I leave in 18 minutes for counselling with A. My heart is racing. I wrote out a letter to give her cause I don’t feel like I can talk to her and maybe she’ll be able to lead the conversation from there. That’s what I pay her for, right?
I feel like I can’t even find the anger and frustration I had last Friday and Saturday towards her. It’s like I am a whole different person here at home. I’m honestly not sure how this will go – so I am very nervous and anxious right now.
I used to arrive with exactly one minute to sit in the waiting room and collect myself – but now they have changed the policy and you have to ring the office doorbell, which sucks. It means I have to be ready to see A immediately. It also makes it so much easier to not show up.
It feels like I’m going to battle.
I don’t know how I feel right now. I feel very floaty and blobby. Those are the best words I have for it.
Session was a bit of a blur. I did give her my letter, asking her to help me stay connected, and we did talk about the scheduling. We talked about how upset I was and why, and how I felt dismissed. She asked if a variety of things she could do would help and she addressed it. She addressed it from both what she could do and was willing to do and what I could do differently in the future.
She also said she was very glad that I brought it to her – that “it may seem counter-intuitive but the fact that you have these massive reactions to things I say and are willing to tell me about them and work through them are a sign of progress. You had needs when you were younger that weren’t met and weren’t constructively addressed – so the fact that you are having these reactions to me is a sign therapy is working.”
After that, I was content we had addressed it, and we moved into talking about my time in MO. We discussed the shampoo incident for a while and the feelings of being dismissed and lesser than… and she asked me to try to sit with them.
I always describe things from other people’s point of view or use language around what they are doing and saying and thinking and she is constantly asking me to come back into my own experience.
And it’s hard. Those feelings, they hurt and I am afraid of them. I am afraid of letting them out in front of her. I am afraid she will leave me if I have a messy breakdown. I am afraid of panic attacks. I am afraid of letting them have any space. Because I am afraid of not coming back from that.
She led me through that wave of emotions and tried to get me to let them out – and as they subsided (never got out, but we are getting closer) I told her I needed to tell her about Friday before I chickened out.
I didn’t look at her the whole time I explained what happened. I cried, I kind of vaguely went around details of how and where he touched me… She was trying to ask gentle clarifying questions and I couldn’t get the words out. And I kept dismissing myself.
She is so concerned about me dismissing myself, I can tell – she didn’t tell me directly but she told me “PD, I wish I could banish that narrative that you deserve dismissal from this room. This, here, is where your story gets to stay front and centre. You pay me good money to have your story stay front and centre and above all that I also genuinely care about you, I don’t want your story to be anything else. I truly want to know your story. So I honour that part of you that is dismissing this. I know why it’s doing that. I understand. But it doesn’t have to dismiss you here.”
I am not sure of everything else she said, I was crying a lot, there was a lot of kindness and compassion and when I eventually looked at her she had so much concern on her face and compassion for me… and tears in her eyes, which is the first time thats happened. And that was almost too much but also very welcome. She asked me to make use of my supports and crisis plan if I needed it – and she was like “PD, I am so so sorry that this happened to you.”
And we ran out of time… and I’m feeling very raw and vulnerable but closer to her, and more trusting. I see her Thursday although she also offered Wednesday morning too, she was like “I will keep it open for you if you decide to use it, just email me.” This is going to take a while though. I think Friday’s incident needs to be processed. I think my whole trip still needs to be processed. I can’t do the morning, but we did schedule in two times next week that work with my work too.
I am glad for her though, and grateful I asserted myself with the scheduling, and was heard. I am so happy she is who she is and when I get angry she allows it and we work through it together. I trust her. She has become a safe person. And that’s hard, but simultaneously wonderful. And I am sure more emotion is coming.
I am going to try to eliminate the dismissive narrative I have with myself. She’s right, my story does deserve to be told, and heard – especially by me.