Posted by: Marie | October 16, 2013

(877) Floating away – Part 5 of 5

Post #877
[Private journal entry written on Friday, June 22, 2012 about a conversation with my therapist – continued from previous post]

————–

Edward: (After a very long pause) Can you tell me what “this” is?

Me: The stuff about being broken and damaged and not ever being able to date . . . and believing that is never going to change . . . mostly it’s about my belief it is never going to be different . . . the hopelessness . . .

Edward: Ah, now I understand. Thank you for clarifying that for me.

Me: We can’t have this conversation . . . it is too painful.

Edward: We don’t have to have this conversation.

Me: (Still with my eyes closed) Well, at some point I have to have this conversation with someone . . . I just don’t feel safe enough to have it right now with you.

Edward: We – you – never have to have this conversation. No one is requiring that of you.

————–

Once again, we fell into silence.

I pondered how else I could begin to navigate the course between the chainsaw noise and my car . . . then Edward interrupted my thoughts . . .

————–

Edward: Would you like for me to leave the room?

(I nodded my head as relief flooded over me)

Edward: Okay, I’ll go take a restroom break and then I’ll come back in and check in with you after that.

(I nodded again as a few tears rolled down my face)

————–

Once Edward was out of the room, I found it pretty easy to move my focus back into the room, take a few breaths and open my eyes. I blew my nose and wiped the tears and snot off my chin . . . and I sat and waited for him to return.

He was gone for only four or five minutes . . . I heard his outer office door open and gently close . . . from the outer room, he checked in with me . . .

————–

Edward: I’m back . . .

Are you ready for me to come back into that room . . . have you had enough time? Or, would you like for me to go away for a bit longer?

Me: I’m ready for you to come back.

(He came into the inner room and sat down in his chair . . . we sat without speaking for another minute or so . . . I made a little bit of eye contact with him to let him know I was back . . . )

Edward: Would you like for me to talk first or would you like to talk?

(221)

Photo by Martin Chen

Me: I’d like for you to talk first.

Edward: Let me start this way . . .

I’m struck by how incredibly painful this topic is for you . . . based upon what I just witnessed, I know that this topic is so painful for you that you almost cannot tolerate talking about it.

I am also struck by your courage . . . despite the level of pain you feel around the topic, you tolerated the dialogue . . .

Congratulations! Well done, Marie!

Me: But, I didn’t tolerate the dialogue . . . I left the room . . . I dissociated . . . so, I didn’t tolerate it.

Edward: You stepped outside for a few minutes, but you came back . . . and you were able to communicate with me while you were out, so I was able to know what was happening with you. That helped me to know how to help you . . .

Sometimes when we become overwhelmed like that, stepping back – physically or psychologically – is a healthy, self-preserving response . . . it allows us to take a break and then come back.

You handled this well . . . you went away, you used your voice to communicate to me what was happening, and then you came back . . . it was really, really painful for you to tolerate this, and we haven’t resolved it yet, but you came back . . . and now we are completing the conversation, at least we are completing it to the extent we need to in order to wrap it up for today.

So, congratulations!

Me: Okay . . . thank you . . . I guess I can see how this is a big accomplishment . . .

Edward: Yes . . .

It seems to me that you came back into the room pretty quickly . . . is that true?

Me: Yes, it was pretty easy for me to come back once you were gone.

Edward: (After another long pause) Where are you with this now?

Me: I’m glad that you are now aware how painful this is for me, and that you know how easily I can get triggered by your questions . . . but, I’m also really frustrated by how painful it is . . . if I can’t tolerate your questions . . . which were reasonable and very gentle . . . how are we going to have a conversation around this . . . ?? How am I going to work my way through this?

Edward: I don’t know . . . but we will figure it out together. I will stay right with you and we will figure it out together.

Me: Okay . . . thank you . . .

(After a reflective pause) I keep hearing my dad’s voice saying, “Any reasonable, intelligent person would be able to get through this fairly easily by using logic to overcome the silly thoughts, and make things happen and to be able to live within reality and let go of the old ideas and thoughts.”

That keeps running, over and over, in my head.

Edward: Is that what you are hearing me say?

Me: No . . . it’s just my dad’s voice running rampant in my head . . . your questions are sometimes triggering for me and they sometimes cause my dad’s voice to get really loud and persistent.

But, I’m clear that you are not saying that.

Edward: Okay . . . good.

Me: (Looking over towards the clock) I can’t see the clock . . . how much time do we have left?

Edward: We have maybe five or eight minutes.

Me: Are we done?

Edward: Are you ready to be done?

Me: Yeah . . . I’m pretty wiped out.

Edward: Okay, we can wrap things up . . .

Before you go, let me say this . . .

I hear that you are concerned you won’t be able to tolerate my questions.

I believe that you are able to tolerate my questions. However, my promise to you is that I will be very, very careful about how I ask those questions . . . I am aware of how incredibly painful this topic is for you and I will take great care in how I approach it with you.

(With a touch of humor) And, if, at any point, the conversation becomes too overwhelming for you, you can always tell me to fuck off.

(I grinned a little in response, then I got serious again . . . )

Me: I really don’t want to tell you to fuck off.

Edward: Since it is your dad’s voice you are hearing, then maybe you need to tell your dad to fuck off . . .

Me: Okay . . . I know what you are saying . . .

But, if I tell you to fuck off . . . do you know that I don’t really want you to fuck off?

(Getting a bit emotional again) I don’t really want you to leave . . .

Edward: Yes, I do know that.

Me: I might be saying something like that, but I don’t really want you to fuck off or leave . . .

Edward: I know that . . . and if you do want me to leave for a moment, I won’t go away for very long and I won’t go very far . . . or if you prefer, I won’t leave at all. I will remain available to you through all of it, I promise.

(And with that, we wrapped up.)

Quotes 787


Responses

  1. That was quite a session

    • It was an important one!!


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