When the process is happening, I always wonder if I'll be successful, or if I'm doing the right thing, or if, when I'm finished, I'll be in in a larger mess than before. And writing about the things that might go wrong usually sends me into panic attacks and makes me grumpy. So I wait. It seems best.
One of the things I did not expect when I began all this therapy stuff, was that I would lose control of my thoughts and feelings. I understand that was naive of me, but I've had such a stranglehold on those for most of my life, that I could not comprehend any other state of being. As I did the therapy exercises, I got a taste of what was to come, but I was completely unprepared for what happened after integration.
My integration experience required me to reclaim parts of myself that I had separated from completely. I had to reclaim childhood memories, feelings, and experiences, and also those from my teen and young adult years. I had to include those parts of myself as "Me". I expected it would be unpleasant (it was) and frustrating (oh, so frustrating) and that I would resist strongly (I didn't understand how difficult it is to be in a struggle with myself). What I did not expect was that after the integration was finished, I would sometimes think thoughts, or imagine scenarios, or believe in things as a child does. Things that are completely illogical and highly emotional.
Sometimes I would get caught up in a daydream. I don't believe that has happened to me before--or if it has, I don't remember it. Occasionally I would find myself lost in thought as I wished for experiences, or people, or things that have no actual possibility in my life. It was a little bit shocking to find myself in that place. I'm a practical person. I don't waste time on what cannot be.
As with each new development, I thought about this a long time before I decided how I wanted to respond to it. In my opinion, there really is no place for it in my life. I don't have time to wish for impractical things, and in reality, I probably don't want them anyway. They're passing whims and they cause me distress when I find myself missing people or distracted from work as I dream about sitting on a beach that does not exist.
So for the past few months, I have been working on regulating this part of me. Therapist says it's not unexpected that I would find myself thinking in a childlike way about future possibilities and relationships with people, but I am not a child. I have no desire to be one again--that part of my life was particularly unpleasant.
I have systematically taken the daydreams and disassembled them, reminding myself that they serve only to cause me stress and distract me from what is important. These daydreams are different from the "meditation" part of my PTSD maintenance regimen. They bring to mind things I cannot have and would never choose--in the way that dreams move through our subconsciousness, teasing us with nonsensical ideas, scenarios, and people.
Something that has caused me a great deal of distress is the way that I have fixated on my need to have people near me. Somehow I have formulated a subconscious belief that those I love the most will simply end up being my next door neighbor, for the sole purpose of being near me. Job security is, of course, irrelevant, as is a paycheck which will cover necessities, bills, and provide a comfortable disposable income. I have no idea how I became so self-centered.
Therapist says it's not really about being self-centered. He says I have found people I'm learning to trust, people I want to spend time with. As a child, that was very rare. But children are usually surrounded by people they love and trust. He believes my subconsciousness is trying to provide that for me even though the time for it is long past.
Therapist could be right. That does not, however, make my obsession with this healthy in any way. So I have used my meditation time, and my exercising-thinking time, and my alone time, to purge my head of the thoughts and beliefs that have formed in reference to this. And I have contacted the people involved and asked them to tell me in words that there is no need (or desire on their part) for them to be closer geographically. Sometimes the request has been hidden within a conversation in such a way that the person is unaware that I have asked that of them. Other times I have simply explained the problem and asked for the necessary response.
I won't lie. Hearing my child-dream deflated by their words has been more painful than I expected, which only reinforces my belief that this was necessary and right. But I haven't liked it. And I've found myself wishing, as I've had those unpleasant conversations, that someone would say, "Are you kidding? I want nothing more than for us to be neighbors! I've always wished for that. Someday (soon, I hope) I believe we will be. We need to make a list of things we want to do when that happens."And now you have a slight glimpse into the workings of my mind when I'm not reigning it in and reminding it that I have work to do and no place for wild imagination that has no basis in fact.
It's not really rejection because I asked for the statements and information, and also because I've never actually issued an invitation for anyone to live near me. In fact, a long time ago when ATP was thinking of moving near me to go to school, I thought it was very good that he was looking at a college about 50 miles away from me. That would afford us both distance enough to not feel crowded by each other. But that good sense present in me a long time ago, seems to have fled.
But it feels like rejection. I'm not sure why. I think Tolkien Boy would say it's because everyone needs to be wanted. But that doesn't sound right to me. I'm not UNwanted. I think it's just a weird side-effect of a weird side-effect.
Regardless, it's done. At this point I get to concentrated on being an adult, taking care of business, and living in the real world. But I have to admit, the world my childthoughts created was a lot more fun, much gentler, and I think I could be happy there.