As I mentioned in my last post, my therapist lent me a stuffed animal to use as a transitional object for this weekend. I have session this afternoon and I’ll have to bring Gray Mouse back to her office.

It’s been interesting to have him with me the last three days. I think that my relationship with this stuffed mouse has somehow been a recreation of the relationship I have with my therapist. (Maybe that’s the point?)

It’s hard to explain, but I feel a lot of restraint around it. I know it’s here and that I can ultimately love it or hate it as much as I want, but I am cautious and protective of myself. I feel almost afraid to truly allow myself to feel connected to the doll and what it represents, which is the connection I have with my therapist and our work together.

I can tell that there is a part (or parts) of me that feel a desperate and unfiltered attachment to this doll. But I can also feel the skepticism and restraint that comes from other parts. So although it is literally just a stuffed animal, I find myself feeling a lot of complicated emotions around it.

I haven’t let it out of my sight since she gave it to me. It’s generally been within arms-length of me the entire weekend. I even slept with it, alongside my other stuffed animals. My wife suggested that Gray Mouse could befriend some of our other toys and I was incredibly resistant to this idea. It felt like too much – like something that wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be allowed. I think I was trying to figure out exactly how my therapist would want me to utilize this gesture and what she would and would not approve of me doing with the mouse.

Which, if I’m being honest with myself, is probably whatever the hell I want, short of damaging the thing.

Yet still, I won’t allow myself to just love it; to feel attached to it or find comfort in its presence. I’m glad it’s here and I like the idea that I can see it, feel it when I need or want to, but I do that within a very restrained emotional state.

I’m afraid to love it too much or need it too much. I’m afraid to feel attached to it and find comfort in it. I’m afraid to think of how meaningful it is to have it here or imagine why she offered it to me in the first place. I’m mostly detached from the entire experience, with a couple of intermittent exceptions. Even when I allow myself to hold it, I’m aware of being cautious to not become too invested in being comforted by it.

Yet I know that I really want it here and I want to feel that love and comfort it could bring me, especially when I am needing connection to my therapist. Which is also why I resent the damn thing and wish she’d never given it to me in the first place. I resent that I want it or need it at all. I resent that it could bring me solace and assuage some of my attachment anxiety, so I deny myself that comfort.

Like I said: a recreation of how I feel about my therapist.

9 thoughts on “Restraint

  1. SassaFrassTheFeisty says:

    I think recognizing your feelings with your therapist through Gray Mouse is a good thing, a much needed door that opened and dialogue to start/continue.
    Second, I also wonder if the hesitation is so that you don’t feel that connection to the bad parts of your child’s past…? Just a thought. Hope therapy went well {Hugs}

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel says:

    This makes sense, that you would feel inhibited, even with the support of Gray Mouse. The doll is a powerful symbol, one that represents something both comforting and terrifying, so I get why you feel restraint around it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laura Black says:

    I have the same thing when my therapist loans me a transitional object. Hers is usually a blanket. It always smells of her, which is so comforting. I also love and hate that it recreates my connection with her too!

    Liked by 1 person

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