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!