Something fun.

It’s my birthday today! 😊

And as a celebration and just for fun, I’d like to make a small piece of art and send it to one of my readers. No idea what this piece of art will be yet as it isn’t even made.

So, if you’d like to own a piece of my art comment “me” in the comments box and your name will go into a draw. I will do the draw on Sunday and announce the winner. It will be sent out to the winner in May.

Go!

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Transitional Objects for adults.

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Made it.

The break is finally over and I see Sienna tomorrow. I feel relief. I haven’t cut off or detached from her this time. At least not as much as in the past.

There have been moments of numbed out detachment and moments of not wanting to go back, moments of doubt etc. But on the whole I’ve managed to hold onto a sense of her and the relationship we have. And I’ve been able to maintain the knowledge that she’s out there in the world somewhere. She isn’t dead, she hasn’t abandoned me and she thinks about me too.

That’s huge progress bytheway! I don’t think I ever expected to get to this stage, it was too foreign a concept, and I didn’t have the first clue how to internalise her or the relationship.

I’m not sure there is any way to do it other than just time and experience of her going away and coming back. I’ve had to experience it over and over to somehow find confidence in my ability to cope without her and also that we both survive separation.

Not only that… I think the work in between is imperative for separation anxiety. The ruptures have been horrendous but the fact that she’s stayed each time has given me confidence in our commitment to one another.

Not all is rosy though. Even just writing that last sentence gave me fear chills that what if tomorrow I see her and she terminates me or has really bad news for me?

Sometimes when there’s space, I feel threatened. I feel that if she gets space from me, she’ll realise she doesn’t like me or want to work with me.

The last time I saw Sienna, she allowed me to bring home a big pillow that I use to cuddle in therapy a lot. She’d asked what I wanted as a transitional object a few weeks before and I couldn’t think of anything much that I really equated with Sienna.

I would have preferred to ask for a piece of clothing – a cardigan maybe, something that smelled like her. But it felt way too personal and sort of creepy to ask. So, I asked if I could take the pillow home.

I strongly regard that pillow as “ my pillow”. In fact that’s what I jokingly call it when I go to therapy. And even Sienna refers to it as my pillow! Apparently I’m the only one who uses it anyway.

I was glad to bring the pillow home with me. Sienna laughed on my way out that that was certainly the biggest transitional object she’d even given out.

I’ve never gotten comfort from transitional objects. I just don’t get it. I mean, I get the theory behind it and why it should work. But it just doesn’t for me.

And I hate that it doesn’t.

I’ve had the pillow out of my cupboard twice in 21 days. And I hugged it and felt….. nothing.

It’s a pillow.

So what?

I wish I’d got comfort from it. But I just didn’t.

I mean is it meant to reassure me she’s coming back? I think that’s part of the transitional object thing, but really, it’s a cheap fucking pillow, fairly sure she wouldn’t be coming back for that if her primary objective was to abandon me. So, the pillow doesn’t help reassure me.

It doesn’t smell like her and it isn’t hers specifically or something that has strong meaning for her or me, so where’s the comfort supposed to come from?

I don’t get it. Why don’t transitional objects work with me?

What has been more successful is me giving her something of mine to keep. I once gave her a tiny silver owl charm before a holiday. I really like owls. And she put it in her purse and said she’d keep it there because she takes her purse everywhere and she can be reminded of me when she sees it.

I was taken aback. Flattered and touched that she’d want to be reminded of me. I couldn’t imagine why and it’s always felt like people wanted to get away from me, not be reminded of me. So this was a new experience.

I shrugged it off though and reasoned that she was just saying that. That she probably left it at home.

I forgot about it. But months and months later, Sienna mentioned that she still had the owl charm in her purse. I was amazed! She said it goes everywhere with her. She even showed me that it was still in there.

That small act gave me more object constancy than any transitional object she could have given me. It was a powerful act, to keep something of me. To choose to carry me wherever she goes. That she wanted to be reminded of me…. That was new for me. And so touching.

It still continues to give me a sense of permanency in her life, a sense of attachment and trust and a belief that maybe she doesn’t want rid of me. Maybe I’m not just this huge burden in her life, something she needs to get away from. I am still so amazed by that.

Sometimes my child parts still asks if she has the owl still? We already know the answer, but somehow it’s a comforting routine for them to ask and be told the owl is still in her purse.

But still….. I wish I could have something of hers that would give me comfort in her absence but nothing works. Maybe I just don’t need it.

I don’t need it, actually. But I do want it. And I want it to help in times when I’m missing her.

I don’t know if there’s an answer to that. I wish I understood why transitional objects have never worked for me, considering I have such huge attachment problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do nothing and wait.

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I woke up yesterday morning from the most vivid of nightmares.

It was SO real. I woke up dissociated. Frozen. I spent hours in bed, unable to get myself up.

The dream…. well it was a CSA one again. I don’t think the actual events in the dream are memories. Yet, the dream feels true. The feelings and the experiences in it see, real. Yet….. here I am, still with no concrete memories of anything like that having ever occured.

CSA dreams are awful and I get them at least once or twice a week. I barely even register them anymore. And there’s no one to tell since I can’t reach out for support. So I don’t do anything with those dreams. I don’t speak about them much.

But every now and again, once comes along that floors me. And that one yesterday had me on my ass.

The details of the dream, seem like clues, part of memories perhaps?

The child’s narrative, the way she spoke and what she showed me in those dreams was just horrific. And she described things in her own childish language, not knowing the real words for the things she experienced.

I couldn’t shake that dream off. I just cuddled deeper into my duvet. Lay there feeling sad and alone and horrified and really missing Sienna.

Eventually, I drew a picture on the sketch app on my phone and amazingly that was enough to move me through the frozen state and allowed me to go shower which grounded me even more.

The rest of my day went fine but I did feel longing to have my therapist home. I still do.

4 days. 4 days until I see her again. Part of me feels joy at the thought of seeing her again. A young part of me just wants to reunite with her. Cuddle into her and be reassured that she’s back.

Yet when I imagine being there and seeing her I feel nerves and like I have nothing to say and then I feel anger towards her. I can feel my defenses bristle when I imagine being there. I can imagine not wanting to engage much with her, not wanting to show her I missed her or that it was hard, her being away for 3 weeks.

And I feel scared.

Scared to start therapy again, scared about what might come up, what ruptures we may face. Scared of the work ahead.

I’ve been having this recurring thought lately about finding a new therapist. Of feeling overwhelmed where I am with Sienna.

I don’t feel ready for where I find myself at in therapy with Sienna. I feel like I’ve been pushed into a space I’m just not ready for because of Sienna’s needs.

It doesn’t feel good. I feel like crying even typing this. I find myself flooding right now with feelings of fear, sadness and mistrust.

Fear that if I tell her how i’m feeling or struggling with this space we are in that she’ll make me leave her. That she’ll tell me to find something or someone else.

Fear that saying it, makes it real.

Fear that saying it out loud make it something I have to do something about.

Fear that saying it to her or out loud makes all my worries real and means that my therapy with her will have to come to an end.

Fear that things are really as terrible and as broken as they feel.

Fear that we have to deal with last year’s rupture.

Fear that I’ll be triggered back into a not coping place.

Sadness, sadness that my needs aren’t being met in the way that I want and need.

Sadness that once again I seem to be having to put my needs on hold so that another attachment figures can come first.

Sadness for all that I’ve lost in terms of trust and attachment and security.

Sadness for the deep suspicion and mistrust I have of Sienna now. Sadness for how much we lost through last year’s rupture and the hugely painful months that came before it.

Sometimes I feel like everything is broken beyond repair. And it feels awful. Sometimes it feels like we are coasting along because none of us want to admit it’s all broken.

I wonder if we are both staying on safer grounds because to discuss the rupture and the true costs of it would mean admitting it’s all fucked beyond repair.

And when all those feelings flood me all at once, I push them away, I push the down and away as far as possible so that I can maintain a working relationship with my beloved therapist. Pushing those thoughts and feelings down mean I don’t have to face another ruined relationship. I can’t bare the thought of it. So pushing it all away allows me to keep her.

But of course, being so fragmented, there’s also another side – several sides most likely, that are equally true.

Part of me says nothing is broken, certainly not beyond repair. That Sienna is committed to me and will help us find a way through.

There’s parts of me who trust her deeply. And have confidence in her ability. Parts who find safety with her. Parts who adore her. Other parts can see her as the flawed human who makes mistakes and that that’s okay. That part of my work is learning to tolerate other people’s mistakes and flaws. To not run away or distance myself when the fear of people’s humanity and short-comings threatens to overwhelm me.

And it’s really hard to hold within me opposing realities. Because both feel right and true to me and that makes it hard to know what’s right and what action I should take. It makes it hard for me to know if I need to protect myself or if I am letting my fears get in the way.

So for now, I do nothing. I wait. I will let thing unfold as they must.

 

 

 

 

Missing the framework.

9 days to go.

Nine days until I see my therapist again.

Do you know what’s surprised me this holiday? I’m not really missing HER, per se. I am not the usual pining yearning puddle of neediness.

I have found that I’ve struggled with just not having the framework of therapy. The psychological aspect of just knowing I don’t have that safety net must be sub-consciously worrying me because my bad dreams increased and my mental health definitely took a dip this week.

I’ve had a lot of observable growth in the past few months so to be honest, I feel quite disappointed by just how much I need my therapy. I can see how quickly I’d descend back into depression and quite significant dissociation without it. That depressed me.

I suppose if I was to look at the positives, they would be that my attachment issues have receded enough to make a 3 week break cope-able with. I’ve had moments of “ ugh”. But not the dragging, time-has-stopped aching for my therapist that I used to get. So that’s something.

This week has been tough. And for the first time in a long time, I actually felt depressed. That low level muted nothingness that depression brings, persistent low mood yuckiness.

I know it’s related to Sienna being away. And it gives me a glimpse into life if I didn’t have therapy. And I HATE that after all this time, I still really need that person, that place, that thing, to keep me on an even keel.

I’ve really missed her presence. I see how little I have in the way of supportive, positive relationships.

I think the problem is that my needs are that I absolutely need a strong presence in my life to guide me and regulate me, I need a parenting type figure still and no normal relationship with other adults can give me that.

Arghhhh it’s too depressing. ☹

I don’t want to need that. But I do need it.

And I’m assuming I won’t need that forever, I really hope not.

I don’t want to live with a deep need for a strong parental presence, I need to heal so that that need no longer exists. Because honestly, this week in particular, I’ve felt bereft and like my life is empty. I felt this empty nothingness open up within me and it just felt so painful and vast.

9 more days…. Sigh.

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Experience for yourself, what it’s like to have a dissociative disorder.

Having a dissociative disorder is much like this crappy little video I just made.

Everything splits and bends and spins and fragments. Every fragment and alter with its own memories or personality. Time warps around and forward and up and down until you’re not sure what’s now and what’s back then.