MO Day 7

I sat on the top of those stairs today.

Normally I RUSH by them in an attempt to forget they are there. But in a rare moment I had the house to myself, with the dog. And I felt drawn to them and to sit there. 

I noticed the surroundings – the tapestry I describe as the LARGEST thing covering the wall is actually quite small. The bannister which I distinctly remember leaning on and being taller than me, is now only up to my ear if I sit up straight. I am a lot bigger now than I was then.
And it’s only five steps down to the landing, which has always mentally felt very far away. 

I couldn’t sit there for long – as soon as my heart started to race and the fear closed in I got up and moved. But I tried to sit there – and what I found out was its a lot less large and dominating than I thought it was.

I also had a call with A today. And instead of lying to my parents, I told them I needed a private hour to call my counsellor and I needed my space protected. I called her from my old childhood bedroom. It was an interesting combination. Part of me wishes we could hold sessions in that room where so much happened… because I was very aware and focused and tuned into her.

It was REALLY hard to sit there and talk and there was one moment, where I talked about realizing my Dad wasn’t the saint I had pictured him to be – that he can be quite rigid and dismissive – where I was legitimately afraid that they were outside the door listening in. I actually managed to access anger – legitimate real anger where I felt like I was myself.  

I have a pit in my stomach now. I don’t think they listened but I also haven’t left the bedroom yet. 

I told A about the conversation with my Mom and how I’ve been trying to access my emotions but I’m not sure if they’re mine or hers or someone else’s in the house. That’s how codependency works, isn’t it.

We also talked about how in order to make my goal – I would have to not drink for the next four nights. And she asked me to change my goal to something more realistic. And my IMMEDIATE thought was “I have failed, she doesn’t think I can do it. I have failed her. Well fine I won’t have any goal now.” 

She talked me around and through the massive resistance I was feeling. Telling me adjusting goals as circumstances change is a part of life.  And I told her I wanted her to pick the goal and she actually said No way am I doing that! with a wry chuckle And I was like why, and she said you tell me PD. So I did – I know that she won’t lead our conversations or pick goals for me because then I’m accountable to her and not myself and I will ‘perform’ acceptably for her and not focus on me.

My resistance to forming my goals was really really strong. Choosing new ones felt like I had failed at the old one. And what if she got mad? Or didn’t like my new goal? I kept wanting to ask for her approval. Her validation of the goals mattered to me. But she wasn’t going to let me ask if they were good enough. She wasn’t going to give validation until after.

Eventually she said “PD, regardless what happens my love and care for you will not change. I am here if you are successful. I am here if you are not. My feelings towards you do not change regardless of if you are able to accomplish your goals here. Can we just start with one? A realistic, but ambitious, goal.”

Eventually we (I) came up with the three.

  1.  At least one hour for myself Thursday, Friday, Saturday 
  2. Don’t drink on Thursday or Saturday
  3. Continuing to bear witness to what’s going on and spend some time checking in with myself. 

She had me name those days – in number two. I am interested to see what happens. My immediate instinct is to fail purposely to see how she handles it… which is interesting.

It was a good session. We got through a lot. And I see her Monday and Thursday next week so we will be okay. More than halfway through. 

What has been really interesting to me is all of you and A telling me I’ve made such good gains and I should be proud of my efforts in MO this time and me being unable to see that. All I see is “what a total failure”. We can be our own worst enemies, huh.

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9 thoughts on “MO Day 7

  1. I definitely see so many important conversations happening, and big steps. And absolutely zero failure! It’s obviously been a stressful and emotional trip, and that makes us more susceptible to those critical voices, but you are honestly doing awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I think blogging daily about what’s going on has helped me observe more and be a witness to the patterns as opposed to a participant in them. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Like

  2. Nice work on telling them the truth about needing privacy and time alone to talk to A today. I wonder if it is the same for you as for me, in that I became so accustomed to hiding myself and my life, that telling the truth doesn’t always occur to me. There is this expectation of a negative response, so lying just seems easier. But telling the truth feels more grounding. Anyways, I was impressed by your honesty.
    I like A’s approach, I think we can set goals then receive new information and realize the initial goal won’t happen. And can set other ones. All as experiments, not to say fail or succeed, but just seeing how it goes.
    And it is hard to see our own achievements. I get that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh oh oh Rachel you hit the nail on the head. I haven’t found the strength to write about it here but I used to actively lie – and I mean concoct stories of mass proportions – as a way to communicate how I felt without actually revealing myself. It took me multiple years to understand that, more time to undo it, and I still haven’t forgiven myself.

      I think I am so scared of going back to that habit I’m more likely to recklessly throw myself at the truth than anything else these days.

      I like her approach too, I don’t think she anticipated the resistance and I could tell she wished we were in person so she could dig into the failure response and really get at my black and white thinking of either I’m perfect or I’m not, and if I’m not perfect I’m going to bomb this purposefully.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can understand the difficulty of forgiving past transgressions. It seems absurd to the adult us, now, how we might have acted. But those younger versions of us? They really couldn’t have known or done any differently. Survival.
        Right, and hopefully next time you are in person, if it comes up, you can tackle it head-on. I find phone sessions to be so inadequate, but better than no contact at all. It just isn’t the same as in person, is very limited, but still nice to be able to have a live interaction.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It is very hard to see our own successes. It’s so easy to focus on what seems like a “failure”. In time, when you look back, you’ll see this as a success, and for now it’s okay that you don’t. I really like those goals, including naming which days you aren’t drinking, and it was smart to not have them be back-to-back days. And kudos for straight-up telling your parents you were calling your counselor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It hasn’t been an easy trip but I am WAY more present and aware than I would normally be – I think a lot of that is due to this group of WPers too.

      I figured I had nothing to lose – I’m too big for them to try anything physical, and if they listened it would provide a great boundary opportunity. If they interrupted I had A literally there with me to help me… so it was pretty much a cant lose situation in my head in terms of opportunity for growth

      Liked by 1 person

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