Thursday, April 12, 2012

End Of My Therapy Boxes

Those of you who have been following my blog will remember my first post on my therapy boxes and why I started them.  For those of you who don't know what I am talking about here is a brief summary (you can find the related blog entries by clicking on the "therapy boxes" label to the left):  I had a dream one night which included some boxes not unlike the ones in the picture to the right.  I didn't know what was in the boxes, but I knew they were mine and I started carrying them out to my car when I woke up.  The boxes in the dream bothered me for a long time.  I eventually created these little boxes show in the picture to the left (they are from the Scrapbook in a Box pattern) thinking that maybe I could figure it out by having something physical to look at.  The boxes pretty much just sat there for many months.  In my talk therapy and cranial sacral therapy they tried to get me to visualize what was in them, but for some reason I didn't dare even visualize opening them.

One day I prayed and asked for help in knowing what the boxes meant.  Later that day I had a cranial sacral therapy appointment and she said something about me being disconnected from my emotions and she said, "it's like they are all boxed up."  That was it, I had put all my emotions in my "boxes" and I was afraid of them.  My talk therapist had me just opening the boxes and closing them for awhile, just to get used to doing something with them.  Eventually I named each box and found pictures that I felt went with the boxes.  Then even later I added my thoughts to the boxes.  It was a long process that probably took a couple of years because looking at some of them was really hard for me to do. 

After I had completed the boxes, they sat there for a long time.  I didn't know what to do with them next.  My therapist told me that she would like to see me somehow put them all together.  I thought about it for weeks.  Then one day the thought that my emotions and feelings shouldn't be in boxes at all came to me.  They need to be out in the open, emotions and feelings need to be acknowledged, felt and then released.  I knew I needed to open up the boxes in a permanent way, but I wasn't sure how. 

One morning I went into my scrapbook room and I looked at those boxes and before I knew it I was opening them all up, then I was tearing them up into smaller pieces.  I took the pieces, rearranged and glued them onto 6x6 pages and I put them in a small scrapbook  (there is more to why I put them in a book, but I will save that story for another day). 

Now all my pain, denial and hurts were all together in one book.  I could turn the pages and see it all.  I could see my initial hurts, how I carried those hurts into my adult life and then how I had found ways to heal those hurts.  I could see my progress on every page and I was so proud of myself.

The hurt pages are still hard to look at, but I can't wait to turn the page and see the healing.  After I had finished the pages, I felt like the book needed some sort of message of completion.  So I wrote the following addressing each box individually then putting it all together and added it to the book.

Free to Be Me

I had been hiding behind the couch
Away from everyone, away from myself
Waiting to be noticed
Waiting to be loved
Then I found myself tucked away inside
Found my heart, my joy, my peace

I had been trapped inside myself
Emotions locked up tight
Locked up tears
Locked up fears
Then I found the key
And set myself free

I thought I had to be perfect
For others to notice me
Perfect to be valued
Perfect to be loved
Then I let myself be more
Faulty, perfect, balanced

I denied myself basic needs
Believing others more deserving
Denied being human
Denied being me
Then I faced the truth
I'm human, I want, I need

I was broken into pieces
Barely holding on
Broken emotionally
Broken physically
Then I saw all the pieces
And put them together

I am free to be me
Free to embrace all of me
Embrace the child
Embrace the adult
Love all of me
Free and whole

I do have a few more things I want to add to my book and I know I will do it when I am ready.  It may have taken me years to work through this process, and maybe my "therapy boxes" were a strange way of doing it, but for some reason they made sense to me and really that's all that matters.  I have learned that we all heal in different ways, and my therapy boxes helped me in ways probably not many would understand.  They helped me face hurts I had inside that I dared not look at for the longest time.  Just the physicality of the boxes I had made slowly helped me face the emotional ones I had hidden inside. 

I wasn't sad to see them go when I created the book instead, but now as I write about the end of them I find myself a little sad to have them gone.  Funny, I didn't realize how much a part of my life those boxes had become.  Well, one thing is for sure, it is much easier to see inside of an open book than closed up boxes.  So now I say to my therapy boxes, "good-bye, thank you for taking care of me when I couldn't, I will always appreciate you for that."

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