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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

THIS WEEK IN THERAPY: RIP ME OUT

I once described my menstrual cramps as an angry squirrel attempting to claw its way out of my uterus… well, that’s similar to how I’m feeling this week, but worse.

I have reached a point in therapy that is nearly unbearable.  In previous posts, I have referred to HEP (Holistic Experiential Process) as a journey through the levels of hell, but I had no idea then what still lay in store.  My therapist says that I’ve come to the point in the process where I am “coming into my body”.  After a lifetime of disassociation, I’m finally becoming grounded in my body.  Well, after 32 years of disuse, it hurts!

Whatever pain, trauma, tension, hurt, anger, rage, sadness or any other type of emotion that has been stored in my body is now making its way to the surface.  I had a full on panic attack (which I have NEVER had before!!!).  Nervous breakdown? Sure. But, panic attack?  NEVER!!!  This was especially strange because I have been extraordinarily happy.  Painfully happy, actually.  So happy it literally hurts.  This is where the panic stems from.  I’m afraid of being so happy.  I started becoming irrationally delusional about my apartment being infested with bed bugs (even though I didn’t see a single bug in my place).  It would wake me up at night and I would spend at least an hour searching my apartment and then another researching how to find the bugs which were clearly hiding from me before I could go back to sleep.  I would feel bugs crawling on me throughout the day.  It was crazy – literally.

My therapist was able to talk me down when this paranoia culminated in a total meltdown in her office this week.  She said it likely stems from the fear of my mother’s energy infiltrating my life.  The idea that because I’m happy, it will all be tainted or taken away by an external force, much like it was when I was a child.  The panic lie in the terror of waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I want to know what is going to come take away my joy.  It’s so terrifying that I began creating issues in my own mind in order to balance out the joy.  I couldn’t be that happy.  There had to be something wrong.  I need tragedy to survive.  Being happy is unbearable.

Over the past couple days, I have been able to get the panic under control.  Alyssa (my therapist) pointed out that the feeling of bugs crawling on me was likely my psycho-somatic way of dealing with the feeling of awakening in my body.  I have been unaware of external stimulus and now I feel the dirtiness of the world I’m in.  She said she went through something similar.  I still feel the itching all over my body pretty much all day, though now that I know the rationale behind it, I am able to live with it and begrudgingly embrace it.  I still check the mirror frequently to see if anything is actually on my skin… nothing ever is.

The rest of the time, whenever I feel happy, I also feel like I’m being eviscerated from the inside out.  We all put up walls in our life to protect ourselves.  After a while, we become comfortably numb.  Through therapy, I’m tearing down these walls.  This allows happiness to get in, but these walls also kept all the pain in check.  Now that happiness is entering, it is pushing all the pain out, which means it hurts like a bitch!  I am constantly flowing between flashes of extreme joy that break into deep gut-wrenching sobbing.  It’s quite the rollercoaster.  I just want to tear my insides out, it aches so bad.  Getting through each day is a slog.  I want to quit.  I want to go back to that comfortably numb state.  Unbearable.  That’s what it feels like.  I would rip my own skin off and pull out my innards just to get these feelings out quicker.   I feel claustrophobic in my body; that I have been sent to some strange prison that I am compelled to break free from.

It is like every pain, sorrow and hurt I have ever experienced is lying in wait, ready to pop out at any moment and the only way to get through is to let the feeling wash over me, envelope me completely and surge through every fiber of my being.  Therapy only keeps getting harder.  I am at a point that I just want to lay down and quit.  I know I won’t, but it is the first time that I have ever thought about throwing in the towel and saying I’m done.  The blackness of black keeps getting deeper.  I never knew the depths of the darkness within.  I’m afraid of what lies ahead, yet the only way out is to keep moving forward.  In this place, it is hard to trust that there is light on the other side.

(Continue this journey through the underworld in the three part series Letters from Hell)

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