It’s the early hours of Friday morning here and I felt like writing a new post.
As you know, it’s been a break from therapy starting from last Wednesday. I went a weekend break and spent time with friends and my husband. It was fantastic to just get a change of scenery, and believe me, the scenery was truly beautiful!
I noticed this time that I had much less anxiety going away than I did last year. I felt a bit anxious or overwhelmed the night before as I was packing and trying to get housework done but it was at an acceptable level. I also get a huge amount of guilt leaving my cats, even though they were being well cared for. I am not sure if the massive guilt I feel is a symptom of the anxiety? Because the guilt is almost big enough to make me not want to go away on holiday. And realistically, I know they’ll be okay and maybe they don’t even care too much, who knows? Yet the guilt cripples me and makes me cry sometimes.
But I knew for my own sanity that I needed to get away for a few days. I knew I needed that. And I know it’s healthy to take holidays and I wanted that for myself.
So yeah, the holiday was great.
I got back on Sunday evening and this week I’ve kept semi-busy with a few different things. My physical health and been really good lately – the best and longest period of health I’ve had for a year or two I would say. I still tire easier than people with normal health levels, but my recovery time is faster than usual which means I can do more. And my mood is elevated too, probably because I can do things and I don’t hurt so much, and I am sleeping a bit better too.
When I feel this good, I feel vindicated almost. I can see how very sick I really am most days, when I am able to compare how I am in this healthy period. I am not lazy and apathetic and permanently miserable when I have a bit of energy. It’s not who I am. When I feel good, I am constantly doing things, housework which is normally a huge task for me when ill is currently taking me 20-30 mins to do. I WANT to do things, I am interested in life and I am cheerful.
When you get months and years of feeling so awful, it’s easy to forget how bad it really is, you just get used to coping and doing the best you can – which is never good enough by your own standards and you feel like a constant failure at life. It goes on for so long that the pain and the extreme fatigue just becomes normal, and you start to think that you’re just very lazy and apathetic and avoiding life. That really you should be trying harder, yet trying harder involves energy you really don’t have and pushing through it would mean even more pain, even more fatigue and becoming even more ill. And bed just seems like a much more attractive option.
I feel a bit sorry for myself, as in, sorry I abuse myself so much and give myself such a hard time for being ill. Truly and life-altering-ly ill.
Psychologically, I’ve been pretty good too. This therapy break has been the best yet. I haven’t pined for Sienna. I’ve remained fairly connected to her, knowing she’s alive and just having a break and will be back. I’ve enjoyed this break. I mean, I’d probably never choose to have it. But I recognise the need for it and why it’s healthy. Although part of me always has recognised why the breaks are important so that isn’t new.
What is new is this contentedness and settled feeling. I suppose I can say I’ve been able to stay in my adult ego state. All of the parts have been extremely quiet this time. And I’m grateful for that because feeling their pain and sadness and longing is really hard and makes breaks interminable.
I don’t know how that works though… are the parts in there somewhere feeling those things and I just can’t feel it because they’ve gone away or do they not feel bad right now and that’s why they’re quiet? Are they feeling settled I wonder?
Over the past week, I’ve felt some tiny pangs of missing Sienna or the start of some young needs but it’s lasted only a few seconds and I’ve managed to stay in an adult place and remind the young part that it’s okay and Sienna will be back soon and now is the time for adult me to be around. I need to stay the adult so that we can get through this. It seemed to work. I didn’t get a sense that the young part heard me or anything but the adult part certainly seemed to and it was she/adult-me that clicked back in.
I’m rarely able to do that so I don’t know why it worked this time. I never know what works with the parts or who is listening to me, I have no control over any of that.
I feel quite surprised and delighted by how well I’ve felt this break. I feel like it’s a real step forward, real progress. And it’s also a huge relief to have (almost) gotten through it. There’s only 3 more sleeps until I see Sienna again.
Part of me feels a bit like I don’t want to go back because there’s only 4 weeks before she’s away again on a course for a week. And I don’t want to rock this comfortable boat. If I go back and start therapy work again, will it make things hard for me again? Will I get another week like this one where I feel contented or will it be a terrible time? Who knows, it depends what parts are running the show at the time.
I’m not even back yet and I’m already worrying about the next break!
I’ve been mulling a few things over in my head during the holidays, so I haven’t been totally therapy free.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that lately I’ve been withholding from Sienna. I’ve felt reticent to tell her things that are going on in my life in the present. I think I’ve touched on this in a previous post somewhere.
I am not entirely sure why I’ve started to withhold things from her. It’s not big things, really. But maybe if she asks what I’ve been up to, I’ll say not much rather than tell her that I went out somewhere. I didn’t tell her I had my most recent holiday planned before she went away. And I still feel like I don’t want to tell her about it. I am feeling this protectiveness over my life in the present.
It’s almost like I’ve separated my present, adult life away from her. That she doesn’t get to know that part of me. She get everything else, the past, the parts, the mistakes, the regrets, the tears, the tantrums… she gets to know everything about me and somehow, getting to know what I do in my adult present life is too much.
There’s a huffiness attached to this. I don’t know if it’s a bit of a game – a kind of hiding or an attempt at control or something.
But this thought comes every-time I think on this issue and this voice says the following things petulantly
“ Well, I don’t get to hear everything that’s going on in her life. She doesn’t tell me, so why should I tell her?”
“ Just like she hides parts of herself, I’m hiding parts of me. If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.”
“ I don’t have to tell her anything if I don’t want to.”
“ Why should I be the one doing all the sharing? Why does she get to hear everything about me and yet she deliberately keeps a lot of herself hidden?”
“ I don’t want her to know all of me.”
I think I sense an anger behind those thoughts. I don’t know why they’ve suddenly appeared, I don’t know why I am thinking the things above. I don’t know what triggered it or even what I’m feeling angry about but I am aware of the anger and the thoughts above.
So I’m just observing them and letting them be there until I know why or until they resolve themselves.
I don’t think it’s all about anger though. It feels like there’s more than that going on. A sense of needing to keep some things for myself maybe? Or a split had occurred even…. Like I’ve split things to be “ Sirena’s life things” and “Sirena’s therapy life things.”
I sometimes get the brief and fleeting thought that therapy is “ work-time” that during sessions that’s for doing the hard stuff, the trauma stuff. That that’s the only stuff she’s entitled to. The personal stuff in the present isn’t needing attended to, therefore, it is not relevant or necessary in the therapy room- from my perspective, definitely not from Sienna’s.
I know that she wants to know all the good stuff in the present too, she needs it to get a more accurate picture of me as a person and me in general, how I am coping in life etc.
There’s a real barrier up around this stuff lately and I am intrigued to know more about it, to understand where it’s coming from because I am not entirely sure.
And yes I know – Talk to Sienna about (eye-roll). It would be a really fruitful conversation I’d imagine and I might talk to her about it if I feel like it. But right now it’s just something I want to keep to myself. ( Anyone seeing a pattern here? LOL )