A Realisation

EDIT – I’ve just reread my post from yesterday and I see that I sort of wrote about this yesterday… that shows how dissociative I was – I didn’t even remember what I’d ‘realised’ after the session!

I’ve just had a realisation about yesterday’s session. The distance and lack of connection I am feeling with Anna is exactly what I feel with Grace. The therapy room is often a mini stage for all the things that happen in our day to day lives that we can’t get a hold of.

The therapeutic relationship is an intense version of other relationships in our lives. It places us under the magnifying glass. Showing us what often remains unconscious. It acts as a mirror, reflecting back to us what we need to learn about our patterns, thoughts and behaviours. It unpicks and scrutinises so that we may learn new ways to be with others and with ourselves.

I have unconsciously transferred my feelings (the very frightening numb nothingness I feel for my kids – especially my daughter) so that I can work on it in the room with Anna. I wonder if she experienced it like that too. If she did then she could use that counter-transference to help me understand how my daughter (and probably other people in my life) feel when I’m going through an episode of disconnect. Does she feel connected to me or does she feel pushed away and shut out? Does she feel like I’m not all there or is she still able to sense the care and bond between us even when I can’t feel it?

This could potentially be really important work. I’ll be bringing this to Anna on Tuesday. I wonder if she’s also reflected on the session and sensed this dynamic playing out.

13 thoughts on “A Realisation

  1. I see evidence of this (realisations that feel entirely new but that I wrote about a few days before) in my journal all the time. I’m interested in how that disconnect is experienced by my daughter too…

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    1. I actually laughed outloud when I realised I’d had the realisation yesterday 😂 this fuzzy brain of mine 🙈
      Do you worry about the impact it has on your daughter? Or do you do you feel secure in what you have with her?

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      1. Omg that’s a long story! I don’t have a simple answer to that because I’ve come such a long way in therapy – when I first saw K 4 years ago my plan was to kill N and I because the damage was too great, or so it felt (and did for a good 18 months). But K has shown me N is securely attached and happy and thriving, and now she is nearly 13 and doesn’t have an eating disorder and isn’t self harming or experiencing depression and anxiety (which many of her peers are!) I am starting to believe it. It kind of goes with what I wanted to say about your other post, but I think love is a verb AND a noun. And when I’ve cried to K that I look at N and feel NOTHING she has reminded me that it’s not always like that at all. N notices when I’m so spaced out I can’t hear her or take in what she’s saying but I also remind her all the times that I really listen to her. It’s being over-stimulated and my need for space and not to be touched that affects her the most I think as it makes me yell but I’ve explained more about that lately and she is starting to get it and to understand my brain gets full and I get sensory overload, so she knows it’s not her! So long story short I do worry but not like I used to because how she is in herself provides the evidence I need! Hope this makes sense lol I’m quite dissociated today 😋

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      2. I can’t tell you how reassuring it was to read that. Thank you so much. To hear another mother explain my experience so clearly. THANK YOU! I don’t feel like so much of a freak for feeling these things (and for feeling like we’d all be better off dead rather than live on and have me traumatise then just by being their mother). It’s so shit that we experience parenting in this way through no fault of our own. Well done for all the work you have done. I admire you so much for your dedication and emotional strength and perseverance. 💕💕

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      3. Aw, thank you! I also wanted to add that I’ve also cried so much with K because N loves me SO MUCH and I can’t/couldn’t understand why or how she could feel that about me, for a long time I thought it must be traumatic bonding she was experiencing rather than love. I NEVER think like this now but it used to send me to such a dark place.

        And for a long time it was hard because I could see that despite the huge mistakes I made she was basically fine and so it made me have to face up to just how awful the parenting I must have received was to break me as much as it did – so it was a relief she was mostly fine but brought it’s own pain.

        I think you’re doing an amazing job confronting all this and breaking cycles. Our healing is the biggest gift we can give our children and you are putting everything you have into doing that 💖

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      4. Oh my god you’ve just put into words something I’ve struggled so much to articulate and haven’t as yet been able to explain. ‘it made me have to face up to just how awful the parenting I must have received was to break me as much as it did’ – THIS! This is I think the crux of it all!!!! Wow I’m going to screen shot this and take it to Anna. This is what is blocking me from fully working on all of this.

        Also, I too feel like my daughter is trauma bonded rather than love bit again wasn’t able to articulate. Thanks so much for all of this. I’ll need to read older posts of yours to see if any more of your wisdom could help me because this has already helped so much 💕

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      5. Feel free to ask any more questions on this as well, as I’m not sure how much I’ve written on it on this blog. Definitely happy to chat about this more xx

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  2. LovingSummer

    I think it’s brilliant you’re going to explore this with Anna, I really hope it helps.
    I’m a Mum of two and one of the reasons I gave Guy for wanting to stop dissociating was because it felt like it does just dull the pain but also acts as an emotional barrier between me and the kids. My eldest has begun to notice I never cry and he thinks I’m just hard as nails…
    I worry that I am not fulfilling their need for love, despite showing my affection physically and verbally, telling them how much I love them, and making real efforts to listen and get involved when they want me to. I wonder how much is simply that I know I’m not perfect and so I hone in on my imperfections, worrying that I could be damaging them? Not saying that’s your journey too, just wondering about myself as I type this. It makes sense to me that if we are distanced from life then we will to some degree feel distanced to people in our lives but whether they notice or not? I have no clue and so will watch this journey with great interest!

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    1. I really appreciate you sharing that with me. It’s such an important conversation to be having. I am really curious where this will go with Anna. I do want to make greater sense of it. I guess as long as we constantly make sure the kids know that it’s not ‘their fault’ that we are like this and that we do love them then that’s a hell of a lot more than I ever experienced as a child! 💕

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      1. LovingSummer

        Ah yeah. I think we all try to give what we didn’t get. I was never hugged or kissed or told I was loved when I was a child. That’s why I do probably far too much of all of that to my two!

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