Tuesday, July 13
Work with Erica was experiential, she asked me to not write during the session. Passages in italics are from my journal:
An intense session with Erica. She managed to get me out of being trapped in rock. Suddenly just at the end of the session I was able to see my plants and the trees outside my windows.
Wednesday, July 14
I didn’t write about my experience with Erica. She said not to write notes, just be with the feelings. [margin: grounding first feet & butt] Intense fear spread from my heart to my whole body, chill down my back, tingling in toes. Erica kept asking what I was feeling, what I sensed. I began to feel that I was trapped in rock. Erica started reaching her hand down from above. I couldn’t really see it, but then I had a sense of a jackhammer and then it was like the rock just dissolved. At some point I realized it wasn’t real rock but metaphorical.
Thursday, July 15
Second cup of tea. I feel like I’m buying into something being real that isn’t. Like the rock that faded when I imagined a jackhammer. The image was a baby completely surrounded by rock, which is terrifying, but the truth is that the baby was in freeze, not in rock. I think one problem is the way I believe my emotions are telling me the truth about the situation. I think about Deborah believing that she almost killed her baby sister, when it wasn’t physically possible. Nancy Napier says feelings are to be taken seriously but not literally.
Deborah is the protagonist of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. She had a “memory” of trying to kill her younger sister, but her therapist asked her for details of what she remembered, and deduced that it was not possible for a child to lift a baby out of a bassinet that was taller than she was.
A hit of fear. I tell the little one that the danger was real then, but it’s not real now. You survived then, and in now you are taken care of. Letting my head & shoulders shake. I’ve felt some moments of deep relief. A small niggling fear rises up. I pat it and say there there, this is what is real now. I look at the plants and my room and it feels very present, and then I lose that feeling. Am I always a little dissociated, always partly in the world of traumatized baby? Another subtle hit of fear. This is so confusing. I go back to my feet on the floor, my butt on the couch.
We are here, now, in this room that I created, with the beautiful color on the walls, and my familiar and well-loved paintings, prints, books.