PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Handle Opens From The Inside

I had this fantabulous therapist in Minneapolis, she was a crazy-haired earth mamma who was sharp as a whip, and energy & confidence just emanated from her pores. She had several of those hard plastic tubes filled with corn-syrup-like liquid & glitter in her office (you know what I'm talking about?) and any time I started to whine about wanting things to be different, immediately, she would point at the "magic wands" and tell me to pick one up & wave it around because I was obviously engaged in magical thinking, and perhaps I could make it happen with one of her wands.
Now, that sounds really snarky, and she wasn't snarky at ALL, in fact, it was funny when it happened, because it was this gentle way of saying, "Wise up, you will not change that and quit thinking you will." So I got a lot of really good, useful tools from her, but the best one of all came after several long sessions of me describing my strained relationship with my parents, and how they had so much influence over me and how upset they could make me, blah blah blah, and I described them as being able to storm my defenses & burn down the gates and get deep inside where I felt safe & then I was left in a heap. And she said to me, "The handle opens from the inside, Jennifer." And it was like she'd waved that little wand, because BING, a little light went off as I imagined my small submarine tank with my parents on the imaginary doorstep and that I was the one, indeed, who let them in. Obviously I had the power all along, I just didn't recognize it because I was the child, and the parents are supposed to trump child - but that doesn't work so well when you're 26.

Not surprisingly, the workplace also gives you GREAT opportunity to practice things you learn in therapy, even if those sessions were focused on your family. And that is why I have some days where I sit at my desk and shake my head a little and say to myself, "The handle opens from the inside." And I sure could use one of those magic wands!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:42 AM