(This is an ongoing story. If you want to start at the beginning, click here.)
My favorite of AE's analogies is that of a tangle of necklaces. You have to tease one out and gently work it away from the bunch. Sometimes you can only loosen it, and then you have to move to a whole different necklace for a while. If you’ve ever done this – untangle necklaces – you know that it’s a slow, deliberate, often frustrating process, especially early on, when you can’t tell where one necklace ends and another begins. Then, after a while, the necklace ball loosens up and they come apart more easily. At the end, you have only a few left to untangle and it’s a breeze.
That’s a little what it’s like being with AE. You’re the necklaces; she’s the untangler. She gets as far as she can and then we have to stop until the next session.
I’m sometimes left agitated or emotional for a bit while my body figures out how to incorporate the new changes she’s created within it. Often, I spend the days after my session eating chocolate in an attempt to console myself, although it really doesn’t work.
AE says that for some people, the ball of necklaces is not very complicated. You tug on a few strands and the whole thing comes apart with ease. Not surprisingly, that’s not how things work with me. I’m a ball of necklaces for which you have to turn on some soothing music and make a nice cup of tea. You’re going to be there a while.
I don’t think it needs to be spelled out (but I will, just in case) that I feel very, very sorry for myself that I’m such a complicated necklace ball. It took me a long time to understand that this was the case and even longer to accept it.
AE has told me from the beginning, “Try and love the journey.”
That’s the type of thing I can imagine myself saying to someone else going through something like this and I wouldn’t blame them for wanting to punch me in the face for doing so.