Therapy Thursday

We covered a lot in therapy today. Alicia is the one who was out for the first part of our session. For those who dont know, Alicia is 9 years old. I had been feeling irritated and somewhat distracted before I left to go to therapy. So it was really no surprise that she was able to push past me and go out front. She talked to Eileen about the time of the year, and how much she hated it. Eileen asked her if there was anything that she did when flashbacks hit, to bring herself back to the heere and now. She mentioned to Eileen how that sometimes she blows air on her hands, and the cool air brings her back. Eileen said how this was a very good idea. Then she asked her if anyone inside could comfort her when she was feeling bad or not ok. Alicia said that I had told her to come to me when she isnt doing well. But that she is afraid to ask for things, she thinks she isnt worthy of them. She is afraid to ask for what she needs now because it was scary to do that in the past. Eileen asked her to try so she did. She asked me to come sit by her and hold her hand. I did and it made her feel safe. Then she talked with Eileen a little bit about lighter things. About movies and about what she likes to do for fun. She told Eileen she loves bengal tigers. Eileen asked if she’d seen the life of pie, and suggested she may like to watch that at some point. After a few minutes of lighter conversation Eileen asked her if it would be ok if she talked to me. And Alicia agreed. So I came out. The switch was a smooth switch. I started off talking to Eileen about the appointment I’d had yesterday with that awful psychiatrist. I did not realise I was so angry about it but when I started talking it became clear that I was. We discussed it for a while and once I’d gotten it all out of my system we were able to move on to other things. I told Eileen that there was a part that was playing out certain senarios at night. For example this part lies in bed and tries to come up with everything that might happen to us in our home. So they think for example, what if someone breaks in, what if the house goes on fire, what if the doors arent locked, all sorta things like that. Eileen asked me how this part is trying to help. I said I thought they were trying to help by always being ready and always being super hypervigilent about everything. She asked me then if I felt safe just at this moment. I said yes, I did, because I knew if anything happened she’d deal with it. She asked me how old I felt. I said I felt 19 right now, but sometimes I feel about 7 or 8 and most of the time I dont feel my age at all. I told her how when Karen whose dr Barrys team leader called this morning I felt argumentative on the phone, I was having attitude with her, and I just did not feel like an adult at all. We got on then to talking about how resourceful I am. I said I just dont feel it even though you keep saying it. I told her how part of me desperately wants to be cared for. She said she realised that. But that she doesnt see herself as my carer and she doesnt see me as needing protection or looking after. That she sees us as equals and that just because she is my therapist that it doesnt mean I cant cope and am unable to look out for myself. She said its a case of we’ll work together in conjunction with each other to see what I might need but that I am in charge of my own life and she knows that and wants to show me that in fact I can cope and I can do things and I am really resourceful. When she first said it parts insiders were feeling edgy, like it hit hard for them. But when we talked about it more and she was able to clarify that she does care, and she knows how attached to her we are, she knows we struggle with attachment and what is a healthy level of attachment, it became easier. I told her that I thought she really has no idea how much I look forward to therapy each week, how much my therapy appointments mean to me. She said actually she does. That she is very aware that in the past other therapists have treated me as a victim, not as a survivor. That they havent treated me as an equal in the work we did together. I had to agree. Then I told Eileen that what she’d said at the end of last thursdays session, about how much she hated that I was alone and at rist and not safe, how that had really impacted me. I told her I felt it was a very honest portrayal of her feelings towards me. It was real. She said in the moment what she was feeling and I appreciated that very much. Time was almost up then. I told her I had a lot to reflect on this week which is nice. I like being able to reflect on our sessions.
carol anne