During my one to one with the therapist a few weeks ago he talked about removing my big girls mask in an attempt to free her up from her facade so she would be able to form genuine attachments. (See here if you didn’t read about it)
I woke this morning with palpitations. I had no idea how she would react. Would she lash out in fear. Would she withdraw. Would she allow her mask to be removed without a fight. I felt uneasy, unprepared and out of my depth. I knew once the hour session was up I would be by myself. What sort of child would I have on my hands, my imagination ran wild! I wasnt sure I could handle the potential repercussions, let alone handle them in a therapeutic way.
I collected my big girl from school, we had lunch in the supermarket cafe, I ate a lot, it was nerves im sure!
The first 45 minutes of the session I considered to be a waste of time. There was colouring, making pretend tea and answering every ‘wondering’ the therapist threw her way with a ‘I dont know’. I genuinely believe she didn’t have the answers to his questions, although the therapist was convinced it was because it was too difficult to answer. She wrote on the white board and rubbed out everything she wrote, the therapist pondered whether that was because she was scared of getting things wrong so felt she needed to keep correcting herself. I think it was just the novelty of using the white board marker pen and board rubber but who knows.
Towards the end of the session he asked if he could draw on the white board, she said no, eventually she let him. He drew 4 Animals. A Hedgehog, A Bear, A Turtle and an Antelope. He talked about the animals and how they might react when scared. There was a prickly defensive hedgehog, a fighting bear, a running antelope and a hiding turtle. He talked about how people might have these same tactics for dealing with fear. He described himself as a hedgehog, someone who gets angry, irritated and sometimes shouts when he feels scared. He asked her which animal she thought she was. ‘I dont know’ she said sounding confused. He then pondered how he thought she was a turtle and asked me to confirm. I commented that she had a little of each animal in her but that she was in fact much like the turtle when faced with fear. So you can see where this conversation was going, and that’s about as far as it went. The session was over and we left.
On the way home I wondered if my big girl had really understood any of what was said. She said ‘Im not sure why he thinks im a turtle mommy, im not green?’.
My middle girl moaned this morning that she never gets to go to the doctors and have time off school, so next time I’m taking her, she loves the white board too.