Feeling a Little Too Much
Disclaimer: I need to talk about how I’m feeling, but am close to certain that at least some of what I am feeling has a lot more to do with the past than what is going on here and now. Not sure I’m up to sorting it out right now. There’s hurt, and some anger floating around, but I’m not completely sure about what. I’m probably reacting to things that aren’t really happening outside of my memories.
I have an announcement to make: I’m human and have all the same feelings everyone else does. My ability to clearly explain the processes and the necessity of boundaries and the mechanics of the therapeutic relationship is not a “Get out of Jail Free” card. My intellectual understanding helps me in that it can illuminate the need to do the work and it can provide hope that I will come out the other side, but it does not, in any way, shape or form, exempt me from having to go through all the feelings.
Understanding, accepting and even agreeing with BN’s no hug/holding policy does not take away the pain of not being able to get a hug or be held. Sometimes I can long for that with every fiber of my being and it hurts. It hurts in a way that takes my breath away. Knowing that BN cannot be available all the time; at the end of the session, I have to get up and leave like everyone else, doesn’t mean that sometimes my insides aren’t screaming when I have to leave. That going down the steps can feel scary and like I’m dying a bit. Knowing that not being able to know BN fully, not being able to share a meal, or a holiday or to be important to him the way he is to me is absolutely necessary to protect the work we do, does not mean that those limits do not hurt. It all hurts, sometimes in a way that is difficult to carry.
I have been in a very triggered place. My sessions lately – which I’m just not capable of talking about yet, still processing – have been about integrating some very painful split off memories and I am finding myself almost engulfed by the feelings and experiences of my younger self. I am feeling and facing things I never thought possible because BN is willing to walk alongside me. I am very grateful for him because I am also exquisitely aware that I NEED him; I am not capable of facing this alone. But needing him is painful and scary. I know that I am trusting him on a very deep level (way beyond of what I ever thought myself capable) but the younger part of me, while finally believing it is safe to finally feel and understand these experiences and emotions, is also convinced that safety lies only in being with BN. But I’m still limited to only one hour a week and it’s hard. I have to keep soothing and reassuring the split off part that there is also safety away from BN, while also stopping myself from just showing up at his office or home and refusing to leave. Being successful at doing so does not come without a cost.
I feel tender and raw and easily bruised and not up to arguing about what is right and necessary or being challenged when I share something I found helpful. There are days when it feels like I have a target painted on my back. And because I choose to speak up so freely and lay out a case for what I believe good therapy looks like and make myself vulnerable to share deeply, I can draw fire.
So for the record: I do not believe I am always right (some days I have trouble believing I’m ever right) nor do I believe I have all the answers. I do not think everyone has to heal the way I do; I am only sharing the way in which I heal in the hope it might help someone. I do not feel like I am any better than anyone else trying to heal. I am stumbling along, often in circles, confused and groping in the dark and struggling to understand myself. And sometimes, when I am really struggling with transference and feelings from the past, I can question if I am doing the right thing, am I on the right path, are the boundaries really set such that I can heal, have I really made any progress or am I just bullshitting myself? I am weary and worn out and would just appreciate some space to find my way, without having to be certain or defend my choices. Just because I refuse to give into it, does not mean that I do not feel helpless at times. A feeling I loathe more than any other. This is not an easy battle for me either, just one in which I feel the need to be engaged.
I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say or quite why I’m upset, there’s been a complicated swirl of events and encounters cross-pollinating with the work I am doing. I am struggling with feeling invisible, as if I do not matter and am not a person (did I mention projection earlier in this post?) and I’m not sure from where it’s all coming. More than likely these are feelings from the past. I probably won’t understand until I have a chance to talk it through with BN on Thursday but I just felt a deep need to speak tonight, so I’m writing this in an attempt to understand. Maybe it is just that I feel like I have little hope or answers right now and needed to be able to admit that. Maybe no one is even expecting me to have those things; the pressure is internal. Sometimes the passage grows dark enough to obscure the light.