Sixes and Sevens.

It’s 2:45am and I’m sitting with a coffee. I am utterly exhausted yet can’t fall asleep due to a pesky cough that only turns up during the night when sleeping.

I finally got myself to therapy earlier. With the help of some people here and also a nice response from Sienna whom I texted my struggles to.

My auto-immune diseases are flaring still. I’m in my 9th week of feeling truly crap. I am pretty much housebound most of the time because I am so exhausted and fatigued. I am in pain all over my body. It’s tolerable pain, but annoying and wearing all the same. The nausea I am experiencing most days is next level shit-ness.

I’m sure all of that isn’t helping my ability to cope with therapy stuff.

My session was okay. Not exactly what I needed – which was just to be a drippy “feeling sorry for myself” mess and just lie in a cuddle with Sienna.

But she never offered and I never asked. I still rarely initiate hugs. I can’t. The young ones if they’re the ones mostly in the room, they can ask and do. But if there’s enough adult or teen around, then I just can’t ask for hugs. I feel ashamed.

And shame was a huge topic in my therapy tonight. I feel so much shame for having child needs. Of being a grown-ass adult who spent so much of her life being super independent and capable and now has opened Pandora’s box and realised that all that independence was just masking deep fears and survival modes.

I don’t want to be weird. I don’t want to be a grown woman with the needs of a toddler. Which is currently where I am at. And it is embarrassing. And it is frustrating that I need this concentrated level of input on a weekly basis just to stay on an even keel.

My session had some pretty interesting conversations at times. Especially at the end when I started talking openly about the child parts and how they work, what they do. Sienna spoke about Sofia turning up to sessions a while back. I asked how she knew, and she said that Sofia wears different clothes!

I asked what like? And Sienna said black and purple clothes, dark eye-makeup. I was surprised as I don’t really remember Sofia wearing different clothes. But I do know that she wears dark make-up. Whereas when I go to therapy, I wear very little makeup/light, I like a natural barely there look.

Sienna said that a change in clothes or hairstyle sometimes what alerts her to there being a new part in the room.

I felt curious about that. It’s always strange when someone really sees me and notices things, even I don’t realise.

I wonder what she’s made of my change in style lately? I have definitely started buying slightly different colours and styles of clothes. More youthful and fun perhaps. Brighter colours that usual. I am really addicted to slogan sweatshirts and bright rainbow colours right now.

And I’ve taken to wearing my hair in bunches. Pretty much exactly like this ;

a1d6aa3b290398f79372d29cb8935f07

That’s pretty unusual for me. I don’t know why exactly, excepts that how a part wants it. I don’t know who but someone young. I’ve been feeling a lot of vulnerable youngsters around lately.. But from a practical point of view, I’ve needed my hair up and away from my neck as my auto-immune flare means I get quite warm at times.

I just feel all at sixes and sevens (is that a british phrase?) I feel like I am on an open channel right now and I am streaming all the alters. I feel all of them, and hear all of them and am sort of slipping in an out slightly between all of them. Meaning that things inside of me are very fluid and blended and it’s open season for all of them to just pop in and out. And it isn’t one at a time either, it’s like holding 10 children all at the same time, experiencing every single one of them simultaneously.

So I feel confused and discombobulated and so aware of all the alters, and seeing things from all of their perspectives, which causes me to feel weird and embarrasssed .

I feel so much need to be with Sienna all the time. I feel clingy and needy. And because I didn’t get what I needed tonight, part of me is tempted to ask for another session on Saturday if she has space. But another more adult part of me doesn’t feel like there’s any point or need even for it. Especially since I am unwell and since even though I am feeling so confused and blended with the parts, there’s not actually anyone with anything pressing to talk to her about. I suppose the need is for comfort and safety.

It’s like, I want to be with Sienna. I yearn to be in that office with her. Safe. I don’t need to survive whilst I’m there, I can put all of that down for an hour. But when I actually get there, reality bites and I suddenly don’t feel the comfort or safety I thought I would. And the parts don’t ask for what they need or talk about what’s really bothering them. Though they have been trying admittedly.

So why spend money on another session that won’t help anyway?

I do have a check in set up with Sienna for Friday, so we’ll just wait and see what tomorrow brings before I decide what I need.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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.

sketch-1523007033027.png

 

 

 

 

 

UGH! Your Email sucked!

14 days to go.

Therapy breaks are the worst.

Actually, I am doing pretty fine on this break. I don’t feel much yearning to be there. I don’t miss Sienna much at all. There’s a sense of things feeling a tiny bit “blah.” But it’s nothing like the agony I used to feel about breaks.

I am able to hold onto the fact the Sienna is still alive and safe (mostly). I still hold space for her within me, I know she’s okay and I’m okay and we are connected still.

I can’t believe I am even saying that, because it’s a skill I never used to have and couldn’t imagine how I’d ever get to this point. I’m still not sure how I did get to this point, there isn’t a step by step manual. I guess it’s just been time and repeated experience of her going away and really coming back. And enough nurturing and repeated positive messages that finally found a place to reside within me.

Before going away, Sienna promised to check in by email a couple of time through the break. She offered. I was surprised by her offer. But I doubted she’d remember.

I’ve got to admit it was in the back of my mind as this small niggling concern that it was just another thing she pledged to do but forgot about, and that it would create a mini meltdown from me about her forgetting.

When Sienna promises something or at least, when she says she’s going to do something, and then forgets she said that or changes a plan – cos she’s soooo forgetful at times, even though there’s no malice, or ill-intent behind it….. I get very upset.

The child parts hear everything and when she says she will do something, they take it as gospel that that thing will happen. And when it doesn’t… they meltdown.

It’s something I need to remember to speak to her about because it’s happened a few times.

So, yeah, I’ve been doubting Sienna would remember that she said she’d check in with me over the holidays, especially since she’s on faraway holiday. Part of me doesn’t care about hearing from her, I don’t need it and I’m doing fine.

But a small part of me still hoped to hear from her.

And today I got an email.

A one liner. Desperately disappointing.

I wasn’t expecting her to write war and peace, but FFS…. her one line was depressingly dull.

” Checking in. All here’s well, hope things are with you too.”

My heart sank. It wasn’t what I wanted. We hadn’t talked about what her check in would be, or what I’d like. We should have, on reflection.

Do I sound like a desperately spoiled brat? I feel like one.

What I would have liked was ” Hi Sirena, writing from sunny __________. Have been to *tourist destination X” and had a lovely trip. Hope you are well, not long until I’m back and we can meet on the 16th. Thinking of you. ”

The thing is… to explain to those who don’t understand (though many who read this blog and have similar issues to me will.) Any communication with my therapist is activating. I literally have a hyper-vigilant response to any email or text she sends, regardless if it’s good bad or ugly.

Even a lovely warm communication activates my fight flight or freeze responses. Communication costs me dearly. It’s a risk I’m willing to take most of the time because the rewards of a warm communication that help me feel safe and wanted and connected are just too tempting.

What I am learning though is that getting that feeling through electronic communication is extremely difficult. And actually, maybe the benefit doesn’t outweigh the risk.

Because too many times, the email or text doesn’t help me. And all I’m left with is anger and confusion and suspicion and an over-wrought sympathetic nervous system that is working overtime. And I find it very hard to calm down from that.

After Sienna’s email, I felt my heart sink. Disappointment setting in. A bit of anger at her crappy one lined attempt at what? Connection? It wasn’t connecting at all so what’s the point?

How could she not know that those words are no where near enough to help with connection or reassurance?

And worse than that…. my response only serves to make me feel bad about myself. I feel like a selfish brat for not being grateful that she took time to email. That she cared enough to make the effort during her time off, to think of me and to want to try to help me.

So today, I went from feeling fine, settled, calm and okay. To reading her email and feeling disappointed, hurt, angry, suspicious, frustrated, spoiled, ungrateful and generally pissed off.

That isn’t good is it?

I had a huge body response to her email. All the energy just drained out of my body, I felt nauseous and dizzy and shaky. It felt like when you get low blood sugar.

I couldn’t even stand long enough to make my lunch, my husband had to do it. Now I have been unwell with a Fibromyalgia flare anyway so I’m sure that reaction was in part to do with that. But before I read Sienna’s email I’d been feeling alright. But I think my body just can’t cope with strong emotions right now because it’s already so weak from the Fibro/Lupus flare.

I am not sure why I had such a huge body reaction. My body’s reaction was actually far bigger than any emotions I was feeling.

Part of me thinks I should just email her and say that I’m okay and ask her not to email again. I just get too activated and the pay off doesn’t seem worth it.

But I also feel scared to ask for that in case next week I’d be glad to hear from her. And the little parts really want a connecting email. And the hope that the next one will be warmer is so great that cancelling right now would mean they lose hope and that in itself could send me into a spiral.

It’s all so bloody complicated isn’t it?

How a simple email with good intentions could be so laden with danger for me.

I’m trying to keep myself on an even keel. But I can feel this hangover from feeling so disappointed.

And I leave you with a picture of little me having a raging meltdown! hahahaha.

Screenshot_20180402-133733.png

 

 

Amelia, again.

IMG_20171214_045510.jpg

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!