Therapy Friday

First, a job update. I’m finding it difficult. What else is new.

I’ve had nothing much to do for two weeks now. This is likely to change though. The manager whose project I’m doing had an unexpected family emergency and was off for a week and a half. My actual boss was still there but didn’t know much about the project. So I’ve been basically left with some documents to peruse. Eight hours a day is a long time to fill with just some documents which are not making much sense on their own.

I’m hoping this will get better. The other painful aspect is the seating arrangement. I’m in a cube farm, and here there is absolutely no privacy. I’m usually in cubicles, but they have always had barriers between them for at least some visual privacy. Here the dividing barriers of one desk to another are only one foot high. Everyone on the floor is completely on display at all times. As well, I’m on the aisle, being new, so everyone who walks by takes a look at me. I find this level of exposure exhausting.

Ah well. I must work. Working is taking every last ounce of energy I have though. I get home wrung out, and do nothing more, except life preserving activities like supper (sometimes just fruit) and washing up.

I miss my two friends from my last job. And my privacy.

There seems to be absolutely no working from home either. Which in a way is good – I don’t do that well working from home. But in another way – it’s hard. I never get to sleep in a bit, and I don’t know what I’ll do about appointments.

Now my session. Less great than last time, but still OK.

I arrive at five on Friday, completely done in from my work week. I just can’t get it together to do therapy, and it seems like a bit of a train wreck, with drawing. Ron also looks tired or sad or something. When I mention that, he says it’s allergies bothering him a bit.

It was a confused session. I was switching a lot, but didn’t get anywhere with anything, because I was just too tired. I did talk about my sister, whom I’d had a long phone conversation with. She has serious health problems, and I feel sad for her. For her whole situation. She has never worked at a regular job, never married or had a child, though she’s had serious relationships. But she’s very poor, because she’s never really worked. She wanted to be an academic, but couldn’t finish her PhD. She’s still working on it, and she’s in her fifties, and has been working on it since her twenties, so it’s unlikely to ever be finished. She has a small gardening business that pays almost nothing. I’m not sure what she’s actually living on. And she’d like to try some alternative health care for her health, since Western medicine is not proving very helpful, but she lacks money.

The whole situation makes me sad. My sister was always very bright, went to gifted school, was creative. She was the star of the family. Still is in a way – she’s very verbal and projects confidence, which I never do. People assume she’s doing well and I’m not, from our demeanor and from how my family treats us, when it’s the other way around really. My sister is not subject to depression as I am, but she has anxiety and debilitating perfectionism. But with her intelligence, she should be out contributing to the world, not desperately poor and sick.

Ron doesn’t say much to this.

I talk about how sometimes I feel lonely, but other times I feel I have enough to cope with just being myself. And he says something about how maybe if I did more social things, I’d find it easier, like how exercise gets easier with practice. This bugs me. I tell him you know I can’t exercise, right? It doesn’t get easier for me.

I feel like he doesn’t understand how completely exhausted I am from the basics. Or depressed. It’s like trying to go to some social event while deeply depressed – it doesn’t work and it doesn’t help and it doesn’t get easier.

Ron says I manage to show up for therapy every week, and i used to show up for group also. It’s not the same though. At those places, I could try and deal with my problems, instead of trying to push everything down and function in a social situation. I can go to therapy when I’m depressed, because we can talk about that. I don’t have to worry about entertaining Ron, or whether he can handle my feelings. It’s completely different.

Then Ron says something about socializing with my family, or my ex. Since it’s true, I see them from time to time. But they can’t handle my feelings. And they are problematic relationships. I have no idea where he’s going with this. It just seems like he’s never met me.

At the same time, the kid gets to draw a picture. And talk a bit to Ron. He tells her about a TV series he enjoyed watching with his kids, and she wants to try and see that. Those interactions feel pretty good.

Because we met at an odd time, I lost track of what time the session ended, and thought it ended later than it did. So Ron said we had to wrap up, and I told him I felt he was pushing me out, eager to start his weekend.

Anyway. I went home. I did feel cared about still, but also misunderstood. I know it would be good to do more, but I don’t feel I can. I need a better plan than ‘just do it’. If I could feel less depressed, less exhausted, it would make more sense. The trick would be to feel less depleted IMO.

Therapy is such a mixed bag sometimes.

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13 comments
  1. I agree, therapy is a mixed bag, sometimes I felt like the bag that was mixed. My children pointed out to me a few years ago that I had no friends. I agreed. Friends take time and energy, neither of which I had. I allowed myself sometime to heal with plans for friends in the future. I now have several lovely friends. Sounds like you are in a challenging work environment. Cheering for you from my computer.

    • Ellen said:

      ๐Ÿ™‚ You were in a similar situation then. I can see Ron’s point, because I really have no family either, so I am alone too much. But I’m too sad to go out. Sad people don’t attract people anyway. Thank you Ruth

  2. I’ve had this sorts of therapy session before…it’s almost like someone trying to get us to see that we are doing “it” (meaing we are living our life and gettting along or getting by and it obiviously should be good enough). Maybe we expect too much out of life or ourselves or maybe we are so good at getting along that others don’t get just how not okay we are (that’s where I am at…I think you too). Ayways, I get it and how exhausted and not okay you feeeling.

    And just a thought on your sister…sounds like she doens’t have a type A personality and possibly she is happy enough with her laid back lifestyle? Being an almost gardner, almost business owner and pertpetual studen sounds fun? I don’t know…I’ve alwasys wanted to be a free spirit but I am so the opposite!

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, I feel like Ron doesn’t get how debilitated I feel most of the time. Just because I can show up for therapy doesn’t mean I’m good.

      I’m not sure about my sister. She’s not very ‘free spirit’ like – everything always has to be done a perfect way in her opinion. I just think too it’s stressful to be extremely poor. I found it stressful when I was poor. But – I guess you’re right in that’s the life she has chosen. People make their own choices.

      Thank you AG.

      • LoL, you’re welcomed. I still want to be a free spirit and less stressed.

  3. Therapy is such a mixed bag sometimes. Never a truer word spoken. Glad your session was mostly good. And I hope the job situation gets easier. X

    • Ellen said:

      Glad you can relate. Thanks many.

  4. Cat said:

    New jobs are always so stressful. I would feel frustrated if anyone was suggesting I pull it together and go socialising, maybe I don’t try enough. Hope the job works out okay

    • Ellen said:

      The job is looking up anyway. Yeah, I got kind of mad when Ron said that, about going out. I told him how I felt, but then I let it go. Sometimes going out is either impossible or counter productive. It is for me anyway. Thanks Cat.

  5. Ashana M said:

    I know for myself I could do a lot more–I could be more social, I could work harder at my job, I could keep a mask on a lot longer–but it doesn’t make my life better. The strain becomes immense, I end up with all of these emotions and no time to process them in. I’m more dissociated and I enjoy life less. I get sick a lot more. I think he doesn’t get that–the frustration of having this somewhat untenable set of choices. You spend more time alone and you get time to recover and process, but you get lonely. Then you have to deal with the loneliness, which is a huge trigger in itself. You can’t really win. You have to find a balance that doesn’t make you insane, but there’s no “happy” balance.

    I think he really doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get that it doesn’t get easier. Doing more doesn’t lift you out of depression the way it would if the depression weren’t trauma related. It makes it worse. I think this is where his lack of knowledge of trauma really gets in the way.

    • Ellen said:

      The key for me anyway is ‘keeping the mask on’. Going out means getting it together in a way that causes me enormous stress. It’s like a huge pressure, coping every day. Doing more of that feels impossible.

      Thank you for getting it. What you describe is exactly the problem. It is so so hard to explain I find. I’m amazed we have these similarities when you have such extreme trauma and I don’t, but there it is.

      Ron doesn’t have a good understanding of trauma, it’s true. But….he does some things really well. Maybe at some point I’ll look for someone else, but not yet. Some of what he does really helps – like letting the young parts draw, and being kind and interested. That makes a huge internal impact.

      Thanks for commenting Ashana. I value your insight.

      • Ashana M said:

        I think he doesn’t get quite that you really cannot be that “authentic.” It’s too difficult to explain yourself, it’s too intimate for the kind of socializing you want to do, it’s too difficult for someone else t understand, it’s off-putting to others. There is also the disapproval factor, but that’s not always major. It’s all these other things. Anyway, with a therapist, it’s like you can never have it all. There is this promise that therapy will fix it all, but it doesn’t. There is so much more you need to do and understand yourself.

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