– How have you been?

– Fine, I guess.

– Last week seemed a bit more emotional for you.

– It was. It was harder than the weeks before. I struggled. I got upset during it, and was a bit upset after. It’s the positive stuff. I can’t

– The positive connotations might be wrongly phrased. We need to think about

– I have. All week. I just. I just don’t believe it.

– We tweaked it during the session. From “I have value” to “I can have value”.

– I know. I don’t know what to think, what to want. It’s hard.

– It’s hard.

– It’s about the potential. And you have evidence. There is all that evidence.

– I just don’t feel it. It’s like. You remember the old Warner Brothers cartoons and Daffy Duck or Bugs Bunny would have two little characters, one whispering in each ear? And on this side there’d be the one with the halo. And on this side there’d be the one with the horns. It’s that. The rational side. I. I know. But I don’t feel it. I don’t believe it. It’s that. You know when we did that last week during the light bar bit I said I felt like there was a wrestling match in my head. It reminded me of the cover for The Satanic Verses, the hardback. Angel and devil wrestling. Thinking about it made me

– I just don’t believe it. I don’t feel I have worth. Negative core beliefs?

– Negative core beliefs. People often take a time to think about the negative associations, to formulate them when we do the light bar work. But you were quick to

– The counselling. It was the counselling. About week twelve. The articulation. I knew.

– Formulating the positive connotations can take time too.

– Why is it so prominent in your thinking at the moment?

– Work I think. Being back.

– I used to find it easy. I was good. I divorced, detached my personal issues from my work. For ages. It worked. The two were discrete. I might be a mess, but it didn’t dominate my thinking. The degree went well. And after, I could write quickly and well. Things would be done. When our eldest was born I wrote my part of a book in six weeks. A hundred thousand words. No problem. And it was fine. Useful. Properly done. But somewhere later it stopped. The barrier broke down. I used more and more bandwidth because it was in my head. Increasingly in my head. I stopped believing in my work. I’d start stuff, part write it, but just think why would anyone care? Why did it matter? No one was interested.

– When did it stop?

– When?

– It was just in head more.

– Negative core beliefs are there. They underpin things, but they can lie dormant. But they only dominate when there’s a trigger, something that pushes it to the front

– It just expanded. I kept thinking more and more about what happened. It was in my head. News stories. Just constant reminders.

– But was there anything that made you doubt?

– Two things. There was a death. Back home. You know the thing? When you get the phonecall and you’re told people who’ve died. “Do you remember Mrs X?” “No” “Oh, she’s died.” And the list can go on some times, and there are one or two people you remember, but most you don’t. They mean nothing. No recollection. Anyway, she mentioned a name. It was her mum. It jarred.

– Why?

– She used to look after us. Why they were there that night. Why they.

– And if I mention her to you what do you think?

– Laughter.

– But that’s good.

– No. No.

– Outside the room. Downstairs.

– They were laughing.

– Catastrophising. You’ve called it catastrophising. That she was laughing with him about what. That they were laughing at.

– It’s assumption.

– They were laughing after.

– And the other?

– there was a job. I’d applied for. I wasn’t encouraged to go for it, but I felt I could contribute something and. Well, I didn’t get it. And it was fine. But. Timing wise it mattered, I think. From then I doubted what I was doing. That it wasn’t, that I wasn’t, producing anything worthwhile. That it didn’t matter.

– But it was two things together. There was bleeding, leeching from the personal to the work. That these things that had left me for years feeling worthless. That I deserved what happened. That I deserved being treated badly. That I was nothing. It bled through that divide, the divide I’d kept up for years. And the space to deal with that growed and growed. It was in my head. What happened. It was there. In my head. And I needed more space to cope. More energy. And it kept getting bigger and I functioned, operated. The things that didn’t require any effort, any thought, I could keep doing. Low level operation. But that space got more cramped, eaten up. I. I stopped. Everything stopped.

– But you had no evidence your work was worse.

– But who cared? Why did it matter? Why would anyone care what I said?

– But it was fine before. What changed?

– I

– I don’t know. I was lost. I am lost.

– So when it was okay what was the difference?

– I didn’t intend to come in and talk about this. I was going to tell you about this week, about meeting.

– I’m not going to let you evade it. What was different?

– I

– I had hope.

– Why?

– Why did you have hope?

– If I tell you about the meetings it might make sense.

– I met a friend from work. It was nice. You know how I’ve said that I’ve not felt engaged with. I mean, been a bit semi-detached. Well, we had a coffee. She’s on maternity leave at the moment, told me that I was the only person that had kept in touch throughout, the only person that had asked about her baby when I contacted her. And she. She’s been supportive. She’s been there. Understands. It was nice to see her, and her baby.

– This is more evidence. About worth. About value. Isn’t it?

– I

– I saw her. We met.

– You met?

– The first time in nearly twenty years. I arrived early, worried. I’d gone inside, and was going to wait, but went back out. I was worried she wouldn’t turn up. That I’d be abandoned.

– And was there any likelihood she wouldn’t turn up?

– ?

– No.  Up here.

– Catastrophising?

– Catastrophising.

– She’s not changed. She told me I hadn’t changed. She was lying. But it was lovely. It was so nice to see her. We talked about children, spou. The plural of spouse should be spice really. Spouses doesn’t sound right. Spice. We talked about our spice. About jobs. And it was comfortable, relaxed. I felt

– I felt safe. I always felt safe.

– We talked, just sat and talked. And it was lovely. I told her I was here, why I was here. What had happened. About the counselling. She knew of course. She was the first person I told. And I told her because I wanted to not because I needed to.

– She’d suggested therapy then. Afterwards. That it would help. I told her she was right. And she knew she was.

– I told her. I thanked her. I told her she’d made a difference. That my life would have been different.

– I’ve missed her being there, being my friend.

– It feels ridiculous now, the worries. It was so nice. To reconnect, to get another chance.

– We’re going to meet again. We’ve exchanged some messages after meeting. She said that when I’d said this she’d felt like a fraud. And she wasn’t. Not ever. Then she said she didn’t want to negate my experience. And I got it. Remember the other week when you asked what she got from it? From being there? From being my friend. And I couldn’t see. It’s. It’s this solipsism. This process. You’re in your own head all the time. Just there, looking at yourself, focusing on yourself. And you can’t see. I know what she meant to me. She gave me hope. I felt worthwhile. Valued. She trusted me. She trusted me for a reason. I mattered. And she mattered. And I gave her something.

– For those years I mattered. I felt safe. Being safe meant so much.

– I told my wife that I felt safe with her before I told her I loved her. Because it was important to me. It meant so much. And when we married. Throughout those years I felt that I had a value. That period of time, those years, when the divide worked. I could keep the divide because the personal stuff was under control. Because I. Because I was trusted. Maybe that’s what the positive connotations should be.  Not about value. But about trust.

– Because when you are trusted you are trusted because you have value.

– And do you believe you have value?

– I

– Do you believe you have the potential of worth?

– I.

– Despite the evidence. All this evidence we’ve got. Meeting people, people getting back in touch with you, you making an effort and people wanting to see you.

– I

– The little Daffy Ducks on the shoulder. You know? There’s the rational one. And there’s the. You understand?

– It’s hard to believe. I am worth. It’s hard.

– I don’t. I can’t.

– Okay. Trust is good though. We can work with trust.


About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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1 Response to Trust

  1. Pingback: Some personal posts | Love and Garbage – some commonplace musings

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