TW: suicide attempt (not my own, in case you’re worried and can’t read this due to TW)
I don’t have words. I didn’t in session either. I started by telling her things are legitimately okay, and they are. They still are. And then I let her listen to the recording after we talked about that for a bit – we talked about dance, and hot yoga, and how it hurt to know she was more excited for me than my own mother. And how there is a lot to work on still but I am becoming my own advocate – there is space for trying new things and figuring out who PD is.
For those of you who watch Gilmore Girls, you’ll know the scene, but for those of you who don’t.. there is a Grandma, a Mom, and a daughter. The Mom grew up in a stifling environment. And in this scene the Mom is going “do I even like Pop tarts? Or was I told that I didn’t like Pop tarts so I had to like them because it made her mad? What did I miss out on because I was making decisions based off of her?” And she is referring to her Mother. And I shared this with A, who said there couldn’t be a more perfect metaphor. I was told I had to like ballet, but I was told the other dance types were bad. And now I’m trying them. And if I like them, great. And if I don’t, I don’t. But I’m exploring.
We talked about investing in my own health and I told her how maybe I don’t have to live by a set of rules, that maybe I don’t need to restrict my life to following a set of guidelines and that maybe I can go by my gut and she said “that sounds like new information to you” and I’m like “it is” because it genuinely is! And she was happy and we chatted and I told her about the recording and how vulnerable it felt to share. And we worked with that a bit and then we talked about the recording and I played it (I think she cried but I don’t know for sure, if she did she was good at hiding it after I finally looked at her again).
But the part in the recording where I say “I saw the moment you realized I was right, and that your son needed more help than you could give him” is directly from the night my brother attempted suicide for the first time. A pool of his blood on the floor. All I wanted was a glass of water. And I found him killing himself. And my Dad went off in the ambulance. And I had been warning my parents for weeks that he was being weird and I SAW the moment that she decided to go after him – she weighed her options between me and the door.And she left me alone in that blood stained kitchen.
Comment Disclaimer: My defence mechanisms and coping mechanisms are still so high and I am so raw and so don’t any of you insult my mother. I don’t want to hear about how irresponsible she was in that moment or how she wasn’t thinking – I know those things. She was doing the best she could. However, her best was leaving me abandoned. And only I get to be really pissed about that right now.
And I told A this – about that memory – and how alone and raw and young I felt. She was like “that’s how you felt then, that makes sense. But you’re not alone right now, and you’re not going to be crushed by those emotions that feel so big and like you’re incapable of handling them” and she was trying to get me to feel into those body memories and I could but I couldn’t and it was so fucking hard, and so painful, and so I kept trying to push her away and she worked with it.
“what does it feel like”
“I don’t know. I don’t have words for it. I cant describe it.”
“That may actually be a good thing, PD. Tell me what you can.”
“I feel like a coiled spring.”
“Be more specific.”
“My legs. My torso. But especially that center part and my legs. Like I’m coiled to strike or to run.”
I kept shaking my head. All I could think (I didn’t share this with her) was “I have to clean up. I have to clean up. I have to clean up.” And it was getting really loud.We didn’t get to releasing it, experiencing the emotion fully. It was too much and eventually I said “I can’t. I just can’t right now.” And she said “OK, that’s okay. I accept that.”
My God what an exhausting session.
I am trembling and hyperventilating on the train station platform. I’m not in any danger of harming myself, but I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the stomach, and like I’m the one bleeding out everywhere but I’m being walked by.
She worked with me to ground but I couldn’t meet her where she was. I’m okay, but I’m not. Going there is hard. Healing that is going to be hard. Integrating that, is going to be hard. And coming to see her knowing we are going there to try to integrate that, is really hard.
But I’m at a place where I can cope and be an adult with adult coping mechanisms and skills. I have finished my train ride now – editing this post waiting for the bus – and I’m breathing normally again. I will take tonight and probably part of tomorrow to be really gentle with myself, and them I will be okay. The present is different from the past and I am able to be aware of that. I can separate my feelings, and I feel secure in my connection with A. As she said,
“It didn’t have to be traumatic, but it was, because no adult attended to you. The injury was made due to lack of connection. And connection and witness to that pain is going to heal that, PD. But be mindful of the words you use. Don’t dismiss yourself. You have every right to be feeling all you are. And I know it’s painful, I know. But it won’t be forever. And you have been here for a year and even though that voice that says you can’t trust me and that narrative that says it isn’t okay is still strong, we’re adding to the other side of the equation countless times where you are heard, and where it is okay”.
It’s going to be OK. Currently I am okay. I am a grown woman, I am going home to my husband, I’m going to make steak. It’s okay.
It’s going to be a process and I don’t have words for it yet, but I will. I will. I have to believe I will.