“But you’re with it now; it’s not overwhelming you completely. . . . You’re doing great. . . . Stay with it . . . and notice if something feels familiar about it.”
“I have an image of the nanny I had when I was 2 years old; the one who left abruptly,” she said. Tears were coming down Suzanne’s face. “I loved her so much.”
Suzanne had told me about this nanny, and later nannies, who’d left. Another key part of the picture: a mother who usually wasn’t attentive to her emotional needs.
I noticed that Suzanne’s right hand was extending slightly, palm rotating just a little toward open. “Your hand is coming out,” I said gently. “I’m right here with you.” She nodded.
“What do you notice as your hand starts to open in this way?” I asked.
“My other hand is coming out now, too, to comfort the first hand,” she said.
“Yes. . . .” I responded. This was a very tender moment.
“It’s holding that hand the way I like to hold my cat’s paws when she’s sleeping,” Suzanne said.
“It’s so gentle,” I added, before a long pause.
“Suzanne, can you feel how you hold the cat’s paw?” She shifted into a posture to do this.
“It’s like the way I hold an infant,” she said. Her left arm and hand were now contacting her heart.