Pandora’s Box (Part 10) The Appeal

Al’s journey for justice continues as he appeals an unduly lenient sentence given to his abuser.

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Loss and grief and closure

Loss and grief is more than loss and grief through death. It can be the loss of a therapist or a therapeutic relationship.

jl's blog

I’m inwardly wailing with grief at the moment and it hurts so much.  The losses just keep coming and not everyone understands that grief is not just about people dying – that it can just be about losing someone or something important in your life. To me it’s even worse when it’s not your choice.

Several years ago now when I was training in clinical hypnotherapy which by necessity also means learning psychotherapy we were doing a session about the grief cycle. I thought for a while and asked the tutor was it possible to be stuck in many grief cycles and the answer was yes. At that time I mentally counted 6 in my life – now I’ve given up counting. To get out of at least one of these I needed some sort  ‘closure’. Now closure is a word I hate – a buzzword. ‘Yeah well you need…

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Bye Bye A

I went to therapy today and E and I had a really good talk about my recent episode of self harm. It was the first episode in nearly 3 years. In fact, the first episode since I started therapy with her and she (and I) wanted to understand why.

It was quite an angry and aggressive episode with a lot of anger directed at E and her lack of response to an email from me. I felt abandoned and upset and angry at her. It was like when I was younger and my Mum used to abandon me alone with my abusive father. I would beg her not to leave me alone with him but she would do it anyway, knowing how emotionally and physically abusive he was.

I explained to E that the feelings were the same but the aggression and anger I felt towards her was very deep rooted inside of me. It came from deep within me. That when I hurt myself it wasn’t “me”, it was someone else. But it wasn’t my 13 year old (the usual angry one who wants to self harm). E thought perhaps there was another part inside needing attention. She could be right. If so, this part scares me.

At the end of my session with E, I stopped by to say hello to A. She is the backup for E and had helped me after the self harm episode. E came out of her office and asked me to step into A’s office with her. I knew this couldn’t be good. It wasn’t. A is leaving. Next week is her last week. They were waiting for a good time to tell me together and this was it.

I’m afraid the news that A is leaving is just really hitting me now and, yes, I am crying and feeling a deep sense of loss. All of my younger parts are distressed and so am I. I am trying to use my visualisation exercise but it is difficult when all 4 parts are distressed. They all feel the loss and so do I. A has been a great backup for E. I will miss that and I am not sure I will make that connection with another psychologist as a backup to E. And yes. I am now panicking about losing E too.

Ghosts From The Past

It’s the early hours of the morning and I’m awake again. I’ve been sleeping on the sofa for weeks now because sleeping in the bedroom became unbearable. I was being haunted at night by the ghost of my uncle so I moved to the sofa in the living room thinking I’d sleep better there.

It worked, for a while. But tonight I woke up to see a dark outline standing over me and I froze. The ghost of my uncle was haunting me again and I couldn’t move. I was frozen to the spot. It took a while for me to reach the tv remote and flick on the tv for some light to dispel the shadowy outline and another while before I could move off the sofa and switch on the lights.

I sit here now in the early hours, a grown woman, with the tv on and all the lights in the apartment on like a frightened child. I’ve been out onto the balcony of my apartment in the chilly night air chain smoking trying to convince myself to go back to sleep. But I know I won’t go back to sleep tonight. I’ll be awake until daylight comes and I’ll try and get a power nap sometime during the day. His ghost is with me tonight.