The way it is

I have to admit that my mind has been entirely consumed by all things relating to fertility and my potential thyroid/autoimmune disease lately and so my worries regarding my mum took a back seat, in fact I would go as far as to say that she wasn’t even in the car! Pretty understandable I think and actually, I’m glad. Thank god she isn’t overshadowing everything like she once would have. I think it probably also shows that my anxiety is improving because I’ve managed to compartmentalise and not try to worry about absolutely everything all at once.

Anyway I was bored at work today as my boss is on holiday and I flicked onto a forum that I am on and where I had written a post after seeing her last Sunday and found a new reply. I read the reply and agreed with everything the person had said which was basically that I was perfectly entitled to not see my mother at her house without my husband if I didn’t want to. She actually used the words “The Queen Is Displeased” which I felt hit the nail on the head. She said that my mother won’t ever be 100% happy unless everything is ok her terms and that isn’t a healthy and normal relationship. Also absolutely true.

It was only really as I read this reply and thought about my opinion/thoughts on it that I realised that this had taken a back seat. I think that when I have just seen her I have this sense of urgent panic about me – when I saw her a week ago today, it felt like I needed to prepare myself ASAP. A week on, clearly the urgency has gone. It sounds bad I know but it’s like the danger has subsided… she’s gone back to her place and I’m back in my place and it feels like the moment she would have said something has passed – for now – this time.

Does that make any sense?

Also it would be true to say that I’m incredibly impatient and impulsive and I’m often in a bit of a rush. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe that feeling is all in my head.

Maybe, but I’m not convinced.

Believe me when I say, my mum-dar is incredibly in tune after years of trying to predict her moods and stay safe – she was ANGRY!! She was well and truly pissed at me. She is fed up of having to come out of her house to see me. She’s pissed off that I won’t just “go back to normal”. Her patience with me is wearing VERY thin. Very.

And I’ve said this before I know, but the mum that I met at the garden centre 2 months ago (the one that seemed caring and gentle and cried when I left as she sobbed she loved and missed me) – where was that mum?

That mum (garden centre mum), she would have been pleased with ANY contact from me. A text even! Genuinely I felt that. But last Monday’s mum, she wasn’t happy with anything at all. I mean she did come I suppose, and she didn’t have to… but I could sense she didn’t want to be there.

I’m not sure how she can change so much, in a relatively short space of time. I suspect my (genuinely accidental) mention of going to my Dad’s bbq probably didn’t help. She’s always found my Dad a threat. She would never in a million years eveerrrrr admit that – but I see that now. She’s always been desperate that I need/love her more. Parent wars.

Anyway, back to the point – I thought to myself earlier that I really do need to try to get it straight in my own head my reasons why I won’t go to her house or see her husband. I need to get it straight in my head for my own sake – not for her’s. I will feel more relaxed and calm and at peace if I know what I’ll say to her. It means that when the time comes (which it will), I won’t go into a total meltdown, I’ll just be able to tell her my reasons.

And then I realise that I struggle to articulate my reasons to anyone and I mean anyone, I can’t tell my husband and I can’t even tell myself!

The best I could come up with was “I’ve got used to not going/doing those things and I don’t miss it/them”.

Or…

“I don’t know why really. I can’t explain it. I just don’t want to go on my own”.

I also said to my husband that it was simply because I didn’t want to have to pretend I had forgiven/liked my stepdad but my husband actually said “is it that though, or is that just an excuse?”.

Is that just an excuse?

I want to say no, it’s not… but yeah it could be I suppose.

T says I am just better at protecting myself and I’ve learnt not to be around people or in places that don’t make me feel good. That I’ve learnt to look after myself.

The thing that shocks me about all of this is that I have a real, genuine sense of being happy with things the way they are. That’s actually a huge statement for me. It seems like nothing typed onto the page amongst all the other written diarrhoea, but it’s actually massive.

I am happy with things the way they are.

I don’t want them to change.

I mean, 😮… when did that happen???

Anyone that’s read my blog for a while will probably know I’ve gone through moments/days/times where I’ve felt like I might die from the heartache of missing my mum. Of needing and wanting my mum. Of the void. Of the sadness, the guilt and I’m not even talking about historic pain – the most recent was only 8 weeks ago (post garden centre mum).

How has this happened? Is this real? Will it stay?

I have a real, genuine (sorry can’t think of any other way to describe this) feeling that even in those moments now, those moments when I want to be my mum’s little girl, I can still hold on to the knowledge/feeling somewhere in me that it’s not real or it won’t last – that basically, I’ll regret it if I do anything drastic.

T clearly knows that too, that’s why she always tries so hard to get me to “just sit with it”. She knows the feeling will pass and that I’ll be left regretting everything. Though I reckon in those times I put up a pretty decent argument 🤣 in fact I’ll go as far as to say that sometimes I think I convince MYSELF !!!

I never, never, ever thought I would feel like this and don’t worry, I’m not being cocky or naive here – I absolutely accept that I’ll probably relapse again (more than once) and feel like that heartbreak, agony, void-going-to-kill-me pain isn’t worth it and I’ll want to “fix” everything. And then I won’t again.

I wonder whether this is similar to how someone feels when they have given up alcohol or drugs after a serious addiction. Do they sometimes feel like they can clearly see and feel all the many good things that have come their way since they quit their vice – but then (less and less often) will they relapse? Or nearly relapse?? Genuine question – I don’t know.

I don’t hate my mum. I don’t even feel angry with her. I just feel …. that what we have these days is probably enough for me. That’s sad in a way, but it’s also soooooooooo much less painful than it used to me when I was constantly wishing for more.

therapy in the park & inner calm

I want to write whilst I have a moment, living with 8 people in the in-laws house without a bedroom doesn’t allow for a lot of time to sit and contemplate one’s inner-thoughts yet alone allow for time to actually write them down! So whilst I am at work on this lovely Friday afternoon without much work to do, I thought I would grab the opportunity. 

I spoke to T on the phone yesterday as is my current routine since the move. To be honest I wasn’t really looking forward to it because I find it difficult to think of enough to talk about on the phone. I don’t really know why that is because I certainly don’t have that issue when there with her face-to-face, but there we go! Anyway, since the move to the in-laws I drive myself to a local park to speak to T where I can be alone and not overheard and me and my husband have taken to calling this TITP – Therapy In The Park, which has kinda stuck and I quite like it ha ha.

So yesterday’s TITP was way better than I had imagined it would be. I’m not entirely sure why, but as I settled down to speak to her, I realised that I felt a real sense of happiness and calm (which is VERY surprising considering everything). During our hour-long phone conversation, I felt light-hearted, fun, happy and just light… we laughed quite a lot and I felt totally and utterly unfiltered like I wasn’t thinking at all about the words forming in my head before they fell out of my lips – I just said stuff and laughed and it was just great. Before I knew it the phone session was over and I was fine with that in the sense that I had nothing pressing to talk about and I felt… whatever it is you feel after a good therapy session.. perhaps contained? – anyway we hung up and I felt myself literally smiling (probably made me look like a freak in public on her own grinning) and I went for a stroll around the park and took some photos and sent one to T showing her the view and telling her that I could get used to TITP. She sent me a quick message back and I smiled and put my phone away. 

Now nothing about that sounds particularly interesting I know, but the feeling I got was new… and if not new, then not common enough to feel “normal” or be taken for granted. It was nice. Really nice. I would quite like to tell her this but I wouldn’t have a clue how to explain it and I don’t want to analyse it or over-think/over-talk it and ruin it, so I am just writing it here to note it down for myself really. 

Regarding my mother..

I wanted to write another update about where I am with things regarding my mother after the other week’s complete meltdown. I still can’t believe how much that got to me, how much it shook me and how utterly distressed and desperate I felt.  

I feel so much better now. So, so, so much better.  

I seem to have found a bit of a middle-ground though and I’ve not gone straight back to how I was before the meltdown occurred in that me and my mother have exchanged more messages in the last few week than we had for about a year(!) but I am finding them nice, but not drastically important, and I’ve lost that awful, sudden need to see her which feels safer. At the same time her messages aren’t making or breaking my days and I am not consumed by the content or anything… it’s hard to explain. Yesterday we exchanged some messages about random things – she sent me photos of her new lounge and her garden and spoke about some events she has coming up etc and I spoke about how I am excited for a wedding next week and mine and Hubby’s apt at the fertility clinic etc. I was slightly nervous that she might ask me when I was coming to stay with her, but she didn’t and so I didn’t need to worry about what to say and how to say it which was a relief. 

I was telling a friend about how I felt the other week and about how upset I was in my session and she said to me “Well I have to admit that if one of my kids didn’t speak to me or want to see me, I would be very upset too” (her kids are also adults) and I found myself saying back to her “Yes but the difference is that if one of your kids didn’t want to see you and you had nothing to do with them or their wife, you would be sitting around trying to figure out what had gone wrong/what you had done and how you could make it better wouldn’t you?” – she agreed. I then said “the difference is, my mum has had years to do that but all she seems to come up with is that she’s never done anything wrong and that it is just all down to my husband and how he has manipulated me and poisoned me against her”. 

The words came out of my mouth and it was like I *heard* them and surprised myself at my own understanding (weird I know). I realised as I said it that it was absolutely true. I knew it before and I know it now, but I didn’t *feel* it the other week. The other week when I was completely and utterly drowning in the child part of me’s hopes and dreams and wishful thinking, none of that felt remotely important. I was willing to turn a blind eye to everything – all of it – in exchange for the love of my mother. I was utterly desperate to be looked after and nurtured and protected et. It felt bigger than everything. It felt HUGE. The logic had detached from the feelings and I couldn’t hold both at the same time.  

Now, at the moment I find myself in this weird no-man’s land really. I question if I am a little numb? (I am not sure). The way I feel is that I can see/feel/remember all the bad stuff yet feel no anger about it and also I can understand the wants, needs and wishes of the child but nowhere near enough to want to actually try and get them. I have no intention of going to stay at her house or of turning up at her door crying or begging her for the chance for us to start again or any of that dramatic, movie-type stuff that I was imagining. I just feel…. nothing really… just like I am here and I can see both sides of it equally but without being affected by either. 

I am not sure if that is a good sign of having balanced myself back out (potentially more so than before!) or whether I am actually numb because the pain of the other week was too much. Who knows? It sure feels better this way though. I feel calm inside and I am not caught up in the stress and anxiety of being angry with her, being hurt by her lack of contact or dreading seeing her or whatever.. I just feel like we can have a few messages about normal stuff which is genuinely fine… but I am not being guilt-tripped or attacked and I am not dying for more or using her messages to boost me up….. it just is what it is and it is actually fine. For now at least.

What happened rocked me in a massive, massive way. I am still shocked by the hugeness of the pain I felt but I am so, so glad that it has passed and that I am okay. I am wondering whether that is likely to happen again? Is it part of the process or was it me falling off the wagon so to speak? Has it helped in some weird way? Who knows!

Oh and to end, this made me laugh…. My mother said yesterday that she had started to read a book my sister recommended. She told me the name of it and so I downloaded it at the park yesterday and I’ve been listening to it since. The book is hilariously funny and extremely crude and rude and shocking in content, BUT that didn’t surprise me. What surprised me is this….. the girl who is narrating the story in first person/diary-entry style, is a young girl. This girl is having therapy…………. This girl is having therapy………………HA. My mother and my sister LOVED this book about a girl in therapy – it makes you die doesn’t it? The two people most adverse to anyone having therapy. Hilarious. Anyway, I am yet to see if the therapist is painted as some manipulating, evil, money-grabber (I sincerely hope not), but we shall see. It is interesting to me because as neither of them have a clue what therapy consists of and as they both clearly have their own fantasies (as T would say) – this book may be changing their opinion.. or confirming them!!

 

 

The feels

I’ve wanted to write about the feelings I’ve been having regarding my mother over the last week or two but I’ve not really known how to explain the way I’ve been feeling or what I’ve been thinking and then on top of that, I’ve moved out of my house and into my in-laws and so I really don’t have much time (or space!) to be able to do so.

The problem with this is however, that I now feel a bit stressed and a bit …Ahhhh where it’s all inside and needs to be written out a little.

It’s also hard to write about feelings that change so quickly. Last Sunday I was crying and feeling SO much sadness and grief and was very much in my child state – last Tuesday’s session was the same but today as I say, being in someone else’s house, surrounded by lots of people and noise and mess… the feelings aren’t really “here” and so it all feels a little disjointed.

Basically last Sunday as I say I was feeling like a vulnerable child. The upcoming move was stressing me out and I had seen my mother a week previous which is when she cried and told me how much she missed me and wished she could see me more. I posted about that at the time so there’s a separate post for details. Her tears seem to have really made an impact on me, it was very hard for me seeing her cry. Seeing her tears and seeing her vulnerable possibly for the first time ever was horrible. Seeing her upset made me feel hopeful I think. I think it really ignited something in me and as I was feeling vulnerable and stressed about the move, it all got too much and by Sunday last week, I was crying and feeling like I really needed my mum.

When I went to my session on Tuesday I was so desperate to tell T all about it but I was also anxious and I was nervous that she would make comments about how my mother was playing games or wasn’t genuine and that I would feel angry or defensive etc. What actually happened is that I told T I had “apparently lost my mind and gone totally crazy” and I told her what had happened and how I felt.

T was kind, she seemed understanding and empathetic but she did make it clear that I was feeling vulnerable and child-like and that I really needed to try not to react and to try to just “stay still” and not do anything at the moment. In that session I cried. I really, really cried. I sobbed into my hands in a way that I’ve not for a very long time in therapy. I felt exhausted and I felt completely lost. I said things along the lines of “it doesn’t feel natural to have to to stay away from your mum” and I said that I hated myself for forgetting everything I had learnt but that the knowledge and facts felt so far removed from my feelings.

T said that she hoped I would take some comfort just from having spoken out the feelings and sharing them with T – from crying even. I thought to myself that was very unlikely. It was a really weird and shit feeling actually….. I was effectively being told to NOT do the thing I felt I wanted and needed to do in order to feel better. It felt unfair and it felt strange and cruel. I’m a way I guess it felt like punishment or something.

The next day unfortunately was moving day and so I didn’t have any time to process the feelings and I was stressed and overwhelmed.

By Thursday’s session I wasn’t really sure what I was thinking or feeling so when T asked me “where I was” with it all, I didn’t know. I said I wasn’t sure and that I guess I felt a bit numb to it all. I had kind of blocked it out. I told T that my mum had text me on move day and again the day after (that day) to ask how it went. T asked how that felt and I said it was weird really because it was more contact/effort than she had made for such a long time BUT it felt a little bit like she was doing it in order to get some sort of pay-off (mainly me going to her house to stay one evening)…..

I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone else, it’s hard to explain but luckily T seemed to understand what I was saying.

Anyway Friday was my wedding anniversary and my husband and I went away for a night which was very much needed and was lovely. Today is strange as we are living at his parents’ house and his sister is here with her 3 kids and we don’t have a bedroom or anything and it’s hard today…. I don’t know what to do with myself and I’m feeling down about the baby stuff I posted about yesterday and ruminating about being here and missing my own house as well as the above…. I’m feeling just a bit stuck and frustrated and me and my husband have been bickering because of it which is such a shame after such a wonderful couple of days away. Bit of a crash landing.

I’m trying not to think about my mum too much because I am scared I’ll dive bomb back into those horribly painful feelings of last week. The neediness and grief like feelings – they were so horrible, honestly I didn’t know what to do with myself. T said it may feel like life an death and that’s so true. I felt like I could die if I didn’t go to her. Apparently that’s attachment and that’s what keeps babies bonded and attached to their parents/caregiver – she explained that is how children can desperately want to stay with their parent even if they are abused by them. We are programmed to attach to them for our survival and so I guess that goes some way to explaining why I felt as bad as I did.

I know that being realistic, going to my mum’s would mean pretending everything was fine and sweeping everything that has happened the last few years under the rug and I don’t want to do that. The alternative would be to hash it out and I really can’t even stomach the thought of that. My mum still doesn’t think she’s ever done anything wrong so where would that conversation end?

It feels like a waste. She’s there – I’m here. She seems to want a relationship and obviously so do I…. but it just isn’t that simple.

One thing I have just remembered is that when I was crying on Tuesday, T said “what do you hope to achieve?” (about me going to my mum’s house). I thought for a second and laughed and cried at the same time as I said I had no idea. T said the feelings had taken over and that I needed to try to bring the thinking/logic back a little to keep me safe.

So that’s that really….. I still feel a bit numb about it all. I’m worried that she will text me and ask me when I’m going because I’m still caught between half wanting to go and half knowing it’s not a good idea. I don’t want to hurt her and I know she’s got her hopes up. I also haven’t told my husband any of this…. he doesn’t have a clue how I’ve been feeling or about what I’ve said to my mum or about how badly I cried at T’s last week…..

I hate that any of this is real you know. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say and maybe it sounds like a poor me but I do hate it. I wish so badly that it could be different.

Breaking the habit

I was just thinking about my Mum, or rather I was just thinking about how little I’ve been thinking about my Mum.

That probably sounds weird.  What I mean is that my mother used to take up such a lot of my head space on a daily basis and it just occurred to me that I barely think about her at all these days.  I was about to type “for ages” but then I remembered that when I saw her last, the day before Mother’s Day, I was pretty upset afterwards and wishing things could be repaired so I guess it isn’t actually that long, but on a day-to-day basis, there is definitely less “Mum noise” going on.

It sounds sad.  It is sad I suppose, but I feel a bit like I’ve just got used to things being the way they are between us.  I feel so used to her not being in my life anymore that I barely give her a thought.  I so rarely see or speak to her that it has become normal.

I say this in a positive way in that I am not feeling the utter grief that her absence was causing me.  It reminds me a bit of how at the beginning I still really wanted to go and drink with her at weekends, despite everything I had been through with her and despite everything I had learnt in therapy.  Eventually the more I didn’t go – the less I thought about it.  I guess in a way it is like breaking any kind of habit.  You have to do something a certain number of times to make a habit and then you have to NOT do something a certain number of times to break a habit.  A bit like quitting smoking perhaps?  I appreciate this sounds really weird considering the subject is my mother. I am quitting my mother LOL.

Perhaps this is another example of me blocking things out and being in denial but I like to think (I hope) it is actually just me readjusting to life the way it is now.  The way it has been now for several years.

When I get upset about my mother these days it tends to be more out of the total inability to understand how she didn’t have certain feelings towards me when I was young.  For example, the things I wrote about in the post I wrote at Easter.  After I had spent time cooking a large roast dinner for everyone, decorating the table with little chicks, hiding Easter eggs in the garden and going to play with a frisbee in a field – it hit me that I missed out on so many simple things and it upset and frustrated me because I can’t understand how it isn’t automatically inbuilt in a mother to want to do those simple things.  The sad feelings seem to be more things like that now whereas they used to be a lot about the here and now: what she wasn’t doing now.

The invitation to this “family bbq” is still playing on my mind though.  Actually it is one of the things I was looking forward to speaking to T about tonight. I’ve had about 11 days to think about it and I still haven’t come to a decision.  If I am totally honest with myself I think deep down I know that I shouldn’t go.  I think I know that going is potentially setting myself up for a fall.  I think that my reason for wanting to go is based on the child’s hope that it will be this perfect family event which I have spent my life wanting but knowing deep down that it won’t be.  It will be a heavily drink fuelled excuse for a piss up.

Going without my husband will make me feel nervous and on-edge.  Seeing my mother’s husband after his behaviour before and at my wedding is not something that I want to do and I feel I would have to be civil.  Whilst I appreciate that I am able to be civil with someone, I just don’t want to have to be civil to him.  I don’t want to argue with him either; I would just rather not have to see him at all.

I feel a sense of guilt and obligation about going because it is being hosted at my grandparents’ house.  I already know that if it was being held at my mother’s house I wouldn’t go. Perhaps that was a clever tactic, or perhaps it is more about hosting it somewhere it is easier for my Grandad to be now that he struggles to walk.

I think if I am honest, I feel a sense of obligation that if I don’t go, everyone will think badly of me. I feel a sense of guilt that my Grandparents would be upset.  I also know that I shouldn’t do anything out of obligation or guilt, but mix this obligation together with the child part of me’s wishful thinking and it makes it very hard to say no to.

I can’t help but feel that going to this bbq would make me complicit in this big fabrication of playing happy families.  I feel that it would send out the message that people can treat each other terribly and hurt each other irreparably and yet we can sweep it all under the rug without any conversation or attempt to repair anything and pose for family photographs where everyone is smiling happily.  Despite knowing this, seeing the photographs plastered all over social media still have the ability to make me feel jealous.  It’s all very confusing.  I imagine T would say that the adult me doesn’t want to go but the child part of me (the ever-hopeful child) wants to go in the hope that something will be magically repaired.

I recently asked my father’s opinion on this (him and my mother have been divorced for 28 years and they hate each other) and he said he thought I should suck it up for my grandparents’ sake.  He asked “how would you feel if you didn’t go and your grandad died a few weeks later?”.

Ouuchhhhh.

Naturally I answered to say that I would feel guilty.  He then added that I would then attend his funeral and his wake where all the same people would be and then I would have missed the opportunity to see them all under good and happy circumstances.

The thing is though, this is the same person who makes me feel terrible for not attending things he wants me to come to, so I’m not sure how much of this to take to heart.  Though what he said has been playing on my mind.

A month or so ago there was an event to celebrate my aunt getting the all-clear after having cancer and I was not invited.  I thought to myself that whilst not being invited hurt a bit, I knew I would have said no if I had of received an invite.  The only real difference about this bbq is that my nan and grandad are being thrown in the mix (and like I said above, it is at their house). Funnily enough these are similar feelings to the ones I had about my wedding when I hadn’t invited my mother or her husband.

Despite all of the confusion above, I don’t really have any thoughts about seeing my mother there, other than to know she would like it if I went (obviously it makes her look better doesn’t it having both her daughters there).  But I don’t feel a pressing need/want to see her or dread it either.

I’m a bit tempted to plan a camping trip with my stepchildren and go away for the few days over this Bank Holiday weekend so that I am occupied and having fun with safe people.  But I worry I will end up being away and then feeling really sad and left out and then be stuck miles away and feeling resentful.

I was just about to finish there when it crossed my mind that as my pattern during therapy breaks seems to be that I detach when I know there is going to be a break.. perhaps that is what I do with my mother to.  When I last saw her I was desperately sad to “fix everything” and now I am writing about how unattached and unaffected by her I am.  I probably know that if I go I am likely to feel the full effect of all those feelings again and I don’t want that and yet it explains the complete confusion about whether or not go to if I am suppressing the horribly painful feelings that I feel after seeing her of wishing things were better.

Nearly the end of the break

I have been thinking about writing for several days now.  Yesterday morning I told myself that I would write when I got home from work as it was my half-day and that I would use my usual therapy session time to write but instead I binged episodes of Line of Duty.  I have been really aware that recently I am either watching an episode of something addictive: Luther, then Cold Feet, then Killing Eve and now Call of Duty, or I am addicted to a book or audiobook.  Again in the last few weeks I have read Normal People by Sally Rooney, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and now, Conversations With Friends also by Sally Rooney.  I’ve been completely sucked inside this fantasy world every free waking moment.  That includes walking to and from the station and/or office, on the train journey to work and back, whilst cooking dinner, whilst showering etc.  I’m not sure that on the whole there is anything particularly unhealthy about this but I have a sneaking suspicion that it could be an attempt at blocking out thoughts and feelings; a need to escape reality.

Regardless of the above, as it is now Friday evening the therapy break is nearly over.  On Tuesday evening I will be back in therapy with T and as usual (guess what I’m going to say here?) I don’t really feel like I want to go back.

LOL

I have to laugh now because this is such a familiar feeling.  It is SO weird because as I start the break and I tell myself that soon enough I will be thinking this, I dismiss myself – it seems so unlikely. Stupid even.  But yet, here I am again.

It seems that I am not alone in these feelings and I recently read another blogger write so clearly what I feel.  During the breaks, I’m not sure how far in but I would guess approaching a week perhaps? I start to feel as though I am coping well and feeling good and then I start to question why on earth I put myself through the twice-weekly torture that is digging around in my emotions/my childhood trauma.  Why do I do that when I am sitting down to type this having not done so for near on 3 weeks and I feel fine (okay excluding the potentially unhealthy reality escaping above; but that could be a coincidence, right?).

It is really strange to me because I felt shitty about the break and the fact that T had given me some of her chicken’s eggs felt so wonderful. It was most certainly a transitional object of sorts and there I was in the kitchen with my husband and stepchildren a couple of days later snapping pictures of us making fried and scrambled eggs and omelettes and I sent them to T thanking her.  It felt comforting in a strange way that only other therapy-goers could possibly understand.

Then there was the dream that I wrote about recently. The one where T and my mother had the same curtains, wall pictures and wallpaper and I didn’t want to tell T in case she was offended.  I can clearly see the symbolism in that dream and do not deny it is probably trying to grab my attention and make me aware of what is going on deep in my subconscious mind. But yet.. here we are.

Being honest I have barely thought about T this week and I will go so far as to say that yesterday when I left work at lunch time, I was rather excited to have a whole afternoon off work to myself where I didn’t have to rush home, drive anywhere or poke around in old pains.  Nope, I could come home, eat lunch on the sofa and watch tele.  After a few hours of tele I decided I should do some exercise so I wasn’t a total couch potato.. only mostly.

Anyway perhaps I am feeling this way because my defences are up and I am unwilling to feel anything to the contrary.. maybe T is right and I have always learnt to become very self-sufficient but wouldn’t it be nice if actually it just meant I was a whole lot stronger and more able than I realise I am?

As I write this I ask myself “am I looking forward to seeing T?” and I can’t quite settle on an answer. Saying no feels horrible. I’m not NOT looking forward to seeing her and yet I don’t feel a real pressing need to or a craving to either.  “Did I miss her?” – again, my instant feeling is to write ‘no’ but again, that sounds nasty and I don’t mean it to.  Could I survive another week or so? Yes I feel I could, easily but perhaps that is only because I know the break is nearly over and so it is easy to sit here and think that.  Perhaps I would be writing something very different if I was only, say, half-way through a longer break.

I sometimes worry that I am a fickle and shallow person because I can see that in my life I sometimes have this disturbing ability to just cut people out as though they meant nothing to me.  I am aware how narcissistic that sounds and yes, it does worry me sometimes.  For example, my very narcissistic friend that I fell out with about 2 years ago now.  When me and her finally came to blows and our friendship ended I was upset and confused for a while but looking back I got over her very quickly in the scheme of things.  The second friend, my old narcissistic work colleague who I used to call “work mum” (shudder).  I fell out with her one day and never looked back.  Genuinely I never even got a craving to send her a single message. I felt nothing but relief and freedom when we went our separate ways.  After so many years of.. well.. friendship? that concerns me.  I would however like to point out here that in both of these situations I was being emotionally abused by narcissists and at the point of the breakdown of these friendships I was completely and utterly done in.  Exhausted.

But I can say the same about romantic relationships and even partly family. My mother and her husband (it pains me to call him my stepdad these days).  They were both, in their own ways, bullies and abusive yes, but I have literally removed myself from them and the life we all shared together – that ‘family’ unit.  How many people can do that I wonder?  I admit that is only a very small part of the very large picture and as anyone that reads these posts will know, I have also spent years of therapy and crying and writing to keep that distance and not run back towards the dysfunction.  BUT my point is, sometimes I worry that my ability to just flick a switch of “don’t need you/care for you/love you” is just a bit too easy.

The relevance of T and the above is that I feel like I left my last session feeling sad that I would miss T, mopping for her for a couple of days and then *flick switched* – no more sadness etc.  It’s weird!!

If I was reading another person saying the above I might secretly think to myself that said person just cannot tolerate feelings of loss or abandonment and I might be right, however, I clearly deal with the biggest loss of them all in therapy don’t I? The loss of a childhood.  The loss of a ‘good enough mother’.  The loss of growing up feeling safe and loved and precious and feeling like you are good enough and that you should expect to be treated fairly and with appropriate levels of respect.

Perhaps my capacity to feel any further loss is limited.  Who knows.

Another thing I find funny is that when I watch therapy on tele or I read about it in books, I can see how it is such a great opportunity to just say stuff – whatever you think of, whatever comes to mind, anything no matter how creepy for example when I was recently (binge) watching the series ‘You’ she told her male therapist that she fantasised about having sex with him.  She had no embarrassment about that whatsoever – just came right out and said it and when I’m watching that kind of thing I genuinely think that’s great! that is EXACTLY the point in therapy.  But what I notice is that is because I am not thinking about, or perhaps feeling the relationship between the therapist and client.  So in my mind I think wouldn’t it be great to go to my session on Tuesday evening and just be blunt and hit T with

“So I felt sad about the break at first and I loved the eggs but after several days you basically became non-existent and I didn’t give you a second thought.  I don’t NOT want to be here but I feel like I could take it or leave it.  Sorry”..

And I know that T would take that. She possibly (probably??) wouldn’t care one iota. BUT I absolutely couldn’t and wouldn’t do that because I care what she feels and thinks and I don’t want her to think that I don’t.  Also, if I am brutally honest with myself I think I worry that then she would think about me a certain way and then when my neediness, attachment and insecurity all kicks back in (inevitably) she might not understand or she might have forgotten since having ‘moved’ me from one box in her head – to another.  A less “needy” person box.  A box for clients she doesn’t have to care for as much. Love as much, perhaps?

I’m freewriting here so this may not make any sense at all.

But the question in my mind right now is: what is the healthy balance? What is the middle-ground? What is ‘right’?

I imagine that I should be able to feel the good attachment with T and miss her whilst also feeling strong and able and I do to some extent I suppose… I haven’t turned her bad but I guess I kind of lose the warmth and comfort of the good stuff in a way that is hard to explain.  It’s like for me I am either totally besotted with T and realise how crucial her existence is to my entire life OR I am just not bothered.  It doesn’t go so far as anger or hatred for me but I lose the lovely feelings of dependency too.

Interesting and confusing thoughts.

 

There has been a shift (anger)

Today I am going to write about anger.  Anyone who has followed my posts for a while will know that anger is something I’ve just not felt in relation to my healing process or in therapy at all really.  I mean sure, I’ve got angry; I’m not a saint! but in terms of processing anger in regards to the abuse and the trauma I’ve experienced I had none.  Zilch.  Over the years T has tried to encourage me to find my anger, telling me that I would feel better once I had.  Telling me I was safe to express my anger to or even at her, but I still couldn’t find it.  However I have a feeling that might be about to change.

I have briefly mentioned this already but in  order to make total sense of things for my own sake, I may repeat myself slightly.  A few weeks ago my Dad got pissy with me for saying that I couldn’t attend a family event that is taking place later in the year.  His reaction really pissed me off – an unusual reaction for me.   I thought I was just laughing it off really until I went to my session a couple of days after and spoke to T about it and then the longer we spoke about it, the more pissed off I became! I even said to her, jokingly(?) “God I feel angry about it now – thanks for that!” but in hindsight it was less about my Dad’s actions so much as the fact that his actions triggered me – he had inadvertently triggered me to feel something I have very seldom felt before which I now believe to be anger.

The anger I felt was about more than his actions, although it is true to say that it was his actions that pissed me off initially once I started to dig down a bit I realised there was more to it than that. I was angry with him and his passive aggression.  I was angry with him for sulking, for being what I considered selfish and I was angry with him for making me feel something I had felt so many times before.  That’s when the penny dropped I suppose.

The thing I had felt so many times before was manipulated.  Consciously or unconsciously I have been manipulated A LOT and have been taught to give in to other people’s demands.  It was so automatic that I didn’t even realise I did it.

My mother taught me that I had to please her at all times otherwise she would reject me, humiliate me, ignore me or rage at me which could include verbal and/or physical punishment.

My father spent many years absent from my life when I was growing up because of numerous things, but partly as I can now see, due to the fact he struggles with rejection and disappointment himself and seems to act out passively and give people the silent treatment/take himself and his love away.

So called “friends” whom I am no longer acquainted with used to give me shit if I didn’t say “yes” to their requests.  You may remember one who I used to write about “Tina” who used to really act out if I didn’t have lunch with her every single day at work.  If I was to go to the gym or see my (now) husband, I would be made to feel VERY guilty and she would sulk by huffing and puffing, shouting things at me when I walked past her desk, sending me emails saying she spent the hour crying on her own about this or that etc etc…

I grew up so used to this sort of behaviour that I had absolutely no idea it was happening and no idea that I gave into it constantly regardless of what I wanted.  I didn’t even know what I did or didn’t want.  This does also go as deep as the sexual abuse I experienced – I didn’t, couldn’t, say no.  I just froze.  I had learnt to let people do, say and take whatever they wanted.  I had no rights.  Or so I thought.

This last week or so I have started to feel the rumblings of some anger under the surface.  I told T that this stuff with my Dad had made me realise that actually, I DO have some anger.  I am fed up of people acting like this when they don’t get their own way or when I say I can’t or don’t want to do something.  Suddenly I felt kinda righteous and like “NO!! I SAID NO!!”.  I haven’t actually done that, but that is the feeling.

To repeat myself a little again, Friday morning I woke up for work and I felt perfectly normal.  I got up, showered, put on my make up and then remembered it was dress-down at work so went to the wardrobe to find something to wear.  It all went downhill rather rapidly at that point and as I have already written, I then began to get angrier and angrier and more and more stressed and irritated and wound up until BOOM!!! I exploded and burst into floods of tears and cried and cried for about ten minutes.  I’ve already written about this so I won’t go into it more but it was horrible.  One of the worst things about the thoughts I was having is that they feel so REAL.  In the moment it really does feel like it is about the fact I am feeling ugly and fat and that I have no fashion sense and I look shit compared to everyone else etc… but I have done enough therapy now to know that is not really what it is about.  The clothing/appearance anger is just an excuse, just a little way out for all of that pent-up anger inside me to leak out… it was as though the anger started to slowly leak out through a little hypothetical pipe and then realised it was onto a good thing and so the pressure built up and up and up until I exploded and the pipe burst!!!

It wasn’t until I was sat on the train finally on my way to work (20 minutes late) that I recalled T’s words the afternoon before about not taking my anger out on anyone else OR MYSELF!! Strangely I felt a tiny bit of relief instantly as I remembered that.  I also thought to myself that the critical voice I spent an hour listening to that morning hadn’t been around for a long while and that the critical voice which tore apart my weight, clothes, hair etc was in fact an internalised voice – my mother’s.  She felt the need to constantly comment on how I looked and needless to say, I never looked good enough.  Get your hair dyed, buy some better clothes, get a nose job, lose some weight, put some make up on and… get a boob job.  Not to mention the insults such as how my type of legs (fat) were inherited by my “father’s side of the family“.  Grrrrr even typing this pisses me off at the moment.

I felt delicate and sad and tired all day on Friday after that and work felt like it would never end.  Luckily it did eventually end and in the evening I rushed home to get ready to go out with my sister.  I didn’t really want to go in all honestly, not because of anything to do with her though, just that I felt down and sad and I cried again when I finally got home – just releasing the tears that had been leftover and held inside all day.  However we went and we had a fun night and when I got home I felt glad I had gone and actually thought to myself that going out and doing something which took my mind off of what was in my head entirely was exactly what I needed AND what I should do more often.  I realised as I thought that, that I often want to be alone or at home when I feel down but that perhaps this was a better way. I thought then, and think now, it is a hard balance isn’t it? Giving yourself space to feel and think without wallowing in it, you know?

I headed off to bed Friday feeling much better. I had enjoyed my time with my sister and been able to see the kids when I got home.  I had a night full of dreams again but I couldn’t remember any detail when I woke up, that isn’t unusual for me, particularly after a day like that.

Yesterday I got up and had a normal morning with my husband and the kids.  The plan was that he was going to head off with the kids about 1pm as they had various things and places to go and I was going to spend the afternoon at home on my own.  That had sounded like bliss to  be honest and I was looking forward to some alone time. I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere, as they would have my car but I thought I might have a bath, write on here, do some exercise, watch some crap tele…. however when it came to it, I felt a bit lonely at the idea of being here on my own and felt like I would miss them all.  I surprised myself by this!! Giving up the chance of some alone time was so not me.  I thought to myself that last night I hadn’t really wanted to go out and it had done me good and that perhaps I should listen to the part of me that was wanting to go TOWARDS company rather than run away from it and give it a go.  I also thought that I do have a few hours to myself every week after my second therapy session so all was not lost.  So I went, and  I was glad I did as we did have a good time.

On the way back from taking the kids home I asked my husband if we could go to my Dad’s house as we had “wasted the day“.  He was pretty annoyed by this and we began to argue a bit.  He was offended that he had paid for us all to have lunch out that day which wasn’t cheap and that we all kept saying the day had been a waste and were ungrateful.  I had snapped back that I only came along for his sake (which actually wasn’t true was it).  We drove the rest of the way not talking and then he said he was so tired he could barely drive and so we got home and he slumped on the sofa and I stropped around upstairs putting my pjs on.  I thought to myself at the time, why do you want to go out again? You’ve barely been home all weekend! The voice in my head kept telling me that I was wasting the weekend.

This morning I woke up feeling wide awake and went downstairs to make a cup of tea. I felt like we had to do something today, that we couldn’t “waste” another day.  I took hubby a cup of tea up and persuaded him that we should get up and ready and then I would drive us to the seaside where we could go for a long walk and stop for breakfast.  He said we couldn’t afford breakfast (usual argument!) and so I said okay, a cup of tea then which he agreed on.  We did that and it was lovely.. BUT..

Buuuttttt… we went into this lovely café and it was very busy.  I stood at the bar for literally about 20 minutes waiting to order 2 cups of tea and still wasn’t served. In the end I felt irritated and walked back to the table where I told hubby we should go somewhere else. I moaned that it was ridiculous in there. I felt peed and hubby was smiling at me with a “you’re stroppy” look on his face. I hate that look lol.

We started to walk a bit further and then he said there was nothing else for miles and that we would be better to head back the way we had come.  Suddenly and out of nowhere I felt SO ANGRY again.  In my head everything was ruined.  The walk was shit. I was cold. There was no tea (I know, get the violins!).  He said we were having a lovely walk and it was exactly what I had wanted to do and I said nothing, feeling just anger inside my chest.  We walked for about 10 minutes in silence, every now and again hubby pointed something out like the coastguard or a type of car or bike and I raised my eyebrows – totally uninterested.   Anyway, a while later after getting the car and driving to a place that did sell tea, we were sat on the beach and I felt such a wave of something…. kinda anger and sadness and just irritation.  I said to hubby that I really wanted to book a break away and he said we had only just had one. I told him going away with his entire family and all the kids wasn’t quite what I had in mind and that I was craving a few days away just the two of us.  He didn’t say anything, but I could tell he was pissed off.  Pissed off that I wanted a break or pissed off because we are meant to be saving money or just pissed off because I was irritable – I don’t know, maybe all of the above.  I then said something else (I can’t remember what now) and he exhaled deeply with irritation.  A moment later he said “what’s wrong?” and I said that nothing was wrong.  He said “you can’t tell me you are perfectly happy right now, can you?” and with that tears started falling down my face.  I said no.  Unusually for him, he didn’t hug me.  He just carried on looking down the beach and at the sea.  I stopped crying pretty much as soon as I had started but I acknowledged there was stuff stirring inside me.  It was there and it was still coming out at random moments.  The clothes thing Friday, the wanting to go out last night, the tea in the café….

A toddler walked by with his parents who was having an almighty strop.  He was red-faced and angry.  Shouting and crying and dragging his feet and I looked at him and thought “you lucky thing being able to express yourself like that! – Go on, give em’ hell!” LOL what a weird thing to think?

Weirdly it passed after that, like almost immediately and I drove us home feeling alright again.  When we got home we cleaned our house which always makes me feel better and then we popped to the shops for food and then had a nap on the sofa.

Writing this out I am thinking that perhaps my need to keep busy this weekend was to avoid the feelings, avoid the thoughts.  Perhaps it is my unconscious fear of anger – even my own.  Especially my own perhaps?

I am writing this out to acknowledge to myself that something is shifting inside. I am feeling anger for maybe the first time.  I am feeling resentful and angry and bitter about the ways certain people treated me. I am feeling those feelings and I think I am entitled to feel that way really.  It is a new feeling for me but it is about feeling I am allowed to have boundaries and opinions.  That it is NOT fair or okay for people to act their aggression and disappointment out on me when they don’t get their own way.  That I can say no, and I should not have to deal with the consequences.

I have spent some time on Google this weekend reading about anger and particularly anger in therapy and anger as part of healing from trauma and it seems that it is exactly what needs to be felt. I particularly liked this quote:

Anger that is associated with trauma is an indication of melting or thawing. It is a positive sign that the energy trapped during the traumatic experience is trying to find a way to be expressed, ultimately resolving itself.  It is also a positive sign that one’s sense of self that was damaged during the trauma is growing back.

It talks about how it is a “healthy need to heal the fight energy inside us“.  That it is a “desire to move upwards on the scale of ones ability to defend their rights“.  “An indication of self-esteem“.  I will add this link as I found it so helpful.

So at least that is all positive, right?  It seems that T was right these last 5 years and that feeling the anger really WILL help me.  Who would have known huh? LOL.

Now I just need to try to find ways that I can feel the anger, release it but without hurting myself or anyone else in any way.  It is unpredictable at the moment but I guess it is new to me so hopefully I will find ways to learn to deal with it and learn it is okay to feel it.

In a strange way I quite like the fact that I can even feel this way. I quite like the fact that I want to have a good sense of self and know that my needs and wants are just as important as everyone else’s.  I like that I have grown this much in therapy that I can feel angry if people overstep my boundaries or do not respect me or treat me properly.  That’s what “normal” people feel like, right?

Ha.  Welcome the shift.

angeremergingweb

anger

We shouldn’t feel guilty for pulling away

I have just been reading some stuff about childhood emotional neglect and about the long-term effects of a lack of attachment with a caregiver etc and came across this sentence:

Estranging yourself from (or neglecting) your children rarely goes unpunished.  They sometimes kick back and make their parents pay!

Now, I’m not advocating acting out anger in a destructive way – NOR am I saying that we should do things in order to “punish” our parents, in fact I am a firm believer that when we have healed (at least party) our reactions should be about protecting ourselves rather than punishing our parents, BUTTTTTTT I just wanted to relay this sentence here for anyone struggling to deal with guilt.

I am a sucker for the guilt attacks and often fall into a horrible shame cycle for how I am treating my “poor mother” – and this sentence really helped me to put it into perspective.  No act goes unpunished.  If we were neglected or abused then honestly what do they expect? Loyalty and love despite them not having given us any? We were innocent children who genuinely NEEDED things from them for our survival and they are adults who can look after themselves.

The only person/people we deserve to honour, love and respect are ourselves.

YAAASSSS!!

Denied Anger?

Morning WP guys,

I was woken up with a shock this morning as my husband shouted and flew out of bed.  Turns out he snoozed his alarm and it was 8.10am instead of his usual get out of bed time of 7.00am.  I panicked with him and started rushing around to get his clothes out, got his shoes, bag and jumper together, made him some toast and a cup of tea etc.  It’s these silly things which make me realise how much I feel other people’s feelings and how much I HATE it when someone around me is angry or stressed.  My husband is truly the loveliest, calmest man ever and on the very rare occasion he is angry or stressed, I panic SO much.  We actually have a bit of a joke about it where he says “You don’t know what angry is! You’ve been wrapped in cotton wall you entire life”.  Clearly he is playing and we both laugh when he says it. I remember literally maybe two or three occasions in the last 4 or so years where he has shouted at one of the kids for misbehaving, I find myself sitting there wide eyed and solemn like I am one of them.  He has often asked me why I get so scared and awkward and I’ve never known the answer other than I guess my fear and panic gets triggered from when I really was a child.  Anyway, back to the point…

It is now 8.50am and I went to sleep by about 10.45 last night so I’ve had plenty of sleep. I often sleep well after my therapy session, usually deeper than normal which I think was the case last night as I have a dull kind of headache which I sometimes get after a deep sleep. On the flip side, I came on my period yesterday afternoon and I have woken up to a ginormous spot on the side of my nose (not a good look!) and stomach cramps. Isn’t being a woman just wonderful? On the more serious side, that does indicate another month of unsuccessful conception.  Possibly not a bad thing considering my emotional state, but very disappointing.  Last month I fell about crying when I came on but this month I feel I have so much on my plate that it is probably for the best.  As much as I hate to admit it.

So, I am waffling. The point of writing this morning is meant to be about my session last night.  My first session back after 3 weeks.

I felt anxious all day about my session last night. Nervous even.  I didn’t want to go on one hand and yet I was desperate to go on the other.  I was in touch with feelings of shame, I felt weak and embarrassed for having fallen apart these past few weeks.  I kept myself very busy yesterday, going to the shops, going to the sea, driving a lot, car wash, cooking, yoga. I even watched an episode of something on tele which took me up literally until the minute I had to leave to drive to T’s. I think in hindsight, that was avoidance of the feelings about going.  I knew I had to go, needed to go and partly, wanted to go.  So best I just get there and deal with the feelings after right?

As I parked up outside her house, I had about 5 minutes to spare. I sent my friend a voice note telling her I was feeling sick with nerves. I acknowledged that I knew I would have no reason to feel like that, and that I would come out feeling a hundred times better than when I went in, but right then, I felt sick with nerves and embarrassment.  As I told her at the time, sometimes I feel that T is so strong and tough and well put together that she makes me feel inferior and stupid.  Now obviously I know that they are meant to be those things and that if we were getting therapy from someone we perceived to be weak and not well held together, then that wouldn’t be very helpful and that therapy wouldn’t work. I also understand that in attachment work like this, she has to take on the role of my mother figure and so I guess naturally that means she is going to seem stronger, wiser, tougher etc AND obviously she is a professional therapist so that is natural right? But I think clearly it does tap into some older feelings for me of being shamed by my mother for having needs – this is not a new realisation but times like this I guess it is made all the more obvious.  I don’t know if everyone feels this way when going to see their therapist?

I went and knocked on the door when it turned half past seven and kind of dreaded her opening the door (LOL).  She opened it and smiled at me in her usual way, I felt awkward and said hello, how are you and asked if she had a nice break.  I ALWAYS feel awkward those first few minutes. Always.  I hate that first part still now, 4 years later. I find it uncomfortable the way she watches me walk in, sit down and then wait for her to ask “How’s Twink?”.  I don’t know why I find this so awkward really… anyway she asked how I was and I just pulled a face of “pffttt.. meh… ” (the globally recognised face, right?). T asked if I had been to the doctor and if I had been signed off etc and I filled her in on the practical stuff.  She said it was good that I had been signed off as it would give me a bit of space. She then asked if I wanted to come twice this week which I said I did, she offered me a slot on Thursday afternoon which I took immediately and said I was going to ask for an extra session.  She asked how it felt that SHE had asked me and I said that I was relieved.  I wonder now why she asked that?

T started pretty instantly by telling me what she thinks happened, can you guess?  She said it was the break that had “really got you in touch with the feelings”.  I have said this lots of times before but it really does make my eyes roll.  Whyyyyyy does she always think it’s about the blinking breakkkkkk??? It kind of irritates me when she says this but because I love her I just try and smile obediently and agree that hmmm possibly.

T said that it was no coincidence that I woke up the very next morning after our last session feeling such anger.  (I admit I hadn’t thought of this link) and that she thought I’ve been trying to hold it all in for the last 3 weeks and it again, was no coincidence that I fell apart exhausted from it all at the weekend, Sunday in particular, knowing she was back at work the following day.

Hmm.

The more she spoke about it being the break, the more I find myself thinking “it’s not” and so I try to smile and nod and accept that hmm yes, it could be possible I suppose.  I found myself telling her “possibly but not consciously”.

At one point she said, lovingly but sarcastically to prove a point “Twink, it isn’t just a huge coincidence that the day after you realised it was a break you woke up feeing fucking furious, that you then spent 3 weeks feeling shit and you’ve collapsed with it all the day before I am back!“. We both burst out laughing and she laughed “God I love you Twink but come on!” (me thinking OMG she said she loves me! LOL). I laughed with her and said “It is. It’s a giant coincidence” but I was laughing too.

T started to say that I was feeling FURIOUS that she went away and not only did she go away, but that I felt she hadn’t even warned me! that she was just suddenly not coming back for 3 weeks.  She said that not only was I dealing with all the shit with my mother, but that my mother was going away and so was T and that T was leaving me there to cope with all that shit on my own.  She said how it would be perfectly understandable for me to feel angry with her.

I just smiled… nope…

She asked me about the dream which triggered me on Sunday and I told her.  She said that she thinks the dream was trying to tell me something and trying to get me to piece something together BUT that she did not think it was an actual physical event in the way she thought I did.  I told her that was my worry and that since that dream, my heart had been beating so quickly, that everything was making me jump, that I kept getting these sudden hot flashes and that the overwhelming thought was “I can’t cope with any more pain, I can’t handle anything else”.  T said we had already uncovered the horrific thing and the horrific thing was my mother’s neglect and abuse.  She said something along the lines of “throw another incident of abuse in there and it wouldn’t make any real difference – the real damage was done by your mother“.  I note that T has always maintained that stance, I have often felt I put more weight on the physical sexual abuse than she ever did – perhaps she is right or perhaps it is her style as a therapist, she is very pro attachment and so I guess that would make sense.  Even I can see that whilst the sexual abuse was physically awful, the emotional side effects from a lifetime of neglect, abuse, boundary invasion etc is longer-lasting and yet it remains in my head that the physical is worse somehow.  T has said before that she thinks that I think that way to keep myself safer, put the blame on him rather than my mother.  I don’t know.

Either way, hearing T say that she didn’t think I had another abuse situation to uncover helped me to relax a little. Thank Fuck For That.

T said that she does think the dream is trying to tell me something (heartbeat starts to elevate again) but not in the way I think.  She said she thinks the dream is indicating I haven’t quite made a link, uncovered something that I need to and that she thinks that link is that I am feeling so much anger towards her.  She thinks that it is so terrifying for me to “turn her bad” that I am totally and utterly denying those feelings and dream is telling me I need to uncover it.

T said that it is imperative I can access those angry feelings towards her and that we can deal with them.  She said that it is my chance to get out all the angry feelings from when I was young in a safe place.  She said that all that anger had nowhere to go when I was young as my mother could not handle it, as it was terrifying as a child to feel anger towards her because she was dangerous and that I had to push it away to keep her good – to survive. She said that now, if I can direct all those feelings to T, they will be released and I will get great healing from that.  She said that she is safe and that she won’t turn on me, won’t abandon me etc.

T said that “it’s all there in your writing! you’ve told me it all, cleverly” meaning my anger and that she thinks I’ve directed it all towards my mother because that is safer now than directing it towards T, particularly when she isn’t there.  She said it is very scary to admit to yourself how much you need me.  I agreed with her, yes it is.  She said that because of how important to me she is, it makes sense that it would be terrifying to risk being angry with her, because I would naturally assume she would leave and that is the very worst thing that could happen.  I agreed with her and said that I knew that because last Christmas when we had that awful rupture over her sending me that text message which was meant for someone else, that one incident caused me SO much pain that I made it mean she didn’t care for me AT ALL, that it was all fake, all a lie, that she never cared and honestly I felt absolutely horrific.  So yeah, it makes sense that I wouldn’t want to revisit that place. Being angry with T is not something I am comfortable with. Being angry in general isn’t something that I am comfortable with.

She said when I said in my email at the very beginning of the break that I couldn’t let my mother have my anger because it was pointless, that I couldn’t “sock it to my mother OR to her”.  LOL at the word “sock”. 

Anyway I think that I’ve written out the gist of the session and I don’t think there is much need for any more she said and I said’s, so what am I thinking today having slept on the session?

Well.. the thing is, I can quite clearly see that her theory makes sense AND I can see why accessing anger and directing it so her as a safer environment would be helpful.  I hope that hearing her say this, AGAIN, will give me permission somewhere if it is needed but I also find it frustrating that she is so convinced I am angry and that I cannot feel that in  myself at all. I almost wish I could!

I can see that I’ve always been a people-pleaser and a “good girl” and so it makes sense that anger isn’t really something I’ve ever allowed myself to feel and as I said at the beginning of this post, I’ve seen a lot of destructive anger and violence and so it makes sense that I’ve learnt to deny those type of feelings, particularly towards someone who is kind to me – why would I want to take the risk of pushing her away when I need her so much? I guess the feelings will come if and when they want to/need to… I am almost willing them to come now because the idea that at the end of them is some relief, is very appealing.  My husband suggested I go in there and “fake it out” he said you know if you pretend to be in a mood with someone, sometimes it can end up actually making you moody!” he was joking but I have even thought about trying to write a pretend letter to T telling her how angry with her I am for leaving me and seeing if that unlocks it…. seems a bit fruitless but you never know.

Has anyone felt anger at their therapist for breaks before? Have you told your T and was it helpful? I would love to know.

 

 

 

 

 

Longing for the mother

I woke up this morning with a thumping headache, a bad mood and a bad back ache. The back ache has got gradually worse the last few days but today it hurt a lot.

As we are staying with my fiancé’s family at the moment and his kids also stay with us at weekends, it was all a bit too much for me this morning. My mood was getting worse and holding it all in was getting harder and harder.

I found myself thinking about my T. I have thought about her a lot the last few days since my session on Tuesday. The closest feeling I could relate my feeling to would be “missing”. It was like I was missing her but I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate.

I touched on this briefly the other day, but the words I come up with are words such as “longing” and “missing”. As one of my fellow bloggers pointed out, it’s the grieving of the mother wound. I’m in touch with feelings of loneliness and sadness. It’s feelings I experienced when I was young and stuck with an emotionally unavailable mother. Isolation and sadness, emptiness. I feel those things again today and it’s very hard.

I wrote a list of words that just felt relevant to me today, they included the following words:

Missing

Longing

Sadness

Flat

Attachment

Connection

Emotional

Closeness

Attachment pain?

Mother wound?

Grief

Loneliness

Aching

Needing

Nurturance

So I think perhaps the feelings of sadness, aloneness, missing and longing are old feelings and in the here and now, they make me want to seek comfort and nurturance, connection and warmth. I want the familiar and genuine connection T offers me. I guess what I’m craving is “a mother”. MY mother but not my actual mother – it’s back to that fantasy mother I guess.

T provides me with some of the things I feel I need today and so I guess it makes sense for me to long for her in some ways – even if it’s not really her I need, but MY mother. The hole where my good enough mother should have been/be, but isn’t.

Days like this, times like this, being around lots of people makes me go stir crazy. I really struggle with that. I need time alone, I crave space and quiet. I need to cry or read or write or drink tea in a blanket. I struggle being “stepmum” and looking after the kids because I guess I’m triggered to a child like place myself and if I’m totally honest I think I struggle to be affectionate or enjoy them because it taps into the lack I had/have. I know that’s not what I should say or how I should feel but the words just came out so I’m sure they must be true.

It makes me angry. Perhaps my anger is hiding my sadness? Either way I couldn’t cope this morning and so guess where I am as I type this on my phone? I’m in my car. My lovely new car. I decided to grab a flask of tea, my psychologies magazine, my “Dear Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother” book, my make up bag(?) and off I went. I have only driven to the local park where I’ve parked up with the heating on and I’ve put my make up on, I’m listening to the radio and the snow is gently falling. I feel so calm now. Nothing like 45 minutes ago where I could have exploded from all the various emotions I wrote about above.

There’s some guilt that I shouldn’t be hiding in my car on my own and that I should be with my fiancé and the kids but I need to look after myself too, right? And what good am I to any of them in the state I was in earlier?

I feel so mean saying this but this is my happy place right now. I’m so at peace right now. I’m warm, I have my tea, I’ve kicked off my Ugg boots and am sitting cross legged (I’m small!), sipping my tea and typing out all these feelings which gives me such a release. I could stay here for hours if I didn’t feel like I should be with them.

I’ve read many articles which say in order to heal you need to internalise the good enough mother (so T) and that you learn to mother yourself and you learn to soothe yourself. I wonder in times like this whether the longing for comfort and closeness will ever go – right now it feels unlikely. I know I’ve been able to calm myself a bit, I’ve been able to give myself a little bit of space and I do understand that is progress… but I would still just like to be looked after if I’m honest. What I would like is for a really tight hug from a caring and kind mother. I would like to be a little girl for the day and not the adult. I hate that I’ve missed that chance and that I’ll never get that again.

I’m grieving that chance I suppose and I’m craving closeness and connection to make that pain more bearable when perhaps I just need to learn to tolerate it and let it pass?