When I walked into T’s room last night the first thing I noticed was the lovely smell. I told T that it smelt nice and she told me that she had a new candle. I said “Ah! see, I noticed!” – I do not know why I felt the need to say that. Bit cringe really… but I put it down to how awkward I feel the first minute or so of therapy.
I always feel a bit uncomfortable at the fact that she is watching me as I walk in, take off my coat, gather myself. There is a bit of a pause where I never know what to do and then she (eventually ) asks me “How is Twink?”. This is a phrase she has always used and something that I’ve always noticed. Normally people say “how are you”. I’m not sure why I’ve always noticed that so much. Perhaps it is the use of my name or something?
I told her that I was good! I was smiling and happy. I then started to say that I felt very happy and that I had been reflecting a lot on my journey to date and felt… something.. I wasn’t sure what the right word is [Note that I did know the word, because I wrote it in my blog yesterday and that word was “moved” but I felt embarrassed saying that]. She said that perhaps since she is back I am able to use her as a secure base and it allows me to feel more supported and steady. I agreed and said definitely.
T explained to me that by the end of therapy, I would have built a new attachment pattern “next to” the insecure one…. I thought “What??” Next to?? Not instead of??” I didn’t like the sound of that and so I questioned that and asked if she meant I would always have that insecure attachment? She said yes, because you can’t forget what you know – you can’t forget that you’ve been through trauma or abused etc. but that the new relationship with T will build a new pattern which will lay next to the insecure one and I will be able to trip to that so to speak. That was a shame but I guess it makes sense.
She said that she felt since I had started going twice a week rather than once a week, it had allowed me to really get stuck in which I agreed with. She said she felt that “Coming once a week was counselling, but coming twice a week was therapy”.
I told her that I felt so glad I had found her and started therapy. I said I had been thinking what might have happened if I had found someone else and ended up in the wrong type of therapy or with the wrong therapist. She told me that even if I had, I would have known that I was getting what I needed and found myself the right type of help eventually. I said I wasn’t so sure and thought that if I had ended up not getting the help I needed that it might have put me off for life.
I told her that I was so glad I came back to her even after my numerous attempts at running away and how I hadn’t realised at the time that was what I was doing. She said, and I loved this…
“I always hoped you would come back. I asked the universe to help you find your way back here”
Gah! How lovely. I played it pretty cool when she said this but it has replayed in my head a few times since. What a lovely thing to hear. She WANTED me back. I wasn’t just an inconvenience who she thought she had to see. She actually wanted me there. Big smiles inside for me.
**does victory dance around the room***
I said again that I couldn’t explain exactly how I felt [again, I could, just didn’t want to embarrass myself] and she said..
“perhaps you feel moved?”
HA!!! Moved. The exact word I used yesterday!! Attunement at its finest. With that, I started to cry. Just a few, silent tears as I spoke to her. I felt so understood and connected in that moment. It was beautiful. I felt love, that is the only way I could describe it. I felt embarrassed that I was crying over this so said “see I’m being sentimental today!” and laughed to cover up the fact I felt silly.
I told her that I could see a brighter future at last told her what I had written yesterday about how I felt I had made improvements and I was finally more in touch with my feelings – that my defenses were coming down at last. I said that my inner-dialogue had softened and I wasn’t as critical as I used to be. We spoke a bit about dissociation and people with DID. She told me that if I had one more traumatic thing in my life as a child, she had no doubt I would have developed DID. She said if my (sexual abuser) had got to me at a younger age, or abused me for longer, then she was sure I would have. She told me that the mind is extremely clever and that although not helpful anymore, at the time it was the only way to survive and was actually very helpful really and very clever. I told her about my ability to dissociate on purpose as a child and I told her how I used to do it and that I can’t do it anymore (I’ve tried). She told me that I would have done that to split off the agonising and terrifying feelings that were too much for me as a child.
I told her that I was in touch with that feeling during the break (in emotional flashback) and that although it sounds very dramatic now, it really DID feel like life or death. I said I was pained for the little me who would have felt that way and she told me that I wouldn’t have felt that way because I split it off – and that is what I am dealing with now. I said I guess I would rather deal with it now, as an adult that think of any child having to feel that way.
T told me about a film called “Sybil” which was about a woman who developed multiple personality disorder due to a traumatic childhood. She said I could borrow it if I wanted to. I said I would love to. My mind immediately thought that I would like to borrow it and that I would no doubt use it as a “transitional object”. I would watch it knowing it was hers, knowing it was something she liked, knowing we could talk about our thoughts on it together afterwards etc. I wondered whether she probably knew that. I wondered whether she might forget this offer and hoped she wouldn’t.
I asked T why she thought I couldn’t reach out to her during the breaks when I felt as bad as that? She said that basically I need to reach out and have my needs met over and over again and that eventually I would rewire my brain, but before I can do that automatically I need to really learn it is safe. She explained that as a child I would have known I wouldn’t have been responded too and even worse, she thought I probably did reach out and was ignored which is why I can’t do it now as an adult. I queried my understanding and said “So I have to reach out to you and have you respond over and over again?” She said yes.
We spoke about how during the process I might not always feel so positively towards T and that I might get very angry with her. I told her that I wasn’t looking forward to that happening. She told me she didn’t tell me this to scare me, but that she thought it might help me to not be so scared of it if it happens. She told me that she remembers experiencing it with her own T (I love hearing stories about her own therapy) and she told me that one time she was particularly raging and attacking towards her T. I asked whether she felt embarrassed or stupid afterwards and she said she didn’t, because she understood some of the reasons behind it on reflection. I told her that I always feel embarrassed after I’ve been angry (or very sad actually) and gave a recent example of being shitty with my other half when I couldn’t find my keys one morning and him doing the same thing last night before I left for my session, how we were both always embarrassed after our outbursts.
I told her that me and my other half had a conversation on Sunday about some feelings he was having over his Dad being away at the moment. I told her that he had opened up to me and we had spoken about how he felt. He said some very similar things to how I felt when T was on holiday and I completely understood where he was coming from. It was a nice moment. An authentic connection and it had left me feeling rather content and happy. She said it was really good that he had allowed himself to be vulnerable and that it showed he had taken on board what we had discussed [relationship triangles]. I was so glad. She said that I was “sending out different signals”. I wasn’t sure if I was or not but said that I hoped so.
We spoke about when I have a baby and the things I said in my post yesterday. She said “We need to get you able to tolerate mess“. She explained that included physical mess (untidiness, poo, wee, sick and also, emotional ‘untidiness’). This was something we had discussed before. She told me that the reason I had such extreme OCD as a young child would have been an attempt at controlling something. I told her that I was aware I could be a control freak and was like this at home when it came to chores and cooking. I never accepted or asked for help, ever and that I was trying hard to change that. She told me that I learnt to be very self-sufficient but that I could relax more now. I told her I knew this might be something I struggled with when I had a baby – having to “share” the baby with my other half and not try to control everything. She said that we could keep talking about it all.
We spoke about breastfeeding/bottle-feeding and I told her that I really liked the thought that when I had a baby, I would be allowed to bring baby with me to see her at first. She said only at the beginning when I was totally preoccupied with baby. I told her that I had told my other half that she had said this and that I was excited about the prospect but that he hadn’t really understood why it was such a big deal. She smiled (I wondered what she thought).
All in all, a really lovely session. I felt very happy when I left and drove home feeling very content. I am already looking forward to tomorrow’s session and hope that I can get more of this good stuff and “soak it in” as someone said yesterday. It is such a wonderful feeling that I wish would stay forever.