Monday: part six, she wants to hear what I have to say 

Here we are! Part 6; the very last post about this session. Gah. If you read all of these, you should get a cookie. I can’t send you home made cookies or cupcakes over the Internet, so go buy some, or something, okay? 

Bea goes back to reading, and I hug Hagrid close to me, grateful to have him and the comfort he offers. What did I ever do without him? 

And on Thursday (or maybe it was Monday?) you asked me to remind you of the October stuff. I really couldn’t, just couldn’t say all of it for whatever reason. Even thought I know you know, even though I’ve written and even maybe talked about some of it before, I just couldn’t. So here’s the list.  



I overdosed in October when I was 14



I left Brian in October and then I found out I was pregnant in October. I had an abortion in November right around thanksgiving. The time is blurry. I know it’s crazy sounding. I just know it was like right before break. I don’t know. 

 


my grandpa died two years ago, November. Also before thanksgiving. I don’t remember the exact day. I feel like I should. I remember what I was doing when my mom called. I remember that night. It’s like watching a movie of myself. Not real. But I remember the events, just not the day or the date. 

grandpas birthday is October 23, and mine is the 24th. The last time I saw him was our birthday party, two years ago. It’s stupid but I feel like seeing grandma…..when she hasn’t planned to be here….seeing her in the fall, it’s so much like the last time with grandpa. I have this irrational fear I’m never going to see her again.

“I knew there was a lot in October. This is a lot,” she says, pausing from her reading.  

I want to talk about Brian. The boyfriend. I’m having nightmares about him again. It’s sort of that time of year, I guess. We met in early fall. And I left in the late fall. So. I don’t know. Maybe that’s all it is. But a part of me really just wants to tell you my nightmares — memories, really–about him. But they are awful and disgusting and it’s……I don’t know. They are scary, but scary in this very grown up something very bad and disturbing is happening way. It’s different than Kenny memories. But just like with Kenny, I was usually agreeing to do whatever it was Brian wanted me to do. It was easier that way. But now, it seems more shameful. So I’m…maybe embarrassed?…….afraid of your reaction and what you will think?….I don’t know. Something. I just……I want to talk but I am afraid. And I’m sure you are probably sick of this. I know I’m always afraid but when I decided I want to talk, I do end up talking after going through all this talking of being afraid. I’m sorry. I don’t know why I can’t just talk.

“I am not sick of you in anyway. I’m not mad or frustrated. If you want to talk about talking, about being afraid, about being unsure, I want to hear it. I’m not sick of that at all. This is hard stuff. It’s tough to believe it’s safe to tell, to talk about. If you want to talk about it, I want to hear you talk about it. I want to hear your stories, what you have to say, your feelings. I’m not upset at all. I enjoy working with you, and I am not going anywhere. I am not leaving.” Bea speaks so adamantly, so seriously, every word has weight and meaning, I believe her. In that moment, I believe her. And I feel so safe. 

“Do you want to talk about the boyfriend?” She asks me after a moment,,

I nod, slowly. “I’m afraid. But I think….maybe. I just….you don’t know. I…the things….I did…I just….” I can’t explain, but a part of me wants to. The things I agreed to do, the things he forced, they play in a loop in my mind lately, awake or asleep. It’s sick. 

“I’m not going to judge you. I haven’t yet, and I won’t now. I can promise you that. This wasn’t your fault.” 

I shake my head. “It’s not so simple.”

“It never is as simple as black and white. But I’m not leaving you, or judging you.” Bea says, 

I nod, “okay.” 

“We need to wrap up in a minute, I want you to have some time to get grounded,” Bea says gently. “We can talk about the boyfriend on Thursday if you want, that will give you some time to think about it more.” 

“Okay, Thursday. Maybe. Or we talk about talking?” I ask, afraid of beinf reprimanded. 

“Sure. We can so that, too.” Bea agrees easily, and I remember her earlier words. 

I want to hear what you have to say. I want to hear your stories. I’m not leaving. I’m not mad. I’m not judging you. 

I’m not sure anyone has ever said words like that to me– ‘I want to hear what you have to say’– and I feel deeply cared for and valued right now. I spend the rest of my session working on picking my head up, looking at Bea, moving my body; coming back to the present. The whole time this is going on, a part of me is simply basking in the warm sunshine of Bea’s words. They feel like a fantasy, pixie dust sparkling in the air, nothing more than an illusion. But they are real words, and there is real true meaning behind them. And so I sit and soak up the warmth provided by her words. 

“She wants to hear what I have to say.”  

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The first thing: part two

Bea is reading, and I am shaking and crying, curled in a sitting up ball on the couch. Hagrid has pressed himself into my side, and he licks my hands and arms every once in a while. It’s taking what feels like forever for her to read what I’ve written, and I’m ready to bolt out the door now, let her keep my iPad. Instead, I force myself to sit and wait, and I cry from the massive amount of anxiety I am feeling. 
Just when I’m about to speak, to tell Bea she isn’t talking and that’s bad, that I’m mega freaked out, she starts to talk. “Let me say again, how sorry I am for not getting to your email sooner. I know how important it is to get a response, and I am really sorry.” 
I want to scream that it’s not important, that it didn’t matter, and that I don’t want an apology. But I don’t. Because it did matter. But I don’t say anything, instead I try to shrink into myself even more. I don’t know. I don’t like this. 
“The truth is, I have been busy and distracted these past few weeks. Like everyone else, getting into a new routine, new schedule. It’s not an excuse, but it’s what happened. I saw your email, and meant to reply and it got pushed down in all my emails. So it got answered later than it would have.” She pauses for a moment, then. I get it, what she is saying. It’s exactly what I had thought– logically. 
“That doesn’t take away from the feelings of rejection, or hurt. And I am sorry. I know how important getting a response to an email is. You don’t know this,– because how could you know this if I don’t tell you?– I am constantly judging what kind of state you are in, what you can handle, if I should push or back off, or protect you and keep you from digging too deep. I am thinking about you are where you are emotionally all the time. That is very important to me. And this summer, I was very aware of needing to help protect you, keep you from digging too much. There were so many high stress events and changes happening in your life, and I knew that you just needed to stay together and cope until these events passed. But I have no expectation that you will always be able to cope, or that you won’t get upset, or that you won’t fall apart sometimes. You can’t fail, because I have no expectation of that whatsoever. I’m not leaving, not at all. I’m not going anywhere. I might, at times, email you back to say I’m taking a two hour break ands will email back after that, or I might at times be busy in sessions and have to email back that I won’t be able to respond until tonight. But, I am not going anywhere. And if you do email, and I haven’t emailed back as quickly as you needed a response, then please send me a text, just saying you need me to reply to an email. That’s okay. I’m perfectly okay with that, because I am a therapist that believes if your therapist is going to encourage you to go to these yucky scary places, then your therapist should be there to support you, so you aren’t alone. Does that sound fair?” 
I’m still shaking, and a little zoned out, gone, but Bea’s words are sinking in. It might take a while for me to process them, but I’m hearing her. I nod my head. “Yeah…..I didn’t….I wasn’t trying to make you feel bad.” 
“I know you weren’t, that’s not what this letter was about. I’m glad you wrote it. You were right, this was the first thing.” Bea’s voice is genuine, not a hint of anger in her tone. I don’t understand it. “I don’t have more affection towards coping Alice than broken Alice. In fact, when coping Alice is around, I wonder about the little girl, and the broken Alice and all the other parts. I like this part, this honest and creative and vulnerable and authentic Alice who wrote this. But again, it’s not this or that. They are all you. The Alice who organized everything for Kat for school, who impressed the school officials and teachers with her organization and comprehension of her child, the Alice who fought and got that IEP? That’s the same Alice who is hurting so much right now. They are all parts of you.” 
I shrug. Nothing feels like parts of me. Everything feels separated, smashed into a million pieces. I wonder if I should say something. I really can’t, any words I might have are lodged in the back of my throat. I’m just….stuck right now.
“It makes sense to me, that the little girl would be feeling like this. It’s like starting over, in some ways. She needs to know I can still handle her feelings, still contain things, still keep the space safe. She’s wondering if I’ll still be there. It makes so much sense. And it’s okay.” Once again, Bea pauses. I sniffle. She gets it. Even unsure and wary, I’m grateful to have all these feelings validated. 
“I do think, this year, I am going to expect that we do some work around the eating stuff. Not right now. Not this moment. It doesn’t feel very urgent to me, but I don’t think it’s entirely unfair of me to feel that we need to do some work on this, talk about this a little. What kind of therapist would I be if I just ignored a major symptom? Not a very good one.” 
I know. I know. I get it, I do. But I just….ugh. I’m afraid of that mess, too. But she didn’t say right now. So I tell myself to let it go for now, not to worry about it. Of course, even Bea’s simple statement, even her belief that she can’t take my eating disorder from me, even knowing that she just wants to have some discussion about it, make it real, terrifies me. It makes me feel like that defensive teen, and it makes me want to grab onto the eating disorder with both hands and never look back. 
“I’m not surprised that the dreams about the boyfriend and his list are back. They are kind of that internal voice, working towards stopping everything you are working for. Those dreams, that list, it helped keep you separated, making it harder to be one integrated whole.”
I shake my head. “The list….it’s….” I can’t finish. 
“I know. It’s cruel. Just cruel. It says nothing about you, or who you are.” 
“It’s true…I mean…he…it was….he listed out true things…” I blink back tears, but it’s a wasted effort. And they fall down my cheeks, which are heated with shame. 
I think I must have gone farther away for a minute, because the next thing I know, I’m literally snapping out of it, and Bea is talking about my parents. 
“It’s not fair. It’s not. I need them to go back to their old story. The fake story. I just…..I need them to.” I feel like a whiny little kid. 
“This really doesn’t feel safe,” Bea muses. It sounds like she is re-reading what I’d written. “I wonder….what is it, specifically, that makes this feel so unsafe? I get the sense it’s more than just a safety net being gone, or a fear of your story being real now. This feels…bigger maybe. What is is that makes your parents changing their story, being real, so scary?” 
“I don’t know. It just is. It’s not okay. They need to stop it. It’s not okay.” 
We circle around like this a few times, until Bea asks, one more time, “What is it that makes them being real so threatening?”
And I know, just like that. It’s more than feelings, odd thoughts now. It’s words. And everything in me revolts at it. “No. No, no, no…no, no….no no…” I whisper the words like a mantra, shaking my head as I do so. 
“What is it?” Bea pushes gently. 
“I….they might know…I mean…we know my mom knows…and I can’t…I can’t….no…no…if they knew…..and…no, no…no, no……” 
I hear Bea’s sigh, and it sounds very sad. “Yeah. That’s…impossible to understand. But I don’t think you have to worry about them facing anything like that anytime soon. Most likely, it would be slowly, not wick. 
“I just…if they knew and they didn’t do anything…didn’t stop it…thus didn’t care…or they thought I was bad and started it…I don’t know….I just…I can’t know this. I’m afraid. I just can’t.” 
“It feels like too much right now. I really don’t believe your parents would have thought you were bad, or started it. That I can’t believe. You weren’t, you didn’t.” 
“They made me be perfect…when I really was hurting. They made me love in that stupid fake world. They should have to go back to that stupid fake perfect world.” I tell Bea. I hear venom in my voice, and I don’t like how angry and scared and upset I feel right now. 
“Of course. They stuck to that story for years. Even when it hurt you. Now you need them to stick with if. It’s not fair they can’t do that.” Bea echoes what I’ve said. Good grief does it feel like exactly what I need right then. 
We sit in silence, me calming down, Bea sitting with me. And Hagrid doing his thing to help ground me. 
Bea laughs at Hagrid and tells me that she is going to give him a treat every time he catches me going too far away, and train him to be my grounding dog. “It seems he was made to ground you. He’s even low to the ground, a visual reminder,” she says, smiling. 
“He is….I never really thought about that…..you can’t give him all those treats though…He’d get so fat. I’d have to walk him way more than 2 miles a day. And he wouldn’t just be close to the ground, his belly would be on the ground.” I laugh with her. 
We chat for a minute more about nothing type thing– coffee drinks and morning rituals, walking the dog, household chores– and then say goodbye. As I’m leaving, Bea reminds me, “You’ll have to test the email situation again, okay? I’m here, and you can email, and I will write back. I’m not leaving.”
I nod. “Okay.” But I’m not sure I’m ready to test out email quite yet. I feel like someone just cut me in two, or maybe in fours. I’m tired, drained. I’m ready for bed. I’m not sure I trust that she will be there, and part of me is afraid she will be there for the first email because she is expecting me to test her, but then she will falter later, when I feel safe and trusting of her again. It’s all so confusing. I have a feeling I’m going to be processing this for days. 

The first thing :part one

I’m sitting on the sofa, criss cross applesauce, in Bea’s office. Hagrid is laying next me, tuckered out from our 7 am walk. I’ve told Bea how we moved Kat’s room upstairs and how the downstairs is one giant playroom now. We’ve talked about how I spent all weekend organizing and cleaning, and how Kat seems much happier with her room being upstairs. Now, I’m sitting, staring at the floor, silent and unsure of myself. 
“I wondered how the weekend was going to be for you, after Thursday. It was the first time in a long time we’ve dug down deeper, and I wondered if you were going to be able to be grounded or not. But it sounds like you had a productive and present weekend,” Bea says. 
I stare at the floor, my eyes going back and forth, looking but not really seeing. I feel so nauseous, I know what I need to bring up. I just don’t know how to, or if I can. “I….usually….cleaning like that is a distraction. But….it’s like auto-pilot….not really thinking at all.” I stop, try to to breathe. “I…it wasn’t like normal this time…..I was thinking a lot.” It’s all I can get out for now. I’m not trying to be cryptic, I’m just so uncomfortable with this topic I can’t say more than that.
“What were you thinking about?” Bea asks. 
I shake my head. The answer is in my head, but it’s hard to actually put the words out there, into that space between Bea and I. I’m tempted to say ‘stuff’, but the answer feels like sassy teenager, and I’m not feeling sassy. I feel scared, alone, nauseous, nervous. But not sassy. “Something that makes me anxious,” I finally answer. 
Bea waits, maybe to give me space to say more, maybe thinking of a response. “Something that makes you anxious. Do you want to say anymore about it?” Her voice is kind, curious, gentle. If I had asked that question, it would have been full of irritation and maybe even anger. But Bea is accepting of my inability to say much at a time, even if she doesn’t know what this is.
I shake my head. “I can’t. I just…I wish…I’m scared.” The words are a whisper. Maybe quieter than a whisper. 
“It’s been a long time since you’ve been in this place of digging and searching for words. It is scary to think about putting things out there. Is this something we’ve talked about before?”
Hagrid kisses my hands, head-butts me until I scoop him up and hold him for a minute. He always seems to have this sense of where I am, and he usually intervenes before I get too far away. I feel like it takes me a really long time to answer her question. “I don’t know,” I finally say. “I think so. Sort of.” It’s so confusing. Bea has talked about it. I don’t talk about it. I’ve always refused to talk about it. I don’t know. 
“Have we talked about it a lot?” Bea tries a different angle. 
I shake my head at her. “I just….I don’t know. I really don’t even know how to answer that.” 
“Can you tell me if this is the past or the present?” 
“I don’t know how to answer that, either,” I answer her honestly. 
“Okay, that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with just talking about talking about it. Talking about the feelings talking about it brings up. Talking about why it’s so scary to say it,” Bea says. She sounds so reasonable, so kind. And I’m hating myself, because I think she is probably thinking this is a memory, something to do with my trauma history, and it’s not a memory. I feel like a liar, like I am misleading her.  
“I don’t know why I am so scared. I don’t know,” I tell her. 
“Maybe this is one of those things that goes in the ‘let Bea help make sense of it’ category,” she suggests. I know she means it, because she has been saying things like that from the beginning of my therapy with her; that our job is to make sense of things together. 
I shake my head. “I’m afraid. I’m just really afraid…..but I think…..I think I should talk about this.” 
“It’s so hard, isn’t it? When we have been thinking and putting things into coherent thoughts in our minds, but it’s almost like we don’t think in words sometimes because it’s so hard for us to find words to say.”
I take a deep breath. Take another. “I…I…have the words. This time, I have the words.” I whisper this confession; it takes longer than it should for me to get the words out. 
“Okay. This isn’t one of those wordless times. That’s good,” Bea says softly. 
“I’m…I’m afraid to say the words. Because once they are out there, I can’t take them back.” 
“Maybe we can reframe this. Maybe we can look at this as if once the words are out there, they are a lump of clay, waiting for us to form them and make sense of them.” I like what Bea says; I like the idea that the words aren’t the be all end all. But I don’t know if she’s right. 
“I imagine this feels like starting over, again, in some ways. Maybe you have to figure out how to trust me again, how to feel safe opening up again. It’s a hard space to be in.” Bea adds. A little bit of the fear I feel lessens as she speaks; she gets it, she has once again somehow seen a lot of my fears.
“I wrote something.” I blurt the words out, quietly, as quickly as possible. 
“Maybe we should start there, then?” Bea asks me. 
I find it hard to respond, but eventually I whisper, “I don’t know.” I’m in that heart racing, panicked, stomach upset, migraine inducing, wanting to run away and hide but too frozen to do that place of anxiety. That place where it feels like these feelings won’t ever end, that they will go on and on forever, and you will be swallowed whole by them, until there is nothing left except anxiety. 
“Tell me, why do you think that you should talk about this?” Bea asks me. She is usually the first to point out to me that ‘should’ is one of those clue words that means I’m judging myself in some way or another, but she lets it slide this time. 
I don’t want to explain. I don’t really know how to explain, exactly. Partly, I think I should talk about it because I believe if Bea was in my head, she would be pushing me to talk. “I….well…it’s that…I mean…..if I don’t……I don’t think………I don’t think I can talk about anything else until I talk about this.” 
“So this is the first thing, then. Okay.” She says this matter of factly, simply. 
I nod, and then I slowly pull out my iPad mini and open the letter I wrote to her this morning (or last night, however you want to look at it). I stare it for several minutes, internally debating if I can really do this. “How about you read this, not out loud, and then we can not talk about it?”
“Yes, ok. We can do that. But not talking doesn’t help you very much,” Bea points out.
“You can talk then. I don’t know. I just..I’m scared.”
“We can leave the talking open ended, okay? You can see, decide after I read it.” Bea says.
I nod. I’m tempted to ask if I can leave after she reads it, but my session is only about 1/2 over. I hand her my iPad, and bury my face in my knees, curling into the smallest ball I possibly can. 
To be continued in another post……..

Crying yoga practice

Tuesday morning, I wake up after a night of restless sleep. I’d dreamed of monsters last night, except my monsters were real. I make coffee and down half the pot before Kat gets up. I’m really still dissociated, numb, feeling like nothing is real. I make Kat breakfast, and get myself ready for yoga. The nanny arrives just as Kat is finishing breakfast. I numbly tell them both good-bye, and head to yoga.

As I walk into the waiting room, I wonder if it’s even a good idea to be here today. I can’t think. I can’t feel. I want to stay away from my body, all the physical memories this latest trigger has brought up are too much for me to handle. It’s not safe.

Kris walks out into the waiting area, right on time. “Hi,” she greets me warmly, as she always does. “How are you?” When she asks this, she gives the feeling that she means it, that she really wants to know.

“Okay. I’m okay.” I attempt a smile, but it’s partly frozen. “How are you?”

“I’m good, really good.” She smiles at me.

We’ve been walking down the short hall to her yoga studio as we talk. We take off our shoes and leave them at the door. I throw my bag down by the wall when we walk in, and sit on my mat, hugging my knees to my chest; an upright fetal position.

Kris looks at me. “How is your body feeling today? With the sudden weather change from warm to cool, I wondered if that effected you at all.”

I shake my head. “No. I don’t think so. I don’t know.” I mumble my answer, staring down at my toes with their bright pink nail polish.

Kris goes a different route. “You saw Bea last time after our yoga session, right? Did you make it there okay time wise?”

I nod, not trusting my voice.

“Have things been okay in therapy?”

“Yeah, yeah. It’s fine.” I shrug, grab my coffee and take a sip.

Kris looks at me, and it’s like she sees that I’m not really here. She tries a different approach. “How is Kat?” Anyone who knows me knows that talking about Kat can help ground me, bring me back to the present, help me be more here.

This time, though, it backfires. Tears spring up, and I blink them away furiously. I can’t find words, and so I shake my head at her and shrug my shoulders.

“Okay. Something is going on with Kat then. Whatever it is, I can see something really going on in your body, some tension…I can see it’s hard to be present today.” She speaks about all of this like it’s perfectly acceptable, and like I am okay and not some crazy person.

“I…the situation…it’s just triggered me a lot.” I finally say, my voice small and shaking.

“Okay. That’s okay. If you want to talk about it, we can do that, and if you want to leave it out, that’s okay too.”

I look up at her. “I don’t know…I’m not sure.”

“It’s all your choice. I see myself as holding the space so you can choose what is right for you. It’s entirely okay to talk about it, and sometimes talking it out can help release it. Other times, talking about it can be more triggering and make it feel more here. I’m okay with whatever feels right for you. I’m just here to support you and help you,” Kris tells me.

We sit quiet for a few minutes, Kris breathing in and letting her out breath extend. I can’t even seem to follow that today. I decide to talk to her. A part of me wants her to know what is going on, why I am such a mess and struggling. I’ve never chosen to spell things out for her, but she has been consistent and here, and safe since I started seeing her. I think it’s okay. And, she already knows what my trauma is, because Bea has talked to her about it (with my permission, of course).

I start talking, explaining the messy situation and the confusion. And then, to my surprise, I say, “I’m so triggered by it all. My…it was a family friend, someone who babysat me that hurt me. This is all too close, too much.” I recognize as I’m talking that I’m really dissociated, removed from this moment, and that’s why I’m able to talk. But as I talk, Kris only offers understanding and kindness.

“I can see how triggered you are in your body. Do you know what you are feeling in your body right now?” She finally asks me.

I shake my head. Embarrassed, I finally say, “I’m not so…I feel really disconnected right now.”

She nods. “You probably have felt that way since you heard what your friend had to say.”

I nod, yes, exactly.

Kris asks me to invite some movement to my body. She starts us out sitting in hero and raising our arms up to stretch. She remarks that the body doesn’t lie, and that she can see all the anxiety and tension of the triggered state and flashbacks in mine right now. It feels oddly validating.

We move through several of the more simple yoga poses, but I’m not coming back to my body. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to be grounded. I’m numb and partly frozen.

“Let’s do some chair work, okay?” Kris asks me, as she moves a folding chair onto her mat.

Almost mechanically, I copy her, moving a chair onto my mat.

And that’s when she has me sit on the edge of the chair, raise up to a squat above the chair. And then she asks me to sit back down without looking behind me. I look at her. “Crap,” I say. It’s light hearted and possibly a little funny, but I’m panicking. This is the famous chair exercise. The one that I froze during last time. “I’ve done this already. Why am I freaking out? This is so stupid,” I say.

“Your body knows what to do. You can trust it. Just sit back. The chair is still there, I promise,” Kris speaks slowly and soothingly to me.

I nod at her, and really feel how frozen I am. I reach my hand behind me, wanting to check for the chair. I pull it back before I can, mad at myself. That feels like cheating.

“However you need to sit back is okay,” Kris says. Her voice is so full of compassion in that moment, I know she isn’t judging me.

I close my eyes, and sit back. The moment I land on the chair, I burst into tears. I rush to cover my face, folding my upper body over my legs. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” I manage to get the words out.

“No sorrys. There is nothing to be sorry for. It’s okay. I’m okay with tears. Your body is just letting out some of this emotion, the feelings you’ve had locked up for so long. You sat back in the chair, you came back to the present just a little bit. It’s okay. You are safe here and now, safe in the present moment.” Kris maybe says more, but it’s all soft spoken and kind, soothing.

She allows me to cry, to breakdown. I apologize again, telling her I know we are past time, and I’m sorry, just so sorry. In a way, I’m begging her not to hate me for being a needy, sobbing mess in her yoga studio.

“It’s okay. I’m not in a rush,” she says. After a pause, she continues, “I see myself as here to support you, to help you heal in whatever ways I can. Today that means making space for tears. It’s okay.”

“Do other people cry?” I ask her. She knows I’m asking about her other trauma yoga students.

“Yes, definitely. You aren’t the only one, not at all. And, I know from my own trauma, that sometimes all that anxiety and fear can be so overwhelming and feel so bad, and it’s like even when you rationally know it’s in the past, you have to allow yourself to feel it, as painful as that can be. And that’s what you are doing, allowing yourself to feel it and move through it.”

I sniffle, and try to stop the crying. It’s not working very well. “I’m just so tired of it all. It’s so hard sometimes,” I tell her.

“I know. It really is tiring. You might not be able to hear this right now, but you are strong, and brave. You are healing and changing and working through this because you are so very strong, even if you don’t feel it right now.”

Kris brings a box of Kleenex over to me, and pulls a few out, handing them to me. I still can’t look up and face her. I hate crying in front of people. It’s shameful to me. I’m used to crying in front of Bea now, and even with her, I have a hard time facing her after.

“It’s like you are living in two worlds right now. The old world, and this new world. The old world with the paradigm of nothing being safe and not being able to trust and needing to be out of your body and the new world, where you have people who want to help you, where you can be grounded and safe in your body, where it’s okay to trust. It is hard and scary to be in the new world. It’s confusing to live in both worlds. But it will shift, and it will get easier to be in this new world. Old trauma responses will be changed and you won’t fall back into the old world as easily.” Kris is kneeling in front of my chair, just sitting near me, so I am not alone.

“You’ve been here?” I ask softly.

“Yes, I have.” She knows I mean this ugly pain filled place. “Sometimes, I still visit. But it’s less and less and I can leave a lot quicker.

I think about that. I’m grateful she is honest with me about it. “It gets better, right?” I ask her. I need to know, to hear I won’t feel so stuck and hurt and damaged forever.

“Yes. It gets so much better. It takes a long time, and hard work, but you are doing that work. And you don’t have to be alone. You have Bea, and your husband, and I count myself as a support person for you, too. You only have to reach out.”

I nod my head, knowing she’s right about just needing to reach out. I calm down, and dry my face. Kris and I say goodbye. She says she wants to offer me a hug, but she also knows that might now feel okay right now, and I don’t have to feel bad for saying no. I shake my head, no hugs, I can’t do that today. She gets it.

I’m tired the rest of the day, but some of the tension and anxiety seems to be gone. I keep thinking about her promise that even though it takes a long time, it gets better.

The walls I built around my anger……..

Trigger warning for just about everything, I think. Sexual abuse, eating disorder, cutting, swearing,– lots of swearing– I don’t know what else. Please just read with caution. I’m not normally an angry person, but I’m feeling quite mad today

The walls I built around my anger are unable to contain all the mad I am feeling at the moment…………..

Anger scares me. I push it down, don’t acknowledge it. Sometimes it sneaks past, and I snap or yell, explode without meaning to. Mostly though, anger is buried deep down. It’s walled off. Long ago, I built walls around my anger and any anger I feel, I shove down to be contained by those walls.

I want to cry. I want to yell at someone. Probably Hubby, as he is safe to yell at. Well, he was safe. I’m not sure he is safe to yell at anymore. Bea has described him as my attachment figure; if he is my attachment figure, then I should be able to yell at him and know that he will still love me and so it will be safe to let all this mad out at him, much the way Kat lets all her mad out at me. But I don’t think it’s safe to let my mad out at Hubby any longer. Which only makes me more mad.

Ever since I’ve had the realization, a few weeks ago now, that HE (childhood abuser) had sex with me, I have wanted to scream it at Hubby. In our normal, everyday married life moments, I have had this urge to look at him and scream, to yell,” HE had sex with me. “. I want the contrast of the moments, I want to shock him, make him realize the difference of my lives, the normal vs the abuse, I want him to see. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I am so damn angry with Hubby.

Things have been rocky with Hubby, with our marriage for a while. It’s mostly my fault. Because I am the way I am, messy, emotional, push then pull, not perfect, I don’t know. I yell at the drop of a hat. Not on purpose. I know this, though. I also know that this summer, after things with Kat’s autism settled down, and life was fairly smooth and I had nothing to focus on, my anger started to leak out more. I yelled at Hubby a lot. I even yelled at Kat. (I still yell sometimes, I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth, and maybe the the truth will help someone else.)

I thought things would be better after I told Hubby the truth. I thought I would be able to continue telling him more of my truth, my past and my present struggles, and together we would get to know me. And don’t get me wrong, he has been supportive, he is a good husband, and he does love me, love our little family. Of that I have no doubt. He is also so good at saying the right thing, and making great gestures; loving me for being Alice, creating a hiding place for me so I don’t have to hide in the closet like a scared 5 year old anymore, finding an Alice down the rabbit hole necklace to help me remember to stay out of the rabbit holes.

But, he likes his world to be pretty. He likes his world to be easy, nice, relaxing, unruffled. And that’s the problem. I am none of those things right now. I am ruffled, and stormy and messy. I am loud. I am going to interrupt the relaxing times, and makes things hard. Last week, we had a fight, which ended with me feeling like I was back in the family I grew up in, after I attempted to talk it out with him several times.

I’ve done an experiment this weekend, starting on Thursday. I have been the perfect wife again, the girl he met. I have been unruffled and uncomplicated. I have made dinners he likes, cleaned things up everyday (I’m working my way through the house), offered to do things he likes, made no complaints, only spoken of surface things, asked questions about things like his video game (and watched him play), I’ve made things nice and pretty for him.

Last night he said to me, “I’m glad that you are feeling better. Therapy combined with yoga must be really helping. And Dr. B. must be helping the fibro and migraine pain. I feel like we are a team again. I’m glad we’ve been talking so much lately, it’s made such a difference.”

Talking?!?!? We haven’t been talking. I’ve been fucking trying. He’s been shutting it down. Ugh!

I want to yell at Bea, tell her that I NEVER should have listened to her. That she screwed up everything. That thanks to her, I believed that I could tell Hubby everything and things would be different. But they aren’t. Because he does not fucking care! He wants his perfect fucking world. That’s it. My experiment proves that, she can’t argue with it. The shitty thing is, she’ll try. I know she will. She will get all damn shrinky on me and try. Why the hell did I listen to her?!?! Stupid. Stupid. I trusted her. Why the fuck did I?

I’m so mad at myself. I’m so mad at Hubby, at Bea. I believed them. The walls I built, the ways I related to everyone for years to stay safe, I changed those ways; I tried a new way with Bea and Hubby, I lowered the walls. I’d always kept people at a distance, even those closest to me– even my husband!— had no idea of my feelings, my inner thoughts, my past, my childhood memories, who I really was. Not to mention my traumas. But all that started to changed this past summer. Now, six months later, I’m regretting that choice. This is exactly why I never lowered my walls before.

I have therapy tomorrow, and I don’t even see the point. I’ll go, I’ll sit there and pretend to be fine, to talk. I don’t know. It will be a repeat of Thursday, only harder because I’m fully aware of the fact that I’m detached, mad, and not wanting to have a connection with Bea, or trust her anymore. I won’t tell her, I won’t talk about the relationship, not face to face, not like that. So I’ll waste another session. When what I would really like to do is yell at her for convincing me trusting Hubby was ever a good idea. I should have left things as they were. I want to scream in the therapy room the words, “HE fucking had sex with me and I did NOT want to.” I want to talk about that with someone, because I am so confused, I don’t understand. My head says one thing, my memory, my inner child says another thing. It’s the little girl in me that has more weight when it comes to sexual abuse memories, she holds the memories and the emotions. She wins, right now, And damn it, I should be able to talk to Bea, except I am so angry with her, I can’t imagine trusting her right now.

All this mad is leaking out, and I have no where to put it. I have only myself to take it out on. Cutting. I’ve already cut this weekend. I’ll end up cutting again. This is what happens. I trust people and they hurt me, and I hurt myself. It is not fucking worth it.And Bea, who put me in charge of monitoring my “okayness” and telling her, who assured me that now she understands what “I’m not okay” means, will most certainly never be told that I have been cutting again. Fuck that. I’m done reporting to her.