Yesterday I was really apprehensive about going to see Therapist because I knew that this need I have been feeling to have contact with her had to be addressed. I didn't know what the outcome of the conversation would be, and was on the one hand afraid that she would tell me I needed to be working with someone else, and on the other, hoping she would say that so I could run away from the pain of this need. Either way, it didn't happen.
I read her what I had written yesterday. It all needed to be said. I've been dancing around it for such a long time, but I knew there was no way I would either express it properly, or even remember what I wanted to say, if I didn't read from the post. It was really, really hard. I cried a lot. I physically shook from head to toe. I felt completely exposed and so vulnerable, I wasn't able to look at her at all. I don't think I can do justice through words to the intensity of what I felt yesterday. I've had difficult, tear filled, emotional sessions before, but this was different. She asked me if I could control this impulse to contact her, and honestly, I had to say no, because I don't think I can and I'm not prepared to make a promise I can't keep. It's so strange, it's like what I'm feeling is some primal, base instinct, and while the rational side of me knows that it's just a feeling, at this point, it is simply too strong to brush aside and ignore. I hope you can understand what I'm trying to express, and at the same time, I hope you never find yourself in the position of understanding it because you're experiencing it too.
Anyway, the outcome of all of this was acceptance, plain and simple. She didn't dismiss what I was feeling, or try and tell me more about transference. She didn't bollock me out of it for mailing her, yet again, when I shouldn't. She did what she's supposed to do. She let me cry, she helped me start to explore where all this is coming from, and we figured out a plan to help me manage these feelings until we can work through them. Together. She gently reminded me of why there are boundaries in place, and why we both need them, much and all as I wish it weren't the case.
Yesterday's session left me feeling bruised, raw and extremely vulnerable. It was a combination of finally, finally saying out loud what has been on my mind for the longest time, and acceptance. Yes, it's been acknowledged before, but I've never been able to describe it so accurately, or bring myself to actually say it to her - in the past the furthest I've gotten is getting her to read something I've written about it. Really, without verbalising it myself, I'm keeping a safe distance from the pain, and more importantly, not fully addressing it. As for acceptance? This was the other face of acceptance. Accepting ourselves as we are is something we all struggle with, we all have something we'd like to change. But feeling so completely accepted by another person is incredibly powerful. I don't know how many of you keep up with me on facebook, but this is how I described it on my way home yesterday (while I cried, on a bus, by myself. Yup, I am that person).
Acceptance in its purest form is simultaneously the most beautiful and liberating, yet emotionally painful experience I've had in a long time.
I can't think of a better way to explain it. I finally expressed something that fills me with such shame and self loathing, and I wasn't met with disgust, or judgement, or ridicule. I was met with compassion, empathy, kindness and above all, acceptance. Yesterday, even that was too much, I simply couldn't comprehend it, never mind take it on board. I was completely overwhelmed. But I think I've started down a really important road, and I'm intrigued to see where it will lead.
|I can't find the original source of this image, but if I find out I'll credit. It's beautiful.|
Labels: acceptance, boundaries, compassion, crying, emotion, empathy, honesty, inner child, kindness, listening, shame, support, therapist, transference, understanding