Posted in anger, blog, dissociative identity disorder, mental health, mental health awareness, recovery, therapist, trauma, Uncategorized, Wellbeing

Practicing Fear, Rage and Containment.

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Soooooo….

My check-in on Friday morning.

I was feeling okay. But I had received another text from the narcissistic family member again, this time including pics of them with someone whom I HATE and who hates me right back! WTF? Why would you do that?

In a fit of pique, I had text Sienna with one of the photos and a mini rant about it.

She didn’t reply.

Recently, she’s been SO good at responding to me and has been working so closely with me that it was a bit of a surprise to not hear from her.

But it drew my attention to the fact that my rage has the potential to be very uncontained for the next while as I start really feeling it and working with it and that could spell trouble for Sienna and I, the same way the level of grief being released did. Because my need increased alongside the grief and when she couldn’t meet, then BOOM I switched to fear and rage and we’d rupture… especially if my outburst co-incided with Sienna being a bit tired or overwhelmed or busy.

I do not want that again.

I think I might have mentioned it to her before but I’m not sure. But I started to think that in order to avoid a rupture, it might be safer for me to have a space I can write to her but not have a reply from her.

I’m at the stage in my therapy where I don’t really “need” in any desperate way, a response from her. I don’t need safe connecting so much anymore ( or maybe just at the moment, who knows?)

But the felt safety of our relationship means that I can tolerate more space and I can tolerate not getting a reply to my writing or texts.

The reason the blog I had set up just for her and me fell on it’s arse was because I wasn’t ready for SO much space. And it was started in response to Sienna pulling away from me all her support and proximity very quickly. So, the blog felt cold and uncaring and utterly isolating. I wasn’t ready for the level of space Sienna was creating, it felt punishing.

But now, is different. This is a different time, I have developed a lot since then and our relationship has deepened and the trust grown.

Right now, for where I’m at, is my need to write out my rage, I need to write it TO her in the moment of my rage outbursts or even just the abuse stuff, I need her to know. But I don’t need her to reply all the time. I’m okay with not hearing from her. Writing and knowing she’s going to read it feels enough.

The reason I’m okay with that space is because I trust that when I need her, she’ll be there when she can. I trust we have a real relationship based on love and care.

And the level of real-time support has been excellent. I’ve had the option of daily check ins if needed for about 2 or 3 weeks now. I’ve had an extra session – offered without me asking. And Sienna has replied to my texts – not that there’s been many to be fair.

So I decided to ask her if starting the blog again is something we could do. I explained why it would help me and that I was foreseeing this next phase I am entering being really hard for me to contain at times and that while my need isn’t necessarily for a response, there is a need to be able to tell her things as they arise. I told her she could read the posts when she felt ready and able to without intrusive texts and times that didn’t suit. I told her how I wanted to avoid her feeling burnt out. This stuff needed some containment and I was aware things had slipped a little in the few weeks re the texting boundary that has been set up.

She said she was SO proud of me for thinking that way. She sounded really proud to be honest. She agreed to the blog idea and said it sounded like a great idea. She said I was showing great self-containment or something to that effect.

Like I said before, the check in was so positive.

An hour or so later I happily went to bed for a nap because I was feeling tired. And 2 hours later woke up from the bad nightmare. In my panicked state, I fired off a text to Sienna saying “ S, are you there? I need you.”

The teen part of me was terrified and badly needed to speak to Sienna about the name she’d learned in her dream.

That was yesterday at 11am. And I still haven’t heard from Sienna.

And I don’t know why.

Adult me is okay with it. I recovered on my own from the dream. And whilst it would have been better to have spoken to Sienna, I managed to self-soothe and ground by myself.

I know that this week she was away on a business trip on Wed and Thursday. I actually spoke to her on both of those days. And I know she has a head cold, she sounded pretty tired on Thursday, though a lot brighter on Friday morning.

It might be that she’s felt exhausted and just turned her phone off to recuperate. It might be she never got my text, because that’s happened a couple of times recently, that my text has come in 2 days later or something.

There’s probably good reasons for it and it’s okay. I am okay.

Yet the old wounds I have the make me feel shame at her silence. That her silence is actually disapproval or a sign she’s sick of me etc etc.

And I have felt the teens rage about it. The old rage and mistrust about getting no reply. I am struggling now and then with their rage about it.

Sienna’s silence feeds into the teens general mistrust of adults. They feel huffy and combative. And hurt, I guess. That they reached out in need and their needs was rejected.

Adult me is carrying all of this pretty well, I can feel the teens grumbling, but it isn’t up front, they aren’t taking over, their emotions are quite distant, in the background somewhere. There’s plenty of adult here to hold all of me.

But I still feel unsettled by it. I keep checking my phone and I’ve started worrying something’s happened to her.

I could just text again, to check. But I’m scared her not replying to me is deliberate… that after our conversation yesterday that she’s not replying to uphold a boundary? But then I think that I’d hope she’d know something bad had happened for me to have text that just 2 hours after saying that I was going to start writing non urgent stuff in a blog. I hope she’d realise that a teen or child part desperately and legitimately needed her.

I just don’t know.

When I feel the teens anger, I also feel like I have to listen and validate their anger but also keep in mind how amazing Sienna really is and has been, and how supportive she generally is.

The teens anger at Sienna for not replying makes me feel guilty, and like the teens have no right to feel angry at her when the strong evidence is that Sienna has been working really hard to support me recently.

It’s like that saying “ Your good deeds are written in sand and your bad in stone.”

That certainly seems to be the case for the teens with Sienna… or anyone really.

They forget all the good the minute something not so good happens, and they never forget the bad deeds someone has done.

And that’s just so unfair.

I guess I’m writing about this because I want to give the teens space to be angry, to reassure them that it’s okay to feel how they feel without having to act on those feelings. Because feelings aren’t always reality and missed texts aren’t always about punishment or games or anything bad. Sometime a person just isn’t in a place to be the caretaker in that moment, or maybe that person is unwell, or maybe they don’t have signal where they are, or maybe my text never got through for some reason or maybe there’s a million reasons why.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in anger, blog, body psychotherapy, Child sexual abuse, dissociative identity disorder, Girl blogger, health, journal, lifestyle, mental health, mental health awareness, repressed memories, Somatic, somatic experiencing, therapist, therapy, trauma, traumatic memory, Uncategorized, Wellbeing

Rage. Somatically.

1

In yesterday’s morning check in at 7:30am, I felt okay. I’d slept unusually well and long and felt pretty good. Strangely, the night before I’d went to bed by 7pm because I was exhausted and felt like I had a winter bug working on me. My check in was so positive, I was feeling pretty settled and happy, so how come 2.5 hours later I woke up from a horrendous nightmare?

I’ve had check-ins at various points this week, Wednesday, I think? And some text communication… it’s hard for me to remember. Over the past few weeks, Sienna has supported me amazingly through the CSA stuff, been very available to me and I’ve even had an extra session this month.

I have a family member who is toxic and narcissistic and rarely even bothers with me unless it serves their need, pop up and send me messages. The messages are friendly enough, and on the outside it doesn’t look like they’re doing anything wrong, but it’s very triggering to me partly because I just don’t have the capacity to rise above their games and selfishness or to cope with whatever their need is that’s making them act all “ happy families” with me. And also triggering because it’s all about their needs as per usual, and the sheer selfishness of them and audacity and blind-sightedness enrages me.

I’m already dealing with so much right now and I am really getting in touch with anger and rage about what’s happened to me and how it’s affected my body and my life and general mental health.

In Monday’s session, I think I was dissociated quite a lot because I don’t remember it. It’s all very misty and I just have certain moments that I remember. But something new-ish happened. I went to the restroom halfway through the session. I think I was feeling unwell.

In the restroom, I just got this feeling… something like fear and panic and anger too and the energy of it coursed down my arms. On reflection it felt like a fight or flight response.

I had to get back to Sienna, to our room, to safety. I felt young and vulnerable – one of the teens maybe?

I walked fast back to the room, tears in my eyes, feeling desperate.

Sienna comforted me. I cried hard.

But the feelings in my arms was still there and so many feeling of anguish and anger, just rose out of me. I felt like a shaken Coca-cola bottle and someone had just let off the lid and twisted it back on before anything spewed over.

I felt like all my emotions got stuck inside of me. They bottle-necked. And I was struggling to cope with the discomfort of it but in the moment I couldn’t even explain to Sienna what was happening. It was just a hugely somatic experience.

But it did remind me of when I began really processing my grief, 2.5 years ago. I remember the same feeling as I sat on the floor crying and shaking so hard because it felt like my body was literally breaking open and I couldn’t contain that amount of energy. I remember sobbing hard and saying “ I can’t contain it!!!! I can’t contain it!!!”

It was terrifying. I couldn’t contain the emotion, it was rising up in vicious torrents trying to find the outlet, yet it was so BIG that it couldn’t all get out at once and so all this traumatic energy bottlenecked inside of me and I didn’t know how to get it out, or what to do with that level of energy coursing through every part of my body though mostly down my arms. I never know what to do with my arms and I end up holding them out from my body feeling helpless.

And this was what happened on Monday, except it was fear and rage me/my body was starting to release.

Rage is terrifying for me. I’ve known for a long time I hold rage and why. But knowing it’s there and actually processing it, working with it, allowing it, and releasing it are two very different things.

My rage has been something Sienna and I have been talking about over the past few weeks, in relation to the abuse stuff that’s coming up. The more bits and pieces that are coming back to me, the more acceptance I find for the very real possibility that this abuse really did happen, I start feeling rage. How dare someone do this to me. How dare they allow me to suffer for decades thinking I was mad and defective and born wrong and just a miserable dark soul. How fucking dare they!!!!!

I am scared of the rage I feel. What do I do with it? How will I contain it? What If I act out my rage? Because if I could get my memories back, I feel like I might cause serious harm to the perpetrator/s.

I’ve had a lot of feelings of “ It’s not fair” (victim) and “ I am gonna fucking kill these motherfuckers”. (Protector/persecutor)

The teens have definitely been around more. The child parts seem to have gone into hiding. I don’t know it they have rage, I’ve never felt their rage. The teens seem to hold a lot of it though.

Sienna has said to me that whilst she acknowledges how awful all this feel for me, she is delighted that I am now feeling it, and directing that rage at the right people and the right situation. She sees this as another great leap of progress. She says our work now is to give me tools to contain the rage, to bring it to therapy where it can be looked at, felt, and ways to dispel it healthily and in a safe manner that doesn’t hurt me or others.

I think I am going to need to learn tools to cope with the rage soon because when it rises, I don’t feel in control.

The other day, I had a meltdown because due to my Fibromylagia I couldn’t tidy my art studio. I kept feeling nauseous and sick and pressure in my head would build and I’d have to go sit down and rest for 20 mins or more, before I felt ready to go back through and continue. I was frustrated as hell that something as normal as housework was kicking my ass.

As a new wave of pressure and nausea appeared, I just broke. In a temper I threw the papers I was sorting down, stormed out the room, hit a door in the hall several times on the way past, flounced onto the sofa in a fitful rage of tears and started hitting myself in the head and screaming. Like a proper mental patient!

I felt SO much rage and I was feeling all that energy in my body and I had nowhere to put it, and that’s why I started hitting myself. All that rage and it had nowhere to go! Awful.

For the longest time, therapists have suggested getting a punchbag, but even imagining using one, the energy of the rage would immediately leave my arms and they’d become limp and weak and I couldn’t hit anything if I tried. It was SO strange. Even in moments of rage, I’ve thought that I should go punch a pillow… yet the same thing would happen, all the energy in my body just left and I’d feel physically weak. The anger and rage would still be there but the ability to do anything about it wasn’t there.

I think this must have something to do with my nervous systems response to trauma. My automatic response to rage or fear is to freeze. To curl up inside myself or to cut myself.

But I am entering this new phase, I can feel it. My body wants to move now. With all these flashbacks and memories rising, my body now is craving to feel its own power. It needs to feel its power and its own ability to move and support itself. Playing dead in moments of stress isn’t gonna cut it anymore.

And as much as it’s a great sign, my physical ability to exercise is hugely diminished. I have 3 auto-immune diseases each of which produce severe fatigue.

I wanted to go out running last week. Which is pretty fucking laughable considering I couldn’t even run to the end of my house! Slight exaggeration… but honestly, if you knew me, you’d know there’s little chance of me being able to run.

But that’s what my body wants.

I feel like I’ve been in-cased in stone, like a big grey statue and after centuries of being in the one position, I am now awakening. I am gaining some vague consciousness and whilst still largely frozen, I am beginning to move and shift in tiny imperceptible ways. I am breaking out this stone cast of mine, little by little. With every flashback, I remember something else. Or get a new knowing.

It’s a tiny droplet of water than will eventually turn into a flood. The damn will break. And I think I will get my truth.

But that’s a terrifying prospect. How do I cope with a flood? How do I cope with my rage?

As I feel how much energy is stored in my rage and in my grief and when I feel how trapped it is in every muscle and every part of my body, no wonder it’s been eating me from the inside out! No wonder my body finally collapsed with an auto-immune response. No wonder I got sick!

All my energy that I should have to live a normal life has been captured by trauma and stuffed into every nook, every muscle, every connective tissue, every joint, in my body. Literally stuffed in there, weighted down and just left to rot. My trauma has killed my health, killed my ability to go out and live normally.

I have been so busy holding onto all the trauma, all the pain, torment, rage, grief, loneliness, heartbreak…. All of it. So busy stuffing it down, that my body broke under the pressure. My poor body.

My immune diseases aren’t considered curable. But I have hope that once I release my trauma, that once all that dark energy is freed, externalised and somewhat healed, that I will find my energy once more. I don’t know if that’s even possible. Maybe I am stuck with physical disability forever. But I can’t even think like that. I have to have hope that my energy could return to the point that I can live life on my terms!

I wanted to write about my check in and I realise I’ve gone off topic a bit so I am going to write another post just based on what happened.