Day 151: I'm OK. I'm Always OK.
I think it's a day for cataloging, after this challenging and tumultuous week.
First of all, I am in need of a place where AngelFriend can touch my neck, shoulders and arm that I feel safe to experience and express my emotions. The space at our workplace is just not sufficiently comfortable for me, knowing co-workers are about. Someone could overhear. Or if I cried, they could see me afterward. I am not willing to let that happen. As such, my emotions will not surface.
It is pretty darn likely the pain I am experiencing in my wrist is caused by the constant tension in my neck and shoulders. I've taken all of the steps I can with the arrangement of my workspace to get rid of the pain. I wear the brace on my wrist whenever it bothers me (which is less than it was), and I have been sleeping with a pillow to support my arm. I don't know why, but that has helped reduce the pain at night.
But, as much as all of that sounds like good progress, I still can't quite use my left hand for much. I switched to using the mouse with my right hand, which is pretty challenging. I'd like to get back to full use of my left hand. I guess the lesson is I need to keep moving in this direction. I meant to ask my T yesterday for ideas about how to find a place for the touch encounters. Neither my house or nor her house is an option. I'm feeing stuck with regard to this issue.
On another front . . . I read to my T the first two segments of my letter to my mom. It was no big deal. I didn't feel any emotions, as usual. We talked at the end of the appointment about it. She suggested at my next T session for me to read the next segment of my mom letter without editing out the bad language. I did this, editing out the bad language, as I read the first two parts, out of respect for my T. I know she doesn't use such language. When I finished reading to her yesterday she asked me if I was editing myself for her benefit or if I just wasn't comfortable using those words. She said if it was for her benefit, not to do that. She won't be bothered by the foul language. She said I might be blunting my emotions by avoiding those words. I'm not sure that's the case. But, I'll find out next time I see her.
She also suggested I watch an interview Dr. Phil did with a girl who was held captive as a sex slave. I told her I wouldn't be able to handle it. Her response was, "Mmm, hmm." As if to say, I need to cause myself to become upset in order to prime the pump.
Interestingly, this conversation happened after AngelFriend and I talked about how it might be necessary to intentionally trigger me in order get my emotions to surface. It felt odd for my T to say something along those same lines to me not even 24 hours later.
Putting these ideas together, it might mean watching a program like this with AngelFriend and see if it will be the spark I need. I know I would not be able to watch something like that by myself. It would be triggering in a harmful way for me. I would need someone with me, to help me cope with my feelings.
I need to ask her about this and see if she'd be on board with such an idea.
It seems so weird to me to be planning to make myself cry. But, I'm at a loss as to what else to do. Not even reading my mom letter to my T sparked any emotion from me. And, when I talk about my mom, or any abuse topic, I rarely feel anything, except the nonsense my mom put in my head (I'm exaggerating, I just want attention, blah, blah, blah). Those messages are so loud nothing of me can get through them. The worst part about this is it makes me doubt myself, my memory, my experience. If it all really happened, I would feel the emotions; and I would be destroyed. If it all really happened, I would be a big mess; and I'm not. I need her to get the fuck out of my head!
Patience. I need patience. It took 47 years to reach this point. It took decades of abuse and neglect to make me this way. I have been shut down all this time. It is not going to turn on easily. It's just so hard to hold onto hope. There is a despairing voice in my head saying it's futile. I'll never get past this. I'm as healed as I will ever be and I should be thankful to be where I am.
I'm OK. I'm always OK. What's wrong with that?
AngelFriend helped me see today the problem with this thought. We spent some time together again today. She asked me how I am doing and I said I was OK. I added, "I'm always OK." My intent was to convey even if I'm dealing with something difficult, I'm still OK. Nothing really gets to me. (The very key to my survival.)
Well, she was having none of that. She rephrased her question (because she's an exceptional doctor and knows how to ask questions to get the right information). I can't remember now exactly what she asked me, but it was along the lines of how I was feeling, instead of how I was doing. I had already told her I woke in the night with abdominal pain and was up for a couple hours. So, she knew something was bothering me. I am not able to pass things off as other problems with her. She now knows me too well. Plus, for some reason, I can't bring myself to lie to her. I have given her my trust and I am not willing to harm that trust by covering things up.
She told me she is well aware I am good at being "OK." I can put on a smile and soldier on. But, that wasn't what she was asking me. She wasn't asking me if I was able to appear to be OK.
Eventually, our conversation led to me understanding that being OK, was not sufficient. I need to love and be loved in equal measure. I have rung a bell of sorts and cannot go back to how I was before. I cannot simply be OK any more. I now need to be complete, even though it probably means going through a lot of pain to get there.
This left me with the image of having cut open a wound. Now the injury must be repaired.
The last topic on my mind is several remaining items inspired by the Mother's Who Can't Love book:
- Letter to my Step-father
- Letter to my dad (real father)
- Letter to Little Intrepid