So, how does that make you feeeeeeel?

Haven’t we all dreaded hearing this from our therapists? And haven’t we all heard this at least once? She’s on to me, my PNT (less P these days than she is NT or T#2).

I was mildly hysterical when I saw her yesterday (over a triggering issue I’m not going into, sorry). She asked me to think about/take note of how I feel (physically, emotionally) when I’m having a “good” day, and how I feel when I’m not. She’s doing a lot of work with me on my emotions (ugh.) and on being “in my body” (double ugh. Though good for me, I know that.) So, here goes.

On a “good” day…

  • On a good day I’m fully conscious. Mindful of things around me.
  • I’m aware of my emotions. I can see, name and even feel their impact on me. I can even feel some of them come (and go).
  • I can do that “self-talk” thing – you know, keeping myself upbeat, talking myself around any irrational thoughts that might come my way.
  • I can see my progress over the last three years in therapy.

I know that’s a teeny weeny list for the “good” days. There haven’t been many of those lately, so I’ll keep this as a work in progress.

On a not-good day…

  • I’m emotional. Tears spring forth at the drop of a hat. Sometimes I get really pissy, able to tear apart tall building with a single rrrrrip. Or tear someone a new orifice, if you use that expression where you live.
  • I get a great lump in my throat before the tears leak out. Apparently this is common, but not everyone get’s this, which I didn’t realize.
  • Sometimes I hold my breath… or, rather, I find it physically difficult to breathe out. I think because of the lump in my throat, but I’m not really sure.
  • Often I bite the inside of my cheek to try to stop the tears, which generally hurts, but not as much as the tears themselves (which is kind of the whole point). Sometimes my cheek bleeds, but I’m not usually aware of that until afterwards.
  • I get tense around my neck and the tops of my shoulders. My jaw is often clenched, too.
  • I want to lie in the foetal position on the floor, or crawl under the doona and stay there all day. Alone.
  • That’s another thing – I don’t want to be around other people, and sometimes I struggle to get out of the house and do the things I need to do (like go to work).
  • I can’t bear noise. It feels like a physical assault. When I was little I used to vomit whenever there was unexpected loud noise. (I’m sure my mother was delighted by this – NOT!)
  • Sometimes I think about hurting myself – putting my hand through the window, cutting myself, or stabbing my leg with the screwdriver. (Yea, not pretty, I know.)
  • Afterwards, I’m completely and utterly shattered. Exhausted. My head hurts from crying (or from dehydration, or both). I get a tension headache around the top of my head, too. My neck and shoulders hurt. And the inside of my cheek generally hurts, too (not surprisingly). And if I’ve really been going for it, my eyes are puffy and feel like p*ss holes in the snow.

Wow, this has been difficult. I never realized how out of touch with my body I was (though I suspect T#2 knows!). No doubt this will be a work in progress, so stay tuned 😉

5 thoughts on “So, how does that make you feeeeeeel?

  1. I think it’s really interesting that on a good day, you identify yourself as being “aware of your emotions,” and on a bad day, you identify yourself as “emotional.” Is the difference, for you, whether you feel that emotion is overwhelming you and/or driving your actions?

    Incidentally, one of the things I liked best about Debbie was that she never asked how I felt about anything. Instead she would say, “What was that like for you?” I really preferred that, since there was no…”charge” on the wording…no expectation that I was even supposed to feel something. Plus less of a tendency for me to think, “How the hell do you *think* I felt about it, you idiot?”

  2. Great work going on here.

    I wanted to say that I know you really haven’t had time to process the death of your father fully with the health crises your mother has been going through. When my parental abuser died it was very sad and there was a lot of emotional upheaval. I can’t imagine trying to deal with another health crisis so soon afterward. I am encouraged that you are working and feeling through all of this. It might not feel so great. But you are doing great work here.

    Good and healing thoughts to you and your mom.


  3. ((Kerro))

    It sounds like you are doing good work with NT#2. Are you still seeing WT? how is that working out?

    I think David’s question about the difference between “being aware of your emotions” and “emotional”. It sounds to me like it is the difference between accepting your emotions and fighting them. Feeling your emotions come and go sounds very accepting to me. I am stuck in the avoidance of feelings and then they erupt, lump in my throat, tears out of nowhere, anger and frustration spilling out while I’m talking. I think whenever the feeling is too intense I try to push it down.

    I think that with all the changes that have happened in your life recently that there would be a lot of different emotions. I hope that you can learn a lot about yourself and your feelings at this incredibly difficult time in your life.

    Love and hugs,

  4. @ David – hello 🙂 It is interesting, isn’t it – I don’t think I did a good job of describing the “good day”. It’s just as you said – that on a “not good day”, I feel completely overwhelmed by the emotions, out of control, like they are driving me. I think my Ts also say “What was that like for you?” as well – especially WT who knows I generally puke all over her carpet if she says, “So. How did that make you feeeeeel?” 😉

    @ CG – Yep, definitely the start of some important work, even if I largely don’t like it and aren’t good at it, I recognise it’s benefit.

    @ Kate – A few people have said I haven’t really had time to process my father’s death. But, you know, I really think I have. I think I had already done a lot of the grieving about never having had the father I should have had and deserved, so mostly it was all just relief that the S.O.B. is gone. Everything is so much easier without him hanging around. Thanks for your kind thoughts, as always.

    @ Di – I am still seeing the WT, but not as often. I’m trying to reduce the amount I see her so that I can really focus on the work with T#2. Some weeks I succeed, and others I’m a spectacular failure. 😉 As for those darned emotions – yea, I still do a pretty good job of stuffing them down, or just avoiding them in general. I’m like you – the emotions just “erupt” sometimes. I’d really like to do a better job of managing this though, so fingers crossed T#2 is on the right track.

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