It’s a feeling memory… it’s not happening now.

(Four was watching very closely in this session.)

This was a really adult session but I think I was unaware of a younger presence until much later. I thought I felt present and aware through it all but immediately after the session I sat with my laptop out and attempted to type the session up and I just couldn’t do it. I felt incredibly heavy and exhausted and over stimulated and within a few minutes I’d closed my laptop, closed my eyes and fallen asleep. I woke up a few hours later had this bizarre sensation in my whole body. A buzzing, shaking feeling. And an intense awareness of my feet feeling very cold and my hands feeling very warm, as if I was only just noticing the presence of these parts of my body. In the evening, again I couldn’t type. I felt quite activated and began regretting everything I shared with Mark. I messaged my friend who reassured me and gently encouraged me to do some things that helped ground me. Later on that night when the kids were in bed, I laid with my head in my husbands lap and we watched a 90’s Top of the Pops programme on tv. I don’t remember the last time I did that… cuddled up with Adam watching TV instead of typing up a session or reading and researching. Watching the music from my teen years moved something deep and painful inside me and having my husband stroking my hair was so soothing. I slept holding Luna for the first time in months and it didn’t feel filled with grief, it felt comforting.

I was looking forward to seeing Mark. As the session started it was nice to see his face. We always start the session by hiding our self views and checking that we can hear each other. He suggested that we take a moment to land and arrive. I said, ‘so, I’ve noticed I’m crap at doing that!’ He smiled and said, ‘There’s no getting it wrong, but what tells you that? That you’re crap at doing it?’ I told him that I’d noticed from listening back to the sessions that whenever he encourages me to give space or to breathe together, it feels like hours have passed but actually its about 1.5 seconds… that clearly the silences are hard. He said, ‘yeah and you might not be needing them, you might need to fill them a little which is fine. I think as a principle its sometimes good to stop and experience ourselves, as a way of deepening. Sometimes that happens naturally, perhaps if I invite it you feel like you are supposed to do something. Generally speaking, I do, on arrival encourage to take a minute to settle together.’ I told him I really like that and in fact I wanted to introduce to my work with Anna and never got the chance to tell her that. I explained that I really like the idea of breathing together but it all feels intensely intimate… exposing. ‘If we’re not talking all we’re doing is looking.’ He said, ‘and that can obviously bring up feelings, we can become accustomed to sort of holding the space for them in a way, grow that muscle over time. In a way, intimacy can feel charged cant it.’

I then thanked Mark for the last session, the way he responded and how he allowed me the space to talk through everything without judging me. I reflected on the parallel between me deliberately holding something back from him and the situation with Linda and Anna holding back information from me on the true nature of Anna’s need to close her practice. I said, ‘I’ve read about how sometimes we can replay something painful with a therapist, but in the opposite way, putting ourselves in the position of power, in an attempt to heal what’s hurting and to observe how the therapist responds and deals with it to give an example to the client of how they could maybe deal with being betrayed or hurt or how the therapist copes with the powerlessness… so sometimes a client can be unkind or sarcastic or critical to the therapist, abusing the therapist in a similar way to how they were abused as a child… so I wondered if unconsciously I had held back information from you to regain a sense of power and to see how you would demonstrate a resilience and forgiveness that I was unable to embody towards Anna, without first witnessing it from the position of power… I don’t know, I’m trying not to intellectualise too much but uh…’ Mark interrupted and said, ‘But you’ve got a good brain that wants to understand things as well, haven’t you. You like to know what is happening, actually there is an enquiry there and you have an articulateness and an interest in things. And enough to know that intellectualising can sometimes be a defence against feeling but there’s nothing wrong with that enquiring ‘oh I’d like to understand this a bit better’… blah blah blah anyway I’ll shut up now.’ I said, ‘No that’s a really nice way to reframe it thank you! I guess I always saw it as a flaw!’ he said, ‘a flaw?’ and I said, ‘you’re thinking too much, over analysing, you ask too many questions…’ Mark said, ‘too much, too much, too much!’ I nodded.

We talked some more about the fact that its not in my nature to keep things back from people and having him help me bring it out into the light was very helpful. I said it was exactly what I needed, ‘there’s a fear that people are always going to use my mistakes against me, bring stuff up constantly, ‘remember that time you fucked everything up’ you know? And I got the impression that’s probably not gonna happen here!’ Mark said, ‘ah, nice!’ I said, ‘yeah I felt like you were being genuine with everything you said. I think part of the reason why I was so upset is because I really feel like you’re a nice person and I was doing a disservice to you and the work I want to do with you. Like, ‘this is not the person I want to deceive in any way’ that’s what it felt like.’ Mark said, ‘I hear its not in your nature to do that, its good to sometimes try something on for size, to do yourself in a different way which you did but you felt in bad faith with yourself, so you needed to tell me so it wasn’t between us and it would have been. It wouldn’t have sat well with you. For me I did feel the need and the sense in you doing it actually, it gave you something useful between sessions. To test your judgement… sort of, ‘I can replay that and oh I read into this but actually it wasn’t how I thought it was and…’ blah blah blah, I forget what I was going to respond to what you said, I got so caught up in my own verbosity… what was the last thing you said Lucy?’ I said, ‘um… that you’re nice?’ he said, ‘oh Christ!’ I said, ‘that you’re not the person I want to deceive? Was that it?’ Mark said, ‘yes there was something around that,’ I said, ‘I really felt that there was a power trip with Linda. Regardless of whether this is accurate or not. She knew what was going on with Anna and I didn’t know. It felt unnecessarily unkind to not tell me, but also I understand the therapeutic boundaries and the role of the professional boundaries, I get all that. But it just felt unnecessary, when you could just put me out of my misery. But it wasn’t hers to tell either. So I’ve got the logical part of me understanding why it happened that way but it felt like a power battle where it was a lose lose for me. I had to sit and grieve and wonder and cry and feel all these horrible confused feelings and come up with all of these thoughts about what might have happened and she could have just said one sentence that would have alleviated me from the not knowing. But then it wasn’t her place to say it anyway. There was a big imbalance of power there.’ Mark said, ‘mmm because she knew something that you didn’t and she was choosing for whatever good reason not to tell you ,so there is a power imbalance… ‘I know the thing that you want to know and I’m withholding that,’ sort of thing.’

I said, ‘but you know there is a power imbalance in this relationship anyway, but if you don’t acknowledge it then its so invalidating to be on this side of the room and have the person on that side of the room not acknowledge that yeah, it’s there. And also just hear me out and listen to what it feels like for me to be in the dark and experiencing this lack of power. But Linda wasn’t really ever up for that which made it even more painful.’ Mark said, ‘yeah she wasn’t willing to go with you to what it’s like for you when she was withholding and to acknowledge actually that there was a power imbalance and for you to have been able to speak about the impact of that would have been good for you, made it a bit easier. But that’s another piece that didn’t happen.’ I said, ‘no, but what did happen was she made it about her. So I would try and go over all this and would be having four or five conversations in my head and exposing them to her and she would say very little and then I said, ‘I can imagine its been quite hard for you being in this position,’ and she said ‘yes it has, its been really hard, its been a lot for me to hold, I actually wonder if it’s too much,’ so everything I imagined her to be feeling she was actually feeling she just wasn’t fucking telling me she was feeling it when I was right all along!’ Mark told me I sounded angry and I laughed and ran my hands down the back of my head and round my neck. He said, ‘what’s happening in that jaw of yours?’ I said, ‘I feel like she handled that all wrongly and I’m annoyed about it and annoyed that I’m talking about her again. It was the hardest thing I’d ever had to go through. It feels like it was easy money for her. She just sat there not really investing anything in it. Not investing in the relationship or the work we were doing. I feel like that makes me sound really horrible. I actually don’t have a problem with therapy costing money I actually think it’s the best thing I’ve ever spent my money on ever. But with her it just felt like so much hard work for me and hardly any for her as if she could just sit back and not put any effort in and that would be enough.’ Mark said, ‘yeah she sat back rather than showed up really and that left you perhaps feeling a little abandoned as if she wasn’t going to make effort for you. Hmmm.’ I said, ‘and the minute I showed any sign of leaving, I think it was a relief for her.’

I then told Mark about Linda’s reply email. I recited it to him and said, ‘why would I expect anything more!?’ Mark said, ‘I’m just thinking here, there will be an adult part that can explain it away and there will be another part, perhaps a younger part that was expecting more, that would have liked more, that that wasn’t good enough actually, a sort of perfunctory, professional email. There’s a bit of you that kind of pissed off I imagine.’ I said, ‘uhhu, yeah I guess I wanted it to mean more to her. And I had just come out of a therapeutic relationship that was incredibly meaningful where in hindsight I can see really clearly that Anna cared very deeply about me and I found it so hard to feel that at the time. Looking back on it she invested hugely in our work together and I think she would be pissed off with how things had gone with Linda, she would be disappointed. She would be proud of me for not sticking around any longer and actually moving on and trying to get my needs met somewhere else.’ I gestured towards him. Mark said, ‘yeah so notice what happens inside as you bring her in and how much she invested and her care for you which was maybe difficult to fully let in at the time. You know it was there and your sense is that she would be disappointed with how it ended up. Not what she would have wanted. Not you wanted.’ I said, ‘and I’m feeling angry towards her too and I don’t know why that’s coming up now and also feeling a bit disconnected from this whole thing… and obviously this voice of ‘this is a waste of time why are you talking about this’ is coming in. Mark said, ‘would it be okay to hear from the anger? We can move on but I don’t want to lose that bit if you’re willing to go there it sounds important.’ I said, ‘I’m angry that she left me!’ He said, ‘yeah!’ in a really animated way and I continued, ‘I know that doesn’t make any logical sense,’ and he said, ‘it doesn’t need to,’ I said, ‘if we’re talking about the child feeling of it, she promised me she wouldn’t leave me. I cant silence the logical part… that you said so beautifully, that was the bus… there was a ‘but’ you know, ‘I will do this work with you for as long as you need, but if something happens out with my control I wont be here… and that happened. However, she is still alive!’ I was finding this a bit amusing but continued, ‘I just cant get my head around what could possibly have meant she had to suddenly close her practice and not been able to give me the closure I needed. I see her interacting on social media (which I feel ashamed that I look), she’s still functioning… I feel like ‘as long as you’ve got breath in your body I just wanna have one more fucking call with you, one hour. I just wanna talk to her.’ Mark said, ‘What would you say? Can you say it out loud here and now?’ I thought for ages and told him there were so many things. ‘I wanna tell her how much I grieved. Fucking cried, sobbed every day. Went for walks and cried. There was no privacy in the lockdown. It was me and Adam and the kids in the house every day. Having to teach from home, having to teach my own kids… it was fucking hard. I felt like I was having a mental breakdown. I wanted to die. I didn’t want to make video lessons or have a shower or even wake up! It was the weirdest time. I went for big long walks in the woods and by the river and cry. I wanna tell her all that, she’d be so proud of me. I never cried, I NEVER CRIED Mark. I used to talk to her about how much I wanted to cry and just couldn’t there was a brick wall there. I couldn’t even cry by myself and there I was unable to stop crying. It completely broke the damn and I could feel everything. It used to be right there under the surface all the time and I couldn’t get it out. I’m sad she didn’t get to witness that with me. I want to tell her I used to drive to her office every week and sit in my car and cry. It felt like I was honouring all the work we’d put I to get me to the place where I could feel the grief, by feeling it. I want to tell her that I regret wasting time with her. There were so many half started things I wanted to finish with her. So many avenues I started to go down and then I couldn’t continue. I really wish I had just carried on and done the work I needed to do instead of being so complacent in thinking I had all the time in the world and I didn’t. And I want to tell her that I wish she had never made a promise that she would be there. At the start of the lockdown when I freaked out and told her I felt like she was going to leave me, way before she got ill I just felt it deeply and she said she wasn’t going anywhere and that we’d get through this together and we fucking didn’t get through it together. I want to say to her that you shouldn’t ever say things you can’t guarantee… you shouldn’t have said that and I knew you’d let me down and you let me down.’ Mark was making a lot of agreeing noises throughout and there was a long pause. I then said, ‘I want to thank her for all the work we did get to do and everything she did for me. There were so many things that I didn’t say that I really wish I’d said. I feel like I’ve changed so much in the past 6 months even without her. It almost feels like I’ve been learning from our work even after she left. Learning things about myself through her absence.’ Mark quietly said, ‘you have too, yeah I can really witness that. And I do think it’s important. You’re not going to get the chance to say all this in person but I wonder how it is to hear yourself saying it outloud now. And I know there’s more to say but just if you need to say it I’m really more than happy to witness that so that you can hear your own voice saying these things so they’re not left totally unsaid. Even if they’re unsaid to her.’

I said, ‘I feel that weird shaky feeling like eh…’ Mark said, ‘weird shaky feeling… can you sense where you feel that Lucy?’ I said it was all over, ‘but my upper half of my body, my arms… I get a lot of pain in my body and loads of pain here in my shoulders and arms and it comes out from my chest and down… I think I hold myself really tight and like hold my breath and hold my body tight to not feel the shaky feeling or anything I don’t know.’ Mark said, ‘as a suggestion it might be worth just doing this movement so it can just move out a little bit, I don’t know if that will help,’ he stretched his arms forwards and made a circle motion with his hands/wrists. I paused then laughed and said, ‘it’s so weird how I don’t wanna do what you tell me to do.’ He laughed and said, ‘I could see it immediately land on your face like you’re not biting, isn’t that interesting!’ he found it really funny and I was smiling and said how it was the same as the hand on my chest thing. ‘I so wanted to do that,’ he said, ‘well you go there in the end,’ I said, ‘but I had to cry to get there it’s like the tension… so much fight in me… don’t be a fucking idiot and do what someone tells you to do, don’t be so gullible!’ Mark said, ‘feel the energy I that, there’s power in that, feel the energy don’t do something just because someone fucking tells you, feel the fight in it.’ I said, ‘because it feels like I’m gonna be made fun of. If I do it, ah you feel for it!’ he said, ‘ahhh, yeah yeah okay.’ I said, ‘which is not the case, I know that.’ Mark said, ‘No it’s a memory. It’s a feeling memory.’ I took a big deep breath in and out and he very gently said, ‘It’s not happening now.’ And the gravity behind his words sank deep into my bones.

After a pause I said, ‘this is the sort of thing where I look back and think ‘I wish you’d just done the hand thing’… you know, that would be really useful. But maybe if I wasn’t being watched I could do it. There’s so much shame around being physically seen. I know therapeutically being ‘seen’ is about more than just viewing someone with your eyes… but even just the fact that you can see me is really hard. One of the reasons why I take the self view away, I don’t wanna see what you can see. I hate that you can see me… but the shaky thing feels like adrenalin or something, like get ready to fight. I guess we’re talking about anger. Mark said, ‘Well it’s a powerful feeling isn’t it and it pumps god knows what into our bodies to activate us for action so it completely makes sense that you can feel it there. How’s that energy doing now? What do you notice?’ I said it was still there but I didn’t feel as tense. He said, ‘ah, so there’s a little bit of softening around the edges. The energy is still there but you’ve shifted a little.’ I said, ‘anger feels really destructive to me, there’s a part of me that…’ I didn’t really finish that thought, I went down another avenue, ‘I just remember all these times that she reached out to me and I couldn’t even feel it, I used to talk about it to her. I couldn’t even feel her in the same room as me. Even when she was sitting right beside me and she would tell me she could feel a connection with me and ask if I felt connected to her and I’d not be able to feel it. I could see her trying to reach me but there was this brick wall between us and I am angry at myself for being so fucking resistant to actually getting what I needed coz it was handed to me on a plate so many times and I couldn’t accept it from her. It took me so fucking long for me to do any of the things I needed, a bit like the hands thing. For example I remember when we explored talking about hugs. Back then I wasn’t very emotionally vulnerable with any of my friends. I was the person people would go, to share their problems but I wouldn’t share my stuff with them. And I remember exploring with Anna how unlovable I felt and Anna asked me if I felt like my friends loved me and I was adamant that they didn’t. I told her about how I’d been going to get my nails done by this woman who has become my friend now. She had told me she loved when I came in, she felt she could be herself with me and she liked talking to me. And she hugged me at the end of the session… and she’s in her 50’s and I always found it so hard to trust or connect to women older than me,’ Mark said, ‘oh that’s sweet, lovely. That’s really significant.’ I told him it had been a big deal and that Anna had asked how it felt to hug her and when I said it was really nice she then asked if I’d ever thought about hugging her. ‘That threw me into this massive shame spiral where I couldn’t even look at her and I felt like she’d deliberately said that to humiliate me because we weren’t allowed hugs because of the boundaries and basically she encouraged me to ask her outright which eventually I did and she said she would hug. We talked about the boundaries around hugging, that I would always be the one to ask for them and be in control of when they happen and for how long. She said that hugs were part of relationships and that because of my history it seemed important than my young parts know that it’s okay to have safe physical touch and that she would be happy to hug me if I wanted it. I was so happy to hear that and really excited about it. We spent hours and hours talking about how my mum never wanted to hug me, she said I wanted too many hugs, the memories of her physically pushing me away if I tried to hug her. Telling me I was really needy and all this stuff around touch and hugs. Anna felt like it was a really important part of our work and it really did feel like that. But it took me like a year before I could finally ask her for a hug! After her literally saying I will give you this thing that you want and I’m totally fine with it, I still couldn’t ask for it! It caused me so much inner turmoil. And eventually when I did tentatively ask her for a hug she beamed, arms wide open for me… it was the best hug that I’d ever had and the only type of hug like that that I’d ever had. Obviously I hug my husband and friends and my brother and kids but this was different. This maternal, nurturing holding… it was like holding.’ Mark said, ‘yeah what was it like, how did it feel in your body do you remember?’ I said, ‘yeah I completely relaxed, I rested my face on her shoulder. In that split second I wasn’t self conscious or ashamed… and sometimes when she hugged me, after a really hard sessions, it would only be like a couple of seconds long but sometimes she would move a wee bit from side to side, like going back in time and rocking me as a baby, like I hold my kids and sway from side to side… honestly it was so fucking healing. I really miss her hugs. It was the only access that I had to that kinda feeling and I’d never felt it before.’ Mark said, ‘and a place somewhere in you did feel it quite strongly, viscerally le that in, and knows now what it’s like and there it is, and just to acknowledge that is in you, that you carry that place within you. Maybe just sensing it now.’ I said, ‘it feels full of grief, really sad… firstly because I don’t have that anymore, even though I know you’re tyring to encourage me to feel it inside myself,’ he said, ‘it brings up the loss I understand that,’ I continued, ‘and secondly because before she hugged me I didn’t know what I was missing out on my whole life and then I felt it and all this stuff comes up like, ‘wow what must it feel like to be a child and to have that on tap, to be able to just go and be held by someone like that, that must be amazing… that’s really shit that I didn’t have that,’ Mark said, ‘yeah yeah, imagine how amazing it would be to have had that. You can kind of feel that younger you getting that. And it might be a mixed feeling that comes with that. But you know how good it would be. And I know this is tricky territory, it’s a bit of a high wire act because you could fall off into a whole heap of grief but I think what I suppose we could tap into is like our imagination can fill in the gaps somehow. You know what that experience feels like because you had it from her and no one, no one can take that away from you. Not even her. No one can take that away from you because you had that experience. And I know you can tip into grief from her but the experience is in you. Something received that, something in you knows what it’s like. Something connected to what it had been missing all your life. And no body can undo that because you felt it, you experienced it.’ I said ,’I don’t really know how to connect to the feeling of knowing that I have that inside me without feeling the grief as well. In the last phone call I had with her she talked about the work we’d done together. She said it’s like building a house and we built the foundations and her leaving doesn’t take that away from me, it’s always going to be inside me…’ I lost my train of thought. Mark said, ‘what’s uppermost is the loss for you, the grief. Things got coupled up with loss and grief and it makes sense that it would.’

I then launched in to telling him about the struggles I used to have with staying connected to Anna between sessions. I went into great detail talking about those struggles. I told him it was an intentional decision to work with a woman because of the way I’d been hurt in the past, I knew it would be difficult to connect to a woman, I’d already worked with a man, it felt like the next step. I said, ‘Everything felt threatening, even her kindness.’ And Mark understood that. I explained that I felt like between the sessions I would worry that she would forget about me or that she would get sick of me and let me go. I told him that Anna had given me the blue heart crystal to help represent our connection. I told him about her encouraging me to connect to my young parts, that it took a lot of work even getting me to acknowledge their presence within me… talked about her encouraging me to do things for my child, to buy a soft toy. I told him about Luna and some of the sessions when I brought her in. I told Mark, ‘one of the sessions when I brought the bear in, Anna held her in the session and when I got home, I could smell Anna on the bear. I text her without even really thinking too much about it. Later she told me she felt that the text was a direct message from my young part because it wasn’t articulate and carefully planned out. It was just a quick, ‘I can smell you on the bear and I like it,’ and eventually I plucked up the courage to ask her if she felt comfortable bringing her perfume in so I could spray the bear which she did… and then I bought her perfume so I could keep it as a way to connect to her through the sense of smell… coz all these things helped me stay connected through the gaps so that I was then able to go in to each session and it not take 40 minutes for me to reconnect to her.’ Mark said, ‘that makes sense, yeah.’ I continued, ‘and the fucking point to all of this is… all these lovely things… the blue heart crystal that’s sitting in a pot on my shelf, the bear over there, the perfume, I can’t bear to look at it or acknowledge it or smell it or have it anywhere near me even though it’s a really lovely thing that brought me so much love and nurturing and connection. Not just between me ad Anna but between me and those parts of me. Its like I completely rejected it when she left and it felt like a total farse and the loss… it was jst too painful.’ Mark said, ‘how has it been to acknowledge it now, to talk about it now?’ I laughed and said I couldn’t remember why I started talking about that, ‘ I felt like it had a point… oh the hugging, holding the feeling but it being close to the grief… hmmm… how does it feel to talk about it? The inner critic stuff is saying that was a total manic overshare and I wanna know what you’re thinking about it all.’ Mark took a big breath in and said, ‘well before I answer that, your critic saying it’s a anic overshare, whats that bit of you worried about?’ I said, ‘my mum is a manic oversharer so I don’t wanna be like her… and also worried that you might think that all of that sounds crazy, nuts. Or that it sounds unprofessional or that I was too much. And its very vulnerable, delicate stuff that I didn’t even really get to fully process with Anna because it stopped so suddenly.’ Mark said, ‘that’s a good point ,yeah… So, my thought is that that place in you was left opened. And you let in the good stuff but something didn’t kind of complete so it was left open and raw and has got covered over by grief, it’s got coupled up by grief. Which makes sense because you lost the person that opened that place in you. So it totally makes sense and you’re still trying to work through that.’

I said, ‘I sued to talk about and drew pictures of this four year old hiding behind the chair in the sessions and I said to her that’s what it felt like. The articulate version of me was sitting in the chair not letting this part of me out in the session. And towards the end, an even I the last session that I sat with her at the end of February, it felt like the most exposing and like she was literally taking that four year old part of me by the hands and saying, ‘you can trust me’… no she wouldn’t have said that because that’s quite forceful, like… ‘I’m here when you’re ready’ and it was like that four year old part of me had finally said, ‘I’m ready’, and she fucking left! And I know it wasn’t her fault… but it was literally like the very last session she was talking directly to that child part saying she would prove herself to me, that my child part could test her in any way, she wasn’t going anywhere… it was really vulnerable. I was sitting with the bear in my lap with my hoodie over my head properly in this frightened vulnerable child space listening to her and feeling her there thinking this is the start of very important stuff, and then it all stopped. So its like leading a child out to a scary place saying ‘It’s going to be okay because I’m going to be here with you’ and then letting go of their hand and leaving. And the child is standing there in the middle of nowhere thinking ‘I don’t know where to go from here, you said you would be here and that we’d do this together and you’ve gone, I wish I’d never come out.’ Mark said, ‘yeah the child would regret that, would feel that she betrayed your trust. Would feel angry about it, upset, confused even.’ I got very quiet and said, ‘it feels really horrible in my tummy talking about this.’ And Mark said, ‘yeah lets just take a breath. You’ve done really well and opened up some things but I’m aware it’s quite raw so you know, lets take the last bit of the session just to let it settle a bit. I think its important.’ I said, ‘I do need to hear what you think though,’ and he said, ‘I think you’ve done really well in painting out some of the places that your work touched and the ways of engaging with your young parts was really creative. So it kind of saddens me, in a way its life isn’t it, the timing sucks, what happened. I have this image of Velcro ripping apart, that sort of horrible sound. Its not meant to rip apart,’ I said, ‘yes I agree, the analogy I had in my head when it first happened was like ripping a baby from the womb too early and ripping the umbilical cord, like I was just beginning to feel safe in this nurturing, warm space and I was torn out of it violently. It felt cold and exposing and lonely and vulnerable and scary… all of that.’ Mark agreed a lot and said, ‘I’m just gonna suggest we breath out with all of that for now and not because I’m trying to get away from it or because I haven’t heard you. It’s because I have heard you and the bigness of it!’ I laughed and said, ‘don’t say another exposing thing Lucy!’ he laughed and said, ‘not in the last 5 minutes, no. we don’t want a door nob moment that leaves you really rattled… what I mean is… hmmm… I’m willing to go with you to some very hard places, sort of go to hell and back with you but it makes sense that, you’ve said a lot. You’ve done good work today. And you’re worried what I think of it aren’t you. There’s this idea that you’ll get up and go away and think, ‘oh fuck what have I said, have I over shared?’ and that critical voice. I don’t think you have at all. You’ve just let me know the huge steps you took and the courage it took to take them. And I also get that there’s a frustrated bit that comes in because of your reluctance some times. Like when I suggest certain movements. There’s a gap between the invitation and you being able to do it and that gap makes sense. There’s something that you need and you get there in the end. That piece sounds significant, it’s that you need to arrive somewhere in your own time, you cant push that. There’s bits of you that go ‘no this isn’t right for me just now’ and it might come later. So there’s a whole range of things. And there’s also something for me, and it comes in with that image you described, being led out somewhere and being left and that would leave you feeling quite lost… there’s a lost quality. How’s it to hear me respond to you there?’ I said, ‘I like it when you do that.’ He said, ‘notice inside the bit of you that likes it.’ I said, ‘it feels really reassuring and settling and like ‘thank god I’m finally working with someone who’s happy to share with me what they’re thinking!’ you know. That whole blank slate thing is so fucking infuriating. So thank you for doing that.’

I then asked him when his holiday is. He’s away from the 17th October to 31st. I said, ‘two week is gonna be hard!’ and he said, ‘yeah and we can talk about it before we get there,’ I said that sounds important and necessary.

Mark said, ‘You’ve done good work today, I want you to hear that. I’m saying that because I imagine there might be a kick back. There’s a bit of you that’s trying to keep you right and has a range of worries and we will let that bit of you speak. But I want to say that you are doing very good work here. And I think you know that actually. But you also need reassuring even if you know it. You want to hear it from me and not just from you. So, I want to say that to you.’ I said, ‘thank you for sharing that with me.’ And we talked a bit about the beautiful weather. The sun. The autumn leaves. The rain that’s meant to come over the next few days. I said, ‘it’s a lesson in living mindfully in the present moment isn’t it, to enjoy the sun while its here,’ and Mark said, ‘what is it William Blake said, ‘kissing the joy as it flies and seeing eternity in the sunrise’… and it’s gonna rain the next day is the thing with that. I talked about how fresh and renewing the rain is and that it’s so green and lush here because of the rain. And then we said goodbye, until Monday.

And then I collapsed.

I haven’t cried since the session. But I have felt the strong desire to hibernate. To be cosy and warm and looked after. This stuff feels raw and sore and delicate and like it needs safe nurturing.  It feels like Four was under the covers beside me, listening and waiting to see how he’d react to what I was saying… and I think, after listening back , that he might actually be okay with all of this. With all of me.

7 thoughts on “It’s a feeling memory… it’s not happening now.

  1. There is so much kickback when we are this vulnerable. It is too easy to second guess ourselves. I don’t record my sessions, but I have been reminded by you… that maybe I am not always hearing or remembering things correctly. I have decided that I need to be the one to follow-up with my therapist after difficult and vulnerable sessions. And to also ask her how this all feels to her. I have been being too passive and just hoping she would initiate these conversations, but I don’t think they fully know how it feels to be this vulnerable. So I plan to do this for myself. It has been wonderful to read you being able to do this. I hope it helps you at least some between sessions. You brought up so many painful things and actually spoke out loud a lot of things you probably haven’t faced yet with losing Anna and Linda’s inadequacy with you. This surely has stirred up so many things for you. Just a reminder… Mark does hear you and see you… he IS there with you and for you Lucy! After all you have been through, I know this can be hard to hold on to. Even having someone good again in your life must be triggering on many levels! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes absolutely. I agree with everything you’ve said. And I do want to believe that he sees me and hears me. I listen and re-listen to the recordings. I wish I could listen to just one recording of Anna’s voice 😢 I’m glad this has reminded you to be forthright and ask your T outright what their experience or thoughts are. Anna taught me the importance of that! And I’m practicing it with Mark. I wish I could tell her, her work with me still impacts so massively 💕

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks rb. Yeah I’m very grateful that he’s pacing me. Coz I’m am absolutely losing the plot and I can’t imagine how much worse I’d be if he was letting me race onwards. 💔💕

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