Today I went to therapy and had what may have been my best appointment yet. I woke up feeling off this morning. I typically wake up with a lot of anxiety coursing through me and today was no different. If I had dreams, I don't remember them. Since I had been a good girl and filed for unemployment I decided to take some time and write. I wrote a chapter in my new (revised book) and upon further reflection, I'm probably going to scrap it. Such are the woes of the online author. But at least I sat down and put in the work so that was cool. One of the other things I did was listen to the difference between violins in different price ranges. It was interesting to hear music being played on instruments that have existed since the 1700s and how the notes changed as the violins went up in price. While I'll probably never be in the market for a musical instrument that costs upwards of a hundred thousand dollars, it was a neat little video and I may watch more of that type of thing just to get a better appreciation for the mastery of craftsmanship that goes into the making of timeless classic instruments of beauty.
My therapist does this technique called brainspotting, it's related to EMDR, I've written about this elsewhere, but haven't done it in a while so I forgot how completely exhausting it can be. I told her about getting fired and she was basically like - are you kidding me, what are these people thinking, do they not understand the liability issues at hand? She thinks I will get unemployment, but I'm not as optimistic about that as she is. They wanted me gone and I'm sure their case against me will be strong. Before the brainspotting exercise she told me that I had to go through the grief process and it was important not to rush it. She told me to feel my feelings - the loss, the rejection, the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment of being fired even if I wanted to leave the job and wasn't very happy there at the end, the hurt, the pain, the loneliness, the anger and indignation, the betrayal, whatever I'm feeling I'm supposed to write about it and not hold back. This is very difficult for me, but I understand it is part of the healing process as it was explained to me by her. This is basically a refresher for me, it was a traumatic event, and I need to recover before I can move forward.
I'm getting ahead of myself with this next item, but I picked up a few groceries after I left therapy today. I was going to write out a list and take cash, but I found myself on that side of town so I decided to just give in and get what I needed. The good news is that I only spent about twenty dollars. The bad news is it was much harder to walk into a grocery store where I was very impersonally treated than I thought that it would be. Putting a few things into a bag by myself was no big deal, I've been doing that since I was a very young child, but all of a sudden I remembered how beautifully that guy I love packed my groceries and then I was crying on my way out of the store. I'll probably never see him again and that is a much larger loss than anything else I'm losing since I was involuntarily terminated. He's someone very special to me, I drove home thinking about the conversations we had, the times when we weren't getting along, and I want to reach out to him, but I don't know what to say, or how that would be received, or even if that's the right decision because now I'm questioning virtually everything in my life.
It's not just the way that he looks although that's certainly a part of it, the way he made me feel, very safe, incredibly loved, valuable, worthy, he has come a long way since I first met him and I'm really proud of him because I know that people are not nice to him at work, but he keeps to himself because that's who he is. While I recognize that he's not perfect, and never will be, I can also understand a lot of why he acts the way that he does. It goes back to bullies, victims, and the way certain people's minds work. He is a very deep and I suspect very loving person who has been rejected many times. He has incredibly compassionate eyes, they're very expressive, I wrote a poem that I never gave to him, it's short, I was writing poems for other people I worked with, but I was too shy to give him his. I stuck it in my bag and went on with handing out poems to other people. I came across it the other day when I was cleaning. I found the one I had written for my boss too. My therapist thinks I can still use her as a reference, I'm not sure that's a good idea even though I'm pretty sure she would say nice things about me.
Whatever I read on brainspotting has been mostly forgotten, today my therapist told me to center the pointer where I felt it the strongest. Once we found the spot I listened to the waves go into one ear and through to the other. She asked me what I was noticing, at first it was just the tension in my lower abdomen. I got into it and then I told her it felt like a baby. She told me to notice it, then she asked if there was anything else. I told her it felt like the baby had been crying for so long it finally gave up because nobody was coming to get it and pick it up and hold it. She told me to notice that and then she told me to invite Jesus in to see the baby. It felt strange and awkward, but she's there to help me, so I did. I'm not sure when I started crying, but pretty soon I had tears rolling down my face. I told her that Jesus was there and he was putting the baby down for a nap. He was there, the baby was laying on its stomach, his hand was stretched out over the baby, but not actually touching it. The room gradually grew darker. He told the baby that he wanted it to sleep, but it was going to be a different kind of nap than the ones it had taken previously.
We got to the point where the baby woke up, I told her it felt like he wanted the baby to take a twelve hour nap, and when the baby woke up it wouldn't remember any of the things that it had been through previously. She asked me who the baby was and I said it was me. I was really crying by this point in time. The trapped emotions had been partially released which is an important part of the exercise, and I really don't care if it does sound kind of out there or crazy to others, because it helped me. When she asked if I had ever been abandoned or neglected as a child or infant I didn't know what to say. I don't think that I had, she asked if my mom had been depressed, I didn't know what to say to that either. My parents didn't have a lot of money, my mom stayed home with me, we had people who lived in the same apartment building who took me and watched me, for a while I had letters she had written to my mom about watching me. It was pretty basic stuff about what I ate and played with, I was a baby so it's not terribly exciting stuff, I'm kind of scared to look back in my personal file for those memos because I think I may have tossed them in a spree of 'decluttering'.
My therapist said that she thinks that while the immediate problem is me getting fired, this is somehow triggering something very deep that I didn't realize about myself. I'm going through life trying to find people who will nurture and care for me, and then I'm kind of bewildered when the people I know don't. She said that's why the baby stopped crying, because 43 years is a long time to cry, eventually you stop believing that anyone is going to come and pick you up when you cry. That's not been the experience so you stop using tears as a way to attract attention. My mom once said something about the people who are under oppressive rule and how they don't pick the babies up when they cry, they go to the babies when they are calm because a crying baby might alert others to the fact that these people who are in hiding exist. While I get the point of what she was saying, we are hardly living in an opppressive state where we might be discovered by a child crying. I'm not a parenting expert even though I like to play one on TV (haha), I tried to let my children know that I was there for them when I could be, but sometimes they had to cry it out because mom had a higher priority at the moment like when the dishwasher was leaking all over the floor.
I don't want to hear that I should go home and rest. I would much rather go out and look for a job, but I know that she is right if she tells me that this is a time to heal and a time to reflect, take care of myself, to write, to read, to relax, and to just be. When I tried asking her what kind of a job I should apply for she looked right at me and told me I could do anything. Obviously this isn't a literal statement, but there's truth in it. I have a lot of skills that apply to many jobs. She told me that I will move into job search mode when I am ready, and I've already gotten texts from people in my family who think that I should be pounding the job search harder. I've been there, I've done that. This time I'm going to find the right job. I'm not going to rush it, I'm not going to get a job just because my mom, my sisters, my aunt, or anyone else thinks that I should be gainfully employed again. As a side note, one of the first things my therapist told me was that a client of hers had a husband who just went out into the garage and killed himself. She assured me that I hadn't done anything wrong, others have said the same thing, but hearing it from her was more reassuring somehow because I do think back and wonder if I should have handle things differently.
It's 6:00 PM and I am very ready for bed. I did a lot of writing, I took a bath, I ate some food, I went grocery shopping and bought a couple of things. I am completely exhausted from reviewing the trauma with her. It felt like it was happening all over again when I had to tell her about it. I'm so incredibly grateful that I have her in my life. She's rarely steered me wrong, I trust her, I've learned from her, and I know that this too shall pass and rushing the process isn't smart because it's like any other wound, it heals at its own pace and in its own time. One cool thing that I did was go back and change the ending of the chapter I wrote. Initially I had the main couple split before the chapter ended. This time I had them unite against a common enemy - his cousin who wants to stay at the place he's renting for free. It's a departure from the characters I had in my mind, it's a little shaky because it is new to me, but I think I'm on the right track. He stood up for her and she responds by sticking up for him so that was neat to see. I write so much about conflict that writing about people getting along and supporting each other seems strange. Maybe I need to do more of that. Maybe I need to write more about how beautiful and special being loved is because I need more of that in my life right now. Maybe you do too, if so, I hope you get all of that and more.
P.S. I really wanted to go paint something today. Job search just dropped on my priority list. There will be time to search for jobs and I'm trusting myself to know when that moment arrives, and prepare for it accordingly. Until then, I just have to rest, relax, love, grow, and continue to heal.