Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I saw Susan tonight. We talked primarily about Question #9 in the post below. About why I had the urge to contact Tom after I saw him at the ER. It was fairly easy for me to get to the bottom of that urge. What disappointed and angered me after I put my finger on the answer was the realization that I've been here before. I don't recall what prompted it before but I had the exact same conclusion after a previous situation with Tom. I asked Susan how I end up stuck here and what I have to do to move past it.
Susan asked me what I was looking for in my fantasy. In this fantasy I have where I give Tom/my father the opportunity to see the pain they created in my life, what would it give to me if either of them took the bait and told me how sorry they were for what they had done. Validation, I answered in a moment of honesty. But then the armor goes up and the anger returns. "But I don't NEED it. I don't need their stupid validation. *I* know what I've been through. I don't need either of them to know it or admit it. It doesn't change anything."
Susan told me to notice the intense resistance I have to the idea that I *need* validation of my pain. I said "Of course I'm resistant to it. I don't want to need it because I'm not going to get it. It doesn't do me any good to need it."
One of Susan's little catch phrases: "You can only heal what you feel" She tells me that the need exists now because the need existed then when I was a little girl. It wasn't met then and so I've stuffed it away and denied it. The need still exists today because I've continued to deny it. She said I need to acknowledge that the need exists and that it was/is a human need I had/have as his daughter. She asked me to tell her what it would mean to connect emotionally to that need.
Inevitable Disappointment. That's what it would mean.
Yes, Susan said....because as a child, I learned it was no good to have needs. At the very least needs will not be met. Or worse, I would even be punished for having or stating needs. It became safer to not have them at all.
Susan said to release the rational thoughts that try to explain all this away; allow an emotional connection to the pain of not having my needs met as a child. For about 3 seconds, I made the connection and then something happened that I probably can't do justice to in an explanation. My mind literally attacked this connection and assaulted it. I could see it in my head as if this connection was being beaten down by a group of other hateful thoughts who were shouting "You're making this up! This isn't true! It's not as bad as you think it was! Get over yourself! Quit exaggerating!" They beat this new connection right down into submission until it was afraid to re-emerge. I've never experienced something like that in my life and it was bizarre.
I love that Susan never makes me feel crazy when I experience such odd things. Yes, she said, so understanding....sometimes you can only allow a connection for a short period because it's so painful. She said I stopped acknowledging my needs long ago because they brought on too much pain and discomfort. This is why I detest my humanity.....because being human means needing. And I hate to need because need equals rejection and pain. How I will manage to make a connection to this need again, I have no idea. But apparently it's what I need to do in order to work it out.

1 comment:

Patricia Singleton said...

Kim, yes it is painful connecting with that need. Give yourself credit for staying it with it as long as you did. Next time the connection will be longer. Give yourself time and credit for the courage that facing your issues takes. Be proud of what you are doing. You deserve acknowledgment and validation from yourself. Accept that you may never get it from your parents. Become your own parent and validate your own needs.

That critical voice in your head is yours. It wasn't always. It started out belonging to your parents. You can give it back to your parents by acknowledging that it is what you heard your parents say to you when you were a child. Today, you don't have to listen to that critical voice. Do things for yourself that validate you as a person. Do the things for yourself that you need from your parents and aren't getting. Allowing your daughter to feel whatever she feels is a very good start.

It is ok to feel whatever you feel. It is acceptable. It is right. It is what children do. It is what healthy adults do. There is nothing wrong with feeling what you feel when you feel it.

I had to learn to feel again so I know that you can do it. How did I do it? By feeling that connection that you talked about one minute at a time until I no longer stuffed feelings. It doesn't happen in an instant. The work is worth doing. The feelings will come back. Actually they never really went away. They are just stuffed so deeply inside of you. They will come back when you feel safe enough to let them. Susan sounds like a great person to help you do this work.

I am not a counselor. I am just another survivor who has been where you are right now. You can do it.