Keep it together!

It started today with urges to self-harm. I didn’t do it. Sometimes I get the urges but they are under the surface, so although I’m aware that there’s an urge, I don’t act on it, I don’t need to. I just ignore it and get on with my day. The urge rose up a couple of times throughout the day that I can remember.

At other points of the day, I was aware of some young parts stirring. Very young, child voices and the fears they hold. I don’t remember what they were saying, I only remember thinking to myself “ ah, here we go, they are all waking up now. Sienna is back and now they’re all coming back out.”

They’ve been in the distance though, they haven’t taken over.

Until tonight. I was binge watching a tv drama and suddenly I became agitated, and instead of being in the distance, one part stepped forward, took over me. I began rubbing my forehead over and over, and pulling at my hair. Agitated and eyes filling with tears. That feeling of going mad. Too much vulnerability. I began crying.

I don’t even remember the thoughts now…. But there was this emptiness in my stomach, loneliness and fear of the next therapy break coming soon.

Oh, I do remember something… I remember feeling panic that this week I only have one session. Recently on the weeks when I only go once, I’ve been feeling a lot of panic. And when I was in that agitated state earlier tonight while watching tv I had the thought “ too much space, too much space, there’s too much space.”

Suddenly only having one session leaves me with too much space, too much time to be on my own and it feels intolerable.

And then a memory came to me. Something that possibly explains why the breaks are so tough for me. Why space causes me so much panic. My theory is that my childhood experiences- of a mother who came in and out of my life; who promised weekly visits and soon changed it to fortnightly which felt interminable to little me- have left a memory and a mark on me. I have learned that space brings more space, that people don’t keep their promises. That things change and I don’t get a say.

This isn’t a new memory, I always remember how it was, but somehow this is the first time I’ve connected with it in a feeling way. Normally I’d just recant the story rather dispassionately, matter of factly. But tonight I made a connection to it. Maybe that’s why Sienna’s breaks and the space between sessions is so hard?

As a child, I don’t remember ever showing that I was visibly upset about the visitation arrangements. I don’t remember crying when my mum left after them. Yet, tonight I cried as I watched the scene in my head (flashback?) I felt what I must have felt but didn’t show back then.

And I really want to talk to Sienna about this. I will, I think. I see her tomorrow/today anyway.

But who will I be when I turn up there? I feel it all bubbling up, the grief, the vulnerability and the need.

I need to keep my shit together, I can’t be bleeding out young parts this week.

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12 thoughts on “Keep it together!

  1. twinkletoes2017 says:

    I can so relate to that feeling of going mad where you are filled with so much panic and anger and vulnerability and want to rip your skin off – totally. That is horrible I am sorry you felt like that but really glad you didn’t harm yourself.

    The feeling of too much space between sessions is just the worst. Can you connect with her via text or email or something and see if that helps to fill that space just a little bit? I know it is no substitute for actually seeing her – perhaps if you had a quick phone check-in then hearing her voice might help to soothe your younger parts?

    Where you say “As a child, I don’t remember ever showing that I was visibly upset about the visitation arrangements. I don’t remember crying when my mum left after them. Yet, tonight I cried as I watched the scene in my head (flashback?) I felt what I must have felt but didn’t show back then” – as painful as this is, I actually think this is progress you know? I think being able to FEEL the pain from that memory shows that you are beginning to integrate more and not just look back at memories intellectually, I think it shows a type of caring and empathy for your child parts, do you now what I mean? I never cried when my mother left me either, but I am crying as an adult for my T when she takes her breaks (and the fact there is one approaching aggghghgh) and although it is painful, the fact you can feel and show S this emotion shows you are being true to yourself and that you are not as fearful of her and the possible repercussions as you were as a child.

    As always, I am miles behind you in your journey so none of this is probably helpful but I am thinking of you if nothing else x

  2. La Quemada says:

    Just want you to know I am here, and I see how difficult this is. I also see how hard you are trying and how far you have already come. It’s not much, but I can at least witness and validate your struggle. I wish I could make it easier for you. I wish I could promise the little ones that the people they care about would always be there. It sucks that they didn’t get that when they needed it. Sending them (and you) tenderness and concern.

  3. findingmyway00 says:

    we only saw our dad twice a year sometimes. i don’t remember feeling anything about him much when he would leave, but my sister was attached to him and would cry. i just feared him as i got older because of his anger/aggressiveness towards others (not me though).

    i had separation anxiety with my mom for a few years (until i realized she would never protect me). i remember one time she was supposed to meet me back home for lunch one day. i think i was in kindergarten, so five years old. she forgot. i was devastated and terrified sitting on the steps crying my eyes out. but thankfully, my neighbor/babysitter saw me and took me over to her house.

    i also learned from an early age that i didn’t really seem to matter and that people had better things to do than to give me what i needed. i had a lot of people come and go in general in my house and life, so the attachment thing was hard…and what made it worse and confusing too was when adults knew of some things that happened but didn’t take the proper steps to help me.

    it is difficult.

  4. manyofus1980 says:

    oh god sirena i know the feeling of trying to get your shit together and keep everything straight so you can discuss something important in therapy. sending you hugs i hope you are ok tonight. thinking of you. xo

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