Don’t wanna think anymore

I don’t want to think, I don’t want to feel. The past is too close right now, and if I stop and think, I’m likely to end up sucked into memories and feelings that I really don’t want to deal with. I spent the whole weekend avoiding and distracting myself from all the yuck. And now it’s Monday morning, and I’m in Bea’s office. 

“Let’s see if we can switch gears and talk about you,” she says, changing topics. We had been talking about Kat, and some of the struggles she has been having since going to back to school. It is something that we need to talk about, both because I need support in how to deal with Kat, and help separating what is really going on now from the past feelings that tend to show up when Kat is involved, and because, as Kat’s therapist, she needs to know what is going on with Kat in day to day life. “I didn’t hear anything from you this weekend, how were things after Thursday?” 

I don’t know. Her asking a direct question like that makes it harder to avoid thinking and feeling. I feel a little floaty, and a lot frozen. I’m still sitting with my knees tucked to my chest, but my head is up. I’m not really seeing anything, though, even as I look around the room. 

“Maybe, let’s try something a little more concrete. How did you sleep this week?” Bea sort of sounds far away. 

“I…..I don’t wanna talk about sleep.” I mumble the words. Sleep has been rough, more so lately, and I don’t want to face the nightmares. I’m unsure if I’m even allowed to talk about them, or if I’ll be told I’m too far away to talk, and the little girl is too afraid to open up only to find that Bea isn’t as there as she believed. It’s not a risk she is willing to take. Things might be feeling a lot better between Bea and I, but it’s still as if we are on uneven ground and working to find our footing again. 

“That makes me think it’s not so good.” Her voice is soft, and understanding. “We don’t have to talk about that. We can talk about whatever you like.” 

I shake my head. The little girl wants to tell Bea that she is afraid, and confused. She wants to scream and cry and ask Bea to make everything how it was, to not change anymore. She wants someone to hear how much she is hurting. She wants Bea to know she is afraid to fall asleep, and that the nightmares are almost as bad as living through it the first time. But I don’t say anything at all. 

We sit in the quiet for a minute or two, and then she breaks the silence. “What do you think about getting out our pictures and the markers, and working to orient back to the external, in the moment? Now you are focused more inside, and farther away, this would be a chance to be in control of being far away or more present.” 

Slowly, I nod. I don’t want to do this exercise again, but I make myself say, “Okay.” In the long run, it is meant to help, no matter how uncomfortable it feels in this moment. The idea is if I can be present with what is happening in the room, in the relationship, in the moment, for even a few seconds, I can start to retrain my brain to see that it is safe to be present now. And the more I can do that, and feel safer in the present, the easier it will be to control how dissociated I am, and the safer it will be to work through the memories, feelings, thoughts and physical memories left behind from trauma. I have a feeling this is going to be a long process. 

Bea gets out the markers and our pictures, and she starts to color. It takes me longer, but eventually I pick up a marker and color, too. I don’t mean to, but I end up talking about hubby. It’s in that sort of disjointed, hard to focus on what I’m saying, pausing frequently, sort of far away but trying not to fall down the cliff into the past, dissociated way I have sometimes. I desperately want to stay distracted, and I don’t want to think or feel. It’s all too much. 

We talk about how supportive he was over the dentist stuff, and how I had my hopes up that things were changing between us, and then nothing really changes and my feelings are hurt. I explain how it seems like hubby blames everything on my PTSD. It’s so frustrating to have every reaction that isn’t “happy and nice” be blamed on PTSD. Sometimes, I’m upset simply because I’m upset, and would have been upset even if there was no PTSD in my life. Bea is listening and validating my life experience. She tells me that more education about trauma would be helpful for hubby, because unless you have experienced it, the symptoms can be very confusing and hard to understand. 

Eventually, when the conversation pauses, Bea says, “Let’s see if we can focus on this moment, on coloring…..” 

I shake my head. “I can’t. Not….just…” 

“Okay. That’s okay. Can I maybe talk about my picture?” 

I nod my head; yes, okay, she can talk. She talks about colors, and how she chose the colors she did, what she was thinking, her reactions to certain colors. Then she tilts her head towards my page. “Which color is your favorite that you’ve used?” 

It’s a struggle to even focus on what I’ve used, to even label the colors in my head. “Orange. Orange is my favorite color.” 

“I did know that.” She smiles at me. “I really like that blue you are using now. That is my favorite blue, I think. What do you think about it?” 

I shrug my shoulders. “I don’t know. I guess…..I was thinking it was the same blue as these sweatpants my mom used to love.” 

“It’s funny how we can’t really look at, or experience a color without relating it something else, isn’t it?” Bea asks. 

“I don’t know. Can we be done?” I ask softly. The little girl is afraid of making Bea mad, but I can’t do this being present thing anymore right now. 

She nods her head, and starts picking up markers and putting the pictures away. I gather my things quickly, wanting to get out of there, to run home, to hide. “How do you feel about this, how do you think this is going?” Bea asks, as I am heading towards the door. 

“I don’t know,” I mumble. I feel very put on the spot. I’m so sure that for her, this is a simple question, but I feel like it is complicated and twisty. 

I think she takes my uncertainty to mean i don’t think it is working well, or I’m not finding it helpful, because she begins to make other suggestions of things we can, other senses we can use besides seeing. I’m overwhelmed, and it all seems like too much. 

“Okay. Okay, sure,” I say, and then I tell her goodbye and rush out of the office. 

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10 thoughts on “Don’t wanna think anymore

  1. So this is not totally random, or maybe it is. But how is yoga? I am going to yoga daily now. I don’t know how I fit it in but I do know it’s important. It’s important because I connect and I feel and I can’t mess it up because I don’t have to talk. It gets me out of my head and into this different place. I know you love yoga and it seems as if you are just so stuck and the present doesn’t seem so safe if you ask me. I can’t imagine what it was like finding those emails. And it is what it is but I can only feel what it is like to sit and color when deep down you still feel hurt or angry or abandoned. So I don’t know how you feel. Only how I might be feeling. It seems like what happened with Bea was truly traumatizing. As you know, you can’t just decide to move on an let go…
    Maybe it’s worth meeting with another T? Totally keep seeng Bea. But just meet with someone new to process what happened. Not to tattle. Not to get anyone in trouble. But just so you can speak and be an adult for a bit and be angry. When I told my T about being irritated with her colleague her reply was that maybe it was time I allowed myself to be angry. Ha, I liked that reply. And maybe it’s time you allow yourself to be angry as well!?
    I’ve missed you

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    • I haven’t been doing yoga lately. I should, I know it helps. I’m just lacking motivation and so stuck in this frozen state that I have a hard time wanting to get up and move. But you are right, I need to go. Thank you for reminding me of that.

      What happened with Bea and the emails….it hurts, of course it still hurts. I’m not over it, but I am better with it. I’ve gotten to a point where I feel trust and safe with her again– although somewhat afraid to talk about anything too deep. But I have to believe that will come. I don’t know. More so, the things hubby said still hurt deeply. I’ve stayed very on the surface with him, and refuse to have any deep connection. I mostly feel hurt and like I can’t fully trust him. But maybe that will be worked out too. I don’t know.

      And maybe I need to be angry. I don’t know. Anger is scary, you know.

      I’ve missed you too. I’ve been so glad to see posts from you. 💟😊xx

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  2. It can be a very lonely road once trust is shattered. For me, it’s not shattered for a second, a week, or a few years, it is shattered for good. It is one of the things that complicates every interaction and I find I am most happy with myself in my home…with my cat. OK, Samuel too.
    I may begin to trust someone, but invariably they let me down. How could they not? They are human. As am I. The beauty is learning to trust myself. When that occurs, and little by little I am learning I can, what others do or don’t do doesn’t matter so much because I am OK inside in spite of it. Or, I can get back to OK eventually. What others do still sends me riding waves in the storm without a life jacket. Finding equilibrium can be elusive and hard, but I do, and am having an easier time getting back to that safe place inside where I find comfort instead of more rejection. I’m working on it.
    Trying to do something special for yourself each day seems a good goal, something you enjoy.Something to take the edge off life’s harsh realities.

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    • It is lonely. Trust is a hard thing. I totally understand trust being shattered forever. It’s so hard to reach out that second time. Kay (my best friend) tells me it is worth it because eventually trust is stronger then, and the relationship feels safer. But it can be hard to believe that at times.

      I’m really so glad that you have found trust in yourself. That is such an awesome thing. Im still working on that. I know yoga helps me find that calm safe place. It’s something I need to start practicing again. Xx

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  3. Have just dropped back to blogging world and you were the first I wanted to check in on, especially in the wake of the emails. My heart hurts for where you are. And the difficulty of being present 😦

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