Saturday, February 21, 2009

Connections...Connections....

I saw Susan this morning and went with little on my agenda. I figured we'd talk about my anxiety surrounding Bianca going to Kindergarten and making the right decision for her school. It's often the sessions I have "nothing" to talk about that I get the most out of.
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When I got there, I started off just filling her in on what's been happening since I last saw her. Told her about our long weekend in NH. Then started in on the stress of the happenings when I returned to the office. I was discussing what she and I have talked about before; how I know everything is about choices and consequences but how I feel like I just can't get a handle on things. There has to be a happy medium between where I am and where I'd like to be. Susan asked me how I was feeling at that moment and I said I was wound up. She had me do a centering exercise and then we started talking again. I said how I have such guilt over what is not getting done and this ever present sense of failure. She asked me where is the evidence that I'm a failure? I said "My back log at work, my messy house...." She then asked me where is evidence to the contrary, evidence of what I'm doing right? Umm. "I don't know" I said. She said "Sure you do," and asked me again. I said "um, Bianca?" She asked me what else and all I could see was what I did wrong, what I didn't accomplish, what I'm ashamed of. I can't see what I've done. I see only what I haven't. And I started to cry. So I knew we were onto something.
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Susan asked me what the "little girl" had to gain by holding onto the failures? Nothing. I mean, I know that intellectually. What does she have to lose by letting that go? "Familiarity," I answered. She asked me where this thinking comes from and I was easily able to answer that it was outside messages from my father.....stupid, worthless, nothing you do is good enough. And Susan asked me why I so desperately wanted to make him right? Blech. I don't. Nothing pleases me more than making him wrong! Yet I let his messages dominate my thinking about myself, my worth and my abilities.
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As she and I were discussing this, there were thoughts swirling in my head. It was really, really hard for me to say it but I knew it was a crucial point for me to acknowledge. "My weight," I whispered. "Somewhere in here, my weight plays a huge role. I have this 'fat and lazy' image in my head and I think I'm working so hard, trying to do more than anyone else to prove that I'm NOT fat and lazy yet at the same time, I'm creating a life where that is all I *can* be. Between my eating disorder and the choices I make, too much work, too high expectations, not enough sleep....I make sure that is exactly what I turn out to be." Phew.....the floodgates opened and I cried so hard.
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When I was done, my chest ached. I mean it ACHED. Because it's where I hold all my stress and pain. It hurt and yet it felt strangely hollow and very, extremely exposed. I hugged one of the pillows from her couch to my chest. She asked me get in touch with what emotion or feeling I had at that moment. I already knew......vulnerable. All I wanted to do was turn off her lights and hide in a corner in the dark. Desperately, my head sought out jokes I could make to break the intensity of what I was feeling. Susan said that I seemed much more "present" at that point. I told her I really didn't want to be present and it took all my energy to remain there emotionally and not to dissociate.
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After a few more minutes, I told her I was ready to change topics. I knew I'd put something huge out there but I needed to back off of it and mull it over later (knowing I'd come home to my blog!). I realize that I've made an enormous connection that challenges pretty much the entire way I live my life and judge myself. It's going to take alot of energy and processing and conscious thought to start to change the pattern. I'm committed to it but I'm scared to death.
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I took the last few minutes of my session to discuss my anxiety over Kindergarten. As we talked, I pondered how much of my feelings are "normal Mom" fears and how much is "survivor" fears. She validated that it's a tough thing to sort out since we, as survivors, have such struggle with "normal" and not knowing what it looks like. I mean, for me, 5 years old was not a safe age. So I project MY experience of being 5 onto Bianca, worrying that it will be as full of pain for her as it was for me. I don't want her to be afraid of the world but I was. I started talking about the fact that I'd be sending her out into the world and that I'd be so far away. An hour away. That has been really, really weighing on me. And as I said it, my eyes opened wide when the realization kicked in. This is about *my* mother. My mother wasn't "there" for me and my worry is that because I'm not physically close, Bianca will feel that I'm not there for her. When I know that is so not the case. Because emotionally, I am soooo there for her. Geographical proximity is not what establishes the ability to support her....it's in our relationship and what we build together in our home and in our time together. Ah, things are coming together. Perhaps, by the time she starts in August.....I may just survive it after all.

2 comments:

Maia said...

Wow Kim, sounds like you made some connections. You are so brave. I will say it again - Bianca is lucky to have such a great mother. I think the kindergarten thing is a big decision and it makes sense that you are so nervous about it. School is huge for kids. But it also sounds like you are in a position to make the best choice for YOUR kid.
Take care,
Maia

Enola said...

Sounds like a great session. I think the K feelings are probably normal "mama" feelings - just judging by what I've seen others go through and how I'm feeling too.

You are a great mother and a great person. You are one of the most dedicated employees I know. You are an awesome friend - the best. I ~think~ you probably sing pretty good, but you've not sent me a recording yet ;) (hint hint) You have a gorgeous daughter who is very smart. You could even say she is verbally advanced - LOL.

I remember the day my T asked me why I had such a need to be in control and why I feared being imperfect. It's an eye-opening thing to realize that it's okay to do things for yourself, and also to try things without doing them perfectly. It's okay to lessen your standards. It's okay to fall down. It's okay to ask for help. I know you'd tell me the same thing - so take some of your own advice ((Hugs))