I think I’m finally in a place where I can talk about my therapy session from Friday. I went into it knowing that I needed two things: restorative yoga and sandtray. I knew that I would try to talk about my marriage issues and my issues at work because, quite frankly, it’s easier to talk about the everyday stuff than to address the trauma stuff. I emailed my shrink ahead of time so that she could keep me on track, and also so she could be semi-prepared for what I needed. I have spent most of the last two weeks with really high anxiety numbers. Even this weekend, with minimal stress, I am finding myself more on edge than usual, with my anxiety numbers reaching the 8-10 range several times a day.
Friday, my therapy session began with restorative poses and sandbags. It helped to have my shrink talking me through noticing my breath and whatnot. While I’ve been to enough classes now that I can create my own bullshit dialog to anchor myself, having someone else do it for me means that I only have to work on breathing 🙂 Breathing was exactly what I needed.
After regulating my breath and feeling a lot less anxious than I was when I had walked into therapy, we got out my sandtray. I call it “mine,” because I like to think that no one else uses it but me 🙂 I had wanted to use it the week before, but I had that super horrible marriage counseling session and became suicidal, so trauma work was kind of put on hold.
Looking back, I can’t quite remember everything that was in my sandtray on Friday. I started with Alice (from Alice in Wonderland). The fence was there to try to keep her safe. She also had her dog with her. Sandtray is so fascinating sometimes. I get these really strong urges to put things in there. This time, I needed to put a family in there – my dad’s family. The whole time I kept thinking that I wanted him and his girlfriend to have their backs turned facing away from Alice. But rationally, I kept thinking how stupid that seemed – it seemed so cliché. The thought would not go away though. I kept adding to my sandtray; I kept trying to fight off the memories and flashbacks; but my mind continued to find its way back to needing to turn the adults in my sandtray to face away from Alice.
Ugh yes, I get it – my dad and his girlfriend betrayed me; they neglected to take care of me. Putting it in my sandtray though did not change this or make me feel better about it. In fact, I ended sandtray in tears again. I think that’s the second time in a row 😦 I know; I know: Crying is therapeutic.
It didn’t feel therapeutic this time.
This time, I ended sandtray feeling frustrated. The entire time I was working in my sandtray, I felt like I needed to keep Alice safe. And once again, I failed. I searched and searched to find something that would protect her. Anything that would keep her safe. But I couldn’t. There was nothing. I ended up in a heap of tears because I couldn’t keep her safe; I failed.