Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's so strange that all week long I sort of look forward to meeting with L.  I was away with family for a bit so I didn't get an opportunity to see her twice last week, just the ususal once.  And even though the mini-vaca went well and I was 'present' for most of it I still missed her, but luckily it wasn't obsessive.

While driving to see L I was a bit distracted.  It was like I was on auto-pilot getting there, just going whereever the car took me.  Maybe the first sign that it was going to be a strange session was I had trouble deciding where to sit on the couch.

It's not like I have a lot to choose from; either one of the sides of the couch or the middle.  I always sit on the side furthest away from her and closest to the window (in case I want to jump!!), and never, ever the middle.  There's no protection when you sit in the middle. 

Well this time I went in and for some reason decided to test sitting on the right side (not my normal side) and then the middle.  Because of the way the room is and the placement of her chair, sitting in the middle would mean I'm sitting closer to her.  I really wanted to sit in the middle yesterday.  But as soon as she sat down it was too overwhelming for me and I instinctively got up and moved to my usual spot, furtherest away and closest to the window!

First we talked about the mini-vacation and how it went surprisingly well, and then she cut right to the chase to talk about my text last week:
   Me:  Sorry for the second text, but I may forget/chicken week could we talk a little bit about when our sessions aren't the 'Bell Jar' how I leave feeling a little empty?  It's kind of weird, I know.
   L: Not weird lets tabke about that next week have a great weekend  

Unfortunately her interpretation wasn't accurate.  It made sense of course, but it wasn't what was going on in my head .  And instead of clarifying it I decided to retreat inside my head, which then of course turned into a full fledge shutdown on my part.  In thinking about it later I think the reason I shutdown is because I felt misunderstood. 

My grown-up/adult side of course thinks all I needed to do was give her feedback, but for some reason not having her validate my feelings right from the start caused me to retreat.  I think part of me quite often feels like my thoughts, emotions, and reactions to things aren't 'normal' hence the need for constant validation.

Because of my withdrawing a lot of time was wasted just trying to get me to talk again.  I was very much a child giving one-word answers.  Eventually I was able to talk around it for a while.  She said that the feelings of 'not getting filled up' were ok and we just needed to go deeper.  I responded that I didn't understand how much deeper I needed to go.  With a little bit of a raised voice I said 'We just talked about my dead fucking father!  How much deeper do I need to go to feel filled up?!  That's when she pointed out that yes we talked about my dad but I only talked about the type of person he was and how sad I was that my daughter would never get to know my dad.  She said what I lacked is talking about how I feel about him and his affect on me.  I guess I was in reporter mode?  Hmmmm, I think I do this quite often.

There's more to say....especially about the big disconnect between what I'm thinking and feeling to what actually comes out of my mouth, but life is calling me right now....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Feeling down and distracted.  I guess today's session was potentially helpful and insightful but I think it left me in a weird state.  I am really trying to get through the rest of my day but I just want to go home and crawl into bed.  I don't want to deal with anything and I don't want to talk to anyone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste....

We went on a mini-vacation over the past few days.  And I can't believe it, but I even had a pretty good time! I think the key is to set your expectations low!  M's older sister was turning 65 so she rented a place in South Carolina, Edisto Beach.  The 3 of us flew, and we met up with M's sister, two nieces, and their families.

As were were standing in line yesterday morning at the airport I saw this woman who looked so much like L.  Obviously it wasn't, but I couldn't help staring at her.  It got me wondering, do other people 'look' for their t's in crowds?

With C, who was my first t many, many years ago, I would always look for her in crowds.  In fact, I still do today, although it's not as bad as it used to me.  I wonder what the appeal is.

Last year for our anniversary my partner surprised me with a quick weekend away (sans child!!!) and tickets to go see James Taylor and Carol King.  Talk about checking off something on your bucket list!!  I was so excited. I had never seen either of them in concert, and now to see them together was a great surprise!

We were having a great time that weekend, including some great spa treatments.  I was totally not thinking of C (ex-T), or L  at all, but apparently transference never rests!  While we were waiting for the show to start, and talking to a woman in front of us with a pristine copy of her Tapestry album, I started playing my favorite pastime of people watching.  Maybe I was subconsciously looking, but to the left of us, about 100 feet away was a woman who I was convinced was L, and she was sitting with a guy, who I was convinced was her (ugh) boyfriend!

So some more weird transference stuff with L is that she is a widow, her husband died in a car crash about 7 years ago, and the thought of her having a boyfriend is very upsetting to me.  Not sure why, but I prefer to always look at her as the grieving widow.  I suppose I'll save that for another post.....

Anyway while getting all worked up staring at this woman and her male companion (definitely her brother, not boyfriend!) what happened next just sent me in a whirlwind that lasted the rest of the weekend. 

C, my ex-T-who-ripped-my-heart-out-and-crushed-me, was petite, Jewish, from New York, and had dirty blond hair.  Guess who I also just described???  Carol King!!!  Totally freaked me out.  Although I enjoyed the show immensely, I was thrust into all-consuming mind-fuck (sorry for the language!). 
Here's what I wrote in my journal:

June 13, 2010
So how do I describe what was going on for me from Friday until now?  Do I even bother?  Friday morning I was kind of a nut (see above entry), by Friday afternoon I had done some self talk stuff and was able to get myself into a good place.  I was good Friday, Saturday morning, afternoon, and then something happened at the concert and I snapped.  I was trying to hold it together during the concert, and I did for the most part.  I really, really enjoyed the concert, it truly was magically.  But then I was also preoccupied with that woman who looked liked, or at least reminded me a lot of L, and then Carol King, with her looks and her warmth reminded me of C.  I was in transference hell.  I couldn’t sleep all night I just kept thinking about L and C.   And this morning while starting to get ready to leave the hotel I started to have an anxiety attack, all I wanted to do was call L.  I didn’t, but I did listen to the voice mail she left me the other day.  It was sort of helpful.  She’s so supportive, but then it was also the message about insurance/money/having other clients.  In my head I know one thing, but emotionally I’m a child.  Is the problem, emotionally I never grew up?  I never progressed out of stages? 
The whole time during the concert and then after that and then while being up all night, my mind wouldn’t stop.  My desire to see C was intensified while watching Carol King.  Every time she smiled, her warmth would show through and I’d just think of C and wanting to connect with her. My mind was so gone last night, and now I’m just sad, depressed, and a bit anxious.

It certainly made for an interesting evening! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not Quite Sure How I Feel

Had my usual Wednesday morning session today.  I guess by all accounts it was good. But at the same time I left feeling  that I was missing something. That I didn't get something that I wanted, I didn't get some crazy need met. But I honestly don't know what it was that I wanted.

I didn't go in wanting or needing to talk about anything in particular.  But I always long for a deep level of connectedness (is that a word?) that for the most part seems to only happen when we have some sort of misunderstanding, or I twist a particular incident or conversation or comment or action or text which causes me to have a strong reaction.  So it's weird,   for me to feel a strong connection, I need to have some sort of inner turmoil going on?  Some rupture between the two of us?  Some weird sort of cause-and-effect?

It's just not enough for me to sit and have a good conversation?  Of course more than 'Nice weather we're having', or 'We went and saw the movie Bridesmaids and loved it'.  We even talked about my reaction to Father's Day this year and the death of my dad.  All in all is was good, but not enough.  Why?

We've had this sort of discussion before, why every session doesn't have to be the Bell Jar, and I understand, but I'm still left feeling the same way.

I don't even know if this made any sense.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My T Made Me Get a Nose Ring!

Text exchange with L yesterday....

Me:  Just a rant, no need to rely, just another crappy day, and yesterday, well I guess father's day will always suck, wont it?  Can't stand to be with people, can't stand to be with myself. Ready to quit my job. Maybe run away to a nice warm climate and open up an ice cream bar.  Sorry for the downer, just frustrated with myself, my life right now.

L: We all have days like this let it out then get rid of it I believe you are doing all the right things to change your job situation but its certainly frustrating that its not happening quicker so dream about ice cream in warm weather and today's blue feelings won't last forever.  Quitting your job is not the answer.

Me:  Stop being so sensible! Gonna go get my nose pierced, maybe that will make me feel better.

L:  That would definitely help and also look cool

So naturally I took this as encouragement and a therapeutic recommendation.  A few hours later.....

Me:  You were right on both counts

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I suppose even if they did have cards for today, who would you give them too?  I guess Happy Dead Father's Day isn't really what Hallmark had in mind. It's father's day in the states today, but I don't know what to do with myself.  My dad died 3 years ago so you'd think by now I'd handle it better, but I feel a little lost today.

Like my brothers and sisters, I too changed my Facebook profile pic to be a picture of my dad.  We've done this in the past, on his birthday, or on the day he died.  I always make sure that the photo I use represents who my dad was.  One that captures my dad.  One that shows the sparkle in his eyes, and his smile that always seemed to have more to it, like he got caught doing something mischievous.  Long before Alzheimer's sucked the life out of him.  Long before the hollowness replaced the sparkle.

I suppose I could go to the cemetery, I've only been there once since he died.  And even then I could only look at the front of the stone, never the back, where seeing his name engraved would be too much for me.  But I also know I wouldn't find him there.  He isn't anywhere.

I hate that my 5 year old daughter will never know him, and he will never know her.  Sure I can tell her stories, and share his silly jokes with her, but she will never get his essence.

My dad wasn't an angel, and he wasn't perfect, but he was an amazing person and father.  And I still think of him everyday.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oddly enough I haven't ruminated too much about therapy this week.  So the drive or overwhelming need/want/desire to blog about it hasn't been there.  Not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Things went well with T on Wednesday.  I was a bit nervous, but I talked.  Which for me is always huge. 

When I first started to see L, about a year and a half ago, the sessions were the typical 50-60 minutes.  Although there were many, many times we would go to at least 90 minutes, and a couple of intense sessions that I think went 2 hours. 

Most people who know me wouldn't categorize me as shy, but when I'm one-on-one with someone I have a very hard time talking.  One of my biggest fears is being alone with someone.  So with L, my sessions would start out somewhat slow, and she would keep the topics fairly lite, until I became more comfortable.  After figuring this out, probably about 4 months into my therapy, we changed the sessions to be officially 90 minutes, and that really has been helpful for me.  In fact, I can't see how 50 minutes would be beneficial for anyone.  You just get started, and it's time to go!

Anyway, as I had posted in my previous entry, I really wanted to be 'authentic' with her today, or as authentic as I could be!  At some point I was able to make reference to the 'not talking = power' for me.  Honestly I had thought we had talked about this before, but maybe not, so we discussed it for a while.  Although that dynamic happens a bit with my partner, to me it's even more apparent with L.  With my partner M I will shutdown when I'm hurt, or upset, or angry, but with L I get to a point when I'm hurt, or upset, or angry, where I weigh my words.  Where I convince myself not to say anything to her.  I actually go back-and-forth in my head and it typically ends with me 'keeping my power' and not telling her anything.  She told me that most people don't go through this thought process.  That surprised me.

We talked about dreams too.  I forget how we got to this topic but I told her that I think some dreams, even if they're a bit weird, do relate to what's going on in my head and in my life.  But I said that I didn't think this was always true, that sometimes dreams really didn't mean anything at all.  She disagreed and said that she thinks that dreams really do reflect past, present, and future.  And it really is your subconscious at work.  I'm not sure I totally agree with her, but she certainly a couple of compelling stories that backed up her theory.

As a kid I was quite a tomboy, and I guess I am now too, and I've always LOVED baseball.  Part of it has to do with growing up in the Northeast part of the US where rivalries run deep!  As a little girl, when rules were changed to allow girls to officially play baseball with boys, I was the first girl to play for my city.  So this probably why , the dream that I continue to have since a little girl has to do with baseball.  In my dream I am up at bat and hit the ball, but  I'm unable to run.  I am just stuck.  I try with all my might to move, even crawl, but I can't.  I tell this to L and she thinks it has something to do with my life long ability to just be myself, to be who I want to be. 
Overall it was a good session, I didn't fight myself over what I can and can't tell her.......we'll see how long this lasts.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pre-t Ramblings

I see L in less than 2 hours and I'm nervous and hoping I can do this.  Hoping I can be myself, say what I'm thinking, express what I'm feeling.  Even if it's not perfect, even if it's not clear, even when I tell myself not to.

I think.

I think that's what I want, but the pit-of-my-stomach seems to have other ideas. It all feels too much. 

I described it once to her as a 'craving'.  Because of who she is she took 'craving' to mean a good thing, which totally floored me.  I can't imagine any situation where craving would be perceived in a good way. 

Sometimes I wonder if she's just wearing her therapist's-hat when she's all supportive of me and validating my feelings, or if she truly believes the crap she says to me.....the constant fear of being tricked.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Does Not Talking = Power?

I guess we all make a subconscious decision about how we retreat, about how we take care of our selves, about how we survive.  For me the only 'power' I had was to not talk.  I could soothe myself by turning inward, but I also knew I was lashing out by not saying anything.  I hate that it always goes back to my parents, in particular my mother, but my inability to express myself and my feelings was my shield of armor against her.  You see for her, my withdrawal drove her crazy; it frustrated the hell out of her.  And that my friends is something I totally relished!

But now instead of a shield it's more of a scar, or maybe a wound, I think.  You see my modus operandi keeps me frustrated, probably like the way I frustrated my mother(can you say 'what comes around goes around'???)  Part of my constant push-pull, especially with L has to do with me giving up my imagined power.  I've been thinking about this the past couple of days, and it caused me to send this text to her:

Me:  Wishing I could talk to you right now.  No particular reason I guess, just feeling blah, in need of a pick-me-up.  It will probably be gone by tomorrow morning and I'll be my usual distant self.  Oh, and I deny sending this too.

L:   You can call me now or any time today.  But if it doesn't work for you I hope you are still in the mood to talk tomorrow.  I am interested in your thoughts, so talk to me.

Me:  Thanks, I'm ok, just tired.  I can't make any promises about tomorrow, but it helps to know you're still there.

I'm so much braver via text.  I could never say in person even half the things I text her.  And seriously, what more would L have to do for me to trust her and believe her, and to give up this false perception of power?  Actually, I think I now realize it's not her who has to change.....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Is the love-hate, push-pull all transference?  I know everything isn't black-or-white, I hate that things aren't that clear, but I accept it!  But for the most part I can weed through the gray and figure out where I stand or how I want to go forward.  So for the things I can't, does that mean the big T is at work?

As usual, one minute I can feel very warmly towards L and then the next minute I can question her intension, and even her integrity.  I have a childhood fear of being 'tricked' and that's always present. I don't know why it's there, but it is.

I also have a fear of talking.  Like if I talk too much I give up power and that's a bad, bad thing. 

My text between L the other day:

Me:  Trying to figure out what to do with last nights crap. Trying to keep it contained but I'm having trouble making sense of it. Not sure how to be with M right now. Also it's like you were different with me, I feel lie I failed and I feel like you were not upfront. But I'm also trying to see my role in it. I guess I'm telling you this just to tell you. I guess there's more but I'm brave via text so I don't want to abuse it.

L:  It will all come together still needs sorting out you failed nothing it will become clear and a direction will be chosen that will make sense and be easy like I said last night starting is the hard part.

Unfortunately this exchange didn't help at all.  I continue to wonder if I fight it/her so I don't have to deal with other things. 

An Odd Dream

I had a dream last night about an old therapist.  She was the one I worked with for about a year before I started seeing L.  In fact she and L work at a college together and she gave me L's number.  This exT was a nice person but definitely not for me.  She was totally CBT and didn't get me nor my longing for a connection.

So in this dream I am meeting her for therapy and as usual I was struggling to talk, struggling to communicate.  I kept trying to get up the courage to talk but it wasn't happening.  Then at one point I turned to her and she was gone, she had left a bit early.  Funny that one of my issues IRL with her was that she never, ever, ever went over the time and occasionally she would could it short by a few minutes, mainly because I wasn't talking.  That used to drive me crazy.  I was measuring her 'care' by how long our session went.

My dream continued with me trying to call her.  Frantically I searched and searched for her number and I couldn't find.  Then I started looking on the internet for her number, but still no luck.  Then all of a sudden I'm at her home, in her living room with her husband, and my partner is with me.  My exT starts tell me that her and her husband were just discussing our session, in a limited way though.  I tell my exT that I didn't understand why she left early, that I had things to say, and  I was really freaking out.  My partner then speaks up and asks is my reaction just acting?  She then starts to say that she thinks my problems are made up and once again it's all an act.  My exT agrees. 

I run from my exT's house and my partner and I start driving home, but I'm furious and want nothing to do with her.  I am so blown away by her thinking that I'm making all this up.  She on the hand doesn't think it's a big deal.  The End.

I don't know what to make of this dream, but I'm certainly lost in thought about it.  Any thoughts out there in blog-land??

Friday, June 10, 2011

Post Session Ramble

Because I was traveling this week my T session was last night at 7:00pm instead of my usual Wednesday at 7:30am, so I haven't had much time to process/ruminate what we talked about, but I also think I'm avoiding it as well.  Please take heed that what follows may not make any sense, but I'm working on it!

Am I mad at her?  I don't know.  Am I just using being mad at her so I don't have to think about other things?  She did what I asked, what I needed, but I also felt criticized or maybe judged.  That's what I'm afraid of feeling too if I bring M in.  What if L finds out that I really am a self-centered ass.  That all I'm concerned about is how I feel.  That my reactions and expectations are selfish.

I felt a little lost and confused, like she was going down a path that I wasn't aware of.  At times it seemed like she was trying to push my buttons too, like she was trying to get a reaction out of me.  I also didn't like the assumptions or the conclusions that she was making based on the little information I was giving her.  So was that real or was she trying to make a point?  Was she playing a game of 'Based on what you've told me, this is how I see it....' in order to get me to give more detail?  So confused for most of the session.

And it went by so fast.  I honestly thought she ending the session early, but when I got to my car and looked at the clock, we had gone 25 minutes over. I was there for nearly 2 hours.  That helped dilute my anger towards her.

I think she was playing me a bit, not so much in a bad way, and maybe manipulative is too strong, but I did ask her at one point was she trying to push my buttons to get a rise out of me.  Maybe that's too harsh as well, but I do feel like she was trying to come in through the back door instead of coming at me straight.

At the end she sort of took the blame, or the ownership for directing the session in such a way.  But I felt like I failed therapy today.  During her lite-apology, she said that I'm probably not ready to get that deep.  So for me it was like she took the blame for not realizing my inadequacies.

I also wonder if I'm now focusing more on the exchange with L and not the content of the discussion.  Is it keeping me distracted so I don't have to deal with M?

I hope I can contain this for a while.  I need a slow leak, not a full blown explosion.....or implosion. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Maybe it Was All the Drugs I Did as a Kid

But I'm having weird, new, but sort of powerful feelings and thoughts.

I was sitting in the airport yesterday morning waiting for my flight and I was partaking in one of my favorite pastimes....people watching!  It's cool to play it in the airport because you have the added mystery of where are they going?  and why?  And I get to add my own little mystery by being part of the pastime.....where am I going and why??

So as I scanned around gate 15 yesterday I had the strangest thought.  What if everyday I woke up and looked forward to the mystery of what the day may bring for me? A bit of Carpe Diem? I've certainly had my share of crappy days, but I've also had my share of good days.  Even days that make for good stories later on.  Like the time I befriended an elderly millionairess at an airport. 

Our flight, and all flights from Florida were cancelled and she was overwhelmed with concern for her dog who had been checked in with her bags.  She did not know how to go about retrieving her dog.  She had been recently widowed and her dog meant everything to her.  So me and two other passengers helped this women by keeping her calm and more importantly finding her dog.  She was so grateful that not only did she invite us to dinner, she also invited us to stay the night at her Floridian condo. 

Of course, me, who doesn't trust a soul and has a hard time even socializing, normally would have thanked her for her offer but then quickly, and politely declined.  However, this time was different.  I think it had something to do with sharing a stressful event. I felt some sort of bond with these women, and also who doesn't melt at the thought of helping a widow in distress find her dog!

We still didn't have any clue, nor did it occur to any of us that this woman was very, very well off.  Until of course we got to her beautiful condo, located on an amazing golf course.  She then took us out for lobster dinner and we all had a great time.  As we were both heading back to Boston, the next day I stayed with her the entire flight  and we even shared a cab when we got home.  Because we took her home first, I got to see the beautiful brownstone that she lived in right in the heart of Boston.

As I sit and wait for my plane I wonder who I'll meet on this trip.

Another totally new thought for me..iIt's ok for me to have needs.  I was watching TV in my hotel room last night and these 4 women (all 'sister-wives'...but that's another story) are talking and one of the wives expresses her worry about having a specific need.  I could totally relate.  But the new experience for me was hearing the other sister-wives chime in and support this woman's needs.  I guess God works in mysterious ways, but for the first time I actually started to consider the possibility that it's ok for me to have needs, and to get them met.

After I finished writing in my blog last night I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. But I'm not in my own home, my comfort zone, so my mind has a hard time shutting down.  In my mind, my comfort zone tends to be my therapist's office, which then leads me to start thinking (again) about our recent text exchange.  The one where I actually felt 'emotionally held' by her words.  It then occurs to me that it's not her words that are new or different, it's me.  I actually reached out to her and asked her for something.  I opened myself up to the possibility.  I'm not going to bring this down by contemplating what would have happened if she hadn't been there for me, but not now, not today.  At least for one day.

Off to work.....I wonder what the day will bring.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Being Emotionally Held

My current T hugs, thank goodness.  But I have had T's in the past who don't hug.  One in particular told me that it's too complicated and can be a slippery slope.  Intellectually I agreed with her, but inside I craved a connection with someone and that would include a hug. 

My first T sort of hugged.  I mean we did hug, but it wasn't consistent, she initiated it, and we never talked about it.  I remember struggling with my feelings towards her.  I didn't have words for it.  I felt so 'not normal'. 

Eventually I Googled something like 'therapist hug', that's when I found a lot of information.  Most didn't really make me feel better, but I did read that many therapist don't give physical hugs because they would rather have the client feel emotionally held by their words. To me, this felt like b.s.! Instead of coming out and saying they didn't want to go down that path, that potentially slippery slope, they therapize it away.

To me, the actual hug is like the 'nuts' on a hot fudge sundae.  The sundae is definitely good, but the nuts add something extra (I'm sure there's something Freudian to the 'nuts' reference, but I leave that for another day...).  But my text exchange this weekend has definitely given me something more to think about.

As a little back-story, lately my relationship with my partner M has been less than satisfactory.  A lot of it is exacerbated my inability to talk or to express my feelings. So early Saturday morning, I' m up by myself and really worrying......

Me: Can I ask you to 'rescue me' a bit and make sure I talk about M and I next time? Maybe why it's hard to talk about too? Very manicy yesterday and then a bit of a crash when I got home. Thanks

L: happy to help you get perspectives on M and make it the best relationship it can be for you both. You just need to tell me more whats going on in your head. I want to hear. We can work on it and make you feel better by understanding how you can verbalize your feelings and help you with some wording. Just starting will make you feel better.

Me: Thanks, and thanks for being there

I often read and reread the texts messages that L and I exchange.  I certainly get something from them.  But this one was so different. I swear-to-god that I actually felt emotionally held, a text-hug!  And it was awesome!

Friday, June 3, 2011

To Stop Fighting it and Being Authentic

To just be who I am.  To just say what I feel.  To be ok with it.  As Brene Brown would say, To Be Authentic.  To realize that my needs are important.  To being ok with not having all the answers.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How Do I Stay the Course?

I need to figure out a way to bring myself back from the dark-side when I stop trusting and stop believing L.  I need to stop myself from spinning out of control.  It's hard, but it has to be doable.  So, while I'm in a pretty good place I figure this would be a good time to come up with a plan, right? 

I know she'd be ok with me texting or calling her, but it's a double-edged sword.  The only way I would feel safe about contacting her is when I'm not all caught up in thinking she can't be trusted. 

So how do I get off this roller coaster, this push-pull? 

I also think that some of this is self-inflicted.  There is something that draws me in.  Maybe it's just what I'm used to, so that's naturally what I gravitate too?

A side question...for the most part I think people are in our lives for a reason.  So, with L I truly believe she's in my life for a reason.  But, am I in her life for a reason?