Just about coping.

Yesterday was …… shit. Yes, shit is an accurate summation.

Last night I had this weird experience of hearing a baby crying. Like a really young baby. But its cry wasn’t normal, it was a distressed, traumatised cry.

And I was experiencing the baby’s distress as if it were me or I was it… I don’t know… it’s very hard to describe.

I have been playing a game on my phone a lot to distract and calm myself but this baby’s cry just interjected constantly for about 30 minutes or so.

Not sure if it’s a body memory thing or a dissociative part of me or something else.

But it hurt.

I flipped about all day, feeling okay and not okay. And mostly okay but not really okay.

Low level crapness.

Is this really all because my therapist isn’t here? ☹

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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.

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All that glitters is not gold.

 

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There’s been growth. There’s no doubt about it.

Since the huge rupture last October, I have grown exponentially in emotional resilience. I seem to be coping so much better with therapy, with the relationship, with distance and I even handled the rupture amazingly well considering how deeply distressing and traumatising it was.

Sienna and I had another rupture two weeks ago. We fell purely by accident into texting. What started as a scheduling query quickly expanded into me telling her how I’d felt about her cancelling my second last Thursday session before the break in favour of her Grandson’s birthday and rescheduling me to the Saturday instead.

When she’d told me at the end of session, I’d felt confused, because she’d chosen that Thursday herself, and she’d written it down in my journal, so when I got home I checked my journal there it was in HER writing. I was right.

Now, adult me, understood. Of course she would want to be there for her Grandson’s birthday. Of course I could come in on the Saturday instead. It really wasn’t a big deal. In fact, in some ways Saturday was better.

But my child parts were crestfallen. They felt so hurt and sad that she’d chosen to give away their time in favour of another child.

When Sienna had originally given us that date 4 weeks earlier, it was an extra session because she is going to be away for 3 weeks – the longest she’d ever been away from me.

So, it was a gesture to sort of “top” me up with care and attention as much as possible before she goes. It was so kind of her to think to do that and to want to do that. At the times she told me of those dates and that she’d slotted me in for an extra session, I felt so filled up with love and gratitude and I felt so looked after.

So for her to take that away, without even a conversation about it, to be just told in a sort of statement as she was reading her diary “ that’s “grandson’s birthday so I can’t do that date…” it just felt awful.

As with the rupture, and the subsequent month since, I kept my shit together. My hurt didn’t trigger a rage response or a protective part to kick in. All I felt was deep sadness. I felt like I’d been thrown away, that I was worthless. That I didn’t matter. That I didn’t measure up to family. They were better than me and would ALWAYS come before me.

I suppose these were the child’s feelings rather than adult me, who really does understand it.

I have had to miss quite a lot of Thursday sessions lately because of a combination logistics and 1 session Sienna had to cancel due to training. It was just one of those things but it was making me increasingly anxious. I was finding it harder and harder to hold things for myself.

I sent her a picture text with the dates she’d written down and asked her if I’d misunderstood or was she cancelling the Thursday session?

She sent me a text confirming that she’d like to change that Thursday to the Saturday to “spend time with family” before she goes on holiday.

I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.

Amelia (one of my most traumatised child parts) scribbled ferociously for pages and pages in my journal. And I let her. It was important to let all those feelings out safely.

I had told her in the same session she cancelled the Thursday that I couldn’t make Thursday the 15th either because I didn’t think I was going to be able to get there. But it suddenly occurred to me that I could just get the train! I had no idea why I never thought of that. I immediately felt relief.

So I text Sienna and said I thought I’d just get the train up on the 15th but she’d already given my session away to someone else! Within 24-48 hours she’d given someone else my slot.

Keira (my 6 year old alter whined) so she text “ You gave away my session.”

And yeah, I cancelled first, why shouldn’t she? Blah blah blah…. But it still irritated and hurt me. But what was worse was that her reply felt like there was a tone to it, as she told me that no she hadn’t-  I cancelled the Thursday and I was “ one of many”  she was trying to see before she goes and she had to give someone else that time.

I should have taken the hint there and then that she was overwhelmed and stressed and busy and to stop texting. But alas, I didn’t.

The feelings that arose in me scared me. The level of anxiety about the upcoming break and the fact that my sessions had been all mixed up due to life events and increasing dissociation and then Sienna’s haughty poorly worded text scared me and made me want to withdraw before another impending rupture as is our pattern- ALWAYS a rupture before a break, I could see it coming a mile off and I didn’t want it.. So I told Sienna I was going to just start the break now. I told her I couldn’t bear all the changes and I was taking myself away before anything else starts up, I didn’t want anymore ruptures.

It was the best I could do. I had so many feelings that I just couldn’t cope with another rupture which I could see was on its way. It felt like it was better to withdraw myself than finally implode and have Keira’s clingy neediness and whining, or worse…. Sofia’s rage and tantrums.

Sienna wrote back that is was up to me but she’d keep my Monday’s open and that it would be a good chance to explore my fear of abandonment.

She had misunderstood. She had no idea that this wasn’t my usual abandonment fears, this wasn’t about her holiday. This was about my sadness and frustration about all the change and especially her changing the Thursday she’d given me especially in favour of her Grandson’s birthday tea.

I calmly explained that it wasn’t about abandonment. I explained to her that when she’d originally given me that extra Thursday a few weeks ago, it had felt like a gift.

“ You wrote that date in my diary. It was you who chose the date and you who gave me it. And then on Monday you took it away from me like it was nothing. But it had meant something to me. It was a gift but then you took it away. And today you’re telling me I’m one of many. I feel hurt. I’m sorry but I just feel sad and hurt.”

I thought I’d done really well to be vulnerable and non-confrontational and to explain what’s really going on. I felt like it would have been easy to cover my vulnerability with Sofia’s feisty attitude, but I CHOSE something different. I chose to communicate instead of just react.

So, I was shocked when I got a sarcastic mouthful back from Sienna.

It was an over-emotional, over-tired, frustrated non-therapist reply.

I felt like I’d been slapped. I was shocked and all the feelings similar to the last big rupture came flooding back. She isn’t meant to talk to me like that, I thought to myself. She is fucking nuts!

I told my husband “ She is a nippy cow!!!” (LOL a British colloquialism for a bad tempered woman)

I burst out laughing as I said it because it was such a teenagery thing to say.

Part of me felt like a teenage daughter, rolling her eyes as her mother goes on another hormonal rant. And I knew Sienna’s outburst had come from being stressed, overloaded, exhausted and probably guilt. Part of me wasn’t worried, part of me felt like telling her to go take a Gin and calm the fuck down.

But the younger parts were terrified. They knew that therapist Sienna isn’t supposed to speak to me like that. That the last time something like this happened, Sienna disappeared on sick leave for 6 weeks. Was this happening again?

Part of me wondered if Sienna really is a safe therapist. This behaviour isn’t good and isn’t professional. How can she be doing this AGAIN, so soon after the last rupture which we haven’t even processed together because it has traumatised me so much.

I didn’t reply.

Sofia, my protective teen part, raged up immediately. Furious. And so desperate to send a bitchy text it was unreal. The impulse to say something really sarcastic was overwhelming. Instead I distracted, I vented to a friend who was really very good at letting me say all the things I really wanted to direct at Sienna.

I waited to calm down. In fact I waited until the next morning when I couldn’t keep my anger in any longer.

I replied to her;

As your CLIENT…… am I supposed to consider all of that? I need you to refer me to your supervisor or to another therapist. I don’t feel safe with you anymore and I can’t keep doing this with you. I’m supposed to be able to tell you how I feel without getting a sarcastic mouthful back.

It’s not my fault you’ve piled your plate too high or have 3 jobs or time management problems. I didn’t do that to you. I am not in charge of your diary.

I switched alters minute to minute and the young parts also added that they love her and do care if she’s stressed.

Ugh.

Sienna replied a few hours later, she’d been on a course and arranged to speak to me the next morning.

She apologised and took all responsibility. She said it highlight just how bad texting is for us and that she needs to remember to just arrange a call if I sound like I need her in text. I agreed.

We worked through the rupture really quickly and really easily. Last year that experience may have taken weeks to get over.

She was wrong. She had been human when she was supposed to be “therapist.” She said she’d felt like an over-wrought mother who just need her little child to “wait”. I told her I’d felt like a long-suffering teenager listening to her mother rant!

She also conceded that she’d loaded far too much on her plate before the break and she needs to get better at not trying to squeeze everyone in before she goes.

We laughed about it and we explained ourselves and I was glad she took all the responsibility and apologised (as she should!) I was glad we worked through the rupture so quickly.

I didn’t hang onto the terror of the young parts. I moved through the rupture. I accepted that whilst not good practice at all by Sienna, she did wholeheartedly apologise. And I recognised that this is what she’s like when outside of the therapeutic frame and stressed. I also understood that we’d BOTH made a mistake by falling back into texting.

I was able to reason how good she is in sessions. That these things only ever happen outside of the therapeutic frame.

I am not going to lie and say I don’t have vague concerns that she keeps doing this. It doesn’t feel good at all. I do question her abilities and her own mental health at times like this. But whilst I have these concerns, I also know we work tremendously well together for the most part. We seem to push each others buttons for sure and I’m not sure why that is.

I know we don’t have a traditional therapeutic relationship and as such more unusual things like this happen. And yeah I can hear the collective disapproval and concern from certain readers! I hear you!!!

But the reason I am telling you about it is to provide context for what I’m going to say next.

The way I’ve handled everything, right from the huge rupture last year to this recent mini but not insignificant one has been exemplary. I have grown in so many ways. My adult self has strengthened so much and I stay in quite a calm and adult place a lot of the time. My self-care has improved ten-fold. I can feel the child-parts and the teen parts without being overwhelmed and swallowed up by their emotions, I have practiced un-blending from them whilst also letting them know I’m a trusted adult who is there for them. I am not at the stage that I feel like they get comfort from that or even that we are all working together, but it’s a work in progress.

Yes, there’s still a lot of dissociation and switching at times. Not everything is perfect. I don’t always get it right, I am not miraculously cured.

But things have undeniably improved.

Tomorrow is my last session before this 3 week break commences. I am somewhat apprehensive because it’s a long time. But I am not utterly bereft and in a state of panic about it (unlike previous years). I am probably not going to spend the entire 3 weeks in a state of mourning.

I have a real solid sense of Sienna. I know she’s on holiday and is coming back. I know she thinks of me on her holidays. She searched Switzerland last July to find me a snow-globe. And she has promised to send me a couple of emails whilst she’s away this time. She did mention finding me a snow-globe this trip too, but who knows if she’ll remember saying that.

She thinks about me and she cares about me. And she will be back.

The fact I can really feel that to be true is real growth. It feels great.

However…. There’s always a however isn’t there?

At what cost? What has it cost me to grow that adult that I seem to remain in so often?

The truth is, I’ve felt the anxious stirrings of Keira, who gets very distressed and worried about Sienna leaving. I felt her need to cling to Sienna, to be close to her, to touch her, just to be in contact with her. She’s 6 and she gets clingy and floppy and just in need of constant hugs or attention.

However, experience has shown Keira that whenever she show her need – which is always around breaks, Sienna gets annoyed with her. As a break approaches, Sienna starts to pull away, lose contact slightly, the space for distressing memory closes as Sienna attempts to not introduce anything too upsetting before she leaves. Sienna gets more tired and Keira gets more demanding, more in need and more anxious.

Keira needs more, Sienna needs less. This is a pattern we’ve identified and has been the cause of many pre-break ruptures.

I have to admit, Sienna has done much better this time keeping in psychological contact with all the parts. Probably because we’ve kept to the therapeutic frame of session only work.

But once again, that text rupture this month has scared Keira and she thinks Sienna will be annoyed if she reveals her worries about the break. Sienna’s reaction proved to Keira that she’s not allowed to have feelings about the break.

For the past 4 weeks or so, whenever Sienna has asked if there’s any anxiety about the break I’ve felt the teens bristly and rile.

I hear them say “ WTF do you care? Why are you asking how we feel about it, because you only get annoyed when we talk about how we feel about the breaks. So STOP asking.”

I have pretty much refused in session to give space to talk about the break. I feel a bit like I don’t want to give Sienna the satisfaction of knowing I’ll miss her or that I need her that much. I don’t want to give her space to get annoyed with me about feeling anxious.

This break has been the smoothest feeling process since the beginning of therapy. I am handling it much better. I feel better.

But I also know Keira’s feelings never went away. That 6 year old child never did get properly heard and supported and coached and reassured into dealing better with holidays. She just learned to shut up because it made Sienna angry.

And that isn’t good enough to me. I feel SO much grief that once again that child has had to silence herself in order to please her attachment figure. She is once again looking after the needs of the adult (Sienna), she is adapting to a dynamic in order to avoid Sienna’s irritation, rejection or abandonment.

That isn’t healthy is it? It doesn’t feel it.

And this adult space that I now reside in a lot of the time? Day to day it feels much better. Everything feels much more manageable. It is allowing me to proceed comfortable in therapy and in life. It’s growth, it’s real….

BUT…. This adult was forged not from genuine growth and time and nurturing and a natural progression, it was forged from pain and terror and abandonment and rupture and crisis. She was bourn from need- from a drive to survive tremendous threat to my system, from trauma.

That doesn’t sound healthy either does it?

Even though the result is that I now have this coping adult place to reside and it is SO positive…. Can it really be a positive thing when once more it was in response to trauma and a need to adapt in order to not lose my attachment figure and also to cope with the changes?

When change occurs, if it is positive change, does it matter how we got there? Does the method matter if the result is a good one?

It wasn’t the way I wanted to find my adult self. I didn’t want her to be born from stress and terror. I wanted her to grow naturally and slowly from safety and consistency and care and nurturing. I wanted her to grow from years of positive input and lessons. I wanted her to grow through the stages of childhood and teenagehood, all of those needs expressed, not supressed. I wanted her to be the culmination of many years of careful, kind, nurturing input not created suddenly from a rupture.

It doesn’t feel good.

I know Sienna would want to know this. I know it’s really important to tell her. And writing about this is the first step to me processing how I feel and what I want to say to her.

Part of me doesn’t trust Sienna to respond in a way that’s needed or to hear it they way I need her to.

There seems to be so many processes at work right now that I can’t quite work out what is happening, what is truth.

I can say that I have grown, and that would be true. But I am also supressing a lot of the child parts in order to maintain that adult.

I can say that I feel deeply connected and safe with Sienna, but there’s also deep mistrust in her.

I can say that I am suppressing the child parts in order to keep my therapist and that would be truth too…. Yet child parts have been showing up in sessions regularly, so I am not entirely suppressing, even if it feels it.

I can say that I feel traumatised by our rupture last year, yet we have done some amazing work since and clearly I trust my therapist immensely. I really feel that in my bones and it’s that feeling that allows me to continue with her even after her massive fuck up two weeks ago.

There’s so many processes at work here. And I’m not sure how to categorise them. I’m not sure if growth at any cost is good. I’m not sure that growth even as real as it is, is okay even if the route there was negative and costly to my young alters. When we achieve growth or milestone, does it matter how we get there?

This new growth isn’t all it seems. All that glitters isn’t gold, as they say.

 

 

 

 

Amelia and the Demon

I realise I am quite behind with my sessions. So this one that follows is from two weeks ago. It’s long, so get a coffee 🙂

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I started the session regaling Sienna with stories of my trip away with friends. We’d spent a night in a spa hotel.

She was delighted that I’d seemed to be able to participate in something without worrying too much and acting spontaneously.

And it’s true, the previous week I’d done well in many respects. But amongst it was all of Amelia’s drawings, she was so distressed. And I’d felt such an aching emptiness many times throughout the week. The old attachment emptiness, the lack of self, lack of mother, lack of love and of nurturing. And that is always really tough.

Last week had good moments for sure, but the splits between the trauma alters and the adult me who was just living life, going out with friends and immersing herself in her art were strong, evident and striking, to me at least. No one else knew. But I could feel it.

For example, on the previous Wednesday, Amelia drew those disturbed drawings, highly traumatic feelings and expressions of distress….. yet 15 minutes later there I was in the car with my friends chatting and laughing – being the adult I needed to be and not even thinking much at all about the distress or trauma stuff. I mean, I could feel that I was splitting, I could feel that I was sort of in survival mode and the slight fuzzy disorientated feeling was never far away. But far enough away not to be noticed by anyone.

Sienna asked if I’d felt any anxiety about staying away as she knows on previous trips my anxiety has been huge and I’ve struggled to leave my house.

I told her “ Even though I’ve done a lot of good things, I’ve been dissociated a lot – a lot, a lot, a lot!!!” I emphasised.

Sienna said “ Yes, I can see that. Because that trip was last Wednesday, yet on Friday we had the phone check in because you’d struggled with dreams…. Do you feel like you were dissociated when you were with me (on the phone)? I mean, I thought you were, it’s as if there was a little one there.”

I agreed, nodded my head. The phone call felt distant, a far away memory but I think I remembered at the time channelling a younger part.

Sienna continued “ Yeah, I thought so, there was very much a little one at the forefront. And that’s find, I’m glad she could ask for what she needed.”

I said to Sienna that it was the adult who’d asked for the call on the Thursday. I explained that I knew the young part wasn’t going to settle, so I was as well asking for help and even though adult me didn’t need or want a call, the child part did and the best way to settle a young part is to help them get their needs met.

As I traced my steps back to last week and what led to me asking for a call, I suddenly remembered that the previous Monday’s session had been weird. That I’d had a big dissociation towards the end of the session but when I “woke” out of it, it felt like the whole session just disappeared. I had felt like I’d only been there 15 minutes, not an hour! I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

And now, I told Sienna, “I can’t remember that session. It’s just a black hole.”

I recounted how heavily dissociated I’d been the previous week.

“ I find it really hard to get out the dreamy place after I’ve woken up, it takes a long while. I can’t stop sleeping, I feel heavily sedated. Time is weird, I don’t know where I am, I don’t know the day or the month. Sometimes I think it’s November still. Sometimes I think we are at the end of March (instead of end of February) and I get a fright because it feels like I’ve lost a lot of time. I feel disorientated a lot. And there are parts that were screaming in my head last Tuesday. I can’t remember what they were saying only that they were loud and distressed.

Yet, if I have adult things to do…. I’ve been getting them done. So it feels strange. To feel so very dissociated and disorientated yet also somehow keeping on top of my adult life things.”

I could feel just talking about this was pulling me into a confused slightly dissociated place. The foggy feeling was drifting in.

Sienna wondered whether this was a sign of my adult ego state strengthening; that I could do all the adult things even though things were feeling so dissociated. Perhaps the adult was better able to hold things now?

I agreed.

Listening to the session, I hear my voice start to turn a bit thick, kind of like when someone has had a drink and isn’t drunk exactly but starting to edge that way…. Not slurring but just not as precise in their speech.

“ I can’t remember much about our phonecall on the Friday, everything feels like…. Like someone’s just taken the memory off me and there’s just black where the memory used to be.”

Sienna said “ It was very much about….. well you came on the phone and said you’d had a bad dream that I’d closed my private practice, so I wondered with you if that dream was anxiety about me going on holiday? And I’m going so far, and maybe there’s a panic in the young ones.”

I nodded.

Sienna continued “ – but you couldn’t really answer that, you weren’t sure…. You just had that feeling of distress. And Amelia was about, you said. And she keeps drawing bad pictures, black and red pictures…”

I laughed slightly and nodded, yeah, she does.

I told Sienna that I’d been looking back to last year’s blog posts and had discovered a post called Amelia. And as it turned out, Amelia first turned up exactly a year ago this week. I told her of my amazement at this because up until last week, I hadn’t known who Amelia was. She had been written down last year on the list of alters we know about but when I saw her name on that list a few weeks ago, I had no idea who she was. Not even her name rang a bell.

Sienna said surprised in a soft tone “ Did she?”

I nodded.

Sienna said “ I think I remember us having conversations about….. I’m trying to remember…. I think her name came up and I recognised straight away her writing. That we’d seen it loads of times in other things and in some of the pictures you’d done in the books, she was there but we just didn’t know her name – or I didn’t. And I’m sure at some point whether it was last Spring having a conversation about because we’d been in relationship for the longest time.. – and also things were quite rocky, we wondered if it was her wondering how long I’d stay around because no one had stayed around that long. And that was 6 months of quite a lot of insecurity around that. And Amelia’s name was about at that time and her pictures were about.”

I nodded.

Sienna added “ And then in the Summer, it went downhill.”

I felt ill remembering it. I said “ I know.”

Sienna said “ But that’s fine, that’s part of the process. It wasn’t pleasant at the time but it was really important to go through. And I think Amelia comes out when there’s a lot of anxiety, particularly about attachment. So that’s why I was wondering if it’s my impending holiday that’s triggering this. Even if it’s unconscious. Because your adult’s saying yeah go on holiday, it’s fine…”

I laughed “ Is she?”

I laughed but I was irked that Sienna would assume to know what any of my parts are feeling about her THREE week trip. She hasn’t outwardly asked me how I’m feeling. I’ve been feeling anger about it and a resistance about even talking about it with her. Because honestly…. What’s the actual point?

Before breaks, I’ve always felt anxiety, dread, sadness but never anger. Not that I can remember. I’ve been avoiding thinking about this break much because it is what it is. It’s happening no matter what I feel about it so I may as well suck it up and deal.

And I’m not so angry about her going away for 3 weeks. That isn’t the anger. The anger seems to be accompanied with the huffy, churlish thought of “ My feelings on it don’t matter. Why bother talking about my anxiety or the young parts sadness and longing whilst you’re away, because it just irritates you. You don’t want to hear how I feel.” And I feel immense anger about that.

This thought and feeling isn’t entirely based in non-reality. Because last April/May, Sienna did admit to being frustrated and a bit annoyed/irritated that breaks were still such a sticking point with me, that they still caused so much disturbance. So, given that I know this…. Why on earth would I deliberately irritate her by sharing my feelings on it?

I think she mistakes my lack of conversation about it as me coping better and being more comfortable with her breaks…. Ummm wrong!

So yeah, my “ Is she?” comment about my adult being okay about the break was me reminding Sienna not to assume.

Sienna said “ Well, maybe she is, maybe on the surface it’s okay but the little ones inside aren’t.”

I didn’t answer. I didn’t want to talk about it.

Sienna continued “ I asked on Friday morning if Amelia would let you bring in some of the pictures and you were like um no.” She laughed slightly.

I said “ Well, I brought them with me.”

Sienna said surprised “ oh! Well maybe she is okay with it then.”

I said to Sienna “ I don’t think she speaks. I don’t know. Does she? I don’t know?” I couldn’t remember if Amelia has ever spoken directly to Sienna.

Sienna said “ No, well someone else was talking for her on Friday, for sure. She doesn’t talk. She talks through her pictures.”

I exclaimed in agreeance “ YES! That’s what I think.  I wrote that on my blog.”

Sienna asked if I’d read the blog post about Amelia from last year. I told her “ Yes, I brought it in.” I got it out my bag and handed it to Sienna.

I said “ And I’ve brought in a picture she drew last year, you’ll remember this, she sent you the drawing in a text but she destroyed it.”

Sienna said “ Right, so she’s the one who does all the ripping.” Lots of artwork in my journal had been ripped out.

Sienna asked “ Is she the one who wrote what’s inside the envelope?”

Sienna was referring to an envelope in my journal from last year. It is sealed and written on the front is “ A secret never told.” It’s never been opened. I think Sienna is extremely curious about it because she’s asked about it many times over the year. To be honest I’m not entirely sure what’s in it.

I laughed and said to Sienna “ You’re dying to know what’s in that envelope, aren’t you?”

Sienna said “ No, not really. No. Not until you’re ready… there’s absolutely no rush.”

I said “ I don’t even know what’s in it!”

Sienna said “ No, it’s just that there’s a secret being held somewhere and there’s not point in forcing anyone. When they are ready, they will open it.”

I went back to the blog posts about Amelia. Sienna read the 3 pages.

We commented back and forth about Amelia and about the system in general. Trying to work it out, to get to know better what happens when she’s about.

As Sienna flicked through Amelia’s drawings, she talked about the recurring dreams I’d told her about right from the beginning of therapy with her, about the dead girl in the attic. About the different stages of decomposition.

Sienna said “ you talked about that right from the beginning and here it is showing in your drawings again. For me it’s always been a really powerful metaphor for fragmentation, that holds really powerful distressing and difficult material that won’t go away. And is hidden, not to be seen by anybody, not to be found. But obviously very dark and distressing for you. And you talked about your bedroom as a little girl just being there and sitting on your bed and you would cry on your own.

But you didn’t know what age, you didn’t know…. It was almost like a separate story from the other bits you’d tell me about. Just like, your normal family life.”

I felt strange. Floaty.

I said to her “ I don’t remember crying in my room.”

Sienna said “ And maybe it’s because those elements are so split off from a lot of your everyday experience.”

Sienna went back to the drawings. Amelia’s drawings.

She looked at Amelia’s frantic scribblings of her name, over and over. She said “ You know it’s like a little girl saying I’m here, I’m here, I’m here. But she doesn’t know people are trying to find her and we can’t reach her.”

I don’t know why I started slipping into another place. But something about talking about Amelia, talking about her drawings and about things I said that I can’t remember… combined with there being time to let my adult-self slip away as Sienna quietly read my blog and flicked through the images. But in the recording as Sienna asks me a question, I say “ I don’t know” and I sound like a tiny child.

Oh yeah, I’m gone. Sienna doesn’t notice yet. But I’m gone. Someone else is here.

Sienna says flicking through my journal “ I wonder what Amelia needs to help her. I do wonder? Poor Amelia. Very scared isn’t she? And alone.”

I say “ I don’t even sense fear, it just…. Distressed.  I don’t understand why. I don’t know.”

Sienna said referring back to Friday’s call, “ And you asked when I go on holiday if you can take the blue pillow, do you remember that?”

I laughed and nodded. The blue/turquoise floor pillow stays in Sienna’s office but it’s become “MY pillow.” The thing I hold onto very often for comfort and protection. In our call Sienna asked if there was anything she could give me as a transitional object to help me while she’s away and I had asked if I could take the blue pillow home with me. Really, I’d love a cardigan or jumper belonging to her but I felt like too much of a creep to ask. So the pillow is something I also very much relate to her and that seemed less creepy to ask for.

Sienna smiled and said “ And of course you can.”

Sienna said “ Her images are so powerful. What I would say about Amelia is that because she has no words, no language, that she’s presenting herself through images. So, when she presents like that, try and take special attention and capture it. Even if it doesn’t make any sense, because that’s how she’s trying to communicate.”

I nodded. “ It’s weird, cos when it comes over me, I couldn’t even say Oh, this is Amelia I wouldn’t know, I just know that I have to draw and it’s like being in this dissociated place and it’s page after page after page, and it’s almost frantic….. but then once it sort of slows down a little bit and I see what’s been done on the pages, this Editor part comes in says, no that can’t stay, this looks really bad….

Sienna interjected “ And that’s what I was getting on the phone actually – because I was asking if you thought Amelia would let you bring the drawings to therapy and it was like a hard no, that she doesn’t want anyone to see them. It was a case of you didn’t know and you’d need to see how it felt on the day. There was some resistance to that. But now, when you see those images, what sense do you make of it? Or what feelings does it invoke in you?”

I paused to think.

“ Just a lot of confusion. I feel very confused about it and I don’t understand why… what that’s about. I don’t understand why she’s doing that. I don’t like it, I don’t…. I look at those drawings and I think that looks like quite traumatic stuff but I don’t know what that is, I don’t feel that, why am I doing that? Stop doing that! It’s just confusing and it’s hard to NOT destroy that (the drawings).”

Sienna said “ I mean, she’s drawn worse. If you look back at your first journal, she’s drawn worse.”

I was surprised to hear that. I couldn’t think what images were worse. How does Sienna remember that? I can’t remember Amelia drawing.

Sienna said “ The first one you drew, during our time here…”

I interjected “ In here?” shocked that I’d have drawn anything like that in front of anyone.

Sienna said “ Yes”

Me, incredulous “ I drew it IN HERE?”

Sienna said “ No, no, you brought it in and again they were very black but that was pre- knowing what her name was but you can tell it’s hers , looking backing. They were very dark, abusive, distressed pictures.”

I felt embarrassed. Scared. I said quietly “ I don’t know why.”

Sienna said “ Well that’s the whole point, there’s no words to it. It’s an experience, potentially. Split off which is what happens because you don’t feel the trauma, that’s why she’s split off. It’s another reason why potentially she’s…. that nobody is going to let her come in a hurry, because the other parts don’t want to have to feel it all. So the protection mechanism is still in place and that knowing about it is protection I think.

But on another level, I think it’s really important to say to Amelia,  that I see her. And she’s not evil and she’s not bad. And I understand why she can’t come here. But know that this is safe and I feel her and she’s not alone.

And I don’t need to know what it’s all about in order just to care and feel empathy for her distress. She feels like a really lost little girl.”

Oh God. Sienna was talking directly to Amelia. And I knew Amelia was there, listening, I could feel it. I could feel her. It’s always hard when Sienna starts talking with the parts directly, they are not used to being seen.

I felt Amelia, breaking through and past the permeable membrane of adult me as Sienna spoke to her. The adult me receded and Amelia was at the front.

I felt Amelia’s sadness, her vulnerability and distress. I felt floaty and sleepy and tearful.

The room fell silent.

I can’t say what I was thinking or feeling cos I was no longer there and I don’t remember what was going through my mind.

Eventually, Sienna’s voice broke through the silence “ Is she there? Is she listening?”

I nodded, made an affirmative noise.

Sienna asks quietly, “ Does she want a hug?”

I shake my head immediately. Amelia does want a hug but she can’t ask, can’t accept. She feels too unworthy of it, too dirty.

Sienna said softly “ Does she want anything? Or does she just need to be here?”

I say quietly “ She says she’s dirty.”

I remember now, hearing Amelia crying and wanting to draw the word dirty.

Sienna said softly “ I know she feels that. But you’re not dirty. It’s someone else that’s made you feel like that. It’s a word that you use in order to understand the feelings that you’ve got. It’s not about being dirty. It’s about being hurt.”

I’m crying. I put my arms out limply and then I make a washing motion with my hands “ I just want to get clean, I just feel I want to get clean.”

Sienna says “ I know, I know.”

I curl up into myself. Bring my knees up to my chest in an effort to get small and to hide or comfort the level of vulnerability I was feeling.

I sob to myself. Head down.

Sienna said “ It sometimes feels that it’s someone else who’s contaminated you. That it’s stuck on you that you can’t get rid of it.”

Amelia rejects that immediately “ No, it’s me.”

Sienna pauses and then says “ It’s just a word to describe a feeling, and nobody is born dirty, nobody is born bad.”

Amelia doesn’t believe her. She knows she’s dirty, it’s on her, it’s in her. She wants to sit in a bath of bleach but she knows it won’t make much difference.

Sienna said “ You just feel that way because you can’t see beyond the feeling. But that’s not true.

You are as good and as….. I don’t even want to use the word clean, because there’s no such thing as being clean or dirty…. You’re just normal. It’s normal to have these feelings when you’ve internalised something that doesn’t belong to you. You’re just a little girl whose been really confused about feelings.”

I make a sound that makes it seem like I am quietly agreeing with Sienna but actually I was just acknowledging that I was listening. Inside there was a war. Amelia knew that Sienna couldn’t understand. That she wasn’t seeing that she really IS dirty, inside and out. That there’s no way to get rid of the dirt. She IS the dirt.

I cried silently.

Sienna said “ Amelia’s a little girl who should be allowed to play. And do normal things. But I can sense that in the front of her mind she had all these dark, dark images and pictures and she’s allowed to put those image onto paper as much as she likes. You do what you need to do. As long as it’s not dangerous to you, if that helps get the feelings out.

Is she worried about me going away?”

I shake my head and shrug at the same time.

Sienna says “ Is she okay?”

Sienna asks if Amelia knows why she’s surfaced again?

I say no.

Sienna says “ She’s maybe just full, and she just needs to get all this out. She holds all this by herself for months on end.

Do you know what emotion is behind your tears?”

I think and then say full of tears “ Dirty. I want to be clean.”

Sienna asks “ Did someone tell you that you were dirty?”

I reply in a burst of tears, a resistance to remembering, a resistance to…. Explaining, maybe “ I don’t know!!!!”

Sienna nods seeing the resistance. She lets me have it and doesn’t push me. “ You just feel it, hmm?”

I sob and nod. Bereft.

Sienna says “ and that’s really hard to bear, especially when everyone’s telling you you’re not that way, you’re not dirty.

Do you know that even if you were, everybody would still love you? And even if you were, it’s not your dirt.”

I whisper “ it is mine. It’s mine.”

Sienna said “ No. You know when you feel like that, it’s your sense of self that feels dirty. And you aren’t. And I’m not going to collude with that feeling.

Because there’s nothing you can do to change you can’t do anything to it, you’ve got to decide and get to that point inside yourself that “actually this feeling doesn’t belong to me. I have to give it away I have to reject it.”

I was shaking my head no. Amelia wasn’t ready to give up the dirty feeling because she knows in her heart that it’s her dirt. It is in her, it is on her, it sticks to her like tar. She is made of it. And she couldn’t understand why Sienna would insist otherwise. Can’t she see it????

Sienna continued “ – And let Amelia come out to play. So whoever is holding her back….. so that she’s encased in that belief, needs to come and talk and tell us why they think Amelia should stay hidden.”

And just like that, a new part moved in. Angry. Possibly male. A powerful disembodied voice inside my head telling Amelia to shut up, she’s not real. Anger towards Sienna for challenging Amelia to be anything different. Anger at Sienna for trying to reach Amelia. Rage directed at me. It felt like a demon.

All I can do is listen to it. Amelia listens to it.

I or it, answers Sienna’s question about why Amelia should stay hidden. It’s impossible to tell that another part moved in by my voice, it still sounds like me. “ Cos she’s not real.”

Sienna hesitates and then asks “ Who says she’s not real….. hm?”

Sienna says “ That’s a big judgemental statement for someone to make. It’s very convenient for the others or some of the others to say that she’s not real. She’s as real as everybody else inside.

And I wonder if the others are a bit scared that she holds information that they don’t want anyone else to know?

But maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she’s just a very distressed little girl. Because she’s been abandoned by all of you.”

I said nothing. I was still experiencing Amelia’s distress and this other parts rage at being challenged by Sienna and a tiny bit of adult who was watching this unfolded and utterly confused.

Sienna asked “ Who’s not letting her out?”

I said “ Me.” I sounded quiet and meek but inside the rageful demonic voice was verbally attacking Sienna over and over, trying to scare her into submission.

Sienna asked “ Who is me?”

No answer.

The part recedes, not willing to say anymore. Amelia had receded too but less so.

I lift my head and begin to feel a bit more in the room.

Sienna detects the shift. “ Are you okay?” She smiles.

I nod.

She says “ Don’t let Amelia think she’s any less important than anybody else. None of the rest have any right to be thinking or doing differently.”

I don’t say anything. I can feel Sienna’s protection over Amelia. Defending her from the parts who want to shut her down.

She asks “ Is it Amelia who likes the cushion?”

I laugh meekly “ I don’t know.”

I add “ She wants a doll.”

I could feel Amelia wanting to desperately hold onto a baby doll.  “ I want a doll, I want a doll.” I saw an image of Amelia hugging tightly one a baby doll for comfort.

Sienna says “ Does she need want one to hug?”

I nodded.

Sienna says “ Maybe Sirena could go shopping and buy her one?

I nodded.

In the last 6 minutes of the session I ask “ Can I come and sit with you now?”

Sienna nods “ hmhm, we have a few minutes left.” And she pats the seat next to her. I scurry over. Into her arms.

Sometimes it feels like hug time is respite for both Sienna and I. A break from the intensity.

Sometimes it feels very much like after a toddler or young child has a major meltdown, has destroyed its surrounding and now all the power has gone out of them, there’s a quiet moment of repatriation and reassurance. Sienna often talks quietly to me, I listen, sometimes I talk a little bit, mostly I just cry and hang on to Sienna like my life depended on it, feeling utterly spent.

Those moments are so important. Those are the moments that make it okay to leave the room and pick up my adult self.

My session ended shortly after and I felt pummelled. War-weary.

As I listened to this recording of my session it strikes me how little I remembered of it. My memory seems to be a strange thing.

I don’t hold memories of that session. But when I listen to a recording, I suddenly remember it happening and what I was feeling – from all the parts. But if I was to pause the recording I literally could not tell you a single thing that happens or is said next. It’s like a big black hole.

What is that? Why does that happen? Clearly I have the memory in there somewhere since I can immediately remember details as I’m listening, but I don’t have access to the memories unless I hear the session, How does that happen?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The case of the shrinking therapist.

As a therapy veteran, I feel like I’ve experienced quite a lot of situations. But I have a new one.

This is a light-hearted post, something has occurred/is occurring that makes me laugh a bit.

I have been losing weight S-l-o-w-l-y for a while now. But recently, my therapist has lost some weight and been exercising. She has lost a stone and a half (21 lbs)

I’m happy for her, I am relieved she is taking care of herself. Carrying less weight is healthier and that’s good for me in that hopefully she keeps her good health.

But…. There’s always a “but” isn’t there?

But…. There’s a part of me, a young part who is a bit moany about it. Probably a part that doesn’t like change very much.

When I was at my session on Monday (which I WILL write up soon) I scarpered over to her sofa for a comforting hug after a very traumatised part came through. As I lay my head on her, it felt different, just slightly. And her heart rate sounded different…. Again just slightly. I only barely registered it at the time.

But since that day, It’s sort of been on my mind, nagging me a little.

I can hear a whiny voice saying “ I liked her the old way!!!!”

I liked the “extra padding.” I was comforted by her warmth and her curves. I knew them. I knew how she felt. I knew how fast my head would reach her chest as I cuddled into her. I knew the sound of her heart. I love cuddling her.

But this Monday, there was less padding, it took longer for my head to reach her chest, it felt almost like I got closer to her as there was less of her and that should feel good, right? Yet…. I liked her how she was. And once I got settled it was still warm and comforting, still her. And I know I’ll get used to her body once again. It will become familiar once more.

When I met Sienna for the first time she was tall-ish – maybe 5.7? Slimish. Not skinny at all, probably a good size 14 (Uk 14) but not fat by any degree and certainly not for her age (in her 50’s). She started putting on weight during her final year of her Masters degree. It was extremely gradual and I barely noticed it. It was always just “her”. And I always liked how she looked no matter what.

She might have gone up one or two dress sizes in that time, it’s hard to tell. But anyway, there’s less of her now and I have no idea how much more she’ll lose and I do wonder if she loses more, will cuddling into her feel more…. Angular? Less warm or less soft or less curvy? I don’t want that!! I don’t want to lose that soft, warm, safe, motherly quality.

Of course, I’ll just need to accept what she does. And of course I have no say over her body but the 5 year old just wants to shout “ I like you better when you have fat!”

But I feel like I should probably keep that thought to myself HAHAHAHA

She is looking very nice though and I did comment on how well she is looking and I know she’s pleased to have lost some weight – what woman isn’t?

But I suppose it just amuses and surprises me that the situation has come up, it’s all a bit unexpected. And I wonder if it is something worth talking about…. Yet somehow I cringe at the thought of it.

I don’t want her to feel embarrassed that I am noticing her body. I don’t want her to think or feel like I think I possess her body yet it is interesting because I suppose those very little parts do feel like her body is an extension of theirs and noticing her changing shape (less boobies!!) is a very natural observation for tiny children isn’t it?

But being an adult, I feel like talking about it to her is REALLY cringeworthy and I don’t want it to be seen as a sexualised thing because it absolutely is not. But as an adult, I really DO NOT want to be talking about her boobs being less soft. LOL, OMG even writing this is making both laugh AND want to die!!

Has anyone else experienced a changing therapist? Did you talk about it with them? Help a girl out here!!

 

 

 

 

 

Amelia, again.

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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!