Last Weds I had my last therapy session for awhile. My therapists daughter just had twins so she is off being a new grandmother. When I first started seeing her it was hard to believe that she was old enough to have adult children. Nice to have such a youthful appearance rather than aging like myself, despite what people say. Of course, my view might be utterly skewed and I’m too paranoid to post a picture of myself. I’m not sure if I explained at the start of this blog how someone from an eating disorder group I used to attend found my blog. I was very good about alternate emails, etc but she was clearly determined. However, anyone currently reading my blog would know it was me so…… By being utterly anonymous though I feel I can freely talk about the deep dark recesses of my mind. Okay, there is one person in my non-blog-world life who does read my blog, and I did share the link with one other person, so two, although not sure if she has opted for that. But those two people I would trust with my life so yeah, not utterly anonymous.
Since doing my inventories: resentments, fear, and sexual, with my sponsor, I’ve been able to focus directly with those things in the past that are hindering my present. Oh, sexual inventory you ask? Yeah, that is where I listed how I harmed people through sexual means. I won’t list everything but working at a strip club was listed because my intent, although I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, was to torture men and feel powerful. I was alone and afraid and vulnerable after so many sexual assaults from my past. Another example is the way I would dump people after having sex. No matter who I was with, in the distant past, as soon as that happened I left. I didn’t give a thought to whether they loved me. All I wanted was to not feel alone, to feel loved but anything more was an assault on my inner most being and simply wouldn’t do. There were other things listed but most of them were motivated by self-preservation, aka, fear. In fact, looking over my entire life I can tag everything as fear motivated at the base level.
Okay, back to therapy. Obviously it is trauma oriented and I won’t go in to details specifically. Whenever I am around men, which is all the time in AA, I have a tiny part of me that wants to run. No, that’s not right. That wee part of me is sitting there ready to fight to the death then run. It really is rather annoying and although it is just a second or two each time, I have to do mental gymnastics to put everything in perspective. Some of these guys are very good friends, and one is my sponsor!
For me, EMDR works. She’s explained that the right and left hemisphere of the brains of people with PTSD have split and don’t work together. It explains why I can think about it and feel it but can’t think and feel about it at the same time. Somehow the tappers she uses, which are in each hand, helps the brain come together and wow, then I feel it and am able to think through it making connections I never normally would. She takes me through it, like a move, through the few months afterward that included my moms reaction and ultimately my reaction. We had never gone that far. I recognized, afterward, when my compulsive exercising started as well as my oblivion seeking alcohol and drug use. I never used substances for recreational reasons, though they did help me to have a social life, but rather for the pure motivation of escaping me. I felt shredded to the core after this session. Usually I will go to a meeting afterward and sit in for the last half. (appointment 1130-1230, meeting 1215-115, I can usually get there by 1245-ish). This time I couldn’t do it. I went directly home, turned on the TV and watched something totally mindless like America’s Got Talent, then SYTYCD. Both are 1 ½ hr shows so that got me through 3 hours. I did go to a meeting that night but no one would know I am normally a happy person. I’m sure my demeanor was of depression and general sadness. Well, whatever. I did share at the meeting in a general way which helped a lot. I don’t understand how it works but somehow the act of sharing, even if it is in a general way, turns a relief valve so I can transition from hard emotions. I felt immensely better the next morning; not perfect, but better.
My stomach was upset all day too so I essentially ate chips: salty, crunchy, comfort food. The cool thing about this kind of recovery is that I ate the chips within the parameters of my meal plan so no freaking out. I doubt I’d freak out anyway, that compassion seems to have been left.
The next morning I started doing what I’ve been wanting to do in my morning practice but has yet to do it. After the gym I make my breakfast and eat it while sitting on my meditation cushion. I just eat which being grateful to all the people who have brought me this food to support my life. I practice gratitude for the water (for my coffee obviously) that has come from deep mountain springs to my faucet. I then sit zazen, do my morning readings and prayer and finally get to my computer, ideally to write assuming I have the time. If I started with morning readings and writing I will never get to zazen. Plus, this is the first time in who knows how long that I am just eating. It’s a start. The rest of the day I do the eat and run, eat while watching TV, eat while doing chores, and so forth. Ha, one step at a time!
What came out of that session was my feeling helpless. My therapist wants me to focus on my not being helpless in that situation. She had me write down this:
Consider in that horrible experience that I wasn’t completely helpless. I managed as best I could with the way I understood the situation.
It’s hard for me to read that and think that I could have done something differently, that I could have fought, or other things, that my ‘managing’ made me responsible, blah, blah, blah… Normally EMDR sessions aren’t left hanging like this but again, she had to take time off. Perhaps it’s for the better since I did react so strongly to it. I’m showing myself that I can manage and get back on track without imploding.
I’ve had more than my share of pain, some of it due to what seems like never ending dental work. Pain though is clean, for lack of a better term. It isn’t anything like emotional pain. It is simpler to deal with and when it is high enough I am unable to think of anything else. It’s a blessing in disguise. This who have been in pain for a long time, and learned to adjust to it, might understand what I mean by that. I’ll leave it at that.
Mikko time and 2 meetings. This will be the first time Mikko is left on her own. Hopefully she’ll just sleep and not cause too much chaos.