Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I think I had a bit of an anxiety attack this morning.  I was sitting with my daughter and we were sewing a Build-a-Bear and my heart, and mind started to race.  While sitting and sewing my mind also drifted back to my feelings about L and my asking her for another session this Friday.  I'm happy that she's available, but at the same time I regret asking.

I just want to curl up on her couch and stay forever.

She is so many things to me, friend, confidant, mother, coach, muse mentor, sister.

She says she wants to build a strong relationship so I can see how good it feels and I will then want it from others.  That someday I won't need to get it all from her.  What if that doesn't happen?

I wish I had the courage to tell her that I think about her day and night.  I play out scenes in my head.  Some are just me revisiting our sessions and sometimes I think about how I would like our next session to go. Sometimes I wish she would sit on the couch next to me, her arm around my shoulder, and me just crying in her arms.

I wish I had the strength and courage to share all this with her, but instead I'm embarrassed by the intensity and what I perceive to be inappropriate.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where is the line?  And who draws it?  And is it immovable?  And is it the same for everyone?

She said today that yes, we are friends.  But I think she meant that we are also many other things.  She asked me today if I had romantic feelings towards her, she had asked that once before. Like before, today I slowly answered 'no'.  I think the slowness was due to thoughtfulness not hesitancy. 

She said that I could ask her anything I wanted.  So I asked her what her favorite color was.  Talk about wasting a lifeline.

I cringed inside, and probably outside when she used the words 'my boyfriend', even though she explained later that the term was being applied to a non-romantic friend of hers. 

I want to take all of it in.  I want to swim in it, but fear it will drown me. What she offers is so enticing, so why don't I give in?  Guilt?  Shame?

I asked her why she does it, she replied it was to give me a good life.

I was hoping I could sit and ramble, but that didn't happen, instead I kept her at a distance.

Where do all these feelings and longings come from?  It seems so trite to say it's from childhood, it feels like so much more.  Yet at the same time it feels all made up in my head, nothing more than drama.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

She brought me a half coffee/half hot chocolate this morning.  I wonder why, although I'm not going to over think it so much that I lose how much it meant to me.  Maybe because we talked about Christmas cards last session and I told her that I would bring her in one so she wanted to bring me something?  Maybe because tis the season right now and it's our last session before Christmas so she was in a giving mood?

Isn't it funny that such a simple act can carry so much meaning.  It's comforting to know she was thinking of me this morning before even seeing me.  And this was such a tangible act there's no way I could deny that she was thinking of me.

She was dressed very casually today too, which is very different for her.  She almost always is dressed nicely either in a skirt or a dress, but today was jeans,  So between that and the hot chocolate, it felt very relaxed, or should I say 'I' felt very relaxed. 

I looked at her a lot more today than I normally do too.  Usually, and especially if I'm the one talking I look down at the floor, but today I noticed that I was a bit more comfortable making eye contact

Amongst a whole bunch of other things, we talked more about our relationship today.  She really wants to normalize it for me and normalize how I feel.  I have such a hard time believing that she's real and that the relationship is real.  I'm always looking for the tangibles, I'm always trying to logicalize (we agreed that this should be a word) the relationship and I how I feel about it.  But she keeps trying to reassure me that what I'm feeling is ok and appropriate.  That I'm not crazy and it's ok to depend on her.  She also wants me to try and believe that it won't always feel like this. That we'll work together to find a good place for it. 

I also told her that even though I felt good and connected when I left her office on Tuesday, by Wednesday I was struggling with trying to hold on to it.  It certainly wasn't as bad as it normally is and I still was able to get some stuff done, which normally I wouldn't have when I struggle.  Typically it becomes all encompassing for me, but yesterday it was more background noise.  I struggled with wanting to text her, and she reassured me that I can always text, even if I don't have a 'real' reason.  It's so odd to me that sometimes a simple 5 - 10 minute text exchange with her can make me feel so good.

We talked a lot about attachment and probably how my first 3 years were and how that affected my ability (or inability) to form strong relationships.  She says however, because of positive things that I also experienced I am capable of forming strong bonds, it's just that I have a huge aversion to it.  So the good news is that I can do it and I want to do it, it's just getting me past the fear.

On the drive to her office this morning I was thinking about giving her a hug, and maybe it's more like getting a hug from her? But either way I was hoping that it would be that kind of session, and that I would work up the courage.  The strange thing is that I know she would be ok with it, we've hugged in the past and it was always welcomed and good, but it's still uncomfortable for me.  Unfortunately I didn't work up the nerve. Hopefully next week. 

I did send her a text a few minutes ago:

Me:  Thanks again for the hot chocolate, both the drink and the hot chocolate-like feelings.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm not quite sure what possessed me, but I sent my ex-T C a Christmas card. I didn't put anything special on it, it's the same card that the rest of our friends and family got.  Like I do every year, I made a collage of pictures taken during the year.  This years theme was 'blessings and being thankful', so it had pictures of us in Disney, our daughter's first day of kindergarten, a picture from our summer vacation...etc.

Maybe I wanted C to see that I was happy? I know part of me still holds out hope that she'll want to talk with me some day and help me resolve the issues I have with how she terminated with me. 

I sort of feel a little silly, probably more like pathetic that I still think about her and what happened.  Actually 'pathetic' used to be how I felt about it, now it's more a feeling of 'sadness'.  It makes me sad

I sort of feel bad about bringing this up to L.  Mainly because I didn't send her a card.  I know I could have but it didn't seem necessary.  I usually see L twice a week so she knows how I am, and hell, she's probably seen the pictures I put on the card.  But I don't want her to feel slighted.  L had given me so much and she definitely knows me way better than C does, or ever did, but there's something about C that I can't shake. 

Maybe it was the hurt.  I don't think I've ever been so decimated as I was with C.  She really started me on my therapy-for-therapy path.  And now, over 6 years later, it's still with me.  Thank goodness with the help and support of L I'm certainly at a way better place with it, but the fact that 'it' is still there concerns me.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I know this sounds sort of whiny but I feel so bad. 

I normally see L twice a week, usually on Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, and almost always at 7:30 in the morning.  Well yesterday I came home sick from work, slept for 2 hours and then was back in bed at 7:30pm.  Nothing too horrendous, just feeling crappy, headache, stomachache, got my period, got a cold coming on....etc.  So this morning I get up at 5:30am to get ready to see L.  My partner M wakes up and ask me how I feel and based on my response she suggests that I cancel with L and get back in to bed to get a couple more hours of sleep.  I knew I had to go to work, but another hour of sleep sounded enticing. I figured I could catch L before she left her house, so I sent her a text at 5:45am.

After not hearing back from her, an hour later at 6:55am I called and left a voice mail.  I then sent another text at 7:25am.  Still no response back from her.  Finally at 8:35am as I'm driving to work I finally get a text back from her. 

L: I didn't get the message until now hope everything is ok

and then another minute later

L: Feel better let me know what works for next week

Now I'm feeling so terrible, like I don't appreciate her time.  I definitely could have gone.  In fact I should have gone.  Instead of going back to sleep my partner and I had a fight.  Another difference in the way we approach child rearing.  But I digress....

As I continue to drive to work I send her this text(yea, I know I shouldn't be texting and driving...):

Me:  Sorry, I feel really bad about you not getting my message...does Tues and Thurs next week work

Because she doesn't respond right away, not that she has to of course, I continue working myself up into a panic and feeling like an ass.  She hates me, I should have gone, she dragged herself out of bed, I really wasn't that sick...etc.

So when I finally get to work I have to call her.  This is something that I rarely do, we communicate mostly via text, but I have to talk to her.  Normally I would have felt better afterwards, not that I should be let off the hook, but I was hoping not to feel so bad, but not this time.  I repeat my apology and she tells me that normally she would have had her phone and would have gotten the texts and/or voice mails, but it was just a fluke.  She tells me she's glad I kept the germs to myself and we can probably meet any morning next week, but she'll have to check and get back to me later.  I apologize again and hang up.

Partly I'm wrought with guilt, and partly I'm sad. 

I don't believe I've ever cancelled with L.  The wait in between sessions is so painful, and the craving to see her is so strong I always thought I'd have to be completely immobilized in order to 'choose' not to see her.  And this morning I was well aware of that, and I checked with myself to make sure I would be ok with it.  In fact I thought maybe it was progress that I would choose not to see her.  Boy, what was I thinking......

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So I send L a text this morning:

Me: It's weird to feel good....whodathunk?

And I don't mean the manicy-type good that I can feel at times, or the I'm-working-a-crowd good but just sort of normal good. Like last night I enjoyed simply helping my daughter with her homework and then we played Cooties and did a couple of puzzles. It was nice.  Although at the same time I was a little unsure of myself.

I guess my current ways of withdrawing into myself and living in my head are slowly becoming my 'old' ways.  I was thinking last night that although there's really no definitive line-in-the-sand for when change happens, it happens much more under-the-radar. 

L responds to my text:
  You're great to want to get there

To which I quickly reply with:
  Yea, I wasn't complaining.....and stop with the 'great'-stuff.

Hmmm, I guess I haven't completely changed.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It was another good session today.  When I got up this morning I actually didn't feel like going, which has probably happened twice in my therapy-life.  It wasn't (in this case) that I was trying to avoid anything (mostly) it was just that I was tired and it was Monday morning and it was cold and I just wanted to stay in bed a little longer.  But it was too late to cancel, and I'm glad I didn't. 

She started with wanting to know if I wanted to hear 'the list', but I told her no I really didn't, it's just too hard for me.  She tried to get in a few really nice things, but I talked over her a bit with some inane banter (nice weather, did you see the game yesterday...etc) she go the hint, so we did our usual tradition of a slow entry.  Luckily I go for 90 minutes which usually allows me plenty of warm up time.  A couple cute kid stories, funny things she said, like using the word 'sympatico' in a sentence this weekend.  Seriously, what 5 year old does that!

I also saw my mother this weekend, and that's always good for 20 minutes of filler.  Especially since my mother was having a rough day yesterday.  She has Parkinson's and her mind is getting worse and worse.  It's one of those diseases where the drugs cause as many issues as the disease itself.  I know how terrible this probably sounds, but we didn't like each other much when I was growing up, so my patience with her right now is very minimal and I get easily frustrated with her.

We also talked about the ice cream store for a while.  There's still lots going on, and we're even going to go look at a different place the week after next.  The downside to this second place is that the store is leased.  The upside is that it's located in a great community and it's a hell of a lot cheaper.  I'm also starting to getting a little nervous about making such a drastic change in my life, in our lives.  My salary will be cut in half, if we're lucky.  But I also think it's healthy to be a little worried, so I'm not freaking out too much.

We even talked about alter-egos for a while, and who would portray us in the movie if I ever got around to writing a book.  This was actually a pretty funny conversation.  She said that she thought Holly Hunter should play me, but I think I'm more of an Amy Madigan-type.  For her we started with Sigourney Weaver, but then at the end she also suggested Susan Sarandon, which I totally agree with, but I told her that I wish she didn't suggest that.  Cause I think of Susan Sarandon as the perfect mother-type, and with my mother-type transference with L, well, it just plays games with my head!  So tonight I'll either have to watch Thelma and Louise, Dead Man Walking, Little Women, or Bull Durham!

Finally, I knew in my head that I still needed/wanted to talk about 'the list', and also how I feel about L and my neediness.  She's so amazing and supportive.  She totally normalizes what's going on for me.  She said she was really impressed with me reading from my blog and she's amazed at me (which caused me to break out into song 'Maybe I'm amazed....').  She said she learned alot about me as well.  I asked her to say more.  She said like the stuff about my mother and how deep and present it still is.  She said she knew it, but somehow me verbalizing it gave her some clarity.  She also said it made her want to hold my hand more, figuratively speaking.

I asked her about the cravings and the insatiable feelings.  She said those are all ok.  In fact my problem isn't those feelings, it's that I fight them.  She also said I frustrate myself when I leave and not say or talk about everything, so she was very happy that after the talk today I still was able to bring it back and get some questions asked.  She's so right, it's me who gets frustrated and then when I leave I can't seem to let it go.  She said that's why she wants me to text, so I don't walk around all frustrated.  But she said the ultimate goal was to have me address anything, and everything with her, as it happens. 

So I think that's like 2 sessions in a row that were really positive.  That maybe a new record for me.  Let's see if we can go for 3 on Thursday.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I can't understand why I don't feel better today.  I guess by 'better' I mean why do I still have the need/craving to talk to or contact Li?

I have been thinking all day about the session yesterday and my inability to remember the details.  I know after I read it to her she made a comment saying that she learned a lot about me, but I don't think she ever said what she meant. 

But this insatiable need is frustrating.  I really thought, or hoped that by opening up to her that I would feel some sense of relief.  I guess I did yesterday, but not so much today.

I tried to distract myself with work, but it was futile and I finally gave in early this afternoon and texted her:

Me: I figured if I opened up yesterday that would quench some of the need to keep reaching out to you.  Not as anxious, just needy......and preoccupied.

L: Preoccupation with what?

Me: Generally the conversation yesterday.  I realize that I don't actually remember alot of the details.  Like what part of my blog did I read out loud and what parts did I skip.  Or what specifically did you say when you responded?  I mean I know it was good and I left feeling good, but I'm not exactly sure why.  Maybe I  really do delete you?  So I've been trying t remember details, but instead I have questions.  Weird but true.

L: So ask questions if you need details remembered

Me:  It was probably when I had my fingers in my ears and singing Frosty

L:  Yes, but now you can ask questions and some day in real time you will be able to, promise.

Me:  So what did you learn about me from reading the rambly blog?  Maybe tough to respond but maybe we can discuss on Tuesday....I'll try and hold out til then

L: I would like to respond for me but for me better in person, i am not great with texting.

Me: I know that texting doesn't work so well hence the hesitancy to ask. Just wish I could put it aside until we can talk.  Thanks

L:  You can ask now

Me:  Thanks, but I guess it's more of a discussion.  Some day I'll talk more and won't have a million things running through my head.  Have a nice weekend.

Hmmmm, I wonder if talking more isn't my only issue, maybe I need to listen more as well?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I've been trying to write this entry since yesterday but I just can't seem to.

The session went well, really well actually.  I brought in what I wrote the other day about what was going through my head when I shut down from her.  Thank goodness I have 90 minute sessions, cause it too me close to an hour to actually start reading it out loud, and even then I edited it a bit (like saying 'blah, blah, blah, instead of the actual words), I was probably still able to say at least 85% of what I wrote. 

Unfortunately I can't really remember the exact details of her reply.  Don't get me wrong, I know it was great and supportive, and I left feeling really good, but I'm struggling to pullup her exact words to hang on to, like as proof.

But at the same time it's probably my own fault for not being able to remember, I think even though it was all good, really good stuff, I'm pretty sure I shut part of her out (new realization for me).  You see sometimes when I'm about to tell her something and if I'm afraid of her response I tell her she can't say anything. I think the reason I do that is because if it's a bad reply, then I'll be crushed, and if it's a good reply, well I won't believe her.  So a sort of damned-if-she does, damned-if-she-doesn't. 

Unfortunately, or maybe for me it's fortunately, L has trouble with not-talking.  Something for myself that I can't imagine.  So yesterday after I was finally able to read blog entry she started to respond to some of the things that I had written.  But I mostly stopped her in a very adult way......I stuck my fingers in my ears and started singing Christmas carols.  It was actually pretty funny.  So she'd stop for a few minutes and when she tried again I would start singing over her again. 

So I'm sorry I can't supply the details, but maybe, at least for now, knowing I left feeling safe and connected is enough.  She really is amazing and supportive. I'm not sure if this is what a typical therapeutic relationship is supposed to feel like, or I'm just lucky to have found her.  And I know her reaction to that statement would be that she's lucky to have found me. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm never quite sure if texting her is a sign of progress or not.  L thinks it is, but I'm not convinced.  Maybe I would feel better if it wasn't such a strong need? Or is the strong need not a bad thing, like it's better for me if I learn to live with not controlling everything?

I sent her this today:

Me:  Do you think I'll get to a point where I'll just look at you as a 'therapist'?  Both for the good stuff and the bad stuff?  Not that I want to but I feel like I'm fooling myself, at least for the good stuff.  And question 2, is the insatiable feeling there because I'm holding too much in?

I sometimes feel like if I could handle this 'therapy relationship' then I would be ok, does that make sense?  Or is learning to handle this relationship part of the deal? 

Then sometimes I wonder if I wasn't freaking out about it, what would we talk about?

And then the other view, do I freak out/obsess so I can avoid other things?  More painful issues?  I can't imagine, for me, a more painful issue. 

And please, don't write the obvious "Maybe if you stop therapy you won't need therapy".

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I need to process today's session a lot more.  So much was going on in my head and most I couldn't/wouldn't/didn't share with her. 

She knew I shut down, I recoiled, I threw the walls up and dug myself into a hole.  When I would react this way with my partner M she would label it my 'Get Smart' routine.  The old tv program used to show Smart going into his hiding place with all these steel doors closing and locking him in.

I'm not sure why this old/familiar/still happens reaction happened. 

We were talking about how I'm uncomfortable with people, that I don't typically like socializing, and when I do it takes an effort on my part.  In fact, I sort of have two different persona's.  I either need to be funny and the life of the party, or sort of removed and dark and brooding.  Strange that they're both polar opposites, but they have the same affect.  It keeps me distant from people, remote and fearing intimacy.  But I'm also aware enough to know that I still crave a connection.

So while L is telling me these observations of hers, which I don't deny, I start feeling like she thinks I'm too dependent on her.  I also hear criticism, that I'm not the person I should be, the person that she would want me to be.  I react to the criticism stuff in the same way I used to with my mother.  I was never 'enough' for my mother.  Never pretty enough, never thin enough, never girlish enough...etc.  She hated that I was so different.  In fact that was the 'nicest' way she could describe me, that I was 'different'. 

I was able to somehow tell L that my interpretation of what she said to me was negative criticism, and I don't handle that very well.  I also told her that I know some of my reaction was based on 'old stuff'.  My goal as a kid was to frustrate the hell out of my mother, which is where not talking and shutting down came into play. It would drive her crazy.  I would then also promise myself to never let her 'get' to me.  Both in a good way and in a ba way.

So I tell L that I think I've accomplished with her what I set out to do, which was to frustrate her by not talking.  And I repeat that I know this is old stuff, but at the same time I'm thinking of that old saying 'Just because your paranoid doesn't mean people aren't watching you'.  So just because I have attachment issues doesn't mean that someone isn't getting sick of me.

So while all that is going on in my head, I also have in the back of my mind the text exchange we had last Friday. Although I was nervous about it, she had said that she would tell me about the 'long list' of things she 'gotten from me', but she didn't.  Which led me to fall back on my original belief that she was just bullshitting me. I probably put her on the spot and she really couldn't come up with anything.  In fact it led her down the path of 'why is she still needy?'. Which led to the discussion that I need to connect more with other people. 

And then I think I also had her new car on my mind.  Boy that sounds strange.  You see I got a new car back in May.  My car was 11 years old so I was really excited about getting a new car.  The session before I picked up the car she had commented that she wanted to see it when I came for our next meeting.  To my surprise she was waiting in the parking lot the next time I came.  I was so flattered that she remembered, and that she was really interested, and of course who doesn't love showing off a new car.

Because I typically see her at 7:30 in the morning, our cars are normally the only ones in the small parking lot.  The last few sessions I noticed her car wasn't there, but there was a new car there.  I was never really sure if it was hers or not and I didn't really give it a whole lot of thought.  Except this morning I noticed this new car, with a familiar sticker on the back which for me confirmed that it was her car.  And then I started thinking how crappy that she can be excited for me, but I can't be for her.  She can't even bring it up just for the sake of sharing.

I know that's the deal.  Although she shares a lot of information with me, it's usually only in relationship to something we're talking about.  There's really no random insertion of her life story into our conversation unless it relates to something we're discussing.

I get that, but I don't think I'll every get used to it.  Will that always be my problem?

I also hated the abruptness of how she ended the session today, and also seeing other people in the waiting room.  Logically I know it was abrupt because she had other people, other clients waiting and she had already run a few minutes past our 90 minutes.  Logically I know that she quite often gives me extra time when there's noone after me, but it still stings.  Will that always be my problem too?

And now I sit, and wish I could tell her all the things I've just written.  Maybe it's all crap and maybe I'm just really fucked up. 

As I was leaving she repeated a couple times that I could text her, and if I wanted to come back on Thursday morning instead of Friday morning she was available. 

I think I want to text her 'Do you think I'll ever look at you like a therapist, and nothing more?'

I wonder if I'll work up the guts.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I probably come across as unappreciative of my relationship with L, and her support, but I'm really  not.  It truly means the world to me that she's so available to me.  She told me yesterday that she tells me exactly what's going on in her head.  She said she does that in order to mirror the behavior to me. 

Our texting volley continues she answers my 'testing' question:

L: List is too long for text Tuesday we can go over it ok

Me:  ok....I just keep repeating my new mantra 'L can be trusted', although I gotta tell you the 'list is too long' feels like an over-inflated brush off (sorry that probably sounds nasty, I don't think I mean it that way, feeling more like 'No, that dress doesn't make you look fat')

After sitting with that a few minutes I realize what a jerk I'm being....

Me: No need to respond to that last text, I'll put my big girl pants on and look at it the way you intended not the way I see it

L:  Thank you, I intended it to be genuine and supportive, which is always truthful

Me: I know....I'll stop bugging you....just for today of course.

I've been texting a lot with L this morning.

Me: I wish I had something pithy to say or a good reason to text, but I don't.  Hopefully something will come to me today

L: You don't need a reason to text

Me:  Just wish it was more tangible than simply wanting to connect

L: Just wanting to connect is really a good thing

Me:  If that's the case then I've been good all along!  Now it's just trying to figure out a way to satisfy it.

L: Well, I wish I had a magic wand and could fix it but we will process it together.  Progress is being made.  I know you would like it to b e quicker

Me:  Not sure it's ok to ask, but....yesterday when I was lamenting about the power imbalance and hating that I'm the needy one, you said something along the lines that there have been things that you've gotten from me. Can I ask what?

Now I sit and hold my breath and think of the million ways she could answer this.......

Will she put me off and tell me that we can talk about it next Tuesday?
Will she tell me she can't?
Will she tell me to stop trying to do therapy via text?
Will she tell me we talk about this over the phone?

Will her response make me feel worse?

What I pretty sure she won't do is ask that dreaded-therapyese question 'Why do you ask?' I don't think she's ever answered a question with a question.

But maybe I/we should explore why I'm asking......
It occurred to me this morning that growing up all I wanted was to be seen.  I'm sure that's played a role in shaping who I am. 

I sent L a text this morning:

Me:  I wish I had something pithy to say or a great reason to text, but I don't.  Hopefully something will come to me.

The need or craving to contact her was occupying valuable internal resources on my part, basically it was starting to consume me. And of course my dream reaction would be for her to say 'I have some time today, do you want to talk?'  or 'I'll be near your work today, would you like to meet for coffee?'  And of course either of those would be great, except I also know that i don't have something specific on my mind that I need to share.  I just want to be in her presence.

I have a good friend who I've know for 25 years.  We don't see each as often as we used to, but when I was in my 20's we hung out a lot.  One of his favorite things to say to me was 'Hey, come over and share a moment with me'.  It was lighthearted, but it's sort of how I feel with L.  I just want to 'be'.

That was one of my favorite things about my partner M.  When we first got together I knew I was happy just to 'be' with her, I was comfortable with our silence, and sometimes comforted by the silence.  And it didn't have anything to do with me retreating or withdrawing it was just simply filling a need.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I think I'm starting to withdraw a bit.  Like right now I'm just sitting in my office, with the door closed, trying to figure out how to get through the day.  Which basically means try to keep my mind occupied until I finally make it to bed, my final resting place.  It's not that I don't have things to do ( 3 meetings in the afternoon, food shop before going home, a cute little kid to take care of when I get there....etc) but I would prefer to just curl up in a ball and be left alone.

I know part of it has to do with the ice cream shop.  We were supposed to get together this weekend to go over their financials, but they say they won't be ready until the end of January.  Well we can't wait that long, both from an emotional perspective as well as a financial perspective.  The business is seasonal so we need to have things in place by March 1st.  And emotionally, well I'm just so checked out at work, I can't concentrate on anything.  I'm trying.  I have a couple of big projects that I'm responsible for, but my heart isn't in it so I'm dragging my feet alot.

When my partner M talked to the current owners a few days ago they also threw out an asking price that was nearly double of what I had in mind.  They're also questioning our commitment and seriousness, funny but I was questioning there's!!! I had actually drafted a letter of intent/commitment last week, had my lawyer review it, and was going to present it to them this weekend.  But I was concerned that they would be afraid of the lawyer-babble, but now it looks like that's what they're looking for.  I've tried for the past couple of days to get back in contact with them but so far we haven't had a chance to talk.

They said a few other things that were strange, and they are also doing some cosmetic changes to the place right.  Well that just doesn't make sense.  The cosmetic changes won't add value to the property/land/business it will only increase the potential for attracting buyers, but they already have a buyer (me!!!) so why waste your time and money? 

I feel like they're not telling us something, but it's probably just my paranoia kicking in.  Because they haven't been open with what they're thinking, well then that causes me to think the worst.

I can't tell how L is harping on this and using it as a 'life lesson' for me!  She says that I need to talk with them and figure out a way to get the communications flowing better.  Unfortunately for me I would just prefer that they follow a traditional process for selling/buying a business, but I guess this is par-for-the-course when buying a small business.

I know this is just part of the process, and I shouldn't read so much negativity into it, and I'm definitely not giving up, but I wish I was the type of person who would draw energy from this challenge, instead of letting it get me down.  I mean I do like a good challenge, but this one seems to carry so much weight.  Not to be overly dramatic, but it is my life (any my family's life) that we're talking about here.

I also spoke with L on the phone yesterday, something I think I've only done twice before.  Either I text her or I just wait.  Alot of times just putting it out there in a text to her helps, but after yesterday's session I texted her to see if I could see her earlier than Friday this week.  She responded that she had time on Thursday, in which I responded that Thursday would work for me, and I was having a bit of an anxiety attack and I didn't want to wait until Friday. She then said that we could talk on the phone.  I wasn't prepared for that question, but I was able to talk myself into it.

So about an hour later, I found myself sitting in my car at a local cemetery having a very strange conversation with L.  Seriously the whole therapy-relationship-attachment-transference-stuff is crazy making.  It's just not like any other relationship I've ever had.  It's not normal. 

I mean the neediness, the ruminations, the craving, the childlike longings, the need for safe, physical touch, the role they play in our lives, the painful slide that happens when they're away.

How do I talk about all these things without dying of embarrassment? How do I pour my heart out to someone who doesn't even feel half of what I feel?  How do I give up wanting control over my feelings? How do I allow myself to trust her?  And specifically in this relationship, once I feel better I lose her.  Where's my motivation?

I know I'm whiny, but it's my blog and I can cry if I want to.

Oh, and another reason to whine.....feeling more connected with L after our phone conversation today, I sent her a text this morning 'So I need some L-words-of-wisdom to get me through the day.....what do you got?'  And naturally I haven't heard back from her, and it's been over 6 hours.  Guess that wasn't the right thing to do.  Feeling too comfortable.  Crap.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More strange and random thoughts.....

I hate when a session ends abruptly.  We were talking today about some hard stuff, after me wasting over an hour by not talking, and she sort of stopped me in mid-sentence and said 'We went over, we'll have to stop', to which I stopped the conversation, got up and left.  All very mechanical.  I'm trying not to read too much into it, but it's like I got hit in the face with the reality of the relationship.

I am trying to figure out why I have trouble talking, why are the walls up, what do I get from it?  Simplistically I know it comes from my childhood.  My only 'protection' against my mother was to withdraw from her and not talk.  It drove her crazy, which I of course loved.

But that, I guess, doesn't work for me anymore. 

So I was driving to work this morning after my session and thinking about this.  What do I get from not talking?  Some of it has to do with control.  In my mind I would never let my mother affect me so I would shut down from her, that was my defense.  So now with L I can't get past this perceived imbalance of power. I hate that I can't stop her from affecting me.

I hate that I need her, that I want her support, and that I'm fragile with her.  If she takes it away I lose and she wins. 

I'm not normally like that.  Not that I know what 'normal' looks like, but my m.o. with other people is to not be needy.  I try and solve, resolve everything on my own, never, ever reaching out to people. 

How do I get comfortable with this?  And how do I hold steadfast to the belief that be open and vulnerable and relying on others is the right way?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Random weirdness:

In reviewing some of my blog stats today I noticed that someone from the same town as L checked out this site yesterday.   Highly unlikely that it was a coincidence? Not sure how I feel about it, probably a whole myriad of ways.  Not sure if I'll ask her or not.

I've had L on my mind a lot this weekend.  Part of me really wanted to reach out to her and another part was/is really angry at her.

I've been very aware lately of how much I push my thoughts away, how uncomfortable I am, and how I fight them.  So today while driving to work I was thinking about L and how I feel about her.  I've fought the thought of thinking about her in a motherly-way, so I briefly allowed that thought this morning.  I don't know how to accurately describe it but it was amazing.  Even as I write it now I can feel a great sense of always being cared about.  Wouldn't that be great? To have this sense that someone would always be there for you, that someone would always love you, no matter what.  Much like how I feel about my own daughter.

I know if I shared this with L she would be comfortable with it. She's even said in the past that it's ok to think of her in a sisterly or motherly way.  But how can lying to myself be good?

I gotta get a hobby......

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In addition to jealousy, why the anger? Why can I be so quick to feel angry with her?  That I'm on heightened alert to beware of her 'tricking' me?

And is more helpful to 'know' it's transference and separate my feelings from her, or is it more helpful to just go with it and direct it at her?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So why do we think they have a better life than us?  Why do we imagine they have perfect children, amazing sex, and a profession that they love? 

Ok, so maybe it's really not a 'we' but an 'I'? 

I don't think I'd describe myself has a 'jealous' person.  Sure there are things I wish I had, or deeper relationships, but why does that turn into jealousy towards L?  Why do I picture that she has wonderful kids, a terrific love life, and a job that fulfills her?

I've read about the whole blank-slate-thing, and she's clearly not a blank slate, but either way how does 'positive regard' turn into this?

My life is not perfect but there's certainly no one in my life that I would trade with, so why with L?  Although I don't think I'd want to trade necessarily, I guess I just want to be part of it, in a meaningful way.  I guess 'meaningful' to her.

Just random long-weekend thoughts........

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I don't mean to sound like I'm not grateful, but the problem with having a really good session, is that's it's usually followed by one that's no so good.  Not that it was horrible, but I felt like we, or I, didn't get to the same level as we (or I) did last Friday.  I was really looking forward to seeing L today, but that shifted a bit this morning.  I think sometimes I feel braver when it's a few days away, but not so much when it's the actual day. 

I really wanted to talk about the email exchange from her friend the other day, the one in which I felt pangs of jealousy.  But somehow I couldn't get there.  I felt silly about it, like I was making too much out of it.  Instead we talked about a lot of different things, mostly inconsequential stuff.  I have to admit L does a really good job at getting me, and keeping me talking.  My last t, well actually not my 'last' t, but the t who meant the world to me and then crushed me, well she went more with the 'blank slate' approach.  I mean she shared personal things/stories with me, but I always had to start the conversation.  And unfortunately that meant we sat in silence alot, and I mean ALOT.

Eventually I was able to bring up the email exchange and tell her that it felt awkward for me.  But because I didn't do a good job explaining how it affected me, she understood it to mean that I just wasn't used to seeing her that way.  Like when you work with someone everyday for years and then out-of-the-blue you run into them in a social setting.  But that's not how it was for me, but I was too embarrassed to tell her. 

So that's how the session ended.  We did talk about a lot of different things, and because we have similar interests (we often share books) I always like talking non-therapy stuff with her, but when I leave knowing I didn't share what I really wanted to, well it leaves me feeling down, empty, and sad.  I remembering texting her once telling her it's like I went to a buffet but never ate.

When I left and got to my car I just sat there with the car running for a while.  Because of the holiday I won't see her for another week and I'm really frustrated with myself for not getting what I need, and now I have to sit with it.  But then some how I muster up the courage to text her.  Maybe it's the 'chicken' way out, but sometimes it allows me to stick my toe in water until I'm ready to jump in.  So I send this to her:

Me:  You know it's more of a jealous-thing than an out-of-context-thing

Once again, I know in an ideal world I should be saying the words out loud and not texting her, but at the moment it works for me.  When we first started texting it would take me a long time before I would actually press the send button. I would agonize over it for hours, and even then sometimes I still wouldn't send it.  But L and I have talked about that and she says I can text anything, anytime, as much as I want.  So as soon as I start agonizing I hear her voice in my head and I can usually quickly send it, and that's what I did this morning.

It's still so strange to me that the act of simply sending the text can give me such relief, and that's what happened this time.  So after sending it I was able to continue processing the session, and I was able to come up with some stuff that made me feel better.  That I could take with me to feel comfort.  It wasn't as comforting as if I'd have actually shared my thoughts/feelings in person, but I still was able to see some good.

And then, a couple hours later I get her response:

L:  Jealous, good, glad you shared that with me.  We will start next week with that, ok?  Together we can figure out this stuff and get into a better place. 

I am totally floored by that.  I was so nervous to read her response to my text that I held off for a while.  But in my smart-ass kind of way, I reply with:

Me:  Really?  Good? Start with it??? Can't we just start with 'nice weather' or 'how was your weekend', like normal people.

I wish I left feeling like I felt last Friday, but it certainly could be a lot worse.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I finally ran this weekend.  I haven't run in over a month, probably more like 6 weeks, and boy did I feel it last night.  But the weather was so nice how could I pass it up.  So while running (and the occassional walking!!) I was thinking about therapy and it occurred to me that I don't think therapy will necessarily change how I feel about things. I don't think I'll necessarily not feel a particular way about something, or more 'normal', it's just that maybe I'll accept how I feel.  I think I spend so much energy on hating how I feel about something that I don't actually deal with the feeling itself. 

Seems so basic, and yet I've complicated it.

I have to admit that I've really enjoyed the process of potentially buying the ice cream shop.  I know that 'ice cream' sounds like fun, and of course it is, but putting together a detailed plan for buying a business has been very stimulating and challenging.  I'm certainly a fish-out-of-water when it comes to this stuff, but it has really challenged me to reach out to a lot of people and ask lots of questions.

One of the areas that I've been focusing on is the marketing of the shop.  We're lucky in that they don't do much marketing now, in fact they don't do any, so there's plenty of opportunity for growth!  We do have a name for the place, but I want to put some money in hiring a marketing/graphic person to design a logo.  This logo would not only go on our signs, but I would want t-shirts/sweatshirts as well. 

In talking about the marketing opportunities with L she offered up a name to me.  In fact she called this person at the end of one of our sessions just to give him a heads-up.  She said it was totally up to me if I wanted to us him or not, but he would be happy to have an initial conversation with me and give me some advice on next steps.

So I finally called him the other day and we had a quick conversation.  He was in the middle of something so he asked me to send him an email with some more info and suggest a couple times when we could talk a little bit more.  It's strange, but I got this little 'rush' knowing I was dealing with someone that L knows.  Although, at the same time I just assumed it was someone that she knew more in-passing, like a distant acquaintance. 

However, when he replied back to my email it was apparent that their relationship was more personel.  Part of his reply stated that he was availaable for one of the times I listed, which was Wednesday afternoon.  In fact, he would be in the car driving up to L's place to have Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family and he could chat as he dove.  Huh?  Dinner with her and her family??

For some reason that completely through me.  And now, with my new found thought of not beating myself up over my feelings I have this strange desire to tell L.  To confess my jealously.  To which it only gets crazier.

A long time ago L confessed her school-girl-like crush on Steven Tyler.  Of course I joked and teased her about this, but I find that I can no longer listen to Aerosmith!

Weird, but true.

It may be a pre-therapy Ativan kind of day tomorrow........

Friday, November 18, 2011

This morning was one of those good sessions.  The kind where I leave and feel a warmth inside, much like hot chocolate on a cold day.

I know it's probably hard to tell from my posts but I really think I've made progress, and I think we're now getting to a deeper place, the place where I need to be.

We talked alot about the ice cream place today and it felt really good, and then we talked about the parallels between the process I've gone through with potentially buying this business and how I can take what I've learned and accomplished and use it in real life.

Normally I keep most things to myself, especially if they're not 'normal' or 'rational'. As someone who has worked in a corporate setting for over 20 years and by some standards 'climbed the ladder' and become a successful manager(leader?), the active pursuit of looking to be an ice cream shop owner seems a little strange and uncomfortable.  But oddly, at the same time as 'conservative' as my career path may seem, I'm definitely not traditional, so owning an ice cream shop really is more 'me'.

But what L was trying to get me to see was how different this experience has been for me.  I've put myself out there.  I've talked to almost anyone who was willing to listen, and have been pleasantly surprised with the supportive reactions I've gotten.  No one, at least to my face, has ridiculed the idea or said I'm crazy.  Most have not only been supportive they have even offered tangible help.  And being open, and vulnerable about this stage in my life has given me some confidence in being open about other less-fun things. 

We then talked more about attachment stuff, and my strong, torturous, or is it tumultuous reaction to her, and 2 other people in my life.  The overwhelming desire for a strong connection and the frailness of my feelings. We talked about my unwillingness to accept these feelings.  That I'm in constant internal turmoil and it affects me to the core.

She said it's ok for me to have sister/mother bond with her and that in 10 or 20 years she hopes that I still hear her voice in my head.

She also brought up that she'd like me to join a group; a women's group.  She said she's been thinking about one in particular that typically meets for 6 month stints.  Of course I colorfully debated this with her.  What the hell was she thinking?  A group of women???  No way.  I'd spend half my time making fun of them in my head, and then the other half the time I would be fighting with attachment crap.  I told her that I have enough trouble in couple's therapy, never mind a whole group of women!

She agreed that it would be very difficult for me at first, but she thinks I would greatly benefit from it.  I think I'll have to think about that for a while, a long while.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It was ok.  Not great, but I left feeling better.  Even though as I walked out of her office I sarcastically told her that I didn't.  It certainly wasn't one of those sessions where I talked alot, in fact she did most of the talking. 

She asked me if the text she sent on Thursday was too harsh (the one in which she said I have 'multiple assets'), I told her it was.  I told her that what I heard was 'suck it up'.  She said that wasn't what she meant.  I told her I also heard 'go talk to someone else'.  She said that wasn't the message she was trying to send.  She actually wishes I would have talked to her more, even texted her more.  In fact she would have preferred a phone call, but that's too scary for me right now.

That floored me.  In no way did I think she wanted me to talk to her more. I really thought she was sick of me,

I keep feeling like I'm too much, too needy, too dependent, too crazy.  She says I'm none of those things.  She says I don't ask for what I want. 

I told her that I hate how strong my reaction to her is, so we talked about that for a while.  So much of it is abandonment crap, and she also has to struggle with the ghost-of-my-therapist-past. She does really live in the shadows of what happened with Claire.  I wonder does that wound ever really heal, or is it like death in that you just learn to live with it.

Other than my daughter, L is the most important person in my life right now. Is that weird?  Of course I have other people that mean the world to me, but for some reason L draws the biggest reactions from me, both positive and negative.  Is that weird?

Today I can shake the feelings of wanting to touch base with her.  No particular reason.  I think I'm just sick of fighting with myself.  Maybe I'm ready to just simply accept what I feel?.........if it were only that easy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nothing really much to say, or write, but at the same time still wanting to.  I haven't exchanged any more texts with L but I am supposed to have an appointment with her tomorrow morning.  Not quite sure how I feel about that or what to expect.  I'm still angry with her and not trusting of her.  How do you trust someone enough to tell them you don't trust them? 

I keep trying to find a place where it doesn't matter so much to me, where she doesn't matter to me.  How do I get there?

I can't choose how I feel, right?  So I can't choose that she means so much.  Can I? 

So fine, I care, you matter.  Now how do I not let that crush me? 

And why can't I decide that she doesn't matter?  Why can't I just walk away?  Ahhhhh, this is the transference crap isn't it?  Actually which is the transference stuff, her mattering too much or my over reaction?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Will I ever run out of irrational thoughts?  And even though I hate the continued exchange, at the same time it was like a release for me.

(last night's text)
Me:  I'm trying to figure out a way not to hate you right now.  my head knows better, but the 3 year old is winning.

L: Don't let the 3 year old win you are a woman with multiple assets use them in creating a better feeling.  I am here I just can't see you tomorrow but I'm happy to see you monday, I have some openings

After getting that response from her I was able to put it somewhat out of my mind for a while.  But now that I've just reread and typed it I see that she is starting to push me away.  It's hidden in 'you are a woman with multiple assets use them....'.  Why wrap it that way instead of just saying it out right 'go talk to someone else'.

I'm not a 'spot' or an 'opening'.  You said the dependence was good, was ok, so now that I've taken the bait it's time to release me?

On a completely different note, and the main reason I was able to distract myself from transference hell last night was that we went and saw a medium......yes, a medium, someone who talks to the dead.  I don't even know how to describe it. She was way to accurate and provided too much detail for it not to be true, but at the same time it's not something I can wrap my head around.  Was my dad really in that room, did he really say those things?  There's no way she could have known those things, or have been so spot on with her description of my dad.  Not his physical description, but the man, and the father he was. 

I'll have to write more about it later.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More irrational thoughts....

Normally I see L every Friday at 7:30am, along with another day during the week, usually Tuesday.  But this week I saw her Tuesday, freaked out and saw her again Wednesday night.  When I was leaving she asked about my Friday morning appointment, and of course inside the struggle starts.  My real initial reaction is 'Absolutely, you know I'd come everyday if you let me, in fact I'll just sleep in your office overnight and save myself some gas'.  But then the thoughts of 'what's the matter with you, three times in one week, that's crazy, and there's no way she wants to see you again...'.  So what comes out of my mouth is 'No, let's just hold off until next week'.

Then phase 2 kicks in.  I start regretting not keeping the appointment.  My thoughts become completely consumed around this. I finally decided to text to see if I can still see her on Friday morning.

Then phase 3, the waiting.  But it's actually not too bad, I've become better at it, more confident that she'll be there for me.

Then phase 3a, more waiting.  This time it's been more than 12 hours since I sent the message.  I start going down the 'she hates me' rabbit hole, but I quickly pull myself out of it, telling myself that she probably didn't even get the message, so I resend the text.

Now the just-got-kicked-in-the-stomach phase, she replies back with 'Sorry, left my phone at home I filled that spot yesterday'

The sad-realization phase starts, "I filled that spot?  So I'm really just a fucking spot? Why do I do this to myself? and really, she filled a Friday at 7:30 in the morning appointment that just became available?  Seriously? Bullshit.  And why didn't she offer another time?"

Then I get another text "I could do something Friday night'. 

I start to fall for that, like maybe she does care.  But then I realize that I can't do this Friday night I have tickets to a performance, and she knows that, we've talked about it a bunch of times. 

However, I give her the benefit of the doubt, tell her I have to leave by 5:00pm to go to the show (you know, the one we've talked about 100 times!) and ask if she could do any earlier.  And I get back "No, sorry"

Fuck you.

Now I know my reaction isn't normal and what happened probably isn't a reflection of how she feels towards me, and I know I'm behaving like a three year old, but knowing all that doesn't change how I feel.

This is so silly, but all I want to do is go home, crawl into bed, and shut the world off.  I will stew about this for the next 4 days, debating back and forth about seeing her next Tuesday morning.  I don't want to need her.  I don't want it to matter to me.  I just want to take my ball and go home.
Warning:  This may not make sense to anyone but me, and even then I'm not so sure.....

Why can't I accept this 'relationship'?  I told L yesterday that I didn't want it to matter to me, that's my goal.  She asked me 'how's that working for you?' knowing damn well the answer, 'It's not working for me!'.

I also know (only in my head) that I feel better, much, much better when I do accept how much she means to me, but I keep fighting it.  Why?

After interviewing numerous T's a couple years ago I knew right away after meeting L that I wanted to work with her.  It's this weird sense that I get from certain people, that I feel a fairly instant connection.  It doesn't happen very often.

It's like I go merrily along for a while, and then stuff builds up inside me and I finally crack. I met with L on Tuesday morning, and by Tuesday afternoon I sent this text:

Me:  Do you know what's worse than you leaving?  The day we meet when you come back.  Too many (stupid) high hopes.  I wish I said more, but at the same time I feel like I have nothing to say.  Sorry for the ranty-like text, just left feeling angry, or maybe frustrated.  Like I went to a banquet but I didn't eat.  In some places I see progress and in others I see the same old crap.  And I'm really sorry for directing this at you, it's not fair to you, I get that.  When does 'being normal' kick in?  Are you keeping me at bay for a reason?  Is there a reason I can't know where you went?  Is there a reason that I want to know?  Sorry, too much crap floating around.  I think my reason for seeing you isn't healthy, what I want isn't 'normal', 'pathetic' comes to mind.......probably shouldn't have sent this, just drama.  Mostly just pissed at me.

L:  Not pissed at you I want to help you say things, good, bad, indifferent.  I want to hear you.  I don't want you to leave feeling badly.

So I text her Wednesday morning asking if she had time to meet, and thank goodness she did. 

I go in all anxiety-ridden, my heart racing, talking to fast, and avoiding a serious conversation by being avoidantly-funny(I'm sure this is a word).

I am able to get some stuff out, but only some, although I think she understands.  She tells me that everything I've expressed is normal, that I'm not crazy, that it's ok to need her.  I continue to fight it.  I tell her that I hate that I can't give her back a book that she had lent me.  I finished it months ago, but I'm unwilling to part with it.  She said it's ok to want a 'transitional object', and she has clients who have taken pictures of them together and they hold on to that.  She reiterated "nothing wrong with that'. 

Of course in my most sarcastic, wise-ass tone I tell her first 'as far as I'm concerned you don't have any other clients, and second, of course there's something wrong with it, that's why they give it a special name 'transitional object'!  I don't want these fucking feelings.  I don't want it to matter.


There are other people in my life that matter to me and I don't fight those feelings, and they also don't consume me.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I haven't had a 'text banter' with L in a while, but we had one yesterday.  She's away at some conference (or so she says) so we don't get to meet for our normally scheduled Friday morning session.  Ok, I admit that I really like seeing her twice a week, I think we've accomplished so  much more, and the Friday sessions are usually the best.  Maybe not always the most productive, but I guess that's in the eye of the beholder! 

So when we were talking on Wednesday about her being gone for the rest of the week (can you say 'abandonement'??!!) she was trying to assure me that she was still available, and she's not leaving, and she'll be back.  In my most adult tone I told her that I'm convinced that she'll be dumping me soon and that she'll probably be moving to Iceland! 

So with that little background, here's our exchange from Wednesday night to Thursday:

Me:  Picked up a communication board at lunch.....and I heard a rumor that your conference was cancelled :).....can't blame a girl for trying

Me:  So how's Iceland?  Friday morning won't be the same.

Me:  Maybe I'll just go hang out in your parking lot.

L: Iceland is great but I will not be staying past Monday promise

Me:  You could have said it was horrible...would have made me feel better

L: Feel better beautiful day all is good

Me:  Dark and brooding.....not really, just putting out the catholic guilt

L:  Catholic guilt is a powerful thing use it well

Me:  It appears you're immune to it, need to find a backup plan

L:  Not necessary straight forward is the best communication for me

Me:  I guess that's my backup plan

I'm sure many therapist wouldn't be comfortable with texting, and I totally get that.  It certainly is wrought with potential pitfalls, and we've definitely had our issues, but when it works, it really works.  Just this brief exchange allowed me to continue feeling connected to L, and I'm just gonna try and enjoy that least for today, or this moment.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I sometimes wonder if I'm my own worse enemy.  Maybe I dwell too much in the land of 'everything is crap'.  To quote Monty Python maybe I should 'always look on the bright side of life'.  Does this blog keep me in therapy-emotional-hell?  Should I try and focus on good/funny things that happen in my life and write about that? 

L was telling me yesterday that as much as I want to be the dark-brooding type, I'm really not.  But I really, really want to be.  Who would I be if I'm not that person?  Maybe it's just all in my head.  Why would I not want to give that up?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

L and I were talking today about me hating that I need her, that I'm overly dependent on her, that I like (sort of) seeing her twice a week.  She keeps telling me that what I'm feeling is 'ok' but I keep fighting it.  I don't want to need her, it just feels like it's too much.  Fuck

I know that when I accept how I feel about her I do actually feel better, but then the doubts creep in, or some trust is broken and it's like a house of cards that just come tumbling down.  This constant push-pull is gonna wear me out. 

Normally I would see her again this Friday but she's away at a conference.  Hate that.  She said she's still available via phone, although she said she knows that I would never call but I can text all I want.  I did send her a wise-ass text a few minutes ago '.....I heard a rumor that your conference got cancelled :).......can't blame a girl for trying.'

I feel like such a therapy freak.  Is it really ok to need someone so much?

She said today that someday I'll laugh about this.  That I'll realize that these feelings of dependency won't always be there and right now it's sort of like a means to an end.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just random musings.....

Went to a funeral today and during the service I kept wondering what kind of legacy will I leave?  Will I have impacted people's lives in a positive way?  Will I be described with kindness, not contempt?  I guess I better make a better effort!

After the funeral I was talking with some friends of the deceased, they must have been in their late 70's and they were describing how thankful they were for their lives, and their health.  They both admit having gone through tough times but they both concluded that every day they wake up is a good day.  I want to adopt that attitude.

We met with current owners of the ice cream shop over the weekend, and it went really, really well.  They weren't expecting us (their season doesn't end until next weekend) but they invited us in and gave us a full tour of the shop, answered all kinds of questions, gave us some ideas for expansion, and even gave us some recipes!  We'll meet again the Saturday after Thanksgiving and that's when will get done to the details and figures (although they did share some high level figures the other day).  Then assuming everything looks doable I'll finish the business plan and start begging banks for money.  We have a realtor coming this weekend to asses our house so we can start to put it on the market.  The shop that we're buying as an attached house so we would live there.  It's starting to feel real!

My therapist L has to go to a conference at the end of this week so she won't be available in person on Thursday and Friday.  Why does that bother me?  Like she's leaving me.  I know it's not true, but I still feel sad about it. 

However, on the flip-side I did cancel my first appointment with her on Monday.  Due to her going away I was scheduled to see her Monday and Wednesday this week.  But I decided as I just saw her Friday that I didn't really 'need' to see her on Monday.  That's never happened before, I ALWAYS jump at the chance to see her, but I was mostly ok with not going. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where the hell do I begin?  It was another tough session today, preceded by a tough couples session last night. 

It's funny I tease M about us 'fighting' in couples counseling, but that's not what really happens.  Mostly it's my nervousness talking, and she knows that.  She's attended counseling with her ex-husband (yes, she wasn't always playing on my team!) but this is the first time I've ever gone to therapy with someone else, so I have preconceived notions on what goes on behind closed doors.  And let me tell, I wasn't even close to picturing it correctly.

For M and I, the sessions have been a great opportunity for us to communicate, not just talk.  As weird as it's been for me, going to individual and couples counseling with L, it really has helped the relationship for M and I.  It sort of has kick started us to talking, and listening again.  However, last night I was not prepared for what M shared.

Unfortunately, like many people M has some history of sexual abuse as a child.  Although thinking back I'm not sure she ever actually labeled it as abuse, but there certainly was an understanding that boundaries were crossed.  It involved her older brother when she was about 8 and he was about 12.  Now, because of my own weirdness and history, M and I have never actually talked about the details of what happened to her.  I just knew something happened and that she had dealt with it years ago in counseling and she was 'ok' with it, and her relationship with her brother now was not affected by it. In fact of her 3 brothers she is by far closest to him and his wife, and he is also our daughter's godfather. 

As I've written about before, M and I are in the final stages of getting approved to adopt a child.  Where we live, this process involves months of state run classes and then many more months of home visits and the filling out of a very detailed profile.  Some of the questions in the profile have to do with your upbringing including specifically asking you about your experience around physical and sexual abuse.  I certainly understand the need for the questions but they can get uncomfortably personal.  Me, being the one with less morals chose to answer some of the questions less-than honestly, feeling that a lot of these questions were none of their business.  M, on the other hand has less of a capacity to lie and was more open with her answers, especially as it relates to her childhood and the 'experimentations' of her brother.  This unfortunately raised some questions with our social worker's bosses, so M is scheduled to go in and meet with the department head to discuss the situation further.  This is what happens when you're too truthful!

Anyway, last night at couples counseling L asked us the adoption process and where were we at.  This prompted M to start telling L about this meeting that she's supposed to have and how she's feeling concerned about it, not too concerned, just a little bit.  So L started asking her some questions about M's experience with her brother, and the more L asked the more details M provided.  And these details were definitely more than I had ever heard, or even imagined.  M's experience was more than kids playing doctor, way more.  Way more.  However, she doesn't see it that way.  For me, she was comfortably calm about all of it.  Like it never registered with her how bad it was.  After more questioning, L started referring to it as 'incest'.  Ouch.  More that I could handle, I think I started to only hear every other word after that.

It's such a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions after that.  I felt bad for M because she had always thought that she had dealt with it, but she started to feel that she may have been in some sort of denial all these years.  She felt a little stupid.  But not completely.  It hit her hard last night, but at the same time I don't think she can take it in all at once, so even when we talked a little about it today she sort of not convinced that it's really had a huge impact on her.  Although L was able to point out a few areas in her life, especially as it relates to parenting, where it has had an impact.

I also felt bad about my reaction to hearing M provide details.  I was having a hard time hearing it and she knew it so she started to hold back info.  However L encouraged her to keep going, which I think was the right thing to do.  I wish I could have been stronger for her and not have her worry about my reaction.  She's a caretaker, and god-knows I love to be coddled/protected but sometimes I need to put my big-girl pants on and be the one who takes care of her. 

And on a lighter note (sarcastic smirk) I'm still struggling with trust issues with L, and it's a catch-22.  I can't trust her enough to tell her that I don't trust her.......good thing normal wasn't my goal.

So the combination of my push-pull with L and the overwhelming details from M, I was lost for the rest of the evening. I struggled to fall asleep, and when I finally did my entire week of therapy-related crap was all rolled up in a ball of Freudian nightmares.  I woke up this morning enraged, and most of it was directed at L.  By the time I got to L's early this morning I wasn't talking, I had shutdown.

However, as this has gotten a little long, I'll tell you that I was finally able to get some stuff out.  But even though I felt a little lighter when I left there was also a part of me that was really pissed for talking to her.  I want to not need her but it's like I don't have any control over it.

And so it goes.......

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why does therapy still have to be all about the relationship with me? 

On one hand, having devoured countless books and articles about therapy I know that a big predictor of the success in therapy has to do with the relationship, I get that I really do.  But what I'm having trouble understanding is why I constantly need to talk about it with her.  Why do I analyze (obsess) and deconstruct every little thing?  Why do I keep questioning it?  Why do I not believe the 'realness' of it?  And why can't I just settle on a way to feel?

Also, why does it seem to crush me when I'm thrown by it?  Why do I have trouble functioning in the real world when things like this happen? Why can't I compartmentalize it like I can do with other things in my life?  Why does it seem to take over my whole being?

Why the need for therapy for therapy?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It was a wasted session, and I so hate that.  It's strange, as I was driving to my session last Friday I had a feeling that the session wouldn't be a good one, and it wasn't.  But today I didn't have that same feeling.  I was a bit worried that we'd end up only talking about the conference I was at, and that's exactly what happened, but it took up our entire 90 minute session.

I'm a little ticked at her because after last Friday I did send her a text asking '....and can we talk more about the crazy-thoughts-that-live-in-my-head-too-much crap?  I need the outlet.....I think'  So I assumed that I sent out a strong enough hint that the ball was in her court. 

And of course I know I'm an adult(sort of), and it's up to me to ask for what I need, but that's what I was doing with my text, damn it.

During the session I was really ok with talking about the conference and how awesome it was, but at the same time I also kept myself in check.  I needed to talk about other, deeper, harder things, so I really couldn't, or maybe wouldn't express my excitement over this new business venture.  It's like I kept downplaying it and hoping that she would try and pry out of me the 'crazy-thoughts-that-live-in-my-head', but she never really did.  She did ask at the end 'was there anything else I'd like to discuss', but of course I said no. 

We also have couples counseling with her tomorrow night, and that still continues to be a tough one for me.

I know I should be in such a better mood, but the letdown from this morning is keeping me low.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why do some things bother me even though I know better?  Logically I know there's no reason for me to be reacting the way I am, but I can't shake the pit-of-my-stomach feeling.  I feel like for the past few days I've been trying to keep my self in-check.  Trying to rationalize my way out of feeling angry, but it's still there.

It's really a silly thing, another been-there-felt-that-kind-of-crap before.  I know I should bring it up with her tomorrow, but it's so silly.  Why do I read such crazy things into what most people would consider a 'normal'  interaction?  Why do I read into it abandonment, unloved, tricked...?

In my head I keep threatening to cancel my appointment for tomorrow morning, but right now it's still just an idle threat.

Now for some happy news.....

I survived single motherhood!  M's trip to Texas was tough, but she's back.  Unfortunately she came home late Sunday night, it was after midnight, and I had to leave early the next morning to drive to the ice cream retailers convention.  Today is my last day so I'll be home tonight, and maybe we'll get a chance to see each other tomorrow!

The conference has been awesome.  There's about 100+ local owners who are here, along with some vendors.  Most ice cream places are locally owned and family run, so it's been great talking to all these people about their experiences.  Yesterday we toured 3 different shops in the area.  It was so cool to see and share different ideas with people, what works for them, what hasn't worked.  The cool part is that they are all so different, and so successful.  I mean we're not going to make a $1,000,000 but we should be able to survive and live comfortably.

As the day went on, and we got to know each other and people heard my story they kept checking in to see how I was doing.  Was I overwhelmed?  Was I nervous?  And yes, I was a bit overwhelmed, but in a good way.  Just lots and lots of ideas going through my head, it made it hard to sleep.  But nervous,? No I'm definitely not nervous.  I think I feel a healthy level of confidence that we can make this work.  It won't be easy, and it will require a lot of work and long hours, but I feel so good about it.  I'm a little embarrassed to admit the passion I feel for opening an ice cream shop, but I do, and it's always been there, for over 20 years (dang, I'm old!!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

At the end I told her that I still hated her.  She said I can't hate her right now, I need her.......damn her!

She said she was glad I texted and it's good for me.  She said it wasn't rambly at all, that she totally got what I was saying.  She said I was conflicted, and that was definitely spot-on.  Damn her.  How could she know that?  How could she be so right?  How could she not think that I'm crazy and that I want too much?  How could she? 

She said that I'm finally talking and for me that's the most important thing.  For years I've lived in my head and I'm finally putting it out there, and it's all good.  At least that's what she thinks. 

She said that I'm at this stage in my life for a reason.  Change is hard, but change can be good.  Everything is being thrown up in the air and I'm not supposed to feel comfortable with it all.  It was a bit of a philosophical-buddhist-zen kind of conversation, but I also know she's right.  When I look back at a couple of major life changing events that I've gone through, they all have the same 'feel' to it.  I was definitely out of my element and not sure what the day would bring.   But in retrospect, it was all necessary and all worth it.

She also said I should 'enjoy' the support, or what I refer to as 'dependency'.  It's ok.  It's good for me to rely on her right now.  It won't always be like that and I won't always need it, but I do right now and it's ok. 

All-in-all it was good, very good.  She never makes me feel weird, she's amazing accepting, which I think concerns me sometimes.  Like she's too good too be true.  Not that she's perfect, but she's perfect for me?

Monday, October 17, 2011

She responded a couple hours later to my I-wrote-this-in-a-text-but-I'm-not-completely-sure-I-want-to-send-this text.  It took me about an hour after composing the text before I actually sent it.  And when I did, it was like ripping off a band-aid, just do it and move on.

Her response(s):

It's all ok I want you to feel better and if another path would work better for now, lets be open to change we can always go back

A few minutes later she follows up with:

I do not believe you are too dependent but you need to believe that it has to feel healthy for you.  We can take a break and if that's not right go back to twice a week, or stay with this and work through your feelings of dependency.  The call is yours all decisions are right.

I'm such a nut.  Her first response scared me; all I heard was 'If you want a break then fine, take a break.  Doesn't bother me'.

But then I figure she must know I'm a nut because she responds again.  This time it felt less threatening, especially because she gives me the option of sticking with what we're doing and just trying to work through it.

After running through every sort of crazy response, I settle on short-and-sweet:

Sorry for bothering you, if I work up the nerve I'll try and talk through it tomorrow.

I do really think I'm crazy.  Part of me is so thankful for her consistent support and unquestioning acceptance, and the other part of me just wants to run away.  Oh, and another part of me simply wants to throw up.
Just shoot me now, or maybe I'll just simply die of embarrasment. 

Sent L this text today:

Ruminations since Friday:  whether or not to cancel tuesday am.  Too enmeshed?  Too dependent?  Time for a break? Sick of feeling like this.  Scared of the answer.  I know that this is all ramblings and shouldn't be texting it.

Wrote out the text but went back and forth on sending it.  Finally I did, but then texters-remorse set it....

Disregard that last text.  Sorry

It's out there now.  Guess I wanted it to be.  But man, what the hell was I thinking?
I've been seriously considering cancelling my appointment tomorrow, something I've never done before.  Unfortunately I can't be absolutely sure that I won't feel worse afterwards so right now I'm still in the 'planning' phase.

I just wonder if I've become too enmeshed with therapy, with L.  I've gone from once a week 60 minute sessions, to twice a week 90 minute sessions, is that too much?

Do I just need a  break?  And if I cancel for tomorrow I won't be able to see her again until the end of next week.  My partner M is going out of town so I'm a single mom for the next 7 days, which means that I won't have any time to see L.  Then next Monday I'm out of town for a couple of days at an ice cream retailers conference (who knew such conferences existed?!)

So if I cancel will I be ok not seeing her?  Will I be ok if she doesn't read my mind about why I'm canceling?  Will I be ok if she doesn't try and talk me out of it?

I don't want to play this game with her, but the hurt and confusion that I'm feeling is too much for me to share with her.

I've been playing this over in my mind all weekend.  I need to be sure that I won't be crushed as a repercussion of my actions, and I think I may have gotten to that place, but I can't be 100% sure.

What will it take for me to know?  For me to be sure?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Last Tuesday in therapy I was discussing an incident that happened over the weekend with my partner M and I.  As usual, many of our disagreements have to do with raising our daughter.  You see I'm a bit looser in my approach to many things, where M is a bit more strict.  In telling L my version of the story she appeared to understand where I was coming from and intimated that she probably would have felt the same way.

So fast forward to last night when M and I went to see L for couples counseling.  We hadn't been in a couple weeks, and I was really hoping that I had gotten through the worst of my weird reactions to seeing L for both individual and now couples counseling.  What was I thinking???

The session started out ok.  I was a little uncomfortable but as the time went on I got better and a little more relaxed.  We covered a bunch of things, as there is a lot of stuff going on in our lives.  It was helpful, and as some things continue to unravel it will be helpful to make sure that M and I keep talking.  M works nights 3 days a week, so that coupled with my tendency to live in my head means that a lot of important things may not get fully talked through. 

Towards the end M brought up the argument that we had over the weekend, the same one I had talked to L about a few days earlier.  During the telling of the story L expressed that she understood where M was coming from and even offered some supportive comments/observations. Hearing her support M's side really threw me.

To be clear, I didn't, and don't expect L to take sides.  I'm not looking for her to choose me over my partner.  I do however think I would be ok with her calling me out on something that I may be totally off base with.  I don't think I'm that fragile.  So I really don't think my reaction was because L was 'choosing' M over me.  I really don't.

For me, I took it down a very weird, long path.  I was now questioning any supportive thoughts or actions that L has ever shown me.  Was all this 'relationship' crap with her bullshit?  Was she just saying things at the time so I would feel supported?  But the whole time she's just been playing me for a fool?  Trying to trick me?

It took me a long time to get some of this out to her today.  I got to my individual session feeling pretty sullen and shutdown.  If I didn't trust her, how could I now talk to her?

I quite often accuse her of seeing too many things as 'half full', where I tend to see the glass as 'half empty'.  But I also told her it's one of her qualities that I like as well.  But, I said there are times when I need for her to tell me the truth.  I told her an example of me trying on an outfit and asking her opinion of it.  She said she would say to me 'Well, how do you feel about it?'  I told her that would frustrate me.  That if she were a good friend, and if the outfit looked horrible, or didn't match, or god-forbid made me look fat, I would want her to tell me.  She responded with 'If you felt good about the outfit, then that's all that matters, not my opinion'.  We went round-and-round with that for quite a while, until I finally told her what was really running through my head.

At first she misunderstood how I was feeling.  She thought I was pissed that she supported M, or that I didn't understand how couples therapy worked.  But that wasn't it, at least not this time.  I felt like she lied.  Like she just wanted to appease me the other day.  And now, what other things has she not been honest about?  Has she lied when she told me she cares, that I matter?

Now, 10 hours later, I still feel crappy about the discussion.  She did say that maybe we should not do couples counseling for a while.  That maybe M and I could see someone else, or maybe we just wait for a while.  I told her that I would feel like a failure.  But I'm also not sure if that would help this problem.  This problem of me trusting her.

I also hate that I'm doubting her.  She's done so much for me.  Been so available to me.  Been so supportive of me.  What kind of person am I?  Am I someone who just can't be pleased?  Am I someone who will always look for ways to not trust someone and just exploit the opportunity when it arises?

Does telling my therapist that I don't trust her, mean that I actually do trust her?

Or does it just mean that I want to trust her?

And either way, does it mean I'm screwed?

It was a hard session today and I still feel sad, I think, or maybe it's a feeling of being removed?  or maybe tired?  or shutdown?  or all of the above?

I wonder if it matters at all to L how I felt, or does she simply remove herself from it so she can figure out the why?  Like does it bother her that I told her that I don't trust her or does she not take it personally and just try and figure out where it's coming from?

I know how she's supposed to handle it, but I guess need to feel, ....hmmmmmm......, I guess I want to feel like I matter, that I'm important enough to be honest to and not just be told what she thinks I need to hear to feel better 'therapuetically'.  Like an extreme game of positive regard.  I told her today that I need to make sure she's just not 'blowing smoke'

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I suppose there's really not much to report, but I do feel the need to get myself lost in the land of blog-writing, so let's see where this post ends up!

I had a session with L yesterday morning.  I don't even know how to classify it.  I did send this text to her a few hours afterwards:

Me:  So, was it you or me that was 'off' today?
L:      I'm not pointing any fingers but it seemed like you didn't want to be pushed today.  So I did not push.  Sometimes that is ok.
Me:    Sticks and stones......

I actually felt ok afterwards, and even survived going to work, but at the same time I was missing something, like I didn't get something from the session, but I honestly don't know what.  It's sort of like being in a restaurant knowing you're hungry but you can't really find anything on the menu that would satisfy you.  I guess as long as you ate, no matter what it was, you'd feel physically satisfied, but you still yearn for something.

We did talk about me not feeling great over the weekend, which frustrated me.  Towards the end of last week I felt like I was starting to feel better.  That maybe this time depression hadn't gotten the better of me, and that I've been able to not let the work crap crush me.  But this past weekend I was so agitated and frustrated.  I certainly wasn't a joy to be around.

We also talked more about work stuff, and the whole time I kept saying I didn't want to talk about it.  I don't know why I was fighting it.  I think part of it was because I wanted a deeper level discussion with her, and talking about work usually doesn't lead down that path. 

Today is my dad's birthday.  Or I guess it used to be his birthday.  He would have been 85 today.  Still miss him everyday.

Not much movement on buying the ice cream business.  I won't be meeting with the current owners until next month, but there's still lots and lots of research to do, especially as it relates to finalizing the business plan.  There is a conference that I will be going to at the end of the month.  I'm very excited about that.  But at the same time I'm also nervous about the whole thing falling apart.  There are still so many what-if's.

My partner M and I are supposed to see L tomorrow night for couples counseling.  I did share with M last week how I realized what's going on for me and how I feel like I'm 'cheating' on M with L.  As usual, she was totally supportive and she was happy that I shared it with her.  I'm hoping that me being open with both of them will make this process a little less freakish for me.  Hopefully I'll be present tomorrow night and take part in the session as opposed to hovering above the conversation and keeping myself at a distance. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Did you ever have a time when your therapist states the most obvious thing about you and suddenly some things start to click?  Today was one of those days. 

We talked around a lot of 'normal' stuff today, but I knew I needed more (whatever the hell that means).  We even talked about Steve Jobs (you should watch this commencement speech he gave Very moving, and I really liked his connect-the-dots story.  Maybe I'm reading to much into it, but I feel like some the connect-the-dots stuff is happening with me right now.

Anyway,  I'm struggling with moving into a deeper conversation with L.  I knew I needed it, and I knew I'd feel frustrated and disconnected if I didn't, but I couldn't find the right opening, the right lead-in story.  She's been trying to get me to talk about the stuff that I label 'crazy'.  The multitude of random things that run through my brain.

I had been thinking during the past week about couples counseling and why I'm having a weird reaction to it.  So although this isn't what I really wanted to talk about, I figured I'd start there and see where it went.  I told her that I read an article the other day that described therapy as an 'emotional affair'.  And although I don't remember all the details, the feelings that I'm having in couples counseling sort-of made sense (of course only in a weird, I-really-am-crazy kind of way).  When I'm in the room with L and M I feel like I'm having an affair with L, and obviously M doesn't know about it.  Like I have a secret that's burning right through me. Sort of reminds of that story by Alfred Hitchcock, The Tell Tale Heart.  Of course the 'affair' is only in my head and both M and L aren't thinking anything of the sort.

So it was good to vet that out with L a bit, she said if I wanted to, the 3 of us could talk about it more as well.  Not sure if I'm brave enough (or is it 'stupid enough') to talk about that with M.  Although it was helpful to tell M the other day about how I'm having a strange reaction to couple's counseling.

After that I felt a bit more comfortable talking about my reaction to sharing something with L a few weeks ago.  Once again, she was trying to get me to tell her the stuff that I consider 'crazy'.  This particular thought that I shared had to do with me feeling comforted by the thought of being with L, of being in her studio.  Sometimes I picture her there too, and sometimes it's just me, alone, sitting on the couch.  I told her I also sometimes picture her sitting next to me, sometimes holding me like a mother holds a hurt child. 

Now, ever since sharing that with her, I find I am unable to  'go to that place' in my mind.  It's not really a bad thing, or a good thing I guess, but it's just a little strange.  In some ways I miss it, but at the same time it's not so horrible.  In fact, I seem to be getting more stuff done, and actually feeling a bit better.

At the end of my telling her this, well she just blows me away with the obvious.  The reason I'm not going to that place is that I'm finding less of a need to live in my head.  Seems so obvious, but she's right. 

I have been reaching out alot more lately, and probably more important for me is that I've made myself more available for people to care about.  I typically give off an air of I'm ok, I have my walls up, I don't need anything, please keep your distance.  But now, there have been some definitive moments lately where that is changing for me.

As good as this feeling of connectedness to people has been, I still have my eye on it.  I don't completely trust it, but I'm trying to remain open. 

One other thing she reminded me of today is that her belief that we get strength from others.  I keep fighting that theory saying that strength/confidence must only come from inside, it must be something that I internally hold to be true.  She said No, that it may start inside, but it can only get fed from others.        Still need to process that.