Posted by: Marie | October 11, 2011

(599) Brave new frontiers – Part 1 of 3

Post #599
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, April 6, 2011]

Today was therapy session day . . .

After the last session, I realized that I would like to include the drawings I did in that session in my blog post about the session. So, through an email conversation, Edward and I agreed that he would give the drawings back to me today. We took care of that right off the bat so we wouldn’t forget. Then we launched into the meaningful stuff . . .

———————-

Edward: I read your email . . . where are you at with all of that?

Me: Actually, I’m feeling like I’m in a powerful place with it right now. I’m feeling strong.

Photo by Martin Chen

I’m learning that as soon as I capture what I so greatly fear in my status email and as soon as I hit the send button, the fear starts losing its power. That was the case with this last email . . . as soon as I sent the email, the flashbacks started being less powerful.

And, while talking about the idea of slashing at my dad’s face with his leather belt would be uncomfortable, it still feels doable to me. That that is a totally different place from where I was with it a week ago.

But, that seems to always happen when I write something like that in my status email – I’m learning it can be helpful to use that phenomena in my healing process to remove power from some heavy things.

Edward: That sounds like a powerful tool for you. I’m glad you’ve discovered it!

Me: Me, too!

And, on a related matter . . . I’ve been having some unusual dreams this past week. I’ve had dreams probably four different nights during the last week. They’ve all been a bit different but with the same theme . . . a female ninja-like person kidnaps me along with a handful of other people. Nothing violent happens – she keeps us locked up in some room or drives a van around with us in the back.

Then, after a couple of hours, either I save us or I lead a few of us in saving ourselves. We pin her down and take away her weapons, or we sneak away when she isn’t looking, or I get a secret message to someone to call the police.

You know how some dreams can be so emotionally charged and you wake up shaking and crying and terrified? Well, these dreams are not like that. They are rather hum-drum . . . just like I was watching a show on TV and was not very vested in it. There is no emotion and I almost can’t remember the dreams.

I don’t know what they mean, but I find it interesting that they have shown up four different times this week. I’m sure there is some meaning in that.

Edward: Yeah, I’d agree with that. Do you have any ideas . . . any guesses . . . what that might be?

Me: No, I really don’t.

(He sat quietly and watched me . . . that steady gaze that I never know how to respond to. I can never maintain eye contact when he does that because it is too intense. Yet, part of me enjoys having his attention that intensely . . . knowing that he is 100% present with me. Because I didn’t know what else to do, I dug around in the corners of my brain until I found something worth mentioning . . . something to fill the silence . . . )

Me: There’s something I still don’t understand . . . I still haven’t figured out why I cared so much about gaining the approval of my dad. I knew from very early on that I was never going to measure up to his standards. I stopped hoping for that to happen at a very young age. Yet, I never stopped trying to get as close to that mark as possible. I don’t know why.

Edward: Is it possible the reason is because your survival depended upon it? I suspect you weren’t working towards gaining his approval specifically, but instead, you were trying to keep him “happy” with you so you would get hit less.

Me: Yeah, that makes sense.

(After some more thought . . . ) And then, there is my relationship with my mom when I was a kid . . . several sessions back, I mentioned that I always worked so hard on my relationship with my dad, but that I never developed a relationship with my mom until I was an adult and until after my dad died.

You responded that you believed I had given up on having a relationship with her at a very early age – as if I had a choice at one point and decided it was not worth the effort because it was never going to happen. Your response didn’t ring true for me . . . it still doesn’t. I’m still trying to figure out that dynamic with my mom.

Edward: Tell me more about that dynamic . . .

Me: My memories of her are of her being more of a “thing” rather than a person . . . she was just the woman who fed me, sewed and washed my clothes, gave me baths . . . she was like a robot to me. I never saw her as a separately functioning human being . . . well, at least not until I neared adulthood. I don’t remember ever even trying to have a relationship with her. It was as if it never dawned on me that I should or could have a relationship with her.

On the other hand, I always saw my dad as a human being who had needs and feelings and preferences – which created an interactive relationship that I had to do my best to navigate.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact my dad was always very vocal about his feelings and opinions, where mom never expressed hers. She seemed like this potted plant that sat in the corner of the room. I never knew she had any opinions or feelings to express, so there was no interactive relationship to navigate.

Edward: Do you think she didn’t feel safe enough to express her opinions and feelings . . . just as you didn’t feel safe enough to do so?

Me: Yeah, you are probably right. My dad controlled and overrode everyone’s individual expression. I imagine that included my mom’s individual expression. I guess I’ve never considered that.

Edward: Is it possible that you didn’t have time or energy to consider developing a relationship with the potted plant in the corner because avoiding being hit took all your resources? Why would you even consider investing resources in a potted plant that offered minimal threat when you had a bully always standing over you, threatening your very soul?

(I nodded, then I fell silent . . . again, he sat and quietly watched me . . . again, I couldn’t hold his gaze, I looked down and around . . . then, because I was uncomfortable with the silence, I again blurted out the first thing that came to my mind . . .)

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


Responses

  1. This session is certainly dealing with some deep stuff. Looking forward to how it develops. I am left with an image of a female ninja. I’ll be interested to see if that comes up later in the session.


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