Therapy today was a complete mixture of things. I hope I can remember what happened – I have the feeling I blocked out most of what Ron was so therapeutically trying to tell me.
We start on the minute on time. I have been looking forward to seeing Ron. The kid missed him terribly. I don’t have anything special to discuss though. Ron looks cool and rested. Frosty even. On the way in, I see a group member, E., the one person in the group I have trouble liking. She has a little smile on her face. Ron likes her – how can he? I don’t like her at all. I’m childish for sure. She doesn’t see me.
E. So you’re back! In your office, where you’re ‘supposed to be’. Did you have a good holiday?
The kid had written Ron something like this – I’m trying to make light of it.
R. Yes. smiles a bit
E. So I hate farms, and donkeys, and snow….especially snow.
R. All the things that took me away from you….
E. What should we talk about?
R. Well, it’s been an eventful time. Why don’t you tell me what’s been happening?
E. I had a nice new year’s. I invited friends over for dinner. I made a ham, the butcher told me what to do, he sold me mustard for the glaze, he gave me a recipe…..
R. Who did you invite?
E. My friends E, J and my ex husband. They all said they couldn’t stay until midnight, but they did. It was interesting, they are all introverts, but they were all talking away…..
E. Otherwise, I had two weeks off. I was a bit lonely. I didn’t like Christmas.
R. What happened?
E. I went to dinner at my parents’. I went early, to help.
E. I went for a walk with my brother. But I got dissociated from it, so then I was dealing with that also.
R. What did you talk about?
E. Just everyday things. Soup. Renovations on his house.
R. Your brother is friendly?
E. Kind of. I was happy he was talking to me, because normally he doesn’t. Of course, if I was emotional or talked about some topic he didn’t like, he’d stop talking to me.
R. What would he do?
E. He’d just stop talking.
R. So he only accepts you if you’re not real…..What did you do when you were dissociated?
E. I went to lie down upstairs. There’s a couch. And I took a pill. I don’t think it did anything. I never know if it will.
E. Then at dessert, I got sarcastic. I think I hurt my mother’s feelings.
I explain about the hundred teas and many pie possibilities. Ron looks a bit surprised.
E. So then I said, if it was up to me, there’d be two tea pots – herbal and regular. No more choice! That’s it. Then at pie time, I said if it was up to me, you’d have to choose – no choosing both kinds at once. One kind, that’s it. I mean, it takes about an hour to serve dessert, with everyone ordering an individual tea and pie.
R. So what’s everyone else doing, if it takes an hour to serve dessert. Do they say anything?
I think about this. The possibility of anyone else saying anything hasn’t occurred to me. It’s like they’re all hypnotized to respond with delight.
E. No. I mean, they’re walking around, chatting. They’re not necessarily sitting waiting for dessert.
R. Why do you think your mother does this?
E. She wants to be perfect. She wants every person to have exactly what they desire I suppose.
R. What do you think she is feeling?
E. I don’t think she is feeling anything. She’s been working since the crack of dawn to make this happen – she’s just focused on making it all happen.
R. So your mother isn’t there as a person at all – and you’re the only one that notices.
This is the one time during this session where it seems Ron kind of likes me. The rest of the time he is pointing out faults and problems, I feel like.
E. Yeah, maybe.
I lose interest in this topic. I don’t feel like feeling depressed, I want to stay happy that Ron is back. I look around the office. I guess I’m switching in and out of the kid, but the kid is not talking. To the kid, the details of the office are very important, so I keep looking around, noting what’s there. There are quite a lot of things in the tiny space.
E. So there’s not group to talk about.
R. It’s starting again next week.
E. Oh. Group is tough for me. What am I supposed to do, if I’m like last time, where I just felt horrible. I talked about it. Then I couldn’t think of anything else to say, so then the group moved on. Then I just couldn’t manage with the rest of it.
R. You were feeling suicidal. And the group was going on about ordinary things, and you didn’t like it.
E. Yeah, what is it I’m supposed to do?
R. There’s no supposed. You tried something, and there were certain consequences. Maybe next time, you’ll try something else.
Sigh. Actually there were no consequences, so far, as that was the end of the group when I got into a bit of a fight, and it hasn’t met since. The only consequence was I thought Ron didn’t like me, because I was mean to E. But then he said that wasn’t true, two weeks ago….I don’t say any of this though, as for some reason I want to stay on light topics.
E. I don’t want to go to the group! I hate the group.
E. I’m having trouble working from home. I don’t get much done. I try to work all day, I feel guilty, but I can’t do much.
R. What happens? You go to sit down at your computer, and what occurs.
E. Nothing. I mean, I can sit down, I work for half an hour, then I get too bored. So I look at a website. Go wash the dishes. Read my novel. Go lie down. That’s really bad if I lie down.
E. It’s bad. I might fall asleep.
R. So the work is boring….
E. Yeah, but the problem is my mood. I get so depressed, I think I’d have trouble with any job. And staying at home, the parts get active. If I’m in the office, they stay more hidden automatically, but at home, they feel free to bug me.
E. So when I phoned you, I was scared. It was odd, because I hadn’t even started missing you yet. That started the next week.
R. So that’s a good thing to keep in mind for next time.
E. I don’t think I was scared of you though.
Ron had said at the time that maybe I was scared he’d turn on me.
E. I think it’s more of a parts problem. So I was phoning you, and, and this happens all the time, I was determined to be an adult. You were being adult, and I was an adult. But the thing is, the parts come rushing up when I talk to you sometimes. So I’m busy pushing them down. Which ends up scaring me. Does that make any sense?
Ron looks thoughtful but puzzled.
R. It’s starting to….
E. Like in everyday life, I push them down, because they’re not helpful, I need to be adult.
R. How did you feel after the call?
E. I felt very anxious. But the next day, I felt furious with my family, all day. All this crap happened to me, and they didn’t do anything to help me. I was so mad. Then the next day, I was back to normal.
R. So normal is not feeling angry? Do you think you felt angry with me?
I look at Ron and consider this.
E. No. Maybe unconciously, I feel angry with you. But as far as I know, I don’t.
R. I think you might be unconsciously very angry a lot of the time. For very good reason.
E. Yeah? Maybe that’s true…..
I don’t know what to say to that. I don’t feel angry.
R. What does that mean? Do you think it’s true?
Ron gets irritated when I say maybe something he’s said is true.
E. I don’t know. If it’s unconscious, how would I know?
R. For instance, the teenager part, she is very angry.
E. Yeah…she’s not a complete part, like the kid.
R. No, she’s not as independent. Have you ever been her when she wasn’t angry?
E. No, I guess not.
The teenager seems to have impressed Ron. It’s kind of funny really.
E. In general, being in parts is strange. But it seems key to my depression. So if I’m depressed, like for instance yesterday, I was working at home and I was getting depressed, if I do something the kid likes, it cheers me up a lot. We decided we needed kid DVDs, so we headed off to the library to get some, and instantly I was all happy. Then I’m going up the stairs, and the librarian waves at me, like you would to a kid. So I wave back. I’m totally in kid space.
R. What DVDs did you get?
E. I got Einstein Love Squared, or something like that, and 102 Dalmations. Then I watched the Einstein one. But it was too old for the kid. The kid seems to be very specific in what she likes. It was OK, but it didn’t give that kid joy….For instance, the kid loves the cartoon Arthur. Do you know Arthur? She thinks that’s wonderful. But then the next cartoon that comes on after that, she doesn’t like. She’s very specific.
R. Yeah, I know Arthur. So you’re taking care of the kid part, and it makes you happy.
E. Yes, but I’m older.
I’m exasperated. This is not good – I’m pushing fifty, and I’m watching cartoons. Come on. This is not good. But I don’t say that.
R. That kid part got left behind. Your parents – your father especially – didn’t make you happy. Making you happy could have made him happy, but he didn’t know that. So now, you take care of that kid part, and that can make you the adult happy.
He says more on this topic, but I kind of tune him out unfortunately. I’m switching into the kid quite a bit, and that seems most important.
We sit in silence.
R. What’s happening.
E. The kid is going to talk.
E. So I’m going to talk. So you’re back! So I like it when you’re here. I like being in your office. I like the carpet, it’s got teapots. You don’t have the coffee mug, silver, with black things?
I look around.
E. I like the chair at the desk, it’s a funny shape. I like the coat rack, its’ so old, it’s all tippy….So for Christmas, I got two boxes of chocolates, and one bag of truffles. Good. And I got a book with pictures, and another book with less pictures. There are stories – The Gingerbread Man, Country Mouse and City Mouse…
R. What was Christmas dinner like for you?
E. It was OK. I liked the pie. And ice cream. There was a Christmas tree…..
The kid is sad about the dinner.
R. Did you get to talk to anyone?
E. No. Well a bit to my uncle. E. doesn’t know I’m there. She used to be my friend, but now she isn’t. P is grown up!
The kid remembers my brother as a baby only. The kid is getting bummed out, so a topic switch is in order.
E. I like Christmas at our house better. We had a huge vase of flowers. And Jesus Mary and Joseph as a Christmas ornament. And there was a bigger version, and we almost bought it, but it was too expensive, so we didn’t buy it.
E. So it’s time to go? Yep. So bye. Thank you.
R. Bye. Remember the group starts on Thursday.
E. OK…..I’ll be there.
I feel OK at first, for a few hours after therapy. Then sadness and exhaustion hit me. I don’t really see what I’m sad about. We didn’t go deeply into anything, and didn’t do any trauma work whatsoever. I don’t like talking about my family, but none of this is news to me.
Then I also feel that Ron doesn’t much like me, and that we didn’t really connect. Though writing this out, we did cover a lot of ground, and he definitely was present. I kept switching topics as I felt like keeping things light. Lightish…
I’m also scared he will support E in the group and not me.
I’d kind of forgotten what therapy is like I suppose, and this session was very talky. It is an opportunity to explore feelings though. Next time I’ll do more of that. I was happy that the kid got to talk. That seems key to me, and it is satisfying, even if Ron is maybe a little bored by the kid. The kid chats. But that’s what kids do.
I’d say I wasn’t taking things that seriously, and Ron picks up on that and doesn’t like it. I don’t think analysis is going to help me, though it’s interesting, when I can take in what he’s saying. And the problem with parts is uppermost for me. I’m kind of switching in and out of parts while sitting there, talking, and so the talking doesn’t seem quite real and important to me. So then Ron is a little offended I think. He’s said before that my being in parts makes our relationship more difficult, or affects it, or something. I guess that is what is happening.