Sunday, January 24, 2010
There is no monster in your house, Grace...turn the light on and look around. You are safe now.
The therapist tells me I should not sit in the dark. I know she thinks I never listen to her or work on my own to improve the nights as they exist currently, but I do. And so I’ve been trying to leave a light or two on at night. But it doesn’t seem to make any difference. I find myself in this paradoxical conundrum: the little girl is afraid of the dark ~ but she can also hide in the dark. The therapist tells the 5 year old and CB that there is no reason to be afraid anymore. Turn on the light and see, Grace. There’s no monster there with you now. There is no lion in the room. Get up and turn the lights on, Grace. And do it now!
So in an effort to "learn" from the CB/5 year old freak out last night, I tried to remember what happened right before the irrational hide/shake fest began on the stairs. It happened another time last week. The running to the darkness of the stairs peering under the door to where the light is; heart racing, wating for the shadow to appear under the door... What the hell did she see that freaked her out? Because the goal is to figure it out-and "reframe" it so she doesn't freak out again, right? Was the freak out caused by a shadow on the kitchen counter?
I know it is hard for a non-crazybrain to take what I am saying at face value and not roll their eyes and call me psychotic – but at night she cannot hide when the lights are on! And there are freakish shadows in the light, and a freakish monster looking face on the counter in the kitchn. Yes, adult rational Grace understands that the monster face on the granite in the kitchen is a reflection of the pictures and stuff on the wall ~ but you cannot tell that to a 5 year old who was fucked by a monster. And she stood up from the chair (chair with the blue blanket on it) and looked into the kitchen, saw something, freaked out and ran straight for the stairs where she slammed the door shut and called the therapist in full-fledged crazybrain panic. It was obvious from the huge exasperating sigh on the other end of the phone that the therapist was not happy about the late night phone call but she helped crazybrain anyway.
The therapist said no one ever died from a panic attack and we weren’t going to die either. But it feels like it when can’t slow down your heart and you can’t breathe – it feels like you’re going to die. Anyway, the therapist helped calm CB down and she slept in the laundry room by the dryer with Hello Kitty blanket and blue blanket.
The therapist said she wasn’t mad, just tired (yeah, tired of Grace!). But the 5 year old did see a monster in the kitchen! I didn’t mean to make the therapist mad. I should be able to do it on my own. I should be able to count on the hus to help me sometimes...but the truth is – he’s sort of the monster too. I didn’t mean to make the therapist mad last night. I don’t think I’ll leave the kitchen light on at night anymore.