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.


  1. It seems like your “not talking” frustrates you more than anyone else. Probably it did when you were a kid too. Isn’t it more likely than instead of trying to frustrate your mother you were trying to engage her in deciphering you? Then, when she didn’t/couldn’t and was just frustrated with you, you settled for the pseudo-power and attention that creating tension gave you?

    Also with the criticism stuff… You must have taken yourself to therapy because you believe that there is a problem that she can help you with… You have to allow her to acknowledge and try to put words to that problem. She is not the person who is being critical of you, it is you who is being critical of you. And that is ok – it’s perfectly normal to want to improve ourselves. Working on an aspect of self doesn’t mean that the whole self is defective (“Maybe I’m just really fucked up?” No, you're not, is the short answer to that musing).

    Thinking of you,
    Best wishes,

  2. Cate, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. You must do this for a living, or atleast play one of tv, because your observations gave me a lot to think about. Although I may fight you on your answer to my 'delicate' musing!

    Thanks again