Choppy

Choppy. That’s how Thursday’s session feels. Like I’m going back and forth between feelings and what to talk about, like nothing is really connected or making a lot of sense. It’s probably 45 minutes into my session before I manage to get myself to stop talking about Kat and challenges she is having.

What I really want to do is tell Bea all the details of my flashbacks and nightmares, to hear I’m okay, not crazy, not sick, that it all really was that bad. I want to talk about “not my choice”, but I’m terrified and sick and shaky just thinking about it. So, I talk about Kat. And then I tell her about the conversation with my mom.

“How did it feel, to be talking with your mom on that kind of level?” Bea asks me.

I shake my head. I don’t know. It’s complicated. I don’t know what she wants me to say. “Surprised, I guess. I don’t know.”

“Yeah, surprised. Listening to you, I had a sense of connection, of feeling really good about it. I guess I’m checking in to see if that is right?”

“It is…but then, there’s the other feelings, too. I just try not to think when I talk to her. Because if I do, there’s just too much and I can’t…” I sigh. I don’t know how to finish that sentence. How do I explain that on one level, any sense of honest connection is amazing and good, and I want that so badly I would trade almost anything to have an authentic relationship with my mom? But on the other hand, she hurt me so much, not purposefully, but still she hurt me. I didn’t feel safe enough to go to her with what was happening. She left me. When I finally did begin to act out all the unresolved trauma, she wasn’t there. On one hand, I love her and I want the connection with her, but then again, it’s like this is too little, too late. All it does is remind me of what I didn’t have, what I so desperately needed, what I can never tell her, and what I can’t go back and get now. It makes me so sad, and this huge kind of mad. It’s really just not fair.

“Yes, it’s complicated. This isn’t straight forward. Maybe some anger, some grief is in there,” Bea suggests.

“It’s too late,” I say. I can’t get more words out. Thankfully, that is enough.

Bea agrees that it is too late to get in childhood what I didn’t get. “It’s not too late for the present, though. We are always moving towards health. Maybe seeing you be more real has pushed your mom to explore herself a little more. She’s not the same person she was then.”

I change the subject, quickly and without thinking. In retrospect, I think my feelings were hurt, it seemed like Bea was making so many excuses for my mom. I know ultimately Bea wants me to have the most honest relationship I can with my mom, and me accepting the things Bea had said will help with that. But I can make excuses and reasons for my mom all day. I need someone to tell me I’m allowed to be sad and angry and whatever else. I need permission to feel what I feel. I need to know I’m not a horrible person for being angry with my mom.

I tell Bea about waking hubby, and she is really proud. I can hear it in her voice. “I feel like this is what we have been working towards– you stepping to hubby, being able to talk to him– since your fist visit. This is good. Really good. You deserve to have him there for you. Your relationship is going to grow so much,” Bea tells me.
I don’t know where the conversation goes next, but it ends up with us talking about sleep. “I feel like now that you have hubby to help you through this, now is a good time to work on concrete things, symptom management stuff, sleep stuff……..”

I don’t know what else she says. She is going down a different road than I want to. I feel stronger than I ever have, I want to talk about “not my choice”, I need to work through this idea somehow. I want to talk about flashbacks, what happens in them. But Bea is heading to symptom management. She has a training seminar coming up that is all about self harm, symptom management and trauma. I am so not in a place to let go of my stuff or start going down the road of exploring eating issues. And Bea promised, she promised me that she wouldn’t turn into “miss symptom manager shrink”. But now she is, anyway. I can’t think. I can’t breathe. She just…it’s like betrayal or something. I don’t know. I don’t remember what I say, if anything. I don’t really remember leaving, except that she asked me to email her.

I’m lost. Floating in choppy waters with no life jacket, no anchor to shore.

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32 thoughts on “Choppy

  1. Although Bea is on board, you are the Captain…
    I think she would applaud anger at your Mom if she knew you were feeling it. The anger is so understandable.
    And chatting with your Mom, checking out and solidifying a base first helps pave the way to express the anger. Abandonment is such a huge fear, especially when needing to express emotions that are hard for another to hear, but part of being human and interpersonal relationships. Even now my body shakes when I have to speak up about something, sure I’ve just said ‘goodbye’ to whoever I speak up to. But I also think that expressing tough emotions is hard for just about everyone. It’s an art, learning to do so in a way that they can hear without steamrolling them.

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    • I think I know, deep down, she would be proud that I can let myself feel anger. Its still a hard thing to even admit. I feel safer within my relationship with my mom, but i won’t ever tell her I’m angry. I’ve thought about writing a letter that isnt meant to be sent. I don’t know.

      I know you are right that expressing tough emotions to others is part of relationships, and being human. Its something i should try to remember. Thank you. You always manage to make me feel more normal. ❤️

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    • I was thinking about you, and what I said about talking to ‘mom’. I really didn’t have any conversations about what I needed to until very late in life, coincidentally when my Mom was much weaker, hence less powerful, less scary. She was using a walker and carrying around an O2 tank. And I kicked myself for asking the hard questions at such a time when she was so infirm, weak and struggling.
      But at the same time, it was about time. Like “Why did you blame me?”
      I actually allowed anger out and up. It was over the phone, a safe avenue for me.
      She told me later she cried the entire day. After she died I had to go to therapy. I was in a terrible depression. One of the things weighing me down was that I finally asked the hard questions but I waited till Mom was facing illness and death? But it makes sense, the all powerful was approachable finally. If I hadn’t asked the hard questions, I probably wouldn’t have been able to forgive her that last day before she died. I held her hand and told her I was sorry for holding it against her all our lives. She said, “But I should apologize to you?”
      I said, “No, you never left me.”
      And we finally had a moment of pure love, her eyes meeting mine. That was the last time I saw her conscious 6 years ago today.

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      • I just want to hug you right now. You were so brave to confront your mom, to put everything on the table and be able to really heal your relationship. The sadness of this, and her death just makes me want to give you the safest, warmest hug ever. I think you really did give your mom (and yourself) a gift at the end, to be able to have that moment of pure authentic love. That’s huge. All your kindness and the good in you shows through in what you have written. Xx ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anxious Mom says:

    Maybe emailing her parts of this post would give her a wake up call, that you aren’t ready for her to be in symptom management mode so she’ll switch gears?

    ((Hugs))

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    • I did email her a little, telling her that she freaked me out by going towards symptom management. It turns out it was miscommincation. She was only talking in terms of sleep, not anything else. She reassured me that she respects my choices and reasons for not being ready to give certain things up, that she won’t suddenly morph into comtrolling symptom management shrink, and that she will share anything she learns and we will decided what to do with it together. So its okay– except i replied to that email, and now havent heard anything so im having some big anxiety that i did something wrong. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anxious Mom says:

        I’m glad you were able to get that sorted out 🙂 I’m sure you didn’t, but know full well that isn’t how anxiety works.

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      • Thank you. Hopefully she will email before my next session. I just keep telling myself that she hasn’t had time to respond as fully as she would like, and she will email back soon, and she hasn’t gotten mad or left yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anxious Mom says:

        I’m sure that’s it, from what I’ve read of your blog she sounds like a really good therapist who encourages honesty.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anxious Mom says:

        Anxiety is hellish. I think a lot of people just think “oh, that just means she is extra nervous,” but there is so much more to it than that. It can be quite debilitating.

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      • She still hasn’t responded, and now my anxiety about it all is close to reaching melting point. Ugh. I did finally push it away enough to get on with my day, but….ugh. 😞

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      • Anxious Mom says:

        Oh bless your heart ((hugs)). Has she ever taken this long to respond before? Ugh I know this has had to be one long day for you.

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      • Thank you. Just thank you for getting how long today has been. She’s never taken this long before. Its been 48 hours now. I cant decide if i did something wrong, or if she just didnt get the email or if she hasnt had time. Ugh.

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      • Anxious Mom says:

        Oh wow that is a long time to be waiting. It doesn’t seem like she’d intentionally leave you hanging whether she thinks you didn’t something wrong or not, so I’d bet something came up personally and she just didn’t get back to it or email issue.

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  3. My T once responded to an email after 7 days. I was so ready to terminate, had written every angry response I could think but never sent any of it. And it turned out ok. What she said was on target, caring and kind. I reminded myself that she is only human and will make mistakes and fail me on occasion. But for all the big things she has been there, she has never canceled and she really tries to understand me.
    But what you wrote about things you were thinking in session, that’s so me. I’m thinking about all these details and past things that happened yet thinking that my T expects me to stay present. So then I don’t know what to say and I don’t know what she wants but it’s my session and I feel stupid because what I’m thinking feels stupid. It gets way more complicated than that but I’m sure you get it.

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    • I know Bea has been there for the big things, and she is only human. I’m not even writing angry responses at this point. I’m having every thought from she is going to fire me, to she is annoyed by me, to whatever else. Ugh. This sucks. The worst is I know I’m being irrational, but I can’t stop myself from feeling and being afraid of what I am.

      This is so it….nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Maybe it’s a weird result of dissociation and splitting– like its so easy to still split things apart, only show one part of a thought and then it seems there are layers and layers of the feelings and thoughts that are split off in a way, but somehow we are still aware of them and it makes things all muddled and hard. Like I should be happy talking to my mom, but there are all these split off feelings about it, and then I feel guilty, and then I don’t know what to say or how to explain, and then I feel stupid, and then Bea is on a different page than I am and I feel left. Like I said, way more complicated. Ugh.

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      • But the point is that is is NOT irrational. You feel the way you do and be compassionate with yourself and you’ve told me so many times to allow my feelings and it’s so difficult. And I don’t know about the splitting or dissociating or why the things in our mind get so complicated.

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      • I know. I need to just feel what I feel and accept it. It’s easier said then done, lol.

        The splitting…I think it’s because, at least for me, my life long coping skill has been to split things into good and bad and choose not to pay attention to the bad. So I split my feelings and thoughts the same way, it’s what makes all these layers and mess to have to pick through.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense. I separate eveythjng into good/bad, black/white, okay/not okay, allowed/not allowed…..you get the point. My past falls into the not okay, not allowed category.

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    • No….nothing. I’ve managed to distract myself quite well today, with homeschool planning and lots of baking. But…😫😫😫😫
      I don’t know if I should email again and be way to needy and crazy, leave it be, cancel Tuesday’s appointment…ugh. I don’t know. Thank you for checking on me.

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      • Anxious Mom says:

        I don’t think sending a followup email would be needy. Just something short to ask if she at least got the email and is just waiting to further discuss it on Tuesday.

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      • Rationally, I know this. But then all my anxiety and fear kick in and I have myself convinced that she hates me, is leaving, doesn’t want to talk to me, is too busy, I don’t matter….that sending an email would just push her farther away. And I know all of this drama is in my head, not real world. But…ugh. You know. Anxiety. It’s like this general feeling that she didn’t respond because there is something bad going on in the relationship and it all is my fault. It’s crazy making. 😪

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