Posted by: Marie | November 15, 2010

(444) Maybe someone finally understands

Post #444
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, May 13, 2010]

It’s the day after my therapy session. As usual, my brain is running 90 miles an hour as I sort through everything that transpired.

I keep thinking about what Edward said about how I tried to get someone to figure out what had happened to me by acting out my story with my Barbie dolls and the charts . . .

As an adult, I have always remembered those activities as being activities I did in secret. I have always remembered the shame and the fear of being discovered. I have always remembered I didn’t want to be discovered. And yet, I now find myself wondering about a particular detail with the charts . . .

If it was so important to me to keep my fantasies secret, why did I post those charts on a door in one of the highest traffic areas of the house?

My bedroom was in our unfinished basement. I didn’t have to have my room down in the basement, I could have shared an upstairs bedroom with my older sister. But, I was very particular about my privacy, so I opted to stay downstairs in a bedroom with a cement floor and walls made of blankets hung from the main level’s floor joists.

At the back entrance of our house was a mudroom. On one end of the mudroom was the rear exterior door. On the opposite end was a doorway to the kitchen. On one sidewall of the mudroom was a window. On the other sidewall were a coat closet and the entrance to the basement stairs. To get to the basement, and to the washer and dryer in the basement, we had to go through the mudroom.

Our back yard was huge – a huge patio and a huge yard and a huge garden. And, the yard was not fenced so it gave us easy access to all of our immediate neighbors via the alley. It was common for the neighbors to knock on our back door instead of the front door.

My dad mostly used the back door because he was always dirty from work. He could come in from the garage through the back door and drop his dirty clothes in the mudroom. So, in our house, the backdoor, the mudroom and the coat closet in the mudroom got heavy use.

Vietnam by Martin Chen

The basement in our house was unheated and it was too cold to sleep down there during the coldest months. So, I slept upstairs in the living room, on the floor in a sleeping bag during those times. I kept my sleeping bag in the mudroom coat closet.

I remember it was mostly wintertime when I was using the charts to track the details of my fantasies. And, I posted the charts on the outside of the door of the coat closet in the mudroom. I have always thought it was so the charts would be close to my sleeping bag. But, if they were so secret, why didn’t I post them in my room downstairs? Or, why didn’t I keep them in a little notebook stashed somewhere? Or, I could have at least posted them on the inside of the coat closet door . . .

Maybe it is because I was hoping someone would figure it out. Maybe Edward is right about that.

My mom did ask me about the charts one time. I remember being very committed to answering honestly. So, I smiled coyly and said, “It’s a secret!” (That was an honest answer!)

My mom never brought it up again.

I wonder what would have happened if she would have. Would I have continued answering honestly? Would I have eventually told her about my fantasies? Would she have had the insight to know what such fantasies in a 10-year-old’s mind indicate?

I don’t know.

——-

I am so grateful to have found Edward. I am amazed at quickly we are making progress. It seems we get more accomplished in one hour than Mark and I were able to get accomplished in several hours. There is no drama, no power struggle . . . just a safe environment and quiet progress

For one thing, I have the space to tell my story. He encourages me to tell my story – all of it – in great detail – with all the emotion and sensations and questions I can incorporate. He wants me to really appreciate the pain I went through. Often I find myself trying to move quickly so I don’t take up too much time . . . and he encourages me to slow down.

I don’t ever remember feeling like I could slow down in my telling and in my talking in my life, especially as a child. I’ve always had to hurry to say what I wanted to say before the window of opportunity closed. It is so very different with Edward – amazingly different. I feel heard for the first time in my life.

Both Mark and Dr. Barb spent a lot of time telling me what I shouldn’t be doing. They kept telling me to just toughen up, stop doing the harmful stuff and start doing healthy stuff. But, they couldn’t seem to help me do that.

In sharp contrast, Edward congratulates me for having created coping mechanisms. I know he recognizes those coping mechanisms are harmful in many ways. And, he knows I also recognize that, so he doesn’t feel the need to preach at me about it. Instead, he assures me I’m doing the best I know how to do and, in time, I’ll do better. He assures me what I’m doing right now is appropriate and good . . . and I have every reason to proud of myself right now.

With Mark and Dr. Barb, I felt all the responsibility to “figure it out” even though I’m in a hole too deep to allow me to see my options. I felt like they were not capable of leading me in an effective direction. I have been very discouraged and I often wondered if I would find my way through.

But, Edward does seem to know what he is doing. For example, this week, when I was talking about my fantasies, he asked if my fantasies were about a young, small girl having painful sex with a large, adult male. I was surprised he could anticipate that being the case. I guess it wouldn’t be too difficult to make that leap, but the fact he did make that leap leads me to believe this is not the first time he has been down this road with a client.

I feel like I can relax into his leadership and expertise . . . and that is a huge relief. I have to laugh, though . . . I go through so many tissues during my session I might need to buy him a case of tissues for Christmas, LOL. Seriously, tears roll down my face for almost the entire session. I guess that indicates we are really getting to the heart of the matter.

I am so grateful I found him.


Responses

  1. Hi Marie, re the charts. I find it helpful to think in polarities. We often do and don’t want something known. We often split ourselves – eg someone behaves timidly but is afraid of their temper, someone keeps doing brave things but feels they need to overcome cowardice.

    It sounds like you and Edward are doing great things.

    • Hey, Evan –

      What you wrote about the polarities/splitting is very helpful to me . . . I hadn’t thought of that and it makes sense to me. I think you hit the nail on the head. Thank you!

      – Marie

  2. Excellent to hear of your good therapy experience Marie – it gives me hope that I’ll also find someone good. You do contribute to the therapy success though, by being wiling to plunge in and get emotional….I tend to hang back and need encouragement. Seems to be a combo of a good compatible therapist and your own ability to work very hard at therapy.

    • Hey, Ellen –

      I wish for you to find someone who can be truly helpful in your journey . . . I wish I could give you a ten step plan of how to do that, but I think we each have to find our own way in our own time. All I know to do is to encourage you to follow your instincts . . .

      Concerning the holding back vs. the plunging in . . . with my first two therapists, I found myself holding back a lot because the few times I dared to jump in, I received judgment and harsh words in response.

      The only reason I’m able to plunge in with Edward is because he has proven to me a significant number of times that there is no judgment with him. He leads with empathy, which is a totally new experience for me. But, it is what I need in order to feel safe enough to plunge in.

      I was holding back with him until he passed a number of “tests”. I think it is wise to “test” a therapist to see if his or her responses feel supportive to you. Not every therapist is going to be able to support you in the way you need to be supported. If that is not happening, it is time to move on.

      And . . . you are the only one who knows when you are feeling supported or not. I know you know . . . I am reading on your blog how your latest therapist is not supporting you. You know.

      But, if you aren’t yet ready to do what needs to be done in order to find what you need, then I suspect you have more work to do on your own to get ready. And that is okay . . . you have to move at your own pace. When you are ready, I know you’ll do what needs to be done to find that therapist.

      I’m pulling for you, Ellen!

      – Marie


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