Amnesia, Spinning Plates…And LOTS Of Broken Crockery

My life is so hectic and busy … stressful… right now that I seem to be hurtling through the weeks and stuff only catches up with me/lands way after the event. Like, in the moment, I know whether something feels good or bad (in therapy) but it doesn’t seem to stick and make a solid memory right there and then. It’s almost as though I have the pictures in my mind but no time to glue them into the scrap book and so instead they fall out and float away when I am whizzing along. It feels like my short-term memory is completely fucked. I’m so forgetful!… I suppose I should be grateful that things catch up eventually.

Time is going so fast that I am struggling to do the basics: my house is a mess, I’m not keeping in touch with my friends, and last week was so dire that I even forgot to send Zoom links for my lessons until they were just about to commence – really professional eh?! I don’t know where my mind is but it’s not here. I think maybe there’s just so much firefighting going on that I can’t keep all my plates spinning. Yeah, that’s it, because as I start to slow a little now the holidays have started I notice there is a lot of broken crockery on the floor.


Last night I took myself off to bed early because I was just totally physically and emotionally done in. Things are really hard again at the moment in my adult life and it’s sent my all of my system into a complete meltdown which is hard going.

Deep breaths.

The therapy session I had on Friday was fronted by the protectors AGAIN and it was agonising for about forty minutes until Anita and I managed to connect and the young parts had a cuddle and sobbed for the remaining part of the session which helped a bit but there just wasn’t enough time and I came away feeling sad and annoyed that yet again the protective parts had ambushed me.

I don’t like it much at the moment. The physical stress my body is under when I am like that is awful. The pain is unreal and the pins and needles and goodness knows what else is just too much. I am constantly fighting dissociation. Inside there’s a part that desperately wants to run away and not be seen. The internal battle is immense…and I just don’t have to energy to be at war right now…and certainly not with myself. Fortunately, Anita is patient and present but those parts are really trying to give her a run for her money. It’s exhausting.

Honestly, these protectors are ridiculous!

What’s causing all this? Well, the ‘need’ for Anita feels so massive right now. And because things feel so bad, part of me is absolutely terrified of being too much for her and then being left. Anita assures me that she is not going anywhere and that all she wants to do is be there and make it better for me, but it’s hard to let that filter down after what happened with Em. When I’ve been dropped like a hot potato when I was at my most vulnerable and struggling it’s no wonder the system is doing all it can to prevent that from happening again. I feel like my brain and body have got stuck in flight mode.

Anyway, last night I sent Anita a GIF to say goodnight and few minutes later she’d sent me something lovely back. As I lay there about to go to sleep, in the orange light of my salt lamp, I recalled what I am about to write about now having had it completely skip my memory this last few weeks.

I’ve been so caught up in survival and protection mode in all areas of my life, not just therapy, that remembering this day/session cut through the protective crap I’ve encased myself in and made me realise I bloody don’t have to go to therapy wearing armour and keeping my distance from A! And it’s really settled me down. I felt really unsettled and disconnected yesterday and now I feel like it’s ok. It’s crackers really because there are so many times when Anita has been great, and present, and accommodating but this recent memory recall seems to have settled stuff more.

A few weeks ago, when it was heading towards the anniversary of my dad dying I had a really bad spell of feeling utterly panicked and unsettled. It’s not unusual for this to happen at this time of year – so many memories of that awful time come up and the reality that, now, my dad has been gone longer than half the time he was with me and that hits hard. He’s missed out on a lot…I’ve missed out on so much, too. And thirteen years down the line I feel like I am forgetting things about him and it’s painful. There’s still so much left unprocessed and unhealed – especially where my family is concerned but I realise now, that I will never get the closure I want, and I think I won’t feel like it’s over until my grandmother actually dies. It sounds harsh but I have done all I can and so until she’s gone I can’t fully close the door on it. Anyway, that’s another story…

On this particular week, my wife was away for work too. It’s never brilliant when she’s gone – I never sleep all that well and I generally feel less safe. Even though, rationally, I know nothing bad is going to happen, my body doesn’t get the memo. I’d been to therapy on the Monday and my protectors had been really on guard but fortunately Anita had been her incredible, attuned self and had helped me connect in the end. Phew.

I woke up on the Tuesday and felt absolutely terrible. Everything felt wrong. I knew my wife was going to be away and I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through the day, let alone through the week to Friday. Part of me wanted to prove to myself that I can power through like I have always done but another part just wanted to reach out for support and not always have to struggle so hard.

With Em I could never ask for more contact. She didn’t do check ins. She wouldn’t even read my texts (and they were rarely sent). There was no sense of there being a support in her…even in the sessions it felt like I was being watched in my pain rather than being supported in it. So sometimes my brain doesn’t catch on that things are different now and I can ask for what I need with Anita and if she can she will try and help and be there for me.

Tuesday is my biggest teaching day:  9:15-4, 4:30-5:30, and 6:30-7:30 and it’s all one-to-one with high need students. I enjoy what I do, but it takes its toll, especially when I am trying to keep my littles safe inside and function. So, I decided that I would text Anita and asked if we might be able to have a check in sometime during the week just to hold things until Friday. She responded that she could do that evening about 8pm if I wanted. That was a perfect time and I snapped it up and thanked her. She then asked me if I wanted to do WhatsApp or face to face. Of course, as I was alone with my kids that evening it had to be WhatsApp.

As much as I hate online therapy, in this sort of situation any contact is better than no contact and to be honest I only expected to chat for ten or fifteen minutes. It seemed odd therefore, that A had offered face to face as an option seeing as it’s a 40 minute drive to hers but it didn’t matter as I couldn’t see her anyway but it was nice that the offer was there.

Later that afternoon I got a call from my wife to say she would be coming home as there was COVID in the place she was meant to be working the next day and so there was no point in staying over at the hotel as she would work closer to home the next day. My brain took about half a second to realise that perhaps I would now be able to see Anita face to face after all, as my wife would be back on time to be with the kids. IT felt like a massive win.

I text Anita and asked her if I could come and see her in person. The parts that were so upset and struggling would benefit so much from that contact – especially after all the shenanigans that the protectors have been putting me through. That day all I wanted was to go in and have a cuddle and settle those little parts who were struggling so hard. Anita said that she’d look forward to seeing me when I could get there.

So I arrived at 8:10pm and we had a really lovely session. There was a lot of talk and processing of stuff but from the get go it was close and connected. It was an hour session (which I hadn’t expected) and the entire time I was cuddled into A. It felt so safe and holding.

I won’t go into detail because it’s not really relevant now. But what is relevant it that I had ‘forgotten’ about this session until last night. I have been putting myself through the emotional wringer for weeks worrying about whether Anita cares, or wants me near her, or if I am too much for her … when clearly that’s not the case at all. There is no way she’d do the things she does for me if that was how she felt.

So, the upshot is, remembering that extra unscheduled session from a few weeks ago where Anita was so holding and caring and present and attuned and and and… has done a lot to settle the parts that have been freaking out. I’m hoping, therefore, tomorrow that I can just go in and be how it is, not be armoured up and pushing A away. There’s no need to put in a pre-emptive strike…because there isn’t an attack coming …well, not from her at least.

I am so far behind with the blog so hopefully over the next week or so I’ll be able to get up to speed as there’s been some amazing healing work done in between me being shut down and wearing a giant ‘keep out’ sign.

from risingwoman on Instagram.

16 thoughts on “Amnesia, Spinning Plates…And LOTS Of Broken Crockery

  1. SunsetCherryBlossom July 25, 2021 / 4:02 pm

    As always, I learn so much about my own journey from reading about yours! And so glad she was able to give you the extra session! The quote at the top is resonating with me deeply, it’s easy to think I’m doing well, when I’m avoiding all triggers, but this week, something happened that should have triggered me but didn’t…and that is how I know things are getting better.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. SunsetCherryBlossom July 25, 2021 / 5:32 pm

    Serious question tho….so we slow down the runners by tying their shoelaces together. But how do we stop the protectors protecting?

    I’m tempted to say – put superglue in their water pistols?! But any more sensible suggestions? I had a two week break from therapy, so for the three sessions before, and now 2 weeks after, the protectors are doing their thing – “yes I’m fine, how are you T?” And it would be good if they would take their water pistols somewhere else and let the inner kids out….

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum July 25, 2021 / 7:15 pm

      We need to ask the protectors why they feel so needed and what they’re frightened of. Understanding that and trying to make them feel safe is important – they’ll back down when they think the system is safe enough. Do you think you could email your T and give her the heads up that you’re being gagged by your protectors and are struggling to connect how you need?

      Liked by 3 people

  3. skinnyhobbit July 25, 2021 / 10:59 pm

    Wow. I’ve much to reflect on due to your post. This kind of work can be so hard. I’m an ambivalent runner lol! And I gag myself even when my system is quiet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum July 26, 2021 / 7:25 pm

      Oh man I get it- a gagged runner! We don’t make it easy for ourselves do we? But then I think it’s just a real indicator of the level of trauma. The more the trauma the bigger and more insistent the protectors. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Q July 26, 2021 / 6:55 am

    I love this. I mean, not that you are stressed and overloaded too much of the time. But that you can be away from Anita and conjure up the memory of a good session with her and feel comforted by it—that seems like such a big deal! 💜

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum July 26, 2021 / 4:42 pm

      Thanks Q. It really helped and meant my protectors just weren’t there in session today. Phew! I needed a connecting session.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Clara July 26, 2021 / 9:41 am

    I can so relate to the amnesia and forgetting to do things, I feel like I’m working on a week delay, so am responding so late to things, and yep, I forgot to schedule zooms too! I hope you can get some down time soon to rest and recover.
    Big hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum July 26, 2021 / 4:46 pm

      Thanks Hun. It’s just all pretty overwhelming with job insecurity and work problems for my wife. People are leaving her place in droves due to bad managers. Lots of bullies. She’s looking to get out before she gets pushed. Nightmare. We just need stability. It’s not helping my system at all feeling powerless and vulnerable. I hope you get caught up soon. I think we could all do with an all expenses paid holiday to the Maldives! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sara August 12, 2021 / 2:31 pm

    The feeling of being watched in our pain and not supported in it is just so awful. I love that Anita provides the comfort that all parts of you need. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum August 13, 2021 / 8:36 am

      Totally. I really do wonder how I stuck it with Em for so long. I guess that feeling of being inadequate and unlovable was so deeply entrenched that I thought it was all I could reasonably expect. It makes the relationship with A all the sweeter though!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sara August 13, 2021 / 1:26 pm

        Absolutely! So incredible that you found your way to A so she can help you unlearn all of the horrible beliefs that Em was reinforcing. 💗


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