Floating high above the pain
Don’t hear… don’t feel
Come, let’s play
Let’s forget about what’s happening below
Look, how many flowers can you see in the wallpaper?
How loud can we sing?
Many days past, playing near the ceiling
Then a tipping point…
Uncle came along
With needs and acts depraved
Floating high above was no longer enough
Singing did little to hush the screams
Come into The Attic
I built it just for you
White and pure
No shadows, no pain
I will protect you
Keep you safe
This partial poem was written by Carrie (the protector of The Attic), before today’s emergency therapy session with Allison. It was meant to tell how, and why The Attic was created. It told us that, and so much more… It told us where the current suicidal ideation is coming from.
Carrie guided the innocents into a place of safety within The Attic; all the while seeing the acts causing the dissociation. Carrie’s whole world revolves around keeping those within The Attic safe from abuse. So, when The Basement started to become involved in the healing process, Carrie saw healing as a threat. She stills sees the world as an evil place – self-injury, child abuse, inequity, intolerance and hate all still occur. Therefore, it’s a world still unsafe for those in her care. The only solution she sees… suicide.
This is what I took into Allison today. Because of the new clarity surrounding the issues, it was a really productive session…
We talked about the poem and image created about The Basement/Vault, and what it meant. She was curious as to why the image was so imbalanced – with the box being so much smaller than the image representing hopes and dreams. At first, we thought we had the meaning behind this image sorted, but her questioning made us rethink it. In an image that I considered to indicate hopelessness and a sense of fear, she managed to show us hope.
Then our familiar nemesis… ACC. ACC contacted us yesterday to tell us the final results of our latest assessment. Immediately, M was wanting to fight the decision. But by the end of the night, she was rethinking the need to fight. She stood back and looked at the toll our interactions with ACC have had on us over the years… two suicide attempts and countless instances of self-injury. Was that fight worth it? In some ways, it is. The fight gives M something to focus on, and something to be here for. We’re used to fighting… there’s a comfort in fighting something external. But, it’s not healthy. Allison asked what would happen if we directed the energy expended on fighting ACC into something healing… how’s that for a dose of reality!
Finally, how to help Carrie. This was difficult. Carrie has only ever come forward once or twice in therapy, and that was about 3 years ago. We didn’t really get any sense of having resolved the problem, or the reason for the suicidal ideation. But, we acknowledged that Carrie’s fears are real and tangible. Allison tried to show how there is beauty in the world too… I’m not sure if she succeeded or not, but when we were walking back to work, we saw the blue sky for the first time in what seems like forever…
I’m not naive enough to believe that I’m safe. But, there is a spark of hope that’s been absent for a long time.
Now playing: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen The Rain?