Heat

Today was hot and humid and smoggy. I stayed at home and tried to work, which made me depressed. My AC doesn’t really work well enough once it’s really truly hot.

At four, after a bit of a difficult call with ex hubby, I realized I was so cranky I had to do something, so I went down to the cafe and sat on the shady terrace reading my trashy novel. Slowly I cheered up. Then I went across to the park and laid down on a park bench and read some more. It got cooler – maybe the trees help cool things down. I find trees are very soothing altogether – they are so solid, and green, and kind.

Today was no therapy day. Truly, in a way it is a relief not to plunge into the dark sides of my life. Every other Friday, I have to struggle with therapy aftermath, but today, I just struggle with the heat. Once I recovered from the heat, I didn’t have to fight with depression, anxiety, fears about the therapist, grief, anger, parts….it is a relief in that sense.

I miss Ron the person much more than the therapy. And then, I never actually have Ron the person – I have a therapist for fifty minutes. No matter how I may feel about it, that’s what he will always be.

I was feeling envious of Ron today. He got to have a regular life, kids, a wife, a summer place, and I didn’t get that. Yes, I had a husband but it was awful. I had a kid, still have him, but we didn’t get to have a close relationship, it was just very very difficult. Things were never normal for me. I wish I’d had that, a husband I loved, kids growing up in a secure family. A feeling of being a good Mom. I tried to be a good Mom, but I wasn’t.

Well, that’s in the past now. I need to take what I can from therapy and try and make my own life, somehow or other.

On that note, I went off to my creative writing class last night. I was glad to be there, but I was super super anxious. Sigh. We had to ‘workshop’ students’ writing assignments – they read them out, then bang, you say what you like / dislike / notice. This petrified me – so difficult to know what to say. Some pieces I thought were pretty rough, others showed real talent. But after a while I realized I could say things about each piece without needing to judge particularly. I feel most comfortable saying descriptive or positive things, so that’s what I mostly did. The teacher came in with tiny bits of criticque at the end, so I left that part to her.

I’m not sure what my fear was about. It did remind me of my fear in the group. Something to do with speaking / not speaking…..and of judging and being judged. I think it’s natural to feel nervous in this situation – but for me, my anxiety flips a switch and becomes very high and unrelenting. I had to take a pill when I got home just to calm down a bit.

My father is a professor, so of course that whole scenario of being judged by him kicks in in any classroom situation.

The teacher continues nice – calm, and has interesting things to say. I didn’t get to read out my own piece, as I hadn’t realized we needed to make copies for every student in the class. I handed it in at the end of class and it will get the ‘workshop’ treatment next class. I’m probably going to ask the instructor to read it out for me. No one else did that, but I think I will, just to give myself a bit of a break. I’m being brave already giving my comments for every piece.

I’ve realized I don’t really want to hang out in support groups anymore. It’s not that I don’t like the people, but I want to meet people where the main thing isn’t that they identify as mentally ill. I haven’t been making it out to my 12 step group, and I realized I don’t much want to go. I’m also missing my social phobics dinner date – I missed replying by the deadline, and I don’t much care. It’s actually more difficult to talk to people who are socially anxious than to other types of people. Oddly enough. I’m going to go out to a movie meetup group instead.

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7 comments
  1. Ruth said:

    Met friends from work yesterday. We talked about changes at work, grandkids, and updates on other friends. It was nice and 'normal.' I also had a break from therapy this week. I agree with you it is nice not to worry about mental illness.Hugs,Ruth

  2. Ellen said:

    Hi Ruth,Yes, it is good to take breaks. Hugs to you

  3. Laura said:

    hi Ellen,we're all baking in the heat and missing our therapists!creative writing classes can be a lot like Group, in that they're scary (self-revealing) and nurturing, and it's a challenge (like in group) how best to share your response with others. I think I would try to be very clear with myself what my response was. liked what? didn't like what? why? that's your responsibility to yourself, educating your ear. And in sharing it with others, remembering that it is only my response – not the Truth. If I didn't like it, doesn't mean it's bad.I see how you slip back and forth, between seeing your relationship with Ron as a glass half full, and a glass half empty. yet, if you're like me, you've never had a relationship with as much life-altering potential as the one you have with him, you've probably never had a relationship with anyone who is as committed to your welfare, or who has as much capacity to deeply understand you, or to be emotionally intimate – correct me if I'm wrong. How can that be considered a glass only half full, much less half empty? It's a professional relationship, and he didn't pick US from amongst the multitudes because we're special. Is that really all that matters?stay cool!

  4. Laura said:

    …and this is not to say that we can simply be rational about this. You, Harriet and I all do this! that makes me think it's a neurotic trait, with a neurotic function. we minimize the importance, the uniqueness of this relationship, of the person who is our therapist, and we think that we're merely being realistic, as much as it pains us. But are we really (REALLY) distorting what's there?Like, there's a protective, world-weary part who wants to stamp out the feelings of a younger, naive part who is very attached to her therapist. the world-weary part feels virtuously that the pain she's inflicting (he doesn't care about YOU! He's just a therapist!) is for her own good, while the younger part suffers and tries to pull away from her attachment.

  5. Ellen said:

    Hi Laura,I'm feeling pretty alone, so it was good to hear you also are suffering from heat and missing Howard! I'm sorry to hear it but at the same time I feel less unique in my suffering. As to the therapy relationship – yes, I like what you say. I agree with it. It is important to both Ron and myself probably, though he does have 30 other clients whom he is equally engaged with, while I have no one. But still…it is important. And I was thinking today at least I can feel deeply about someone, missing him, I'm able to do that, so that is a good thing.Where I was going in the post I think was that he will always be a therapist – which is good and bad. He won't be able to keep me company when I'm lonely on the weekend, I won't ever find out much about him apart from how he is as a therapist – his role is a particular role. I need to find some people in my life to be more regular companions. Thanks for the insights

  6. Laura said:

    I think that's how it's supposed to work – you'll take what you've learned from being increasingly close and trusting with Ron, into your other relationships, and you'll have more capacity there for intimacy and authenticity.If it weren't for loneliness, you'd stay home and alone.have a good week!

  7. Ellen said:

    Yeah, I guess that's so. You have a good week also, thx.

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