A difficult session

I had an extremely hard session with Bean yesterday. Even though I wasn’t feeling well, we ended up diving into a lot of stuff. And her conclusions were unexpected to say the least.

I had told her about the conversation I had with my mom about M, the older guy who sexually abused me when I was 12 and 13 (and who was also emotionally abusive). My mom and I had talked this past weekend about it. I called her because I had lots of questions. Things that didn’t make sense to me.

Here were some of the things I “knew” going into the conversation that didn’t seem to fit together:

~ My mom had always told me that her and my dad had met M once, didn’t like him, and told me I was not to see him anymore. And yet… I remember him being in our house. In my room. With the door shut. With my parents home. Go figure.

~ A few years ago, my mom told me about a time where I had apparently asked for permission to go over to M’s house. She didn’t feel comfortable with it and had wanted to speak to an adult who would be there. According to my mom, I had told her his mom didn’t speak English so she couldn’t talk to her (she spoke only Spanish). Apparently she let me go, despite her gut feeling, and when I came back she said that I got under the covers and moaned for three days and wouldn’t come out. When I’ve questioned her before about it, asking her why she didn’t do anything at that time, her response has been that she tried talking to me but that I would yell at her to go away. So she did. And then she said after those three days, I got up and acted “totally fine” so she decided not to worry about it. Ah the power of a dissociative mind. Push it down and away. Now, just for the record, I have no recollection of any of this, and was shocked and appalled when she told me this story several years ago. I had no idea I had ever wanted to go to his house, I had no idea I ever did (if that’s where in fact we went), and I have no memory of staying in bed for days moaning. It’s all very strange.

I had some questions for my mom that I’ve been trying to figure out. Did she meet him before this event occurred? Afterward? And why had he been in my room that one time. If they met him and didn’t want me seeing him, then he wouldn’t be allowed in my house, right? Let alone my room?

So I called her to get clarification on these things.

She doesn’t know the sequence of events to any of it. She couldn’t tell me if me going to his house was before or after meeting him. She verified that he had been in my room once, and that she’d been very uncomfortable with it and had made us come out. She doesn’t remember whether that was before or after meeting him.

She did say that if she were to guess, that we were probably “together” about a year. (Well, might I add, that she knew of. I know for a fact that it went on for at least two years.) How she had managed to let it last that long without taking action is beyond me. She also verified that she thinks I was 12 when I met him. That that sounded about right.

So I told Bean all of this.

Her response was that it sounds like my mom has just as bad a memory as I do. I agreed. That sounded about right. My mom has an awful memory.

Then I began talking about my memory in a more general way. About how little of my life I can actually remember. I told her about how I was once engaged to a guy, but I couldn’t tell you the details about it. Couldn’t tell you how we met, or how we got engaged. Couldn’t tell you a single thing we did together. Couldn’t tell you how or why we broke up.

I told her about one of the few memories I have of him.

Me: We were in my room and he was crying and crying and crying and sobbing and sobbing and sobbing, and asking me, “Please hold me, please hold me, please hold me.” And I got up and left. I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. He kept saying he just needed to be held and comforted and I just couldn’t do it. I got up and left.

Bean: Okay, do you notice how you said things in groups of threes? He was ‘crying and crying and crying,’ and ‘sobbing and sobbing and sobbing’ and ‘he said, “please hold me, please hold me, please hold me.”‘

I just stared at her, feeling a bit uncomfortable.

She continued:

Bean: Try saying, “he was crying and sobbing and he asked me to hold him.”

I felt a really strange sensation start to rise up within me.

Me: I really think that I really don’t want to do that.

Bean: Is it because it feels scary, or because it feels manipulative.

Me: Because it feels scary.

She looked surprised, and encouraged me to again to say it without the repetition. I wouldn’t do it. She decided to explain what she was thinking.

Bean: What you’re doing when you start repeating things like that, is you are actually putting yourself into a trace. You are putting yourself into a hypnotic state, and you most likely would not have remembered telling me about that experience. Because when you are in that state, memories don’t get encoded properly.

She was beginning to lose me, and I was starting to feel overwhelmed. Was this why I had so few memories? Because I was in a trance state at the time?

I realize I sometimes do get caught up in talking, especially when I am telling a story. But… Is that a bad thing? Does that mean I’m not connecting to the present? I know my mom tends to talk and talk and not ever have an actual back and forth conversation. Does my mom do that too? Is that what she means?

She told me that when we say something three times, it’s likely we’re going into that self-hypnotic state. That just freaked me out. I didn’t want to know about. Or, I didn’t want to know that I do that.

Okay I’m starting to feel overwhelmed thinking about this stuff so I’m gonna take a break. Will go back and talk more about how the session ended later when my head is less foggy and I’m feeling less overwhelmed.

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One response to “A difficult session

  1. Whoa. This is actually really creepy. When I read that thing about the saying things three times…it sounded so familiar. One time when I called my previous therapist on a visit to my Dad’s(I was NOT in a good place), she told me that when I start to go into the child like state, just “remind yourself what state you’re in, tell yourself ‘I’m an adult I’m an adult I’m an adult I’m an adult I’m an adult, I am here to see my father, I am here to see my father I am here to see my father I am here to see my father.'” Both things five times. I used this tactic for almost any task I had to do while I was at his place. And I added looking left and right to it for some reason, I don’t remember why. I’ve never been hypnotized but…now that I read this I realize I must have been putting myself into a trance. That was the day I had a seizure and lost time and ended up in the hospital throwing things and losing more time.

    I’m sorry you had such a rough session. But honestly, it sounds like a productive session. And your therapist definitely seems to know what she’s doing. I am just so happy you have finally found someone who sees what’s going on in your head and your heart.

    I still do this a lot…say things over and over…but I had no idea I might be putting myself in a trance when I do that…thank you so much for this post.

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