Thursday, March 15, 2012

3/15/12 therapy

Me:  How are you?
CT:  I'm alright.  How are you?
Me:  (shrug) I dunno.  I'm me.
CT:  What does that mean today?
Me:  I don't know.  (long silence).  I'm just tired of my life and being me.
CT:  What does that mean?
Me:  I don't know.  (I tilt my head to the back of the couch and push my hair out of my face).
CT:  Well, you're being kind of vague.
Me:  I guess, I'm just really tired of not feeling good.  It feels like anytime I start to feel better, a giant piano falls from the sky and squashes me. 
CT:  Is there a new piano?
Me:  No.  I'm just having a really hard time with the questions I have to answers.
CT:  Uh huh.
Me:  And I know it's stupid, but I'm having all these irrational feelings.  Like, when a door opens near me, I feel this intense panic and then I get so angry because it's so stupid.  There is no reason to panic about a door opening. 
CT:  But you are having these feelings.  The anger is only adding to it.  Feelings don't have good or bad labels.  They just are.  "Okay, so I'm feeling really frightened right now.  How can I soothe myself?"
Me:  Yeah, but this makes no sense.
CT:  It doesn't have to right now.
Me:  I'm totally losing my mind.  Yesterday I was making a salad and broke down while picking up some kale.  I sobbed over kale.  I'm so weepy lately.  I'm crying all the time.  It's so stupid and annoying.
CT:  So you're having lots of feelings right now.  It's okay to be weepy.
Me:  Actually weepy isn't really the right word.  It's more like Sobby.
CT:  Well, it's okay to be sobby too.
Me:  It's really intrusive.
CT:  Yeah, I know, but all you can do is just go with it.  It's okay to cry.
Me:  I don't like to cry.
CT:  I know you don't.

We talk more about crying and feelings and not judging them.  Blah blah blah blah blah.  Things get really quiet for a while.  Eye contact is really hard for me, especially in therapy, so I usually stare at my hands.  I am usually making shapes with my fingers, like hearts, squares, triangles, or I'm clapping my fists together.  I start to tear up.

CT:  What's going on for you right now?
Me:  (crying)  I just feel really alone.
CT:  Yeah. (her eyes are watery and her voice is soothing and affectionate)  It must be so hard answering those kinds of questions.  It must feel so overwhelming.
Me:  I keep having these really intense pains in my body, but I know they are in my head, but they really hurt.  It's so freaking stupid. 
CT:  You're having some somatic symptoms.  Some body memories.
Me:  Except I don't remember ever feeling very much pain as a kid.  I remember being at the hospital the second time and the doctors told me that I was really brave and strong because I wasn't crying, but I wasn't crying because I didn't feel anything.
CT:  Well, that is kind of a really stupid thing to say, but it seems like you are reliving some body memories that you dissociated back then.
Me:  (sobbing) It hurts so much.  All of it hurts.  
CT:  I know honey.


Me:  I keep having all these stupid feelings, like I'm scared when doors open.  I feel scared that Tim is coming for me, but I know it's stupid.  I feel like he might be behind the door.  I feel really scared about getting him in trouble.  What is wrong with me?  He's dead.  I have all these confusing feelings.  Like when I was a kid.  I was terrified of him, I hated him, I wanted to protect him, and I loved him all at the same time.  I feel so mixed up.  Whenever a hear an abrupt male voice, My heart jumps a little inside.
CT:  It's natural that male voices will be hard for you right now.  Lets not judge these experiences.  Lets label them as experiences and not stupid or bad or useless.  You are experiencing something.  The anger and the judgement are only going to add to the pain.
Me:  I know, but that's where I always go.  I try to tell myself that it's okay, it'll be okay.  The anger isn't helping, but I get so overwhelmed with it.  I'm so overwhelmed with hate for myself.

CT and I talk about this for a while.  I get quiet and withdrawal a little.

CT:  Hey, what's going on over there?
Me:  I don't know how to put words to some of the things I have to write about.  I mean, I've never tried, and I get a little frozen when I to write about it and put it down on permanent record. 
CT:  Uh huh.  

I am lost in thought for a little while.

Me:  My mom and Tim were a lot alike.
CT:  What do you mean.
Me:  I mean, after my mom beat me, she'd sometimes hold me and cry and tell me how much she loved me.
CT:  Ugh!
Me:  And Tim would collapse next to me and start crying.  And I know it's so messed up but I would feel so bad and say "I'm sorry."  (I start sobbing really hard).

I do not know what CT said, but she was warm and affectionate and said a lot of negative things about Tim.

Later we talked about all my other symptoms, "new" memories.  Physical pain.  Smelling things that aren't really there.  Nightmares.  Weird nightmares where I am both Tim and me at the same time.  She thinks that makes sense, but I think it's ridiculous.  I told her that it's so hard for me to sleep because I'm scared of my dreams and I am so anxious and scared that Tim will come into my room even though I know he can't and that I could probably kick his ass today.    She starts to talk about things that I can do that are soothing.

Me:  I've tried, but nothing I do helps anymore.
CT:  What have you tried?
Me:  Drawing...
CT:  What happens when you draw?
Me:  I've broken a lot of pencils and pens.
CT:  Why?
Me:  I don't know.  I guess I end up pushing too hard.

CT starts to list other things I could do to soothe myself.  She talks about music, meditation, soothing smells, activities I like.  I tell her about the things I've tried.

CT:  What about walking on the beach?
Me:  yeah, but I'm afraid of having a panic attack or sobbing in public.
CT:  So, what if you sob in public?
Me:  I don't know.
CT:  (Shrugs her shoulders)  So you cry.  Nothing bad will happen if you have feelings in public.
Me:  I guess not. 
CT:  You need to find something that soothes you.  What if you make a space that is really cozy in your apartment, with lots of pillows and things that make you feel good.  You can sit there when you're not feeling good and try to relax.  If that means it only works for 5 minutes, that means you got a 5 minute break.  That doesn't mean that memories and feelings won't break in while you're trying to soothe yourself.  Just let those experiences happen and try not to judge them.  Try to have compassion and not get angry.
Me:  Okay.  I'll try.
CT:  How many more questions do you have?
Me:  I'm almost done, but it's taking me so long to do it.
CT:  Okay.  We have to stop now.  Deep breathes okay?  I will see you Wednesday.
Me:  Okay.