My therapist (T) never ceases to amaze me in making sense out of what seems so “crazy” in my head. Short answer – I am going through a “transitional phase” of healing right now that is very positive.
When I was in my “crazy place” over the weekend, I sent my T an email where I poured out all of my “crazy” emotions. Then, I emailed him later in a much more logical manner when I had calmed down. My T said that the first email was actually the most helpful, which I took to mean showed him how “crazy” I am, but that’s not what he meant. He said it showed the most growth, and he was actually BEAMING when he said it!
My T said that, when I was in therapy before (several years ago) and working through the flashbacks, etc., I was just learning how to feel. I was not ready for what we need to work on now, which is how to manage and express my emotions without feeling overwhelmed by them or judging them. I am going to be seeing my therapist regularly again through this transitional period with a focus on learning how to handle my emotions without being swept away by them.
My “homework” until my next session is to stop explaining myself. My T says that I am a very functional person and that I make good decisions. I need to stop assuming that I am “wrong” whenever there is conflict in a relationship, and I do not have to explain to anyone else my reasons for what I do. He says that I am a good person who makes good choices, and I don’t have to let myself feel “put on the spot” or defensive in my relationships.
We also talked about relationships for a while. He said that most relationships have a beginning, middle, and end. That is the normal cycle of a relationship. Most relationships don’t last forever. They come into your life for a season, such as relationships with your schoolmates during college, and then they end as you move on to the next phase of your life. He said that I need to ask myself what purpose each relationship is serving in my life and make sure it is based on where I am today, not where I was in the past.
He also said that there needs to be room for me in my relationships. He pointed out that all of my intense emotions did not run off one of my closest friends, who also sees him for therapy. I was not “good” or “bad” by expressing my emotions. I was simply me, and my friend accepted that I was “being me” even when I wasn’t being “pleasant.” What matters is that, over the long-term, the give and take between the two parties balances out.
We covered a lot more ground, but that’s the basic gist. It was so helpful to hear a professional that I trust tell me that I am making progress and that this is an expected part of healing. I had not seen anything about this phase of healing in any of my healing books, so I was really questioning why I seemed mostly emotionally stable for six years and then so “crazy” out of nowhere. It helps to believe in his assessment of me when I am questioning myself.
Oh ~ I almost forgot … My T said that the reader who posted a comment about “compassionate awareness” is brilliant and really “gets it.” He loved that expression! :0)
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt