Therapy Thursday

Bit of a lonely long weekend. But then, I’m not really taking steps to ease loneliness either. Part of me likes being alone. I can feel as I wish, I don’t have to perform for anyone.

I wanted to write about my session.

One of the main things for me is that I’m going after work. In order to work and function, I batten everything down very securely. So when I go to therapy, I’m going in that battened down state. I can feel all the stuff, but it’s behind walls. So the conversation felt a bit superficial – I didn’t get into any deep feelings. I worried I’d feel lonely and unheard afterwards as a result, but that didn’t happen. Somehow, I still felt a connection.

One main topic was switching. I’ve been switching into child modes by mistake. I told him about what happened in group last week. Then I’ve had a similar trouble at work. I was meeting with a manager there who will be working with me, pretty well every day. I ended up talking from a child like place. Not as young as in the group luckily. But a really uncertain place, complete with really soft voice and quavering, and looking overwhelmed.

I wish so much this wouldn’t happen. We talk about why I might be doing this. I’m in a new job, I don’t know anything about the subject they’re dealing with (probabilities, future scenarios, all kinds of testing). I’ve been trying to read their reports and documents and none of it is making much sense. So it’s easy to feel like a child who doesn’t know what all the grown-ups understand. I think that’s probably it. So what I need to realize is that anyone would feel the way I do. It’s normal to not know things when beginning a job. In fact, that’s why most people don’t switch jobs over and over the way I do.

Ron comments that I need to find the mechanism of when I switch. I agree, but it’s not that easy. I think if I could feel the emotions, that would help. I think I’m switching before I feel them. So hopefully, forewarned is forearmed – if I know I’m liable to do this, I’ll be able to prevent it.

Ron also says that I seem to feel ashamed of this. And I say I do – it’s worse, the younger the part is. So at the group, I felt shame like a physical pain that stayed with me long after. At work, it’s an older part, and the shame isn’t as severe.

Ron comments at some point that he is reading the book I lent him. I’m so pleased and tell him so. That he would go to that trouble in order to help me. He says they’re trying to be very ‘medical’. Which is true I suppose. The authors are doctors I think, and are trying to speak in very scientific language. Plus they’re not very good writers, so the book is a little stodgy. I just say that’s true and leave it at that. Later, I think, well, Freud was trying to be medical also, and he’s the father of psychodynamic therapy. Just Freud was also a good writer and a genius, which the authors of this book just aren’t. But it has solid information. And being part of the establishment, the writers have funding and have worked with many patients with dissociative disorders, so I think they have good stuff to say.

What else. I tell Ron about my mother’s phone call. She told me my brother is separating from his long-time girlfriend. She’s upset about this. I sympathize with her, but I don’t feel much. I have had minimal contact with both of them.

We talk a bit about love. Ron tells me a bit about his opinion – that sometimes, finding a healthy partner is just luck. I was saying how my family is really dysfunctional, so if any problems come up, they’d never be discussed, and so relationships will flounder. None of us (siblings) are married – all of our relationships ended. I say I know I’m not one to talk, since I have no relationships. By the time I get healthier, I’ll be too old. Ron says he’s worked with clients who have the same relationship, over and over, then suddenly, they have one that’s different. Luck. And he’s worked with couples where one person is significantly more mature than another, and the partnership still works. The immature person lucked out and met someone healthier.

We talk a bit more about my family. Ron says again how severe he considers my dad’s abuse to be, not talking to me for several years when I was a child. I don’t like to think about this very much. We talk about how it’s less clearly abuse than physical – if there’s blood all over the floor, you know something bad happened. It could be there are witnesses to confirm it too. With what happened to me, my family can simply deny that ever happened. Reality is what they wish it to be.

Then B talks a bit with Ron. She tells him about wanting to buy curtains and a rug. Then Ron asks me what I think about it. That’s new – that he’d ask me my views about what another part said. Probably comes from reading the book. I tell him I get stuck on which to choose. Ron thinks it would be a good idea to support B by buying curtains, taking care of myself in that way.

B is drawing during her time talking, and after.  It really seems to help her feel present and accounted for.

That’s about it. I’m super tired from work, and walk quickly back to my car and drive straight home. It wasn’t an emotional session, but it was a bit of connection. Also being able to discuss the switching problem was good. I feel so alone with everything – it’s good just to be able to talk.

  1. Andi said:

    Sometimes just having a place to talk makes all the difference, even if there’s no clear solution. Switching is tricky and seems to be a constant learning process. I was so pleased to read that Ron is reading the book! That’s great. And I’m glad to hear that you felt some connection. We all need that.

    • Ellen said:

      Switching is very tricky. I think it’s going to be key for me to figure this out, because I need to stay adult more predictably. I actually find it hopeful that at least I’m seeing the problem more clearly now. Yeah, I’m glad he’s reading it – it’s like he wants to know about my issues. Thanks Andi

  2. cardamone5 said:

    Like Andi, I am glad you are feeling more connected with Ron, and that he is showing you he cares by reading a book you suggested. You are doing the best you can. That’s all anyone can do.


  3. Cat said:

    Great to hear Ron is at least trying to venture into the book… That connection feels great, although I am not sure I experience it with Paul…mmm…always makes me think..

    • Ellen said:

      The connection does feel good. I think I mostly experience it through younger parts actually, so not sure how that would translate to your situation. And, on the other hand, the downside is great pain and anger when something Ron does upsets me. I always wonder too about that missing connection in your therapy. Thanks Cat.

      • Cat said:

        I suspect the missing connection in my own therapy reflects the connections I have in my personal life; distant and devoid of trust! Hope the new job is going okay, Ellen

        • Ellen said:

          Well, just to let you know, connections in my own personal life aren’t close either. Here’s hoping both of us can find some close relationships in the future. Cheers

  4. Rachel said:

    I understand that need to “batten down the hatches”, and then snap to and be in therapy mode – its hard, hard to do this therapy with life. And bounce back and forth. I found that really impressive you were able to talk about the switching; it sounds like an important area worth exploring further.

    • Ellen said:

      Sometimes it’s impossible to do both therapy and life, I find anyway. Yeah, switching is a big issue for me and I’m glad I’m zeroing in on it more. Thanks Rachel

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