I've been wondering whether to tell you all about my CBT safe place, but in the end decided why not? I tell them everything else! And since I spent a fair bit of time there yesterday evening, and I'm feeling better today for it, now seems a good time.
My safe place is a mountain top (beaches and meadows never did it for me). I like to think of it as my grief mountain..... it's tall and rugged, a difficult climb, and at the bottom of the mountain is The Pit.....I picture myself taking the last few steps up to the top and standing admiring the view. It's safe here, because I've "made it", I feel calm, happy, content, resolved. I feel closer to Bertie here too, it's just me and him. For some reason I am always dressed as a warrior woman, in skins and furs, and I have war paint on my face. I guess that is to represent the battle to get to the top. I am carrying a flag, Robert's flag, which I stick in the ground at the summit. It's blue, with a yellow lion on to represent Bertie (I often think of him dressing up as a lion), and a capital R with a halo over it, in red embroidery. The flag is trimmed with gold and red.
When I get to the top, and place his flag in the ground, I just stand and look out. The view is over a whole mountain range...perhaps those are other people's grief mountains....but nobody else is there. What is strange is I see it two different ways. Sometimes I am myself, and I see the view. Other times, I am outside, watching myself. Those times, I only ever see myself from behind, I never see my face. I wonder if that is because I don't really believe I've made it there yet.
The CBT course invites me to meet my compassionate self in my safe place. My compassionate self is an older, wiser me, who doesn't harbor any ill feeling or negativity. She understands my grief and my depression, my anxiety and my fear. She doesn't try to advise me or make it all ok, she just listens. But she also reassures me that I am going to be OK, because she's been here and now she has "got there", like everyone told her she would. Wherever "there" is. She is all the best of me and none of the bad bits. I don't want to meet her on my mountain top though, not yet. I like the idea of being there myself, without her help. I like the peace it brings to be there alone. It doesn't seem right that she should be there with me. Perhaps the me that is there is actually her, maybe that is why I don't see my face...... Interesting.
I am starting to think I should do a psychology course, just so I can begin to understand myself.........