a little game of re-connection
Friday before the weekend my therapist and I played a game in session. It was a “memory” game made up of index cards to where I wrote very powerful words like (connection) (faith) (trust) (I hear you) (expectations) and (affirmation).
We sat together on the couch, pulled the chair up to our knees and laid the cards out faced down. When one person made a match we would talk about that word in reference to each other. It was a “reconnecting” game to not my past, not the hard work I do in healing, not to life in general, but a reconnection to each other.
This has been a hard hard year of working through many things that pulled us out in many different directions and although we were always connected, we got lost in the shuffle of true connection – 2 people who work so hard together and have a great bond in therapy.
My therapist is so good at bringing things back in perspective when things have gone astray for a while. Sometimes when you work so hard together on something so incredibly difficult like last year was, you tend to pull away a little and the best way to come back together is by connection.
This game was a great way to reconnect and get to know where we are. It was fun seeing each other get excited about making a match, because the winner with the most matches got to pick what the next session would look like – whether it be asking questions, writing on paper like we sometimes so, talking about something specific, or whatever it was that we would like to see happen in the work on the next session.
Well . . . . . I WON! .. I pretty much kicked his butt .. but in reality we both won, because we both got to re-connect to each other and the work going forward.
I feel we both won because we talked about connection and how that has played a huge role in my healing journey. We talked about expectations, and what we would both like to see from each other continuing the work going forward. We talked about faith and how much God has entered into a part of this journey. We affirmed each other and our work together and how much we really do care for each other… and the best – we heard each other, and it was a great connecting piece.
We had so much fun! There was laughter and snickering and he even shouted out when he made a match and that made me chuckle to see that side of him. It was nice re-getting to know someone I have ben working hard with for almost 6 years now. I had fun letting my self be a little more open to do something different other than work on HARD HARD healing.. and I came to realize that healing is not only found in the hard, but it can also be found in the fun.
I allowed myself to be vulnerable to the questions on the cards, and to open myself to be seen doing something other than working hard through my voice.
I walked back into session today after the weekend and I chuckled a little inside remembering the game we just played Friday on the chair and how different that was for me. I am usually serious, a hard worker, very quiet and gentle.. I am not the robust kind of person who pushes up my sleeves to get down into a game of “memory” with my therapist.. lol it was actually fun and I am glad I allowed myself that re-connection.
I feel blessed to have wonderful people in my life-like my therapist who help me to see where the healing path lines are when I feel a little lost at times. Last Friday was a good reminder of where those lines are, and the people in my life are so wonderful to remind me that it’s okay to accept that.
I look forward to this re-connection that we made.. and I look forward to seeing what this path going forward looks like. I know its hard work, I know it’s painful to work with, I know there are a lot of things I need to face in order to move through the many things that still struggle me down – but the core of healing is connection, and I feel connected – more so than I have in a long time.
March 4, 2013 at 2:31 PM
Karen! That sounds like a beautiful way to re-connect with your therapist. For me, being a therapist, when I re-connect with my clients after hard work we take walks together. We get out of the room and talk through walking.
I love this memory idea, what a neat fun thing to do. How appropriate that you would play a game of memory looking back to what brought the connection together in the first place.
Who’s idea was this? how neat!
While I was reading this, I kept thinking in the back of my head “who won?” and then I saw you won.. it doesn’t surprise me – victims of abuse or survivors have vivid memories, it’s a part of your defense.
This was a fun read, and it’s always nice to show other sides of each other when working on such hard things together. Good for you and Andy.
March 4, 2013 at 2:48 PM
Hanna! THank you and yes it was fun! It was fun using the words matched to talk to each other. It’s funny because I am not the push up my sleeves get into a game kinda person – unless I am with my kids of course.. I am usually a serious hard-worker and I think I liked the fun side of me in session Friday. I am usually too embarrassed .. but Friday was fun and It allowed me to be more open with him even today in session.
God is great isn’t he? I think these are the things that he helps us to find inside of us to help us along ….
I agree with you, my memory is good.. it had to be, and still is.
March 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM
It’s wonderful that your therapist is creative and understands the healing power of fun. I tend to be serious most of the time. I forget how valuable it is to be playful. Reading this is a good reminder. My chickens remind me too…they are silly in a sweet endearing way, unintended, and that helps me relax, which is part of the play spirit.
I think people who have survived child abuse learned to be serious (vigilant), out of self survival. So re-learning to play is very healing. But this post is also about connection with others as part of healing. I needed to hear that. My automatic mode is to feel that I have to do the work, the healing work BEFORE I can connect with other people. That leads to isolation. It seems like I have to be reminded of these things over and over.
What a lovely and gentle way to receive helpful reminders it is to read your blogs.
March 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Hi Gel!! You know, what I love most about your comment responses is that you validate something I feel and write about, and sometimes those validations make more sense to me and bring more understanding to my own feelings – like the part about being vigilant because it was a survival as a child.. so true! It is hard to re-learn that playfulness if safe, because back then being serious is all I had.. being playful was a state of being open, and when I was open I was hurt.
Good point Gel .. thank you and as always, so good to see you here
March 6, 2013 at 4:35 AM
oh Karen, it sounds like such a wonderful session and an absolutely great way to reconnect to your therapist.
When i have come through the other side from doing some hard work, i take in chocolate or cream cakes for both my therapist and myself because i think it’s so important to have lighter moments in therapy. We don’t have ways to reconnect though which i’ve been aware for a while is something that is missing. I’m so so pleased for you that you have that