The Reflection Doesn't Match

V works with a lot with children. Her office is covered with pictures, toys and games. At first I was a little worried about working with her as an adult because I wasn't sure how much she'd be able to help me (definitely not worried about that now!). As we get deeper into things, I'm finding out that the little girl inside of me that stopped growing and maturing as a result of the abuse is about to claw her way out.

On Saturday, V took me to a separate room that was wall to wall figurines. Little plastic ones that you get in doll houses, kids meals, cereal boxes, etc. There had to be at least 5,000 things to choose from. And then there was a sand tray. A place for you to arrange the ones you chose, forming a snapshot of something. I had heard of this form of play therapy before, but wasn't expecting to ever participate. When she told me what she wanted me to do I was immediately nervous. The adult side of me was off to the races in making sure I didn't set up any snapshot that I wasn't ready to talk about. I was 5 steps ahead at all times, not really following my intuition or instincts. Knowing that I couldn't possibly plan for all the interpretations she could come up with made me so scared. What if she saw something that I didn't think could be interpreted that way? For the most part her interpretation was exactly what I set it up to produce, but there were a few things that she noticed that were eye opening for me, if not even a little hard to hear. I left feeling like I had opened a door to something, but there was nothing there. At least, nothing visible.

The rest of my weekend was super busy (thankfully) and I didn't actually get to stop and have any time to myself til Sunday night. I was washing my face getting ready to go to bed and I looked up at myself in the mirror. Ugh. My first thought "Why do you look so old?" (I just turned 27, so believe me, I'm not). So I messed with my hair and tried to remove my eye make-up that I thought was contributing to the dark circles under my eyes. No luck. I took my wrinkle cream (yes, you read that right) and made sure to saturate my crows feet and laugh lines, not forgetting to get my chin, lest it sag down one day and make me a turkey neck. I am TERRIFIED of getting older. I am confused why I look so different than what I feel. I feel like when I look in the mirror I should see a younger version of myself looking back at me. My reflection doesn't match. And it wasn't until last night that I even made the connection.

That little girl inside of me, the one who quit growing at age 13, is starting to take over the adult side of me. Little by little she has gained ground. Enough ground to make it very hard not to acknowledge she's there or what she's trying to tell me, but not enough to take over. I still have the upper hand. I'm fighting it tooth and nail, but I can feel that I'm losing the fight. Over the past few months I have felt so much like I am just playing "dress up." That I literally am a 13 year old masquerading as an adult, doing and saying adult things but feeling as small and confused as a teenager. Wanting the things I never had as a kid; the freedom from responsibility, the naivete of any sexual immorality, the ability to live in the moment. Things that realistically I can't have, but WANT. God, this little girl wants this so bad.

Even V picked up on how much I squash that girl (based on some things from the sand tray) and decided that she needs to cater to that side of me today and help me learn how to do this as well. She went to Hobby Lobby and picked up all sorts of crafty stuff for me to create a box. On the outside I am decorating it so that it portrays the "adult me". What I let people see, my facade. On the inside will be the "little girl me". The one that no one ever sees. The one I never acknowledge. The one who has been stuck for the past 13 years.

I shared some journal writing with V tonight about my realization that I'm expecting a different reflection in the mirror and it's connection to that little girl inside of me. She was so respectful of my thoughts and has really given me the comfort to know that I can share just about anything with her without fear of judgement. I'm still a little worried about being left again, but I don't know if that will ever fully disappear.


Finding Pam said...
November 16, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Just stopping by to say that I am thinking about you. It sounds like V is a very good therapist.

Would it be wrong to let the little thirteen year old teenager out?

Anonymous said...
November 16, 2010 at 8:56 PM

no words of wisdom, but wanted to tell you i was thinking about you! i'm glad you found a new therapist that seems to be working out well for you!

sarah said...
November 17, 2010 at 5:52 AM

V sounds amazing. I'm so glad you were led to her..... :)

Harriet said...
November 17, 2010 at 6:02 AM

I love love love the box idea. Of having the outside reflect what you reflect and the inside be who you are on the inside. Mind if I steal that idea?

I can't believe the room of little people. Frankly, that would freak me out a bit. But I think it sounds like a great exercise, anything involving sand is ok with me. I just like to have a pan of sand to run my fingers through. It's relaxing for me.

V sounds wonderful!