Therapy – Light at the end of the Tunnel

I had my therapy with Paul today. In many ways, I didn’t want to go. I’m still in thisthJS0QQEXZ weird void like state, which I wrote about here and I wondered what to talk about during our session. I no longer feel the need to go over the same childhood issues, but I’ve spent so many years consumed by the trauma, it feels as though a part of my brain is missing.

Paul said last week’s session gave him a better understanding of what the dissociation is like for me. He wholeheartedly agreed with my interpretation of “The Void” and shared my idea of finally leaving the past behind. Of course, he’s very careful never to lead and always accepts whatever I say. It’s nice to feel so understood, my perspective is always right, but I can’t help but wonder whether he would ever say if I was wrong or mistaken.

We talked a little about the rumination and how this is an act of dissociation and an attempt to resolve disagreements in my mind (which comes from fellow-blogger, Ellen). My current ruminating takes the form of imaginary arguments with my mum and sister. It’s manic when loose and could easily swallow the entire day, leaving a trail of tense anxiety and resentments. Not only does it sabotage any chance of grounding in the present moment, it robs me of the opportunity to move forward.

th251A6SLTThe rumination is a difficult habit to break, but I have tackled it this week by using a basic mindfulness technique of being more aware of my surroundings, particularly sounds. Dog walking would normally be a time of intense rumination and I sometimes wondered if other walkers were able to see my mouth muttering away as I wandered around in a ruminating-trance.

This week was different. I walked and listened to the here and now. It sounded like everything was on loudspeaker, the birds, ducks, dogs, and children, AND, bloody heck, I do live in a noisy neighbourhood! It feels as though I’ve only been in a semi-conscious state for such a long time, or locked inside the prison of my own mind, childhood trauma.

Being with Paul today also had a different feel to it. He said I appeared more groundedthA2PSAOHE and at peace, with a clearer idea of where I am and which direction to take. I knew then I have definitely turned a corner and… Is that light I see at the end of the tunnel?

I need to focus my attention on two things. The first is the relationship problems I have with my mum and sister, which of course is also the source of rumination, so two for the price of one, things are already looking up. The second is to confront what it is about the present moment that frightens me the most, what do I avoid at all costs, but that’s something for my next post.

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30 thoughts on “Therapy – Light at the end of the Tunnel

  1. edwinasepisodes

    Oh I am glad that you are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now Cat. I hope things continue to improve for you. It sounds like you are certainly more aware of your surroundings (judging by your noisy neighbourhood comment) and are working through some of your issues.
    🙂

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  2. Anxious Mom

    I’m happy to hear you had such a good session and that things are heading in a positive direction! ❤️

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  3. Priceless Joy

    Sounds like a magnificent therapy session! I have never heard of rumination but I am going to check out Ellen’s post and see what it is. I absolutely love that you can see some light at the end of the tunnel. That is fantastic! I love the fact that you are becoming more aware and intune with your surroundings. This is all very exciting to hear Cat!

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Joy… ruminating means continually going over the same thing in your mind, it can become obsessional and drives me absolutely bonkers. Thank you

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      1. Priceless Joy

        Oh, I understand now! I use to do that too. It was horrible! It helped me to journal it (no computers back then). I wrote a LOT of journals, but it helped me to put things “to rest.” One thing about my journals, is I wrote anything I “needed” to in them because I knew no one would read them but me.

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  4. ziggy40

    Dear Cat,
    I can relate to learning mindfulness , I would also walk my dogs and be really busy in thought. Now my morning walks , I listen to the many birds around and stop to take photos of sunrises..nature . My mornings have given me hope, still working on getting through the nights ..lol
    Sending healing, positive vibes.
    Love Ziggy

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  5. cardamone5

    I wish you much peace and fulfilled feelings as you grow in mindfulness. If you mutter, you mutter. Your dog(s) won’t mind and that’s the only witness that counts anyway! You have worked so hard, and are now beginning to reap the benefits of that hard work. Keep your chin up, friend, and know that I care about you.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    PS: If you family members do not respond the way you want, that’s on them, not you. You can only control you and your reactions to others.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Elizabeth… there’s nothing like a good old mutter, but it does tend to drive me round the twist after a while and, yes, family members do feature in there much too often. Thank you for your kind comment.

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  6. sensuousamberville

    Rumination is problem solving, some will anticipate a situation and resolve every possible solution to the situation, their minds work this way, it all happens in an instant, so that when that situation arrives, the most correct response is likely at hand to most possible variables as they have “lived” through this before.

    With anxiety or depression though, all the possibilities or things that could happen are examined, over and over… they start to torment, the same applies to events passed, all the scenarios or routes that you didn’t take, plague and torture you. It can be difficult to just shut this off. I like that you are finding that grounding is helping through mindfulness. The more you use this, the easier it becomes to call upon too. Of course you will then have to use it to dampen all the noisy dogs, honking horns and tweeting birds…. 😉

    some of those sounds are wonderful though, are they not?

    oh, and I wish to point out, Paul sees in you what I mentioned yesterday Cat. 🙂 YAY!

    There may be a quiz later at what duck makes which honk….

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Amber… rumination hasn’t always been bad, I have come to some great realisations in that process, but when you start to cover the same argument countless times… all in the one day… it can be exhausting and destructive. The key for me lies not only in the mindfulness techniques, but also in resolving those “arguments” or rather, letting them go. I can’t see how that is possible, but, hey, I didn’t think all the other stuff was possible, so I’m sure this ‘exploration’ will reap its own…

      The sounds have been wonderful and a week of gorgeous weather has really helped. Thank you, Amber

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  7. Susan Irene Fox

    Cat, this sounds wonderful. I, too, hope you continue to experience the “now” – those beautiful sights and sounds that come with being mindful of the present. Breathe them in and be joyful in them.

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  8. therabbitholez

    I always think this feeling is akin to waking up from a deep sleep, and as you emerge more into the light how different things can look, your perspectives have changed, and you are able to embrace those changes, although it takes time each day will take you further along to wellness and back to life. Grab it with both hands.

    Sometimes there are people so toxic in our lives the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to let them go, so they can no longer project there negativity onto,some people never change and all you can do is wish them well and go on your way.

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    1. Cat Post author

      You describe those changes so well. The trouble with trying to part company with toxic people is that they continue to pop up every now and again with demands to meet….long story, but this is the next challenge. Thank you for your wise words 🙂

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  9. mandy smith

    This is kind of exciting. I do think your awareness of the things around you, Cat, IS approaching that light at the end of the tunnel. And those ruminations-lord that has consumed much of my life, awake or asleep. Exhausting! But your post just made me realize, I don’t ruminate much now. I still think a lot, but I stop before I beat a thought to death, replay a conversation or experience until I’m nearly circling the drain. Yes, I think it’s happening for you, too, Cat. Your mom and sis are a matter that will be the toughest. But you’ll eventually find where they fit (or don’t fit). You’re a survivor.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I have many wonderful self-therapy sessions, Mandy, some of the best. I think I am trying to talk out the guilt I feel for pushing her away. The rumination gets out of hand and is toxic in itself. It feels like I am pouring her own poison through my veins, so I must stop. This is my work for the coming week’s in therapy. I have no reason to believe I cannot move on from the guilt along with all the other crap. It’s a shame, sister and I have always been reasonably close, but the relationship problems with Mum have impacted on our connection. I am a survivor and it’s good to FEEL it for a change. Thanks, Mandy

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      1. mandy smith

        yes indeed, toxic parents hurt sibling relationships. My parents poisoned my 2 half siblings from caring for me–and I was a mom to them while she lay sick all the time. I’ve come to terms with it. But the hurt can resurface if allowed. Don’t Allow.

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  10. martha0stout

    Moving away from something that has been such a large part of your life is always hard and leaves you feeling like you’ve been caring a large set of weights. When it’s suddenly gone, you have to find your balance again and then decide where to go from there. I’m glad that you’ve reached this point, it’s not something reached easily.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thanks, Martha, it’s so true and sometimes the familiar, as bad as it may be, just feels a little more comfortable. Moving forwards was a disorienting experience, but I think I am beginning to find my feet for the next leg of the journey

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