Today’s therapy session ended up being way more intense than I had anticipated. I knew yesterday that I wanted my sandtray, but I thought it was just because I had lots of anxiety and sandtray helps with that sometimes.
As soon as I started working in my sandtray, I realized it was not about everyday anxiety – it was all about trauma. Every last bit. It didn’t go at all where I had expected it to go. I guess that’s the point of sandtray though….to help you figure out what’s really going on? I thought I would end up with a scene including a mom figure or a family. I thought all of my stress, emotions, and anxiety was stemming from having my family come and visit this weekend. That’s not what my sandtray scene showed at all though.
My sandtray took me back to trauma stuff; scary trauma stuff. I actually was on the verge of tears, fighting to stuff down emotions that I didn’t want to feel. Every emotion feels so extreme at this point in my trauma work. When I’m happy, I’m elated. When I’m in love, I’m smitten. When I’m sad, I’m drowning in sorrow. There is no “mild” emotion for me right now. Everything is extreme. I don’t know how to turn that off or make that better.
I ended up not crying in therapy today. I successfully kept my makeup in tact, and pushed the flood of emotions down back into the black hole of a pit that sits inside of my stomach. My therapist was rattling on about something totally irrelevant to my sandtray, but her steady voice kept me semi-present…even though I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. It was this battle between needing to stay present and heal, but also wanting to dissociate and escape, to numb the emotions.
Today’s sandtray was perplexing. I don’t understand it – I don’t understand why trauma stuff came up in my sandtray. I also don’t understand why I couldn’t finish the scene. When a sandtray is complete, I get this huge sense of relief, this gut feeling that, “Ok; I’m done.” I didn’t have that today. I don’t think I’ve ever had to end a session with sandtray where I didn’t feel like I was finished. I think as a result, I’m struggling with processing my session. It’s like there are these loose ends that need to be tied up, but the ropes slipped out of my hands and I can’t find the ends to tie them together. I also don’t remember parts of my session. Looking back, it’s like all of the conversations regarding my sandtray today took place in a different room. I think that means I failed at being mindful and staying present today.
Perhaps it’s the lack of yoga this week. Or maybe it’s because, even though I’ve made so much growth, I still feel stuck in some parts of my trauma stuff. I hope I can find time for myself this weekend for restorative yoga and meditation. I need to process what happened today. I’m trusting that the clarity will come when it’s meant to.