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A cloud has lifted (very long and rambling...)

Posted by antigua3 on September 2, 2007, at 23:40:36

Do you ever feel like youíre coming out of cloud, and you look around and wonder where youíve been?

Iím feeling that now. A heavy cloud of four years is lifting and the 10-yr picture is clearer now. Thatís when my last bout of trouble really started, 10 years ago, but the last four took an even darker turn. I donít feel light yet, I still feel a weight, but itís not so heavy.

Part of it has been a health issue that I didnít even know I had. Dealing with that has been incredibly stressful this summer, and although I still face potentially serious health problems right now Iím feeling better physically than I have in a long time. (So donít ever underestimate the effect of your health on how youíre feeling. Donít always assume itís your depression--I did--because depression can mask other things.)

Ten years ago, my life fell apart when my dreams came crashing down around me, and I lost all self confidence in my abilities. I failed at my dream, but the worst failure was that I had failed to try hard enough. I let my fear get in my way. In retrospect, it was inevitable but necessary, given the emotional road blocks I still faced. But I believed at the time that I was faced with the certainty that I would never fulfill my dreams. I thought life only gave us one dream, but lately Iíve found hope that other, different dreams are possible. Maybe itís like your first love; it can never be again, but if weíre lucky enough to love again, it can be a settled, more secure love. I think dreams are like that, too. We can hope again.

I have worked over the past 10 years, but it has been busy work as I worked so hard in therapy to prepare myself emotionally for a better time. I didnít know I was doing the busy work at the time, I was just plugging away trying to get through the day, depressed, upset and in large part consumed by therapy. I had another baby, which took me in all new directions, a clear course in avoidance. But the children are older now and the daily demands have lessened.

But the children getting older isnít the only thing that has given me more time to live in the present. While my therapy is still intense at times, itís not all consuming anymore. Iíve learned so much, and while I may have a ways to go, I am in a much better place. I recognize the triggers quicker, and let the harder things go just a little bit easier. Itís like anything elseóthe last 10 years Iíve worked hard and while it has been awful in many ways, every baby step was heading this way and I just didnít know it.

My therapy with my T is secure. We still have a huge wall to break downóshe is the good mother and am I still unable to break through to share how the little girl truly felt about her mother. I always protected the good mother, but now I see bits and pieces coming through that show a clearer picture of my own mother, and I donít have to protect my T from her. Before I would never even consider the possibilities. T says I have to break through my idealization of her, and ask what Iím afraid of in how she would respond if I were honest about my feelings for my mother. Will my T still like and love the little girl, even if she has bad thoughts? Will it kill her if I tell her? So many childish questions yet to be answered.

But my T is right there with me. I hadnít seen her for two weeks, and this week before my appt I was at the grocery store and saw these most beautiful white roses. They were breathtakingly beautiful, and I bought them for her and told her there was no one else in the world who deserved them more than she did. I donít bring her presentsódonít know if I ever have beforeóand we donít mark anniversaries, but my appreciation for her willingness to hold on with me for 17 years is invaluable.

I am a completely different person with her guidance, and I like who I am. I donít know if I went through horrible transference with her; I donít remember, but Iím sure I did. But we are dealing with it again on a different level, as I try to get past the good mother and believe that I am still lovable if she knows all of the truly horrible things. I donít mean details, anymore, I mean at the heart of my soul will she think Iím evil and turn her back on me if she knew the darkest parts of me. Intellectually, I know she wonít, but my unwillingness to hurt her (which is a misconceived perception on my part) is still holding me back. But the bond is secure.

She called me yesterday just to thank me for the flowers. But I had to thank her again, because in this weekís session she opened my eyes to the sources of my current anxiety so clearly (so obviously based on my past) that my pain was eased. And the next day when another situation hit, I remembered what we had learned together and I could breathe again. I knew where I was coming from. I was in the midst of this anxiety crisis at the end of our session, and she said just stay here, letís work through this and we were lucky we had the time available to work all the way through the issue so I could leave feeling so much better. She has that knack of tying it all up in a neat little bow.

My relationship with my male pdoc is so very different. I know some of you think heís wrong for me. He could be, but he brings out a whole different side of me. I can be angry, petulant, sarcastic and downright mean. But he deserves it sometimes, in the way he is so hard on me and pushes me forward, maybe even when Iím not ready to go. He has hurt me and disappointed me, and weíve worked through it to other levels that have increased my understanding and reliance on my own strength. We rarely agree and we fight, and I listen, but so does he.

Heís teaching me to let go. Last time, he said, ďjust let it go. If itís important, it will come back.Ē I shook my head in disbelief at his naivety and said, what do you think Iíve been trying to do all these years? Iíve been trying to let go, but I donít know how, nothing works. Didnít he get it? But I tried this time let it go instead of ruminating obsessively over an image that may or may not be a memory or a truth. I donít know how I did it, but it was easier than I thought.

It feels good to challenge his authority without caring about he feels. I laugh later, painfully at times, when I discover his words or actions were intentional. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnít, but Iím finding my way and am more at peace.

My pdoc helps in different ways from my T, and I am grateful for what I do learn from him. There is plenty of transference, but not a dependency in a way Iím used to. If a time comes when heís no longer useful, Iím out the door. And Iím strong enough to do that. I still believe there are just some things I need to work through with a man.

I really donít think he actually cares about me, but thatís fine with me. There is a freeing, an independence that Iím in charge. He has committed to not abandoning me without sufficient warning or preparation, no matter the circumstances, but I do have to trust him on that. Even so, if he fails, I know how to deal with it. People around us fail us all the time and itís how we deal with it that matters because so often it is their issue and not a reflection of our own self-worth. It has taken me forever to accept this.

I do know, however, if that if I have an ďoverĒ reaction to a circumstance or event, I must first look inside myself for the reason.

Strange, rambling post, I know. But the thread about the moments we experience with our Ts that bring us so close to them (and yes, even my pdoc) reminds me that this wonderful feeling, for me anyway, is almost indescribable and at times surpasses reason or explanation. It just happens. Itís pure emotion and all the time we spend analyzing, obsessing, and the deep, deep pain that we all feel at timesóall of these things have meaning and maybe peace can be found, or at least at times our understanding of ourselves or our pasts can be accommodated to soothe our unquieted souls.

Donít get me wrongóI still obsess, over analyze and spend more time in my head than in my heart, but I know that now and Iím not quite so afraid. Iím not alone in the dark anymore.





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