I went for an extra session on Tuesday. Not much fun was had.
E. Well, it’s unusual to be here. Different time and day.
Jeeze, he can’t even agree that it’s a different day for my session. I don’t really clue in here, but Ron and I are adversarial the whole time. I didn’t know it was going to be like this. He has points he wants to make, and it’s like he wants to solve the problem of me in this session. Very very very annoying and hurtful. I’m getting ahead of myself though.
E. So I am trying some amino acids and a special diet. They really work, but I think I took too much of one, I feel kind of stoned….
Ron says nothing to this. It’s actually a big deal for me. I decided I was sinking down too low, so I’m trying this natural anti-depressant therapy. It’s a combo of eating high protein food, the right fats, and a ton of vegetables, plus selected amino acids. I’m feeling quite a bit better on it. Those acids do pack a punch. Ron has no interest, so I don’t go into it any more.
E. I know, I’m supposed to talk about the group.
R. No, you can talk about whatever you need to talk about.
E. Well, at work people are making me anxious. One man in particular is making me anxious…..
I go on for a bit on this particular individual, whom I have this really awkward silent dysfunctional relationship with.
R. What’s he like?
E. I don’t know him actually. He’s the head of the department I’m working for. He’s macho, business degree, smart….a manager I worked with couldn’t get along with him, so she left….
R. You know, you see things very negatively. Then you act those feelings out.
E. Like when?
R. Like when you emailed me to delete the photos. You said I hadn’t looked at them. Instead of staying with the feeling, you take action.
E. I didn’t say that because you didn’t look at them. It just felt wrong to have them in your email. I didn’t actually mail them to you – it was because I didn’t have hard copies, so I could discuss them here.
I can’t remember where this went. We went back and forth a bit on the photos. Upshot was Ron thought I was acting out. I actually hadn’t been aware this would hurt his feelings or whatever it did. I just felt uncomfortable and wanted him to delete them. He in no way hears what I say, so it’s a waste of time talking about this.
Then we go back and forth about the last group, about how he ignored me. It’s the same ground we already covered. Ron again does not hear me – it’s exactly the same dynamics as last time I tried to discuss it. Worse if anything, because Ron is now antagonistic. That’s how it feels to me anyway.
E. So you feel I don’t take in what people say, what you tell me. That I dismiss things.
And then he elaborates further on this great topic. I’m trying to reassure him that I do hear him, so I’m reflecting back things he tells me a lot, so he’ll know I’ve heard him. He reacts just like my clients would – glad to be heard, and eager to tell me more. If only I too could feel heard.
A lot of the rest of the session I’ve blocked out. It was very painful to have Ron so out to prove that I’m wrong about things. Towards the end, this happens.
E. So I feel…I feel like in the background, kind of off stage, a whole other drama is playing out.
R. Yes? What’s that like.
E. I feel as if I’m being beaten up. And….I’m remembering stuff, kind of. I remember our living room in suburbville. There was a big picture window, with trees….I lie on the couch.
R. Did you like the couch?
E. I don’t know….I used to lie on it to read. I feel really awful….And….my aunt is there. She talks to me…
R. What does she talk about? Herself, you?
E. Anything. What’s for lunch. Herself….she just talked. My mother doesn’t talk at all. You have no idea what that’s like, someone who doesn’t talk. My aunt talked.
R. So she was kind of a lifeline.
E. I don’t know….God, I feel awful. I’d be better off dead.
I sit feeling pretty horrible.
E. And you….you don’t seem real. You must be real….a real person?
R. This is another part of you coming forward. The part that lived through this. This is how you felt then – like this.
I feel like I’m in a bit of an altered state. My nose and feet tingle, I’m dissociating Ron so he doesn’t seem real, everything has slowed down.
E. God, I feel really terrible.
I try and pull myself out of it.
E. So I have to go back to the group….
R. No one can make you do anything you don’t want to do.
E. Great. I don’t want to get into this. Anyway, what should I do….
I mean about coping better with the group. Ron doesn’t take it like that.
R. You have to shut this part of you away, so you can get home. Then you should try lying down, letting that part out again. If it would help, you could call me tonight.
I get up to leave.
E. Oh, OK. Uh huh….Thanks a lot.
R. Take care.
I do lie down for a long time at home, listening to classical music mostly. That part doesn’t come out again the same way. I do feel very sad.
And I mostly remember the first part of the session, and the bunch of negative stuff Ron had to say about me. We got into how the group runs again. I ask if it doesn’t bother him that so many group members do not talk, and that we focus mostly on the problems of one person, plus me, I’m quick to add. I know I end up talking a lot also, though not in that pre-meditated way. Ron says I worry about the quiet people because they remind me of myself. Can’t I just be caring for once? Not in Ron’s eyes.
And he says somewhere in there that because I’m reliving this family scenario, I’m treating people in a way that is not good. Something to this effect. Hurtful. As if I’m really hurting people and it’s up to him to show me the error of my ways. And no acknowledgment that other people may be doing this also.
It’s not that there isn’t some truth to much of what he says. But Ron does not support me or hear me at all. Other than when I got into the memory. Then he is kind of supportive. Hard to take in after the rocky first part of the session.
I have felt disconnected from Ron since this session. Usually I would frantically write him my feelings, but not this time. I did write them, but did not send them. The emails are disturbing him and making things worse, so I am not writing any more, not about him or about the group anyway.
I have had the urge to quit the group and to quit therapy. Haven’t communicated that either though. Yes, that would be acting out. I don’t really wish to do that, once I’m over the worst of the pain of it all. I keep imagining going to the group tomorrow, then leaving half way through. Or leaving several times to hang out in the church instead, then going back in. Not sure what this fantasy is getting me. Kind of imaginary payback perhaps. You can be oh so mean and uncaring, but I can still leave.
This will be a very expensive and extra painful therapy week. Kids, don’t try this at home.