Some upswing

Ah, the day after therapy. I feel full of tears, but at least I’m moving around. I don’t feel the worst ever. I have been reading about mindfulness again and this morning when I couldn’t get myself to do the dishes, I did a twenty minute mindfulness meditation. Dunno. It can be good, but it can also really plunge me more into the emotions. I think the idea is to keep a frame, that is your breathing or body awareness, around the feelings, so you can hold them, but not be swamped by them. So I was trying to do some of that. And after, I did get the dishes done, so that’s good.

I wish I had one more day, but it’s Sunday, so anything that’s going to get done has to happen today. I want to cook stew for the week, and see my son, whom I didn’t see last weekend. And vacuum. It’s going to be hard.

I’m still listening to mysteries on audio. Sometimes it’s so great to just follow a story and a character, and not focus on your own sorry story.

Weather is so perfect today. I also need to get plants in on my balcony, don’t know if that’s going to happen.

I’m just so sad.

I can’t bear to describe therapy, though it wasn’t earth shattering or anything. More going along the same paths.

My feelings about therapy are on the upswing again. I’ve made some changes, not discussed, just to see if it helps. First, I’ve given up on relating to Ron apart from my therapy, or trying to find out anything about his personal life. The way I was trying to relate was probably dysfunctional, and it feels like a relief to stop. I would simply ask him how he was, to which he always said fine. Sometimes I’d comment on how he looked – i.e. tired, or happy, or was that a new shirt? Or if he’d been away, I’d ask how come. I don’t know. It started to feel intrusive to me. He obviously didn’t want to chat with me. It feels fine not to bother, to simply let the session be all about me. I feel like I’ve stopped prying.

The other change, which I’m sure I’ll probably change again, is no emails between sessions. I usually write them when I’m anxious, rather than sad, and I have been often sad. Plus things in my life are going fairly well. Plus I felt I was damaging our relationship, because I’d continue disagreements we’d had by email. Then getting into the whole will he respond or not feelings – very difficult. So I’m going to leave emails for emergencies for now.

Ron actually did look very tired or out of sorts yesterday. But, I figure that’s his business. I made no comment, started in on my own concerns, and it was OK. If anything, I find he’s a better therapist when he’s not happy.

After the session, I’ve been feeling really cared for. I don’t know what changed on Ron’s end. But I’ve been feeling cared about and heard, and that is worth such a lot to me. Somehow I see at the moment how much caring is there. It’s likely always there, but I can’t see it usually.

  1. I’m so glad that you feel cared for and heard. It can make such a huge difference!

    Therapy is an unusual relationship where the caring goes both ways (or it can), but the taking care of is only supposed to go one way. In that way, it mimics the child/parent dynamics.

    Some therapists put up very high boundaries and won’t tell you anything about themselves personally. Others will share a lot more, but all good therapists will bring the focus back on to client as quickly as possible because the client is paying to be helped, not have a social encounter (unless learning social skills is a goal of therapy). So it makes perfect sense to me that Ron would feel more comfortable and relax a bit if he isn’t worrying about refocusing you without making you feel pushed away. Just a guess on my part that that is part of what is going on

    • Ellen said:

      It does make a huge difference, thank you. It’s like not going through things alone this time around.

      Yeah. I do care about Ron, but haven’t been able to find a way to show it. I ask how he is to show I value him apart from him providing me with something, but then, he always just says fine. I suppose if he isn’t fine, it would be inappropriate to say so? And then, when I asked him how his long weekend was, and he talked about the weather….OK, I decided, he does not wish to share anything with me. And that’s OK. Because fifty minutes once a week isn’t that long anyway. I’ll just leave it alone.

      He actually says that I’m welcome to ask him anything. But he does not chat. So maybe, I don’t need to know much about him. Seems OK for now.

      I think your guess is a good one. Thanks Cat.

  2. Rachel said:

    Reading your post inspired me to do some nice things for myself tonight; the upswing momentum is contagious.
    I’m glad you do feel supported and cared for by Ron. I am positive he does care, and probably does know that you care about him too. I’m sure some clients don’t ask any questions or show interest. Even if he isn’t apt to offer up personal info, he may appreciate being asked. And maybe he is like that outside of his therapist role too. Just a speculation. I don’t think therapists are that different outside therapy than they are inside. That seems like a good experiment though; see how it feels not to ask. Can’t hurt anything. Same with the emails. if it is just frustrating, might as well try out not doing it. I know I’m in that same place right now; trying something new. It is hard, but we won’t know unless we try, right?

    Good luck with getting all that you want done today, and that you get to see your son – and even if you don’t, feeling less down after therapy certainly is an achievement to celebrate in itself! Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      Glad you got inspired. It doesn’t seem like an inspiring post per se, but I am doing better than before so hopefully that came through.

      Yeah, I think he may be quite introverted outside of his role also. He must be quiet, as he’s quiet in the session, and it seems to come naturally to him. That’s just what he’s like. I started to feel like i was pulling teeth, to get him to say much about himself, so it’s easier not to bother.

      As to the emails. I do think we’re in different places with this. I’ve been there, where it’s almost physically painful, the need to contact the T and have them respond. That’s not what I feel now though. I’m just OK, I feel like he cares, and I don’t need to tell him about anything right now. I feel like it’s all OK and I’m managing. Touch wood. But I’m more cautious than I was about emails, as I know how painful it can all get.

      I did get out to see my son, and I’m real happy I did. Now my stew is in the over. So today turned out not bad.

      Thanks for commenting Rachel.

      • Rachel said:

        I find it inspiring when people confront their challenges. Which you are doing. Glad you got a visit in, and some stew. That should help with the rest of the week. And you are welcome 🙂 xx

  3. Kelly said:

    I had a therapist that engaged in way too much about herself. I would feel anxious about going to sessions, wondering if her mood would affect her capacity to be a good therapist that day. Also I would wonder how much small talk would take, if it would take too long and I would feel unheard.
    I have a different therapist now, and we exchange pleasantries, but it is usually a minute at most and we get to me. I am fortunate enough to have a good friend that is a professor of psychology and got to talk to him about those dynamics. He told me the point of going to therapy is to talk about YOU. As a client of therapy, I felt a wave of relief when he told me it isn’t about the therapist, and you don’t have to delve into them at all. My point is that I am glad you don’t feel obliged to talk about anything more than you with Ron. Hope you have a good week. 🙂

    • Ellen said:

      I would hate that, if a therapist spent any amount of time talking about themselves! I am paying after all. Thanks for your affirming it. I guess I was trying to have a bit of a non-therapy relationship with Ron as well, where we were just people, but it’s too much trouble at the moment. He doesn’t seem to mind. Take care.

  4. That’s just really good.

    How did the rest of the weekend go?

    • Ellen said:

      Well, I did manage to cook the stew, and I made the trip uptown to see my son, and we had a good visit. Just I had to see my parents in order to see my son, and seeing my father made me pretty anxious, so I slept very badly. So it was a mixed weekend, but I so need to get some essentials done, and I did, so that was satisfying. Thanks.

      • That makes it really hard. I’m sorry those two things have to go together. No wonder it’s hard to do that often. Good you managed it though.

  5. Cat said:

    “Feel fine to let the session be all about me” is a huge step for you, Ellen. I’ve been here myself and it does get easier to go into the office and just deal with you

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