Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Psychotherapy 101

A lot of things to share before Zoé wakes up from her nap.

The big news: I finally decided to see a therapist. After months of being in denial, "No, it's not me", "I will get over it", I decided that I needed to face and confront my sadness and many losses. It has been a slow road to recovery from having lost Dad and I feel as if time doesn't help. I know I have to face my grief and open myself to the big gaping hole that I feel in my stomach, it is like a permanent ache.

I told the therapist all that had happened since Zoé was born, and even before she was born: the three IVF cycles, the trauma of not knowing whether they would work, the fact that she was taken away from us at birth, the months and now years of therapies, the question of whether we will ever have another child or not, our fears, the loss of physical health, and then losing both dad and David's father.

I need to look at health and in it, I see HEAL, I am on the road. The therapist I saw was wonderful, she was open, she let me cry out my pain, and sadness and slowly gave me tips to recover. Her ideas are how to heal through creativity, how to build one's sanctuary, a sacred place to go into the grief, and to learn to disengage from everything. To build a shrine that I will dedicate to dad, to create it and to dedicate myself to it 10 minutes a day, so that for this short time slot I can close my eyes and feel what's going on in my body. Like meditation. I need to think about my regrets, write an ongoing letter to dad, letting him know how I feel. I need not be afraid of the power of grief, though at times I might be scared.
"Death is not the end of life, it is the beginning of a relationship".
I had an amazing dream this week, of finding old pictures of dad, but pictures that were taken from behind him, I could only see his hair, his back. I know what it meant. I want to see him but I cannot, yet from deep down in my psyche he came to see me, he is still in there, with me.
Where the psyche feels contained, I need to release the pressure. The therapist told me that dreams are like gold. As the alchemist working with dark matters, from within he can extract the gold. My dreams are my nuggets, I can, through imagery, find the way towards my journey to recovery. I have to meet my grief before I can move on.

I will never forget the day the doctor came into my room after having given birth to Zoé, the next day, when he said: I hate to have to say this, but Zoé is not going home with you. We don't know what she has, but she cannot go home, she must be sent to the NICU", I will never forget the feeling of extreme loss, as If I had just been pushed off a cliff. I felt helpless, hopeless and then gradually I adjusted to seeing her in the NICU, with the beeping sounds, the glaring lights, the smell of the soap we had to use to scrub our hands, the antibacterial gel we had to add, and there she was vulnerable, sleeping, limp, like a little doll, a rag doll. I think, once she came home, I didn't quite fully recover but I took charge, I got her into the early start program with therapies, at the hospital, in a private physical therapy clinic, and ever since that day I haven't stopped. Seeing that psychotherapist enabled me to pause and reflect. To see where I started where I am now and how I need to embrace all these raw feelings of loss and use them as transformative tools to become stronger.

On a different note, Zoé was invited to a birthday party on Sunday and it was a little ballet class, where the little girls swayed and bowed and rolled, and curtsied, and there was my Zoé, trying to follow the instructions, doing a good job at it and again a reminder that she won't be a ballet dancer, but nothing will stop her from moving her body, perhaps tap dancing, for she loves to emulate Happy Feet, the penguin, who is different from his kin and goes off to find his way.

He's probably Zoé's favorite hero! but then she is now into the princess mode...pretty in pink.

Well, I just thought I would fill you in on the latest, the big move towards my psychotherapy 101 course.
I am also reading a book one can find on the psychology/self-help shelf in the library "Losing a Parent" and it is quite enlightening as it highlights the many questions I have.

Voila dear readers, that is it for now. I was too eager to fill you in on the latest, I couldn't wait until tomorrow, my day off, to do so.
I wish you peace of mind and much love.

1 comment:

Shona said...

When you list it out like that, you have certainly had a lot to cope with over the last few years. I hope you find the psychotherapy helps.