The sandbox was in her office.  My first thought was that she was using it with the client before me.  And then I gave it no more thought as my t and I started chit chatting.  She, as usual, asked me if anything had come up for me after our last session.  I said no, not really.  She made a comment that it was unusual for me not to have anything to say.  I have thought about this comment since and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to discuss much with her because of the upcoming break.  I can’t get into anything heavy knowing that there won’t be any opportunity to process it in the time it can sometimes take me.  I feel like processing the break itself is very overwhelming let alone anything else.  (As you can probably tell by all my writing about it.)

After I told her that I didn’t have anything to say she said that she had something for me to do.  ‘I would like you to do some sandbox work’ she said.  It caught me totally off guard.  For some reason I didn’t realize that the sandbox was for me.  Maybe I am withdrawing in more ways than one.  It is something for me to think about anyway.  She also brought out containers full of small toys such as animals, houses, people, etc.  Kind of weird I thought.  I never really played with toys as a child.

My life is very much in many separate containers.  Parts of my life never intrude on other parts of my life.  It’s kind of hard for me to explain.  I guess one general example is that my private life never crosses over to my public life.  My public life is nothing like my private life.  All the parts of me are very separate. My t wants me to try to change that.  She wanted me to try to create with the sand and toys/objects of how some of the good parts of me could help with the areas that I struggle with.  I decided to use my job as an area that I struggle with because I have lately realized that my boss is a big trigger for me.  I have realized that she is so much like Wayne (father) and I am not coping with it very well.

It was an interesting exercise, some of which quite surprised me.  I am always amazed at what comes out when I work in other ways besides just talking.  What is even more surprising is that I don’t consider myself  a creative person but it doesn’t seem to matter.  It just works for me for some reason.  I just needed to get over the fact that everything I draw or make looks kind of stupid.  Stick men anyone?

I wasn’t able to figure out how I would be able to let the good/safe parts help out when I am being triggered.  I will have to try to figure that out somehow.

My t wanted me to leave my sandbox arrangement so that she could take a picture of it. I think that I will get a copy of it.

At the end of the session we discussed how she would like to use the last three sessions to talk about and get ready for the break.   We talked about my anger concerning the situation for a bit.  She once again assured me that she was ok with it.  I must admit my first thought when she said this was ‘Of course you are, it’s not you with the problem’. Not nice. But I realize that’s my anger talking.  I know she really means that I can be angry and not worry that it will affect our relationship.  That my anger is safe with her.  All I really know is it will take me a long time to process what is going on.  I so much don’t want to become bitter about it.

These last sessions seem surreal to me.

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14 Responses to Surreal

  1. One long journey says:

    I know what you mean about wanting to keep it light before the break. I’m on a three week hiatus – same thoughts in my head.

    Have you discussed anymore with her about the length of the break or is that still out there?

    Thinking of you,

    • lostinamaze says:

      It sucks if you do something heavy before a break than wham! what do you do with it?

      Yes we have discussed the length of the break. At first she was leaving it up to me but then finally compromised after some discussion. We will set a date on when I will be coming back. But then there is the question of the length of time I can see her before the next break. I find all this somewhat confusing.

  2. Harriet says:

    Sandbox work sounds great to me. I love the feel of sand. I think my t would draw the line at a sandbox in his office though. Same with fingerpainting.

    It must be so difficult to keep showing up knowing it is going to end soon. I think my reaction would be to just quit. I give you a lot of credit.

    • lostinamaze says:

      To my surprise the sandbox worked really well for me. Like you I love the feel of sand. In my part of the world there is not much sand, mostly rocks.

      My first reaction when she told me about taking the break was ‘why don’t I just quit right now and be done with it?’. But deep down I knew that quitting like that would have been detrimental to my mental health. But it is really hard to keep going. Sometimes I feel like I am torturing myself.

  3. Lothlorien says:

    I bet the last sessions seem surreal! I can’t even imagine what you’re going through.

    As for the sandtray work, I’m glad you enjoyed it and got something useful out of it. It is a wonderful tool, functioning much like art therapy but being very tactile-kinesthetic. There is also something very calming about running your hands through the sand. I did extensive research and training on it in the ’90’s while working on my Master’s Degree, and I used it in my classroom where I taught children ages 9-12 who had emotional/behavioral disorders. It was awesome to watch it work wonders with the kids. It often calmed them, and many times they worked out their personal conflicts in the sand, and many times it just opened the doors of communication between them and me. And truth be told, sometimes after school when everybody was gone, I took MY turn at that sandtray! 🙂 it’s a great therapeutic tool!

    • lostinamaze says:

      In my most anxious times my therapist would bring out the sandtray for me just to run my hands through the sand and play with it. Many times it has helped me get through the sessions. It has done for me all the things you have mentioned. I find it most amazing.

      I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time with the concept of the break. The only thing I can figure is that I am not actually ready for it.

  4. Just Be Real says:

    You t. is so very creative in desiring to help her clients. The sandbox is such an interesting project. Glad that the sandbox can ease some of your anxieties. Blessings to you dear one.

    • lostinamaze says:

      It was the creativity that she uses that actually helped me to break through the silence. I wouldn’t have any words to describe myself. It has been an interesting process with the art.

  5. Lothlorien says:

    I would have a hard time with a break too, if that’s any consolation. My therapist is on vacation, and I haven’t seen her in two weeks. I see her Wednesday and I’m dying!! I miss her, and I miss having that time to process. Therapy sessions are like little time outs to figure things out, and I need mine.

    • lostinamaze says:

      That does help. I feel inside that I still need mine but somehow I don’t think she thinks that I do. Ugh…

  6. lostinamaze says:

    Harriet, I do better with continuity as well. I don’t know why I can’t see her for as long as I feel I need to. I wonder if it is a agency policy? She works for a non profit agency.

  7. Milo says:

    i am so grateful that you came to my blog and left a comment. it meant so much to me. would it be alright to have your blog linked to mine too?
    p.s. the idea of sound bo is interesting. i like to draw… not much of a painter though!
    love, Milo

    • lostinamaze says:

      Hi Milo, I don’t think that I’m very creative but something about trying to express myself through different mediums seems to work for me. The sandbox is very relaxing. No problem with the link, I will do the same.

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