Editor’s Note: This is part 12 of Marie’s story.
It’s the day after my therapy session. As usual, my brain is running 90 miles an hour as I sort through everything that transpired.
I keep thinking about what Carl said about how I tried to get someone to figure out what had happened to me by acting out my story with my Barbie dolls and the charts . . .
As an adult, I have always remembered those activities as being activities I did in secret. I have always remembered the shame and the fear of being discovered. I have always remembered I didn’t want to be discovered. And yet, I now find myself wondering about a particular detail with the charts . . .
If it was so important to me to keep my fantasies secret, why did I post those charts on a door in one of the highest traffic areas of the house?
My bedroom was in our unfinished basement. I didn’t have to have my room down in the basement; I could have shared an upstairs bedroom with my older sister. But, I was very particular about my privacy, so I opted to stay downstairs in a bedroom with a cement floor and walls made of blankets hung from the main level’s floor joists.
The basement in our house was unheated and it was too cold to sleep down there during the coldest months. So, I slept upstairs in the living room, on the floor in a sleeping bag during those times. I kept my sleeping bag in the mudroom coat closet.
I remember it was mostly wintertime when I was using the charts to track the details of my fantasies. And, I posted the charts on the outside of the door of the coat closet in the heavily-traffic’d mudroom. I have always thought it was so the charts would be close to my sleeping bag. But, if they were so secret, why didn’t I post them in my room downstairs? Or, why didn’t I keep them in a little notebook stashed somewhere? Or, I could have at least posted them on the inside of the coat closet door . . .
Maybe it is because I was hoping someone would figure it out. Maybe Carl is right about that.
My mom did ask me about the charts one time. I remember being very committed to answering honestly. So, I smiled coyly and said, “It’s a secret!” (That was an honest answer!)
My mom never brought it up again.
I wonder what would have happened if she would have. Would I have continued answering honestly? Would I have eventually told her about my fantasies? Would she have had the insight to know what such fantasies in a 10-year-old’s mind indicate?
I don’t know.
I am so grateful to have found Carl. I am amazed at quickly we are making progress. It seems we get more accomplished in one hour than Mark and I were able to get accomplished in several hours. There is no drama, no power struggle . . . just a safe environment and quiet progress
For one thing, I have the space to tell my story. He encourages me to tell my story – all of it – in great detail – with all the emotion and sensations and questions I can incorporate. He wants me to really appreciate the pain I went through. Often I find myself trying to move quickly so I don’t take up too much time . . . and he encourages me to slow down.
I don’t ever remember feeling like I could slow down in my telling and in my talking in my life, especially as a child. I’ve always had to hurry to say what I wanted to say before the window of opportunity closed. It is so very different with Carl – amazingly different. I feel heard for the first time in my life.
Both Mark and Dr. Barb spent a lot of time telling me what I shouldn’t be doing. They kept telling me to just toughen up, stop doing the harmful stuff and start doing healthy stuff. But, they couldn’t seem to help me do that.
In sharp contrast, Carl congratulates me for having created coping mechanisms. I know he recognizes those coping mechanisms are harmful in many ways. And, he knows I also recognize that, so he doesn’t feel the need to preach at me about it. Instead, he assures me I’m doing the best I know how to do and, in time, I’ll do better. He assures me what I’m doing right now is appropriate and good . . . and I have every reason to proud of myself right now.
With Mark and Dr. Barb, I felt all the responsibility to “figure it out” even though I’m in a hole too deep to allow me to see my options. I felt like they were not capable of leading me in an effective direction. I have been very discouraged and I often wondered if I would find my way through.
But, Carl does seem to know what he is doing. For example, this week, when I was talking about my fantasies, he asked if my fantasies were about a young, small girl being sexual with a large, adult male. I was surprised he could anticipate that being the case. I guess it wouldn’t be too difficult to make that leap, but the fact he did make that leap leads me to believe this is not the first time he has been down this road with a client.
I feel like I can relax into his leadership and expertise . . . and that is a huge relief. I have to laugh, though . . . I go through so many tissues during my session I might need to buy him a case of tissues for Christmas, LOL. Seriously, tears roll down my face for almost the entire session. I guess that indicates we are really getting to the heart of the matter.
I am so grateful I found him.
Other posts in Marie’s series:
- Part 1: My Therapist Stinks… I’m Searching for a New One
- Part 2: Choosing A Therapist… and Breathing Again
- Part 3: I Have Always Had to Keep the “Real Me” In Hiding…
- Part 4: My First Therapy Session with Carl
- Part 5: An Email I Sent to Carl After Our First Session
- Part 6: Dad Threatened to Kick Me Out, So I Planned Accordingly…
- Part 7: Do You Feel You Have Intrinsic Value as a Person?
- Part 8: I Am Learning Not to Fight the Tears
- Part 9: It’s About How I Have Violent Fantasies
- Part 10: He Is Providing That Validation That I So Desperately Needed
- Part 11: Marie: Relief, and Carl Assures Me He Does Know How to Help Me