This week has been a strange one. Difficult in many ways yet also productive and busy with adult life things.
I had an unsettling dream on Thursday while I napped in the afternoon. I dreamed that Sienna was giving me notice of her giving up her private practice. Strangely, even though it was mildly awful, there was a sense of me being okay, of knowing I’d survive. It wasn’t the triggering feelings of loss and abandonment that I normally experience in those types of dreams.
Nevertheless, I still felt insecure and worried when I woke up. And I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe my dream was because I’d unconsciously picked up this information from Sienna… that maybe the dream was a foretelling.
Adult me reasoned that this was nonsense, that it was just a dream and I can check in with Sienna on Monday when I see her. But I couldn’t settle. The young parts were scared.
And I did something unusual. I took a risk and text Sienna and asked for a check in. I knew that she’d mentioned briefly about starting the Friday check ins back up, but I’d been doing so well without them and in total honesty…. I was scared to speak to her on the phone after that horrendous call last year where she basically ended the call super abruptly. There’s a part of me who feels so scared to be exposed to “that” Sienna. The un-contained one who lost her shit over the phone with me.
Not having the phone-calls takes away the possibility of having too much access to one another, too much exposure to our (her) fluctuating moods. The sessions have been much more focused and contained lately and I seem to get the best of her now and I need that. I can’t cope with anymore “Real” Sienna, I need structured, contained, safe Sienna.
I had no idea what she’d say about a check in. I hoped it was okay and I worried that if she couldn’t/wouldn’t make space for me that it would hurt and cause me to feel anger and rejection.
Luckily she text back within the hour. She gave me my usual Friday check-in time and I felt SO relieved.
Over the course of the week I’d struggled. On Tuesday night I have lots of parts literally screaming inside of my head. There was mass panic and just trauma stuff. Because I was on the edge of sleep I can’t remember their words. But they seemed to want to self-harm really badly, some wanted to go for a bleach bath.
I think I got up during the night and drew in my journal. Well, someone did – Amelia.
A child part I haven’t heard from in a long time- like, months.
I think her name was mentioned a few weeks ago because I saw her name on a list of all the parts Sienna and I know about. I did not recognise her name. I said “ Who’s Amelia?”
I had no memory of her at all.
Last week, a child part drew on a page in my journal and wrote “ I’m still here.” But I didn’t know who had wrote it at the time but I’m now thinking it’s been Amelia. And here’s why…
Firstly, it has her signature red and black scribbles. She draws bad things. Horrible images. She isn’t angry, but she’s very traumatised.
This week she actually drew several pages, just writing her own name over and over and over in desperate to be seen scrawls.
I always think of Amelia as being around 11 years old but in fact her writings and drawing are that of a much younger child. So, I have no idea how old she is.
I’ve been pretty dissociated at times this week. Big parts of the week feel like big black holes and in fact, until I listened to my session recording from Monday, I literally had no memory of the session, other than I had been there and time had gone really fast.
Another part spoke to Sienna on Friday. Again a younger part who wanted to know what would happen to her if Sienna did close her practice.
It was a lovely phone call. I have since listened back to the content of the call because I am struggling with my memory so much (dissociation continues clearly.) .
Sienna spoke with the child and reassured her that she has no intention of closing her practice. And reminded us of the “ minimum 10 year” promise that she’s staying in the city at least that long to be beside her grandchild. And she said that I’d be the very last client she’d end with and that she’d make sure we had me transferred over to someone I could work with.
She said she had great confidence in my ability to cope with change now and that it would be okay if in the very unlikely event of illness or something that she couldn’t carry on working.
She reminded me of how special I am to her and such an important part of her life. She laughed that I wasn’t getting rid of her and we are stuck with each other for a long time to come!
I told her about Amelia’s drawings. And she asked if it felt okay, could I bring them in on Monday because Amelia sounds very distressed.
The call was reassuring and loving. And it helped a lot.
And now the next very interesting thing about Amelia…
I was looking back at my posts for March 2017 because I couldn’t remember the exact date of our 3 year anniversary of working together.
And low and behold! What do I see but a mention of Amelia and some drawings of hers!!! Weirdly, even back then she was asking Sienna about taking a “bleach bath”. So I think the thoughts this week about doing that must have been Amelia’s.
I saw from the posts that Amelia was fairly new but there was a flurry of activity from her. And as I scrolled back I was stunned to see that the first time Amelia appeared was 18th February 2017 – a year ago exactly.
She must have disappeared not long afterwards because I had no knowledge of her. But I find it fascinating that she’s turned up again exactly a year ago to the day virtually. Is there a reason for that? Does February have meaning to her?
I feel like all the dissociation lately, the loss of time, the being unable to orientate myself in what part of the year I am in, the increasing confusion and the start up of all the trauma art again, may, in fact, belong to Amelia. Maybe she’s been coming through for a few weeks?
The thing about Amelia is, I never get a true sense of her. I don’t know what she looks like, whereas some other parts I see very clearly in my mind. I rarely hear Amelia’s chatter and I rarely know it’s her that’s around. But when she had been, it’s coincided with feeling very stuck and frozen and unable to communicate what I am feeling or needing ( like what happened in Monday’s session.) I never seem to know she’s been out until I get more clues later. When she is out, I can feel that I feel regressed and can’t talk and very anxious, my feelings are all bottle-necked inside. The only time she seems pretty clear is when I let her draw. And then she will draw fervently for pages and pages and pages. Reds and blacks and blurry things and trauma things. And usually The Editor will come along and decide her drawings are too raw, too awful to be seen and paints over them or rips them up.
I don’t think Amelia can speak. I wonder if it is she who pulls at her fingers and pinches her hands and arms hard? I don’t know… I’m just thinking out loud really.
I don’t know. There’s so much about having parts/alters that is unknown. It can feel so chaotic, there’s no rhyme or reason to it a lot of the time. Not ones I can make sense of anyway. There’s so much that the system conceals and obfuscates and I’m not sure why it does that. Other than it’s very uncomfortable for many of them to be known or seen. For some it can feel traumatising to be ousted into the therapy room and hear themselves speak or hear their names be used.
Anyway, that’s my week. A mixed up, topsy-turvy, time-bending mess!