Just Pictures

This time when I walk into the room my drawings are not on the wall, they are in a folder.   As usual we spend the first half hour chit chatting about this and that.  I am quite happy to continue chatting for as long as I can drag it out.   She starts to ease me into the session by asking me if anything came up for me after the last session.  We talk about my nightmare for a bit.  Then come the dreaded words, “would you like to continue working on this?”   Oh sure I say rather flippantly knowing deep down that this is a place I fear to tread.

She hands me the folder with all my parts so neatly stacked within.  If only it were like that in real life, all neatly stacked.  No muss, no fuss.  She wants me to arrange them on the wall once again, arranging them as it feels to me this night.  How does it ‘feel’?  That I am never sure of.  I have also added four more parts of me.

Tonight’s arrangement is completely different than last weeks.  Most of my weaker parts are covered up by my strong defender part. This is the part of me that rises up when the therapy is getting too close for comfort.   When I start feeling that I am about to lose control.  My t likened it to the reaction of a dog when it becomes cornered.  Some dogs will bare their teeth and start snarling.  Yeah I guess that’s how it can feel to me.  It’s probably a good thing my t doesn’t react to whatever snarling I may do.

My t asked me how it would feel if we took that part away.  Well to be honest I don’t know if she really said that or something else because what happened next really disconcerted me.

My t got up and went over to the wall and took away the defender part.  Now I realize that these are only pictures on the wall. But all of sudden it felt like I was naked or something.  Stripped bare for all to see kind of sensation.  I almost immediately told her that she needed to put it back up.  My t must have been watching me because interesting enough she told me the moment she removed that drawing my whole demeanor and face changed.  I didn’t ask her how.  I’m not going there yet.  I felt relief when she put it back.  It was an interesting but bothersome experience.  After all they are just pictures that I drew.

My t told me tonight that this is really big work that I am doing.  The fact that I have been drawing out the parts of me and looking at them outside of me.  She said this is huge for me.  You want to know what I think?  I think this is hugely scary.

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10 Responses to Just Pictures

  1. JBR says:

    Oh I hear you! It is like your security was stripped away. I am really intrigued by this art therapy dear one and only hope for the best for you. Blessings.

  2. One long journey says:

    Hey there –
    Are these pictures you draw during therapy? Or do you take them in? Just curious. If you draw during session, do you talk while drawing?

    • lostinamaze says:

      So far I have only drawn in session but my t has suggested that I could draw at home and bring it in.

      Interesting that you should ask about the talking during drawing. My t doesn’t stare at me but I do feel uncomfortable with someone watching me work. Kind of like having a teacher hanging over you feeling. So yes I talk but not about what is going on for me. It is chat chat type of talk. Sometimes I even joke around a bit. When I think about it I am probably also trying to create some distance to what I’m starting to feel as I’m drawing.

  3. L,
    Wow. Yeah… Huge stuff and huge fear. Just imagining that moment where she took that part off the wall makes my stomach turn! Can’tthink what it must have been like for you…

    Listening with interest and care.


    • lostinamaze says:

      Yeah I’m having a hard time thinking about it as well. After all they are only pictures right? It feels all so raw.

  4. Lothlorien says:

    Gosh, when I was reading the part where your t suggesting taking away one of the defender pictures and then she did so, I felt that same feeling like I was mirroring yours. Wow, how sensitive we are! That is tough, but I can see the meaning behind it. You are doing really great work. You are taking risks, trusting, and getting to know yourselves better. I think this is going to take you far into your journey. Pat yourself on the back. You are doing great! You are brave.

    • lostinamaze says:

      After this week I’m not sure if I like this kind of risk taking. I actually didn’t realize that I would feel this way. It really opened my eyes in a tangible way. I was certainly glad when she put it back. Hoe do you spell relief…

      • Lothlorien says:



        Remember that commercial? 🙂

        Sorry, had to interject that humor.
        Honestly, I think it was a good question your therapist posed, but I also think she was being rather bold in actually removing the picture. I have to say, as a grad student in Social Work, I wouldn’t have done that, and my personal feeling when I read that she physically removed the picture instead of leaving it at the thought/feeling/what if level, I felt a sense of violation. I am not saying it was wrong, just that I would not have done that.

      • lostinamaze says:

        Thanks for the chuckle, yes I remember that commercial.

        Bold is actually a good description of my therapist. Sometimes I feel like she does push a little hard at times. I am still trying to figure out my reaction to what she did but I do know it caught me off guard. I am sort of worried about my next session because, oh great, now I am feeling pissed about it. Just another thing to try to figure out. sigh

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