This one is a little out of left field, but stay with me. While I was reflecting this morning, an image came to mind really strongly. It’s when my son was very tiny, only a few weeks old, and the absolute worst part of my day was those few minutes after Hubby left for work. If I close my eyes, I can actually see me sitting up in bed with him, looking out the window at the tail lights of the car as Hubby left for work. I used to feel physically sick with anxiety and dread – I had virtually no one close by I could rely on. My son was a serious screamer and rarely slept during the day. I was exhausted, clueless, and extremely depressed. The thought of the whole day stretching ahead of me, this giant void of pukey/screamy/responsibility filled time that I had to pass, was terrifying. So I used to just sit in the bed, watching the rain going horizontally across the front of the house (February/March in the west generally aren’t pretty) and feel the panic rise in me.
As I wrote the above, all of those feelings are as strong now as they were then. I can try and logic them out of my system – it was almost 9 years ago. I no longer have babies, my life is a million miles away from what it was then. But the emotion? It’s still there. This is one of the things that Therapist 3.0 has been trying to get across to me, that when emotions aren’t processed properly they get stuck, and re-emerge in the future in places where they don’t belong and don’t make sense. If we don’t do anything about trying to process those emotions, they’ll stay stuck, and they’ll keep re-emerging.
I used to think that if I had mentioned something once in therapy that was enough. I had talked about it, therefore it was dealt with and I couldn’t come back to it. No one told me this, it was just my understanding. Maybe if I had asked the right questions, I could have been set straight on this. But I didn’t ask. So every time I found myself coming back to ground we’d already covered, I felt like I was wasting time, looking for attention, trying to make out that things were worse than they were.
What I now know is that if those times are still bothering me, there’s good reason for it. Ignoring them won’t make a blind bit of a difference, other than keeping them firmly trapped inside me. They’ll keep coming back, in ways that make no sense at all. It occurred to me as I was writing about watching Hubby leave in the mornings, that those few minutes were the worse, that there may be a correlation there with Therapist 1.0. The hardest part of my week when I was seeing her, was leaving her office, walking down the stairs, and knowing that it would be a full week before I would see her again – the sense of fear and loss and loneliness was the same. Did the two things get tied together in my head? Is that even possible?
I don’t know if I’m making any sense, I’m still so very new to this and trying hard to figure it out as I go. But it feels like I’m on the right track. I made huge strides in moving on from the loss of Therapist 1.0 after 3.0 had me retell the story of our last 6 months over and over again. With each telling, the pain, the heartbreak, lessened. It’s still there a little, but no where near what it was. Fi popped that image of me watching Hubby leave into my mind this morning out of absolutely nowhere, so I’m guessing that’s where I have to go next.