My Therapist and My Heart

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Image result for bing and artworks of a father embracing a daughter

I only post my own words once in a while.  While I post a lot of posts that I admire.  I also comment on many posts, and many times think “Oh, maybe I should have created a new post from that”  after I find that my comment has almost become an essay!  LOL!  I had a sudden realization yesterday that I thought maybe worth sharing.

A couple of months ago, I experienced a rupture in the relationship with my therapist of twenty years.  He had said something that bothered me and from there began ricochets like a pinball machine within me.  After numerous sessions (and the last one where I cried), I finally could feel that he was trustworthy again and felt the love and connection to him.

The pain that I experienced these many weeks was excruciating and nearly unbearable.  My father severely sexually abused me as  a child and teenager.  When this finally came to consciousness in the form of flashbacks in my thirties, it felt like a death.  The father I had loved and adored (when he wasn’t abusing me, we shared a sense of humor and he gave me attention and we shared  playing badmiton and chocolate soda shakes together.)  I lost this place in my heart that provided a feeling of being loved.  A few years ago,  I lost my faith in a loving God, who I thought of as my real father, when after a lifetime of abuse my second husband got a rare disease where he lost the ability to stand and walk and eventually to even sit up unaided. He also became deaf.  This was awful for him and also awful for me. Every month his condition became worse no matter what treatments the doctors gave him since nothing was known really on how to since it was so rare that research was minimal.  After a lifetime of abuse and hardship, the loving god that I had believed in and prayed to since I was a child, seemed to be a hoax.  Though I was very angry , at the same time, for him allowing another hardship of such proportions into my life.  I do not want to challenge anyone’s faith with my confession.  I wish you to keep it since it had given me such comfort, guidance and hope.

So, in a sense, I had lost two fathers.  Over the twenty years, that I had been receiving therapy from my male therapist, he had become among many things, a father-figure to me.  As I came out of the fog of confusion about the safety and trustworthiness that I had hitherto  found in him and could start to feel as I had about him before the misunderstanding, I began to see something in my heart that I had never seen clearly before.  (Please excuse me using the term heart.  I know it is my brain; but, I see emotions as stemming from the term heart.)  The reason that the rift had  been so painful became clear to me.  In my heart was this place where he resided.  All the support and a thousand kindnesses had created a place there where I felt close to him.  Just as a loving parent provides a space like this that supports us as we journey through life, he had created in me this same type of place.  I often leaned into this place for comfort and a feeling of love and safety.  Sometimes, I lay in a fetal position to rest from the difficulties of life and my mental conditions of PTSD, depression and anxiety.  I would get relief there and get up ready to once again struggle to try to live a better way.  That is why the rupture in this relationship was so painful.  I couldn’t find this oh-so necessary place which had nourished me all these years.  And, of course, he, temporarily had ceased creating in me the feeling of he and his office being a safe and nourishing space.  I had experienced the despair and desperate longing of a child suddenly orphaned.  There was nowhere to go to for my need for the good father.

Oh, when I found it again on Monday, I immediately crawled inside this place in my heart and felt all the comfort it supplied; but, I cried also for the time when I couldn’t find it and had despaired.  A bittersweet homecoming.

Art by Edvard Munch

 

Mental Health ~ Coping Skills

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Click on “View Original Post” to enlarge this chart.  It has many helpful suggestions for when one is under mental and emotional duress.

Weepy Day

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I am having a weepy day today.  You name it — I have cried over it.  It started this morning after waking from a bad dream.  You know the kind — the kind that seems realer than reality.  The experts say crying is supposed to be good for you.  But I don’t like it.   I find it frightening and fear it leading to a mental meltdown.  From silent tears to sobbing to practically keening and wailing, I have a whole repertoire.  Did it do me any good?  My best guess is maybe.  I didn’t numb out today.  I did finally function and get washed and dressed.  I washed the kitchen floor, swept the stairs and started a load of laundry.  But, when Onyx sat on my lap and purred  I started crying again because he was being so sweet.   Thankfully no one is home (but the cats) to see this spectacle that I am making of myself today.

I feel a bit calmer now.  Not so raw.  Perhaps, the cup of tea helped. 🙂  The storm has finally passed. Have you had a weepy, sad day recently?  Did you find crying helped?  Please feel free to share your thoughts.

 

 

 

Some Enchanted Afternoon

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Image result for PHOTOS OF TUXEDO CATS - BING

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Sight.”

Some Enchanted Afternoon

I had just dropped my son off at the bus station.  He was off to the big city — New York City — to begin his first semester of college.  I was experiencing all the classical symptoms of empty nest syndrome.  I had cried buckets of tears after his bus drove out of view.  After calming down, I knew I’d best not go back home or I’d just have another crying jag.  My friend, Sue, and her daughter, Renee, were looking to adopt a kitten.  I decided that while they were busy this day, I could look for  a kitty for them at a pet store they hadn’t gone to  yet.  (I usually do my adopting at animal shelters but they had already gone to the local one and hadn’t found any young kittens.)   Thinking of looking at kittens was already cheering me up as I drove over to the store.  With a spring in my step I walked up to the door and opened it.   A bell jangled to announce my arrival.  As I stepped in, I looked to the back of the store and stopped.  There was a   beautiful black and white tuxedo kitten with white whiskers and a white splotch on her nose. She looked just like the neighbor’s cat from my childhood.  I was instantly in love and I was twenty feet away.  A salesman asked me if I needed any help.  In a daze, I said “yes, I see a kitten” and walked past him in a trance. It was as if I were hypnotized. When I would remember these moments afterwards, I would hear the song “Some Enchanted Evening” playing in the background.

“Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger – You may see a stranger across a crowded room… and somehow you know, you know even then, that somehow you’ll see him again and again…”

Soon I reached the cage and I couldn’t believe how cute she was.  “Hello kitty”.  I greeted her while peering through the cage bars.  She mewed back.  The saleslady said I could take her out and hold her. (Its times like this I feel how great it is to be an adult!)  I opened the cage door and carefully gathered up her tiny furry body and brought her to my chest.  She didn’t protest but cuddled against me. I explained to the salesperson that I was looking for a kitten for a friend and I thought this one was just right.  I stroked her and talked to her and looked at her in amazement that anything could be this adorable.  Reluctantly, I put her back in the cage to call my friend.  I called her cell phone number, but she didn’t answer.  I left a voice mail.  I tried calling again in five minutes — still no answer.  The salesperson had agreed to hold the kitten for me while I made the phone calls.  What was I to do?  Surely, she’d be gone by the end of the day if I couldn’t get hold of Sue.  I realized that there was only one thing to do.  I’d have to buy her and save her for Renee and her mom!  Surely, they would adore her and if they didn’t — hey, I’d take her!  Oh, I felt as if I had wings and could fly as I paid for her.  I carried her out to my car in a box with air holes.  Now she was meowing in protest.

Driving home, I thought about my husband, Manny, seeing her.  He loved cats and adored the one we had — Abby.  “Wait till he sees you!” I spoke back to the mewing box.  “I bet you’ll cheer him right up.”  Manny was often down lately because he had lost most of his hearing and the hearing aids only helped a little.  I got home and unlocked the front door while my dog, Hoo,  barked and jumped upon me.  “Shhh — you’ll scare the kitty” I cautioned him.  Manuel was in the bedroom and so I placed the box upon the bed and told him to come and see. Then, I opened up the top of the box a little bit and out popped a wee head with tiny ears and tiny white whiskers.  As I opened it wider, I babbled on excitedly about picking up the kitten for Sue and Renee and how I didn’t even look at any of the other kittens.  Manny’s face was beaming as the kitten hopped out of the box and began walking upon the bed.  He petted  her and said “we’ll have to figure out a name for her”.  Suddenly, I realized that he thought I had brought her home for us!  He hadn’t heard me say that she was for our friends.  What was I to do?   He hadn’t looked this happy in months.  Well…it wasn’t as if Sue or Renee had seen the kitten yet and well… wasn’t I just in love with it?  And Manny would be so disappointed…And so, we named her.  My husband was from Mexico so I wanted her name to sound Spanish.  This was the first pet we had gotten together.  We quickly settled on the name Pepita and claimed her as our own.  As for my friends, they finally found their own kitten to love and were able to forgive me for taking Pepita!

Dear Cat

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Image result for photos of cats - orange tabbies

Photo from Bing

Much love and gratitude to Meeshka – my friend’s sweet purring therapy cat

I reblogged this from Pooky’s Poems in 2015.  Meeshka, my friend’s dear cat just had to be put to sleep at the ripe old age of eighteen.  She will be mourned and missed.

Pooky's Poems

Stroking your fur,
I sink into your purr
And I feel my anxiety lessen.

The stress of the day,
Floats so gently away,
In my life you’re a wonderful blessing.

I cuddle you tight,
When things aren’t feeling right,
You don’t judge,
You don’t tut,
You just listen.

You allow me to speak,
When I’m low or I’m weak,
Cat-less folk do not know
What they’re missing.


[For Mork and Mindy on theur tenth birthday]

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