How I used therapy…TW


When I was going to therapy as many times a week as my therapist could see me, I was essentially conducting primary research. I had to detach from some of the emotion because I was so wrecked in that regard. My scientific training was undoubtedly my best asset for survival. I listened to absolutely everything my therapist said. I made mental models and journaled vigorously. Very little of it, but for the effort to find the will to shower every day, was applicable at the time. My nervous system was overloaded and I drifted now and then into psychosis. I was completely aware of what was happening and the inherent defense mechanism in psychosis is that time is distorted. The recognition of the cognitive distortion of the mind was observed by The Scientist (one of my dissociative mindsets or personas, if more correct) and the episode was monitored. The Scientist saved my life.

While I was banking all of the information from my therapist, I was reading anything she suggested. Most often, I was bringing literature to the table and it was, on that level, a scholarly exchange with dialogue. The dialogue I could not process, let alone apply, until about now.

Like the picture above, my therapist was passing along cards with little bits of information. Intellectually, of course, rarely did she ever tell me something I didn’t already know on some level. The missing link was the strength to 1) process, 2) synthesize, 3) build a methodology, and 4) apply the information. Strength was the sticking point.

My nervous system was so overloaded and programmed to almost exclusively reside within the flight mode. Interestingly, my body defended me when I didn’t possess the strength to do so. My very good friend (colleague, super-brainy awesome woman) told me directly: there are no more reserves. If you don’t fix this, you will cease to exist in one form or another. You cannot do this any more.

She was right. Energy was very, very slowly rebuilt but not without great resistance from H.

I have felt like I am constantly at battle with what I know I need and what H wants (i.e., me to just be “around” all of the time). I frequently feel like I’m being smothered. I walk on eggshells constantly, whether I need to or not. [How would I know? I’m only now recognizing my own behavioral patterns and have good reason to question my judgment.]

Though I’m seeing progress in H building an understanding of the lifelong trauma I’ve stuffed way down, most of which he listens to with disbelief and/or shock, he’s not understanding my need for space. He’s not understanding that our patterns of interacting are dysfunctional when the interaction involves communicating what I need.

Ah-ha moment: H said he was beginning to wonder whether or not he blacks out in these rages because he does not remember saying much of the worst stuff over the years.

So OK, the takeaway is that whatever kind of progress it is, it’s progress.

After having a very rough flashback the night before last, I have an emotional hangover. Coupled with horrendous PMS, which is no doubt exacerbated by the emotional stress, I am really amped up and focusing on calm.

Meanwhile, he seems to want guarantees. He told me he’d rather skip the “middle part” (i.e., the hard work on the individual level) and just get back to living. He said it doesn’t have to be depressing. I said if I do the hardest part of the work, it might feel that way now and then but to be useful to me, the experiences had to be received free of duality/judgment. I explained that if I do not do the work on myself – now, I will never have a balanced relationship of any kind for the rest of my life. This is a make or break moment and I am gleefully embracing the opportunities. [He looks at me like I’m insane when I express that.] At the risk of sounding nihilistic, what the hell else is there? /smile

I desperately need some mental white space. I probably need more right now than on average. I have conveyed my experience that comfort comes from inside oneself, not from an external source. No amount of external pacifying will take away that hunger and fill that void. I’ve chased that my whole life and it’s not out there. [yeah, yeah, intellectually, I knew it. Accepting it is different.] So the more I try to heal myself and quiet my surroundings, the more he seems to increase his hold. This is a root cause issue. Alrighty.

Meanwhile, when I ask for space, as I did this afternoon – just for the night – H launches into the “how long are we going to maintain two households?” passive/aggressive BS. I’m too weak to stand up to it today so, of course, here I am once again.

It’s just part of my process.


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