Bringing my feelings to a session is a bit like baking a souffle… one false move and it collapses!

(Sorry this is a long one… it was an intense session and covered a multitude of traumas!)

After this session I wasn’t sure how I felt. I had an uneasy, disconnected feeling and a very heavy disappointment in the pit of my stomach. I explored it with my friend and found that a part of me was wanting to pull in the direction of not trusting Mark… thoughts of ‘he can’t help me, what did he even do or say today?’ were going round in my head. My friend reminded me that it’s in the nature of my attachment wounds that I find it hard to connect and she reassured me that Mark probably turned up to the session exactly the same way he has done the previous two times I’ve met with him and that most probably a part of me was feeling protective and was blocking my ability to feel his presence. I sat at my laptop for about 40 minutes unable to type, feeling really low and in a lot of pain because of some osteopathy I received the previous day. I sent a message to my friend saying I wanted to quit typing and just go to the beach and get chips for dinner. She encouraged me to do just that and so that’s exactly what I did.

I have listened to snippets of the recording of the session since then and it’s actually amazing to hear the contrast between the reality of the conversations and what I felt while it was happening. I can hear Mark is present, engaged, trying to attune to me, trying to make deep connections. There are long pauses from me as I struggle to take in his kindness and as I hear the inner critic in my mind discrediting everything Mark says.

I had been full of grief and other emotions all morning and was ‘looking forward’ to bringing that to the session. Around mid-day my husband came home from work earlier than usual (his work times vary) and that disrupted the flow of my emotions. He is a very active, practical person and is constantly on the go. So, he came home, put a wash on, opened all the windows and doors, emptied and loaded the dishwasher, hoovered and cleaned… like a whirlwind of action and activity around me. While I tried to sit very still containing these precious and vulnerable feelings lest they disappear amongst the busyness. He eventually went out to clean the car and promised he’d stay in the garden once finished so as to not disturb my session but I still found it harder to sense in to my feelings now that he was home.

I logged on to the zoom session and I asked Mark how he was. He said, ‘I’ve been enjoying a nice burst of summer before Autumn comes… warms the heart as well as the skin,’ which I thought was very sweet then he said, ‘how’s the inner weather with you today?’ in the gentle tone I’m beginning to grow fond of and also find irritating (depending on how I’m feeling that particular minute). I explained that a lot was going on and said, ‘I’m feeling a real rush of emotions right now,’ and so he encouraged me to slow down as I was just about to launch into random utterings. There was an immediate sense of panic and of not wanting to waste time. He had a gentle smile/laughing tone as he reminded me to go slow and it made me tense up as if he was laughing at me. On reflection I can see that I was feeling very self-protective and wary. I never know what to do when I’m encouraged to slow down. I just sit there in silence and maybe take a breath and it always feels like an age has passed when I finally speak but listening back to the recording I can hear it’s milliseconds.

I told Mark that a lot has gone on for me this week and I explained that I’d found not having a session at the start of the week really hard. He didn’t say anything and I interpreted that as him thinking negatively about me as if he was hoping I wouldn’t keep going back to needing two sessions a week. In the initial meeting we had and the first session Mark assured me he was happy to go to two sessions if I felt it necessary later on but mostly due to a busy schedule right now he wanted to start with just one. But obviously my inner critic went straight to imagining that his silence meant he was sick of me already. My voice sounds closed off and robotic interestingly. He didn’t really respond, he just sat there. Sometimes he speaks but his audio doesn’t kick in so he’s possibly making reassuring noises that aren’t’ being picked up and if I’m not looking at him then I won’t be aware of it.

I told him that Wednesday marked three years since I started working with Anna and I recalled this time last year when she had highlighted the date to me and told me, ‘it’s a significant date because it’s the day I met you’. His lack of input was making me feel a bit uneasy so I said, ‘it feels a bit silly talking about it now but it felt meaningful at the start of the week’. Mark said, ‘she remembered and called your attention to it, it was in her consciousness and it makes sense that it was highlighted this week for you.’ I told him that her remembering the date made me realise she actually did care and that this was important to her too and Mark said, ‘it landed somewhere quite deep in you and as you think about it now that place is probably a little bit up,’ I nodded. He said, ‘I think our bodies remember anniversaries as well on some level. It makes sense to me that it would be a big deal for you.’ I told him I really did feel that my body remembers anniversaries and I explained how for so many weeks after Anna stopped working with me I would feel myself pulled to checking the time every Tuesday morning at quarter past 10 in the morning which was the time she made the call. My voice sounds really depressed and I’m casually and needlessly swearing and sighing quite a lot. A bit later something came up where Mark asked if I was angry and looking back I actually wonder if I was angry from the start and it was coming out in a passive aggressive way. I guess I find it really hard to get in touch with anger, maybe it was to do with feeling angry at Adam for coming home early and disrupting my feelings which I so desperately wanted to feel and work on in this one precious hour I get a week in therapy. I’m only just learning to feel and process emotions so it feels like a very delicate and fragile balance. Like baking a souffle … the minute you open the door the whole thing collapses and it’s ruined. Okay, so now I’ve figured that out I need to learn how I can contain everything I want to work on, regardless of what is happening around me. Not quite sure how to do that, maybe the first step is bringing this back to Mark next week (which feels like a hundred years away!)… okay… maybe I’m also angry about having just one session a week and that he didn’t take the very subtle bait and ask if I wanted an extra session when I was telling him how hard it was not having one.

I told Mark that on Wednesday I felt a strong connection to Anna and that I felt certain she would have remembered me which he said sounded lovely. He asked me if I was in touch with some of those nice feelings now and I told him no. he said, ‘you’ve been on quite a journey this week and you’re in a different space today. You’re letting me know some of the important points of that.’ I told him I felt all over the place and didn’t know what to talk about. I said something important happened yesterday that I wanted to work on but that I felt separate from it and fuzzy and not connected to anything any more. I told Mark the situation with Adam and that I was feeling more guarded because he was around. Mark said that made sense to him and that it was one of the big drawbacks of zoom sessions when you live with other people, that we have to manage the possible presence of others when we are needed privacy and space. He then said, ‘it sounds like some things are inhibiting you,’ and I said, ‘yeah I think I’m overthinking things.. because the session last week was so connecting and powerful and like I was able to hold on to that and I had a focus for the session but now I don’t really know what I want to talk about and I panic that I’m gonna waste time and angry because I thought I knew what I wanted to talk about and now I feel like I’m prattling on…’ Mark said, ‘well I don’t think you are, you’re talking about the changing landscape in your day, you’ve been thrown a bit, you’re distanced from your experience and in a sense we’re just naming that, aren’t we?’ I agreed and then talked about how sick I am living with these restrictions, not being able to go to sessions but having them at home, everything encroaching on my personal space.

Eventually I said, ‘I think I should talk about what happened yesterday, but it feels random and bizarre to talk about this in the second session but it’s relevant to me right now so I think I should talk about it if that’s okay.’ Mark said, ‘yeah, of course its okay, you go wherever you want to and just sort of touch into how it is to approach speaking about it.’ I said, ‘I feel nervous and anxious, maybe because I’m going to be launching into something very personal but it’s important.’ Mark said, ‘yeah, it’s really important, it’s deeply personal but it matters actually, so, it’s important that you are able to bring your whole self here as it where and it also makes sense, because of the bigness that there is a little bit of anxiety and I just wanted to catch that because I picked it up earlier and I know what it’s like to be about to speak about something (which you can choose not to) but I’m perfectly happy for you to go wherever you want to.’ In that moment, his whole speech felt very contrived and fake to me… the ‘therapy game’ that I’ve referred to before where the client says something and the therapist responds in a certain way. In this moment he chose repeating, mirroring and affirming… and it all felt unreal to me. However, listening back to the recording I can hear he was being very careful to listen to what I was saying and create a safe space for me to feel comfortable enough to share and work on what I needed to.

I began to explain to him the back story which is that both my kids were born by caesarean and that they were both physically and psychologically traumatic experiences. I told him I had always hoped that I would work this through with Anna but never did which upsets me. I gave him some details of why the births were so traumatic. With my daughter I was induced at 40 weeks, in labour for 37 hours and eventually had an emergency c-section. She was over 10lbs, had to be resuscitated as my placenta was anterior they had to cut through it to get to her which meant I bled out and lost 3 litres of blood. I was very ill and they wanted me to have a blood transfusion but in my state of confusion and heightened anxiety I turned it down. I had suffered from SPD (where the pelvis separates through pregnancy) and had been walking with the aid of crutches for the latter half of the pregnancy. I then didn’t bond immediately with my daughter through thankfully was able to breastfeed her immediately and had a long and deeply bonding breastfeeding experience with her which was really one of the few good things that happened in the first chapter of parenthood. I explained to Mark that I healed fairly well physically but that psychologically I really suffered and began therapy after my daughters first birthday. I then moved on to my sons birth which was a planned section at 38 weeks, he was over 11lbs and was in the ‘frank breech’ position meaning his bottom was engaged but his head and feet were up under my rib cage. Once again my placenta was cut through on the initial incision when meant there was an emergency element to the operation, it becomes very important to get the baby out quickly at that point. Because of his position, the surgeon had to put his arm up inside me and grab Reuben’s foot and pull him round internally and out. I lost just over 3 litres of blood that time however this time baby was well and able to feed straight away.

I explained to Mark that I have avoided talking about or thinking about both of these experiences but that for me I am left with quite a prominent sense of disappointment and anger that this was how my babies came into the world. I told him that on a sort of whole body/spiritual sense it feels like a violation, that my babies were ripped from my body before they were ready to leave and that my body was violently cut open and forced into. I also told him that Adam found both of the experiences pretty overwhelming though he never showed it at the time. There were moments where he worried he might lose me and the baby. I checked in with Mark at one point, because he had been so quiet throughout, I jokingly asking that he’s not squeamish and he said, ‘It’s okay! I just feel for both you and your husband, what a thing to go through!’ I went on to explain that it must have been energetically such a wrench for me and the baby to be separated so violently and before we were ready. Then I got to the point of this whole preamble which was to tell Mark that I have permanent nerve damage and scarring since having Reuben and that there are various symptoms associated with this including bowel and bladder stuff, tightness, back pain. My osteopath has helped me with many different things including the SPD, shoulder and arm pain, back and leg issues. Yesterday, after much research, I went to her asking if she could work on the build up of scar tissue that goes through from my section scar, through my abdomen and right to my back. It causes pain during ovulation, pain during my period… all sorts of symptoms. Yesterday was the first time I had any of that worked on after years of dead ends with the GP, hospital visits and scans that came back inconclusive… being told by doctors there’s nothing wrong with me and nothing they can do. My osteopath was amazingly validating. She physically assessed the situation and agreed with me that the scar tissue was causing all these issues and my constant chronic pain and she started working quite aggressively with her fingers to begin slowly breaking down the scar tissue one layer at a time before using the laser treatment. The entire session was an hour long including the consultation and I felt many emotions come to the surface as a result. I explained to Mark that it put me in touch with my body and the pain and upset of the traumatic experiences associated with these parts of me. The pelvic pain feels so deeply connected to deep grief and panic and fear and numbing. During the treatment my osteopath suggested self massage between our sessions and I explained to her that I found it really hard to do that because it makes me feel dizzy and nauseous. She told me that makes sense because I associate that area of my body with the trauma and she encouraged me to consider instead just gently stroking the skin around my tummy, perhaps with oil, to get myself used to touching my body and bringing awareness to that part of myself. For the hours following the osteopath appointment I was completely overwhelmed with emotions associated with the c-sections and completely fatigued. Also my scar, tummy and back were agony and the palpations had brought on my period incredibly heavily so I felt lightheaded and just completely depleted. I had a bath and slept with a hot water bottle.

I told Mark that loads of stuff had come up for me and was still around, ‘I was so numb for so long but I am now feeling the pain of it all, the powerlessness, the violation, the disappointment that my labours didn’t go the way I wanted them to because I’d wanted to give birth naturally,’ Mark said, ‘I wonder if part of it is that it didn’t complete, it didn’t run its course and you’re left with that being un-done in a sense, aren’t you, the sort of energetic push of the body knowing what to do didn’t happen, something else happened that was traumatic and violating.’ I said I hadn’t let myself think about how disappointed I am about that. I said, ‘I can very quickly go to this place of shaming myself and criticising myself. If I’m in a difficult place my go to is to feel like I’m a shit mum and I obsess about it to the point where I even feel like the kids would be better off without me. I feel like I failed in the area that I really wanted to do properly by not being able to give birth to them. I don’t even know what to do with the energy of it all, it just feels massive.’ Mark said, ‘are you in touch with it as you talk it through with me?’ I stayed silent for a while and then suddenly this constant drilling from the street outside my window stopped and I exclaimed that I was relieved it had stopped. Mark encouraged me to feel that sense of relief in my body and we talked a bit about that, then it started up again so I decided to pick up the laptop and take it up to the bedroom.

I said, ‘I can feel a lot of something in my chest and a buzzing under my skin and around my whole body…’ total silence from Mark! I continued, ‘the critical thoughts are kicking in ‘why are you talking about this? This is a complete waste of time for Mark, waste of your time…’…’ Mark interrupted and said, ‘it’s not, make some room for the buzzing sense in your body. We don’t have to make sense of it at all I think there’s something about just holding that as an energy in the moment and just noticing, ‘oh hello, you’re there’ you know?’ I immediately started to feel emotional and said that I was frightened to feel it. Mark said, ‘yeah so something in you is scared of what might be around. So, we’ll go very slowly and hopefully you can feel me here with you a bit and we’ll just not go any faster. It’s a big piece you’ve just done in terms with your history and what that’s brought up. It might have felt difficult to say.’

I said, ‘I think I feel embarrassed talking about this because you’re a guy!’ Mark said, ‘ah well I’m glad you’re able to say that,’ I continued, ‘I don’t know why that’s important but it feels it… a part of me doesn’t think it does matter because if you’re a human being and you understand pain and emotions then you’ll understand it… but I think the disappointment of not working on it with Anna was because I assumed that she would personally understand. But I think that’s unfair actually, to say that.’ Mark said, ‘Well it also makes sense to me and I’m glad you’re able to say it out loud because it’s around, you know. I’ll never know what its like to be pregnant from the inside, ill only know from listening to women talk about it. I’ll never know first hand what that’s like and I’ll never know what it’s like not to sort of complete a birth process the way I would have wanted it to be and I’d have never had what’s a violent and invasive procedure, so in a sense I can’t ‘get it’ from my own experience, I can get the emotional side of it. I mean, it sounds absolutely terrifying to me…’ annoyingly I interrupted here and I wish I knew what he was going to say but I think something unconscious in me cuts him off whenever I sense he’s going deeper into the emotional side of things even though that is exactly what I want him to do. I said, ‘I’m aware that I haven’t told you anything about my childhood so you don’t have a back story but, for now I’ll just say that I felt very strongly that if I was ever going to have kids it would be like my life’s purpose to break the chain, the generational trauma and do things very differently. I worked really fucking hard at that and read a million books and learned about psychology and child development…’ Mark said, ‘yes you really went the extra mile,’ I started to cry and he told me to take my time, I continued, ‘no matter how hard you try, there are some things you have no control over and I’m so disappointed that I hadn’t done all my healing work before having kids and I’m having to do it through their childhood and it does still affect them sometimes and I hate that… I had never been to therapy when I had Grace, didn’t know myself very well, had no faith in my ability to be a mum and felt very disconnected from the whole thing. I wanted to enjoy the pregnancy, I wanted to bond with her, I wanted it all to be perfect. I found it really hard to connect to her, which is hard to admit,’ Mark said, ‘go really gently with yourself.’ I said, ‘I just wish it had all been different. I wish that I’d had support, that I hadn’t been on my own with it all. Becoming a mum, having a daughter, your mum being alive but not giving a shit and not being in your life and not wanting to support… it’s a grief… there are definitely some parallels between that and… it’s one of the reasons it’s been so hard having Anna not part of my life any more even though she is alive. There is so much grief. When I had Grace it was like my mum was dead but she wasn’t, you know? You see other people’s parents being really involved in their grandchildren’s lives…’ Mark said, ‘it’s brought all that back up,’ and I started to cry again. I said, ‘you know, you sort of grow up lacking things, and you have to bear and tolerate emotional neglect and abuse and then you’re an adult and you have to experience that all over again but then also you have to witness your children growing up with grandparents who don’t know how to be emotionally available or present and I feel bad about that, guilty that I’ve brought children into the world where they don’t have things that other kids have. I remember before I was even pregnant with Grace my mum told me that if I ever had children she wouldn’t be a doting grandmother… as if she could suddenly have a personality transplant… she was never a doting mother! Going through the caesareans and everything, it took a long time to physically recover from that but then also you have to look after these defenceless human-beings who rely on you for everything and feeding them from a depleted body, not getting any sleep… I dunno I feel like all of this has been locked in a room for years and I haven’t looked at it for so long.’ I continued, ‘I struggled so much to access emotions when working with Anna, these emotions just didn’t come, I was completely numb for so long and I’m really annoyed with myself for wasting all that time. It took me so long for me to be able to feel anything with her. I had this backlog of things that I wanted to deal with and then I ran out of time.’ Mark said, ‘I imagine I might feel a bit angry about that.’ I said, ‘yeah I think I’m angry with myself. I had what I needed right in front of me and I just didn’t take it. I had her right in front of me for hours and hours and hours.’ Mark said, ‘it sounds from the little I know of your upbringing, what you’ve just said there, it would be so difficult to get to a place of emotional trust and let yourself feel your feelings. What I’m getting is that you probably didn’t have an upbringing where it was safe to do so, so your whole system probably clamped down in order for you to survive your upbringing in a way and it took hell of a long time to realise, actually this is somewhere I can let myself feel. and in a way your system was being your best friend there because it was saying until we really trust you were not going in it, were going to put a break on or were going to numb, were going to protect this vulnerable place until we feel there’s enough ground between us to let that come forward. And yeah there’s the critical part of you that comes forward and says you wasted all this time and you had a worry earlier I this session about wasted time,’ I said, ‘it’s a recurring thing for me, it comes up repeatedly,’ he said, ‘yeah I’m getting that’ and we both laughed. Mark said, ‘well the other side of that is that you want to use this opportunity to do well for yourself, to really grow and that’s a good striving, it’s a good force,’

I talked about the time Anna said, ‘it’s been a year and you still haven’t cried with me… of course you don’t trust me, women have never been figures of trust for you before.’ I told Mark that I don’t have a single memory of crying with anyone growing up. ‘I remember hiding under my bed and crying, hiding in my wardrobe crying… I never went to my parents for comfort. I remember my mum crying and me comforting her… from a very young age…. it was almost unfathomable for me to imagine sitting with another human being witnessing me cry… when I finally did let a few tears out with Anna I had my hoody pulled right over my head…’ Mark said, ‘It’s huge that you were able to do that. It’s not been safe for you, historically, to shed tears with another human being. I certainly want it to be safe with us over time and there’s no push for you to cry or not cry but I would like for your emotions to come forward.’ I told him I was pleased that I had cried a bit with him and he said, ‘it sounds like I should be honoured actually, given what you’ve just told me.’ I told him, ‘It had a big impact on me that you said you wanted to do deeper work because I always worried I would be too much for Anna. My mum was so emotionally unstable and blamed so much on me like arguments in the family so I worried I would break Anna with my strong feelings, as if I had the power to hurt someone with my emotions. I learned to hide it all, shut it down. I just had this massive need to hold it all in.’ I closed my fists and placed them on my collar bone as if closing the doors around my chest. Mark said, ‘and as you do that movement what happens?’ I said, ‘everything tightens and I feel safer and protected.’ Mark said, ‘ah okay, safer and protected sounds good doesn’t it but tightness maybe less good? You know how to do that.’ I said, ‘well yeah coz protected and safe also means separate and…’ Mark said, ‘and alone.’ I said, ‘yeah.’ In a really quiet voice. Mark said, ‘and that’s the key thing isn’t it. You probably had to endure a lot of emotional pain while feeling relationally alone or looking after the others emotional pain.’ I said, ‘yep… what time are we at?’ which sounds like such a hilarious side step but it didn’t feel so obviously avoidant in the moment. Mark said, ‘I can see that touched you didn’t it, me saying that. We have 18 minutes to go… and you asked that… there was an urge there in response to what I said, to check out the time, I’m not being critical but what I’m reading into that is that it’s probably that we’re touching something…’ I said, ‘do we have time to go into this is what I was thinking,’ and Mark said, ‘right and that’s a protective part of you isn’t it, that’s looking out for you in the sessions and actually I guess what’s coming across for me is that its huge and so no we don’t have time for it in this session and we can still touch that place and hold it together.’ I was crying silently and said, ‘doing everything alone, on my own… that’s like a summary for my childhood… there’s only so much that a person can take and then it becomes pretty unbearable for them to be able to go on… I was looking after my little brother as well…’ Mark asked the age gap and I told him 4 years. I said, ‘he’s my best friend and he’s awesome… but it was a big responsibility growing up… the loneliness… that’s really painful… when I was a teenager I self-harmed to try to cope with those feelings I guess and uh… I don’t know why I said that actually I don’t know what the end of the sentence is.’ Mark said, ‘there doesn’t need to be one. It makes sense. You self-harmed in some ways to help you deal with the feelings because you’ve had to face feelings that no human being should have to face alone. And it’s often facing feelings alone that makes them so unbearable so it makes sense to me that you’d have found other ways to manage your feelings… and before you said it I found myself wanting to pause you a little bit because I didn’t want you to go on to another big thing. So you weren’t with too much ‘feeling’ on your own that we pause together which I guess is what I’m doing now. But you found ways I guess to manage things and you’re finding more ways that have grown through therapy and life generally.’ I laughed out of embarrassment at the thought that he was trying to stop my tsunami of disclosures unsuccessfully. I told him I’d felt a lot of shame around the self-harm until Anna talked to me about the fact that I didn’t need to cut myself for her to know how bad I feel and that she believes me when I tell her how I’m feeling. Mark enthusiastically responded to this and I told him how deeply her words had touched me. I said, ‘I can hear her saying it and her words have gone round in my head and supported me so many times.’ Mark asked, ‘When you hear her saying it right now what happens in your body?’ I said, ‘it feels like a relaxing feeling, everything relaxes and eases a bit.’ He said, ‘Great. Let’s follow that a little bit. I want you to feel the good stuff as we close for today and take it in.’

Mark then asked if he could take things in a different direction and asked about my brother. So I told him a bit about Daniel, his job and his personality. The fact that he and I were very close growing up, had a lot of fun together. He’s going through his own therapy and we talk a lot about our own experiences. Mark said it was really lovely to hear me talk about Daniel. He said, ‘It’s great to hear you talk about him, great to hear he’s done so well for himself, he sounds like an interesting character and he’s also done some inner work. I’m interested in what supports you in your wider world as well as the things that have let you down.

With five minutes to go he said, ‘I want to check in with you. You’ve told me some big things which took some courage to say and there was some anxiety around so I want to make some space to talk about what it was like for you to share.’

I said I wasn’t feeling as anxious anymore, ‘That buzzing has gone… what even is that buzzing feeling? Is it anxiety?’ Mark said, ‘well our systems get activated. I quite like those raw terms like you used the word buzzing. In a way that speaks to me as much as a global emotional word we sort of slap onto it, sometimes words like buzzing or sharp or heavy are much more accurate because that’s our direct experience so I felt glad… and I guess we have to go back to it to see what it was if you wanted to slap a bit emotional word on it but I quite like that you didn’t. either way our systems get activated and that’s come down, certainly when you were talking about Daniel there I could feel that you were back in your ground, more regulated than when you were buzzing.’ I said, ‘yeah coz its hard to talk about that stuff,’ and he said, ‘course it is, it makes absolute sense… and it’s activating isn’t it.’ I told him I didn’t really know how I felt and that it would take me a few days to process the session. I said, ‘There’s always this possibility that I’m gonna overthink it and worry about what you might think of me and then that sends me on a spiral of stuff,’ Mark said, ‘well d’you know what, I was just about to say that is the one thing I don’t want you to feel and of course you’ll feel whatever you do but I don’t want you to feel that you’re too much for me or that you’ve been too much in any way because historically that’s been a big hook for you so it makes sense that sometimes you might have that anxiety in relationship to me so I do want to let you know that you haven’t been. I think you’ve been… you’ve taken some leaps of faith in letting me hear some very painful and sensitive, traumatic even, variants of life experiences.’ I thanked him for saying that and told him it really means a lot to me that he told me that. He asked if I relaxed slightly and I told him it did help me relax. ‘that is all I ever need to hear, then when the inner critic overanalyses I can remind myself that you said I’m not too much.’ He said, ‘yes you know where I am because I showed up and if I didn’t your head would go down the direction it’s been down a million times before with other people.’

We talked a little about that and I thanked him, wished each other well for the weekend and I ended the session. Now that I’ve listened to the whole thing I can hear his kindness and I feel connected to him… I couldn’t hear or feel it when it was happening but I can feel it now!

9 thoughts on “Bringing my feelings to a session is a bit like baking a souffle… one false move and it collapses!

  1. So many things ran through my mind while I was reading this.

    It is excruciating and vulnerable to ask for another session. I wish he would have responded in some way to you in this moment. If he doesn’t have an opening now but will in the future, that would still be painful, but understandable. It is so validating when a therapist actually offers this without our having to ask. Because it is so important to you, and understandably so, maybe you can talk to him about how this all feels for you. You might need to be more direct and if he doesn’t have an opening right now, ask him to hold a space for you when he does and ask him when he sees this being a possibility. This way you are not left wondering for too long. 

    Even under the best of circumstances, it is hard to start over!

    I am so sorry for what you went through surrounding the birth of your children, and for what you continue to suffer with!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s interesting because I didn’t have any qualms about asking for anything from Linda or telling her anything but it feels a bit different with Mark. Maybe I’m more invested in the long term with Mark so there’s more to loose?

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      1. Remember though Lucy what you realized about Anna and the regrets of holding back for too long. Also, I tried to find out early how my needs were going to be met with each therapist when I was looking for a new one and all the deal breakers early, even though it was terribly frightening, for fear of finding out later rather than early. This got me into so much heartache and loss with my former therapist. I think he will respond well to you. And you need to know this. This is just a gentle reminder… since I learned this from you! 😉 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. LovingSummer

    I can relate to so much of this! Firstly, that the session felt so ‘meh’ but when you listen to the recording you’re amazed to find its saturated with so much stuff you missed!
    Secondly, that indirect requesting of second sessions went on for well over a year for me, and in the end I came right out with it again. And that’s when I finally got what I needed, and boy! Did I need it! It makes SUCH a difference.
    And thirdly, I’m so interested that you feel that way about your births. I get like that too, and blamed it on MS, but maybe it’s not as much to do with MS as it is to do with how traumatic births can leave a person feeling. And even though having MS drops my stamina and muscle strength which can affect labour, I could easily have found myself in that place regardless. It’s lovely to hear of you bonding with the feeding afterwards like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so annoying and strange to not feel the connection in the session but then to notice and feel it afterward, don’t you think?

      Also… I’m sorry you can relate to the birth traumas. Have you worked on it at all in session? x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LovingSummer

        I do! It feels really disjointed.
        It hadn’t even occurred to me to discuss it too much in therapy. I’ve talked about how I had flashbacks to the abuse because the pain felt the same as childbirth, and how I had physical injury of pubic symphysis post partum on top of an MS relapse after, but I don’t think we’ve discussed the birth itself too much.

        Liked by 1 person

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