Trauma Therapy Session 3: Hard Work Started

So this week was the third session of trauma therapy. Having found last weeks session fairly easy going, and having enjoyed a relatively good week, I was prepared to have to knuckle down this week and start the real work. A did a lot of preparation and perhaps recent events gave me a good shove in the right direction. So how did it go?

What did we talk about…

Do you know less than twelve hours later and I don’t think I can even remember the details. I know where we started, I was talking about the week just passed, the sanctuary of those peaceful content moments, the unusual walk out of mass, the going back on myself (one to explain another day) and the worries the world bought to my door yesterday. We inevitability started to refer to the journey that got me here, we touched on lots of tricky situations, I voiced some of my confusion and hurt. The conversation just flowed. I do remember one thing he said clearly to me “ You are not your mother.” I probably didn’t realise how much I needed to hear that.

More than the words I recall the feelings swirling around like a storm. Chris asked me to name them and I couldn’t. Naming them would have involved reaching my hand into those turbulent waters trying to separate the muddled mess of feelings. I couldn’t get that close to them, I am afraid that if I touch the surface they will consume me, I will be dragged under and never come up for air. I didn’t name any feelings today.

Immediate thoughts…

My homework (there is always homework) was to form some reflections and share them next week. Chris appeared to want me to focus on the progress, on the positives, but I have no idea if these will hit the mark.

Feelings are dangerous…

I have been aware of it over the last couple of weeks, I think I have come to believe that feelings are dangerous, emotion is to be avoided. I have seen my mum ruled by her emotions driven towards a very unhappy ending. I never wanted that endeing in my life and so I have spent three decades avoiding feelings. I am not suggesting for a minute that I have always been able to achieve this goal, but all those days watching Star Trek and trying to practice to be more Vulcan, coupled with a sense that feelings can lead down a very dark path have definitely resulted in some ability to sterilise events or detach from emotions. Still today I allowed them to materialise, perhaps I held back a little but I let myself feel a hell of a lot more than I ever have, I let the storm gain some momentum even if I didn’t manage to dance in the rain.

I thought I had forgiven…

I always thought I had forgiven the things people did or did not do. But I realise now that I never have. I did not let myself feel the anger or the pain before the forgiveness. I moved forward so hard and so fast that I barely acknowledged the cause of needing forgiveness in the first place, I justified or skipped past things so quickly that I didn’t stay long enough to understand or connect.

I am resolute in my ability to forgive, I know I can do it but perhaps I need to feel a little more first.

I placed some blame at someone else’s door…

I suppose it is a positive thing, today I allowed myself to acknowledge the failings of the system, the failings of my parents, the failings of those around me. It was not all about me, not all my fault. There are so many things which happened that simply should not have happened.

Where next?

I still need to explore the timeline, I know I need to air some of the things that don’t sit right, understand some things that confuse me and probably the scariest thing I need to do is allow myself to truly connect with the feelings. I hope I come out the other side.

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