I love this post, by one of my favourite bloggers, because there are two very powerful concepts described within it, which resonate with me very much indeed.
I have been, and continue to be, resistant to many things in therapy. I still struggle with resistance against accepting the boundaries of therapy; resistance against taking on board that I may have missed out on a type of acceptance when growing up that simply cannot be ‘made up for’, but must be grieved; and resistance against the possibility of mending my broken relationship with my parents. Those are just three examples from a much longer list.
There has been movement in other areas, though – where, as the post says, I have embraced new realisations that I previously resisted. This includes, as described in a couple of recent posts, accepting the idea that I must ‘wait‘ and be open to receiving what others have to give and to the possibility of developing self-validation, rather than constantly asking for reassurance from others.
I think the most powerful lines in the post are the final ones: “When I started therapy, I imagined letting go to be the conclusion, but it’s actually just the beginning.” In some ways, ‘letting go’ feels so much like a loss, involving suffering and being left empty; whereas this post makes it clear that it’s not so much about losing something, but about gaining the ‘here and now’ – coming face to face with the person we are in the present. More than that, it makes it clear there is still so much work to do – we can let go of what cannot be rewritten and we can do an awful lot to mould the way we deal with what we have let go.
I’m fearful that ‘letting go’ will change me – but perhaps it’s actually about realising that I have already changed. It’s not about leaving something behind, but about recognising the ways in which it still is, and may always be, present in some way. And perhaps it’s resistance to that idea, and accepting what that means, that makes letting go so difficult to do.
Everything was ticking along rather nicely in therapy, until circumstances took an unexpected turn three weeks ago. I’ve managed to keep my head above the depression, but it has been difficult to write or read other blogs… my apologies. Thankfully, the worst of it’s slowly edging away like a stormy weather front.
I have spent months sharing past memories, edging through childhood trauma, recounting the years of sexual abuse, and trawling the effects of growing up with narcissistic parents has become one of the most enlightening and validating experiences of my life.
During those developments, my head felt as though it was in an endless chaotic loop. I steamrolled ahead and experienced a number of lightbulb moments along the way and even the odd bolt of lightning, but it was a relief to feel the intensity of the issues start to fizzle out.
I reached the end of that process…
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July 30, 2015 at 6:25 pm
Very nice reblog, thank you for being so sweet!
I reckon we could build most of our therapy around the resistance in our lives. Missing things as a child must be grieved and accepted, but easier said than done. Nothing can fill the gap, but maybe wisdom and self-love can help. I suppose we can only try to let go of how something affects us, but we can never forget, maybe just change how we view and deal with it… I’m still working on it 🙂
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July 31, 2015 at 10:27 pm
Same here 🙂 And yes, definitely easier said that done! Self-love – I still cringe a little when I hear that, even though I know how important it is. Another thing that feels a little unachievable right now, but I’m working on that too 🙂
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July 31, 2015 at 2:53 pm
“I still struggle with resistance against accepting the boundaries of therapy; resistance against taking on board that I may have missed out on a type of acceptance when growing up that simply cannot be ‘made up for’, but must be grieved…” I think a point made by Cat and you of the importance of capturing the present moment is crucial. Sometimes in the effort to recapture the past, we miss out on what remains possible right now. The danger of a perpetual look behind is that once the grieving is done re: childhood, you next have to grieve the missed adulthood! None of us gets everything we want, even those we consider “lucky.” Proper grieving must have an end to allow for proper flourishing. As Cat says, we all have spiders (of one kind or another). They tend not to wait until we are done with treatment.
July 31, 2015 at 10:57 pm
Thank you- another example of something I completely agree with but find so difficult to put into practice. And you’ve also picked up on one of my biggest fears and sources of guilt – that in spending all this time in therapy and in particular with my ‘head in therapy’, while my children are young, will mean I don’t focus on them completely now, and will end up regretting that and grieving that later. I have to battle the thought that what I’m doing is self-indulgent and could wait until they are older. However, part of me knows that if I wasn’t in therapy, things would be so much worse, and if I wasn’t trying to be self-aware and to understand my own past, I wouldn’t have the same chance to try and ensure I don’t repeat certain patterns of behaviour with my own children. But it’s hard not to feel great anxiety about what I’m doing with the ‘here and now’ – made worse by a constant fear and belief that I’m ‘running out of time’…..