Play therapy 

I have therapy in the morning. I’m not sure if I’m ready to pop this fragile bubble I’m in. It’s not the tough bubble of denial and self harm and eating disorder. It’s a bubble of…well….I guess of doing what I have to so that I can function. But it’s fragile. And I’m unsure of I pop it what will happen. Maybe nothing. I think part of me is scared that even if I pop the bubble, I’ll still be numb, detached. That I’m back to my “old normal” in some ways. I don’t know.
On Thursday, we talked about random things. I honestly don’t remember the conversation, but just being there, knowing Bea is there was enough. Before we finished our session, she did say she knew there had to be a lot going on under the surface for me, even if I wasn’t showing it. She said she could almost feel it. I thought about that, later. I feel numb, mostly. Numb and detached. I don’t want to think about how I feel. I don’t want to think about Fall, and October, and all the mess and ugly that come with it. I don’t want to think about my daughter starting school, and all the triggers that sets off in me. 
I say I am not feeling anything about any of these changes, that I am fine. But, I notice I’m not sleeping, and when I do, I’m back to waking up hourly, and nightmares chase me as I drift off to sleep. I find myself so full of unexpressed, unacknowledged anxieties that I wake up realizing I have been grinding my teeth, or holding my mouth closed so tightly that I bit my tongue and drew blood. I notice that my daily headaches are back, despite the medications, and that migraines are more frequent. My body pains are back– worse than they have been in months. Maybe it’s a fibro flare, or maybe it is me being detached from my emotions and feelings. I notice my tolerance for noise, for change in plans, for anything really, is very low. I notice that I mostly just want to be left alone to get the through this— whatever this is.  
I didn’t write about Thursday’s session, because it was just more of me avoiding. Perhaps the most significant thing that happened in therapy last week happened in Kat’s session. I had stayed for all of Kat’s session, which is unusual these days, but she asked me to, so Hagrid and I snuggled on Bea’s couch and read a book on my kindle app……..
Towards the end of the session, Bea smiles at Kat, and gives her the 5 minute warning. “We have a few minutes left of our game, and then you can choose which animals are going home with you today.” Every week, Kat borrows 2 small stuffed or 2 small plastic animals from Bea; it’s a way to stay connected throughout the week, and to reassure kids that they are coming back. “How would you like to end our game today?” Bea asks Kat. 


Kat has an elaborate plan for ending the game, so I offer to clean up while they finish their game. I pick up figures, furniture, monsters, dried beans, blankets, wooden blocks and puzzle pieces. We finish our separate tasks at the same time. 


“I’m taking the kitty home, and one of the little hard ones.” Kat bounces over to the container of animals. She looks through all of them, and in the end she can’t choose between 2 kittens. “Please can I take 3?” 
You can take 2,” I remind her. 


“We can save one for next time,” Bea offers. 

 

Kat finally chooses the one she will take home and hands me the one she is leaving behind. “Speak him, mom,” she demands. Kat likes grown-ups to speak for her toys. It is her favorite thing. 


I look at the little kitten in my hand, and walk him over to Bea. “Hi,” I make him say. 


“Hello there,” Bea says. 


“I’m going to stay here a while. I need someone to take care of me and help me when I get scared,” I make the kitten say. 
Bea looks at me, then at the kitten, and says, “I can help if you would like me to.”


“Will you take care of me?” The kitten asks.


“Yes. I will take care of you,” Bea says. 
Will you keep me safe from the scary things?” The kitten asks. 


“I will do my very best to keep you safe. I want you to feel safe,” Bea tells the kitten. 


“Okay,” the kitten says, and he jumps into her out stretched hand so she can save him for Kat, for next week. 
And those 3 minutes were about as close as I got this week to talking about how scared and lost and overwhelmed I am. How much emotion is just rushing at me, and how much anxiety and tension I feel from my life right now. How much I just need someone to be there, to help me when I am scared, and of course to keep me safe.

  

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11 thoughts on “Play therapy 

    • Thank you. I feel so detached from it all most of the time, it’s really okay. It’s only when I really start to think about it that things feel hard and scary and too much. You know? I’m hoping as things settle down as our family gets into more of a routine. I don’t know.

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  1. What a sweet exchange; however you get out the fear, I’m glad you’re doing it. It isn’t easy to open up and ask for help or let someone know about all of the fear and pain.

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  2. I very much understand that kitten. Isn’t it interesting that you subconsciously chose to have the kitten tell Bea that you were scared and needed and wanted for her to protect you. I hope you had a good session today.

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  3. Oh wow, such a powerful exchange. I feel very emotional reading this because it was so vulnerable to ask for help (even if through a plastic kitty) and it seems like Bea really attuned to you in that moment.

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  4. Oh Alice, I wish this wasn’t so painful and hard. I hope you can find things that relax you through this time of change, with school for Kat and all. Good for her I’d imagine, but hard for you. Hopefully once she’s settled, it’ll be good for you too.

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