being seen – coming out of my shell

March 18, 2014Karen Courcy

il_570xN.253519765Today I had a really good session! I am blessed for how open and trusting the session felt today, and in that good open connection came understanding about something that has baffled us for years in our work together.

What is the weight (silence) and why it shows up when it does?

We both came to realize just what the weight (silence) means when it shows up in session or anywhere else in my life.

The weight is simply messages, feelings and thoughts not told, and once we both realized that today, everything fell into place.

being a child abuse survivor I have learned at a young age how to keep things to myself. It was threatened into me and I was abused for speaking anything that I put out there, so of course over time I learned to just sit in silence.

Over the past 7 years that I have been in therapy my whole process has been about “talking”. But there is a difference between talking about something that happened vs talking about how I feel now. It’s easy to talk about what feelings were or what happened, because you can’t quire touch on the emotions from the past as you can touching on the emotions and thoughts that we have now in this moment, and that is vulnerable.

I have a very bad habit of keeping hard things to myself and trying to take care of it on my own. I Will sometimes keep hard things from my husband just to save him from feeling the stress of it. I would rather ME hold the burden than for me to see someone else suffer in it. I hold big big things inside and I try to take care of it on my own.

Yes over the past couple of years I have learned to let that go a little, but I still find myself pulling back from really letting people know when I have feelings about something. When I am scared, when I am worried about something. I will go inward and “lick my wounds” so to speak. I will go inward and try to figure out ways to move through it and when I hold that big burden of feelings and thoughts inside, it caused the WEIGHT to show up in my life.

When I go to therapy and I am holding something big that I am not talking about, it creates a “wedge” in the room and then my therapist picks up on energy that is not quite right with me, and I then pick up his bad energy trying to figure out mine, and before you know it, I am silenced and disconnected around something I am not talking about trying to do it alone.

Today in session I realized what I was doing, and I just came out and shared with my therapist all kinds of things that I was holding and it felt like weight was being lifted off my shoulders. He leaned IN and listened and asked me if he could help me talk about some of the things that I was holding.

Not only did he lean in, but he offered his support and we both talked about how we can set up a great connection and support around this, and I was lifted in knowing “wow I don’t have to hold all this stuff”.

Yes I talk in therapy, of course I talk in therapy, but I don’t always let my therapist know just all the stuff I hold. I protect others in what I do talk about and what I don’t talk about – but what if I just let it ALL out to be heard and known?

So, I will start with this blog …. These next 2 weeks are going to be very hard for me. I have a huge heart DR appointment on the 27th to where they will be making a decision on whether I will be having open heart surgery or not. I am SCARED! It touches on my past so much that it literally has had me in anxiety just thinking about it, but I never told my therapist or my husband just how scared I have been. I have been holding this alone for over a month now in between all the doctor appointments I have been having.

I finally broke down and told my therapist just how scared I was and I cried! I told him how scared I am for my family if I do have the surgery. I broke down and let that be heard and I was met with support, love and care, not someone who was going to push me away like in my past. I didn’t have to be alone in it, and I don’t have to be alone in it at home with my husband or kids.

The next 2 weeks I will continue to have tests done and they will make a final decision on the 27th when we sit down with my cardiologist. My heart valve is hardening (aortic stenosis) and with having a bicuspid valve there is risk.

There is a possibility that I wont need surgery and medicine could help, but at some point I will have surgery and it fears me because of how much I went through as a child around being sick.

I realized today when we had such a huge open talk that I don’t have to hold all of how I feel alone. I don’t have to go into a corner and lick my own wounds to protect others. I don’t need to be ashamed for my feelings.

I always find a way to hold back on talking about all the things I hold because I want so much to be seen as empowered and strong. I only talk about the things I can work through, and the things I struggle with the most, I hold and that puts a huge burden on me and not only one me but it puts pressure on my family life, and my ability to heal fully in therapy.

Me holding those things inside IS THE WEIGHT that shows up in therapy and realizing that today just opened my eyes to the possibilities of being freed from that every day burden.

What would it feel like to OPEN UP no matter what it was! no matter how little or how big. What would it be to just let go of anything on my mind and let someone else hold it with me? I have that option every day when I connect with my therapist. He is right there in front of me waiting to hold whatever it is I can put out there.

I imagine by allowing myself to be heard it also gives is the ability to slow down and to pay close attention to those things I hold and why it’s there and “what can we “DO” to move it out of me to be heard and then into a space to be healed”.

Sitting with my therapist today he said to me “I can help you talk about those fears and maybe its a good idea that we talk about the worst case scenario if you do have to have surgery” .. maybe giving space to the biggest fear, gives it less power over me, and that is what we plan to do. He wants to help me talk about it and get it out of me and into a place to heal.

This also helps me on the outside in being able to be open to my husband about my BIG fears and my family and my close friends and to learn that maybe I don’t need to protect them, I need to heal and help me get through this.

It feels scary and big, but just thinking about it makes me take a DEEP breath and my shoulders DROP and I am content.

I think we hit on something big today and when leaving session I gave my therapist the biggest hug of thank you! “Thank you for not leaning out and hearing me in my most vulnerable place of burden”.

Tomorrow I will show up with the intention to continue to let those things be heard and seen and hopefully those things will find a containment so that I can heal the way I need to heal from it.

This was big today; a big step forward on the path to healing.

I gave my therapist a small turtle that I bought him over the weekend (he LOVED IT)  and I told him that it reminded me of healing .. its slow moving, has a hard shell, sometimes the turtle goes inside and sometimes the turtle comes out to be seen.. but no matter how slow the turtle goes, or how many times it hides – it always moves forward.


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