Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's a long, long road from here to there...and I am drained tonight...

Late Tuesday afternoon, dear therapist called me to tell me she would be available during the evening until 10pm if I wanted or needed to talk. She did the same thing on Sunday night. I think she is trying to encourage me to call her rather than email her when I am in distress. I was ‘ok’ last night so I didn’t call her but I was happy that she thought about me and called me to check on me.

I had an appointment today with DT and I always feel so ashamed when we have a freak out session as we did on Monday night. But, DT is always the same, never criticizing my freak-out rants. As soon as I sat down today, she asked me why I didn’t call her Monday or Tuesday. I told her that I was okay on Tuesday night, and I think it helped me that she called me earlier that after noon. This may sound strange but sometimes it helps me just to know that she is there if I need her.

DT asked me why I am so angry with her and I told her I hate her new time limits and there are times when I need her after 10 and she isn’t there anymore, she used to be, and now she isn’t. I went on to add, that the new time limits coincided with the new relationship with her new boyfriend, and that I hate her new boyfriend and her because my mother always picked men over me, and I feel like DT did it on purpose because it’s exactly the same. She understood why I feel that way.

When sad, scared little Gracie reaches out for DT at night and she isn’t there, Gracie pictures DT as the “host body” (mother) and then she pictures DT drunk and passed out in the bedroom next to hers because that’s what always happened. Is that helpful? Not really. And Gracie started to cry.

DT asked, “What happened on Monday night? From what I could ascertain from your emails, you were very angry at me and then you became very sad and scared and you weren’t able to soothe yourself.”

“I don’t know.” Grace said quietly. “Scared…my body hurt, my hips hurt, I was scared to go to sleep because my body hurt so badly. I couldn’t get comfortable in bed, so I got up and laid down in the hallway. I curled up into a ball and rocked back and forth. I wanted my gramma.”
“What would your gramma do for you if she was there?” DT questioned.

“She didn’t come to get me. And neither did you!” Grace sobbed. “Sometimes I send you and gramma telepathic messages, telling you how scared I am – he’s hurting me, please help me. But you don’t answer.” Grace is now curled into a ball with one of DT’s pillows, rocking back and forth, no longer safe in DT’s office, but back in the past.

DT repeats her question, “What would gramma do for you if she was here now?”
“She would hold me!”

“What else? Would she wrap her arms around you?” DT asked, “Did she rock you like you’re rocking yourself now?”

“Yes,” Grace cried, “She rocked me in her old gold rocking chair and she sang to me….bye-o-baby.”

“Can you hear her now?” Grace doesn’t answer DT. “Grace, do you know where you are? Can you hear my voice? Do you have tunnel vision? Look up at me. Grace, can you look up a minute?”

Grace looks up briefly, puts her head back down and continues to cry. “Grace,” DT says, “Can you hear my voice?” Grace nods. “Do you want gramma now, Grace?”

“No cause you’re here. My stomach hurts, I’m going to throw up”

“You’re in my office, can you hear my voice? Do you hear the water in the fountain? Can you hear the sound machine? These things are all unique to my office. You’re safe here, Grace. You’re not 5, or 13, or 18, Grace, you’re 38 and you’re safe now. No one can hurt you in here.”

Grace continues to cry, and softly whisper, “I want my gramma,” over and over again.

DT reminds her to breathe. After a few minutes Grace looks up and sees DT taking notes. DT never takes notes during session, and wonders why she’s doing it today. As though reading her mind, DT tells Grace that she’s taking notes so she can help come up with a plan to help Grace stay grounded at night.

Grace stopped crying and felt a wave of anger, “Do you think I want to be like this at night? Do you think I want to cry and feel rage and send you 30 emails telling you how much I hate you and then become scared and cry because I want you? How borderline is that? I don’t want to die!”

“No, I don’t think you want that, “DT says gently, “Do you think you can just let it be without judging it. Acknowledge that you are doing the best you can do right now? I know you don’t want to die, Grace. I understand that. I know how much you struggle, and I know that sometimes there doesn’t seem to be another option for you. I know that. I see it at the hospital every week – and I know it’s real for you. I know how easy it is for some people to say, ‘well, there’s this choice, and this choice’ but it doesn’t feel like that for you. We are working to get adult Grace to recognize the triggers and then to be able to stay grounded, in adult Grace form at night. You can do this. You need things to reassure you that you are an adult, you’re not in the trailor anymore, you’re in your house, with your husband and children. You can look around your bedroom, and see a picture of your daughter and say, oh, yes, I’m an adult, safe in my own home, I see the new shoes I bought at Macy’s last week, and a picture of my children, I hear my husband breathing next to me.”

“But when you say it like that, and I can’t do it, I feel like a failure!”

“Grace, you’re not a failure, I don’t expect you to be able to do it tonight. This is a long process.” DT said in her reassuring voice. “In fact, getting through everything that’s happened to you, working through all of it, can take 10-15 years.”

“Thanks, I’m looking forward to lying on the bathroom floor rocking in an effort to soothe myself, and sending you and my gramma telepathic messages to help me when I can feel him at night.” Grace says sarcastically. “It’s just that everything has come easy for me, from a cognitive perspective. I never studied, not even in college, and always made the honor roll. I always wonder why it takes my peer at work 3 days to do something that takes me 2 hours. But I cannot seem to do this ~ and it’s so frustrating!”

“I know, but if you tell yourself you’re never going to be able to do it – it’s going to take twice as long for you to learn it.” DT states.

“I know, I hear you,” Grace says, “I hear you…and I hope I don’t go borderline on you tonight.”

Grace left DT’s office feeling better, knowing that even if the girls don’t understand DT is here for us, even if they question her care, and say they can’t trust her, I know in my adult, logical mind that she is here, and that she does care.

And after today’s appointment, I am emotionally and physically drained! *YAWN* Maybe I can actually sleep tonight .

*Grace crosses her fingers*


  1. My dear one, after reading this entry, I am so touched. Touched that even maybe in your eyes and the others, you do not see progress. DT is trying her best and I would totally be grateful for a t. to actually let me call them when I could! DT is special, and I know you have said this in the past also.
    Grace, I do hope you were able to sleep. You made some good progress here dear one!
    Thank you for sharing !
    ((((safe 'rocking' hugs))))

  2. Thank you, JBR,
    I am thankful for DT too (at least the 'logical' Grace is...the problems tend to happen when my immune system is down and the 'borderlines' take over... God only knows why she hangs in there and puts up with all of our crap, but she does. Maybe during the nights the girls take over she can still see the glimpse of the adult Grace. Or maybe she just doesn't want to give up because she doesn't want to fail...LIKE ME!
    Whatever the reason...I'm happy to have her. And in the logical moments, I feel her care and support.
    ((HUG)) back to you...
    ~ Grace

  3. Dear one, I think the reason DT stays with you, as does my t. is because "they" see the potential down the line and the freedom awaiting us. As however long it takes!!!

  4. As the darkness has fallen here, the darkness falls upon me...what if it takes to long, what if it never happens?
    What if I can't see it?