More threads by pocono


I haven't posted in a while. I have previously posted when I've been at my lowest and needed extra support. Today I'm posting to share and marvel at a wonderful therapeutic moment.

My therapist and I have been painstakingly walking through the traumatic memories of my past. It has been a cruel cycle of me remembering, talking, going through a cycle of flashbacks, dissociation, and then severe depression. In the middle of this usually gets thrown in some kind of "disruption" where I get furious with him and he (and I) work to repair the rift.

We've been through two watershed kinds of rifts which have been extremely painful, though ultimately have somehow left our relationship stronger rather than weaker. He has hung in with me through really incredible anger, depression, rage -- fury. He has made mistakes, but always moved towards me -- never away. And as a result, trust has grown.

We have now been through all the memories once. It feels like a new phase in the therapy -- there is more to talk about, but at least it isn't all brand new ground. For the past few weeks we have been discussing....gearing up talk more about some of the more painful memories. I want to get to the point where I can say what happened to him (my therapist) without the world crashing in around me. Somehow it feels like if I can get to the point where I can get the memories out of pictures and into the abstraction of words, it will help kill the flashback cycles. That is the hope in any case.

Last week I was expressing my fear that once again talking about things would be cruelly disruptive. What happens first is that I get dissociative (can't find the edges of where I start the couch begins), I loose my sense of connection....I feel all alone....utterly alone. My therapist was saying that he does not think it will be so disruptive this time through and that I would not experience the isolation to such profound depths. I was incredulous -- how could he think that???

First he said "because our relationship has changed". I agreed that there was more trust between us, but I was still pretty skeptical. Then he said "well, I can say this for myself -- I don't think you will feel as disconnected because I feel more connected to you." I heard him, heard his effort to reassure me....but kind of filed it away in my brain. I could not quite process the statement all at once.

I thought about it over the weekend though, kind of savoring it somewhat, thinking how good it felt to have him say that to me. When we met this week, I told him that had meant a lot to me. And then to my surprise I got choked up and started to cry. Once again -- I could feel him move towards my emotion not away and together we tried to sort out what I was feeling. I found myself thinking that he had touched me. And as I said this over and over in my head -- I had this big debate with myself about whether that was ok -- safe, allowed bad or good.

Once, during our first year working together he had shaken my hand. It was a session right before New Year's eve, and it is his practice to shake his patients hands that week. Well, the gesture had totally freaked me out -- I got extremely frightened, and it took us weeks to repair the damage of trust that that handshake had caused.

So now, he had "touched me" again, only this time it felt good, not scary. I finally was able to tell him out loud that he had, in fact, touched me. At first I asked him if it was ok, and he said yes. And then I was able to say also that it was ok.

I was, at that moment, filled with a deep sense of gratitude and awe at him and the relationship we have been able to develop. I told him this, and he did not seem frightened, uncomfortable or anything. In fact, he said he "cherished those words.) This moved me even more. It was an overwhelming experience, that I have been continuing to savor, mull, try to understand.

I think the only other times I have been so overwhelmed with emotion for another human being has been with my own children -- that lump I get in my chest sometimes when I have watched them sleep or held them when they have been sick.

I certainly never expected I could or would have such a feeling for an older man....wariness is my usual way of operating.

I don't know how this post will sound to other people. I have no one (besides my therapist) to whom I can tell this story, share my wonder. I quite sure my husband would have difficulty hearing this. So I'm grateful to be able write here to those of you who will read this.

Thank you.
Re: a wonderful moment

I get that overwhelming emotion with my therapist too. He's just great and it is just that, overwhelming. I can't really describe it. I don't like to think about it too much because it overwhelms me. And my husband definitely would have difficulty hearing it.

This sounds really good for you. :)
Re: a wonderful moment

pocono that is a beautiful post. you are very lucky to have developed such a relationship of trust with your therapist :) thank you for sharing.


Re: a wonderful moment

I would of ran for the hills like a screaming maniac if he had done that with me!...But for you Pocono, I am glad you feel comfortable with it and that it made you feel good...RIMH
Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.