Terry and Ann are in the car together, Terry is driving. There are road works, as a new road extension is being built. Drivers are diverted along a new part of road, crudely marked.
God, this is bad. How am I supposed to see where to go, where my lane is. It’s so dangerous, you’d think they’d have marked it better, and with all these other lines all over the place, I can hardly see where I’m supposed to go. They’re a lot of morons, don’t they think about it from the drivers perspective, it’s dangerous enough with all the new changes, let alone not even being able to make out which lane I’m meant to be in.
Feelings Terry, your bad feelings, what are they, you’re not expressing them, you’re just giving me information, and I can see that for myself, and it’s been like this for three weeks now and you say the same thing each time. If you expressed your feelings, you’d be able to move on, and stop needing to give me a news report. So where are they, you must have them as you’re wanting to say something, if you didn’t have them, you’d just keep driving as you normally do. Speak your feelings Terry - FEELINGS!
Yes, yes, all right, what are my feelings. I’m angry that it’s so difficult.
Express them Terry, don’t just tell me, let your feelings speak, how are you really feeling, for surely you must be feeling scared, and angry about being made to feel scared.
Yes, I’m scared, I am, that’s true. My feelings, all right, I’ll try and start again. Shit it’s difficult to see where I’m meant to go, it’s so scary, I don’t know where to go, I might have a crash, what if the other cars can’t see either, they might crash into us. I’m scared all right, I don’t want to do anything wrong, it’s difficult to see and concentrate, it’s hard enough as it is driving normally and having to concentrate on all that’s going on.
I feel nervous, anxious, what if something bad happened, I feel all hot, scared, yeah, really scared, what if a car ran into us, I couldn’t bear it, not here right here with all this going on around us.
And you could bear it... somewhere else? You mean it would be all right to be run into on a normal road?
No, of course not, but it’s so closed in, with all the barriers and everyone getting squeezed down into this little bit. It would be difficult... so... so...
What would you feel?
THAT’S WHAT I’M TRYING TO GET AT, TO FEEL! Stop interrupting me, you put me off, oh god, now I’ve lost it!
Go back and put yourself back into it.
Yeah all right.
Okay, getting squeezed into it, it’s a feeling of being confined, yeah that’s it, that’s what makes me really scared. With everyone being here all squashed in and everyone angry, yelling at each other for being in the way and holding everyone up. Yeah, holding everyone up, that’s a thing, that’s something I’m scared of doing - I don’t want to hold anyone up.
Scared, shit I feel scared, really scared.
What would happen to you if you did hold everyone up?
I can’t hold anyone up, I just can’t.
Because, because... it’s the worst thing, it’s the worst thing to do - that I could do. I would get into trouble, you know, yelled at.
Who’d yell at you - all the people in the other cars, the road workers - who?
Yeah, everyone, they’d all yell at me, everyone would yell at me for disrupting their lives, for making a nuisance of myself.
Yeah, you know, the family.
What, your mum and dad would yell at you?
Yeah, like all parents do.
But didn’t that make you feel really bad, worse that you’re feeling now?
Hmm, no, I don’t think so, a little maybe, but it’s just what happened, everyone got yelled at, didn’t you get yelled at?
Yes, but I didn’t like it. I hated it when my parents or anyone yelled at me, it made me feel very bad. But you didn’t feel hurt, or rejected, scared, nothing like that?
Ahh, no. Not that I can remember. Sure I didn’t like it, and I agree, I don’t like to be yelled at, no one does, but it’s what happened, it wasn’t too bad, nothing really bad happened. They spanked me at times, but that was when I did really bad things, but just the normal everyday being yelled at... that was normal. We yelled at each other, mum and dad yelled at us, the teachers yelled at us, I’d yell at my friends, it’s what you do when your angry with someone.
Yes, but Terry, what I don’t understand is why didn’t it make you feel bad, I mean, really bad. I hated being yelled at, oh I felt so scared, and so bad, that they didn’t like me, that they didn’t want me, even that they hated me. And you didn’t feel those feelings?
Oh you must have, how can you not. You must have been switched off to them, that’s all. But you must have felt them, it’s normal, it’s what we all feel, or what I think we all feel. I’ve not known anyone who didn’t feel bad when they were being yelled at.
I did feel bad, as I said, but not too bad. It wasn’t like it was the end of the world, it wasn’t that bad. So you just took it, and shrugged it off, I don’t even think I listen to them half the time. It was just a part of life, what everyone did.
But there’s something wrong in that. Are we meant to go around being able to just shrug off the bad stuff and not have such feelings, it doesn’t sound right to me. You must have just blocked those bad feelings out, denied them; and I bet Terry, they are still all inside you.
Well you might be right, but I don’t feel them.
But you said you feel scared and angry and bad about being a nuisance, so you must have felt them, those are the same feelings, that’s what you’re feeling now. You’re scared of holding up traffic, people you don’t even know, and when you have the accident, when you’re the poor one, everyone should stop and look after you, not all yell at you for having an accident. You’re the one that needs the attention, that needs to be made to feel better, it’s not like they all lay the boots into you when you’re down, when your broken lying there covered in blood and with your arms and legs all smashed they all come around and yell at you and hit you.
Yeah, you’re right, it doesn’t make sense.
So you must feel bad, hurt and rejected and unwanted, and pretty much so far you have such a distorted picture of yourself. It shows me just how much you’ve put yourself aside, so that when you are all smashed up needing the most help, love and care, all you expect to get is beaten up even more, yelled at for being in everyones way and making a nuisance of yourself.
Yes, I can see what you mean Ann, it is rather extreme, isn’t it.
It is, I don’t drive along being scared I’m going to have a crash and that everyone will abuse me for doing so, for disrupting their lives, for making an inconvenience of myself for them.
Inconvenience...hmm, now that words rings something of a bell. Inconvenience, inconvenience, it’s bad to be a inconvenience. There’s something about me being an inconvenience, now what is that...
Long for the truth of it Terry, long for the truth of these feelings, of all the feelings you been expressing and speaking about.
Yeah all right.
Long out loud, I find it helps me.
Okay. I want to know the truth of what I’m feeling, I’m longing to know... I really want to know... what is it all about it. What is it? I want to know why I do feel like I’m an inconvenience, and why I should get yelled at in a situation like that. It doesn’t make any sense.
All I can think of is a memory, at a time when I was on my bike and dad was backing into the driveway, and I rode behind him, and he came flying out of the car yelling and screaming at me. I don’t how this relates.
It doesn’t matter, keep going, tell me about it, you’ve never told me about it before.
No, I’d forgotten about it myself, it’s just come into my mind.
He went totally off the handle, I didn’t understand what he was going on about, I was just riding my bike. I must have been about five or six and he was yelling at me and so angry, I remember how red his face looked, and he came over to me, grabbed me, half pulling me off the bike, shaking me, yelling at me: ‘DON’T YOU EVER TO THAT AGAIN, DO YOU HEAR ME, DON’T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN!’, and he just went on like that. Do what, I asked. And that made him go even more berserk, ‘NEVER RIDE BEHIND THE CAR WHEN I’M BACKING, I MIGHT HAVE RUN YOU OVER, I COULD HAVE HIT YOU’. But there was no way, I wasn’t going to be hit by the car, and from what I remember, I was well clear anyway, he’d not to have be looking to hit me, and you had to look in our driveway because it wasn’t that wide.
And how did his yelling at you like that make you feel?
I was shocked, I think. I didn’t know what I’d done wrong. What was so bad? I was... I was... scared, yes very scared, why was dad so angry, so upset about such a thing when I hadn’t done a bad thing.
You might have fallen off your bike or something like that, and he might have run into you.
Naaa... well, I might have, but naaa, I was a good rider. And even if I did, still I think his reaction was over the top.
Did he hit you, smack you, or punish you or anything?
No, he just kept yelling, and yelling at me not to be so dam foolish as he dragged me inside. Then I can’t remember what happened. I just remember his eyes, they were so wide, like dragons eyes, and that was scary, bloody scary. I thought he would do something bad to me, I don’t know what, but really give it to me. Yes, I was scared of him then, terrified. Yes, shit I feel all shaky now, hot and scared again, a little like how I felt when I was saying how scared I felt imagining that we might have a crash back there.
This is a good example of how my healing went, with my feelings leading me all over the place. I needed Marion, as Ann was doing for Terry, to keep prompting me, and to keep telling me her experiences, because having been so shut off to my feelings, I had little normal life experience to draw from.
And over the years we’d cycle back over and through often the same memories from our early lives, each time seeing more to them. Terry is only just now scratching the surface, he’s only just having to face the truth that in fact his parents treated him unlovingly, very badly, and all that he called normal yelling and being yelled at, is actually very traumatic to a little forming person. And that his parents would have thought nothing of yelling and hitting him at times right through his forming years, causing him huge amounts of pain and hurt. And all those bad feelings, bad feelings from every time, are all still in him waiting for him to reconnect with them through experiences such as this. And it’s through our ongoing life, just all the normal every day stuff, like this road traffic alteration and the impact it has on Terry, that helps us reconnect to our buried forgotten and rejected feelings, through feelings we’re feeling now. The feelings now being the same ones as back then, so we can use our current feeling-experiences to move back and reconnect with our past feeling-experiences, as Terry was doing through the memory of the bike incident coming up. And it came up, all because he longed for the truth, because he really wanted to know what his feelings were trying to show him.