It feels like I am sloshing my way through some muddy waters in therapy lately. Most of the time I end up feeling like I need to be dragged along because I can’t seem to keep up. Don’t get me wrong, the speed of my therapy sessions would be somewhere in the range of sloth-like, so I’m not trying to suggest that T is moving at paces I am uncomfortable with. Lately, I’ve just felt like I’m quite stuck in a really dark place with no escape route in site.
T and I are back to only meeting once a week as I’ve currently decided to drop the Wednesday session for the moment. He offered to meet twice a week face-to-face and also suggested meeting once a week and still doing the Wednesday session virtually but I can’t really describe virtual therapy as anything other than a crapshoot. T says he’s had minimal contact with anyone and does not spend a lot of his time in the community but if I’m being at all honest close contact with anyone (even him) makes me a bit uncomfortable these days. Unlike some of my acquaintances, I do not believe Coronavirus is a hoax nor do I believe hydroxychloroquine which I take daily is going to prevent me from getting it. While just one session a week doesn’t feel quite sustainable it’s what we’ve got for the moment while still allowing me to feel as though I am somewhat reducing my own personal risk. For now, Friday is it.
Last week’s nightmare left me so unsettled that by Friday’s session I wasn’t sure I should have even attended. There was one point where T shifted in his chair and I could feel myself physically pushing into the couch hoping that if I went back far enough it would swallow me up and make me disappear. He knew something was amiss and asked me if I could just try to breathe, feel safe and realize that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. After some gentle nudging, I ended up telling him I had a nightmare about him being a very bad person. He was really good about it and said it made sense how that would be quite upsetting for me.
I asked him whether he was a hunter but he wouldn’t give me a definitive answer. He asked me if that’s what the nightmare was about and then wanted to know what he was hunting. He also inquired whether I, knowing what I know about him, thought he was in fact a hunter. Honestly, it’s a tough call because where I live if at least one person in your family doesn’t hunt or fish you’re a bit of an oddball. I don’t think he is but living where we live I don’t know for certain. T isn’t originally from here though so it’s quite possible that he isn’t. Irregardless he didn’t answer so I still don’t know whether he hunts or not.
Truthfully, I don’t quite know why knowing if T is a hunter is such a pressing matter for me at the moment but it is definitely contributing to quite a lot of uncertainty. One minute I feel okay about him and the very next moment, it feels as though he is a very dangerous and unsafe man. He wanted to know if I knew any hunters and of course I said yes. Then he wanted to know if anyone in my family hunted. Yes, again I told him it was true. He asked me who but I didn’t give names. He left it at that but I feel as though there is more that he wanted to say.
He asked me to write about the parts of the nightmare that I am able to remember and that perhaps we could go over it together. I’m not sure whether or not I will do it it but I have a few more days to consider the option. I actually find it quite anxiety-inducing so I try not to go back to it often. We agreed to meet next Friday and then the session was over.
Later on Friday evening, I started to wonder if T was mad at me for feeling as though he was a dangerous person. I don’t know about other people but if someone had a nightmare about me and suddenly looked at me differently because if it, I think I would feel pretty bad about it. It’s not an unusual thing for me to ask him if he’s upset as me as I do it every so often so I messaged him. He said no but wanted to know why I would feel that way. I replied that perhaps it would be offensive, me thinking he was a dangerous and bad person and if so, I was sorry.
His reply?? ‘it’s because you’re afraid of getting close to people‘
I don’t really know what it was about his response but I suddenly found myself quite upset by it. I spent a few hours internalizing it and finally replied with ‘so?‘ All the things I wanted to say, and that was all I could come up with…an indignant ‘so’. Classic and completely immature of me. He hasn’t responded and I am refusing to engage partly because I don’t really think there’s a point and partly because it’s not feeling much like a text message conversation.
I’m not denying that it’s the way things are at all but there’s something about the comment that feels like I am being stabbed with a red hot poker. I guess it just directly points out things that I already know. That I don’t really have a whole lot of positive life experiences that have left me feeling as though relationships are safe or sustainable.
The truth is hard. The truth is awkward, and very often, the truth hurts. I mean, people say they want the truth, but do they really? The truth is painful. Deep down nobody wants to hear it, especially when it hits close to home.