TRIGGER WARNING *** This post contains topics surrounding child abuse memories. ***
So this week has been shit. Like, really shit.
At the end of last week I was feeling this oppressive sort of depression. A nothingness place, where on the top of things, on this outside I was feeling okay. Not good, not great, just okay. But underneath that I felt numbed, depressed, detached and disengaged. And below that was a sense of sadness and anger and fear and chaos that I could only just sense within my body, sitting in my gut.
I felt desperate to feel something, anything. But I couldn’t feel anything. I felt muted. As if all this chaos was trapped inside of my body with nowhere to go.
A couple of times tears would rise up to my eyes and I thought with relief that crying might release this self-contained depression I was in but immediately the tears just disappeared as quickly as they came.
On Sunday night I felt awful and so disconnected and had no words to put to what I was feeling that the thought of going to therapy on Monday like this filled me with dread. It would feel so much worse to go there and not be able to communicate how bad I feel and not get the re-connection I so badly needed and wanted and leave feeling even more alone and disconnected and on top of that frustrated. It was more than I could bear.
So I text Sienna to cancel. I explained how I was feeling and how it didn’t feel like there was any point in coming if I had no words.
She asked who it was that was cancelling. She was wanting to make sure it was coming from adult me and not one of the parts trying to sabotage. I had to sit and think for a minute.
Who is it that wants to cancel? Who can I feel playing up inside? Who am I right now? I sat still, looked inside of myself but there was nothing. I couldn’t hear any parts, I couldn’t feel any of their emotions, I didn’t feel very young or very rebellious. So I told her I think I’m me, Sirena.
Sienna said to check in with her the morning to let her know how I’m feeling and that she’d be in the office anyway.
It seemed like a reasonable plan since I always change my mind anyway and end up going.
And sure enough, by Monday morning/early afternoon, even though I still didn’t feel like going, I knew I probably would. Because something happened on Sunday night.
I went to bed early and woke up out of a nightmare that I can’t remember now but when I woke up I had this feeling, this body memory which had been in the dream, and it was a scratching, clawing feeling all over my body but most painful inside my V****a. ( I can’t even write the word, sorry for being such a child, but for some reason I just can’t say or write it and I can’t think of a euphemism for it.)
I didn’t know this until today when I checked my emails and texts, to write this post. But I had emailed Sienna when I woke up to tell her. It was dissociated and all spelled wrong ( a younger part) but it said “ Help. I hurt everywhere.”
In fact, on further checking just now, I emailed Sienna some more on Monday morning and told her about the dream and hearing a toddler speaking. Fuuuuck. How did I forget about this? I literally had no memory of telling Sienna this? And I didn’t even have memory of having had that dream.
Good old dissociation.
Anyway, because of that experience I decided I should go to my session. I still didn’t want to and I don’t remember being aware of that dream on Monday afternoon. Maybe I did though.
Turns out though that the decision to go was taken out of my hands because the car broke down. I had to cancel my session. I was furious. Because even though I had really wanted to not go, and therefore should have been happy for an excuse not to go, I wasn’t happy about it because it was taken out of my control.
I really needed my session. And now the car had fucked me over.
Sienna offered me a session the next night and I accepted. I felt pissed off about not making my session but felt better that I’d be seeing her the next night. But yesterday came and the car wasn’t fixed so once again I didn’t get to my session.
The rage I felt was all-encompassing. I wanted to blow up the world. I needed my therapy and I couldn’t get there. I decided to ask for a phone session for the time I should have been there. I felt like it was important to speak to Sienna while the rage was still hot. I’ve never been able to bring the rage to session in real-time and I hoped that Sienna could help me discharge some of it.
So that’s what we did.
At first it wasn’t helping. Sienna was telling me that the rage wasn’t in proportion to the situation and that just made me even more angry. And then she was telling me how most people don’t feel that level of rage over a car or a missed appointment. And I said “ most people don’t feel like this?” and I was like “ Well, now I feel like a freak.”
The problem is behind the rage is something else and a lot of it is to do with not coping with disappointment or change. And a lack of emotional resilience is a big factor too and also not coping with things being out of my control. When I feel trapped or cornered or helpless, I freak out.
I was already feeling crap and now I wasn’t going to see the one person who can help me with that. I was being kept from my attachment figure whom I really needed. And on top of that, this was meant to be my two session week and I really needed it because she’s going on holiday really soon and I’m freaking out over that.
I told Sienna “ I just hate these breaks.” And really that’s at the crux of all this, I think. I feel like all these breaks are like big waves that just keep coming and they’re so disruptive to me. I feel like I’m either gearing up for an impending break, coping with being ON a break or recovering from the difficulty of the break and soon it’s back to gearing up for the next break and it’s this one big huge cycle. I feel exhausted by it.
Sienna empathised. I know she understands it. And she said it’s hard for her too, to see me get so distressed about the breaks. But she reiterated that she is coming back. And she spoke about giving me something to help me know that; like an objects relations thing. I told her that I’ve never really felt like it helps. And that mostly I know she’ll be back (which is progress in itself.). I think the scare and upset for me is that it disrupts my routine first of all and I miss her and I don’t know what to do with that feeling, I struggle to regulate the attachment I have to her. And I get anxious and scared about having a really terrible time and her not being there to help me. And when things feel really bad, or if the younger parts are mostly present then time literally slows down and the break feels interminable.
By the end of the phone call my rage had subsided. I think I’d really needed to tell her how much I was struggling with the attachment stuff and the breaks.
This morning (Wednesday) I woke up from yet another CSA dream. Very detailed and including the same man who’s featured in a lot of my dreams of that type. I don’t know why he’s taking that form, I certainly have no memories of anything improper ever taking place with him. But this dream was so disgusting and vile.
So today I’ve been in touch with Sienna throughout the day via text (with her permission). At first I was fairly numb to the dream, didn’t feel like a big deal. I have so many of them now that they don’t seem to be upsetting to the extent they used to. Somehow sharing them (not the details) with Sienna has helped take some of the power away from them.
But I have to say, as the day has worn on, I’ve felt more uncomfortable about the dream. And about the level of dissociation/amnesia I’ve been having lately. I found myself asking Sienna in our phone session yesterday what month it was. I feel like the most of the past 2/3 months are a blur.
I don’t understand this level of CSA dreams. Sienna said today that it’s my brain trying to process something I don’t remember. But I can’t seem to accept that.
I see the evidence in front of me. I know what it looks like to others. I know it seems obvious that abuse has taken place. All the signs are there. Yet without concrete memories, I just can’t accept that that happened to me. I know if someone else had symptoms like mine, even if they were denying it like I am, I’d be thinking “ oh, yeah, I’m fairly certain something happened, some kind of abuse that she just isn’t remembering.”
I get it. I do.
But it’s just hard to accept. Hard to believe that something that big happened to me and I don’t remember it. Well, my body is remembering it. But my brain isn’t. I literally don’t know where to put that information.
Is it possible to have all these symptoms and body memories and fragmentation and dissociation and repetitive CSA dreams and parts drawing terrible pictures of it, and it turn out not to be abuse at all? Could it be a representation of something else? Like, child abuse as some sort of symbolic image of feelings.
Like, what is CSA? It’s an abuse of power and an abuse of trust. Adults definitely abused my trust and abused their power. I was manipulated into meeting others needs but what if my brain is trying to process that info and the images in my brain form dreams of child abuse as a metaphor? Is that possible?
Am I clutching at straws?
At least I have me second session tomorrow. I really need it.