Therapy Friday 1

Ron is wearing a dark blue shirt today that suits him – brings out the colour of his eyes.

E. You don’t have any coffee, tea, ice tea, soft drinks today?

R. Nope.

We sit.

E. I’m not sure what I want to talk about today. I did go to the doctor….she doesn’t think I have cancer, but I have something so I have to see a specialist.

R. Did the doctor do tests, ultra-sound, cat scan?

E. No. She’s just referred me on.

E. So after last session, I was realizing that I do a lot of things just in my mind….so I went back to the 12 step group, where I thought people didn’t like me last time. It was OK. Yeah, maybe they didn’t like what I said last time, but it was over, and this time we got along, I liked talking with them, it was fine.

E. But my friend J – I don’t even feel like talking to her, I’m not calling her. I’m just angry with her.

E. And R, well, I did call R, since I missed him. He hasn’t called me back, so I feel bad about that.

E. And work, well, it’s OK. It’s easier this contract, because I’m dealing with women on this project, middle aged women. Last project the manager was this young guy – I liked him, he was smart, but he made me kind of anxious. I’ve been taking some medications again for meetings….

R. What do you take?

E. Oh, a beta-blocker, just half a pill. I don’t even feel it really, but it does help.

R. So what made you start taking it again, when you were saying you felt less anxious.

E. Huh, yeah that’s true. Well for a while I was trying to do without any meds, but then, I don’t know….I started taking it so I could concentrate, it seems to block things out so I can concentrate on work, and then meetings go better for me if I take it….it doesn’t last that long, only about two hours, so it’s not like I’m drugged all day or anything.

E. So….I’m feeling pretty anxious – like I’m scared to be here.

R. Well, keep talking, let’s see what that’s about.

E. OK. Well….I’ve been trying to accept parts. I used to just forget about them, except when they came out by mistake, or in therapy. But in between, I’d pretend they weren’t there. So I’ve been trying to allow them space. For instance we went for a walk, and I found if I listened, I could allow them to be there. The kid really wanted to go for a walk in the park one day, so I listened, and we went, and the kid parts were really happy.

E. But….well, I could hear the kid chatting. And then the teenager part of me that’s pretty dark.

R. What does that part say?

E. Well, she’s pretty negative. She wants to die…But anyway, I allowed that to be there too. So I thought I did well. But then…we got back home, and it was difficult. I couldn’t do anything. I really needed to cook, and I couldn’t. It was like a wall was stopping me.

R. Do you think that could be a part too, that stops you from doing things?

E. Maybe you could look at it like that.

R. I think you have an important part of you that works to suppress and stop you from expressing yourself.

E. Maybe. Anyway, there was no food, I had to cook, so I took a xanax, and then I could get dinner.

I’m not sure if this is an actual part, like Ron is saying. To me it feels more like a wall that stops me from doing the things I need to do, for some reason. Sometimes it’s there and it’s so strong, it just paralyzes me.

E. So what do you think?

R. Do I think it’s a good thing to allow parts of yourself? I think in the short term it’s going to be painful, but in the long term, it will help you.

I guess I was looking for a pat on the back for allowing these parts to be there. Ron is thinking more of the fact that when I got home, I had some problems.

to be continued….

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8 comments
  1. laura said:

    from Glumly: “And Ron can’t help me with this. He avoids the topic when I mention it. Anything else I mention, he acts interested and asks questions, but R – nope. I know it’s tough for him because he will know what is on R’s mind and can’t tell me. But….I would have liked to discuss it.”

    I’m looking for where Ron missed the boat, ignoring your attempt to discuss R,. your mention of R here was buried in a list of concerns. It’s not like you said – “I want to talk about R”, and he ignored you. I think you have convinced yourself that it isn’t possible, he’s not interested, he’s bound by confidentiality… perhaps you have underlying fears. Why don’t you tell him your ideas about his unfriendliness to this topic?
    On the other hand, with R not calling you back (something I really hate also), you aren’t making up reasons – you’re just letting it be what it is – ambiguous. (pat, pat)!

    • Ellen said:

      Ron would never ignore a specific request to talk about something or say I couldn’t talk about it. And I haven’t really got it down the way it happened, as I can’t remember exactly. I do remember this space around what I said, where Ron did not respond as it seemed to me he normally would. I actually did put that in my email to him, that he avoids this topic, and he ignored that in his response. :-). However, for sure, I can focus on this topic if I want, I just have to be more insistent than I was Friday. Ron is severely bound by confidentiality of course – he cannot share what he knows. I know that, and it makes things a bit awkward. I will bring it up again next time I think, just because the whole things bugs me now.

      Thanks for the pat on the back. I am making up reasons though 😦 – I feel very rejected and that it’s about me. However I’m not acting on those feelings. But I actually think I challenged myself to call R, even though I thought his not contacting me meant he wasn’t interested in being friends. But – sometimes things are not how I want them to be.

      Cheers

  2. laura said:

    oh, I forgot that you challenged your story about the 12 step meeting. good for you!

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Allegoric. Will be over to see shortly. Appreciated.

  3. laura said:

    I’m glad you feel that you can discuss R or anything else, if you make it plain to Ron. I often feel that Howard will ignore an indirect bid for a topic, and I will later see how I backed off. If he had “caught my drift”, I would never have seen that I was being indirect, or why. We were reared in environments where the “wrong” topic could bring frightening consequences – that’s not the case in therapy, but we’re unlearning our timidity.

    His relationship with R won’t be any impediment to a deep discussion about YOUR feelings – as deep as you wish. He’s not there to predict your chances for success (however you define that). It’s not like he’s a mutual friend, and you’re “putting him” in an awkward position by having feelings for R. He won’t be hindered at all – and YOU don’t need to navigate or protect him from any imagined awkwardness. He has nothing to do but help you understand your feelings, and see your patterns.

    It sounds like you alternately leave the question of “why R hasn’t called” unanswered, and supply your own answers (in tune with your worst fears). That’s a big advance on rushing headlong into false certitude (for the sake of control, safety). The same with challenging your story about what happened at the meeting.
    The consistent aspect with these stories, besides appearing to be the inside line on the truth, is that they’re fear-based – they counsel you to hold back, stay home, be silent.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, I know I can discuss this if I want to. It is not a problem as if he were a friend, that’s true.

      And I do struggle a lot with fear, so yes, I think it’s mostly best to act against that.

      Thanks

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