We’re both with the boat that’s full of pain

I wanted to share some of my session because it follows on from sending the text to Anna. There’s a resistance to blog and a pull to blog. I’m trying to find a balance and satisfy both parts.

I told Mark that in the early days, the waves of grief rose so high over my head it was as if my feet were nailed to the ocean floor. These days the tide is far out and I only get hints of it round my ankles. By sending the text, I unwittingly waded right out into the seas once more. It brought it all to life.

I told Mark it was stupid of me to text her and he told me, ‘It was a reaching out… there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s been a year and anniversaries are significant.’ I told him I should have known better and that maybe I shouldn’t let anyone else in to those places in me. He said, ‘There are no shoulds in our hearts. Shoulds can put barriers in front of letting that emotion flow. Lucy, it was a traumatic loss. Like a velcro ripping apart type of ending. It makes sense to me that as you begin to open more and more, like you did when you let Anna in, because of that being ripped apart, you both yearn for something and fear it. It makes sense you’d fear losing me too.’ It all felt too much and I said, ‘I feel like I want to layer lots of cushions on top of me.’ Mark said, ‘You can do that, feel the cushions. Follow that impulse. Let’s give yourself as much of what you need as we can to feel a little bit more secure. So, you’re holding that to your chest, feel into it. I imagine it feels quite nice, I fancy doing it myself only I don’t have a cushion with me.’

I told him I hate how needy I am and he said, ‘I feel really tender towards you. This is very painful, these are very raw, vulnerable, young places. It’s huge.’ I started to feel spacey and he spotted it and very gently said, ‘I wonder, can you safely connect with yourself and connect with me?’ There was silence and I looked at him over my cushion and he continued tentatively, ‘I’m imagining that your pain is a boat somewhere in the high seas sloshing around and I’ve kind of got the rope. And you can give a little tug to me, on the rope, if you want to feel me here. We’re both with the boat that’s full of pain. And as I visualise the boat in my mind, there’s no one in it, interestingly, but there’s pain. I can feel it too.’

10 thoughts on “We’re both with the boat that’s full of pain

  1. LovingSummer

    Wow Lucy, he really is in there, in your experience with you, isn’t he? It’s quite remarkable and I’m not sure i’ve ever heard of such a therapist! It’s quite a find you have there, no wonder you’re doing so well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really do feel like he is in here with me in it, yeah. I am so so grateful for the way he is. I’m glad you can see a glimpse of it. Thank you for what you said. It’s so hard to write succinctly about our sessions but this felt so holding and illustrated how he is helping me come to terms with losing Anna and everything that’s coming up recently so I wanted to share it 💙

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LovingSummer

        I’m glad you did. It really does come across as deeply connecting work, just what you need! I’m really pleased for you that you have that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This was beautiful Lucy… really beautiful… what therapy should be. I see in your picture and feel in his words a sense of the passing of the baton. Anna is not there with you, but Mark certainly is. I sense him trying to gently take those reins and truly be there for you with such a gentleness and respect for all that you are going through. This is great work! Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really love what you’ve interpreted here. That there is a passing of the baton. And you’ve inspired me to try to draw something to represent that sense more fully. This does feel like more of me is letting go of Anna and turning towards Mark. And he is allowing me to fully grieve her. He really gets it. Unlike Linda who got quite defensive about me working with her now. Thank you for being here 💙

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to seeing that! Sometimes I think God gives us gifts of art in order to express and survive terrible things. I don’t draw at all. My trauma came out in poetry, which I guess draws pictures with words. I never set out to write poetry, it just came out that way. I think it saved my life. Your artwork is so beautiful and expressive… it says so much!


  3. So beautiful. The way he enters so fully into your experience reminds me so much of my work with K. There is something very special about core process training (and about the people who choose to pursue that path I imagine) 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What Mark said about you both holding a rope tied to the boat is really beautiful and such a perfect metaphor. It’s easy to see that he is in this with you. I’m sorry things are so painful, and that reaching out made the pain so huge again. I’m glad you have Mark and that he is able to be there for you. And I love your artwork. It’s a great image for Mark’s words.


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