Compartmentalizing, the Mandala Book and It’s Not Supposed to Be My Fault


(Not really pleased with this photo…The camera was definitely misbehaving today! All the pictures I took are really dark on the right side, even though I tried different lighting. Luckily, I ordered a new camera, which should come soon!)


It’s a good thing I have that compartmentalizing thing down to a fine art.  Art Therapy yesterday morning was challenging, as always.  And mentally draining, as always.  And after I left the appointment, I had a lot on my mind.  And….I had made a plan to stop by and visit a co-worker who is out on maternity leave.  That meant I had less than 15 minutes to suck up any feelings I was having, put on a social face and be another person, i.e. compartmentalize like crazy!

And I did it.  But boy, just like Monday….by the end of the day, I was spent and then some!

On a side note…I had a nice time with my co-worker.  I got to her place and she asked me if I wanted to hold the baby. I couldn’t say no to that!  So, I held and cuddled him and she and I chatted.  She had me give him a bottle of breast milk (she is working on bottles for when he is in childcare) and we chatted some more.  Basically, we talked and I held the baby for 3 hours!  It’s been a long time since I got to snuggle a newborn…It was delicious!

The Mandala Book

I took in my Mandala Book to share my new mandalas with the Art Therapist.  We discussed the new work a little bit.  It is interesting…He sees things in them that I don’t see.  Well…what I mean is that he sees and interprets them clinically (in his head). Then he asks me about them.  He doesn’t tell me his interpretation of them, but I am curious what he sees.  Of course, he always asks me what I notice or feel about them…And I mostly have no idea what I feel about them….I hate feelings and I do them terribly.  It is frustrating!

But I digress….What I really wanted to write about was that last session, he kept the pages from the Mandala Project and today he asked me if I wanted them back to add to my book. It seemed sensible to have the collection all together, so I brought them home, cut them apart and added them into my book.  Now, I will be able to keep the progression from my first mandala on to whenever I make my last.

I will probably take the book in with me to every appointment…It makes a good starting point for discussion…at least until the feelings questions start and I get all confused.

It’s Not Supposed to Be My Fault

I wrote on Tuesday about the student-teacher thing and feeling like it was my fault and how I didn’t say anything about that to the Art Therapist…So, I printed out the blog entry and took it in for him to read.  After reading it, he told me very clearly and deliberately that it was not my fault.  Not. My. Fault. And I could hear his words….but……I just am not there. This is going to be a hard one for me.  Like I said a while ago, I kind of worked out this narrative that bad things happened to me because I deserved them.  It is going to take a lot of work to shift that thought process, because when I do shift it, my whole coping system will fall apart…and I have completely internalized the narrative (I deserve bad things because I am bad), so it is going to take some work to undo that damage too.

4 thoughts on “Compartmentalizing, the Mandala Book and It’s Not Supposed to Be My Fault

  1. Pingback: Pocket Peace, Art Therapy and Being Social | Rusty Pluck

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