Head and Toes

I don’t remember much of Monday’s session. I remember wanting to leave. I didn’t want to be there, I wanted to just go, just get up and leave. At the same time, I wanted to feel close to Bea, I wanted to know she was there, I wanted to feel like she cared, I wanted to talk and talk and talk until I had no words left. Everything felt unsettled, and off, yet I sat in my space in Bea’s office and I was still and quiet. You would never have known from looking at me, what was happening inside. 

I wanted so badly to be okay, for everything to be as okay inside as it was on the outside, I sat there, my face buried, telling Bea over and over, “I’m okay. I’m fine. I am okay.” At one point she asked me if I was telling her that, or if I was trying to convince myself that I was okay. I didn’t have an answer. 

She tried to talk to me about my doctor’s response. She asked if I had written a reply. I hadn’t. She tried to tell me that she really did think the response was good, and that now I can tell her what I need. She asked how I felt about having some information in my chart. I didn’t want to talk. I looked right at her, and lied. “I’m fine. I’m going to call and make an appointment. I’ll make the appointment and it will be fine, I DON’T need anything.” She tried to talk to me more, but some part of me wasn’t having it. 

She asked me something or said something, I don’t remember what now, and it shut me down. I pulled my knees to my chest and buried my face. I don’t know how long I sat like that. I wasn’t in Bea’s office then. I wasn’t anywhere. I was numb and far, far away. 

I remember Bea asking me if I was cold. She said my toes were shaking. I didn’t know. I told her I didn’t know my toes were shaking. I wasn’t cold. I looked down at my toes. I could see them shaking. They really were shaking, I just could not feel it. Bea suggested I focus on my toes. I tried. I didn’t want to, but I wanted everything to be okay so I did what she said. 

I focused on my toes. I could not feel them shaking and I wasn’t aware of it, unless I was looking at them. I wiggled them. I couldn’t feel them wiggling, but my head knew they were wiggling. It’s the strangest feeling, to be aware of movement, yet not to actually feel it. The more I paid attention to what my toes were doing, the more I realized they were shaking because I was tense. My whole body was tense, like a tightly coiled spring, ready to bolt at any moment. That was all I could think of. The longer I focused on them, the more I wanted to run away.

Bea asked if there were images, thoughts or feelings coming. I had the thought and feeling that I needed to get away, get out of there. I had images coming up of a time with the boyfriend. It’s not something I have ever talked about, and it’s not some thing I’m sure I ever will. There’s a lot of shame and hurt in that memory. So, anyway, Bea asked questions and I didn’t answer. 

I know towards the end of the session, I told her I had no words, and was sad and frustrated and hated not having words. She told me that it was okay, that she was there, with me in the frustration of needing to find the words and she knew it was hard. I feel like she might have said something about me not being alone. I know she told me I would find the words, that I would find them and I would email them to her. I told her I wouldn’t, that I wasn’t sure. 

Bea ended up being half right. I didn’t find the words, but I did email her. I emailed many, many words to her at 2:00am, Tuesday morning. I strung word after word together, forming sentences, paragraphs, a novel. It didn’t matter, though, because none of those words were the words I needed. It was okay, though, because the first thing Bea wrote in response to me was, “I actually think I know what’s going on. I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to write it all now, but I’ll try.

It’s about the parts. One part or more want to talk, and one part or more don’t. All parts have to be on board. Or, another way of looking at is that “manager” parts are trying to protect the vulnerable parts. Either way, we have to address each part in order to get them all in agreement. Make sense?

You did great work yesterday despite the words not coming to you!” And the last thing she wrote was, “I’m not sure I’ll have time to write more today, but even still I am here and thinking about you.” 

So. All the parts are riled up and messy. Things inside my head are a little crazy right now. And my toes are shaking. But I’m okay, because Bea is here and thinking about me. She hasn’t forgotten me, and she cares enough to be here and remember me. 

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8 thoughts on “Head and Toes

  1. Sirena says:

    You are doing really well, I think. I think the more progress and movement there is inside, the messier and worse it can feel at times. I’m not sure this time last year your body would even have allowed itself to shake, what do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It does sound messy and difficult right now, sorry Alice. I agree with Sirena, I think this is the very difficult part of “progress” where we get to feel like all the strings are coming apart inside of us. You’re doing so well.

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    • Maybe the strings have to come apart to be put back together, the way sometimes doctors have to cause a break to fix something. It’s just very, very painful while it’s happening. I think it’s maybe all the more painful and confusing because these feelings are so new, and I don’t know how to titrate them yet. Thank you for saying I still doing so good. I really need to hear that right now. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All I can say is just wait…that shaky mess has become a part of so many of my sessions. Its all good though and I’m thinking feeling is better than how we used to deal with everything by being fine. Just fine. And we were okay a year ago, right?! Yes but no…

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    • Feeling is better. It really, really is. We really weren’t okay a year ago. We were locked in this pretending to be okay. Feeling is better. The shaky mess is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It’s new and different. But maybe okay.

      How are you? Xx

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  4. She is right. You need all parts on board to do the work. that takes a long time though.. Glad she is with you through all of this and happy you are able to email her when you need to. sometimes its easier to write than talk. xxx

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