Suspended in Disrepair

Everything has been such a mess lately; a very slowed-down, restrained type of mess. My calorie intake has been so low recently that it’s hard to think clearly. All I can do is feel and I mostly feel irritated. Or nothing at all.

The disconnect from therapy is strong right now. Deliberately. Volitionally. Except not at all. I don’t want to feel this way. Quite the contrary, actually. I want to feel connected and invested in this work, in my therapist, in myself. But I can’t. It feels like I’m being pulled or held or standing still with walls being built around me like a fortress. I have no control over these walls. I just watch helplessly as she gets further and further out of reach.

I can’t tell her this. Not much, anyway. But she feels it. How could she not?

I told her that I’m doing this on purpose, but I don’t know how to stop. She said this feels very “not me”. She wonders why there is such a strong effort to sabotage the therapy. She recognizes the influence of other and she says she asks herself, “Why? Why is she doing this?”

I ask myself the same thing.

She wonders why I’m pushing her so far away. She says I’m telling her things, dropping them in the middle of the space and saying, “Not my problem! YOU fix it.”

I tell her I disagree. I feel like I’m trapped within my own body, screaming for help. I want to be different. I want to reach her. I can’t. Something holds me back. Someone doesn’t want me to connect with her. That part is strong and I’m doing everything I can to communicate with her; to be authentic and share what I need while this other part of me strangles me to death.

She gets fired up. She asks, “What does this part want? Obviously to keep you safe, right? But what else is it trying to say? What does it need? What would it tell me if it could talk right now?”

I’m not sure, but I’m reminded of a dream I had and I tell her about it:

You asked me to share about someone or something that I love. I decide to share a memorial video about a loved one I lost several years ago. I own it, but I’ve never even watched it because it’s so painful to think about that loss.

I’m in a room I’ve never been in before, sitting on the floor in front of a television. My family is there. My brother sits behind me, slumped over. My sister sits across the room. My father sits on a sofa behind my brother, my mother next to him, you are next to her.

I put the disc in the DVD player. The video starts playing.

I start acting out because I’m uncomfortable and I know watching this video will hurt. My father snaps at me, I snap back. My mother jumps in, I snap at her. My father intervenes to tell me to stop talking to my mother that way. I tell them both to fuck off and turn towards the television screen.

My mother walks up behind me. She says, “Your behavior has an impact on people.”

I think to myself that she should shut the fuck up.

Then I turn around and you’re leaving. I jump up to chase you. You’re crying. I ask you not to go. You leave anyway.

My mother says, “She was so upset and disgusted by your behavior that she had to leave. Nice job.”

My therapist says the dream explains a lot about the fear, the dynamic, the presence of my mother in our work. She says it needs to be there; my mother needs to be there; this is important. I think she’s right, but it’s paralyzing. She points out her own abandonment in the dream; her collusion with my mother. She says, “That really IS a nightmare!”

Indeed.

She wonders if the increased restriction is a message. I tell her it is a way to blunt the intensity of all this chaos and distress. I tell her I like it this time, this way. I barely eat, I barely sleep, yet I get through each day seemingly without much change. It all seems the same. It all seems surreal. Nothing matters anyway.

We’re out of time, but she says this is good and we should keep talking about the dream. She reminds me that I can call her if I need to and she adds that her offer may seem paradoxical since the very thing she offers is the thing that has brought on distress. Parameters. Change. Fear.

I’m reminded of the battle between logic and emotion. I can’t tell what is now and what was before. I try to remember when she felt safe, trustworthy, anchored. I try to remember when I loved her. I try to remember anything before this rupture.

I shake off the remnants of any time before right now. I don’t think I want to remember when this felt better. I don’t think I’m supposed to feel that way.

I tell her I don’t want to repair it this time. Not yet. Not all of me, anyway. Part of me wants to stay in the rupture. She ponders the significance of the rupture and the potential benefits of suspending our relationship in a state of disrepair.

I’m not sure of the answer, but I know it’s here somewhere.

I start to leave and I feel scared. It’s the first time I’ve felt anything all hour. I wonder if this will ever get better. I wonder if I will ever want it to get better.

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17 thoughts on “Suspended in Disrepair

  1. Rachel says:

    This is so insightful. And painful to read. I can sense the pain and uncertainty inside you, in reading this. Uncertain how to proceed; trust and open up, force yourself to open up to her and risk vulnerability again. Or heed the internal resistance being thrown up against her, wondering if there is a genuine purpose for all this resistance. Certainly something inside your very intuitive self is speaking to you, with the restriction and unwillingness to open up to her. It may not be about her, per se, but it is about your needs and safety and is important. And it will shift and change, something always comes next. I’m so sorry this is happening and that you are so scared. It really is okay to be feeling this way, and to be putting up walls. If that is what you need, good. I’m hoping you find some comfort soon though. Thinking of you. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Yes. Exactly. I feel frightened and unsure of which direction to move in, if any. I think she recognizes the importance of the message that is being communicated, even if neither of us has a clear idea of what that message is. So she’s trying to balance honoring all parts, which is tricky. I think the solution is to push that all back down and proceed as planned. She has very different plans.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel says:

    I have something else to add (of course) – I recall a few months back, or maybe just two, when your therapist was on vacation. She told you that she felt “very close” to you. I don’t know if this helps or not, but I think her reaction to your cancelled appointment was because she feels close to you, wants to be close to you, and got hurt. I’m not condoning her lack of skill in reigning in her reaction, but I think this is all a symptom of both of your desire to be connected. Isn’t most relationship dysfunction just both people wanting to be connected, and their shit getting in the way? I don’t know, this re-frame helps me feel better about your situation. Maybe it will help you too. xx And if not, just know that I wish I could make it better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      I think you’re probably right on this. I know that she feels very emotionally connected to me and she uses that to take on a lot of my pain and anguish within our work. So it would be naive to think she wasn’t impacted by my behavior. Perhaps she felt a little rejected herself? Who knows. Either way, I think it came from a place of good things. I wish I wasn’t reacting to it as if she’d spit in my face, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. e.Nice says:

    I’m sorry. Its confusing enough with a mono-mind, all the different warring sides. Nothing feels right because feelings are all screwed up, nothing seems right logically because thats out the window too. So many questions and feeling paralyzed. I’m sorry. I am glad she gets fired up, and cares about you. Things do tend to get pretty rough before a break through of some sorts. Hope thats what this is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amb says:

    It will get better and you do want it to. You wouldn’t be putting yourself through all of the hell that you have to heal if you didn’t. I’m really sorry that you’re feeling so disconnected. You will pull through this. Sending you tons of love and hugs. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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