The First Session
I had my first session with Alisa today. It had been a week since our consultation, and I was a wreck. I’ve been grappling with a spectrum and strength of emotions that I don’t quite know how to handle. I felt relieved to see Alisa and get to work.
One thing you should know about me: I’m not new to therapy. I’d been to about five therapists or counselors at one point or another throughout my life, and never felt challenged enough. I would find ways to out-logic or out-rationalize the therapist; it’s my way of testing their abilities. Of course, when I was able to conquer them intellectually, I would lose respect, which obviously rendered the relationship useless. And so the cycle went.
I called my friend of nearly 20 years after the consultation to discuss it and sort through some of the realizations I’d experienced. My friend has seen me go through therapists, one after another. “I’ve never seen you respond to a therapist like this,” my friend said. I felt the same way. Alisa is forward, intelligent and unrelenting. From day one, I trusted her. And trust isn’t easy for me.
Today’s session was intense and extraordinary. After our consultation, Alisa emailed me a few links to videos about clinical narcissism to watch as “homework.” It became immediately clear to Alisa during our consultation that one of my parents is a clinical narcissist, which became one of my “a-ha” moments. “Of course,” I thought as I started analyzing my parent’s erratic behavior, including the things I’d been told growing up which I’d previously laughed off as “crazy.”
Watching those videos was extremely difficult. I sobbed my way through them. I felt like a statistic, a number, a victim. I don’t like feeling weak or victimized, but there was no escaping the reality at that point. There was nothing comical about my parent’s behavior after I finally faced the emotional abuse that plagued my childhood.
Today’s session was my first time ever experiencing hypnotherapy. It’s an extraordinary practice. I was fully aware, but it was as if my conscious mind became a vehicle through which my subconscious could finally speak. Alisa asked me to identify colors and where I saw them in my body. I identified a black “blockage” in my throat, which she interpreted as repressed anger. She asked me to shout the first thing that came to mind. “I hate you,” I whispered through tears. She asked me to shout it over and over again. I wasn’t able to. I was never able to fully express the anger.
These moments are so critical. In high school, I had issues managing my anger. I thought I’d dealt with my anger, but that moment with Alisa and my inability to express anger, showed me that I’d essentially cut off the spigot and walked away. A lifetime of anger is still there, I’ve just never given it a proper outlet. That toxicity builds within me and stifles me.
I think I’m afraid to express anger. I’m afraid how others will react if I openly express anger. I’m afraid they’ll hurt me in one way or another.
The good news is I’m determined. I don’t waste energy on things I don’t believe serve a greater purpose. So, while this process is one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever endured, I have to continue. Releasing and moving on from the energy of my past will liberate me to create a new, joyful future for myself.
And there is no better time to confront this than now. I am without a doubt the strongest and most firmly planted today than ever before, which I also believe is why the repressed memory chose to come forward now and not, say, three years ago.
Until next time.