Finding my voice

image

Time flew by and the sessions between my new therapist Heart Healer (HH) and I quickly racked up. We spent the first six catching up on my childhood, major relationships and challenges, as well as figuring each other out.

Like a good detective, HH was curious and tried to figure out basic connections between things before jumping right in and confronting the ‘baddies’. He felt there was a link between the vulnerability and safety of young women and children in my job to an afraid or lonely child inside me.

There was an adult part and a child part. The child felt scared vocalising things because of not wanting to hurt others and see them in pain. The child also did not want to be so vulnerable that others would take advantage or hurt her. I felt a sense of relief at him acknowledging these fears and vulnerabilities.

There is a child part that doesn’t have a voice,” HH said one session, his finger pressed to his cheek while deep in thought. “There is feeling and emotion but little voice… It feels like it may have been suppressed“.

Over the next few sessions, it would become clearer why this was so.

Despite our productive moments, I have to admit that I was stumped by his behaviour and body language at times. He always seemed quite nervous when greeting and saying goodbye. Was I really projecting or was this about him?, I wondered. I mean, I was obviously anxious going into every session because he was new and I was apprehensive about some things that had come up in previous sessions. But surely he’d be a little more chilled for someone who had been doing this for 17 years? Every now and then, I would notice him yawning. Or sitting back quietly in his seat with his arms folded and closed off. Maybe he had just had a long day or some challenging sessions? I had to constantly challenge my anxious thoughts and give him benefit of the doubt.

But there was one major developing theme I could not shake. I would get to the waiting room a few minutes before our session and sit patiently. Other clients would come and go with their therapists. The big arm of the clock on the wall would strike 12 and still I would sit. He would only come fetch me about 5-7min after our session time had started. This may not seem like much. But in a 50-minute “therapy hour”, it was a lot. The time we were missing out on was not what affected me most. It was the visceral feeling of abandonment. I felt isolated and confused as I waited. I started to doubt myself and our therapeutic relationship. It brought up old themes of not being good enough or worthy of someone’s time. His other tasks were more important and I was ‘a task’ that would have to wait. I didn’t mention any of this to him for over a month. But I had learnt enough from my therapy with DS to raise my therapeutic experience because it was grist for the mill. It was also an extremely difficult but necessary goal of my own to be more assertive.

My heart was pounding and I was trembling as I walked into his room. Could I trust him? HH acknowledged my fear of being retraumatised. There was always a duality. Hope and dread. “I wonder if your need to be seen, heard and validated comes from failed experiences in the past?” he mused.

Taking a deep breath in, I raised my feelings around him being consistently late in starting our sessions. With not a shred of defensiveness, he said he was in the wrong and it was his responsibility to start on time, not mine. He referred to it as an “infraction” and said he had every intention of doing better next time. I felt brave for telling him that waiting longer for him made me question things. He was so understanding and I felt myself relaxing a little. Feeling buoyed, I asked if it would be possible to let me know when we had 10 minutes left in a session because it took a while for me to gather myself before leaving. He said that was not normally something he did but that he was happy for me to pick up a clock he had and move it to a table we could both see. I felt a lot calmer.

He has been on time for every one of our sessions since. And the clock is always on the table as I get in. These were positive steps in building an alliance.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

7 thoughts on “Finding my voice

  1. I am so glad he owned his mistake. Therapy cannot survive without boundaries and consistency. I would have felt exactly the same. That he respected you is a good sign. ❤

    • Jay says:

      It is really healing when those we care about show they are human or fallible. And you are right, it shows he respects me and our alliance. How often have we had experiences in life where others destroyed or questioned our boundaries? Or imposed their reality of the way things should be? 💔 I think this experience has allowed my respect for him to grow. He has shown there is space for me to be and grow here.

  2. Lauren says:

    Go you! I love when taking a chance and pushing past the anxiety is rewarding. Its those moments that chip away at the power of anxiety and instead add a building block back to our self esteem. Good work 😍 x

  3. Oh wow I’ve just read this (sorry I’ve been so caught up in myself lately). I was reading this with my mouth open thinking, shit! No wonder you feel like that, that’s so rude and unfair. I was preparing to comment and say please tell him this! I’m so glad you were brave enough to tell him. It’s SOOOOO awkward isn’t it, telling them that something THEY do is a problem. I think you are very brave! I am also really glad that he accepted his wrongdoing, apologised and has repaired it. It makes you wonder if he’s just bad at timekeeping and perhaps had no idea he did that to you, or potentially to other people!

    There truly is something about someone admitting their mistake that allows us to become MORE vulnerable with them isn’t there? There is for me at least. The mistakes don’t always need to cause us permanent damage, sometimes they work in the opposite way. Having transparency of someone admitting they don’t think they are perfect, that they aren’t above apologising.

    Awesome stuff I’m really pleased xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: