My therapist calls it projective identification. I just feel like I'm caught in a storm, strapped to the mast, trying to keep from being swept up in the drama.
The client who's been making me crazy? Things came to a head yesterday. Just as we were getting somewhere during a meeting with 30 people on her management team (her direct reports, plus theirs), she couldn't tolerate it. As courage grew and elephants-in-the-room were spoken of, it was too much for her to bear. She stomped out, muttering "I can't take these people! I'm going to retire!"
Now we begin.
But for her, she seems to see this as the end. People have finally had enough of the insanity, ready to do something different. To speak their truth instead of avoid the conflict. I'm encouraging her to step into this with them. She's ready to bail.
I've been wrestling with a strange and powerful energy within myself for about 32 hours now, since the big showdown. Not just a mild case of open-eyed self-appraisal, but flooded with anxiety and self-doubt like I've not felt in a long time.
It's like my client's panic and unconscious self-doubt have come to roost in me. I feel like I've been infected...toxic stuff, that I'm physically trying to brush off of me. Cleanse out of me. Wild, huh? A few more sun salutations outta do it.
Or not. Julia Cameron suggests embracing doubt as a sign that the creative process is underway. Yes, we definitely got unstuck yesterday. And that there's a difference between honest self-appraisal in the light of day versus seething self-doubt that grips you in the middle of the night. The antidote to the latter is apparently a little self-nurture (is that why I ate two pieces of cake yesterday?) and a lot of self-acceptance.
Something my client and I could both use to get us through this.