calming what’s inside

I recently told T that if we can’t find a way to calm the inside, I don’t think we’re going to be able to get very far with everything else. It’s loud and busy and I cannot focus on anything in session (or elsewhere for that matter) due to the ongoing commentary in my head.

Last Friday was the worst it’s ever been. I don’t know if it’s because of everything we’ve been talking about or because of the upcoming Easter break (which truthfully, I feel like I shouldn’t even complain about because T is only gone for one session).

T wanted to know what it sounded like inside, so I shared a super long message I had written (which I won’t even bore you with) about everything that goes on. I had a hard time but we did get through part of it. Most of it seems to come from either a very young place or an extremely mean and harsh inner critic.

Anyways, here’s a little bit of what went on last Friday in about 20 minutes (I left out the really nasty parts). It started as soon as I sat down on T’s couch. To make it easier to follow, the inner critic is in colour….

I hope that loud man next door doesn’t bang the wall today. Please don’t bang the wall. Please don’t bang the wall. Wonder what socks he’s wearing today. He has nice socks. Unless they’re the ones with the red dots. Please don’t be wearing the socks with the red dots….or any other socks with red in them for that matter. Oh God, they have red stripes!! I don’t like red. Blue is good. Blue is calm and safe. But not red. What in the hell is wrong with you!?!? DO NOT say that out loud…..EVER!!! This was a bad idea. Such a bad idea. We shouldn’t be here telling the secrets that we shouldn’t tell. They are going to find out and we’re going to get into big trouble. Why didn’t you cancel? You should’ve cancelled. We should have stayed away. You are so pathetic and needy. It’s hot. It’s too hot in here. It’s hard to breathe and it’s too hot. We should just run away.

Oh no, next Friday is Good Friday and that means we aren’t going to meet. What is going to happen?!?! You can’t even deal with one extra day?? Uh oh….here comes the never-ending need to make sure he’s still there. Hope he is prepared for another one of those pathetic ‘are you still there?’ messages. Like where in the actual fuck would he go anyways? We used to just call his voicemail but not leave a message. Maybe you could do that again? Maybe that wouldn’t make it feel so bad if we could just hear his voice. Then we would know he was really real. Yes go ahead and call his voicemail and then hang up. You do realize that’s what crazy people do right (and I don’t mean fun crazy, but more like you belong in a ward crazy)? You can’t just call someone and then hang up. But how are we going to remember him? How will we know he is still real and there when it doesn’t feel like it? But what if he answers? You can’t just hang up on people. But, we don’t want to say anything, we just want to know that he is still there.

He already gave you that rock. Remember? Don’t ask for too much because then you’ll be too much. Oh, the rock., Right!! It’s with the other rocks collected from the other place. It’s our favourite place. That’s where we like to go when the world feels too big. Maybe we can go there later and bring the rock. Maybe he could come to the place with the other rocks. He would like it. We could go and collect rocks together and he could see the big waves. It’s safe there. Or we can go to the beach and have fun. Winter is long and boring and dark all the time. The dark is scary.

Beaches sometimes have lighthouses, like the ones on Prince Edward Island. We love it there and can’t wait to go this summer. He used to have the picture of a lighthouse, but now that clock is there. Did he get the clock because we always need to know what time it is? Maybe he was tired of saying what the time was. We miss the lighthouse picture. Now we just see the bicycle on the wall. Unless we turn and then we can see the Edmund Fitzgerald. But that’s sad because it sank and we don’t like to think about it.

Ooooh, we should get a new tattoo. Call Ryan and book a new tattoo. He can finally do the lighthouse and we are finally feeling brave enough to use words “and I was never sure whether you were the lighthouse or the storm’. She will hate it but it doesn’t matter anymore. It doesn’t matter what she says. Even if she leaves it won’t matter anymore. He promised he wouldn’t leave…..

Oh God, he’s staring. Why is he staring? What are we supposed to say or do now? Don’t move. If we don’t move and don’t look at him then maybe we can disappear and he won’t have anything to stare at anymore. How do you know he’s staring? You aren’t even looking at him, so how do you know he’s staring. Maybe he’s rolling his eyes at you or sleeping because you’re so boring and uninteresting and you’re wasting his time. 

Ask for paper. Ask for paper. ASK FOR PAPER. Maybe it will be easier to write it down. Or it will at least be a distraction. He remembered that we like pencil, not pen. I like the pencil with the eraser. It reminds me of the calendar at the office. I wonder if he would notice if I put the pencil with the eraser in my pocket? You can’t steal his pencil!!! Give it back to him. Make sure you give it back to him.

WRITE SOMETHING because he’s still staring.

Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Whatever you do, don’t cry.

Don’t write that. Don’t draw that. Don’t tell him those things. If you can’t write something SAY SOMETHING….ANYTHING….but don’t tell him how it really feels.

He says there is nothing to be scared of. He says that we can trust him and that he won’t hurt us. What does he know anyways? He doesn’t know what they said and did. He wasn’t there. He doesn’t understand. Don’t you dare tell him what they said and did. He doesn’t need to know those things. That is none of his business. If you tell him he will be angry at you. Just nod your head yes and agree there is nothing to be afraid of. Do NOT make eye contact because then he’ll see how awful you really are. So needy and pathetic….once again.

You do realize that he doesn’t need you in his life, right? He’s probably counting the days until he retires so that he can finally be rid of you and your neediness and everything else that comes with you. He’ll probably change his phone number and email address too so that you will never be able to see him or talk to him again.

For God’s sake stop talking.  Just shut your face and stop talking to him.

Is it time to go yet? Please say it’s time to go. It feels like it’s been FOREVER since this started. Please, is it time to go?

T took what I wrote in stride. Of course he did. He thinks it’s very creative how my mind works but he is not happy with the inner critic at all. T thinks he’s very mean and nasty and probably repeats a lot of the things my father said. I told him that I think my inner critic is a bit of an asshole. :/ He kind of chuckled but quickly said that we need to tame him down ASAP. As for the other things, he says it’s like that because of everything that happened. He says not to worry though because it’s all going to be okay.

Before we said goodbye T said to call his voicemail and hang up as many times as needed and that we can go online and see his picture on the website if we want. He says those things will help to prove he is real. He also said that messages are fine whenever, even if it is Easter. Then he said he’ll be there next Wednesday to meet with us and that it’s not really too far off at all. Says T!! It feels too far for us.

Last evening we did end up sending a message to him because we needed to know if he would be far away. He assured us he would be close by. Sometimes just those few words seems to settle things a bit–knowing he is there, that he will answer and that he is close by–at least for a little while.

I’m sure I’m not the only one this happens to, but it’s hard to wrap my head around. I think if I can get a little space from it then maybe we can finally start to work our way through the other things that have been going on. Maybe, eventually, that inner critic will even go fuck himself.

How does everyone else calm what’s inside and soothe themselves so it doesn’t feel so chaotic all the time? Does talking about it with your T make it better? Do you write or draw? There must be something out there that will help. Even just a little bit.

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