I walk into her office feeling split. Two people have walked into the room. One feeling the all-pervading sadness that hasn’t eased up. The other part walks in feeling totally dissociated and not feeling a thing. How that is possible I’m not sure.
After a bit of chit-chat she wants me to paint on paper how the week has been for me. I tell her I can’t. I tell her there is nothing in me. She wants me to give it a go anyway. To take my time. I sit there for a while and slowly the sad part takes over and I begin to paint.
During our discussion of what I painted she made the comment, ‘interesting, I was just discussing what you are describing with your painting with the bereavement group last night’. So we started talking about the cycle of sadness and grief. And now I’m coming to a realization. I know this has been slowly forming in me but as usual I have tried to ignore it as much as possible.
When we started to talk about grief she gave me some notes on it. I haven’t looked at them closely but one of the pages has a chart on it. It is three circles over lapping each other in a triangle formation. Written in the top circle is denial, in the right side circle confrontation and in the third circle integration. Like I said I haven’t looked at this closely yet but just looking at it made me realize what I’ve known in a vague way.
I’m stepping out of denial and starting to confront the reality of my life. This is reason why I feel like I’m drowning in sadness. A sadness that has always been with me but never acknowledged for what it is and why it is.
I learned one other thing tonight as I walked into her office and sat before the blank sheet of paper that was waiting to be painted on. I am now aware of how bad the dissociation has gotten since I started down this path of discovery. It really does suck and I need to figure out a way to manage it. I can’t seem to figure dissociation out. It always seems like my sense of time and space is out of wack. It’s a weird sensation for me even though I experience often.
Where ever I go these days, the dissociated me is in the lead with the sad part of me trialing behind.
As hard and painful this ‘process’ (as therapists like to say!) is, I really hope I can work through it. At the very least learn how to manage it.