This is Wednesday, 11/15’s session. It’s the session that led to all the upset and mess this last week. As you will see, a lot came up, but it was actually a good session, and I left feeling quite stable.
Even though there isn’t a lot of movement going on, this session is still very much full of SP type work, so this is another way an SP session might look (at least for Bea and I) , for those of you who are curious about it.
“Should we start with the nightmares, start there with the sick something bad is going to happen feeling?” Bea asks, after we’ve caught up on day to day things.
I don’t say anything, only offering a shrug. I’ve moved from that adult place to little girl in an instant.
“Or we could check in with the the little girl. She looks sad.”
I still can’t find my words. Everything feels too exposed. I curl up, hiding my face.
“Maybe she’s wishing the grown up would ask for a blanket?”
“Maybe.” I whisper, refusing to ask. The grown up is not going to be pushed into helping the little girl. (Maybe that was more teen…..) Finally, I give up. Sitting here saying nothing isn’t going to help anyone. “Can I have a blanket?”
Bea gets me my blanket, and I hide under it. “Or we could start somewhere else. There are Choices, and you can make them,” she reminds me.
“I don’t like choices.” I say.
“Because one will be wrong.” There’s a tone of frustration in my voice, this feeling of *why don’t you know that?*
“Where is that coming from, I wonder?” Bea asks.
“It’s spilt 1) having choices and trying to make the one my mom would want, so i don’t mess up and make her upset 2)it’s…..I don’t….ugh….it’s messy.”
“1 is very clear, and 2 is more mixed up, but you are very clear on what 1 is. Why is 2 mixed up?”
“Because. Because, it’s….it’s like I had a choice and made a bad choice.” I’m struggling to make sense of exactly what it is I’m trying to tell Bea. It’s a very mixed up feeling and it’s hard to find the words to it.
“Kenny. But….then…..if it….ugh.” I’m panicking a little bit.
“If what?” Bea pushes a bit.
“If I had choice then why those other memories? And now the sick feeling is back.” The words tumble out, fast, one after the other.
“The sick feeling. Where is it?”
“I don’t know.”
“How do you know you are having it? What makes you recognize it?”
“Because I had it before.” Little girl answer. She is fully running the ship at the moment.
“Yes, lots of times before.” Bea agrees.
“Where is it?” She asks again.
“Is it in your big toe?” Her tone is light, playful.
“No.” I laugh. What a silly idea. People don’t feel things in their big toes. “In my belly. It’s…butterflies. But not, because butterflies are nice. Something not nice.”
“Butterflies are pretty aren’t they? Maybe it’s like ugly, evil butterflies?”
“Yeah.” I nod. “And it’s hard to breathe.”
“Sit with that feeling, try to stay with it. I know it’s hard.” She says softly. “I’m right here.”
I get panicky, the body feeling, the sick feeling is too much. Bea goes to the feelings, emotions, to try to help separate things and calm down. She explains this idea. But it’s too much and too hard to figure out the feelings. She talks to me about how we can use thoughts too.
“Thoughts are good. That’s words.” I tell her.
“Yes, and you like words. Words make you feel safe.”
“Do you have words now?” She asks.
I say something, a memory or thought. That it’s all a mess.
“It is a mess. Does the grown up have words to share?”
I struggle to find grown up. Then. “Maybe. I don’t know. Words are easier but not always easy.”
“That sounds like the grownup.” Bea says. I’m struck by how well she can recognize the parts.
I smile because she knows me. “It’s…hard. Because all those details….it’s like when we first took out all the rocks and then looked at them, we didn’t really look at the sharp edges, the details, we looked at the whole rock. It’s easier to gloss over the details and then the little girl can think like……it’s my choice, I started it, I caused it, it was my fault, I did this, I did that.”
“All those old beliefs that she still holds.” Bea’s voice is sad.
“Yeah. When we look at the details then it’s like…..it can’t be a choice when (and at this point the little girl is back in control)…..I can feel…..I can’t move and I want to move but he isn’t letting me.”
“No, you couldn’t move. And that was so scary. But that’s over now, it’s not happening now.”
“It’s confusing too, isn’t it? That she feels like she had a choice, and it has felt like that for so long, and then to come face to face with the idea she wanted to move and couldn’t.” Bea is spot on. It’s all very, very confusing. It’s hard to realize something you believed for so long isn’t true, especially when those beliefs have kept you feeling as if you had some control.
“I really want to move. I mean then, I wanted to move.” The past and the present are getting mixed up in my head.
“I know. The little girl, she was alone then, and had no know to tell. But you told me, and I believe you. I believe that you wanted to move and that he wouldn’t let you.”
“You really believe me?” My voice is small, the idea that she believes me and doesn’t think I did something bad is hard to take in.
“I really do.”
I want to ask if she would have believed me then, if she knew me then, but I can’t. It’s too scary to ask.
“Is there movement that the little girl wants to make now? Just take a minute and feel.”
“I don’t know.”
“Does she feel safe right now? Does the little girl feel like she could move if she needed or? Or is she frozen?” Bea tries to help me figure out what the little girl needs to do.
“I…well. No. I don’t know. Yes. Move. But there’s no time left.”
“It’s 10:10. So you have a few minutes.” She says softly.
“No. It’s not enough.” I insist. I know myself well enough to know if I try to do any movement, it is going to take forever and then feel rushed and scary because I don’t have enough time.
“Maybe you could complete one movement?” She suggests. I think she doesn’t want me to leave feeling like something was unfinished, but to the teen it feels like she is pushing because she wants me to do SP.
“No. It’s….it takes too long to decide to move. It’s scary. It makes me feel scared.”
“I know. It’s new. Being able to move is new.” Bea gets it.
“Well I can move my arms, but it’s….when it’s with…like linked to details.” It is strange to me, how scary it can be to move within the context of a trauma memory. I mean, it’s not like I have problems moving in my everyday life.
“I know. That’s a scary thing.” She agrees.
“Yeah. Next time we can try. Not today.” I say softly.
“Okay. Okay, that’s good. What does that feel like? To be in control enough to choose to do something next time?”
I shrug. More questions I can’t answer. I’m tired of paying attention. I don’t want to feel anymore.
“Can you pay attention to what it feels like to listen to the part of you that knows you need more time?”
“I….well. I don’t know.”
“What is it that let you know you need more time? That allowed you to listen to your needs? Can you find that wise part of yourself?” It’s important to Bea that I experience being in control and making a choice, but I’m not sure I want to fully feel it.
I sit quietly trying to figure it out, to feel what let me know I needed moe time, and then finally I say, “Bea. I just don’t know.”
“Okay. That’s okay. ”
“I mean I really don’t know. Not I don’t know because I don’t want to talk about it or think about it or feel it.” And I truly don’t know.
“So there are different kinds of I don’t knows. That’s good to recognize, too.” She says.
I don’t say anything.
“Is there anything the grown up could tell the little girl, to help soothe her?”
I sit for what feels like hours. And then I say, “No.” It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
“That’s okay. We will keep working on this. Maybe this week, just think about what it was like going between the grown up and the little girl, and what it was like trying to get them to communicate.”
I freeze. My heart feels icy and on fire all at once. “The little girl doesn’t want the grown up.” I tell her. It’s as close as I can come to saying *I’m afraid you are trying to cut yourself out. The little girl doesn’t want the grown up, she wants you. And this feels like you leaving— or laying the groundwork so you can leave.
Bea says that it’s okay for the little girl to be unsure about the grown up, that the little girl has to learn to trust the grown up and that can take time. I shrug. I don’t want to talk about this right now.
We wrap things up then, because I have to leave to go babysit Kay’s baby. (Yes, that Kay. We are slowly rebuilding our friendship and it’s a much healthy, equal type of friendship. It’s good.)
One thought on “Choices”
good job alice great work. the little girl reminds me of our kids, only wanting eileen. its so hard. xxx