Therapy Friday 2

…continued from previous post

R. How do you feel about my vacation.

E. I hate it! This seems so unfair.

R. In what sense?

E. I come here for 50 minutes a week….I should be working on my issues….and not worrying about a therapist. Then I have to deal with you going away, and I feel terrible….

I don’t think Ron said anything about this. His point was that his upcoming vacation might be contributing to my anxiety I suppose.

E. I also….I went for another walk with R. Do you disapprove? I got the impression last time you disapprove of the friendship.

R. No. It’s just going to be complicated.

E. It’s complicated alright. I found…Well, I hadn’t realized R has all these scholarly interests. Then I realized I actually have the same anxiety going to pick him up (for the walk) as I have coming to see you. About half way in the walk, we stop, and I told R about the anxiety I was feeling. We couldn’t figure out what it was, but it helped, to say it.

E. Then on the way back, I had a bad anxiety attack. I have this stomach issue that comes up, it’s kind of an anxiety reaction but also physical. So I started telling R about my issues with people who discuss books, because of my family….it helped, talking about that, and the pain receeded.

E. The other problem is…I find R cute. You are all cute – you’re cute, Y is cute.

R. You find R attractive? Why is that a problem?

E. It’s definitely a problem for me. How old is he – (insert youngish age)? Well.

E. I guess, I haven’t had much luck with men. I was never….pretty. But I was young!

One of my regrets is that I had no confidence as a younger woman, when I could have found boyfriends if I’d made any effort at all.

E. And then….well, for instance, when I dropped him off, R said he’d ‘really like to see me again’. Well – that’s what you say on a date. We’re friends. I don’t know, a few other things – it’s not totally clear.

R. So there are some mixed messages.

E. Yes. Or I could be imagining that.

R. Maybe.

E. I did switch a bit on the walk. For instance, there were these Canada geese crossing our path, and I said something about them, but I called them ducks. I would never say that, I’m pretty sure that was a younger part popping up.

R. Anyone could make that mistake.

E. And then when R corrected me, I said (in a childish voice) ‘I know! I know that!’ Anyway, that was what I was thinking about. And driving with R in the car, I always have to be careful, remind myself I’m driving and need to pay attention. We got lost right away yesterday – it was no big deal, just had to take a detour, but….

What I’m trying to explain is that I space out really automatically when I see R. Especially when I first see him.

Now Ron asks a bunch of questions. Not to do with men, but I can’t remember what they are. I get irritated.

E. You’re sure asking a lot of questions. How about an interpretation then? What do you think.

R. Do you want me to interpret?

E. Usually I don’t, but this time I do. Go ahead – hit me with it.

R. I was thinking…you feel an attraction, and it could be causing you to dissociate. That could be the reason.

E. Yeah. That could be.

I feel the anxiety in me ease.

E. You know, this is good. I’m feeling better. Talking is a good thing.

R. Well, this is not a taboo subject, it’s a good and normal thing to discuss.

E. Yeah.

I look at the clock. There are ten minutes left.

E. There’s not time to really go into this, but I wanted to tell you about something that’s happening. This week it happened a lot.

to be continued….

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3 comments
  1. Laura said:

    you would call the spacing out when you're with R, dissociation? I thought that was an unpleasant feeling…?I remember going for a bike ride with a friend for the first time – I almost caused several accidents and fell over at an intersection – it seemed like I was so distracted by having him there. you're doing a wonderful job of being in the moment here, it seems to me. you have so much inside you.

  2. Ruth said:

    I understand your feeling of irritation when they ask a lot of questions when you need answers. Hugs to you. Sounds like you are doing a lot of work in one session.

  3. Ellen said:

    @ Laura – There are different types of dissociation. I tend to call all these states that are automatic and create problems for me dissociation. Spacing out while driving is problematic because I could have an accident. It feels kind of blank actually. Could be you were spaced on the bike, which would be the same sort of problem I'd think. Kind of funny the way you describe it!Thanks for the encouragement. This was a difficult topic for me.@ Ruth – Sometimes those questions are just too much to deal with. Hugs

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