I guess it’s time to describe my therapy session. I went on Monday, as always arriving ten minutes early. That’s unusual for me, as I tend to get places five minutes late. But I’m anxious to make good use of the time…It’s a little awkward, being early. It means I bump into whoever is there before me, as the sessions go for 50 minutes. There was a young girl ahead of me….she just looked kind of serious and left right away. I of course wondered what her issue was…I’ll never know. I silently wished her well.
This time I was determined not to describe things without feeling them.
Ron looked more spruce and rested than last time. I think on Mondays he feels quite a bit more optimistic than on Fridays! As usual, he gazed at me without speaking, that long intense look, waiting for me to speak. Always makes me self-conscious. But I also find that kind of interesting….It kind of sets up a non-every day kind of conversation.
As usual, we started with how I’d felt after last week’s session. I launched into my tale of woe, about how bad I’d felt, and how it lasted almost an entire week. I also talked about my thoughts of suicide. It was a dicey thing to mention, for me, as I didn’t want him freaking out in any way. And he actually was good about it – he looked concerned, and asked me to talk about it. The way he did freak out about it was odd to me – he asked me several times why I thought he might freak out. I didn’t have a good answer. He asked if someone had ‘freaked out’ about this subject in the past…I said no, and just tried to switch the subject.
I was surprised he was so concerned about that aspect – that I thought he might be, I hate to keep saying ‘freaked out’, let’s say very anxious about this subject. He was very intense about that part of it. To tell the truth, I’d never told anyone really about suicidal thoughts. Maybe he wanted to be sure I would mention that kind of thing to him?
Anyway, talking about how I’d felt after the last session did bring those difficult feelings up for me, so I was feeling a lot while in Ron’s office. That makes it difficult to have an in-depth conversation, so we moved along in fits and starts. Ron was decent, he didn’t poke and prod, he left a lot of space for me to sit with feelings.
We did talk about how when trauma gets stirred up, for me, I tend to hear internal voices, one of which is so distressed it’s suicidal. They are all me – no one is beaming voices into my brain. Ron said that these kind of separate voices are common for people who have been through trauma. So I was glad he kind of ‘got’ that, and didn’t think I was a really psychotic person or anything like that. The reason for the voices is that somehow emotion and other memory get separated when the traumatic event happens. Or something. I’m not clear on it.
The only other topic was what my mother was like. My mother is an extremely uncommunicative person who doesn’t talk much. She really wasn’t able to deal with any kind of emotional situation. My mother remains a mystery to me. I’ve never been an unemotional person and don’t understand people that are. My mother does try very hard with the external things – cooking, arranging things, reading great books. She is a perfectionist. She never raises her voice, doesn’t gossip, isn’t mean in any outward way. It’s just that she doesn’t respond much to anyone. That was difficult for me as a child.
I started to wonder while discussing this if I seemed unemotional in the session. Ron said on the contrary, I seemed to be in turmoil, with so many emotions swirling around. I said I liked the word ‘turmoil’. I do, it appeals to me, and it did seem to sum up how I was feeling.
That was about it. Ron did ask near the start, when I mentioned how badly I’d been feeling after seeing him last week, whether a ten minute phone call to him would help in the evening after a difficult session. I said I wasn’t sure, and I’m not. First of all, I’d be scared to call him up, and I’d have to get over that whole phone anxiety just to make the damn call. Then would talking to him make me feel better? I really don’t know. He said we could arrange a time for me to call. Then that we could think about it. Then he dropped it.
This time wasn’t as bad after the session. I wonder if it’s because I actually felt some things while I was there in the office…plus we didn’t break any new ground as far as abuse was concerned.
Tuesday I went in to work, and after a very very rough morning, gradually cheered up throughout the day. I had a working meeting with my supervisor and co-worker, and my people skills were actually better than usual. I’d been having issues in this area, so that’s good. By the time I was walking home, I was in a cheerful mood. I’d been able to work the whole day, I was getting on well with people, and there seems to be, suddenly, an extra hour of daylight left after work. I suspect it’s good for me to be around ordinary people doing daily types of tasks in the days after a therapy session.
Art: SemiAntics under a Creative Commons license