Three hours ago I walked out of therapy confused and overwhelmed. I don’t really know what to say about my session, or where to begin, so I’m going to just start writing and we’ll see what happens. At this point, I’m not sure I’m going to hit “post” when I’m finished.
My morning began with a fun gentle yoga class, where I laughed and smiled almost the whole time. The teacher is so positive and funny, that you can’t help but smile ear-to-ear in her classes. Then I went to the bank. I had just a few minutes before my therapy session and I was really hungry, so I stopped at a local coffee shop and got a muffin.
I arrived at therapy right on time. Today’s plan for our session: restorative fish and sandtray. We talked about yesterday’s blog post and restorative fish. My shrink told me I was being brave by continuing to put myself in this pose and face what comes up, instead of modifying the pose or doing something different 😊 I got into restorative fish in her office – the same memories and feelings that have been coming up in class came up in her office. I was able to use my breath and stay in the pose. Afterwards, I concluded that part of why it is easier in her office for me to stay present and focus is because there isn’t a class full of people to distract me.
After fish, we did sandtray. This is where I’m going to struggle to write. I’m not sure what happened. Sandtray started off fine. I put my pieces in the sandtray. There were pieces representing my trauma stuff, Alice from Alice in Wonderland (representing me…or maybe my younger self?), and a fence keeping the scary trauma things away from Alice. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if my therapist and I were having a conversation or if the room was silent. I don’t know if I had a flashback. I don’t know.
All I can remember is feeling my eyes fill with tears, getting a yoga bolster from the shelf, and putting myself into child’s pose and crying. I don’t know how long I stayed there; it felt like an eternity. My therapist was completely silent….maybe she couldn’t comprehend what had happened either. Every time I thought I might be ready to face her, more tears came and I buried myself back into my bolster. At some point I wanted her to put sandbags on me, but I couldn’t find the words to ask, and she didn’t initiate any interaction. So I layed there and sobbed. And in my head, all I could think about was how sorry I was for not protecting Alice. I kept thinking about how it wasn’t Alice’s fault and that she didn’t deserve to live in a world that was so scary. She didn’t deserve the bad things that he did to her.
When I finally got the tears to stop, I sat up…my body filled with shame as I looked at my therapist after having this huge breakdown in her office. I don’t cry like that often. When I do, I always feel like I’ve done something wrong….even though my shrink reassures me that crying is good.
My therapist asked me if I remembered taking Alice out of the sandtray. I looked down to see that Alice was in my hand. I didn’t. I didn’t remember Alice being in my hand; I didn’t remember asking for a bolster; I didn’t remember what triggered all of this. And I still don’t.
There’s a chunk of time between feeling sand between my fingers and pulling the bolster off the shelf that I have lost completely. Perhaps the Langoliers ate it. But really, what the fuck happened?!?!
At the end of the session, my shrink asked me what I was going to do with the rest of my day. My immediate response was, “Go home and kill myself.” I didn’t say that, but that was literally the first thing to pop into my head. And on my way home, that’s what I thought about. I thought about how hard trauma work is, and how unfair it is that my abuser is out there living his life while I’m busting my ass every day, spending thousands of dollars on therapy and yoga, trying to escape this imprisonment….trying to find freedom from the years of childhood sexual abuse that still haunt me and disrupt my life. It’s not fair.
I didn’t kill myself…obviously. I made a conscious decision to go to the mall. I didn’t need anything, but I knew I couldn’t go home and be safe. I knew I wouldn’t keep myself safe. I walked around the mall for an hour and then ate lunch. When I was finally feeling safe, I went home. I took a much needed nap – trauma work is exhausting. And now, I’ve written about my day (which was therapeutic). If you took the time to read through all of this, thanks 🙂 I don’t know that it was helpful for you, but I benefited from writing it. And I have to believe that amidst all of those tears and inner dialogue today, there was some healing.