So today I saw the new therapist. He I suppose ‘warned’ me that he did voluntary work in the city with prostitutes – counselling them that is. He has a few locations that he works and as I was flexible this space had availability. It certainly forced my own prejudices. Although I consider myself open minded the sudden idea of going into an office space that might seem ‘seedy’ or where I might be mistaken as a ‘whore’ did I have to guiltily admit cross my mind.
What of course I hadn’t seen coming was that the office space also contained an examination space for women with all the medical needs, swab taking and other bits and bots that I don’t like to think about. It had never occurred to me that service would also be in there – hugely triggering for me. But the therapist was new so I didn’t intend to show my fear and panic. He left the room to get drinks. A panic attack was gripping me, my breathing was shallow and the room lost all colour. I felt so terrified and my brain was working overtime to block memories. The paper towels on the bed, that lamp on the wall, the medical equipment sterile in those bags. The waiting, the fear, the shame, the urge to run. The helplessness, the dread, memories pushing to the service, a quiet wish for death to suddenly creep around the heart and squeeze it, stop. End it. Noises around are unbearably loud, taunting, life goes on but you are ignored. That’s how every private examination is for me even now. In pregnancy I avoid most but do what I need to on the basis that it’s for my baby. That’s what gets me through.
But still although my entire body wanted to run, I defied it. I would focus on this therapist and see what would happen.
Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt he was laid back, straight talking and surprisingly easy to talk to. I had planned on not saying much but I said more than I intended. Not about my past. But I talked about my mental health. My lows and my struggles. I was very open. Usually I don’t get so detailed about that, people tend to balk at the details. Especially when I talk about the demons when I get very low and being dead inside. But he didn’t batter an eyelid. He told me I had a lightness about me and saw me quite differently to the way I saw myself. But I think that’s because we’ve only just met. Give it time and he will see the darkness.
We talked about goals and I explained that my past was holding me back. I’m sure he’s already worked things out, these people are meant to be perceptive. I don’t think I will talk about those things for a while. But the emotive stuff is tough enough and getting out the day to day triggers and things I can’t talk to other people about will keep the conversation in flow.
He seems to have a different perspective, and I felt myself go to disassociate a couple of times because he’s straight talking which I need because I don’t want to pay him to shoot the breeze for the next few years. I do want to make some progress.
But I’m also realistic that this might end in another failure!!
I got home and I felt drained. I lasted as long as I could but I’d hardly slept the night before. My husband arrived home and in the end I headed to bed to lie down.
I was woken up in a panic by a nightmare. It was still light, so I looked around the room and said over and over, I’m in my room in my house, my husband is downstairs, I’m safe. My erratic breathing found its rhythm and I felt grounded again. It wouldn’t take a professor to interpret this particular dream. I won’t go into details, it was an unusual format. But can I believe this session shook my little brain up?
So fingers crossed for ‘jeans’ fixing things.
And this Sunday I’m returning to monthly group therapy, having missed it last month due to being away.