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.