This is going to be messy and unedited, and well, just scattered. It’s my early morning pre-therapy thoughts.
It’s early morning, and I’m drinking my coffee before I shower and get ready for therapy. I’m tired, I did not sleep well last night. There were no nightmares, just restlessness, and waking up with the feeling that I was not safe, was not okay.
The nightmare that plagued me, the one that has been accepted as a memory, has been with me nightly, until last night. For the last week, I have been setting an alarm every two hours: it’s a protocol for a child with night terrors, designed to interrupt and stop the night terror. It finally seems to have worked.
After the first few nights, the memory seemed to start earlier, at an earlier point in time, prior to the events that I has already remembered. These were fairly benign events, but had they gone the way my childhood self wanted everything that night, at least, would have been different.
Bea and I have backed off from talking. It’s been about safety. I know that matters, I know I need to be safe, and the truth is I’m not safe. But, this is not over, either. I’ve had flashbacks of this memory, and the nightmares were gone last night, but I couldn’t really sleep and the alarm was still set. I think we might need to break the rules, and try to talk about it anyway, safety be damned. The truth is, I’m not going to be safe right now, I’m not sure I want to stop my behaviors right now, but I think I need to process this stupid memory.
Which leads me to another problem: talking. I’m terrible at it. Bea knows the memory, I have written it out, and given it to her. I sat there while she read it. She talked about it. I talked around it. But I have not actually talked about it. After I had written it all out to her, and we had talked around it, which in my mind meant I had talked about it, I came back to therapy a little mad at Bea. I told her I was still having the nightmare. I told her that she said talking about it meant I would process it, and that the nightmare would be gone. I told her “I talked and it’s not gone!”
She just smiled with understanding, and said to me, “Alice, you wrote it out, you wrote out your feelings then and now. You wrote out the details of it. You were brave to share it. But you didn’t talk about it. I talked about it, and you listened, you let me talk, which is again brave and more than you would have done a few months ago. And you responded a little, and you questioned some things. But you haven’t really talked about it, or dealt with it, which means you haven’t processed it yet.” Bea might be kind and understanding, but she won’t lie.
So, I think I need to talk. Which means telling Bea, that I want to talk about the nightmare, when she has declared a ban on all things scary and mandated safety. And I get it, I do. Afterall, I’m the one who told her I needed help; I didn’t want to fall back down the that particular rabbit hole.
So……I’ll tell her I want to talk, and then not be able to. Great plan. Maybe I’ll just talk about something simple instead, like what my behavior has been like this weekend and why.