Wednesday was my first memory work session with my therapist, and it went much better than I expected. No one freaked out during the session or even after. The therapist didn’t flinch when I mentioned generational satanism, and she listened to my description of an animal sacrifice without showing any outward signs of horror, other than one point where her eyes looked something I can’t quite put into words. Sad, maybe. I wasn’t just bringing up that terrible of a subject to test her endurance or my own– it’s just a memory that has been playing through my mind constantly. I’ve learnt that writing about even the session, as I’m doing at the moment, pops back the emotions.
Saying the memory aloud was interesting. The therapist asked me to describe it in absolute detail, down to the clothes everyone was wearing. She interrupted me several times, telling me I was skipping pieces that she had no frame of reference for. I keep forgetting that what I think was a just so-so bad time is absolute horror to most people. We got through the memory, though, the therapist and I. We established that my coping mechanism of simply going dead started when I was about 5 years old. Going home after my cat had been sacrificed, I felt nothing. No sadness, no anger, no fear. Absolutely nothing. I felt dead. 20+ years later, I still do that when emotional stress gets too high.
The session was on Wednesday night. Thursday and Friday I still felt a bit shaken. Saturday, though, I woke up feeling good. I wasn’t physically tired, and I felt mentally peaceful. I don’t remember the last time I felt like that.
I will say, though, that we have alot of work left to do. The memory has been spoken aloud, but it’s not resolved. I kept my composure throughout the entire session, even when I felt like dissolving into absolute sobs. Expressing emotions has never been my strong suit. As most SRA survivors can attest, you literally have the emotions beaten out of you. My mother didn’t help in that regard, either. Even when we were not around the cult, my mother would absolutely berate us (my sister and I) for crying or showing fear. Sometimes she would even get physically violent. I went roughly ten years without crying, and only a very severe emotional trauma brought it on. It’s still not something I do easily, even when the need is pressing. Resolving the emotions should be just lovely.
And now for the title of this post– I said I’d call these the Jim Croce sessions because listening to his music relaxed me on my drive home from therapy and through the rest of the week. I’ll probably keep the Greatest Hits CD in my car for a while. His song ‘Operator‘ expresses quite well the mixed results I got on Wednesday–
Isn’t that the way the say it goes
Let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell them I’m fine and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels…