Too Much, Too Fast

I was not looking forward to my session at all yesterday. After the hellacious aftermath of Thursday's session I was about ready to kiss therapy good-bye and welcome back my good friend denial.

So as I settle into V's office last night, she asks me to update her since I last talked to her (which was on Saturday). She had offered to see me Saturday morning, but I declined because I just couldn't imagine trying to process more when my mind was struggling to sift through the overload from Thursday. I was more specific with her about how horrible Friday was, and how it carried over into the weekend but that I was feeling better. I told her I was worried about coming in that evening because I didn't want to leave feeling so unhinged and fearful. I thought about cancelling, which I never do.

What happened next was something I was not expecting. She apologized. Huh? I was confused. Why in the world was she apologizing to me? I was the one calling and e-mailing her when I couldn't keep it together. I should be apologizing for bugging her so much. Yet she apologized for pushing me to confront too much, too fast. She said the way she worded the comment that totally unraveled me ("He could have killed you," see last post) was too harsh and she felt like it was her fault for putting me in a place that forced me to confront some scary feelings that I obviously wasn't ready for (as per my physical and PTSD reactions over the weekend). I hadn't really thought about that, but her comment definitely threw a huge kink in my otherwise very fluid system of fake truths and quasi-denial. Coming to terms with the truth of that statement was extremely unsettling (for obvious reasons) but even more so because it completely shut down the belief system that I have been relying on for the past 13 years. How in the world am I supposed to adjust to that? Apparently I wasn't ready. At all. I guess that's why she was apologizing. I know she did not mean to affect me in that way, nor could she have known I would have reacted as intensely as I did, but she was worried that I was going to be afraid to commit as much and hold back more because of how much it hurt me. LOL, was it that obvious? I didn't even have to say it for her to know that's what I was feeling.

I already hold back a lot when I'm in session. I still have not gotten to the point that I can let something in and immediately react to it. I don't feel comfortable showing raw emotions in front of people. I will go home, process it, go through a whole cycle of emotions by myself, then be ready to talk about it later, still keeping the emotions out of the mix. V and I have talked about this already. I am completely honest in telling her when I am holding back emotions that have been brought up by questions she asked or things I've talked about. But I've also told her I want to eventually be able to react to something initially, without holding anything back. It's exhausting to have to wait to be alone, try to understand a whole slew of confusing feelings, then shove them back down for the sake of feeling safe. I don't want to do that, but right now it's the only thing that I know how to do...

So after talking about all of this, V made sure to let me know that she would not push me as hard as she did Thursday, not because I can't take it (because I could, it would just suck 24/7) but because she wants me to feel safe with her, and does not want to hurt me. That was so comforting to hear, for so many reasons. Knowing that she really does care about my well-being is probably the biggest thing for me, but also knowing that I didn't even have to say anything about this for her to know that it was too much for me to handle. That just blows my mind. I'm so grateful for her.

The rest of our session she lead me back to what we were talking about Thursday, carefully. She asked me more about my reactions to what we talked about as opposed to taking me back to that moment in time. I got upset and teary-eyed a few times when her questions got me thinking about all the emotion that was brought up as I was processing alone. I am horrible at putting what I'm feeling into words, especially emotionally charged things. It was frustrating for me to be so upset and not be able to explain why... and that is basically where I am all the time now, it seems.

All in all, I left Monday night feeling much more stable and safe than I expected. I'm interested to see how tomorrow goes...

2 comments:

Addison said...
December 8, 2010 at 7:23 PM

It sounds like your therapist is very well versed in treating trauma. I was wondering how you felt now about the separation from your last t? It seems like you transitioned so well. I had a suicide attempt when my last therapist dumped me three years ago, so I am basically marveling at your ability to handle things as well as you seem to.

Just Be Real said...
December 10, 2010 at 7:05 AM

"I already hold back a lot when I'm in session. I still have not gotten to the point that I can let something in and immediately react to it. I don't feel comfortable showing raw emotions in front of people. I will go home, process it, go through a whole cycle of emotions by myself, then be ready to talk about it later, still keeping the emotions out of the mix."

You are not alone on this Lily.