I had a really grueling session last night, which was good in a weird way - well, in lots of ways - partly because I'd been feeling very stuck and like I'd been spinning my wheels for most of the 2.5 years I've been with this therapist. I'd even talked with her about terminating because I felt like we weren't well matched. But one thing I did know is that if I came into her office already switched, already in the middle of something, she responded to it. So I told her I was going to do a lot more of that, a session or two ago, which wasn't quite the flat declarative it sounds like; I told her so that if she wanted to protest, she could. She didn't.
So yesterday, I went in already in another mode, and god, 50 minutes has never been so long.
I keep feeling like I ought to write it out, as much as I can remember. That's partly in order to remember it later, and partly because I'm not out of it yet, it's been dragging me down into slow, tired, dead-eyed dullness. This morning on the bus, I had six or seven movies, a similar number of audiobooks, and all my music on my ipod, and there was nothing I could stand to listen to for more than a couple minutes. I didn't have a book, but I could tell it wouldn't have mattered: I wouldn't have been able to keep my eyes moving in an orderly progression over the page. All I really want to do is sleep. I dozed in the library between my two classes - more than two hours - and now that I'm home again, I just want to go to bed to stop...to stop--I don't even know. It's not that I'm thinking furiously or anything. I feel leaden, like every small decision (steps or elevator? I'm hungry - get something on the way home, or get home as quickly as possible?) is made through a thick, groping fog. I was on the point of saying I wanted to go to sleep to stop thinking, but I'm barely thinking as it is. I suppose things are going on at a subterranean level, but I think it's just that I'm intercepting myself before I can put more than a thought and a half together, and it's hard work, and so I want to go to sleep as the fullest available method.
I'll write a little. Then I'll feed the cat and take a nap.
In the gap between leaving my internship and the start of my therapy session, I'd had time to kill, and I'd done so by watching about 2/3 of Good Will Hunting until my iPod battery ran out. I know lots of people have lots of opinions about the movie, and I'm not interested into discussing it critically. It goes straight to my limbic node in a complicated way. When I got into my therapist's office, I curled up in my seat and told her I'd been watching it. Fortunately, she knows the movie, because I wasn't fit to explain it.
I was half curled, sideways, rubbing my hands incessantly, picking at them, pulling at my fingers. My right leg draped over the side of the seat, foot on the floor, and I think I jiggled it pretty much through the entire session in a disconnected agitation. I'm almost surprised it isn't stiff today. I didn't look at my therapist. My voice was high and thin, less a child's voice than a voice coming through a small opening from a long way off.
I told her I hated the movie. She asked why. I said, "Because he fights them as hard as he can, but he gets rescued anyhow." And I said it made me mad because I couldn't have that.
She said, why not?
I was silenced for a while. I didn't understand the question. When you're 37 and getting by, and all the trauma was in the far gone past, you don't get rescued. Maybe there was a time when I was a child when I could have been rescued, but that's over. I have to do it myself, and with help.
She seemed to mix the ideas of 'help' and 'rescue.' I separated them. I help myself, have done so a great deal, and I get help, have been doing so for years. But it's slow, and it's hard, and it makes me tired and angry and sad, because what I really want is not to have to do all this work but to be rescued.
The point about being rescued in spite of resisting - of having the incredible freedom of being able to fight with all the resistance inside you and be rescued anyhow - that got lost in the conversation. We couldn't talk about everything. But it's important. I need to explore more why stories in which people fight against help and yet get helped anyhow make me so furiously jealous and bitter, why it makes me tired and angry that I have to deal with all my resistance myself, go out and get the help, and never scare it off if I want any chance of it. And I do. So I do. But I wish I wish I wish I didn't have to. But if I don't, then I don't get help. It's that simple. If I fight it, if I hide the need, then I don't get help. If you want help, you have to not just ask for it, you have to make it simple and easy for people to help you, or you won't get it. That's what I have learned. I hate it. I want to be that horrible character who hides everything and fights everything, but gets the sympathy of the text and the happy ending anyhow, but that doesn't exist.
She asked me - the me she was talking to - if I couldn't come away from where I was, to live with my adult self and Julian, in a safe world. I struggled with this - the 'I' I was then - and told her maybe I could, but that would mean leaving the ones who couldn't behind. I said, "We've been abandoned enough."
She agreed. She said she would never want me to abandon myself. She said, why can't the others come?
I said, "They're tied up."
She said, "Tied up? Do you mean literally or--no. Literally."
...there were things about talking. I don't remember the transition. It's hard to remember - I, me, writing this, was there but not there, or not fully there. I was half-asleep. I said I didn't know because we don't tell.
She said, why not?
I said, people will be angry.
She said, Which people?
I thought. The parts of me that were passing answers up to me to pass along to her were keeping silent on some things. I could feel it. I said, well, for instance, my brother. I had told him a little and it had made him angry, so I didn't tell him any more.
I said, like my other extended family members. They would get mad.
She said, "Your mother and father?"
I frowned and shook my head. I said, "They don't exist any more."
More stuff I'm missing.
She wanted to know if I could make a deal with myself that I would just tell her for a time. I tried to tell her how bad this was. I told her I understood what she meant, but in my ears it was just her telling me that I had to keep things secret. I said, I couldn't have any secrets, but I had to keep everything secret. I had to tell everything, but I can't tell anyone else.
I meant, I have to tell them everything, I can't have any secrets from them, but then they say I can't tell anyone else anything. But I couldn't even say the word 'they,' let alone say who 'they' were. If I had said 'they' she would have asked, so I didn't. I think she understood anyhow.
I didn't know that, until I told her and me-that-was-half-there-and-listening, that I had always had the weird double-binding: no secrets allowed, no privacy, no inner self, but everything kept secret from everyone else. And I did those things. I became an expert. I kept the secrets so well that no one ever wondered about me, no teacher ever questioned if I should be going home at night. But I spilled every secret, I had no walls, I had no skin. I was not permitted. It would have been a violation of relationship to have a self, and I needed that - those? - relationship(s).
I told her that I wrote about things here because feeling like I wasn't allowed to say things was bad. I meant, secrets I have to keep are toxic, but those words didn't fit inside my head the way I was then. They weren't made for that mouth.
So even though she meant it as a protective thing, that I could tell her things but not have to tell everyone, I heard it as, you would be telling me, but not telling anyone else. I heard it as poison.
And then there was stuff about ending, and untying the ones who were still tied up, and caring and she made promises, which terrified me because I came so close to believing them, and nothing gets you hurt more than believing a promise like that. I'll...maybe I'll write about it later. That's enough for now.