Counseling Session #1,000,072
I saw him last during the second week of November, right about the time my nightmares were beginning to jaunt nightly through my head. I brought to this session a very bizarre account of how I had managed to control the dreams. Since part of that involved me spending the night with someone who wasn't my husband (only in my dreams), I was a little worried about how my counselor would receive my irregular methods. I have a blog dedicated to my dream dilemma, in which I was very careful to keep track of everything I did--what worked, what didn't--and how I felt about most of it. I made a hard copy and took it with me today.
I have seriously underestimated Therapist. Not only was he supportive of the things I had done, he explained some parts that I had missed, and helped me analyze some of the more confusing stuff. Oh, and he made fun of me for saying I don't believe in something that obviously works for me. He also said he was amazed that I was able to find someone who would spend the time necessary to work with me (believe me, it has taken incredible amounts of time), check in to make sure things were running smoothly, and ask what he could do to keep helping.
Therapist and I spent some time discussing why I didn't use Darrin as my dream person. Therapist told me that if I had suggested it to him prior to finding the person I used, he would have advised me against it. He said that it's obvious that I've spent most of my life trying to make a definitive separation between my intimacy with Darrin and my sexual abuse experiences, and that's as it should be. I have not disclosed to Darrin the details of the abuse for a couple of reasons: 1. There's a possibility that we will meet Cousin Bob at a wedding or funeral, and I want Darrin's information to be limited, as he has an unfortunate desire to kill my cousin already. 2. Although intimacy and abuse are not related, the acts themselves are similar. Both Darrin and I believe that his having extensive knowledge of the acts I endured as a preteen would be distracting and inhibit his ability to navigate in our intimate moments. Therapist agrees wholeheartedly. He says it's important for Darrin and I to keep the two parts of my life completely separate and as long as Darrin doesn't ask to know, it's fine for him not to.
Therapist suggested that I take breaks occasionally, when I don't go to sleep if I don't want to--if I'm concerned about the nightmare's repetition. I laughed, because last night I did just that. Therapist told me I should try not to be alone the whole time when I did that. Again I laughed because I had company the whole time. We talked about napping in the daytime, in sunlight (another thing I had discovered that is helpful--the nightmares do not come in the day).
Therapist asked me if I've tried to substitute Christ for my dream person. Actually, I have. Christ is the logical one to have in a time of need. But I've realized a few things about coming unto Christ, as it has to do with my abuse. Last spring I worked through numerous issues and ended up with the conclusion that I needed to hand my hurts over to the Lord. Over and over I tried to let go. But for many different reasons, I couldn't do it. Something was missing--I didn't understand what. As I've spent time in dreamland, I've remembered/realized many things. One of the most profound things was that when the abuse finally stopped, I was left with a strong belief that there could not possibly be a God. No loving Father would allow me to endure what I had gone through without intervening in some way. God and Christ and everything related were myths of the most cruel sort. It was a long time before I found any sort of faith or hope. Now I'm trying to juxtapose my current belief system with a time when I adamantly disbelieved all that I know now to be true. It's complicated, but the part of me that is still a child is unconvinced that Christ can be of help. I don't know how to explain it, but Therapist is certain that if I continue my current trend of self-discovery, and use the newest tool I've found in dream direction, I'll eventually be able to make it to the point where I'm able to merge the two belief systems and find complete healing. Sounds like a bunch of crap to Young Samantha, but the older, wiser Sam believes it's possible.
I've done some backsliding in the personal responsibility area. Therapist spent about 10 minutes reminding me that none of the abuse was my fault, and that it was the direct responsibility of my cousin and his choices. I'm not certain why he felt it necessary to lecture me about that. No doubt Therapist is picking up on some turns of phrase that let him know I'm struggling with that area again, and that there are times when guilt and self-doubt are at all-time highs. He reminded me that my self-worth is not connected in any way to events that were forced on me. It's been difficult to remember this in the past couple of months.
Therapist also, for the first time since we've been meeting, said it was time for us to discuss my eating disorder. One of the reasons I've been so in love with him is because he's never made me talk about this before. I was a little upset, but he simply said he was concerned that I've not been able to find a solution in the past year, and he wants to be certain I'm getting proper nutrition, especially since the dreams are interfering with my sleep patterns, and I have low blood sugar. When I have the abuse nightmares, I wake up with severe pain in my body. It's not real, and nothing has happened to cause it, but it is intense enough to cause nausea and vomiting--again, not helpful to the eating thing. I'm frustrated and depressed that I can't seem to deal with this aspect of my life. Therapist suggested that we just watch carefully this month and see if things improve at all, and if not, I may need additional help. He also said that given the way I've dealt with most of the problems that crop up, he's confident that I'll be able to resolve this issue as well, but it's not one we can afford to ignore any more.
Therapist then told me that I was unique in my ability to concentrate and control the dream sequences. He believes there's a link between the way I use those same mental tools when Darrin and I are intimate, and the way I was able to use them in my directed dreams. He says most people cannot maintain directed dreaming for very long. I've been using it for about three months--every night. He's thrilled with the progress I've made. I told him that anyone who was seeing what I was seeing each night would do whatever was necessary to make it stop. Therapist asked if I'd had more than usual depression in the past couple of months. I have, but it's not constant and I think it's better right now. He suggested that we meet weekly for the next little while. I suggested every other month. He laughed and said, "I'll see you next month then?" I agreed.
So, I'm making progress. Therapist thinks I'm amazing, and I'm in love with him. Everything is back to normal.