Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I would never consider myself to be a 'talker', and I'm pretty sure people who know me would agree.  And although it may appear that I talk about a lot of things with L, honestly she spends more time talking than I do.  She does an excellent job pulling things from me and I know I wouldn't have gotten this far if she was a blank-slate, or waited for me to take the lead.

The texting has helped me tremendously as well.  Don't get me wrong, texting has led to some missteps and misunderstandings, but I think the good as outweighed the bad, at least for me. 

I know it's hard for her sometimes, trying to maintain a balance of giving me my own space and allowing me to take my time, versus pushing me  to talk.  It's not always perfect, but like I said, I don't think I would have gotten this far if her approach was different.  And today was a good example of that. 

Because I'm not quite sure yet if I'm going to die of embarrassment or not over what we talked about, I'm not going to go in to much detail.  But suffice to say that I was able to share my 'authentic' thoughts that I wrote about in my last post. 

It took a while, I certainly didn't come up with guns-a-blazing, and she was actually ticking me off a bit at first. 

You see we had couples counseling, M and I, yesterday, and it was horrible.  She, meanin L, pushed and I retreated.  I think I said all of 10 sentences, and most of them were 'I don't know'.  However, what I saw and experienced yesterday was M's reaction to my retreating, and it wasn't pretty, I was such a jerk.  It took me until we were driving home that I was able to tell M what was going on for me. 

Once again, I'm not going in to much detail, but as I am an Irish-Catholic-Lesbian I am the epitome of guilt.  I even have guilt over the guilt!  Lucky for me I'm also a wise-ass, sarcastic bi-atch, so I can usually hide my guilt/shame very well, and that's what happened yesterday.  I feel such shame and embarrassment over some things that I either retreat or lash-out, and in some cases I do both.  This weekend I did both!

But, on an 'up' note, I as able to talk about some of it with M.  We still have a long ways to go with this, but at least it's out there.  It sort of now feels a little like we're on the same side instead of resenting or working against each other.  All good stuff.  Hard, but good. 

So when I got to L's today for my session she didn't know what had transpired after we left her office.  She didn't know that I was able to tell M some of what was going through my head.  So once again she started pushing again, and I started retreating a little bit.  I was also using the retreating as a 'reason' not to tell her what the source of my discomfort/shame/embarrassment was.  But she backed off a bit (a LITTLE bit) and after a couple of false starts I knew I wanted to get this out on the table, so I started with the blogging around 'being authentic', and some thoughts I had, and how it impacted my weekend with M, and what 'demons' we(I) still have to uncover. 

I know if I were L I'd be thinking what a great session we had, and how far I've come.  I'm 46 years old, I have been in therapy off-and-on for probably 15 years, and there are so many topics that I've never discussed.  But today I can check off one of them.  But I'm not L, and part of me is a little bit afraid of having been so open today.  But I'd also be lying if said I didn't feel better, cause I think I do.  At least for today, for right now.........there's always tomorrow!

Friday, February 24, 2012

After reading a fellow bloggers questions regarding being authentic, these thoughts came to mind....

If I was being my authentic self in therapy I would:

- Tell L that I am constantly struggling to maintain a connection with her.  Sometimes I google her, check out her profile picture on facebook, wonder what she's doing ....etc

- I would tell her that the only comparison I have for the 'feelings of wanting more' in therapy is like sex.  When I experience an orgasm during sex, the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction/completeness/contentedness is similar to the feeling I get when I 'get enough' in therapy.  And when I leave a session feeling like I didn't get enough, it's like having sex without reaching an orgasm.  Both of course feel nice, just not complete, and wanting more.

Good thing I don't plan on being truly authentic for a while.....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm not sure if I haven't been posting for the past week because I haven't felt the need to, I haven't wanted to, I've been too busy, or I'm avoiding something.  Or maybe a combination of all of them.

The stuff with L really sent me for a loop, and I've lost some ground with her in the trusting department.  Although, at the same time it's forced me to share things and talk about things that I probably never would have discuss if this didn't happen.  I even said outloud the other day 'I'm not sure if I hate you or love you....'. 

Intellectually I know that there's a huge benefit to having ruptures, especially when you can work through them and come out on the other side, and I'm hoping that's the case with this one.  We've been talking about this over and over again. In fact I saw her 3 times last week, each being 90 minute sessions.  And I think we've worked through a lot of it, but I know there's still more there, and I also know some things will just take time. 

We exchanged these texts after this morning's session:

Me:  Funny, I leave with a feeling of wanting more, but when I do get it I freak out....no wonder I need help

L:  You're ok, all this will balance out at some point I promise.  It's about accepting trusting and believing that you deserve it.

Me: Thanks...ya know I don't think I ever REALLY hated you.....although I still reserve the right to

L:  That right is yours and it's ok with me

Me:  Stop being so freakin' supportive

L:  No

Me: Thanks

As for the ice cream shop, things are moving along.  Who knew there was so much to do when starting a business??!!! Just in the past 2 weeks we've:  started working with a marketing guy for our logo and website, attended a QuickBooks training class, attended a food handling certification class, signed a lease for a house, spoke with insurance companies, spoke with credit card companies, spoke with shipping companies, met with our ice cream distributor and assessed the layout of the shop, painted/decluttered current home....and I'm sure I've forgotten a few things!  Oh, and held down a full time job while doing all this!!

We've agreed to a March 15th closing date, so the time is approaching fast.  Initially we were thinking of an opening date of May 4th, but we're going to try and push that up by at least 2 weeks, maybe even 4 works.  But there's still a lot to do between now and then, so for right now, along with everything else, it's a wait-and-see.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The past weekend I couldn't shake the feeling of being concerned about L offering us her house.  I was so afraid that she had crossed a line that she really shouldn't have. I was worried that it would turn out that this wasn't a 'safe' relationship for me.  After stewing about it Friday night and most of the day on Saturday, I sent her this text Saturday afternoon:

Me:  You can't get all weird on me, ok?  That's my job.

she replied with:

L:  Ok, I won't

then followed by:

L: I don't think that's your job anymore, at least not your full time job

and then:

Me:  Funny......

Yesterday was couples therapy, or at least it was supposed to be. 

I was on my way when M called to tell me her car battery was dead, and asked if I could come pick her up.  Normally I would have been able to, but I had left work early so I could do some pre-Valentines shopping before our session, so I didn't get M's message until I was near L's office.  But M had also called triple-A, and the hope was they could come jump her car and she would just be a little late to L's. So I went solo

I wasn't prepared.  Normally I just try and survive couple's therapy.  But it's hard to avoid the spotlight in couple's therapy if you're the only one there....

I'm scared.  I'm scared of my own feelings and the intensity.  What if they're unhealthy?  What if L is trying to foster an unhealthy relationship.

I've very vigilant (some may say judgemental) about getting a 'sense' about people.  I typically come from a stance that people can't be trusted, sort of like 'guilty until proven innocent'.  I'm sure it's probably not fair, but it is what it is, and I'm not willing to change.  Although I am more aware of it, so I try to give people more of the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not always successful with that.

I'm also aware that a lot of my distrust comes from my past, and my instincts are influenced by certain events.

L and I talked it through, or atleast as much I could at the time, and  I mostly feel better, but not completely.  And at the same time I still want to be even more open with her.  That is very different for me.  Although I'm still not sure if that's good or bad.

There's more I really want to write, but I'm retreating a bit.  I think I'm just trying to find my footing again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I want to tell you that I hate you for this right now, and at the same time I want to run towards you.  I need you to be normal.  I need you to read my mind.  I need you to know when to offer me the world and when to hang back and wait for me to catch up. 

Please don't be one of those people.  I don't want to hate you, I want to trust you.  But I know I'll never be able to forcefully silence the voice, and I wouldn't want to.  But I don't want the voice to be right.  Were you trying to convince me today, or were you being honest?

I also hate that I don't get tomorrow, I was not ready for today, it wasn't supposed to be about me today.  And now  because of that I'm thrown.  I could ask for tomorrow back, I know I could, but the voice doesn't want me to, I think. 

I don't want to be in this place.  Do I keep myself in this place?  That way I can avoid other things. Or is it valid?

Why to I attach other things to it?  Why do I read into it so much? Am I looking for something, and I won't stop until I find it?  Ah-ha, I knew you couldn't be trusted, I should have trusted my instincts.  I mean, eventually everyone will screw up.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Strange that I'm writing this, cause I actually don't want to write, sort of........clear as mud!

I saw L this morning and I'm not sure what was going on for me, but somewhere towards the end I simply started to retreat into myself.  It wasn't really something that was talked about, or really how I was feeling going today, although I didn't take my coat off the whole time, all 90+ minutes.  It's not unusual for me to start with my coat on, but usually after a bit of warm-up time I eventually take it off, but not today.

I really don't think I was bothered by anything in particular, and it was all pretty lite stuff that we discussed.  And I wonder if that's what bothered me, it was too light?

After my session the other day I sent her this text:

Me: So it's happening again, maybe it's just the usual post-session hangover, but the ache/longing crap is back (did it ever leave?) and I don't know why.  Said what I wanted to say, but now I can't figure out how to make it until Friday.  Silly?  Yes, but it doesn't make it less real.  Gotta get a hobby.

L:  Maybe we were not deep enough on issues for you today?

Me: Sometimes it feels like it will never be deep enough, but when I think about that too much it makes my head hurt!  Like I'm chasing my tail.  I think I just need to hydrate (maybe some choc milk to help the hangover)

L:  That's what the experts say

BTW, the reference to choc milk was a brief discussion today on what cures a hangover!

So the other day I talked a lot, was open, and fairly pointed, at least by my standards.  And when I do that I leave wanting more.  Today, for no apparent reason I retreat and I'm not sure how I feel right now.

I think I'm a bit sad about it, like I lost some sort of opportunity, but I'm not totally overwhelmed by it.

Maybe I just need to stop analyzing myself so much?

She did ask if I was still affected by the whole 'house-thing', but I shook my head no, and honestly don't think I am. 

I sometimes wonder if I don't want her to think I'm feeling ok because then she won't care.

Good thing normal wasn't my goal.....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Maybe I am getting better, slowly of course, at this whole talking-relationship stuff.

On the drive to L's yesterday I knew (consciously) that there were 2 issues I wanted to talk about.  I certainly needed to bring up the thing about L letting us use her vacation home if we got into a bind.  Although I know I 'needed' to, I definitely didn't 'want' to.  I just want the whole therapy-thing to feel like a normal relationship, whatever that means of course.  So if a friend offered to lend us their house I would just want to be appreciative and certainly keep it open as an option.  But with L 'normal' never plays into the relationship (at least in my mind).

But I also knew I needed (not wanted) to talk about stuff that was going on at home, things that M and I are dealing with right now, and how I'm perceiving things.  Because I'm letting it all fester in my head I'm getting angrier and angrier at M, and she doesn't even know it. 

The first thing L asks me when I sit down (coat still on of course) is how was my anxiety over the weekend.  Her asking me this made me think that she knew I was somehow bothered about the house-thing and this was her way of asking.  But the funny thing is, I didn't have anxiety over it.  I mean it bothered me, but normally (there's that word again) something like that would send me into a tailspin, I would be lost in thought and removed until the next time I saw her.  But that didn't happen, in fact I got alot done this past weekend and even enjoyed a Super Bowl party at my brother's house.

So instead of taking her lead, I started with the stuff that has been happening at home.  It's been very stressful, all this life changing stuff, and sometimes M and I aren't on the same page.  So instead of talking to her about it over the weekend, I just tried to stuff it down/avoid/keep myself busy.  But I know I could feel myself getting resentful.

We talked about that for quite some time. 

But then I started to become aware of the time.  We usually meet for 90 minutes, and you would think that would be more than enough time for me, but I waste too much of it, so it's never enough. 

I knew I had to say something, so I started to, in my usual round-about way.  It's not often that I start talking about something right away.  Usual I have to have some sort of starter-story, and this time was no different.  I first start with making her promise that she couldn't say anything, she couldn't take back anything she said, she couldn't try and make me feel better.  Nothing.  And trust, it's VERY difficult for L not to say anything.

She promised she wouldn't say a word.  She even sat on her hands!

And I just blurted it out.

I said that I had sort of been bothered by the whole house-lending-thing last Friday.  She broke her promise and said 'I figured that would bother you'.  I then chastised her for talking and responding that yes it did bother me, but it didn't overwhelm like it normally would have. 

I told her about the dream I had with her son.  In the dream her son didn't know we were renting the place, so he was surprised to find us there when he showed up over the weekend.  I introduced myself and said something like "it's so like your mother to forget to tell you".  He agreed so we came us with an idea to line up a bunch of beer bottles and he took a picture with his phone and sent it to L, and telling her that there were people partying up at her place!

After hearing the dream, L laughed and said that would be something her son would definitely do!

I then shared with her what I was thinking as it related to my first T and her dumping me shortly after coming to my wedding.  L just listen and nodded in agreement.  She understood more.

I continued to ramble for a bit, and she tried not to say anything, and she was semi-successful with that.  She said that she's not taking the offer back, and if in fact we do want to use her place for a while the lines will be very clear.  Her son is the one in fact who handles all the bills/rentals for that place, so we would just deal with him.

She said she's just trying to show me, as she usual does, what a good, supportive, 'real' relationship looks like.  And I know that.  She has been constant in her support of me, and yes our relationship is a bit unorthodox from a therapeutic relationship, but I'm confident it's been, and will continue to be good for me. 

I've had 4 therapist in between my first T (the one that crushed me) and L.  The 4 therapists were good, but just not right for me.  I need more.  Now maybe that's wrong, but I have made more progress in the 2 years that I've been seeing L than all the time with my previous T's combined.

At the end I told her that I was a bit mad at her.  Next time I question the 'realness' of the relationship, I'm gonna have a tough time with it.  I won't be able to believe that I'm just a co-pay to her.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I've been wanting to write, but I've also been a bit hesitant.  I could easily use the 'reasoning' that life continues to be very busy so I have little free time, but that's not exactly the truth.

However, it is true that life is busy.  I spent all weekend painting and de-cluttering, trying to get the house ready to go on the market.  We're making progress, but still so much to do, and we're running out of time. 

M and I took last Thursday off and went up to the ice cream shop.  As our 5 year old had a half day we also dragged her with us and we took a tour of her new school.  It was great.  The principal took us around and introduced to a bunch of people.  The school was nice, and the class sizes were small.  The entire time we walked around and met teachers/administrators I was trying to gauge their reaction to us; a five year old with two moms.  As we are moving from a liberal state to a much more 'independant' state we worry about our daughter and how she'll be treated.  Luckily during all our trips up there, with everyone we've met we have yet to feel any hesitance or resistance to our somewhat non-traditional family, and that too was the case with the school.  In fact, after talking with one teacher for a bit of time I asked her how welcoming she felt the community would be to our family.  Without batting and eye she assured us that we have nothing to worry about.

We also spent quite a bit of time at the shop meeting with our ice cream guy! That's what his kids call him, and it's true.  He has worked at the dairy where we'll be buying our ice cream from for over 30 years.  He has done it all there and his knowledge just oozes out of him.  And not in a pompous way, but in a very friendly, supportive way.  He likes to be very involved with his customers because he knows the only way for him to be successful is for us to be successful!

This coming week I still need to finish the business plan for the bank, M and I will be attending a Quickbooks class on Thursday and a food handling class on Saturday, and let's not forget taxes on Sunday!

So I'm not fooling myself by saying I've been too busy to write, but there's still been something weighing on me that I'm not sure what to do with.  It's not a big deal, and I wish I could just roll with it....

One of the more complicated things about buying the ice cream shop is the relocating piece.  Selling our current home, and loosing thousands really sucks, but not being able to buy another house for a while sucks as well.  Because we will be self-employed banks won't consider lending to us until we have two years of tax returns.  We have a couple other options too, but we'll most likely need to rent for a while.  Because we want our daughter to attend elementary school there, we have to live in the town.  But because it's a college community the rental market is tight.  Plus we have a dog and cats so that rules out a good portion of our rental options.

So with all that, I was telling L on Friday that there's a potential job up in the area that M may apply for.  It's right up her ally, a current co-worker used to work there and has good connections, and she would get benefits, which would be HUGE for us.  Paying out of pocket for health insurance is ridiculously expensive, so we would save a lot.  But one of the struggles is we don't know when M could start work, if they offer her the job, because we don't have a home up there yet.

L, in her amazingly supportive way offered up her house to us, if we got into a bind.  She has a second home/vacation home near the area that we are moving too.  I was totally floored.  I had a tough week therapy-wise but was able to work through it with L, and her generous offer, in my head, will only help cement how 'true' her support of me is. 

But I also got this twinge later on that this is probably totally crossing the line, and I started to worry a bit about her not having good boundaries and me getting the brunt of that at some point.  It happened in my first therapist relationship years ago.  My then therapist was supportive and I thought we had a pretty good relationship, in fact she came to my wedding.  But then shortly after that she pulled the rug out from under me.  Is that going to happen again?

Although I keep trying to brush the thoughts away, I know it's weighing on me a bit because I've dreamed about it.  There's no fooling my subconscious!

So do I risk talking about it with her?  I don't want her to take the offer back.  Of course it feeds into my 'I wish she was in my real life' fantasies, but so what?

I also don't want to make a big deal out of it, I want to put my big girl pants on and just be grateful for the offer, and her continued support.

L has always gone above and beyond with me. I assume she's that type of therapist/person, but I also like to think it's because we have a special relationship.  I know how that sounds, and I should get over it, or under it, or past it, but can't I hang on to it? 

When I've been on vacation, she's met me halfway between her place and where we're staying, so I would have to drive for like two hours.  She always gives me extra time when she can.  She lets me text (and call) as often as I like, even if I don't have anything to say.  She takes every crazy word that comes out of my mouth with stride.

Maybe this is just one more thing of L-being-L?