I’ve been seeing my therapist for over three years, every week. During this pandemic we meet via telehealth. In this series come along with me through each appointment as I reflect on the session and my progress.
I’m Just Tired
If it weren’t for this series, I probably wouldn’t even be writing today.
Tonight I presented as a big ball of tears. I am so tired of everything. I feel the grief of the world and it is heavy. I feel my own losses, present and past – and they are heavy. I hear self-doubt echoing in my ears, betrayal and hurt still bubbles in the pit of my stomach, fear is still stalking me, and I feel the pull to disconnect and slip into the comforts of avoidance.
I just want to shut the world out.
His Experience is Not Mine
An encounter with my adult son is still not sitting right with me, over a week later. As I talked through my feelings tonight, I said that he is the only person who can hurt me like this. My counselor rebutted this and reminded me only I can allow him this type of control over me and then she asked me to dig in a little bit deeper. What am I really feeling?
I’m afraid if I set a boundary that is too firm, he will leave me. I am afraid of not being a good enough mother. Those are really hard words to say, even harder to feel.
I am so afraid of him experiencing the same loneliness and abandonment that I did at his age, that I allow him to walk all over me as I try to prove to him my love is unconditional. Again, with gentle hands my counselor helped me walk through the unconditional love I have for my son. She reminded me of all the times he has blown up at me and disconnected from me, only to reach back out once calmed down and in need.
I am always there. I always will be. My love for him is unconditional. His experience is nothing like mine was.
It’s time I love both him and myself enough to not let him treat me like this anymore. Ugh, I wish it were that easy. Still, I hear practice makes it easier.
I have a lot of ideas about what I want to do with my life in the wake of recent events. I am so excited about the possibilities. That doesn’t stop the self-doubt in my head getting in the way and evoking fear that my life isn’t going to get better or back on track. I keep thinking maybe I should abandon the idea of my own non-profit, or writing my story, and just run back out into the virus ridden world in search of a menial paycheck as I bust my ass for other people to make rent.
Instead, it was suggested I try my hand at having counter conversations with myself. Yes, my therapist told me to absolutely talk to myself. She let me know I have a responsibility to remind me of my skills, my accomplishments, and my abilities to persevere.
Attempts at Self-Care
Over the last week, I have intentionally planned a couple outing with my family to a nearby preserve that is beautifully landscaped with paths and a fishing pond. Plenty of open space for social distancing and the ability to go mask free. We took our little one’s bike so she could ride. The fresh air was great, the exercise nice.
Why don’t I feel recharged?
When I realized I needed to make space to be sad as my grandma’s birthday came and went, I did. I cried, I talked about her, I wrote about her.
Why don’t I feel recharged?
I took a few days off from the website so I didn’t have my trauma at the forefront, I paid attention to my sleep and my eating habits. I spent some time with my kiddo and took some time for myself with my online games.
Why don’t I feel recharged?
I don’t have an answer.
What Do I Know to be True?
When my counselor asked me, I asked back “How do you mean?”. She simply repeated the question. So what do I know to be true? Here is what I came up with:
- I’m not alone, my husband is my partner and with me in this
- My son knows I love him
- I am allowed to have emotional boundaries
- I am fully able to achieve the dreams that I have
- I need to make a schedule for myself and stick to it
- I need to be aware that I am slipping into avoidance and actively manage it
- Self-Care takes practice just like any other aspect of healing
- My experience as a child, teen, and young adult is nothing like that of my son’s experience
- Setting boundaries with my son will not be easy at first, but I will figure it out
- I still have work to do around my negative feelings of self
Stay tuned for next week’s post.
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The conclusion I came to regarding someone important in my life who had an addiction was that unconditional love is about the person, and boundaries are about behaviours. A behaviour can be unacceptable without diminishing total acceptance of the person.
I’m trying to learn this. I struggle with feelings of not being good enough, even at this age with the awareness of where it comes from. And it always seeps into situations like this. I’ve lost so many people in my life, my fear of losing more and being alone is all consuming sometimes. 🥺
Yeah, scary stuff.