Tuesday, July 28, 2009


So I got my ass kicked in therapy the other night... I got a not so subtle push from my therapist to get moving in the right direction again. I guess I have been at some sort of a plateau as of late but sometimes I don't see that as all bad either. However, the longer I stay in one place emotionally, the more I realize that where I am is not where I want to remain.

It's almost sad; I am in a better place than I have ever been in my life. I have a great husband, an amazing daughter, a home, a job, food, and even a great dog. But the other night when my therapist asked if I was happy, as much as I wanted to answer "yes", I knew that my answer was "no". How much of a spoiled brat do I sound like right now? Probably a pretty big one.

Where my feelings diverge is where happy and grateful form a fork in the road. I truly am grateful for what I have. I am safe for the first time in my life. Seriously. But in my mental peripheral vision, I have blind spots and shadows. My depth perception and judgement are clouded and compromised. I have a lingering sadness in my heart.

I'm great at faking. I fake my way through my work day. I'm a VP at one of the largest corporations in the world and I do my job very well. I keep my husband laughing when we are together. I'm also a pretty good mom. But I'm a faker and I crumble when no one is looking. I could probably go through life continuing to fake my feelings but I don't think that would yield the relationships that I desire. Good but not great.

I have homework this week. Spend nine minutes telling my husband how I feel. Literally saying the words "I feel ______". He gets to listen and say nothing and then after those nine minutes, it's his turn. He is good at this assignment; I am not. That's why it is my homework and not his.

Feelings are messy. The first night we did this we got into a fight. We rarely fight. I also rarely share my feelings. I hope that is merely a coincidence and nothing more. I get nervous talking about how I feel. I'm afraid I will say something that will hurt; I'm afraid I will get hurt.

Another side effect of this assignment is the horrific nightmares and flashbacks I have been having. More intense than usual and the images stick with me long after the nightmare or flashback has finished. I guess that untapped feelings = untapped memories. I've tried all this before and after a few days I would quit. The feelings and memories were just too strong. This time however, I'm stronger.

The larger point in this exercise was for me to learn to express my feelings. But what I didn't expect was the growth in my relationship with my husband. Today was day four of the assignment and I can honestly say that I feel closer to him and more loved by him than ever before. I didn't expect this result but it makes me want to keep going.

Day five is tomorrow and I am almost looking forward to those nine minutes.


mtyler77 said...


I am so glad that you are in a safe place. You wouldn't believe how many nights I wake up in a cold sweat, gripped by panic, after dreaming I was back in my childhood bed being molested by my father or in a dark alley being raped by a stranger as an adult. Then, I look around and with such relief and gratitude, realize the enormity of just *feeling safe.* Feeling safe is so important.

Recovery/therapy, for me, has been a long process. You take 2 steps forward and then take a step back--then 2 steps forward and 2 steps back--sometimes, it is so painfully slow it doesn't seem that things will ever become better. But slowly, over time, things can and do get better.

Fake it until you make it--that's what I did. And it really did work because we CAN fool our mind to turn negative thought patterns into positive ones. Even if you don't mean it--keep faking it because in time, you will start believing it.

Here's a hug my sister--I have locked arms with you and all the sisters of the world who have experienced the horrors of abuse and trauma. We can all gather strength from one another.

Take care, my friend--


English Rider said...

Talk to us, please.

Deborah said...

I can't pretend to understand the effect your experiences have had on you, but I was struck by the strength behind your words. Your strength, I mean. I hope you write more - I'll be listening.