Well, I’m still here. Reluctant to write.
Cancer wise the news is good. My scan came back clear – the cancer has not spread and is local as the doctors were thinking. I got the results early because I went in to see my family doctor Monday. So it saved me a week’s worry. I have finally relaxed a bit. I was so anxious I had to keep lying down, but am better now.
Apparently I may have some kind of weird bacteria in my lungs, which is why the doctor called me in. She says it’s something that mostly they don’t even treat, but if I have chemo, she wants to treat it with antibiotics if I have it. Another test. It’s all fine by me. As long as it isn’t cancer, I don’t care.
I’m also to take a B12 supplement – apparently I’m low. So it might clear up the nausea also.
I’ve actually fallen into a mild depression these last two days. I was thinking maybe it’s a reaction to the intense stress of the last weeks, then one of the sources of anxiety goes away, maybe I’m just rebounding. Today I had not one but two naps. And lots of staring out the window.
Can I remember therapy? I wanted to get down the basics.
First I thought Ron was looking especially well last Friday. Turns out he had a sick child and visitors and got little sleep – go figure. Maybe he’s happy. His face really did look rested and with good colour, as my European family would say.
When he tells me about his evening (two sentences max) I start feeling he couldn’t possibly be interested in me. I picture his life, full of people, and my life pale and uninteresting next to that. I mention this.
We talk about the group. I want to know what he thinks of it. To me it was kind of cozy and unthreatening, but also with a supportive feeling. Isn’t this a good thing? Ron is completely non-committal. Very irritating. I want him to express an opinion, and he won’t.
R. Groups do what they do. Last night people were talking about how they can relate to each other’s stories.
E. You didn’t say much at all, which was unusual.
Ron nods and says nothing. Sigh.
E. But what’s your opinion? Was it a good thing?
R. I don’t think of it that way. I’m listening for patterns happening in the background, underneath.
We talk about my family, especially my mother’s and father’s personalities. I say I can understand my father’s personality better than my mother’s, because he’s more like me. My mother never expresses anything, she doesn’t talk much, she hates it when anyone expresses their feelings. It’s a forbidden thing pretty much.
My father is the only one who is allowed much emotion. He expresses anger, and falls into depressions, and becomes wildly enthusiastic about various projects.
R. It strikes me how fragile your father must be. How he is protected from everything.
It’s true, my father is protected. He doesn’t talk to me about my health – that’s my mother’s job. And Ron reminds me how my father didn’t talk to me for ‘a year’ – it’s actually many years, but Ron thinks it’s a year. I don’t bother correcting him.
E. I don’t know how my mother keeps going like she does. Things that knock me over with depression, she just sweeps under the carpet and keeps on. I just can’t do that, I don’t have that strength.
Actually it’s more like a great ability to repress and deny, as much as strength. But I can’t do that, even if I want to. I don’t know how that works.
We keep things pretty light – I talk, but don’t plunge into deep feelings. Kind of like the group was. I think with my anxiety about cancer, it’s not a time to dredge up other trouble.
At the end of the session, Ron asks about the kid, so the kid, who wants to talk, leaps out front and tells Ron about some toys we saw on our lunch break at work, and particularly a certain stuffed dragon with golden wings.
As I’m leaving, Ron again tells me I can call or email him anytime in the next week. It’s kind of him, I appreciate it.
I go home not triggered, and actually walk across the parking lot with a smile on my face. I’ve seen other female clients leave Ron’s office with a bit of a smile. He has charm when he wants to have. It’s fun but it also makes me suspicious.
I’m not sure what this session did for me – it was perhaps about reassurance that Ron is there and will not disappear when I’m ill either. That means a lot. I do have a feeling later that evening that I was maybe not my ‘real self’ in the session, whoever that may be. I so need Ron’s support, I wonder if I’m rather acting the part of the introspective client, eager to co-operate and probe her family. It’s a disconcerting feeling. It’s like being a version of myself I think Ron will like.