Sunday, June 23, 2019

Not Alone

I don't know how other people process stuff that is going on in their lives. I can't imagine carrying it around in my head and leaving it there to fester or disappear or be forgotten. It's enough that I have to remind myself on a regular basis to relax my shoulders from being up around my ears. If I couldn't write down the stuff that causes my shoulders to rise, I can only imagine the smidgen of space there'd be left between the two by now.

I saw my therapist on Friday. The need to write shit down since then has felt akin to needing a drink of water in the desert. Holding a cooing and smiley baby and spending time with Twinkly Eyed Grandson has occupied me in the meantime.

So today, I'm writing this all down for me. Take it with a grain of salt. I can't make this shit up. I don't know how it works. Maybe I just have a vivid imagination. In any case....

There's a situation in my life that is causing me untold anxiety. Anger. The feeling of wanting to put my fingers in my ears and sing, "La,,la...I can't hear you." But it's not going away any time soon, if ever. Fun times. I've learned enough from therapy to know that my wanting this situation to disappear guarantees it will be around a long time. I haven't gotten to the place of embracing it yet. Not sure I even want to. But I need to find some kind of peace or else the irritable, grumpy, agitated person I have been lately will only get worse.

I am not used to being this way anymore and I am causing damage by letting it gain such a foothold. So much fun. Sigh. You know when you want to get it right but on your own terms? Have fun with that. Or you want to get it right but the painful path through it seems insurmountable. Yet at the end of the day you know you're going to try anyway because you've yet to shy away from Doing.The.Fucking.Hard.Work.Of.Healing.

So that situation is causing a ripple effect in other relationships. It culminated in my telling my therapist the other day that I didn't even know what the point of trying anymore was. Well, fuck. Wrong thing to say within earshot of my therapist that's for sure.

She wondered what age I was when that attitude first showed up in my life. The No point in trying. Might as well give up. So we wandered around inside a bit and into my mind came my 14 year old self. I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse to have these earlier versions of myself show up so vividly in my brain but there she was. Sitting in a dark hallway, hooded jacket pulled up over her head, cross legged with her arms crossed tightly, head down. I knew her well. I felt her pain.

I whispered out loud, "Scared." The next feeling that came was as familiar as my own skin. "Alone."

Tears and then sobs. So alone. Tears and tears and tears. Whispering scary things out loud, "If I don't keep trying I will be all alone."  Sobs. I want to curl up in a ball. My therapist asks, "What does your 14 year old self need?..... A hug?" Fuck, no. We wait while I try to figure out what I need. Didn't she know that my 14 year old self had given up on having needs long ago? There was no one to meet them.

"I need someone to sit beside me." My 57 year old self sat herself down in the dark with my 14 year old self. My therapist came and sat beside me. We three sat in a row in silence.

We gave thanks for the feisty-ness that my 14 year old self needed. We invited her to bring that along into today but that the other coping mechanisms were no longer needed. My 14 year old self punched people who pissed her off. She swore so much. She had an invisible suit of armor that was made of the strongest steel.

No wonder she felt alone.

My therapist walked me through situations in my life today and how to take a look to see which age was showing up to the conversation. Was it my 14 year old self or my 57 year old self?

I have hope that I can learn to respond in the here and now with my here and now abilities. I don't have to continue to view the world through that scared and alone 14 year old self. It feels like there is a mountain yet to climb. But I am not alone. Not anymore.

1 comment:

Suzanne J. said...

Hang in there! You may not ever get to 'feel' like a self-assured, stable, & functional 57-yr.old'; BUT, you WILL eventually 'feel' like an 'adult' with a little more self-control over your emotions -- AFTER YOU HAVE 'PARENTED' THAT 14 yr. old CHILD WHO FELT SO 'ALL ALONE' IN THE WORLD! It DOES 'work' ... to a point. But, it's NOT a 'one-time fix': it's on-going. As you move forward, different life events & situations can 'trigger' a return of those 'child-like' emotions and a sense of being 'stuck'! Don't panic; just remember the 'steps' you learned in therapy, and re-apply them! Continue to 'parent' the broken child within' -- each time this happens. And, 'surrendering' to God, helps as well!.