I just wanted to write to thank everyone who liked and commented on my post yesterday “Emotional Flashback?” I was in a really horrible and desperate place yesterday and the comments and likes really helped – the likes because I felt less “alone” and less “crazy” – the comments because it is lovely that people take time out of their busy lives to add some support/validation or give suggestions when others are suffering. It is so easy to “read and run” so I thank you all, sincerely.
Today, it feels as though the child part of me – I will call her “Little Twink” has settled back down. Perhaps she is taking a nap after exhausting herself being so hypervigilent and alert yesterday.
Yesterday (and Sunday) I was really feeling these child-like feelings of abandonment and pain. Sadness, grief, worry, embarrassment – all of it. The post I wrote yesterday was as raw as they come. I very nearly didn’t post it because it is embarrassing to me to have feelings that strong, that needy and that dramatic, but, the point of this blog is to share my therapy journey and so it wouldn’t be right to not include these darker moments with you all. Being able to accept these feelings as being “allowed” is still very much a work in progress for me. I hope that by sharing some of this darker more desperate stuff, people are able to see that they are not alone if they experience similar things and on a totally selfish note, it helps to validate my pain when people tell me they understand it too. Win-Win right?!
Looking back to yesterday, everything felt so terrible. Everything was going wrong – it all felt so hopeless and just, well, shit! Today, I feel so much better. I am smiling again, I am laughing again and I feel in my “adult” brain again. I have been trying to understand what took me out of that place and I don’t really know. Perhaps I just felt everything enough to let it pass?
When I regress like yesterday and Little Twink takes over, it’s nearly impossible to imagine feeling better. When the adult me is back in control, it’s hard to imagine having felt that bad! It’s a weird concept. I knew the second I opened my eyes this morning that today was going to be a better day. The first thought I had when opening them was that I had been able to sleep, all night, unlike Sunday night – that seemed to make things better immediately. I managed to get out of bed easier and the day just seemed “lighter” somehow. When I was on the bus to the station this morning, I read a few posts on here that made me smile – they genuinely lifted my spirits and when I caught myself physically smiling (like a loon on her own!) on the bus, I knew adult me was back!
I hope that Little Twink has settled down because she feels heard and reassured and not because I’ve shamed her to pipe down. It’s hard to tell isn’t it? I am aware as I read this blog entry back to myself before posting that that my need to refer to those feelings in me as another person/part of me – Little Twink – and by using words like she and her I am objectifying to make it easier to tolerate. Baby steps.
I read about emotional flashbacks ages ago. Pete Walker’s work talks to me as though it was written for me alone.
When I read sentences like this “Flashbacks strand clients in the feelings of danger, helplessness and hopelessness of their original abandonment, when there was no safe parental figure to go to for comfort and support” I can rationalise that I can tell my T the feelings I had yesterday without feeling hideously embarrassed because she knows this stuff isn’t really about her – it’s transference. Yet, there is still a huge part of me that finds the whole thing so scary. I am learning that for me to really, truly need or depend on her (anyone?) it scares the living daylights out of me – I think this is actually what triggered all of this in the first place. To acknowledge and admit that her being away for one week could cause such awful angst and sadness is one hell of an insight for me – but I am glad that I am starting to be able to let the feelings in because for the last 2 years, I’ve been adamant that I’ve had no feelings whatsoever about the breaks…. Clearly my unhelpful defence mechanisms are starting to thaw – and that is progress.
Anyway, thank again everyone. I am sure there will be much more where that came from!
On a completely different, happier and more random note – I wanted to thank Just Ruminating Rob for his Bitmoji suggestion – here’s mine! (I’m now addicted and sending them to all my friends ha).