I Was Vulnerable and it Didn't Kill Me

I was writing this post and then I got the phone call. Here it is out of sequence, but oh so relevant to the week I had. 

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This was a week. A f-ckin WEEK. My whole group (9 of us) minus our supervisors (phew) took a 2 day Emotional Intelligence training. It was trigger-iffic for me, the girl who is decidedly uncomfortable discussing emotions with anyone outside the tiny circle I let in. 

The day after that class was the talk with Stretch Guy. The one Therapist told me I needed to have given how I was reacting to this specific body work. Let me walk you through my morning. First, I didn't sleep well at all. Then, I dragged my ass to the gym and worked out really tired and became nauseous. While attempting to telework, about 9am, the anxiety really kicked in. By 9:30am I couldn't think. By 10:30am I was ready to throw up. I drove to the office a giant vibrating ball of anxiety and fear. All kinds of fear. The fear that makes you not want to put one foot in front of the other. I was a few minutes early and waited outside picking at my nails until the client ahead of me left. His dog came out to greet me at one point and I distractedly petted him trying to calm down. 

When I walked into the room, I couldn't look at him because I was too worked up, too scared. I managed to get out my rehearsed sentence, this type of work is affecting me emotionally. His first question, was what's happening? I answered it's making me cry and I feel weird and awkward.  His second question: Is it me or the work? Because if you're uncomfortable with me, I'm happy to help you find another stretch therapist. No, it's not you, its the work. And then began reassurance; It's normal, it happens all the time and I see all kinds of reactions, this is a vulnerable position for you to be in, opening up the body can make emotions rise. Do you want to continue working with me, because I'm happy to help you find another therapist. What is the emotion? 

Sadness.  

After being given permission to let go, I did it. And because I wasn't fighting the urge to cry, I figured out what triggers the crying. There's a stretch to open the shoulder that involves repetitive motion with the therapist against the body. I'm turned away, my arm is in a bind and he's sitting against me to get leverage. It feels like being rocked like a baby. Tears started leaking out of my eyes. My brain? It went straight to "daddy"

Holy shit.  

I fucking have daddy issues. No wonder, right? The dad who I was taken from/abandoned by, and the dad who took his place. I don't think I attached to either one. 

I still bawled in my car after, but didn't feel as weird about it, and the rest of my day was really difficult. The next day the phone call came blowing my entire week out of the water.  

In talking with therapist at my next appointment, conveniently scheduled a few days after the session and subsequent phone call, I wondered if I went to daddy because he's a male therapist. If it was a female therapist would it be mom? Her take was maybe not as I have an attachment to my mom even though it's ambivalent. I don't seem to have an attachment to my dad much at all. Could I really be going all the way back to infanthood? She posited that yeah, it could be infanthood. 

The timing of all of this is insane. I never believed in everything happens for a reason, preferring to believe that everything is a coincidence. That I started working with stretch guy a few months prior to this phone call and these emotions started surfacing? It is the weirdest of coincidences that I've ever experienced.