Therapy – what I wrote before my internet went down for the count
Therapy Monday. I am still very afraid of therapy. The fear lasts all day, until the session is over, and then I relax. It bothers me that I am spending all this money on therapy and then cannot really talk to the therapist.
At the start of the session I just sit. I try to tell Ron a few things about my weekend, but don’t get out more than a sentence or two at a time. I feel like an idiot. I tell Ron about the fear. Then I say it’s not him as a person, and I’m not afraid of him between sessions. I say I think I’m afraid of my father, does that make sense to you? And he kind of nods, but we don’t discuss it.
We sit in silence.
Ron (Gently) Just say whatever is going through your mind.
E Oh, OK
I think about how boring this must be for him, a client who can’t talk, or when she does, says such brief boring things…..I bring up the couch memory I emailed him about. I try and describe it, but don’t come up with any more details. I figure if I’m going to fall into it, I should do that while I’m with Ron, and earlier in the session, so there’s time for it. However, I get bits of the feelings, but it doesn’t come up as it did before. I shred some kleenex, and twitch and fiddle with a bracelet I’m wearing. I scratch and yawn. I cannot sit still.
Ron – It’s a if a powerful feeling is trying to emerge, yet you’re pushing it down. A part of you wants to feel it, and another part of you wants to push it back down.
E – It is like that.
This is as far as I got describing my session before my internet went down. I can’t remember the rest of it. Sigh. I know I never did get more of that memory back, and that I stumbled through the session. Ron was busy trying to be sympathetic I guess by kind of jiggling around himself…stupid really. It didn’t make me feel more comfortable.
I wish I hadn’t lost the rest of the session to the river of bad memory. If I don’t get it down pretty soon, it goes.
I am determined
Every week, I am determined that I will not be afraid. I will come to therapy from an adult space – the adult who holds down a job, who commutes, who functions in business meetings. Why can I not do this? Instead, every week, I show up like a frightened child. Which is OK sometimes, but not every time.
Tomorrow I go again for more therapy. I don’t care how scared I am – I am going to try to have an adult type of conversation with Ron. I want to ask him about some things he’s said that are odd. For instance, at one point two weeks ago, he didn’t hear what I said to him, and asked if I’d said I was sorry for him. That is such an odd thing for him to say. Here I am, scared shitless every week, and he thinks I’d say I felt sorry for him? Weird.
Also he lied about something stupid. But he’s said several times how important it is to be truthful. This is no big deal, but he left me a message last week saying he was delayed and could I come a half hour later. In the message, he said well, if he doesn’t get a hold of me, he’ll pop out and let me know. Meaning he’ll pop out of his office and talk to me in the waiting room. So I assume he is running late in a session. It turns out, he was phoning from his car and was delayed in traffic. I phoned him right back, and there was no problem. But why pretend he’s at his office on the message? Weird. Then he told me all about his errand and being stuck in traffic when I came in.
Why lie in a phone message for no reason? Men are weird. My ex-husband used to lie all the time about little things also, for no good reason. I don’t like that.
Then I want to ask him again about his concept of therapy. I’m not sure where we’re trying to go with this. Last time I brought this up, Ron said that therapy was about discovering patterns in my life. Well, we haven’t discovered one single pattern. In general, I’d like to hear more of what Ron has to say, instead of me stumbling around in my memories. He is interesting to talk to, and if I can’t talk, I might as well hear what he has to say.
And I want to try relating as an adult, instead of a child. Yes, if I remember trauma, I’ll turn into a child self. I feel I need to establish myself as a grown-up in the relationship.
I might tell him I find him kind of detached and uncaring sometimes. Like I could tell him I bled from my eyeballs all last week, and he would have no reaction. Or when I accidentally fell into a memory two weeks ago five minutes before the end of the session, it was all about getting me together and out of his office as fast as possible….couldn’t he have had a bit of compassion for the state I was in, and given me some time to get it together? When I first went to see him, and discussed how painful re-experiencing the memories was for me, he offered to have us set up some time in the evening to check in by phone. Well, I would like that, but he never offered again, so I didn’t ask, not wanting to impose.
At the same time, I need his support. I feel somehow that between sessions, he is supportive, which I guess is my fantasy. But if he becomes angry with me, or if I become angry with him, he will withdraw that support, again I suppose in my imagination. Although it is my imagination, it feels very real to me. I don’t feel completely alone with these flashbacks because he is out there, and I think would be sympathetic to me. He doesn’t judge when they happen, he is very good about that always.
How can I be both attached to someone, needing them, and also deathly afraid of them, all at once?
I really want to master this fear I have of therapy and of Ron. My plan is to move away a bit from the trauma stuff, and talk about these other issues instead. I’ll see if I can become the adult I am in much of the rest of my life. I know the fear will recede if I can manage this.