from my journal for Saturday, September 8
In my session with Erica we didn’t talk much — I didn’t have a lot to say. I told her about the odd blank times — how sometimes it was a relief, and sometimes it was scary. I’m so afraid I will forget something important. Because of all the times Mother expected me to know things I hadn’t been told? Erica said the blank times were scary because the ego dissolved. Wasn’t sure what that meant, but thinking of it now I see that it’s a kind of constructed identity that dissolves, and I am not that. In fact all this recent work has been to dismantle the constructed identity, maybe the blank times are an indicator of success.
I think that what’s being so confusing about this time in my life is that I’m having to deal with a lot of bureaucratic details, and at the same time I have this very deep process going on. I can see that it would be much easier to do the deep work if I were in a hospital, asylum, nunnery. Supported by having people around me, and a day structured around meals and simple activities — exercise/yoga, meditation/prayer, therapy.
I am so profoundly discouraged. I want to cry. I want to crawl into a hole and pull it tight behind me. If I could have anything at all it would be to have a soul conversation with someone.
I was typing up the notes from the session with Erica on August 10. Revisiting them I see why this time in my life is so difficult. Because I have enough support — Kendal is providing a really solid container — the earliest issues, the youngest parts of me are coming up to be processed. But I don’t have enough of the kind of support I need to do the processing. The baby part of me is desperately confused and scared about all the bureaucratic details — one example is: I signed up to be able to connect with the Hanover Friends on the internet, but it looks like there’s more I have to do, and I don’t understand what. My baby part can’t handle it, but the energy of this very young part of me is so big in my life that my adult can’t block her off enough to function in the bureaucratic world. My adult is also distracted by wanting to facilitate this deep process, but finds it very difficult because the baby can’t communicate verbally. I wish I had something like family group to go to every day. It would help move the process along a very little at a time. If I’m struggling so hard just to explain what I think is going on, and I don’t really expect anyone to be able to understand, how can I possibly find help?
Once again I’m expecting myself to do something that is much too difficult, would be difficult for most people, not just me. I’m angry at myself for not doing better. I want to be able to explain it to people so they can see why I’m not succeeding at the things I think I should be getting done. But they don’t even see me this way.
I called my friend Carolyn, to see if she wanted to go for a walk, and she was struggling with the same kind of petty bureaucratic issues. But she’s a person with some success in navigating the social world. That helped. And then we got laughing hysterically, which we often do, and that helped enormously. I stopped feeling like I was weird.
But I also think that my analysis of the problem, that my baby part and my adult part are finding it difficult to work together, is correct, and the answer is I have to be much more patient with myself. It’s taking a long time to get through this because it’s HARD, dammit!
The comment about “family group” — the family group is part of the structure of the Kindred Spirits Gathering. Everybody there is assigned to one of six family groups, so there are about ten people in each, including two staff people. We have two hours every morning, to talk about what’s going on for us, and ask for what we want, usually help with what we are struggling with. The usual format is to go around the circle and each person has a short time to say how they are doing. Then the time left is divided up, there’s usually about 7 minutes a person, and we each get that time to talk about what’s up, emote about it, scream, yell, cry about it. One person in my recent family group, after they had been triggered into being very upset, laughed and said “Triggers are good! this is Rowe!”