Therapy is not easy

Therapy is not easy.  Just when I think that it’s too hard it seems to get harder.  If I felt that therapy wasn’t necessary I surely wouldn’t do it.  I have felt disconnected since my last session.  Kind of like I am living in a different time zone.  I have had a hard time keeping track of time.  I hate when that happens.  As always my T checks in with how I am feeling before we start the session.  So I tell her what I am experiencing.  She then reminds me that I am disassociating.  Oh yeah, for some reason I keep forgetting about that.  Maybe I am so used to living with it, it doesn’t really cross my mind.

My T doesn’t really want to go ahead with the anger work until I can ground myself.  She and I decide to work with my symbols from the previous session with the sand since it is fairly calming for me.  I brought them out and put them in the sand and promptly buried them all.  She asked me to pick one symbol I would like to work on.  I chose the one that I thought would be the easiest.  Tonight I was all about easy.  Hmm….I think my head was in the sand.

I decided to talk about the ‘stamp’.  I said once again it’s what I do with my anger and other emotions for that matter, stamp them down.  It’s what my parents did to my emotions as well.  I wasn’t allowed to express anger.  I can hear their words in my head. “stop crying or I will give you something to cry about” “quit disrespecting your mother” when I tried to voice my feelings.

My T asked me in what situation I would feel anger and instead of stamping it down, express it.  (OK what happened to easy)  I had a hard time coming up with anything.  It seems I have all this anger directed at nothing.  Finally I came up with my boss and her lack of people skills.  She usually creates trouble with people that I end up having to fix.  So now my T wants to do some role-playing.  She becomes my boss and I need to try to express my anger towards her.  I have seen this done in group therapy but it is new to me in participating.  I found it extremely hard but gave it a try anyway. I just can’t seem to break that anger barrier and just let go.

I start discussing this with my T.  I questioned why I just can’t let go, why I can’t seem to get it, why can’t I get past this, etc.  Apparently I am having a pity party and an “oh poor me” attitude and my T calls me on it.  That’s one thing I like about her, she is not afraid to challenge me on certain dysfunctional patterns.  She questions that maybe I’m not ready to move forward on the anger issue. That maybe I need to work on other things. She then starts saying my exact ‘pity party’ words back to me in a nice way.  I have hardly looked her in the eye during the session but as she is speaking my words back to me all of a sudden something becomes clear as a bell.

I turn my head and look her in the eye and say:

I. am. afraid.

And then I think I see her smile on the inside.

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6 Responses to Therapy is not easy

  1. freelyfloating says:

    That’s so tough. I was called out several times for dissociating in my individual session yesterday. I had to be told several times to “stay in the room.” My T told me to try to keep track of it and not disassociate in group therapy, and I found myself repeatedly catching those moments during group. I think I also do it so often that I don’t even realize that I’m doing it.

    I know how hard therapy is, so I’m happy for you that you had that break through. It’s a relief to have those revelations, but it makes everything that much scarier, doesn’t it?

    • lostinamaze says:

      I was also asked to keep track of my disassociation so we could figure out what triggers it. But I need to cultivate self awareness for when it is actually happening. It is always after the fact that I become aware and then I can’t figure out why. I guess it takes practice.

      One of the biggest learning curves for me when I have a revelation about myself is to be honest about it and face it. Scary is right!

  2. Harriet says:

    Your therapist sounds great. My t doesn’t call me out on anything, but that could be because I may not be able to handle that. My trust issues, you know? But I like that your t ensures that you can ground yourself. My doesn’t seem to concern himself with that either, although it could be because I always say “I’m fine.” Sigh.

    I admire you so much.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I think it was a matter of my T learning what I could handle from her regarding the calling out. It has taken a while to build up the trust and it still only goes so far. I think that I am learning that she actually does have my best interest at heart.

      All this is a big learning curve for me and way out of my box.

  3. Oh my, this sounds tough but you ARE moving forward. I think noticing the patterns is really good. It brings back a lot of familiar stuff from my own work, struggling to express anger and having no voice. I’m glad your T didn’t let you beat yourself up over it, sounds like there is something you need to work on first, a block or something. In my case it was shame. (Ha! Still working on it!)

    So proud of you for admitting your fear. I’m totally smiling too (on the inside and the out!)

    • lostinamaze says:

      I actually feel like I am going backwards. My T recently started keeping a calendar to help us figure out patterns.

      I think you are quite right about the block. I seem to keep running up against it. I’m not sure if it is the fear, something else or a combination of things. I will have to talk to my T about that in my next session.

      I just hope I survive these sessions!

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