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.