Visual imagery

Thank you to everyone for your love and support during these dark days. Thanks to Ljane I have been visualising myself cosying up on the couch with you all. It’s lovely – thank you. 🙂

Things have been so dark, and I’m so very very tired. But I’m managing to put one foot in front of the other – day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute, if I have to.

Rational thought is returning so I’m able to blog sensibly. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I was struck by some imagery. This might sound a little crazy, but here goes.

1)  The “dark voice” I’ve been fighting is a mirror image of me, with all my ugly traits magnified a thousand fold. She screams and shouts at me like a fish wife, corroding every last shred of self I had left. She bullies the rational me constantly. The incessant noise and back talk drive me nuts. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to shut her up. But yesterday I tried something a little different: instead of yelling at her to be quiet, I thanked her. I told her she’s played an important role in my life, but I don’t need her right now. I’ll come back to her when I do. She’s quietened down a bit since then.

2)  I have an image of myself on the edge of the abyss. It’s a cliff edge. On one side is an endless drop into nothingness, strangely represented by the Grand Canyon. On the other, a vast red desert. In the distance I can see an oasis, which represents the growth I am trying so desperately to achieve. It’s hot, there is a warm breeze but I’m wavering. The dark voice is pulling me to the abyss and won’t let me move away from the edge. I discovered yesterday that even if I can’t move away from the edge, I can turn my back. So there I am, still perched on the edge, but all I can see is the desert in front of me. I’m having a bit of trouble making this one stick, but I’m trying.

3)  As many of you know my mother is scheduled to come to therapy with me again this week. My mother said a few (more) insensitive things this week that had me thinking that she and my therapist would gang up on me in the session. Thankfully the remnants of rationality kicked in yesterday and I realised that’s not going to happen. My therapist’s interest is primarily in me – yes, ME! (Who would have thought??) Now I have this image of my mother and I sitting across from one another in session, and my therapist between us, batting back my mother’s insensitive and boorish comments with her notebook. I’m sure there’s something transferential about that, but it makes me smile anyway. 🙂

So, there you go. This might all be just the residues of a dangerous chemical cocktail, but so far it’s helping me stay afloat. I’m not counting my chickens, but whatever works, eh?

Still so incredibly tired.


6 thoughts on “Visual imagery

  1. What amazing work, Kerro — one of the most powerful things anyone in therapy does is to learn how to shift their internal landscape, how to work with those images that seem to come from nowhere; they never do come from nowhere, and are some of the most powerful tools your deepest self gives to you, which clearly you’ve realized.

    I think you showed incredible wisdom in thanking your shadow side. Incredible wisdom, and incredible grace to yourself.

  2. David, have I told you that you’re the sweetest man alive? You’re the sweetest man alive. I was genuinely touched by your comment. Thank you. (((David)))

  3. I can relate to this post so much. Every part of it. Is your fish wife feeling more secure. Mine is scared to death that if she stops her “work” for even a few minutes, I won’t be able to function in this life. I guess she thinks I need that whip to my back to stay motivated.

    These are dark days. It is good to know that I am not alone in my struggles. My struggles come as a result of what was done to me and are the way we humans respond to such cruelty. I see myself in your words. I am so appreciative of your writing.

  4. Ljane, You are never alone. I am honoured by your comments. I can’t tell you how often or how much I’ve looked up to you for your strength and your courage over the last few months. Hang in there, we’ll fight that fish wife together!

    The fish wife is a little more secure having been told she’s worthwhile and serves (or served) a purpose. She’s a little quieter, but raises her head every now and then (more frequently in the afternoons/evenings). She’s afraid that if she stops cracking that whip, then … I’m not sure what will happen then because there hasn’t been a “me” functioning without the fish wife ever before. Does that make sense?

  5. Ladies — I have a suggestion for your inner fishwives. 🙂 You have the common experience of perceiving that this figure believes you need to be pushed or motivated by her … that you won’t get on down the road without her, or you won’t be safe.

    So, what I’d suggest is that you have a talk with her, and ask that she perform her function using more respectful language.

    I think it’s true that we all do in fact need an inner arse-kicker, to some extent … but a good inner arse-kicker is a coach, not a Marine drill-sergeant (that’s what I had, instead of a fishwife … I had that asshole from Full Metal Jacket ).

    But the principle holds. The motivation isn’t a bad thing … the technique is the problem. It sometimes works better if you explain to the inner fishwife that the language and technique being used are stressful to you in a way that prevent you from performing at your best, and that modification of language and tone would make you more effective. You may have to do this several times — asking for a language change — but if you’re willing to play with it a bit, I’d be willing to bet you can get some genuine change.

  6. I can relate to the mirror image with all your “ugly traits” magnified a thousand fold. I have totally validated that image for much of my life, until I got to a certain point in healing.

    I finally concluded that mine was, through the help of some friends, an inacurrate image, one that was caused by my abuse. In time and after many memories I was able to see that the things that my abuser mother said to me over and over when I was tiny were the sames things that my inner voice of self-hatred told me.

    Survivor friends and others who love us can be a better, more accurate, more loving mirror, I have found, and in some way that has helped me to change my beliefs to mirror those who love me versus those who hate and abuse me.

    I like the idea of validating that shadow self. That is a good way to work on healing. Accepting even our inaccurate perceptions of ourselves can bring great healing.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


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