Me, The Child-Me, The Art Therapist & The Teddy Bear
Have I ever mentioned that the Art Therapist challenges me? Oh yeah…I guess have a couple of times.
I took in my wind mobile and as I was getting it put together to show the Art Therapist I said to him, “I broke my own rule.” And explained that the mobile had representations of me as a child…The child-me which I banned after the girl/balloon drawing day. The Art Therapist said something to the effect of, “Yeah…we need to talk about that.” But didn’t pursue it at the moment, I assume because I was showing him the mobile.
Once assembled, I explained the mobile to the AT and the meaning of the pictures, how each one captures a piece of my life in relation to my experience of the wind.…And then my recall of what we were discussing gets a bit hazy, but I was feeling upset and my eyes strayed across the room and settled on the stuffed animals on top of the shelf. And the Art Therapist noticed. And he commented on it. And then, he did the unthinkable! He got up, went across the room and got Joey, the Teddy bear, and turned towards me with full intent of giving me Joey. I didn’t know what to do….The last thing I wanted was for the AT to hand me that Teddy bear. Only, I didn’t say no. I could have said no…I should have said no. But I didn’t.
And so, the AT brought Joey over to me. I refused to make eye contact with the AT or acknowledge what he was doing. And the Art Therapist placed Joey on my stomach (I was kind of slouched in the chair). And I ignored it. Except that I could see Joey in my peripheral vision…and I could see his soft purple fur. But I refused to look at him (or the AT) instead I focused on two knots of wood on a panel across the room.
And I was imploding. But I refused to feel it…to let it out. But that stupid bear was right there and so tempting. And the Art Therapist was saying in his best super-soothing voice, “It’s okay.” And all I could do was shake my head. NO!!!!! It is not okay. I cannot do this. And I just wanted to sob. But I couldn’t.
So, I sat there, not looking at the AT. Not looking at the Teddy bear. And not crying.
And after a while the AT asked for Joey back. And I grabbed Joey by his arm and without looking at the AT, thrust my hand in his direction and passed off Joey. Only….I didn’t want to. As much as I didn’t want to hold that bear and cuddle him….I didn’t want to give him up either…maybe I did want to snuggle him, just a little bit. But I couldn’t let myself. I just couldn’t give myself that comfort. Or that vulnerability. And I could NOT let the child-me touch that bear. No. No. No. You can’t give a banned child-me a purple Teddy bear. It is against the rules.
It was awful. I have never felt so torn between two parts. And I don’t know what to do with that child-me part….So, I just have opted to shut her out. It seems easier that way. Or I feel more in control that way. Or something…
The funny thing is that the when I was leaving (And let me tell you, I pretty nearly ran out of there!) the AT told me I had done good work. Which I totally don’t get. So, shutting him out, ignoring the Teddy bear and not crying is good work? Seems to me that it might smack of a therapy fail.
I think that was the hardest session I have had so far with the Art Therapist.