Saturday therapy part 2

…continued from the previous post.

E. So you always sit like that now, with your legs crossed like that. It’s difficult to talk to you. I’m going to try it.

R. (not changing his posture) OK.

I sit up, cross my leg over the other the way Ron does, and fold my arms, fingers interlocking. 

E. Hmm….OK, tell me something and I’ll analyze it for you.

I look at Ron expectantly. I do feel more in charge like this.

Ron now says something, but it’s about me, I can’t remember what.

E. So….I feel all professional like this. I feel all objective.

I quickly get out of the pose.

E. Naw…I don’t like to feel professional.

Ron grins at me, the way he grins at the kid. Maybe it is the kid who is fooling around.

E. I guess I’ll talk about the rest of the group, what happened before.

R. Sure.

E. It kind of seems like….

I’m not sure I want to say this, because I know Ron will deny it, and it’s a little sensitive.

E. It seems like you always talk to A in a special way. As if only you know how to talk to her.

R. Yeah?

E. You totally uncross your legs, and lean towards her, and there is all this intense eye contact….

R. So how do you feel about that?

E. Of course it’s always all about me. I’m too old to merge with someone like she does. Well, when I was younger, I used to…..

I don’t finish the thought. I’ve decided this is too embarrassing to discuss, and Ron doesn’t seem particularly into this topic anyway.

R. A part of you is young.

E. Oh yeah. That’s a good point. I guess I am a bit jealous. But…it’s as if you think she’s too fragile for regular feedback. I was kind of arguing with her.

R. You were arguing?

E. Yes, about her not giving much feedback because she thinks on a time delay or something. I don’t think so.

R. Um, yes.

E. And there’s R. At first I really liked that he liked me. I believed the positive things he said about me. Now…I don’t. I think he’s practicing.

R. What is he practicing?

E. Talking to women.

R. How did you decide this?

E. I just think it. And he’s not here to ask, so I can’t know. It’s a very artificial situation.

R. Hmmm…..

We sit.

E. It almost seems like you’re not real. It’s like you’re not really here.

R. It might be the flip side of the depersonalization you experience sometimes.

This is quite a frightening feeling for me. I realize I’ve had it to some extent throughout – a feeling that Ron is a cardboard cutout.

E. Well, if it’s that, I must be scared. What am I scared of? I didn’t used to think you weren’t real.

R. I’m more important to you now than I used to be.

E. So if you’re important, why am I scared?

Now Ron actually does meet my eyes, and his eyes kind of glitter, and I can see inside them for a moment. We actually do connect, right there, for some reason. I don’t know what he is thinking….but it seems like this is a key point of some kind. It is a relief to remember this, because there he was a real person looking out at me, just for a few seconds. Full of intelligence and things he wasn’t saying.

We sit.

E. So I brought a dream, but I think there’s no time.

R. Why don’t you tell it to me, and I’ll sit with it till next time.

For some reason, now I forget that the session is almost over, and want to tell him how I feel about the ice floe. When really there is no time. Usually I track the time much better. 

E. I think I’ll tell you how I’m feeling instead. I’m feeling the ice floe scenario. My head is tingling, I’m feeling really lonely….

I get into this for a minute or two.

R. I’m afraid we have to wrap up now.

E. Oh! Sorry!

I look at the clock and see it is exactly time.

R. It’s OK, you did nothing wrong. But it’s time.

I feel really stupid. And I’m sure Ron thinks, why on earth didn’t she do this at the start of the session when I asked about this. I’m embarrassed.

R. Just before you go, can we talk for a minute….

Now I don’t remember what Ron said, because I was once again in the ice floe experience. I get up and head out the door.

E. OK, bye.

I don’t look at Ron, and don’t say thank you. I’m kind of emotional.

Ron’s door is still open, and he calls my name while I’m still in the hall.

R. Oh Ellen….

E. Yes?

I go back to his door.

R. Did you want to borrow a book?

E. Oh yeah, sure. That would be great.

So Ron looks through the books in his office. He’s looking for something in particular and doesn’t find it.

R. Have you ever read any RD Lang? (not sure of the spelling)

E. No. Didn’t he write about schizophrenia?

R. Yeah, but other stuff too….

Ron turns to his other shelf.

R. How about Love’s Executioner?

E. I’ve read it.

R. OK, How about Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain?

E. I’ve read it. It’s really funny, where he analyzes his own writing….(reading the titles on his shelf) Well, how about Severe Personality Disorders – what do you think? No?

Ron doesn’t respond to this.

R. So you have read some things. OK. How about this? He gives me a penguin paperback, A Shining Affliction, by Annie Rogers.

E. OK, great.

I take the book and put it into my backpack.

E. Thanks! Bye.

I head down the stairs. We had a whole different dynamic going on when Ron called me back into his office to look at books. I liked it. It was more as if we were two regular people who had an interest in common. And of course I like that he lent me something as it’s like a sign that  he cares about me.

I stop on the last flight of stairs and look down. Someone is standing outside the front door and I can just see her boots. I think I recognize those brown high boots. I stand and gather my wits before going out the front door. Yep, it’s E. This time I talk to her.

E. Hello E! I thought I recognized those boots! I was on the stairs and just saw your boots, and I thought, that’s E.

E. smiles in surprise. In a bit of a fake voice, she responds.

E. (other E). Oh hi! Well, have a wonderful weekend!

And she heads up the stairs. She can’t say I ignored her.

I drive home. I’m distressed and don’t really know why. I hate that Ron is going on vacation. I don’t like that he doesn’t seem real. He hasn’t offered me a phone call to tide me over as he did over Christmas, so I’m sad about that. I am upset about R. liking me in the group. I feel abandoned somehow. Completely irrational. I mope, I can only eat kid food (hot cereal with strawberries). I go to bed and nap.

  1. Ruth said:

    I love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after a tough session. Sounds like you are discovering several things about yourself like a desire to control the conversation in your session. I think you are doing really well. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Laura said:

    I'm really glad you talked about the central issue for you – and that he remembered about the book, so you have it while he's away.I had the same thought about controlling the conversation – but it seemed like the ice-flow feeling was more immediate than the dream.that glittering eye contact – wow. Just in case you thought you'd lost him.It seems to me that you've got a good therapist there – you're so fortunate – so when things between you aren't as you expect them to be (ie warm and fuzzy), aren't as you want them to be, there's a reason for it.I guess I was a little bummed that you don't count us as friends, who like you, relate to your experience, and are interested in you. Is that discounting on your part, or my lack of social experience? Like the group members, you can't call us, and we can't come over?

  3. Ellen said:

    @ Ruth – Mmmm…PBJ. I eat toast with peanut butter for breakfast every day because the kid adores it. 🙂 A good reason to get up. I do have a desire to control the conversation….Thanks for the encouragement!@ Laura – Yes, the ice floe feeling was very important to me, and Ron really was right about that, just my need to control the session was greater than that I guess. The book is nice. Ron is nice like that. Yeah, the eye contact is what I remember most about the session. Just that moment. He really was there. My blog and blog friends are a bit of a secret from Ron actually. I don't wish him to read what I write, so there seems less danger if he doesn't know about it. And he would disapprove especially of me writing about the group. But I feel I have to write to cope with it. And yes, I could keep it private, but then I would miss knowing you and my other commenters. So avoiding the topic of blogs seems best.I really value the support and the back and forth discussion with you and other readers. It is so supportive and lovely and just plain interesting. You are especially interested in the details and it's great. I even had a dream where you appeared Laura, though I don't know what you look like. Go figure. So you are important to me.I guess it's not the same as a friend who can come over though. It's still an excellent thing, so thanks for pointing that out and for being here with me.

  4. gniz said:

    Hi Ellen.Very intriguing session, for any number of reasons.The eye contact moment is very poignant…When someone is willing to meet me like that I feel very grateful.Sometimes I've been surprised in life at who is willing to do so, which is why I've encouraged you to try and do that more often.The blog is great, your writing is amazing. Ever thought of writing an ebook?;)

  5. Laura said:

    You not only talked about the ice flow feeling, but you talked about your jealousy of A's relationship with him. I wasn't suggesting that you tell Ron about the blog or your commenters… but that seems a little disingenuous if you're complaining to him that you have no friends, no contact, and yet you have this secret aspect to your life…I guess I was hoping that you derive some company and comfort from the people here, and it sounds like you're saying you do, but not so much that you lean on us when you're feeling lonely. as we say in DBT, it's good to notice that. thanks for clarifying, I'm glad you feel supported, and that you enjoy the interaction – because I do.I want Howard to read my journal – and even if I were able to anonymize it, I wouldn't be able to write unaffected by the idea that random OTHER people were reading it, and it would lose its value to me. What I DON'T need is another false front. It's curious how that works.

  6. Hi Ellen, I don't have a lot of words at the moment but have been catching up reading your blogs and just wanted to let you know I'm reading and interested. It sounds like you're being very brave with therapy and group. Good for you!

  7. Ellen said:

    @ gniz – I feel grateful also. It's not something you can demand – it has to be given. Eye contact in general is hit and miss with me, but I'm more aware of it anyway.Thanks for the compliment! I have thought of writing a book, not necessarily an ebook, because it is a skill that I have. I wish I had a gift for fiction but I don't. What I have thought I'd like to do is in depth features – I'd like to put myself in a particular mileu and describe my experience. I have good recall and like describing what I see. But can't figure out how to make that happen, so far.

  8. Ellen said:

    @ Laura – My blog friends actually never occured to me in the context of that discussion Laura. Hmm….I do compartmentalize, so my 'official' friends are two, then I have some other people too that I like but don't see much of, then there is my SA group, and a 12 step group I sometimes attend…plus of course my very important blog friends. So yes, I have more contact and support than just two people. I kind of lean on you, but also on simply expressing myself, as I never know, for one thing, who will respond. It's complicated.Regarding blogging, you and I have almost opposite feelings. I would feel very constrained if I thought Ron, or other important people in my life, would read it. That a few sympathetic others, whom I don't otherwise know, read it comforts me. Thanks for the links, I will check those out! Thanks for the comments@ Candy – Thanks for the encouragement Candy! I've been missing your updates – hope to hear soon. take care

  9. Ellen said:

    I'll check out that post Laura. That is a blogger I follow, she's great.A very hopeful thought – thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: