A few sessions ago we started on what Maren calls "reparenting." She did a lot of explaining of it to me in previous sessions and on Thursday's session we went through an exercise that left me feeling awesome the rest of the day.
It's. . .probably odd. But. Whatever. Anyway.
I'm a very visual person. During my personal journey through healing and exploration, I've often visualized myself as three people. Three versions of myself. I would really like to do a series of little comics or drawings with them to express my feelings. To express my pain. To help with my healing. It's been very difficult. I've tried several times and have failed. I figured maybe it isn't time.
I am mentioning this again as it relates to the exercise I went through on Thursday.
We went over different emotional states a person can go through. More of a general scale, not specific to emotion. For example, being too emotional to the point of being irrational, different ways of being defensive, and then being rational. That's what we discussed and went over leading up to Thursday's session.
It began with her asking me, "What are some things you wish you were told growing up?"
I immediately began crying. The biggest thing is simply: "I appreciate you."
Just knowing and hearing that I am appreciated. From there I went on to add being told that I am good enough, good job, that it is okay when I made a mistake, that I can be whoever I want to be, that I am proud of you and who you are, you mean a lot to me, you did your best and that's what is important. . .
"I am proud of you." is a painful one to admit. I didn't exactly hear it growing up and today I hear it all the time from my mother. Which makes it painful. It seems so disingenuous now. Especially when "and who you are" is tacked on. Because she doesn't know who I am. I know that.
I calmed down after finishing up. She gave me a stuffed animal to hold onto, told me to close my eyes, and listen to her voice.
I ended up picturing myself sitting down on the grass outside of a cabin in a forest. A stream was close by and I was looking at me as a child. child!Me came over and crawled up into my lap and we hugged. Maren had written down everything I said I wish I had been told as a child and basically, one by one, had me say them to the child!Me I was picturing.
It was hard. Some of it was emotional. And I just kept thinking as I imagined myself clutching child!Me, "I love you, I love you so much."
It was similar to when I went through the forgiveness exercise to forgive myself for my suicide attempt. It was a great moment for me and the rest of the day I felt great. I am supposed to take time every day and do the same thing.
Without realizing it, I've been trying to do this very thing for some time now. It's pretty much what I've been trying to draw. But I didn't have the proper direction or the complete idea behind it.
It makes me feel optimistic for the future. Even though there are days and moments where I am struggling, I keep thinking "I can't go back." I can't and I won't.
I am more determined than ever.