************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update

I had a remarkable session with my therapist this afternoon. I needed it. Yesterday was a lost day. I was in and out of myself all day, and it felt like the world was closing in.

A lot of my anxiety was being triggered by my therapist leaving town. It isn't the first time she's left town since I've been seeing her. It isn't the first time I've totally freaked out about it, either, but I think she and I both thought that I was in good enough shape that I wouldn't havesuch a tremendous melt-down this time.

So along with the anxiety, I felt like a complete failure all day because I wasn't able to pull myself out of the downward spiral. Everyone I talked to was telling me I needed to be more self-sufficient, that I couldn't always be dependent on someone else. Every time I heard that I felt more anxious, more like a failure and steadily grew more angry.

Can't they see that I am more self sufficient?
Does anyone realize that it is really hard all the time and that ninety percent of the time I am doing it on my own??

I don't know what I wanted as I wandered from one source to another looking for comfort, yesterday. What can anyone else do to pull me out of that hole? I can say that the one thing that I found the most reassuring was when I talked to a friend on a support site and told her how I was feeling. I said I was doing it a lot, but I just couldn't do it all the time.

She said, "I understand that. Nobody can do it all the time."

I think my anxiety level dropped about fifty percent just to hear someone tell me that I really was not expected to do it on my own all the time.

Thanks to everyone who was around for me yesterday. It meant a lot.

12 comments:

  1. If you're really paying attention, you might have noticed that this all took place at the same time as the other traumatic event I talked about a few posts back. The story of "James and Leon" would have taken place in May or June, of 1968.

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  2. Yes, I'm paying attention!

    I think a lot of this is in how parents handle the situation. As you said, you can now understand the reasons why it may have been hard for you and your little brother to go to Europe.

    The following is by no means meant to minimize what you said or your experience. I just recalled it because of what you wrote about your little brother crying when your parents left.

    When my kids were little, certainly under 4 or so, we had a horrible time leaving them with my parents just for a day or two. It was absolutely horrid for us. We would explain that we would come back and they would cry and sob and have to be held back from us by my parents. There was no amount of reasoning. It was traumatic and heart wrenching. This was all during my period of several years out of therapy and "doing fine" (from 1999 or so until 2002). I would not be able to handle that if it happened while in therapy now. Of course they would end up being just fine and have a blast with my parents.

    I'm glad you had a good session with C. And I hope you gave yourself credit for making it through in one piece, which you did.

    Paul

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  3. I'm happy to see you are in a better place today. I do not remember reading the post you refer to. Perhaps it was before I started following or it might be that it was a post I could not read. I don't know why it is that some of your writing is triggering for me, but that is how it is.

    I can see how the event you wrote of today could impact you so deeply. I don't think some parents-- even good, responsible, loving parents, ever get that kids are not just undersized adults. Children process everything in such a different manner than grownups. I will look again to try and locate the post you indicated to see if I can read it.

    Maybe you could tell me where it is?

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  4. Paul, thank you for the reminder to give myself credit for making it through. That is something I often forget to think about. I did make it through. It wasn't exactly graceful, but I made it.

    I have also had the tearful times with my children when I left them with a babysitter or my parents for a few days. I remember, however, that I always was very clear with them what was going to happen well in advance, and always told them I would miss them. Those two pieces would have made the whole thing much less difficult for me.

    Tricia, I remember that you did tell me that post was triggering. Please don't go looking for it. I'm really sorry if some of my stuff is triggering. If there is something that I think might be, I have labeled it as "traumatic" or something of the sort. The post I was referring to was labeled that way... something about a traumatic event.
    I really don't want to cause anyone any kind of issues while I throw all of mine out here. I would completely understand any time you were uncomfortable reading or commenting. I really appreciate you letting me know when this happens so that I can, maybe, become more sensitive to just what is likely to trigger someone.

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  5. As I read your post I was reminded of how close I was to my older brother when I was a child. He's 9 years older than me and was a stabilizing feature in a chaotic household so when he went to university when I was 9 I felt devastated. We drifted apart over the years and it sometimes makes me very sad.

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  6. oh my goodness shen, have i missed so many posts? :( i feel bad that i was not reading when you were feeling so abandoned. i have tons to say.

    first of all, i think it makes perfect sense you would be anxious and upset at your therapist leaving town. she is of immense support to you. of course this is scary and potentially triggering. i do not think anything you are feeling is trivial, or should be "gotten over".

    and that's so sad that someone banned you from their site. i can't imagine why.

    and this memory of being left at your grandparents house. what a sad and terrible time that must have been. i don't think you were ever being silly or that your anger was at all trivial. first of all, your parents didn't tell you until the last minute what was even happening! you were given no time to even adjust to the news. you had been looking forward to the vacation with the family, only to find they were taking one without you. and it seems the importance of the vacation was even higher for you than usual because you were dealing with the loss of your brother and the fright of him being drafted :( i'm so sorry all that happened to you.

    the overall message i find resonating here is the minimization you experienced in your childhood carrying through to today. the message you received back then was that what you felt didn't matter. and now with your therapist leaving, it seems you were getting messages which felt the same, that your feelings in this don't matter.

    but your feelings are valid. and they do matter. abandonment is scary. but i hope that your session with your therapist helped relieve some of the pain you are experiencing. and i'm glad you have that friend on your support site too.

    here's one more person out there wishing you well and sending validating thoughts your way! ~~

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  7. Wow, Mountainmama, what a wonderful comment. Thank you. I really appreciate all that you said. It feels good to have someone tell me my feelings are valid and not trivial. One day maybe I will be at the point where I can see that myself. In fact, some days I am there already... but this week it felt really good to hear it.

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  8. I am sorry you had to go through this as a child. Something I could never understand is how parents can go on 'VACATION' and leave a child behind. I could never do that. My kids went wherever we went and if children weren't welcome, we didn't go either. I'm glad you had a good session and all the best!

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  9. Thank you, Marissa.
    I'm not even sure its the fact that they chose to go without us that was so devistating. I understand that there was a limited amount of time they had to take my older siblings places that we were too young to go. I think it's more the way they went about it.
    I think it's possible to have brief separations from your children and still make sure they know that you will miss them, and that they are valued. I think it's also really important to make sure kids have plenty of time to get used to something like that beforehand, as well.

    I really appreciate everyone who understands how traumatic this felt. I have felt guilty for so long about being so angry about this. I was afraid to share this with anyone, even when it came up and I remembered. It feels good to hear people validate my feelings and it helps me to stop minimizing my experience.

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  10. i thought about something else this morning i thought was neat, it seems that now whenever a parting will come up in your life that causes you stress, that now you have the opportunity to reparent yourself. to sit down with your inner child in these moments when the impemding separation is causing her/them to feel angry, frightened, whatever. to tell them what is happening, give them time to adjust, tell them all the things that your parents should have told you back in that experience. ((hugs!))

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  11. Yes, you're right, Mountainmama, that is exactly what I need to do. Somebody in there is feeling very worried and afraid and instead of comforting them I am beating myself up.

    I have to figure out how to do this.

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Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment.

Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.
~Shen