Tonight’s therapy session definitely made up for the one I had on Monday, which I felt wasn’t very productive because I seemed to be deflecting and avoiding talking about my feelings. I asked my therapist to stop me if I did that again, even if I get angry. He agreed to this and tonight I dove right in.
We were talking about myself as a little girl, especially the way I was never allowed to express my emotions, especially anger. He wanted to know what I did with all that anger. I thought about it for a minute, and told him I turned it toward myself, and that’s why I started to become so depressed and why I started to hate myself . He asked me to put my mind inside the mind of “little me” and describe how she felt and what she looked like.
We came up with a picture. I described her as a waiflike child, like those paintings from the ’60s of those sad, big eyed little kids, dressed in rags, with a gray, unhealthy pallor. She is always sad, almost always crying. She’s afraid of everything. She feels completely defenseless and in fact she doesn’t have any defenses. She was never allowed to grow up.
I was asked how I felt about her. I said I didn’t hate her, that in fact I felt protective of her and had to keep her safe from harm. She also makes me feel angry when she comes out without my permission because she’s too vulnerable and defenseless and that makes me feel ashamed. I have to protect her, but I also have to protect myself by keeping her hidden away so she doesn’t embarrass me.
It was harder to talk about her feelings about me, the way she views me. All I could come up with was that she felt like I kept her safe but wishes I’d let her out more. I realized then that it was easier to describe my feelings toward her than to describe her feelings toward me. I’m not completely disconnected from my true self, but dissociation is present.
He asked me what good qualities she has that I want to protect. I said she has a kind, gentle soul and a big heart. He asked what she wants. I thought about it and said, “all she wants is to love and be loved, and to belong.” I got emotional at that point and started tearing up. I wasn’t able to describe the emotions I was feeling at all, but I knew we’d made some progress. He wants to start seeing me more often. Somehow I’m going to find a way to afford it. This type of inner child work is hard, but it’s amazing.