Tuesday, June 13, 2006

defective

My therapy session today was good again, difficult but good. Today I talked about how I feel defective. Of course, at some cognitive level I know that I'm not, at least not in the sense that I feel. It's a lie that I believed from how my father treated me. So my therapist had me do some inner-child work today (I had never done any before). She had me envision one of the episodes where my father abused me and come up with things that someone (my adult self or someone else) could have said to little me cowering from his raging father. She suggested I could speak as an angel if I wanted so I did. I was able to think of quite a few things to say to little me in that situation (we were in my father's boat), such as:

You did your best.
I'll be your friend and play with you when you get a break.
Your father is wrong to consider you defective because you couldn't row the boat as he wanted.
Some day you will be bigger and stronger and will be able to row a boat better.
There is nothing wrong with you, even though your father is saying there is.

My therapist is very affirming. She said I did good work there.

And she wanted me to do something about the lie I have believed that I am defective. Wow, that was tough. My mind went blank. I told her I wanted to get rid of the lie, to stop believing and feeling it, but had no idea how to do it. She suggested that I use my imagination on that one--she said I had just proved with the inner-child work that I could enter into imagination and do good work. It's going to be difficult. It's difficult for some of us to assassinate emotional lies we've lived with for so long. But as I drove home I got an idea that might help. I might invite our children and their spouses to attend a funeral. I've got the literal label which I printed out today and put on my bike riding safety vest (I put it on for "show and tell" with my therapist). The label has the word "defective" on it. I might tear it up and invite others in the family to help me do that. Maybe we will also cremate it then put it in a box and bury it in our back yard. I might even ask our Sunday School teacher (he is great as is his wife) to bring his ministerial order of service book and help with the graveside ceremony. I know it's not going to work just to do some ritual. It's got to trigger me at some deep emotional level. My therapist and I have been getting to that level. I'm pleased that it could happen immediately. Well, I'm paying for it this time and I'm older, more ready for the needed changes.

My therapist was the most active in our session she has been in any of our sessions. We had one long quiet time today. I don't think it bothered either of us.

She is so good at empathetic truth-telling.

I can't keep believing the lies. They are too much baggage to keep carrying around. I just can't stop and turn a switch and suddenly stop believing these lifelong patterned beliefs. This is hard work!

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