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Old 01-17-2019, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part VI

Today’s session was a good way of addressing the aftermath of the 15th. R arrived and explained that there had been a chicken walking down the pavement as she was driving in. She isn’t overly keen on birds. We sat down and she asked how I had been.

‘This week has been gruelling.’
‘Tuesday was hard.’
‘What was Tuesday?’
‘Tuesday was the significant date I mentioned.’

I explained that it had been harder than I thought – stomach ache, restlessness and a severe headache yesterday.
‘And you are attributing all of that to this one day?’
‘I don’t recall so many physical symptoms before.’

I explained that I met a friend on Sunday. ‘Friend is too small a word for what this person is.’
‘Somebody very important to you, then?’
‘She was supporting me at uni when the photos came.’
‘So she has an understanding of what you have been through.’
‘Yes, and yet when she asked me how I was, I said “Work is going well.”’
‘So you didn’t want to expose her to that, and you didn’t answer her question?’
‘Eventually, she asked in a little more detail…not pushy, but…’
‘Gentle probing?’
‘Yes, the Critic was present, arguing whether the date is truly significant, but I eventually said I needed to ask her something.’
I couldn’t get the words out, so she asked me whether I wanted her to text me. R asked whether knowing that I was in mind on that day would have been helpful to me, and wondered whether I would have felt worse if I hadn’t asked for that additional support. I said that I’d told my friend about the experiences of asking R for post-it notes, and R said that she hoped the more I asked for things, the easier it might become.
We talked about how I am more used to sadness than anger.
‘Is anger less comfortable because it is a newer emotion, or because it is less easy to express?’

I replied that it was a little of both. We went on to talk about and list ways in which people express anger. I laughed as I talked about growling, and R wondered whether I was embarrassed. I explained that I express anger so infrequently that it comes across as funny to other people. R replied that she has heard me swear in session, and it does not strike her as funny. I explained that it is probably because people aren’t used to hearing that from me. At some point the Critic entered and R highlighted the fact that I had turned away from her whilst fending off the Critic. I tried to get the words out twice before I ultimately said ‘What I mean is, did you get my email?’

She confirmed that she did, and apologised for not responding. Then the conversation returned to my feeling that anger, expressed well, should not affect anyone. She gave examples of slamming doors, and if somebody drove into her car. I said it was alright to express anger at somebody driving into your car.

‘I am having trouble justifying my anger.’ I continued. I brought some of this on myself. I reiterated that the ideal anger, if there is such a thing… ‘It’s your new theory’, doesn’t hurt anybody else. I observed that 'There seems to be a crossover between interpersonal and situational anger.'

R said that she would keep that as an observation.

R asked me something like ‘What would you do with your anger, in an ideal world? No magic wand, that doesn’t exist, but…’

‘In an ideal world I would like them to know that they hurt me, but that’s evident from ‘She knows you worry and ‘I didn’t want to tell you this, but.’

‘That is when I hear the most anger from you.’

‘Going back to what I said earlier, I trust you, and I don’t want my expressions of anger in this space to affect you.’

R explained that anger directed at her would not be acceptable, but anything below that level is fine.

‘I trust you and yet I want to protect you from my darkest imaginings.’

‘That comes across.’

I reiterated that I needed to find my way of expressing anger, and she offered to find some exercises we can do together.
Your mind won't be still
It may not again
You don't think it will
But it will, it will

'Empress' - Snow Patrol

I've carried that nothing for a long time
-Bruce Springsteen, 'Tucson Train'

Last edited by LostOnTheTrail; 01-17-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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