Posted by: Marie | October 18, 2013

(879) This terror-laden thing

Post #879
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, June 24, 2012]

I sent an email to Edward today:

————–

Hi, Edward –

So . . . I’ve been processing the stuff that came to the surface during our session on Friday . . .

On Friday, the emotions and somatic memories and flashbacks were so intense that I couldn’t stay present with them. I’ve been allowing a little bit of that at a time to come into my consciousness so I can process it (does that make sense?) and here is what is coming to light:

1) In certain relationships, I have learned to feel comfortable (and to show up authentically) when there is emotional intimacy – for example, in my relationship with you. In certain other relationships, I have learned to feel comfortable (and to show up authentically) when there is physical closeness – for example, with my piano students and with my mom.

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Photo by Martin Chen

2) The thought of experiencing both emotional intimacy and physical closeness within the same relationship, especially when the relationship is with a man, is terrifying for me. For example, the idea of sitting within a foot or two of you for more than about 10 seconds creates extreme anxiety for me. If we were that close and were also sitting face-to-face, looking at each other, the terror increases ten-fold . . . and I am more comfortable with you than I am with any other man in the world. The idea of doing that with any other man feels even more impossible to me.

3) I believe physical closeness (as described above) requires me to tense up and hold my breath and stop moving so that I can put all my energy into being what I’m supposed to be in order to survive that closeness. I have to remain on high-alert and I have to be compliant in order to survive. It is not a safe space and I have no control in that space. I can only hold that posture for a few minutes before it becomes intolerable.

4) If a sexual component is added to the mixture (obviously not in our therapeutic relationship, but rather in relationships in general), my anxiety goes even higher . . . and I’m not even able to stay in my body when I seriously consider that possibility.

5) I am learning to trust men to some extent largely due to the trust I have learned to put in you . . . because you have earned that trust and because I’ve had the courage to place my trust in you. That is huge. I know, logically, that it is possible for me to someday learn to trust a man within a romantic dynamic. However, that feels impossible to me right now . . . I am convinced that part of my capacity to trust has been permanently destroyed and cannot be rebuilt.

This whole thing is so terror-laden that it is very difficult for me to even write this and send it. It feels much safer to keep it a secret, all to myself. But, that doesn’t help anything, so here it is . . .

Okay, that’s all for now . . . thank you for the awesome support you provided on Friday . . . it was a tough session but I can feel that a layer of the terror slid off of me as a result of our work together on Friday.

Take care!

– Marie

Quotes 789


Responses

  1. I tend to think our first requirement in healing / changing something is to be able to pin it down in words, so this seems a really good step here.

    • I agree, Ellen . . . it really helps to have an actual relationship with Edward in which I can test behaviors/thoughts/feelings and take the time to stop and see what’s underneath . . .


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