I have quite enjoyed this half-term break with my little girl. I'm sad that it's soon coming to an end; I've always said I would find it hard having her around because she can be emotionally demanding, but something is different this time around. I have cherished her presence more and we aren't driving each other mad. Maybe it is because I have actually created activities that honour her, I have vocalised how much I value her being here, I have praised her. Within myself I'm also more emotionally stable - certainly my eating has improved even if it is just on a surface level. It has been somewhat regular for about 3 weeks in terms of timings, although the quality needs to be improved. It may also have been that long since I last purged- even longer.
I painted little girl's nails with glitter over bright pink polish, before going to therapy this afternoon.
The overarching theme today was about letting myself feel emotions rather than shutting them down, which has been a coping strategy all my life, especially evidenced by the eating disorder. I recalled the bathroom incident a few days ago where I sobbed for goodness knows how long, but not pointlessly - I was trying to hear myself out, listening to what my inner child was saying. Why are you in pain little one?
I imagine my inner child as the same age as my daughter. It makes it easier for me to be kinder to the younger me, to listen, to try to comfort her. The two instances last week where I listened to her voice to really figure out why I was upset, the root of it, I could not even get to the comforting stage. There was no quick progress towards that. It was stagnant. I spent a long time hearing her out. Because it did not seem like it would ever end, the list of grievances. My inner child is just in a lot of pain - I am in a lot of pain.
Meanwhile I had literal children on the other side of the door who also needed me. I needed to turn off the tap to my own feelings and shut it down yet again.
I tried to imitate the work we did two sessions ago. KDB guided me through the process but I was honest and said that I couldn't connect with that feeling of being the one doing the comforting and being comforted. Maybe one day we will get there. For now though, I'm still stuck in that stage where I am trying to 1) let myself feel the feelings, however many there are 2) naming those feelings, ie self-validation.
I have to recognise the courage it takes for me to do this work. I have to be kind to myself; kinder than I have been for years. I do not know how long it will take before the pain is over, but I have to give it the space it needs.
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