While I Was On The Figurative Ledge

I just had my first official second session with S today – I had to go in at his walk-in hour though because we couldn’t find any other time. Because I was so overwhelmed and in quite a lot of danger to myself for a while there, he let me sit there and sob for a while.

Our session ended up being nearly 2 hours long. It was about an hour and 54 minutes and has to be one of the most overwhelmed I’ve ever been.

Last night, after being triggered by something pretty painful, I thought that this was it. This was the day that I was going to take my life. I was convinced that I was going to do it…. Except…. I couldn’t get out of bed.

I was crying very hard and wanted badly to escape this existence. But I had no energy to get up out of bed to do it. I couldn’t convince my legs to move. I finally cried myself to sleep because the next thing I knew, it was morning and I knew that in a few hours’ time, I was going to see S. I couldn’t miss that. My time with him is precious and I couldn’t miss that. So I didn’t try anything that would harm myself.

When I saw him, I could barely contain myself. I nearly burst into tears just seeing him. I was so distraught and distressed. When I sat down, after a brief uncomfortable chuckle that I always let out when I’m feeling overwhelmed and emotional, I went right to work.

We had a lot to talk about. Stuff I need to expound more on later when I’m at a proper computer and not typing on my phone. But I needed to write this because I needed to talk about how important today’s session had been for me.

For once in a very long time, all the parts of me broke down together, cried together and felt thoroughly sorrowful together. It was the pain of rejection that we finally united on.

S said, “Hey, I know it’s not the most positive thing to unite over… But, this is at least something. It’s something all the parts of you can agree on! That’s a huge step!”

He was right because for once, it was quiet in my head. Nothing but the sound of sobs from all the parts of me. Everyone agreed that I was in a tremendous amount of indescribable pain. And that’s huge.

“You’re making huge progress! I’m excited that you’re able to start to integrate your parts. When you were able to identify these parts of you, I was very excited for you because I knew that you were reaching a point where you’re really pushing through and pushing hard!”

Of course, because of just how overwhelmed I was, I was feeling like I just can’t go on. I told him that. I told him that I have the desire to die, and though I don’t have a concrete plan that I do have the means. In a broken voice, I said, “I have the means, S. I have access to the means to kill myself. I want to. I can’t do this. I can’t take anymore….”

And he talked me down from the figurative ledge, “Do you think you could look inward? Have the adult ask the teen for her strength? For her energy? And then ask the teen to look to the adult for her compassion? All parts of you need each other right now, Jules. They need to come together to protect you…. Do you think they could do that for you?”

I think that was what worked. The teen said to the adult, “We can do this, can’t we?”. The adult was still despairing, “Can we?”

There was silence for a while and S said, in a very firm voice. “You can. I believe you can.”

I was silent. I was exhausted and felt extremely worn out. I didn’t know if I wanted to go on.

“Are you sure I’m not just better off escaping this pain?”

“Absolutely!” S said, with no hesitation at all. His gaze didn’t waver from me. He held his gaze on me the whole time we talked. It was reassuring and comforting. I felt cared for. “You know… When we first met and we started working together, I thought that we just had a good match. But as we worked together more, I realized that it wasn’t just that. It was because you are very easy to connect to. D (the receptionist) has positive feelings about you. All the people you’ve ever interacted with here, the staff here, has often told me how easy it is to talk to you. You may think that you’re not easy to love, but you are. We will absolutely not benefit from not having you around anymore….”

I started crying again when he told me how much I connect with people, just innately being able to do that with others. Hearing that I’m valuable and that others cared for me, made me bawl again.

“I think for now…. At least for now…. I’ll believe you. Because I trust you… So I’ll try.” I said finally.

“Good… And I’m not trying to make things concrete or anything but I just thought to myself… You’re someone with so many passions. And we connect on shared interests as well. Civil War is coming out in a couple of weeks and it would be such a shame for someone like you who loves so many geeky things to miss that…”

I let out a laugh then. My psychologist just used the nerdiest way possible to talk me down the figurative ledge. I felt, at that moment, so much affection for him. I felt very fortunate to have him as my anchor right now.

“You know…. I really appreciate you, S… I really do…” I said, finally feeling myself calming down.

“Thank you… I appreciate hearing that too…”

We sat for a while before I mustered up the courage to ask him a few questions.

First, I asked him if he realized that in just about a week, we would have worked together for a year.

“Yeah! I was just curious at about the 10 and a half month mark, I looked up the first day we ever met… So yeah, I know we’re nearing the one year mark! And I think we’ve done a lot of very hard work. You’ve done a lot of hard work in here…”

I then asked him a couple of more personal questions. Questions that I told him I’ve had for a year now. He was surprised. I told him that I’ve never had the courage to ask but now that it’s been almost a year, I felt like I can finally ask him. Maybe because I’m now better at asking. Maybe because he and I have connected at a deeper level. It felt good to have the questions answered – especially since he’s very good at deflecting my questions and answering questions by asking questions.

“I feel like you’re much calmer now. Would you say that you’ll be able to be safer now?”

I nodded. “Yeah. I think so. I think I’m going to try at least…”

There are obviously a lot more I want to talk about that I’ve learned from therapy today but I’ll post that later. I just needed to get this bit off my chest for now. I wanted to reflect on how even at my most difficult point, that S was there for me. That he was figuratively holding me as I was wrecked with overwhelming pain. His intent but kind gaze on me through it all really helped.

I’m so very thankful. If I had given in to my desires to escape, I wouldn’t be here to reflect on how much this meant to me.

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2 thoughts on “While I Was On The Figurative Ledge

  1. Ah Jules, you have no idea how likeable you are! You are compassionate, insightful, funny (okay, not when you are suicidal), intelligent… I’m not surprised to hear that everyone in S’s office likes you.

    Suicidal thoughts are about escaping the pain, right? That’s how I have generally experienced them, at least, and it seems like that’s how you describe it too. Often we don’t necessarily want to die. We just want to stop feeling so bad. And for that we have to believe there is a way to feel better.

    I can’t tell you how long it took me to believe that. I’d even tried to resign myself to the idea that my depression was a chronic, life-long condition that I would just have to learn to manage better. But through my deeper healing work with E., I have come to believe it is possible to heal. I’m not there yet. And I’m sure even when I’m there (whenever and wherever that is) I will still have times when I’m triggered. But by then I will recognize what is happening and have good coping skills, so I will be more resilient. I may feel bad, but not AS bad and not for as long. In fact, I already notice that is happening.

    All this is to say that I believe you can also heal. It is hard work and takes a long time. It’s not so fun. But look, you also already see progress. It is possible to get better, so we have to hang in there. The escape is not by suicide but by leaning on our supports when we need to and facing our cruelest demons. We can do it. Much love to you, Q.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww.. Thank you. That meant a lot to me, to hear that I’m likable. I sometimes don’t think I do anything special to be considered likeable. But then again, we already know I don’t appreciate myself enough…

      And yes, I definitely want to escape the pain. Lately though because of the constant stress, the adult has been saying very vehemently, “I can’t do this” over and over. So a part of me is giving up on life. Sure, I don’t necessarily want to die but I also don’t want to live. It’s a terrible feeling to have. I also definitely want to stop feeling so bad all the time but at the same time, I also don’t because I am so self punishing that I want to keep myself in pain. It’s quite messed up.

      But thank you for your wisdom. I think I’m just overwhelmed right now and so it’s difficult to see past that. I do believe what you’re saying and that there it is possible to heal but right now, I sure have difficulty fully accepting that…

      Yes, we need to hang in there (This is one of S’ favorite phrases, “Hang in there, Jules”). It IS hard. It does suck. But we’ll get through this.

      Thank you again for your response. It always feel great to know that you’ve read my post!

      Like

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