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An Update - long, mild triggers

Posted by Daisym on September 1, 2008, at 2:00:17

I've had a strange week. Things are going really well at work - like REALLY well - new programs, new funding and hiring much needed staff. (OK, we don't have a budget yet in Ca but that will eventually fix itself.) And I met someone a few months ago, who lives a couple of states away but still - I feel like a teen with a crush. And lucky me, AnnieRose came out to visit and we had so much fun last weekend. I've been pretty depressed most of the summer but even that felt like it was lifting.

So why, in the midst of all this good stuff, did I get a horrible new memory? I guess I've felt it coming for a while but that doesn't make it any less devastating. Sometimes I think my unconscious is against happiness - that parts of me don't trust it and actually fight against it. Being happy is scary and dangerous.

Talking about memories is hard because it makes them real. I know the process - I'll tell, I'll feel the shock of really knowing, I'll feel sick and then numb and then suicidal and then slowly accept what is true and begin to grieve this new thing, along with so much else. And each and every time, I'm terrified to tell my therapist this new thing. I'm ashamed and worried that he will leap out of his chair and scream, "enough! No more bad things. I can't hear anymore!" Or worse, he will begin to wonder if any of it is real - where have these memories been hiding and how can he believe them? I'm not even sure I do.

I dropped this new memory out at the end of the session on Monday. It was hard to tell him. It was so hard that I was up most of the night and by morning I decided I would pretend like I'd never said it. I wondered what he would say if I said he'd mixed me up with another client. But the session took a weird turn and we ended up talking about my new relationship or more specifically, why I wasn't talking about it much in therapy. After that session, I felt relief but I also felt confused. It was very unlike my therapist to not provide openings to go back to something or even to straight out ask about it. I started to doubt that I'd even told him - maybe I'd written about it and I just thought I'd told him. At my next session, we continued talking about relationships and we talked about sex. I want so desperately to be normal around all of this and not get triggered. My therapist was so kind and caring - sometimes I wish sex was part of therapy so I could learn how to relax and deal with the closeness. He doesn't scare me, much. (Yes, I told him this.) But at the very end of the session, there were powerful emotions coming up. This wish and a deep sadness that descended from no where. I left abruptly and early and cried for a long time in my car. Somehow I convinced myself that my therapist really didn't want to talk about the memories anymore and maybe didn't even want to work with me anymore. So on Thursday I chattered away about work and my kids and the weather. And he let me. And then I went silent. He asked a number of questions and then finally asked if I just wanted to sit together for awhile. I made a sarcastic comment and he responded with surprise that I sounded angry. I shook it off and he asked me to please tell him what I was angry about. I tried to deny the anger but suddenly I was furious and I sort of hurled a few things at him - particularly that if we were done talking about the abuse, he should tell me so I stop making a fool out of myself by telling him stuff. He looked stunned and tried to ease back with "we can talk about whatever you want and of course we aren't done." It was the end of the session, he said, "do you think we should touch base over the weekend?" I said no. He reminded me that I could call him if I needed him. I nodded and left.

About two hours later, he called me and left a message saying that he was very unsettled after I left and after sitting with it a while he realized why I was so upset. He said I'd told him something really hard and awful on Monday and we'd never gone back to it. He felt bad about that and said it was a mistake on his part. He asked me to please call him or email him. I sent him a long email (almost as long as this!) and we talked on Saturday. I acknowledged that it was my responsibility to bring things up and he said it was his responsibility to help me do this. He also said that he thinks that he dissociated away from the memory with me - unconsciously colluded with my need to undo telling him. We talked a lot about this and how hard it is to help me through all of this. It is very painful for him, I think. I did ask how I could make it easier on him and he said it wasn't my job to make it easier but it always helps him when I can just say what I am thinking. Sometimes I just don't know what I'm thinking, or feeling.

If you've read this far, you are a trooper and I thank you. I guess I just wanted to share what was happening with me. I think I'm glad not I'm not my own therapist - I feel like such a hard patient.




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poster:Daisym thread:849617