Monday, 22 February 2010


If you like to read careful, well thought out, balanced thoughts, penned by the dim glow of understanding and hindsight which therapy allegedly affords us, please look away now.

In fact, look away anyway.

My therapy session...

I don't even think I can find words.
I haven't been able to think about any words she said.

She spoke about "mentalising".
(Don't ask me, never heard of it)

Apparently, according to her with the giant therapeutic crystal ball, my parents were unable to do this with my / our feelings.

So nobody heard them and nobody bore them.

Woe is me, I cry in mock distress.

What does she want me to do?
Throw a pity party for myself? The much loved, much encouraged, much adored eldest child who, by comparison to most of the population on earth, barely knows what it IS to suffer?
Does she want me to be upset because my parents, in their love and their desperation to bring us u to be moral and responsible members of society, deemed it okay to smack us sometimes?
Does she want me, in my comfortable Western world lifestyle, to weep and wail because things didn't work out quite the way they would have done in an ideal world?

I disgust myself and today, she disgusted me too.

I walked in today and she just pointed a gun at me and fired repeatedly until I told her that I couldn't take it anymore and I wanted to leave.

She stopped firing but somewhere, something had curled u during the shoot, hands over ears, feet drawn in tightly.
I don't even know what I felt, or if I felt at all.

I'm a mass of contradictions, she says.
I nod.
I'm caught in absolute extremes, she says.
I nod.
My parts are totally opposite extremes, she says.
Haven't you already said that? I nod.

It's because nobody could hear the feelings.
I stop nodding.
Nobody could bear them or make them manageable.

I don't believe this.

Okay, look at the evidence.
So I do.
And yes, it seems to be there, but I CAN'T reconcile it. Not with what I know about how loved we are.
I can't.

I'm not even touching the throbbing pain I have in my chest.
It sickens me as it pulses.
I breathe through my nose as nausea beats in waves, my mouth shut tightly.

Today her kindness made me want to snap myself into small, sharp pieces.
I hate her for it.
I don't want it. It will make me ill.
She will take it away and I will be left, a small, curled skeleton in the back of an hollow shell.


  1. Hi-

    Wow. I have no answers for you or explanations that I can express. I will say it is so good, healthy even, that you are writing about your therapy/therapist and having strong reactions. It means you are ALIVE and feeling, yes feeling, quite vividly I might add - vividly indeed! I am here and I believe in your journey ......

    Love Gail

  2. Hi WS
    Is it possible that what your therapist is trying to say is that while indeed your parents loved you they didn't necessarily know how to handle your feelings as a child?
    As a parent myself and knowing now what I have learned in therapy I can honestly say that loving your children and knowing how to always appropriately handle their feelings are not always the same thing.
    I would stand in front of a train for my son but I know now that there were many times when I failed miserably to properly the emotional support that he needed at various times.

    As a parent I can honestly say that to see your child in pain is just about the HARDEST thing one can endure and so we try to make it better or end it as quickly as possible or simply just not acknowledge it to the extent that maybe we should because we just cannot take it. My son has strong feelings and I find that very hard to deal with sometimes.

    Just because we're parents and just because we love our children doesn't mean we have the first clue how to appropriately handle their emotional needs. Hell most of us grew up with parents who had no clue how to handle emotions and so the cycle continues.

    Forgive me if I'm speaking out of turn here, certainly I do not mean to but it seems a little like maybe you're taking your therapist's interpretation of lack of necessary emotional support and turning into 'my parents didn't love me enough'.

    Or perhaps I'm just mentalising... whatever that is.

  3. When I told my darkest secrets - the ones that shouldn't even have names or words - my therapist said something about my father. I don't remember the exact words. I only remember feeling like I'd been punched in the stomach. Suddenly, the things he had done right, the memories of the "good father" felt like they were being pulled away from me.

    It was most of a week before I could tell her what I was feeling. I could not condone his behavior. Some things still feel unforgivable. How could she understand that I was feeling as if she was taking my father away when it probably seemed to her that was exactly what should be done?

    When I did explain it, she said things that have taken me more than a year to understand. I am right now planning a ceremony that will (I hope) mark the transition I have needed for so long. In this ceremony I will let go of all the things that were wrong, all the ugly things, but not the things I want to keep - those few precious moments of my life where I knew what it was to have a father.

    It sounds as if you have an awful lot more to keep than I do. Be glad. Hold those things and keep them and never let them go. Those are precious gifts to be kept safely inside where you need them most.
    Even so, even the most wonderful, loving, good-intentioned parent does not have all the answers.
    The essense of who they are is held in the good things you want to keep. The rest does not serve you. Let it go. Mourn its passing. Then move on.


  4. Hi there. I'm listening. Thanks for sharing your messy, real self with us :)

  5. Like Gail said, your strong reactions show how much alive you are. I am glad for that. Anything else I cant comment on, I am at loss there.Simply at a loss. Keep you in my thoughts and send you good vibes. Love from my heart to yours.

  6. I wanted to thank you all so much for your kind comments.
    In many ways it feels very hard to have such patience and understanding because there seems to be a part of me wanting to be dismissed.

    I have wanted to write some replies but it has just felt too hard to do so over the last few days.

    Gail - Thank you so much for "believing in my journey"
    I wanted to reply to your repost but I read it and just couldn't quite manage to... It gave me a lot to think about.
    Hope you are doing okay...

    jss - Well... could write quite a lot.
    I read what you wrote pretty soon after you left the comment but have just felt so unabke to reply. Perhaps partly because I haven't wanted to go anywhere near thetopic which left me in such turmoil on Monday.
    You weren't speaking out of turn and I always value your thoughts and your words. Always.
    You may be right that I was slightly misinterpreting my therapist's words. I can barely recall any of the session (so it's useful to have written here) but I think that I often feel that I have to protect my parents / family, although I don't understand why.
    I suppose that some part of me thinks that love should heal everything.
    Apparently not.
    Thank you for sharing your experience as a parent.
    I do understand that a lot of the time (in recent years anyway) my mum can't acknowledge sadness or hurt in any of us really. I know it's because it must be too hard for her to handle.
    Thanks jss, for your words and your understanding. x

    Andrea - Thank you. It's a wonder that I'm not feeling on top of the world these days after all your prayers. x

    Shen - Thank you for taking such time to rely so thoughtfully.
    Thank you for sharing a little of your experience and I am so sorry that you don't have more to 'keep' in terms of the good stuff.
    Sounds like you have been to hell and back.
    It feels necessary for me to ppoint out that although I realise it sounds as though I have suffered something traumatic, I haven't and I was not subject to abuse as a child.
    I was struck though, by your underanding of having something that you have believed in, contradicted or pulled away from you.
    It's quite frightening really.
    Good luck with your ceremony, Shen. I hope it brings some peace and a sense of closing to some of the things you have struggled with so much.

    Little M -Thank you for listening. x

    Paula - Thank you for your love and for the good vibes.

  7. Passing by to show some love, thinking of you

  8. hang in there ok....praying for always touch me with your writing. I think b/c you have so much passion which makes me agree with the others....that shows you're alive. You're a me...Never stop fighting....Sarah