One More Day

So I’ve basically made it. In less than 24 hours I have therapy again. Pretty sure I can make it to 4pm tomorrow without any major event. Phew.

I feel good about how this break has gone. It’s been surprising, actually. I didn’t predict that I would fall apart, but I didn’t predict that I would spend this time feeling mostly stable and okay about being separated from the therapist, either. This is new. I’ve never experienced anything like this before in any relationship, let alone with a clinician.

But I do miss her now. The therapist, that is. I am reaching a point where I find myself thinking about her more often. I have so much I want to tell her. And we left off on a very important note that deserves a lot of attention. I’ll probably re-read the posts I wrote that week just to jog my memory and bring all of that stuff back to the forefront.

I know it will be tricky to dive back into the material. It probably won’t be easy and we likely won’t just jump back in where we left off. But I think we’re in a very good place right now and the time away will hopefully only make our relationship stronger.

I didn’t want this time off from treatment, but I think I needed it. This week has been a true week off for me. No work, no school, no therapy. I was able to just be with myself – read, write, watch tv, exercise, meditate, etc. I could simply flow with whatever made sense and felt good in the moment. It was relaxing and I desperately needed to relax.

It was also stressful. Having time alone has always been a source of tremendous anxiety for me. I don’t do well with downtime, especially if that time is occupied solely by me (although, to be fair, I’m never truly alone since I am part of a DID system). The emptiness, the vast open space of isolation intimidates me.

I was thinking about how it’s easier for me to think about and process my trauma when I am doing it deliberately, via therapy. I think of it almost as a homework assignment or challenge. I see it as a task for which I need to do my absolute best. When I’m not bringing up this stuff for the sake of tackling it in treatment, it has a way of overpowering me. I feel helpless and inept to handle the memories and emotions as they come up.

This week has been a balancing act of sorts. I can’t possibly keep myself from having any negative thoughts or undesirable emotions. Shit is going to surface on its own, unexpectedly. That’s sorta the nature of PTSD. But I think I’ve done a fairly decent job of allowing certain things to come into conscious awareness, acknowledge them, and then say, “I see you, however I’m not ready to deal with you yet. I am not ignoring you completely, but I do need you to wait until a better time when I am more equipped to handle you.”

And that is absolutely a consequence of being in well-paced, well-contained therapy. It was hard for me at first to feel as though she was holding me back. It felt like a rejection and I wanted to tell her everything so that if she was going to be overwhelmed or disgusted or not believe me, I’d know that upfront. But she pushed me to trust the process and allow things to unfold in a more organic way and I abided, reluctantly.

I didn’t really understand it at the time, but I have a better idea of why she did that. Not only was it to keep the therapeutic space safe, but it has taught me how to do the same for myself. I am learning to pace my own emotional life and to say, “Not today, trauma. Not today.”

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s session. I’m not sure what I’ll open with, as everything feels both incredibly important and incredibly mundane. But I want to be as honest and vulnerable as I can with her. I want to share how this time off has been and I want to talk more about our connection and what it all means. And I want to tell her that I missed her.

One. More. Day.

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21 thoughts on “One More Day

  1. manyofus1980 says:

    So glad you made it. I had to delete a bunch of post I had way too many and couldnt catch up. But from now on I’ll try to keep up. So happy for you that she’s back. I know how hard it can be to be away from therapy and your therapist. XX

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ellen says:

    “Not today, trauma. Not today.” lol. Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Slowing things down while not totally suppressing is one of the hardest things.

    Glad all is stable and that she’s back.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rachel says:

    Aww, the last paragraph made me smile ‘I want to tell her I missed her.’ So sweet. What a different experience, one I am glad you get to have now with this therapist. Warm-feelers all around 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cat says:

    TBH, Andi, I am surprised how well you’ve been dealing with the therapy break and even more amazed that you haven’t mentioned the Z-word once in this post or your fears about the current Therapist rejecting you on return… amazing progress.. What you said regarding feeling okay about being away from your T, made me wonder if my own similar feelings about my T are more to do with secure attachments, rather than keeping him at a distance.

    I’m becoming more convinced that the breaks are a very significant part of the process. You seem to have gone with the flow this week and I’ll bet there was a whole load of healing flowing through you at the same time. Look forward to hearing about the session today

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Haha, “The Z-word”. I love that. Thank you for this – I’m honestly kinda surprised myself. It’s probably worth exploring more about your own lukewarm feelings about breaks are perhaps a sign of secure attachment. And yes, I’m definitely beginning to understand how important breaks are to the overall therapeutic process and, ultimately, to the healing work. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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