AGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!! Bloody stupid, crappy, painful, wonderful therapy.
I am not sure how this post is going to go because it turned out to be a pretty huge session last night following my blog yesterday – I am only half surprised by this but yet the shock seems huge, don’t ask me how that is possible because I know it makes no sense.
To be honest, not much is making sense to me right now and I am not sure how much of my session I have totally processed. I get the feeling that I might need to repeat the session again tomorrow just to be sure I have understood it all properly. I felt so confused and in so much pain last night.
When I wrote my blog yesterday I felt pretty chuffed with myself afterwards. It was as though I had graduated to the “acceptance” stage of my recovery and I felt very mature about it. I sent it to my T ahead of my session last night and was looking forward to talking to her about it. Well, I say I was looking forward to talking to her about it, but yet I had this strange feeling that I might regret sending it to her because a few times in the past when I’ve had some sort of wonderful “revelation” or thought, I take it to T and come out feeling as though she has pissed all over my happiness parade. I guess this is a case of the truth hurts or something? I note that I held off sending it to her for quite a few hours before I eventually did. I think I didn’t want her to pick up on anything that might not be as clear cut as it seemed – I didn’t want to hear that. *Fingers in ears*
T said that she hadn’t had time to fully digest my blog before my session which was fine. I didn’t expect her to but I think perhaps I wanted to give her the “heads up” because if she disagreed with the content, I didn’t want to see the shock, surprise or disagreement on her face.. I think. Therefore, she didn’t need to have “fully” digested it as long as she got the rough outline of what I was thinking.
T said that I referred to my blog entry from the day before, but said she didn’t know what that said or was about and I said that it was just about how mother’s day went – how Sunday went. She asked how it went and I told her that basically it was bearable, tolerable and that nothing really happened so it was okay. I won’t go into the details here as most of how it went is in my other blog anyway but she said it sounded painful. I told her I felt a bit passive aggressive in that I was giving her a card I knew she wouldn’t like and doing it anyway. Same for the present. I said that I was a bit touchy and impatient and that when things were said to me by her or my nan, I was kinda jumping to my own defense very quickly. I guess I was on guard so to speak. I said that I watched my mum and nan interacting and found it quite interesting. I said that I think my mum has suffered the same way I have and that despite my nan being a fantastic nan, perhaps she wasn’t a great mum. I said that having this new “insight” helped me to feel compassionate towards my mum because if she has felt the same way as me her whole life, it made sense why she turned out how she is…….
T said that narcissism kicks in pretty early in life and that you are generally narcissistic by the time you are in your early teens. She said it isn’t something you suddenly develop as you get older or become an adult. She said that I could never become a narcissist now at my age for example. I didn’t know that.
T said she felt my nan was a rescuer and not narcissistic. That stopped me in my tracks because my whole theory yesterday had been based on the possibility that she was narcissistic (towards my mother growing up)…….. Oh right………… she said that usually a “caregiver” creates a “narcissist” and a narcissist creates a caregiver. She said she thought my nan (caregiver) created my mother (narcissist) who created me (caregiver) and that what I had to be careful of was that I didn’t overdo it and create a narcissist myself. Get your head around that for a moment.
As I understand it, a rescuer/caregiver needs to be needed. They do so much for others/their children and perhaps cause them (unintentionally) to develop a sense of superiority which sometimes leads to narcissism (not normal levels but proper fully fledged narcissism/npd). The caregiver takes care of everyone else and takes on everyone else’s feelings and problems. Their sense of wellbeing and self-esteem is based on this role of being needed. Being important. Having a place. This is what I do where my mother is concerned. I always carried her stuff for her. She projected it to me and I took it. I do the feeling for her.
Things are getting a little hazy at this stage… I am starting to struggle to remember the order of things so please bear with me if this gets a little confusing.
I said that whether my nan was narcissistic or whether she wasn’t – either way my mother is narcissistic an she didn’t plan to be that way. I said that it is a big cover up and that is the reason I felt sorry for her. The lump in my throat started about now.
T asked what the opposite to feeling this way would be? If I wasn’t feeling really sorry for my mum, what would I be feeling? I said….. hate?
She said that she thought I was petrified of feeling my anger, rage, the hate and so this was a much safer place to be [now feeling a bit annoyed]. T said that if I have “accepted” everything, then we were “done here” – I shook my head and said “oh no, I know we’re not” she said that when people say they have “reached forgiveness” it basically means that they think therapy is done and there is no need for us to continue digging around in all this stuff. In other words, it’s like a sudden flight to health where we effectively try to convince ourselves/our T that we are done. Therapy is over – we are healed and everything is better. Self-deception.
I didn’t like the sound of this. I told T that I had a bit of a feeling when writing my blog yesterday that it might not have been the complete picture. I said I was open to it being a bit of a fleeting phase but that I really did feel very in touch with feeling sorry for my mum.
T said something about how it is easier to focus on that then to have to feel the pain, sadness, rage that my mum has caused me to feel. [At this stage I felt myself tightening up in my chest… breathing changed]. I could feel something horrible happening.. resistance or something… pain. I can’t remember this bit very clearly but other things were said and then I was crying again. I tried so hard not to cry, I didn’t want to cry – this was going to be a happy session.. but the tears flew out and I was crying a lot and in a lot of pain. I felt so awfully confused and my heart hurt. I didn’t like it, it was horrible and actually I can’t even explain this feeling because its uncomprehendable. I told her this, I can’t explain it – I said “there are no words“. T kept speaking as I cried and whatever she was saying was making me cry harder and harder. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!!!!
T said that of course it is easier and safer to keep her good. She said it is natural for me to want to protect her, to not believe that things are that bad – to not believe that she is the cause of this pain. I said
“I just wish …… I just wish I could get inside her head and just check!”
Enter more crying…. by this point I was a hot, sweaty mess and had to stand up and take my coat off – I was boiling. T asked me if I wanted a glass of water – I said no (she’s not asked me that before when I’ve been upset). She said I was hot because I was “so upset”. I was, there was no doubting that. T repeated that sentence back to me and I was crying so much. I just kept staring at the coaster on her table, I couldn’t make sense of this. What the fuck? Why was I so confused? I couldn’t make sense of things, it was all so weird…. I don’t understand!!!!!!!! I was totally lost in all this information – these words, the thoughts, the feelings – it wasn’t making sense.
T asked what I wanted to “check” inside my mum’s head and I said through my tears that I just can’t believe it is possible for someone to be that bad – that evil – that nasty.. that empty. I can’t. She can’t truly be like that. NO SHE CAN’T. [note – this is actually hurting my heart writing this bit]. I just want to climb inside her head and just see it for myself because we could be wrong. What if she is really upset and sad and sympathetic and full of regret.. what if she does finally understand what she’s done and is totally remorseful… what if I am wrong? I could never forgive myself. What if she DIED????????????? What if she went to her death-bed feeling genuine sadness and love for me and I just treated her like some sort of monster and kept her at arm’s length because I was wrong? I need to check.
T said it was no surprise this “acceptance” stuff had happened right on the back of Mother’s Day. She said that sometimes when we are on the brink of feeling some painful things, our psyche likes to trick us back to safety, to comfort… trying to rescue us and comfort us and take us away from the devastation and pain and back to the adult place of reason and understanding and logic and intellect. She said that Mother’s Day is very painful. I said it pissed me off and that I hated it. I said that the whole day is about celebrating our wonderful mothers and that it is shit. She agreed. I also said I felt really selfish that some people out there found Mother’s Day so hard because they have lost their mum’s and would give their right arm for a day with them, and yet here I was, hating on mine who was still alive…. she told me not to think like this and that I shouldn’t try and compare the pain. She said it is a different pain, but regardless, I WAS in pain and it was caused by my mother so of course I don’t want to celebrate it.
T said that it is natural for us to try and explain it away. She said that a little kid that is being abused by a parent will reason that “I am naughty and it is me that makes mummy hurt me. I am bad”. She said that it gives that tiny feeling that we are in control somehow because WE are causing this. Mummy therefore isn’t bad – we are.. that is easier to tolerate, to handle, that thought is easier to live with. You take the blame away from mummy and onto yourself.
She said that is what I was doing – “poor mummy”.
She then said “think about last week’s terrorist attacks. That man that mowed down and killed and hurt all those people” (this was something that had really affected me that I had spoken to her about last week). I said yes… she said “Well he was a nice little boy once too – does that make what he did okay?”
No, obviously not…
She said it was the same thing – the same rationalising. Just because my mum was a little, innocent girl once doesn’t take away all of the pain and hurt that she has caused in the same way that the terrorist was still evil even though once upon a time, he wasn’t. She said “What about YOUR pain? What about not thinking about your mother and her pain and her life for a while and just focussing on YOU?”
Fuck, comparing your own mother to a terrorist – that’s where we are at! This cannot be my reality? Surely????????????
I said a few times that I felt confused. T said of course you do “it’s a total mind-fuck” – I was glad to hear her say that because at this stage I wanted to scream and shout and say something like this is totally fucked up!! What a fucking mess! This isn’t fucking faiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (sorry readers for the swearing but that’s how I feel).
I said nothing made sense and asked why I wrote all those lies then? Why and how did I write a whole entire blog full of lies? She said the blog was not lies – it was true – I thought it was true. She said the blog was actually very clever and the blog was what had enabled me to access all of this. It was self-deception to a degree but she said it showed us how I used to cope when I was younger. She said this shows us what I used to get through and I was still trying to use it. It isn’t mummy’s fault – Poor mummy.
I said I felt pathetic that I was scared of her – I said I know she can’t do anything to me. I’m nearly 30 years old for Christ’s sake! But she said (and I already knew) that just because we know stuff logically doesn’t stop the feelings…. I said I felt so stupid – she asked me to stop doing that and to be kind to myself. She said the adult me wasn’t scared, it is the child in me that is scared and I needed to be looking out for that child now. I knew she was right but I felt so angry.
What an injustice.
Our time was up. T asked me “where I was” and I said I didn’t know. Totally confused. I had cried for ages by this point. She told me I had to take very special care of myself and asked me to go very gently as I processed this. I THINK she said something like “it’s okay to be okay you know” but I am not sure whether I misheard that??? Because that doesn’t really fit in the context of the session does it?
I went home, had dinner and felt exhausted so went to bed. I woke up throughout the night. At 3.30am I woke up and my eyes opened wide and I thought to myself how shit this was…. I tossed and turned for a long time. Today I came to work and I seem to be functioning okay actually. I haven’t cried (yet) today but I really needed to write this out to help me process it a bit… I am sure more will follow today/tonight and in my session tomorrow.
The really odd thing is that I have a weird kind of feeling that I am glad my T “saw this” it is like I have this sneaky feeling inside that if she had agreed with me and my post yesterday that I might have hated her for it in a way because perhaps then it would have been like her saying “yep, you’re right, your poor mum” and then it would have been all my fault again…. I know this doesn’t make any sense and is probably hugely confusing to you reading it…. I can’t think of any other way to explain it.
So I wanted it to be true – yet I didn’t… I wish it was, but yet I don’t…