Jeans playing parent

I had dreaded this session. And yet I was as cynical as always. But whether my cynicism was in fact a cover for my fear I don’t know. I like to analyse when I feel strongly negative about something. Is it fear? Ignorance? Triggering? It can help me to know why I get so angry or so dismissive about things I’ve never tried before.

In therapy I often get dismissive about treatments. I joke, I call it hippie hogwash or psychobabble. I’m all for pills – but the ‘feeling’ stuff? Hell no! I become almost angry and defensive about it. But I recognise that I’m scared. OK, some alternative therapies really are just mad, I remember watching someone dancing as a tree once to express herself. I held my giggles in so long I started dripping coffee from my nose. Course, she gets the last laugh if she’s completely healed and doing well and I’m still struggling with things. If all else fails, I might have to find my inner tree.

Anyway, I digress. So Jeans brought over another chair and I had to decide whether I was going to confront my Mother, my Father or the perpetrator. My mother is a meek, blank individual with no real maternal sense and is very manipulative. I’d say at an uneducated guess that she has a very deep rooted personality disorder. She has mood swings, is defensive, is incapable of holding a conversation, is a narssist and frankly you never no what you’re going to get.

My father is a conservative with views stuck quite happily in the 1920s. He isn’t wrong, how can he be – he’s a man. A white, straight man at that. He is also a narssist. He has a textbook idea on the role of a father up to a certain age and then beyond that it baffles him. A child with its own ideas? Opinions? – alien to him. He is stubborn. Callous and unwilling to change.

I tried in the UK to reason with both. Unfortunately in their eyes I am not a mother, a wife, an adult, a woman, I am their daughter. Below them. My mother sees any initiation of conversation as threat so gets defensive. My Father goes on the attack – it’s gameplay.

Back in the UK I wanted to discuss a few things including my childhood. But I was shut down. That was what lead to my decision to sever ties. Sometimes you cannot keep toxic people in your life – even family. There were a myriad of contributing reasons. I guess trying to get things out in the open and being shut down was the nail in the coffin for me.

So in therapy I chose to address my Father. I thought it was a bit daft. That I wouldn’t say much. But gradually the room fell away. I disconnected to an amazing degree. Jeans prompted me occasionally. I said things that I’ve only really thought about saying if we got in touch. Things he wouldn’t listen to in real life. Loneliness, disappointment, expectations that weren’t met. I suppose ultimately I also realised that over the years my regard for him is less. And that its ok to feel the way I do. At one point Jeans said, (as my father) ‘I’m dying, will you stay with me.’ And I said, ‘No, I want you to feel the sadness and loneliness that I was left for feel for so many nights when you weren’t there for me.’

It took a while for me to feel the room again. To be present. It was an odd feeling.

I feel so tired now.

We’ve agreed that it’s not a good idea for him to play the role or speak on behalf of the perpetrator. I’m not sure how I feel about doing that. Might be too soon I guess.

We still need to break down my poem and go through that. Funny I always feel much more determined when I’m thinking ahead but on therapy day I feel like talking about the weather instead! I’d be gutted if I did just talk about the weather though!


2 thoughts on “Jeans playing parent

  1. I wonder if you know what a terrific sense of humor you have even while you walk through such pain and memories. I confess, I just left a post about a tree in me. I’m feeling sheepish.
    “Forgiving the little girl in me was everything, peace began to arise from that hard seed of self-hate, and it bloomed throughout like a tree.”
    You remind me of my own years in therapy and just how hard it was, like scraping out my abdomen and stomach from the inside. No wonder the weather seems so interesting.


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