by surprise. So we’re going to work on that some more before doing anything else

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      • Ah okay. I don’t think I’ve read about any plans for a new therapist. Is this with a view to moving on from the other one or keeping both? Do they know about one another?

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      • Yeah I plan on sticking with her and they know about each other, I wouldnt attempt to do both. I started searching for a therapist that was more into attachment now that I have a better understanding of therapy and my own preferences. Doris sits right in front of me, Marge has me on the other side of the room…and I sense that Marge wants that sort of space, which is fine, but eventually it’s left me where I havent been able to really get emotional and vulnerable. It felt almost like being on stage with a spot light on me being that far away, like being watched rather than in each other’s company, if that makes sense

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      • Yeah, total sense. Sometimes when we start therapy we don’t know what we need until we get further along and then realise what we are missing.

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      • Yeah absolutely this! And to be fair, when I first spoke to her, she completely met my needs, I wanted a logical nuts and bolts sort of approach. But my needs have changed 😊

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  2. OH MY DAYS!!!!!

    I have missed SOOOOO much!!!

    Welcome Doris!! Hello! She sounds absolutely lovely. I am so glad that you’ve found her – I can sense that you feel rather confident about the (match?) and that’s a great start! I love that she’s been able to make you feel safe so fast. That’s actually really amazing. It took me years!

    I’m sad to read some of the ways you feel, feeling alone and other things – I really hope you’re able to do some really good work on attachment and other things and that you’ll grieve out old pains and will gradually grow a stronger and healthier sense of self.

    Oh I think this is so wonderful. I can’t wait to read your journey! Really I am proud that you did it! Xxx

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  3. Doris sounds amazing and focused on you and all you bring, which makes my heart all mushy! It’s all kinds of special and scary when someone meets you on an emotional level. That they are able to not only witness but also withstand the bad. Can’t wait to read more about the work you do together x

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