Dealing with the past to live in the present

This is my post about last Monday’s session. I wasn’t ready to share some things in it, which is why I password protected it. I had originally written out part of the memory I’m currently dealing with but I’m choosing to omit that here, for the time being.

I’m dreading therapy today. I know I should talk about the text my mom sent, and all my feelings about it. I get so confused and tangled up though, I don’t want to go near it. I think I should tell Bea about the cat, it’s probably weird if I don’t. But then we would have to talk about Kat and her reaction which would inevitably lead to the text with my mom. So instead, I sit on the couch, legs curled up, and I address the fact that every Monday I arrive in an anxious panic that I will be late. Of course, I have never been more than 3 minutes late, and Bea really doesn’t seem to get stressed out over these things. But it bother me.

“Is it possible, can we just agree that on Mondays I have until 8:15 to get here? And I won’t text that I’m running late unless I’m going to be past that?”

Bea looks at me. She doesn’t appear overly surprised, but maybe confused. “Well, yes….we can do that, but I don’t think you’ve ever been late, aside from that time we were both late, and that was only a few minutes, anyways.”

“I know, I know. But the nanny just isn’t going to get to my house any earlier, and every Monday I am anxious that I’ll be late, and even if I’m not, it’s the idea that I will be, could be, am almost going to be late that makes it so awful. I never know if I should or shouldn’t let you know, or if it doesn’t matter, and then if I say I’m going to be late and then I’m not, I think it’s silly…”

“Ahhhh. I really don’t get upset about a few minutes late,” Bea says.

“I know. But I do. I would just feel so much better if I knew it was really not late as long as I was here by 8:15.” I’m squeezing my coffee cup as if I’m holding onto it for dear life, I’m so anxious over asking for this. I hate asking for anything, especially if I don’t already know the answer.

“Okay, then. As long as you are here between 8 and 8:15, you won’t be late.” It’s as simple as that. Bea doesn’t mind, it’s okay. She said it’s okay.

We talk about being late, and how Hubby and I have different definitions of on time, so I have to give him an earlier time for the event or whatever to start. Bea tells me about a friend of hers who is late for everything, and is truly never effected or upset to be running late.

“The funny thing is, I don’t care when other people are late. It’s doesn’t upset me, unless it’s making me late, and then it just gives me anxiety, it doesn’t upset me towards them,” I say.

Bea takes a drink of her tea, and leans back in her chair. “So it doesn’t change your opinion of them as a person, if they are late?”

“Right.”

She looks right at me then, and I have a feeling I’m not going to like this. “I guess the question is then, why do you have to be held to such high standards?”

Yeah, I don’t like this question at all. I shake my head. “I don’t know. It’s just how it is. I can’t be late.”

“I don’t want to say being a time person is a trauma thing, but it’s definitely a control thing. It’s an anxiety thing, too, one that almost feeds itself as you worry about being late, the more anxious you get, and then the more worried and upset over being late you become. Do you think you’ve always been a time person? Can you remember?”

This is easy. “Yeah. My mom was a time person. She would be all stressed out about being late, and I would panic right alongside her. My brother would just ignore it all.”

“And is your mom ever really, truly late?”

“No, rarely. She is almost always early, for everything,” I tell Bea.

There’s a pause for moment, and I can see the wheels turning in Bea’s head. She’s thinking, and she is wondering. “What about your Dad? How is he about time?”

I want to laugh out loud. Taking a drink of coffee, I explain, “My family has a name for the time my dad and his brothers and a bunch of the men on that side run on. They call it Tyler Time. That’s how late they are, all the time, they get their own time.”

Bea smiles, because the whole notion of Tyler Time is a bit absurd, and silly, I suppose, but it’s something everyone on my father’s side knows about. “That has to drive your mom nuts. How does she deal with it?”

“I don’t know. She makes plans without him. They drive separate cars. He drives her batty a lot. Like, see, it’s a horrible time discrepancy, because there is no schedule or time with Tyler Time. A few years ago, I think the summer before I had Kat, my parents were going to go buy new bikes. So my mom is ready to go by like 10:00am. My dad isn’t even out of his chair, when he does get up to get ready, he doesn’t go to shower, he starts cooking himself breakfast. So now, of course, my mom has to clean the kitchen. Well, dad won’t shower when the dishwasher is running. So he has to wait. And then it just goes on and on. They went bike shopping at 5:00pm that night. I mean, this is Tyler Time.”

We talk about how, in a way, my dad was off doing his own thing, not following the rules of my mom exactly, but at the same time, he had his own standards he expected people to meet. We talk a bit about my Dad, my Mom, their relationship, and then Bea moves to my relationship with my Dad. I have to set my coffee down, and sit more upright, with my knees pulled into my chest. This whole turn of conversation makes me very uncomfortable. I don’t have any idea how to answer her questions, how to explain my Dad.

“This is how he was, just off in his own world if it didn’t apply to him. When my parents made me….when I was doing homestudy, I had an early morning class at the college, at 8:00am. Just the one in the mornings. So I was to come home after. Well, I did that day and my dad was home, when he was normally at work. He asked me where I had been, and I said school, college. Then he asked if I’d been out all night. I was like, ‘um…no. I was home and then I went to school, dad’. But that’s how he was. He wasn’t normally home at that time, so he had no clue.”

“Were you upset that he asked you where you were? Maybe hurt or angry?” Bea asks me.

“No, that’s the thing. I was more shocked than anything, more like ‘what do you means?!’ But not mad. It was just another thing of dad being clueless dad.”

We sit for a few minutes, me curled into myself, feeling a little floaty and nervous, Bea calm and grounded. “Do you have any memories of your dad really connecting with you? Maybe like little gems, things not in his usual nature? I just think Moms are the ones who nurture and love us, and they are always there, but kids get something different from their Dads. I don’t know, it’s like Dads help build confidence and they have this almost larger-than-life-God-like presence for a child….moms, we are always around, and we matter, but Dads just seem to give something different.”

I feel like she is looking for something, searching for something, maybe wanting me to see something. I think through memories I have with my Dad. I don’t really think I have any of the kind of memory she is talking about, unless I count last weekend. “I don’t know…no…I just…no.” I feel like I failed, somehow, either I don’t have a memory, or I didn’t understand the question. But I can’t answer it, I have failed.

Bea asks again, as if she is making sure, and when I shake my head, she says, “My uncle was that type, not talkative, manly, you know. When my dad died, I was young only 25.” I look up at her then, I’m sad for her, it’s not fair. She looks okay, sad, but like she’s okay with it, as much as a person can be. I want to tell her I’m sorry, but I don’t want to interrupt. “I remember my uncle coming and standing around me, near me. He didn’t say anything, but I could feel that he wanted to offer me some comfort. So it’s something I always remember about my uncle.”

My Grandpa, I have many moments like that. The sweet, emotional memories. My dad? He’s my dad. I believed he would always save me, that he was stronger than anyone or anything. I felt safe when he was around. Even now, I know he would come if I needed him. But emotional memories? No. “The closest I can think of is when my dad and his brothers drank a few too many beers and chose that time to teach me how to drive in the winter. They ditched my car in a few snowbanks–” I look up and smile, almost laugh, “I can get out of any snowbank now! Then they took me to the middle school and had me drive in the back parking lot that was iced over while they yanked the e-brake up. They taught me to control my car in a spin out on black ice. I’m a really safe winter driver.”

“Unless it was done meanly—”

I interrupt Bea, “No, none of it was mean, it was good natured. They might have poked fun at me, but they really wanted me to know what to do.”

“Then I’d say that’s one of those moments that could really build confidence. To know how to get out of a snowbank at age 16, and to have your Dad teach you that and be there to see you succeed? That’s a huge confidence boost.”

I shrug my shoulders, I guess. I don’t know. Maybe. I’m confused. I don’t know if I reply outloud or not.

Somehow, the conversation turns to when my mother was hospitalized for her eating disorder. I’m not sure what led to this. Surely something about my Dad and my mom and me. Maybe how my dad is kind of emotionally unconnected? I don’t know.

“When your mom went to the hospital, you were in 4th grade?” Bea asks.

I nod. I was nine. But I don’t say the words. I’m kind of stuck. This is such a hard thing to talk about.

“You were convinced this was your fault…because of the underwear.” She says it as a statement, but it’s almost like a question, something I need to respond to.

“Yeah.” A whisper is all I can get out. My throat is dry, and I want my coffee, but I don’t want to move.

“How long after the underwear incident did she get sick and go to the hospital?” Bea is asking a lot of questions today, more than normal, but I’m struggling to talk without them, and she seems to be following some kind of idea, or thought about something. When I don’t answer right away, she asks me gently, “Do you know?”

I nod. I kind of know. “A week, a month, maybe two. Not long, I don’t think…..I don’t know.” I pause. I want to say the two memories are just linked together, that they seem instantaneous in my mind, even though I know that isn’t what happened. I try to get words out, but they show up as barely there whispers, just the word “they” floating almost silently on the air.

Bea hears it anyway, or maybe she sees my lips move because she says, “They what?”

I turn my head and look at the paisley print on the throw pillow next to me. It’s red and blue. I stare at the red part of the pattern. “They……they just seem…….like…they are linked.” I look up at her.

Bea nods at me. She appears to think what I’ve said makes all the sense in the world. “Yes, they almost would have to be.”

I think I should tell her it all runs together and seems to be one memory, in a way. I don’t though. I just stare at her, feeling kind of blank and not here, but here. I wonder if I’m on her nerves, not talking like this, I hope not.

“Did you stay with your Grandma?”

“No….we stayed home, my grandma and my aunt alternated staying with us.” Plus my dad was there. And the Smiths, right next door.

“So, she was probably gone longer than a few days. If your grandma and your aunt took turns staying and helping,” Bea suggests.

“It seems a long time. It seemed like forever. But a week can be forever when you’re a kid.”

“That’s true. Was she in the psych ward?”

I have no idea. The hospital. I always assumed some kind of eating disorder inpatient program. Maybe not. I have no clue. I shake my head.

Bea looks at me, and she has kindness on her face. “Do you remember what they told you? What your dad told you? Maybe your grandma or your aunt talked to you about it?”

“Just…..mom was sick, and had to go to the hospital. The doctors would make her better. She would be okay. I don’t know. The kind of stuff you’d tell a kid.”

“What about you and your brother? Did you guys talk about her being in the hospital?”

“Not really. I just repeated what the adults told us. I wanted him to be okay.” This revelation of caring and feeling responsible for my brother sends us off on a tangent, Bea asking if I looked after my brother, tried to take care of him, if I did things like walk him to his classroom on the first day of school, that kind of stuff. I tell her I don’t know. Because I don’t. I remember when he fell off the slide at school, I fought with the teacher to stay with him until my mom got there. He needed stitches, and he was hurt, and I was not leaving him. I know everyone remembers where they were on September 11. I really don’t. I was at college, but what class, or if I was in the student center, I don’t know, I don’t remember. But after the TV’s were turned on, and I made sense of what the news was reporting, all I remember is grabbing my stuff and running for my car. My only thought was to get to my brother’s school and get him. That’s what I remember. So I suppose there is a caretaker feeling towards him. I don’t know. I just needed to get him from school, to know he was safe. By the time my mom called me, I was already pulling out of the school parking lot, my little brother with me. But I don’t say any of that.

Bea backs up, maybe because I’m not answering, maybe because she doesn’t think this is going to be helpful to look at right now. “Did you visit your mom?”

“No.”

“That was a lot that you were dealing with then, that’s a lot of pressure on a kid, to take on all that blame, don’t you think? Were you scared? Worried?” Bea picks up her tea, takes a drink. She’s looking at me with a curious expression, one I can’t place. Maybe she is simply trying to figure out what is going on with me. I don’t know. I feel half numb, half ripped open and raw, too overwhelmed to be talking about this. But the overwhelmed parts feel buried in a way, deep down, and the numb is what is on top, at the surface. Numb is what Bea has to be seeing. Maybe some of the other, I don’t know.

I think again that Bea is looking for something, but I don’t know what she wants me to say. “I don’t know. It was just my fault. All my fault.” I shake my head. I don’t know what I think anymore. Maybe I still believe it, sometimes. I know I still hold onto the childish belief that I must never let mom get sick like that again, I need to be a good girl and never ever make her sick again.

Bea says something about the child part of me feeling to blame. That the grown up part knows it’s not my fault. She asks about my mom’s reaction to the underwear again, and she double checks that it wasn’t long after that she got so sick. “You were nine. How old was your mom then?”

I try to do the math in my head, but I’ve never been good at math. “30? My age, a year older maybe?” It comes out in a whisper. I don’t know why.

“30. That’s a hard age. I think it’s an age when we start examining things, sometimes things come up for us….like you have had happen.” Bea says.

I think again. “She was 21 when she got pregnant with me.”

“Oh. Wow. That’s young. She was young. How old was she when she got married?” Bea asks.

“18.”

We sit in silence for a minute, and then Bea says, “I wonder, we know your mom has a need for control, and perfection and emotions are hard for her. And she couldn’t face what was happening…the underwear incident. It’s almost like that was a huge trigger for her. It makes me wonder if she was sexually abused.”

I shake my head. I have no idea. I can’t even think, or wonder about this. It’s too much. I’ve read how moms who have been sexually abused are often blind to their own kids being hurt in the same way. I can’t go there. Nope. Not today.

“But of course you didn’t have anyone telling you that it wasn’t your fault. And you would have had no idea that it wasn’t your fault, that there had been a trigger for your mom.”

“No…no one talks about anything in my family. Not then, not even now.” I feel numb. I feel like I sound dead, flat voice. I’m mad about it, but I won’t feel it. Mad is not allowed.

“Was he around then?” We both know who the he refers to, when Bea asks this. I’m not looking at her, but she speaks softly, “I hope not. That would have been too much to bear on top of how you were already feeling and why.”

I don’t know if I react, I think I am withdrawn into my head enough that I don’t. I stare at the dollhouse, the wood floor. I don’t answer, I can’t. I feel sick. I wonder if I tell Bea that I think I might be sick if she will think I am really sick like with the flu, or if she will realize it’s a memory making me ill. I don’t say anything though.

I don’t know how long she waits, but I know it can’t be very long, because Bea won’t let me sit in silence and panic, and she won’t want me going too far away, either. “Do you remember if he was around?”

I’m frozen, but my defense is to try to pretend I’m not. I can’t let anyone know how broken I am, how crazy I am. I can’t answer though. Yes. Yes, I remember. Yes, he was around. On a Sunday. Our families had gone to church, like usual, just minus my mom. My Dad had insisted I wear my wool tights. They itched. I’m in Bea’s office but my legs feel itchy. I hate this. I feel like I might be losing my mind.

“You might not remember,” she says. Bea’s tone suggests that it’s perfectly okay not to remember. She pauses, giving me time to respond, but when I don’t she continues. “You might not know this, but how did your mom end up in the hospital, anyway? What started that?”

“I think it was the doctors she worked for. Well, family friends, really. Dan and Pam.” I answer, almost on automatic. I’m aware that I’m in Bea’s office, that we are talking, but it feels like background noise, far away, almost not real. What feels real is a Sunday, 22 years ago, when he walked me back to my house so I could change out of my hated itchy tights. I’m stuck in this memory of horrible things I’ve done, and I can’t get out.

“They were both doctors?” Bea asks.

“No. Well yes. They weren’t married. Dan’s 3 girls and his wife were a group we camped with, did beach days with. Pam was around with her husband, too, but not as much.” It’s automatic again, to answer, to try to act fine. But I’m trying to think. Didn’t I tell Bea the beginning of that memory? I thought I did. I thought I told her the beginning and the end. But she doesn’t seem to have any recollection of it. To know that he was there. So maybe I only thought I told her. Crap. I can’t tell her if I already told her part, and she forgot. That would hurt my feelings. But, if I only think I told her….then, am I losing it? Crap!

Now Bea is surprised. “The doctors she worked for– they were family friends? I didn’t realize everything was so….entangled.”

“I don’t know. My parents grew up there. Most of their friends did, too. You go to the same church, the same schools, the same clubs and classes for your kids. I don’t know. You end up a group, I guess.”

“Well, yeah, that’s true. There’s even that kind of group here, in a much bigger area, where everyone knows everyone because they all grew up here. I was just surprised. I didn’t realize.” I wonder if that matters, what Bea possibly sees that I don’t see. “But, right, it would make sense that doctors she worked for would notice a problem and maybe do something about it.”

I nod. It’s always been my assumption. I don’t think she chose to go. My mom didn’t change when she came home. Nothing changed.

“Do you remember her coming home?”

My mind feels like it might explode. Now I’m remembering that day, and that Sunday, and I’m trying to focus on Bea, and I’m trying to hold in all the overwhelming and mixed up feelings I have about my mom seeming to be more open in present day. It’s just too much. I blink back tears, and shake my head at Bea, not in answer to her question, but more of a this is no good.

“You might not remember. If you do remember, maybe she hugged you, or wanted to talk to you? Maybe things went back to normal, or maybe she needed to recuperate after being in the hospital?”

Finally I tell her. “I hid. I hid in my room. My grandma had to come get me, make me come out.” I hate that I did that. I made her sick, and then when she finally comes home, I don’t want to see her? What kind of awful daughter was I?

“Hmmmm….that’s interesting that you hid from her, when she came home.” Bea says.

“Why?” I ask. She is sounding slightly shrinky, and my immediate response is to question that, I don’t like shrinky, I don’t trust shrinky.

“Well,” she pauses, maybe thinking of how to explain, or realizing that she has gone down the shrinky path, “We have talked a lot about attachment, and now, here is an example of your mom coming home, and you are hiding from her, not wanting to go to her. I had been wondering how your mom behaved towards you. What she did. It’s interesting that your grandma was the one to come get you, and make you go to your mom, too.”

“Why?” She had to know that was coming.

“It seems she realized that after that time apart, a repair needs to be made. She recognized the value of that repair, and she tried to help facilitate it. She would have stayed with you, I think, don’t you? Tried to help the connection between you and your mom?” Bea explains her line of thinking.

“Probably. I don’t know.” It’s just gone. I don’t know what my mom did or didn’t do that day she came home. I only remember hiding, and my grandma coming and getting me.

Maybe we talk some more about the past, or maybe we don’t. I’m too gone in my head to know, but I’m hiding it well enough that Bea hasn’t even noticed I’m gone. I’m both thankful she hasn’t realized and that I can still be dissociated and act normal, even fooling my therapist, but I’m also a little hurt that she doesn’t seem to realize that I’m not really here.

I finally can’t take it anymore, and I tell Bea that my mom is not acting normal. That she is being weird, not in a bad way, but, still she is being strange for her.

“How so? What happened?” She asks, and she’s right there, concerned and caring.

I shake my head. “It’s nothing..but she just…..I…she was….” I’m still stuck on my memories from that Sunday with the itchy tights, and my legs feel like they are having a crazy allergic reaction, and I’m sick to my stomach, and I’m struggling to focus.

“Has she been texting you? Calling?”

“Texting. She has more time suddenly to text again. It’s nice…..I missed that.”

“Okay, so texting again, that’s good. She’s opening a door. What did she do that was weird?”

I want to kick myself. If I weren’t so stuck in the past, and struggling to pay attention, and my head weren’t so scattered right now, this never would have happened. “Okay. So, on Friday night, Hubby had to take the cat to the vet to be put to sleep.” And I explain how he had gotten so sick, and had just continued getting worse.

Bea looks at me. “I can’t believe we have talked for an hour and you didn’t bring this up. When we lose a pet, it’s hard, it’s devastating, it’s okay to be sad.”

“I didn’t want to get into it, because then it would lead to my mom and her weirdness, and…ugh.” We talk about Kat and her relationship with the cat, and how we chose to let her say goodbye, and how she knows he died. We discuss the choice to honor Kat’s wish to get a new kitten right away. I worry that I have somehow screwed up again in my answers to her questions, or the choices we made.

“I think it was right to let her say goodbye, she needed to be able to do that. You’ve answered everything really good, you’ve been honest with her. That’s all exactly what I would do.”

“I think I’m so adamant about honesty with her because no one was honest with me,” I say. I sound sad, I think.

“Yes. It’s always best to be age appropriate honest, and you are with her. You are,” Bea reassures me, and then she asks me what my mom is doing that is weird.

I can’t figure out how to explain it, so,I hand my iPad over to her, where I’ve copied the text message conversation. “I think you can figure out who is who, and you’ll see what is weird.”

Bea reads it, and I sit, partly frozen, still struggling to lock the awful Sunday memory out of my head. She looks up at me, and smiles, “She really is opening a door. I think she has some regrets.”

“Maybe. I don’t know.”

“Well this is a really honest conversation. I mean, you were extremely honest, and her responses back are just as honest. This seems really authentic to me,” Bea tells me. She seems almost amazed at what I just had her read. Maybe it is amazing; I wouldn’t have been so honest about emotions and feelings and my thoughts 6 months ago, and my mom definitely wouldn’t have responded like that.

“Well, I might not be able to tell her everything, but I’m not going to lie or pretend about what I don’t have to, anymore either. I can’t.” As I say this, I realize it’s really true. I can’t pretend all the time, or even most of the time anymore. I might hide the past to protect her, and I might hide the big things– me in therapy, for one– that will devaste my mom and make her feel like she failed, but I can’t keep hiding my feelings, my thoughts, who I really am. I don’t want to.

Bea doesn’t say anything, then. It’s like she’s waiting for me to continue. Finally, I say, “it’s awful…I know…..but…I just keep wondering what she wants?”

“It seems pretty normal, given the patterns of interactions, and how you end up comforting her. I don’t think that’s awful. This doesn’t seem manipulative to me. And you didn’t respond in a way that made it into that, either. It feels authentic.”

“I feel like I’m a little angry….” I look down, stop talking.

“I’d say parts of you are a lot angry at your mom, as well they should be. I mean, look at what we talked about today, all that hurt and scared and pain and suffering. How could you not have some very big feelings about that?” Now Bea seems firmly planted on my side, no matter how authentic my mom might be acting now, she wasn’t then, and I can be mad.

“I don’t know. I don’t want to deal with that, with those feelings. I don’t like mad.” They are too big. This mad, the present day mad, is small.

“I think until you can deal with the mad feelings, and the memories, and grieve and be angry, it’s not going anywhere. I think you are getting there. It’s going to come up, again and again, as you deal with this and other things. Part of the process. You got mad at your mom, and you’re okay. Right? We’re talking about it.”

“Just a little mad,” I insist. “I read her text, and I just felt like ‘really mom? Now you figure this out?’ But I wasn’t so upset or mad I couldn’t be happy about it, too.”

“So, you are learning to sit with mad. Even if it’s little mad. You’re seeing it’s okay.” Bea reframes my dismissal of the “little mad.” Now, I can see this is actually a big deal for me, a big step, to be acknowledging the mad feelings and not freaking out.

“Maybe…if it’s…now mad…not then mad feelings. I just feel like why couldn’t she have figured this out earlier? For me?” There, it’s out. I’m mad because I feel like she’s too late.

“I believe it’s because of changes in you, and how you are relating to people in your life that she is able to figure this out, and maybe see some things that weren’t okay.”

I sit with that for a minute and suddenly feel very argumentative,like it’s Bea’s fault this is how things have worked out. “It’s not fair! I shouldn’t be the one that has to help her change. I shouldn’t be leading things. She should have figured this out before, and helped me.” It’s an odd anger, one that is about right now, the present, and the past, and I’m sitting here talking about the here and now and being mad, but I still remembering and hyperfocusing on details in that horrible memory, and so I’m mad that she didn’t figure things out soon enough to stop that from ever happening.

“No, it’s not fair. But I don’t think she could have done it then, for whatever reason. I think it’s you who is changing her. I think it’s the work you are doing, and the changes in you that are allowing her to change the way she relates to you,” Bea says again.

I look up at her. For some reason, I don’t sensor and edit my thoughts, and I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. “Ugh! I really just want to pull a Kat and blow a raspberry at you. I’m getting why she does that now.” Blowing raspberries is Kat’s go-to move for ending a conversation with someone who is causing her frustration.

Bea shrugs and lets out a little giggle. “So do it.”

And that’s enough to pull me out of the past. Crap. I’ve just told my shrink I want to blow a raspberry at her, which is essentially saying she is frustrating me– because we both speak “Kat”– and now she’s told me to do so. “Um. No. I wouldn’t. I was just saying…”

“I know,” Bea says. “But for what it’s worth, I do think this is authentic, and I do think this is because of you. It’s not fair, I know. But you aren’t doing the work for your mom, you’re doing it for you. Who knows? You might actually have a shot at a very real, very authentic relationship with your mom. I think that’s something very few people ever get.” She pauses and looks contemplative for a moment. “I really think it’s something very few people get even a chance at having.”

“So I should just stop my whining?” I ask, laughing, now.

“Oh, no. You can ‘whine’ anytime.” She smiles, letting me know she is joking about the whining, as I had been. “I think this is great, really great. We’ve been dealing with the past– which is what we do in trauma therapy– but now this is making changes in your present and we get to deal with the present. We deal with the past, so that we can live in the present. This is good, it’s exciting.” Bea leans back in her chair, and smiles. She is happy for me, and excited about the changes in the present.

We spend another 20 minutes chatting about various pets we have had, names given to our pets and how they happened to get those names, and how Kat is doing with the new kitten. I feel more grounded when I leave, but my head also feels messier than it has in a long time. And my legs still itch.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Dealing with the past to live in the present

  1. I know about freezing. I was frozen in Raymond’s office a lot. I felt like a bug pinned down by his piercing gaze. That man missed nothing. I froze so much he wanted his ballerina wife to do a body movement session with me. But that scared me to too much.
    Hard work. Good work!
    Wow, imagine, a real connection with your Mom…

    Like

    • I know….real connection with her. It’s frightening in so many ways.

      I freeze so often…even in “real life” I can be acting normal and feeling frozen in my head. It sucks. 😞 Maybe one day it won’t happen anymore.

      Like

      • I still have trouble saying No to hugs from people I don’t want them from. I don’t know why that is. It’s impolite? That’s a type of freezing. But I don’t freeze anymore like I did in therapy.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s