I’m not sure how I feel about today’s session. I’m still struggling with Ron, at the same time as liking him and needing him to like me. It’s like a set-up for losing. Then I also ended up in a memory. So it’s a confusing soup.
After I make myself comfortable with my favorite, the fur blanket, Ron asks me how I was after the group.
E. OK. I’m glad you stopped me from leaving.
We have this conversation about why I felt I couldn’t talk, though I needed to. You did talk. Yes, once you asked me to. You were going to leave. Could you have talked before that? Well there isn’t space. You could say you needed to talk or else leave. Oh.
I still don’t think there was any space at all to talk, but Ron insists there was. OK.
Sit in silence.
R. What are you thinking about?
E. About what it’s like to be here in your office. You telling me how it is.
R. I’m trying to understand you. You feel I tell you how things are?
E. Yes. It’s one of the aspects of your personality I find less than ideal.
Ron then says some more theoretical things which I cannot remember.
E. So I was wondering what problem brought you to therapy. You were a …… right? Usually when people become therapists after being something else, they go to therapy themselves for something, find it wonderful, and then train in it themselves. Am I allowed to ask this?
R. I hated my job. And I’d always been interested in therapy…Jung. And my ex is a therapist. So I went to therapy….
E. You’ve been married before?
This is really interesting, because Ron seems completely perfect at all times. Kids, wife, vacation home, clean living, helping others, etc. etc. So he has an ex wife? This is cool.
E. So your only problem was you hated your job? You weren’t, like, a crack addict and got clean with the help of therapy?
R. smiles. No. Well, I don’t want to simplify it to that….but not, I wasn’t an addict.
OK, enough about Ron. I feel like I want to talk about myself again. Though it’s very interesting, and I’d been wondering what his issue was for a while. I bet it was bigger than not liking his job though. He’s not going to confess to me though is he.
I tell Ron I’ve stopped taking medication to cope with work. I haven’t talked much about work with him before.
E. It seems OK, without medication. I hate to bash my brain with a drug just to get through work. Sometimes my voice is wonky though, like it is now. (My voice is whispy and scared today.) But I don’t get mad at people, which I was afraid I would do. But I do feel teary a lot of the time.
E. I am scared of some of the people there. There is a director of the department I’m working for, he sits kind of opposite me, I’m scared of him. I don’t see why. There’s nothing to be scared of. Then there’s a fellow who asked me out with a group of his friends back in the summer. He paid for my drinks, and for a cab ride. He must have liked me. So there’s always this thing when we interact. And I feel I owe him a drink. Anyway, these are all non-events aren’t they. Nothing happens.
R. That’s what therapy is for. To address the inner impact of things. If we don’t know how we feel, we….
I lose the thread of what he is saying. I’m having a lot of trouble taking in Ron’s comments. I just can’t seem to focus on them at all.
We sit in silence.
R. What are you thinking?
I’m feeling my confusion around these two people that I am acting strangely around.
E. I had this waking dream. Do you want to hear it? It seemed important to me.
I narrate my dream, pretty much as I describe it below.
R. What do you make of it?
E. I don’t know. The house could be my psyche….
R. Do you feel scared of your father?
E. I’m not sure that’s my father. I can’t see his face. No, I’m not scared in the dream. I was scared before I had it. After, I felt better than I had.
R. Crashing through the wall could be crashing through your boundaries….The father figure could be an aspect of yourself….
E. You think it’s an aspect of myself? …..No it’s my father.
Sit in silence.
R. What’s happening?
E. I feel….I feel angry. (whispery voice)
R. Speak from that voice.
Now I switch into a part. There’s a real feeling of my stepping aside and allowing this to happen. I actually feel I step to the right and let the part to my left take over. She is very very shy and very scared, and talks in a whisper.
E. So we had this rug….it was black with lime green. And….my brother is sitting there. He’s a baby. And there is lego all over the floor…so many pieces. And….I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to….He hurts me.
Sit in silence.
R. Your dad hurts you?
E. He hurts me. So the rug is in the living room. It’s kind of dark in there. My parents’ bedroom is bright. My dad has a study….On his desk he has these dolls. They’re like Russian dolls, they fit into each other…they’re nice…..He’s a bad person. It hurts me….
R. You don’t like to go home?
E. I live at my house….I live there.
Sit in silence.
R. We’re almost out of time.
Now he says something about how I’m making the parts are too separate. I’m still in this scene from my past, and can’t really make out what he’s saying, but it makes me mad.
E. No they’re not too seperate! You don’t understand what it’s like.
R. I do understand.
E. No you don’t! I’m not thinking in the normal way. I’m thinking like a small child! It scares me! I shouldn’t be thinking like that. You don’t know what it’s like at all.
R. You’re afraid the child part will take over, and you’ll lose your adult self?
R. So we have to end now.
He gets up to show me out.
I find I can’t get up.
E. Sorry, I need just a minute to get out of this….I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude….
R. No, it’s OK, you’re taking care of yourself.
He sits back down. I sit for half a minute more, then grab my coat and leave. He’s really eager for me to leave his office. I wonder who is coming next. Are they more important than me? I guess they are.
First I felt all dream-like and tranquilized, not that upset really. I did some things, I went for a walk, I did some work. Then bang, I’m hit with a bunch of vague but upsetting memories, so I go to bed.
I find with regular conversation, I’m not doing well with Ron. We’re clashing. It’s as if I can’t take in what he’s saying to me, or I need to fight it, or something. I don’t feel he gets me….And I’m irritated with his interpretations.
Then when I go into more of a memory, he’s once again a compassionate therapist, it seems like. He can follow along, let things happen, and I feel he cares. I’m only able to remember this stuff because I feel safe with him there.
Confusing to react so variably to one person.