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.
It’s been four weeks since I last wrote a therapy dump, though I have had sessions each week. August can really just go f*ck itself if I am honest.
Four Weeks Ago
At the beginning of August it started – I began to drift away from myself. My writing was interrupted, my mood dropped, in general I lost connection to myself.
Up to that point, this year had presented some serious challenged so I was coming to terms with the fact that I’d been managing my stuff, leaning into it, and maybe could use a bit more work on the self-care part; so much so as to put it into my personal August goals.
After spending a few days in a very dark place (and a stern reminder from my therapist about my process and my progress) I began to realize the dip in energy, through rather severe, was part of my journey and I felt myself begin to snap out of it.
Three Weeks Ago
Though I still wasn’t writing, I could feel myself beginning to reconnect – and then it happened. A cop in my small city, shot a black man 7 times in the back, in front of his children.
I live in Kenosha, WI.
The events that have unfolded in my city have been surreal, horrific, traumatic, enraging, terrifying –
I have lived here for 20 years. It is a small town; the recent events will ripple deep into the fibers of this city. We are forever changed. I will never see my city the same, the leadership the same, the business owners the same, even many people I consider friends have shown sides I never would have imagined.
Two Weeks Ago
Last week I was determined to figure out a new normal. Things I have been trying recently haven’t been working, so I figure I will keep trying different things until I find the balance I am looking for.
The stress of the last few weeks has manifested physically for me and my body has called for me to rest and take care of myself. I have been trying to listen.
My sleep has been fitful so I am trying to find a sleep routine for some structure, and I’m allowing myself to nap if I need too. I am trying to take a break from social media and I am working to reconnect myself to my home, my family, and to my advocacy.
Everything I hoped I’d accomplish – I didn’t.
Instead my stress came to a head and I have spent the last week unable to manage a constant stream of illogical anger coming out at anyone who pushes my patience (which has a very short fuse these days).
My husband and I don’t really fight – but we sure had a moment last weekend. My 5 yr old turned a game of hide & seek into an ER visit and 6 stitches Friday night (at 9pm). Every single dime we make is already earmarked for something – yet the bills are still behind.
Can I just quit life? Because that is how I feel and I said as much during my session tonight.
So my therapist let me talk it all out and then pointed out some things I don’t necessarily like to hear but need to; for example:
“my need for control causes me to take on everything in the household even though I can’t handle all it”
“before my trauma healing, I created behavioral habits that my husband now trusts because at that time in my life I was okay doing everything”
“you know this type of communication is hard for you, so you have to be mindful about communicating your needs with your husband“
and finally –
“you need to relinquish control of something and give that responsibility to your husband. Then trust him to do it.”
So I figured out what I plan to hand over and we’ll see what this next week brings.
A New Journey Begins
Many things have plagued me through the summer, the greatest was the fallout with my son. He and I have since began to talk in short spurts occasionally, the recent events in my town giving an easy topic for him to stay in contact.
He expressed some boundaries in the early stages of re-connection and as I learn what this new dynamic in our relationship means for me, I am anxious and hopeful.
Healing myself from trauma as a parent means facing negative behavior patterns (even when I thought I had it right) which has been hard. Still, I know this will allow me to be there for him going forward in the ways he needs vs. the way I need.
Oh, and Then There’s School
Did I mention through all of this my little one has started kindergarten, virtually? Completely online, with live class sessions and I’m the learning coach.
Now, don’t take my stress as complaint, after all, homeschool was something I have wanted since my little one was in my belly – there is something to be said for the realization of the task at hand.
I am so excited to have the opportunity to be so involved in my daughter’s education. Oof, 12 years to go!
The Balancing Act
So, I am trying to find a daily routine between work, my website, and teaching my daughter that doesn’t burn m out.
I need to find time to fit in household responsibilities, family time, and me time.
All while making a daily choice to heal my trauma, which means being aware of my responses to what I am experiencing in real time so that I deal with it as it happens instead of letting it overwhelm me.
I think this is the part where I have to be mindful about not judging myself and instead trusting myself. I know what is best for me, I know what I need.
Now, if I could just do it!
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