I had therapy on Monday for the first time in a month. I usually go ever other week, but due to family vacations and other events on both of our calendars, we had to go longer this time. Lucky for me, I am getting much better at this.
I had one thing that had been on my mind to bring up with Hillary to talk to her about. I had been holding on to it, waiting to talk through it with her so that I could feel better about it.
My ex-husband is switching jobs. Which is great for him and I’m really happy for the family that this opportunity has come up for him. However it means that there will be a delay in child support. Which is in no way his fault, it is just a matter of fact when dealing with the state.
Some times it takes a few extra weeks and some times it takes a few extra months. WE WILL be fine, I just don’t like when things come out of left field (control) and not knowing when/if the money will get deposited. Still paying medical bills for James tonsils, school starting in a month needing new clothes/shoes and finishing out the summer. Anyway, that was my initial panic.
I tell Hillary all of this and she says, well it sounds like because of the person you are of course you had that initial thought. Though it sounds likes you have calmed yourself down and you know that all of that will work itself out. But, you still look like you feel something and she put her hand on her chest, she was mirroring me. I was sitting with my hand on my chest and didn’t even realize it.
I said yes, I actually feel like there is an elephant standing on my chest. I did the afternoon that Matt told me he switching jobs too. I found myself struggling to breath and needing to move around the house to calm down. It felt like I was having a panic attack.
Hillary said that my voice was deeper and that my skin was flush. I told her that I felt extremely warm, sad and out of control.
It wasn’t the current events that were making me feel this way. It was something in my brain relating this change of jobs to the feelings I had when he changed his job nearly 7 years ago,when we were still married. It was the “trauma” as Hillary calls it, coming to the surface.
I like to think am a pretty rational person (my husband, Paul would probably say that isn’t true, LOL). So, when my head knows that there is no real reason for me to feel a certain way, but it doesn’t send the right message to my insides I get even more worked up.
Hillary said that the feelings of my trauma are rooted deep inside of me. That every time an event comes up that stirs the emotions and I allow myself to live in the feelings, we are creating new synapses so that the roots are being cut off. Leaving the feelings a little less deep for the next time, eventually we will have worked them all out.
The whole time we were talking, I was holding my chest, feeling my heart. Waiting for it to calm down. Hillary asked me to explain how my body felt, which I did. Then I told her that “no one should have to feel this uncomfortable in their own skin.” She asked me what I feel like I want to do when I am in that situation, I told her that I really wanted to throw things (which I don’t ever do, by the way). She said “you aren’t the first person who has sat in this room who has told me that”, then she opened up a drawer of KOOSH balls.
She told me to throw them across the room, she ran and caught them after I threw them, handed them back to me so that I could throw them again. When I feel that anxiety in my chest, I just need to get it out some how. I don’t know what is the best way. Most of the time I get up and take a walk, pace around the house or outside. Sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough though.
So here I was in this safe place to throw things that weren’t going to hurt anything or anyone and it felt great. I said to Hillary, you know I work with Early Childhood Professionals for a living. Sometimes I get asked what do you do with a child who wants to throw? My answer is always, give them something that is OK for them to throw. That was what Hillary had done for me!
I left that room feeling better. I finally got to talk to someone who just let me talk. And someone who understood why for some reason this event that in all actuality has VERY LITTLE to do with me, could bring up so many feelings for me.
To wrap it up, I told Hillary again, I am excited for all of the opportunity this brings to Matt, Jess and the kids. That I am here to support and encourage all of them. That I extended my wishes, my thoughts and my help to both Matt and Jess. And that maybe, just maybe I will be at the restaurant at some point to support them in person.