I wanted to write a bit of an update since the last therapy post was so huge and such an impactful and intense session.
I’ve had a few sessions since then as well as my Friday check-ins and they’ve honestly been so good. We’ve never really gone back to discuss that session – something I find slightly strange because I said a LOT and I thought there might have been a lot of processing of it. I almost wish we would have a new discussion about it, because what I said was so important and so vital to our relationship that I want to check what she took away from it all and that she has a proper understanding of what I said.
It doesn’t feel like we are avoiding anything though. Nothing feels swept under the carpet. It’s just as if the air cleared and we moved on.
In one of check-ins, I told Sienna about the book I’ve been reading. It’s called Nurturing Resilience by Kain and Terrel . It’s a book for Somatic Psychotherapists (which Sienna is not).
And although the book is quite dry and technical and heavy on the neuropsychology and biological processes on the brain and nervous system, it has been illuminating to learn what the body physically goes through in a trauma response, like, what part of my body is doing what when I’m triggered.
The book mentions that trauma survivors often don’t have an internal map of what safety is. So when therapists think they are a safe person and providing a safe environment, they have to realise that their trauma client might not be able to recognise it because they don’t have a template for what safe is or what safe feels like.
This was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me because I don’t think I fully recognise what safe feels like. I think I can feel safe at times but there’s level of safe and even when I am “safe” I never feel totally safe. I am always subconsciously pre-empting an unsafe situation coming along.
And in relationships…. Forget about it. I never feel 100% safe. I don’t have anyone I regard as fully safe. Every relationship carries risk and therefore I don’t feel safe in them. There’s levels of safe though, I can feel a measure of safety based on the health of the relationship and the probability of abandonment or rupture. But no I can’t safe there’s anywhere or anyone I feel 100% safety with.
I don’t know what normal people feel. So I asked Sienna if we could do some work on what safe is, how to recognise it.
And we did and it was a great session. It felt good to do traditional therapy work, stuff that was productive and stayed away from the relationship stuff or the dissociation and deep emotion stuff.
I asked her what safe feels like to her. She began with an explanation of how she knows she’s safe but I said “ no, what does it feeeeeel like, in your body.”
It lead to a really good discussion.
Other sessions have been cuddles on the sofa. Just sitting, reconnecting. Listening to her calm heartbeat and relaxing into it.
There’s been grief sessions as I process my beloved cat’s death.
I had a bad weekend last week, my health is floundering a bit, probably in response to the stress of my cat dying. The dissociative process I have has meant I’ve stopped crying. The need to cry comes but the tears and emotion are whipped away in nano-seconds which means those tears are getting stuck.
In Monday’s session I was highly dissociated. Sienna suggested quickly that we go to daily check ins. It hadn’t occurred to me that things were bad enough to need that but I felt huge relief when she offered. My nightmares lately have been insane and it is exhausting.
So, this week has been filled with daily check-ins. And she’s been SO amazing.
On Wednesday I got a nasty shock when I came across an old journal dating back to 2012. In it was recordings and detailed pictures of CSA. And a part writing “ I am 7”.
I *think* the scrawled drawing and hugely detailed writing was a nightmare.
I just had no idea. I mean, I’ve always had nightmares and the theme around abuse has been there for a very very long time – way before 2012 for sure.
But I first learned that I had parts and a dissociative disorder in 2016. Yet here in this journal is evidence of parts writing in 2012.
It felt quite shocking.
Sienna was fantastic on Thursday in our check in. She was so loving and kind. With her permission I had sent her photos of the journal pages that had upset me so much so she knew why I was so upset. She’s asked me to bring in the journal on Monday and she thinks, if I am ready, we should start working on these CSA nightmares in the hope that we can lessen their impact and frequency.
I feel so full of gratitude for her and my heart is filled with love for her.
I know we have hugely rocky moments; big explosive ruptures. But when Sienna is on her A-game, she is amazing.
I am so glad next week is a 2 session week. I need it. My body is so sore and I feel pummeled by recent events. I can’t wait to sit on my sofa with my blanket and teddy.