Spinning in circles

One of my favorite metaphors Bea has used to explain her job as my therapist, as my secure base, is this idea of me spinning in a circle—- the way you do as a child— and getting so dizzy from spinning I can’t always see where I am going, and Bea standing there watching me spin around and around. At times she may need to stand very close, and at other times she can give me more space, but she’s always there next to me, keeping me from crashing into things and helping me to slow or stop the spinning when I need to. The one thing she can never do is spin with me because then she won’t be able to see where I am going and keep me safe, and she might even get too dizzy and crash into me.

Tonight I spun around in intricate and never ending connecting circles. I bounced around from hurt teen, to scared little girl, to grown up who just can’t process this, to worried mom (because how do I make it okay for my daughter that her father voted for a bad, bad man?). I circled through hurt, scared, dismay, sadness, worry, anger, confusion. And all the while, Bea stood next to me and kept me from crashing into things. I had worried she would spin with me, because I know where she stands on the issue (because we have discussed it, and honestly, even if we hadn’t, I’d still know just because of who she is.) but she held still, and helped me slow my spinning.

“I told him I can’t understand how he can vote for a man who hurts women, who thinks it’s okay to hurt women, a man who is a rapist, and he told me I was either naive or stupid to think that Trump is the only one in the White House that is a rapist. Hubby said it’s just as likely Biden is a rapist. He said women make claims about rape that aren’t always true. He said that being a rapist doesn’t mean you can’t be a good president and that it’s not a reason to not vote for someone.” I cried as I told her this, struggling to breathe and feeling the hurt of these statements all over again.

“Oh, ouch. That hurt, I know. Those words, of course you got very triggered.” Bea’s voice was empathetic, and present. She was real and here in this conversation with me.

“I just don’t…how can he say those things? To me? I mean…it’s….he’s…this isn’t who I thought he was. I just…it’s not okay.” I stumbled through the words, just saying them hurt.

“I don’t know. I don’t think there is a clear answer. But it makes sense that you would be triggered by this.”

“He’s like Kenny.” I choked the words out, shaking as I sad it. “He’s not who he acts Ike he is.” I bursted into tears.

“It really feels like that, doesn’t it? And that doesn’t feel safe at all, especially for those younger parts. But I know there is a grown up who is exactly who she says she is and she will keep the parts safe, and I will help her do that.” Bea’s words reassured me some, and I was able to settle enough to find words.

I still jumped around, talking about parts and feelings, but Bea was able to follow my thoughts.

There really isn’t any making sense of this.

The little girl just can’t understand how the person who is supposed to fight the monsters, the person who she has always believed would keep her safe no matter what is the same person who is supporting a monster.

The teen is mad. And her world feels rocked. How can he do this thing that hurts me so much? How can the person who is supposed to love and care for me do this and not even see or care how much this hurts me? If he really believes women lie about rape all the time, what does he think about me? Does he even believe me?

The mom is worried. How do I explain to my daughter— our daughter— that her Dad voted for a mean man? That her Dad voted for someone who doesn’t respect women? How do I even begin to help her make sense of that?

The grown up— who I think of as me, the real me— well, I have no idea how I feel. My heart feels broken. I feel like I’ve lost one of my safe people. I honestly don’t want to talk to him anymore about this. Bea assured me that when things aren’t feeling so intense, hubby and I will talk about this and we will work through this. But honestly, how can I trust him right now? I feel like if Kat hadn’t voted with me and then gone to stand with her Dad, seen who he voted for and shouted out “Dad, why the fuck are you voting for that asshole Trump?” Hubby might have lied about who he voted for. For all I know, when he said he voted for Hilary 4 years ago, that was a lie.

I told Bea I just felt broken and lost and so sad that I had lost one of my safe people.

“It sad, terrible and painful actually, to feel like that. But you have other safe people you can lean on right now,” she reminded me.

“I only had three,” I whispered.

“Three? I think you have more people you are real with and can lean on than 3.” She listed my friends, my brother, my cousin.

“No…I, well, yes, I have more people in my life than I used to that I’m just me with but….my safe people….that’s different.” As I said it, I realized that my safe people are those who act as a secure base in many ways, and they are those who the parts see as safe. It’s different than the authentic relationships the grown up has with people.

“Okay, yeah, I see that. So hubby, and who else?”

“Kay. But she can’t…this isn’t…I can’t even bring this to her.” I explained to Bea why Kay knowing this about Hubby would be so very bad and not helpful. “So that just leaves you.” My voice dropped off, shame that Bea is so important to me flooding me. Why does this always happen? Why even now do I feel like such a freak, so broken for needing her so much at times?

“Who?” Bea asked, because I’d gotten too quiet for her to hear.

“You. You’re the third person. I’m sorry.” Shame just buried me as I said this.

“I can be one of your safe people. I just didn’t hear what you said, that’s all. You don’t need to be sorry.” Bea wasn’t rocked by this revelation, but even so, I still feel worried that I admitted this.

I switched gears again, talking about simple child like feelings of it all, because those were the most triggering of it all. “I think it comes down to this. I think this is what I mean when I said I just want someone to explain it, to make it okay. The simple thought of the little girl is that bad people side with bad people. If Trump is scary and mean and doesn’t care about hurting people how can someone I trusted side with him?”

And Bea answered the little girl simply and honestly. “I don’t know,” she said, “But I think that good people like Hubby can make mistakes, and still be good people. I think hubby must be seeing something we can’t see. And I still believe that hubby will fight monsters for you and keep you safe because he loves you.”

“I don’t know if I can ever believe that again. But I feel a little better. Well, not better, but I don’t feel like throwing up anymore and I feel like I might be able to sleep tonight.”

“That’s good, that means you were able to coregulate a little. I’m glad you don’t want to throw up anymore.” We were getting ready to hang up, but before we did, Bea added, “Tomorrow, if you need anything, I’m here. Let me know.”

I felt a little less alone and little less triggered, and I even managed to sleep for 4 hours that night.

15 thoughts on “Spinning in circles

  1. CB says:

    ❤️ a lot of people are taken in by his rhetoric and I’m glad Bea named it as a mistake he has made as that is validating and doesn’t suggest he might have done the right thing. I hope it means Bea still feels safe as well xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Claire Louise says:

    I am sorry things are so difficult right now. I can relate to your feelings around Trump and the people who vote for him and how that can land. I’m glad you were able to get a little bit of sleep. Take care

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so glad Bea was there for you. It seems like she had all the right words to say. That’s really amazing as this conversation could have gone badly. I am sorry that not only did hubby vote for such person, but even more for what he said to you? That’s very hurtful to tell you that many women make up rape allegations. I hope he misspoke in the heat of the moment. Hope you can let him know your feelings at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my goodness, this conversation could have gone so badly. I hope he misspoke too. I just don’t understand how this happened. Where is the man who believed me wholeheartedly? Where is the man who has always supported women’s rights and wanted more help and care for abused women? What happened to the man who insisted his officers (Hubby works for the police) had extra training for dealing with rape victims and abused women? Where is the man who fought to have his officers trained in mental health conditions and PTSD specifically? Where is that man? I just don’t understand and I’m struggling so much with this. I’ve been crying all day. 😞

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Rapist, crook, liar, manipulator, selfish egotist… I don’t get it either, not how even one humane human could go along with such an evil pig. Write it out, every raging feeling about that swine and hand it over to your partner. Or just write it out.
    As children we are unfortunately brought close to evil and from then on know what others are capable of. We see it feel it and know it about others. Others who have not suffered in such a way are in many ways BLIND. But following that pig? Inexplicable.


      • Yes, Canada was looking like a nice place to live. But we are going to be alright. Moving wouldn’t stop the globe from warming and ruining the earth for our grand-children. But with our new leader things will turn to the way of good… good for all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Your husband’s not alone in following this cult like leader. Half the country has fallen for his delusions. Something in it about standing up the guy on the outs. But this maniac, brilliant at lying and manipulation, isn’t on the outs. Us middle class schmucks are paying his taxes while he lives in his gold gilded castles. He is not a successful businessman as everyone believes, he has been bankrupted and is in debt. The list of his crimes is endless including treason as he consorts with Russians. The world leaders he is buddies with like to poison others or take off their heads.
        He is scum. You are wise to see it. Not everybody is. Half of America isn’t wise enough to see it, or half of America also lives in bigotry, criminal behavior, and lies. Or both.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes, so many things wrong with the monster. Maybe we do feel and see hidden evil in others when some just don’t— or won’t. I don’t know. But I just can’t understand not seeing. I’ve been writing a lot, and also living in a fantasy in my head, of moving to the coast in Australia if the monster wins. Obviously, I know I can’t move, but the fantasy of running away is helpful in coping for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

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