Posted by: Marie | August 12, 2011

(574) What the hell is this?

Post #574
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, January 26, 2011]

In the week or so following my last therapy session, I have been very emotionally fragile. I’ve cried myself to sleep pretty much every night . . . and I’ve cried at times during the day when I have quiet moments . . . and I’ve had dreams about my dad (or people who represent my dad) saying damning things to me, ignoring me, being dismissive of me . . . then, in the dreams, I feel the same waves of emotional pain I experience in the therapy session . . . and I wake up crying . . .

It takes forever to fall asleep at night. Then, I wake up in the middle of the night with my body frozen with tension – like a rubber band stretched tight. My legs itch to move and it is impossible to lie still. I have to move my legs. Sometimes I “run” in bed as a way to burn off that extra energy in my legs. I lie there in the dark, desperately wishing myself back to sleep.

Just as I start to get my legs to relax and my brain to relax, I’ll get hit with a memory flash of the pain of being hit with the belt. I don’t feel actual pain in my body, but my whole body jerks awake with the remembering of the pain of being hit.

Photo by Martin Chen

Then, I’m flooded with the memory of having to “get over” being hit as quickly as possible. I was allowed to rejoin my family after being punished only when I was able to pretend that nothing had happened – when I was able to pretend I had processed the “lesson” and was back to being a happy, compliant child. I clearly remember the surreal sense of floating and of being split between the acute awareness of the pain my body was still experiencing and having to smile and carry on conversations as if nothing happened.

In the mornings, after doing battle all night, I have difficulty waking up enough to function. This is really tough. I wonder how long it will continue.

I’ve been having a hard time moving forward in my healing journey because I spent the weeks since the last therapy session just trying to catch my breath . . . it feels like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. I feel as if I dare not rock the boat because I’d fall into the water and drown – or, I’m on a ledge and don’t dare wiggle for fear of falling off the cliff to my death. And, I’m doing battle with the voice in my head telling me that I’m being overly dramatic . . . that damn voice never takes a break and I still don’t know how to put it in it’s place. It still has so much power over me.

I’m trying to figure out what the hell this pain is . . . I thought I had come to a peaceful place with what my dad did. I thought I was ready to move beyond that. But, now, here is another whole layer to the pain. What the fuck? How many layers are there? And why is this one so unbearably painful?

I’m embarrassed to admit to Edward how much it is affecting me. I want to tell him how bad it is because 1) I think he needs to know so he can better support me and 2) I would feel better if I can “cry on his shoulder” about how bad it is hurting. But, I am (as usual) so afraid of appearing to be overly dramatic . . . I’m afraid of even admitting to myself how much it hurts because then I might actually BE overly dramatic rather than just appearing to be. I hate that voice . . . I don’t know how to shut it up.

I thought I had reached a good place with the processing of what my parents did . . . so, what the hell is this?

I sent Edward a status report today in preparation of our next session . . .

Hi, Edward –

I trust you are doing well . . .

So, to give you an idea of where I’m at . . . I’m pretty much in the same place I was when I left your office last — feeling overwhelmed and very fragile. The last two weeks have been challenging for me on an emotional level — I’ve been simply trying to catch my breath and to not crash. Obviously, the intensity of the emotions has faded some as days have passed, but it still “gets me” every once in a while in the less busy moments.

I’m still trying to figure out what the heck we’ve tapped into — apparently it’s something major. I don’t regret what we did in the last session because I believe it is (will be?) healing. It’s just that the aftermath has been very challenging.

I look forward to meeting with you on Wednesday.

– Marie


Dear Marie

Thanks for the update.

I appreciate your sharing regarding how impacted you were by the last session, and look forward to continuing to work together to support you in this deep healing journey.



  1. Hi Marie, It does sound like you tapped into some major stuff.

    I think that you know you are getting through stuff by monitoring the age when the trauma happened. If you are dealing with stuff that is pre-verbal then this is likely the big stuff.

    Someone I know found that as they got more stable then they’d find that more stuff came up – as they say, “This sucks!”

    I hope that you have got some healing for these things since you wrote this.

    • Hmmmm, Even . . . interesting idea . . .

      How would one know when one is moving into pre-verbal stuff? I mean, how would I know when the feelings are from verbal times or non-verbal times? Or, is is defined by whether I now have language for it or not?

      – Marie

  2. this was hard to read. i’m sorry you were so badly hurt. i hope you can continue to be gentle with yourself as you continue to heal. it’s been my experience that healing happens in layers. like an onion. i revisit the same pain again, often at a deeper level, as i move on in therapy. all i can say is try and stay with the feelings, experience them fully, and share as openly as possible with edward. thinking of you, c.

    • Hey, Catherine –

      I found it interesting that you mention the “onion” because that is exactly how my therapist explained it to me in the next session. I think that is a great explanation for it!

      Thank you for all the warm wishes . . . I trust you will find continued healing!

      – Marie

  3. Hi Marie, if it’s pre-verbal you will just be feeling the feelings and not be wanting to yell words, you’ll feel that you don’t have the words.

    I’m not suggesting anything bad did happen to you this early – just that tracking the age you feel is one way of knowing that you are getting through the stuff.

    • Ah! That makes it easier to understand . . . thank you for the additional info!

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