Day 144: How to be Held - But, How to not be Afraid
I have a couple questions at the end of this post I hope others will answer, if they feel comfortable doing so.
I am following advice I received from Jiva about sitting with this topic of touch/nurturing/crying a little longer, perhaps until I reach a place of achievement. I'm not sure quite what "achievement" is for me with regard to being held. I was about to move on yesterday to something else that popped up when Jiva offered this advice:
Right now, your body and emotions need to connect and breathe together in a new way. Often, when most relaxed, truth opens the door naturally and speaks to us. I just want to help you not get overwhelmed and to pace yourself through this major step. You've had a big week.
This resonated for me; and as I have thought more about it I have had a lot of reactions.
I feel at a loss because I don't know how to pace myself, how to stand still, how to wait, how to listen to myself, how to feel, or how to cry. I thought about this question of crying for quite a while again last night. It is such a puzzle. I was chatting with AngelFriend (that's DDF's new name ) and she said some things that pulled at my heart, making me feel I could cry. I hope she doesn't mind me repeating them. I think it will be OK; and she'll let me know otherwise.
Actually, she has said several things this week, not just last night, that have pulled at my heart:
- "My dear friend. I'm am humbled by your story and tears run down my cheek as I write this. You my friend are the miracle. I am honored that you trust me enough to share your story and fears and feats of courage. Your gift to me is listening as well. Good night little one. Sweet dreams. And once the child sleeps the guardian can rest. Good night dear friend."
- After she read my blog entry last night she asked if I was OK. This is incredible to me because I wrote something that could have been concerning to her, but instead she wanted to know how I was. I told her I would cry if I could; and I couldn't get over how kind she is. She is quite humble and responded she is not always so kind.
- I asked if my posting last night created any worries for her: "None that I can think of," she replied. And then she said something funny, she knew would make me laugh. It helped me greatly to relax before going to sleep.
- She again wished both me and Little Intrepid a good night's sleep.
I have been thinking all day about the contrast with holding my children. I am so completely comfortable with them. I hold them, play with them, and show my love to them in dozens of ways. And, it is joyful, satisfying, peaceful, warm, and safe for them and for me. It does give me solace and grace, as outside_the_box described. So, I am feeling very raw right now about not getting this kind of nurturing anywhere else. I don't know if I'm angry or sad, or just wanting to accept it. I don't know what I'm feeling, but I think I know what my T would say about it. "The anger is a layer over the sadness; and the 'wanting to accept it' is fear of experiencing it."
I am feeling afraid thinking about how I hold my children as a model for how I might be held. It scares me greatly to think of this in such concrete terms, to visualize actual possibilities.
- Sometimes it's just a quick hug. I have learned I'm ok with that. In fact, I am able to enjoy hugs from a number of friends.
- Sometimes with my kids I hold their hands. I have already found I am comfortable when AngelFriend holds my hand. Her hands have an amazing quality of safety and healing to them.
- Sometimes with my kids we sit together arms around one another. When I imagine this with AngelFriend, I can't hold onto the image.
- Sometimes with my kids I lay down with their head on my chest, like when one of them is sleepy. Whoo! This one is hard to imagine with AngelFriend.
- Sometimes, especially when one of them is sad or sick, I lay down and they cuddle up against me in a spooning type position. Thinking of this one with AngelFriend scares me most of all.
None of these forms of holding scare or bother me with my kids. Not in the slightest. It all feels natural.
It feels natural.
I think I have just discovered what I need to achieve with regard to being held. I need to get to the point that it feels natural. I need to face these fears, and get to the point I no longer have them. Also, I need to learn to discern who is safe for this type of touch.
I am wondering as I see the words form if any others here have that experience? Does being held feel natural? Are there rules you follow about being held?
And, finally, I recognize the need to name my fears, to determine if they are reasonable, and to have a plan related to them. Before I write the fears and plans, I want to review again, what holding has looked like in my mind (I find this humiliating to write still, even though I have written it before). My heart clenches with fear looking at this passage:
She asks me if she can hold me. She sits next to me. She wraps her arms around me and I lean into her, laying my head on her shoulder. She rubs my back telling me, "It's OK to feel whatever you're feeling. I'm sorry for all the pain you've experienced. It's OK to let it out. You are safe with me. I promise I won't hurt or betray you. I'm here for you. Just let it out if you can. It's OK if you can't. Know you are safe and I care about you." If I cry, she just holds me and keeps reassuring me.
I am afraid that when she holds me:
- I will not reach my emotions, and I will be a failure. I will have to accept I really can't feel or express my emotions. Ever.
- OK, maybe I won't feel them first thing. Maybe it will take several attempts. I need to be patient.
- I want to know what she thinks about this too.
- And, I am pretty sure my T would encourage me not to think about the future so much.
- I will reach my emotions but only have the physical symptoms, rather than the needed tears.
- In fact, this is likely to happen. My body has been wired to respond this way pretty much my whole life. Again, I think the answer is patience.
- I will need several or even many attempts; and it will be too much.
- I need to talk to her about this. I don't want to burn her out.
- I need to trust her to draw her boundaries and not allow myself to decide them for her.
- I need to know she will tell me if she needs space long before it could become a problem.
- I believe with some experience I will be able to be more open with others too and this will become less of a concern.