This week I had two sessions with M and the second session was 1.5 hours long. Since my last post I’ve asked my supervisor if I can shift my work hours so I can leave early one day a week. I told her I had an appointment but didn’t discuss what kind. I also talked to my husband about how I felt like M spent my session counting down the minutes until I left and that is why he didn’t want to do sessions longer than an hour. My husband told me that M had said he wanted to continue with two sessions a week and that seemed to contradict my theory. He was right of course. I am regularly afraid that M is getting fed up with me and going to quit. Probably if M had suggested one longer session a week and dismissed the idea of two sessions a week I would have still felt it was because he was fed up with me. Then M surprised me by offering me a longer session this week and explained that he usually didn’t have the concentration and focus for a longer session at the end of his day but this week he had an unusually light day. It didn’t take me long to say yes.
Last week I had a very disturbing dream. It wasn’t like usual trauma dream which I am sure I’ve written about in the past (TRIGGER – in them I’m sexually abused in front of many people who do nothing) I haven’t had one of those dreams in almost three years and that is amazing considering for most of my adult life I’ve had that dream repeatedly only varying the place and people involved. I started to feel like I had nothing to fear from sleep. My new dream was horrifying in a new and devastating way. I can’t say much but it involved two of my children, rape, and my complete failure as a parent. When I woke up tears were streaming down my face and I spent the next 30 minutes wrapped in my blankets while my body shook. I was exhausted and the next day every time I started to relax into sleep I would jerk awake with my heart racing.
During my first session with M I told him I had a trauma-related dream and some of the effects it had on me. He asked me what the dream was about and I didn’t want to say except in general terms. He told me he thought it would be helpful for me to tell him about the dream because I was so upset and I seemed to identify strongly with it. We ended up a discussion about the nature of dreams. I said that having such a horrible dream meant something about me and what was capable of imagining. M argued that you don’t choose your dreams and that dreams come out of our deep-seated fears but they weren’t proof of who we were. He said if I dream I’m being eaten alive by a tiger that doesn’t mean I”m afraid of tigers or should avoid them, maybe I’m feeling overpowered by things in my life. I said he kind of proved my point because while he might dream of being eaten when he feels threatened or powerless, I have dreams about rape and torture and whatever other treats that my freak-show of a mind can come up with. I said my dream does say something about me and maybe I don’t want to expose that part of me. That lead to him asking if I was afraid he would judge me and I said no. Isn’t possible to not want to expose your faults for any other reason than expecting to be judged? I’ve been thinking about that for a while
The session ended there after discussing. I sent him a followup email later that night which is standard for me and when he replied the next day he said (among other things) that he would like to hear about the dream. I felt different about it almost immediately. His words cut through so much of the back and forth in my head about whether talking about the dream would really help me, whether it would make a difference in any way to the likelihood of me having more terrible dreams, and what effects it might have on my relationship with M if he knew the details of the dream