It has been a while. I have not had any sessions for a good few weeks, sickness and planning combined. But the break was good, it reassured me that I am not currently dependant on therapy and it gave me some down time, to recover from the intensity of the work.
This week was a longer session which are always good for processing. So it was back with a bang digging into one of the flash backs which persists to bother me and has not naturally resolved itself or cooled down on its own.
This particular flash black was the one I wrote a poem about many years ago. “Back against the door”. It involves a night I tried to stay awake sat against my bedroom door afraid that my mum was going to come in while we were sleeping and try to end our lives.
It was a horrific night, no too words about it. I spent the whole night desperately trying to stay awake, afraid to fall asleep and when I did fall asleep, I then woke up and would be spun around in panic, relief and fear again. I got to the stage that night that I remember sitting there and digging my finger nails into my palms and thighs in a last ditch vain attempt to not fall asleep.
When I did on occasion drop off when I woke I would spend what felt like hours effectively telling myself off, mentally beating myself up for failing in my duty.
The session with Chris was tricky at times, sometimes I maintained my usual distance from the real heat of it, but at least twice I went there, I recalled the shear panic and regret and hope and fear again.
It was help to voice some of my thinking and I have no doubt just a helpful space to voice the detail of what happened to someone for the fist time.
What I have definitely discovered again is that I think a lot of the work of processing these memories happens after the session. I have spent days again hit by unexpected waves of emotion. I am getting better at dealing with them though. I follow the five step process Chris and I discussed some weeks ago.
Yesterday as I completed step 1: What are you feeling and thinking? I noticed something…there was a voice there in the back of my head just repeating over and over on a loop “I hate myself.” I stopped to curiously examine it a little more. “Why do you hate yourself?” Acknowledging again it was not my fault, I did nothing to deserve to be in that situation and yes o may have fallen asleep but that was a natural inevitable thing… Maybe it was not me I hated but the situation I found myself in. The loop shifted “I hated I was in that situation.” There was something else behind the thought, I looked further into the well. “I hated my mum for what she did.”
My gosh it hit me like a brick wall coming fifty miles an hour full force. I broke down in tears realising the truth behind the feeling, but I hated the idea I felt that way about mum. I know it’s hard to imagine but she had some of the kindest moments I have known in my life and let’s face it she was my mum why would I want to hate her.
I understand that you can love and hate someone at the same time. But I have never considered feeling that way towards her and honestly again I just found myself wanting to wish it away. Wish away the awful things that happened, wish away the feelings they created. But I have found myself stuck again with a feeling which is natural, understandable and yet unwanted.
Honestly not sure what to do with it now but I am sure I will figure out. Hopefully Chris will have some great insight next week.
Until then I just have to get dam good at riding the waves until they dissipate. Continuing not to force them aside but learning to sit with them and accept them.
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