trusting the process
When I first started therapy I always thought it was making me feel worse. I would come home and feel so raw and vulnerable – worse than I did walking in!
I would go through moments of wanting to quit therapy because it was making me feel so outside of myself and detached! I couldn’t even grasp onto who I was, or function after a session of talking about hard deep things that I held inside.
One thing my therapist told me years and years ago was “trust the process, trust that healing is a process that takes time” – yeah tell that to the person who leaves feeling as if their heart and soul was gutted out of their body and stomped on!
I used to get so angry with my therapist when he would say to me “leave all that you hold here with me” – PHFFFT! I would say to him “yeah easy for you to say, your not the one that has to walk out of the therapy room feeling exposed with no skin, and that every little piece of air that hit you threw you down to the ground! at least you can let it go and move on, I cannot”.
I remember about 3 years ago leaving the therapy room slamming the door so hard that it shook the office!! I was so angry that I felt worse than I did going in! HA – Now that I think back on that, my therapist got excited to see that anger! he saw it as “therapeutic anger” lol, but I did leave angry, because I dind’t understand why it was so hard!
I have learned over the years that it IS a process! Some days I leave therapy feeling on top of the world and relieved, and some days I leave feeling like a bus hit me – but I have also learned that I am not as exposed as I think I am. I have trusted that I may feel exposed, but healing is truly taking place.
I have learned to leave some of that in the room and with my therapist and let him hold onto the stuff that hurts safely, so I can go out and be who I need to be.
I have learned to trust him and the relationship, and the goodness that therapy holds for me. I have learned that I can be who I need to be in that room no matter what it is, and know I am still respected, cared for, loved, honored and HEARD.
Today in session was my longer session, we call it T T (Tuesday at 10 for 2 hours) .. I have had this time slot since day one. It’s the longer session where we work on harder things that require more time for connection.
Today and this week, we both said and agreed that it’s going to be about gentleness and connection for me – and although it was about being gentle and connecting today, I did find myself hitting on some emotions that were raw and vulnerable, and this happened 15 minutes before leaving (great timing I know).
Years ago that would have been an emergency for me – today it was not an emergency, in fact It was something showing up telling me information that I needed to pay attention to, and I did pay attention.
I was able to be with those emotions for a few moments and trust that I can leave it there and not be exposed! I trust the process that I have learned to trust for so long.
I don’t have to leave and feel like my heart was gutted out and stomped on! I dont have to leave and feel that I have to work on healing it alone – I am not alone, and my therapist and the room holds what I felt before leaving today, and I know it’s okay.
I left having a very good session today, a lot was said, respected, talked about it and accepted that emotions showed up at the end, and I honor that as being something that was there, and it’s there when I need it to be there.
becasue of honoring these feelings I had today that just showed up, we figured out why I was waking up crying, and now I know what I need to do to move through it – hard but healing!
I am now here today at home, loving the cool weather, loving that my husband is working from home, loving that I am sitting here writing out a dinner list for my birthday dinner tomorrow that my husband is making! Loving that my oldest son stopped by to see me this morning ! loving that I have a wonderful family, and a home..
.. but I also acknowledge that there are some emotions at the surface inside of me and I am not going to let it hold me down from living my day out – but instead just let it be here and let it wait till I am ready to work with it.
I have read many stories about people thinking therapy makes you feel worse, but it’s all about trusting the process of healing! It’s about learning to be with the hard to getting to the good! For me it has taken YEARS to trust this process, to trust connection, to trust the safety, and looking back at it now, it’s worth the wait and patience it took.
There are times that I want to feel better NOW, like RIGHT NOW! I can’t wait, I need to make it right RIGHT NOW NOT LATER!! well, patience is what it takes in this process! It all comes down to trust – trusting myself and the process, and knowing that I will feel better, but sometimes it can’t be right now!
I love sitting here today knowing that my emotions, tears, and fears are sitting in a safe place with a safe person to hold them for me, and I know that when I show up, I can tap into it safely and I dont have to be alone in it.
Later on my therapist will call on his way home to check in, I will tell him how the rest of the day went, and I will accept that he will hold onto what I exposed today, and it’s safe and there for when I need to be with it. My therapist sometimes acts as a blanket for me.. he covers the hard when it needs to be covered, and he helps me uncover it when I need to be with it.
Today I had some emotions show up unexpected at the last minute – but today is also a good day, and I can embrace both – I have learned to embrace both through the process of healing.
|| I dedicate this writing to my dear and good friend Lauren who is going through the process of healing, and sometimes finding it tough to move through the raw moments! I just want to say to Lauren that even though sometimes it feels horrible to heal, just know that those harder times and the things that hurt, is a part of the foundation being built for your true authentic self to be revealed, so that you can live a life of just being who God intended you to be. ||
September 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM
Thank you for writing this blog. Trusting the “process” has been one of my least favorite words I’ve heard from several people over the years. Cause it’s been a long process, that seems endless at times. It’s a vulnerable process where I leave many times feeling naked and ashamed, wondering why my “therapist” hasn’t said, “I can handle what you want me to carry.” And I wonder is it really fair to ask ANYONE to carry what I don’t want too? Your so good at letting Andy and others really help you carry your stuff. I really struggle with that. It goes back to being worthy. I’m trying to stretch myself a little to work on the worthiness part. Hearing from you and your courageous ability to be so open encourages me to know that I too can/will be there one day. I’m just not patient. I want it like 5 yrs ago because I don’t want to keep sitting in pain. For now, I will continue this journey with you and “trust the process!”
Thank you for dedicating this blog to me~that’s very thoughtful!
September 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM
Lauren … I know this has been a hard process for you, which is why I thought about you while writing it today. It takes time, and TONZ of trust! There are times that are harder than others, but the process takes time and sometimes it’s not so much about time, but it’s about trusting whats on the other side … YOU WILL get there.. you have a great therapist as well and I see big things for you… you have already made such huge steps in your healing and I am proud of you
I too am glad for Andy… I thank god for the support all around me everyday!
September 11, 2012 at 9:41 PM
Hi Karen! This is a great post because I am in that place like lauren said, it’s so hard to trust something that is hard and doesn’t feel good right away. It took me almost 3 years to open up in therapy, and I still struggle with trust, but your post really put things in a higher perspective of not just giving it time, but trusting everything around me.
I will keep in mind the process thanks to your blog Karen