Phew, oh man, feelings really snuck up on me today. Like, whoa.
We talked about trauma. I didn’t realize how much it affected me until a little while later.
The exercise involved icebergs. On the top, we wrote things people would easily observe about us. For me, I wrote things like: I’m short, I like purple, I smile a lot, I laugh a lot, I like to make people laugh… and a few others.
Then, on the under side of the iceberg, we wrote things people don’t generally see.
Narcissistic mother, family of codependents — learned care-taking by the age of 4… cheating husband, bullied in school. And so on.
As I wrote it down, I joked that “I could write a whole novel down here!” I’ve done so much work on me, and I’m so familiar with these things, I wanted to write them all down.
Then we shared our icebergs with the class. Ok, no big deal, right? I’m so familiar with this stuff. Hell, there were more people at my first step share, where I went over all that in great detail!
No big deal!
WRONG!! Oh so, so very wrong.
About 2ish hours later, after lunch, they were starting the next “lesson.” I realized I was feeling… off. My chair felt too warm… I had been sitting there for a while, so I got a new chair. Nope. That didn’t do it. Ok, I’ll take a walk.
They’ve been emphasizing self care pretty strongly, so I decided I would exercise that, take a walk.
Oh good, on that walk, I can finally take care of that reminder voicemail from Sid’s office about our appointment on Saturday. It had been Tuesday, but I pushed it up when I decided to go home early because I miss Emma.
Cancel? What? Crap. Ok… I call back, and we set a different time on Saturday.
*Phew* Now I can relax. I just want to sit in the grass here for a few minutes, look at the sky, and do nothing.
People start coming outside, invading my very limited patch of grass. We’d broken into two groups today, and the entire other group came outside for an exercise.
Ok, ok, I get the hint, I should go back inside. Crap. Self care. I still need self care. OH! The one trainer’s doggie is here today! I’ll pet the adorable, sweet, doggie! (I’d pet her earlier, with owner and other people)
“I hope you don’t mind that I’m petting your dog. This is my self care…”
“Yeah, I’d really prefer it if you ask me first. She’s a service dog, and that’s one of her boundaries.”
I apologized, and meekly returned to my seat. There goes my other attempt at self care!
The dam burst. I felt the cracks giving way, and hurried outside.
I’ve come to kind of hate the phrase ugly cry, but I’m lacking a better one at the moment.
It wasn’t about the intrusion of the patch of grass. It wasn’t about the appointment with Sid getting cancelled. It wasn’t about the dog (or the owner). It was about all the past trauma I projectile vomited at my class without flinching. Those other things just piled up to finally break down everything I’d been holding in since that exercise.
Long story short (too late!) I made program calls, talked to Cameron (who reminded me that there are good things on the bottom of that iceberg, too!), cried a bunch more… called Sid’s office back, AGAIN… they’re having issues with their scheduling software. *sigh* The appt. is moved back to Tuesday… which took some shuffling of other things on my end… and makes it two weeks between therapy appointments… and then like an hour later, I got a reminder Email about the first appointment I’d tried to make on Saturday?? Lots of frustration, I’ll figure out tomorrow.
I finally get my patch of grass back. So I sit. Then I lay in the grass. Once I’m feeling better-ish, I decide to go across the lot and get a milkshake.
“Dee! Where are you going? It’s only a 10 minute break?”
My eyes still involuntarily leaking, I abandon the milkshake idea, and join my classmate. I break one of my bottom lines, and bum a cigarette from the guy. Socialize with him and the other smokers, then we go back in.
Overall I missed somewhere around an hour of training. An entire topic.
And I came back, mostly put-back-together… just in time for the “Write your self care plan” exercise. Man, I needed that one before trauma informed care. But ultimately, it was perfect timing.
I guess the moral of my long winded story is: holy shit, feelings.