I’m going through one of those periods where it’s hard to write. All my energy seems bound up in coping – working, then infrastructure – laundry, food, sleep. A tiny bit of entertainment but not much. And massage/acupuncture for the arm.

I don’t seem to be making any progress at all in therapy. Worse, Ron seems to think so also, which is even more discouraging.

I get to my evening session, and at first I’m a bit chatty – managing the situation as it were. Talking about a few problems quickly, not able to dive into or stay with anything much. I can feel all kinds of things underneath, but so muffled, it’s hard to express. Then talking dries up. I find it hard to talk about anything at all. Ron simply sits, waiting. I can’t really feel anything either. I’m just….coping. Getting to where I need to go. Showing up. I never cry anymore or get emotional.

After the sessions, at home, I think about quitting. I’m getting nowhere. Ron still misunderstands most things I try to explain, and then I give up. However….I can’t quit, I don’t think. Parts are attached to him. I know he is sincere. He never condescends, which can be rare in a health care provider. I know he does care. How often does someone care?

If I find a new T, how do I know it won’t be the same? The inability to open up is mine – it will still be there.

I was trying to think what had changed. I used to get right into my emotions, into parts. First I thought it was because I’m so buttoned up from the effort of coping all day, I just can’t unbutton for fifty minutes at the end of the day, when I’m exhausted.

Now I actually think it’s anxiety. I have this overarching anxiety that I won’t be able to cope with daily life. I mostly have coped, so it doesn’t make sense. It just seems to me it could all fall apart, I could stop being able to work, or something. I did sleep in Friday and got to work an hour late. And I think Monday, my shoulder was hurting a lot so I went in a few hours late as well. I did make up the time. At work, I think I have a constant anxiety buzz, first that I will switch into a part, second that I will do something inappropriate somehow, third that I don’t know the subject, and I don’t know what else.

So if it’s anxiety, maybe we could do breathing or calming things for a bit at the start, to try and lower it? I don’t know if it would help, but I do know the current silent waiting, and going after feelings or significant issues, just isn’t working at all. I just sit there. Feeling so bad because I want to explore my life, I want to get better. Even recognizing what the problem is would help.

I’d say most of what Ron did say last session didn’t hit the mark. I am frustrated with his not understanding much about me after so much therapy time.

And a work update. Work is going pretty well, contrary to my anxious expectations. They really need me, and this is one of those contracts where my skills are actually valued. It’s such an odd experience – I remain the same, but am seen so differently depending on where I land. There may be a lesson in there somewhere.

My client is quite an extroverted person, and he’s friendly. He doesn’t cause me a lot of anxiety. I feel fairly free to go and talk to him to discuss what I should do. There are some little tensions, as he’s older and maybe has an old-fashioned view of women – but it seems OK. It’s not triggering me, so whatever the problem, I feel I can deal. My new team-mate is also older, and seems extremely competent and clever. At first, I felt he was trying to take over a project I have, but now he has his own very thorny project, and it’s no longer an issue. So from a people perspective, I think maybe I’ve lucked out here. Fingers crossed.

Maybe I’ll try and remember my session in another post. I do think if I keep writing, it helps me process and to open up.

  1. That’s wonderful that you are being appreciated at this job! I definitely think that there is a lesson in there for you. 🙂

    Maybe you could ask your parts what would help them to feel more comfortable engaging in sessions and then just do stream of consciousness writing for while to see what comes out?

    • Ellen said:

      I think so too. 🙂

      Maybe I’ll try that. Thanks Cat

  2. I remember a time when I was ‘stuck’ in counseling. My counselor finally became quite frustrated with me. I didn’t know how to explain that I felt like a bee against a window. I wanted to get through but something I couldn’t see kept getting in the way. I finally did start to open up and coping was sometimes hard but I made it through. I think you will too. You have a desire to keep going and the parts recognize that Ron can help. Hugs.

    I’m glad that you are appreciated at work. Cheers.

    • Ellen said:

      It does feel very much like a pain of glass that I can’t get through. That is such an apt description. I hope I will get through somehow. Thanks Ruth

  3. cardamone5 said:

    Writing always helps me put things into perspective, and express emotions.

    You initial progress in therapy followed by feelings of stagnation may be because you are facing the core of those feelings, and it’s scary, so you detach. Just a thought, that I think you verbalized here and I’m sure have run by Ron.

    Wishing you progress, but not overwhelming yourself, and peace.


    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, me too -writing is really good for that.

      It could be as you say. But also, I’m pretty much too exhausted for therapy. The pain in my arm wakes me up several times at night, and I’m very tired.

      Thanks for your thoughts Elizabeth

  4. Andi said:

    What you wrote here might be a good place to start sharing with Ron. Sometimes just talking about being stuck can be the impetus to get us out of that place. Or maybe you just need to be there right now, for self-protecting or other reasons. Also, I have found that when my therapists are off-base about me it is because they’re not getting enough information from me. You don’t have to tell Ron anything, but even just clearing up what you felt he missed might help bring him closer to what feels authentic to your experience. Glad to hear things are going well at work!

    • Ellen said:

      I might go over what he missed next time. He is usually not defensive, and maybe I would feel better. I did talk about feeling stuck actually. Ron said it was my ‘inner censor’. Could be self-protection also.

      Thanks for your thoughts about this Andi

  5. Ashana M said:

    I can imagine if things are going well at work, that you would be afraid to take a nosedive emotionally and wreck that. Maybe waiting for the other shoe to fall..Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks

  6. leb105 said:

    It’s been 12 days since your last post, is that one therapy session or 2? I’ve been missing hearing from you. I liked what Andi said above! Do you talk about what’s happening in the moment (ie there’s a lot happening under this chitchat. I’m anxious that I won’t be able to convey it clearly…) Do you attend to it or avoid it? I’m sure it varies. Glad that work is momentarily, feeling like a good fit.

    • Ellen said:

      I missed writing about one, and the second I haven’t said much. I’m just feeling too tired. I do mention that I feel like I’m talking about the wrong thing sometimes….or I wonder aloud whether I’m just chatting….It does vary.


  7. Rachel said:

    You are clearly a very intelligent and self-aware person – I am curious what your intuition tells you about if Ron is a good therapeutic fit for your needs? When you really feel into that question, what does your intuition tell you?

    • Ellen said:

      Why thank you. 🙂

      As to my intuition….it’s gone missing. I know Ron is the best T I’ve ever had – I’ve been to about six, most just for a couple of months it’s true. I am very attached to him, though it may not seem like it compared to your own experience. I do feel frustrated that I’m not getting anywhere – but I’m not sure why I’m not.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      • Rachel said:

        Oh it does seem that you are very attached to him, that is quite apparent in your writing. Experiences can’t really be compared, or at least comparing is fruitless, in my opinion.
        Well I hope you find some resolve on the matter, or at least continue to ask the questions.

  8. Cat said:

    The inability to open up could be anxiety based. I have a similar problem at the moment, but feel it’s more dissociating from difficult emotions. It would be worse for me if the T became frustrated or thought we weren’t progressing and I do wonder how much Ron misunderstanding or disagreeing contributes to being unable to open up. I hope you manage to find a way forward with Ron

    • Ellen said:

      It’s so hard to open up when you’ve been practicing being closed all your life, that’s what I find. Or….I kind of open up in an anxious way, but it’s not really deep. I do wish I was more on the same page as Ron, though we do agree about a lot of things.

      Thanks Cat

  9. hugs. I liked what rachel said!
    I hope you can get unstuck.
    Its a horrible feeling and place to be in. XX

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, it’s a bit rough. Thanks Many

  10. e.Nice said:

    Lots of stuff going on in many areas of your life, its ok if some areas aren’t as productive when you are stretched on so many facets. Your arm impacts sleep which impacts energy level which impacts depression, etc. I feel hypocritical saying this, but there is an ebb and flow. I think you are doing the best you can and its ok if therapy is taking a back seat for a bit.

    • Ellen said:

      I agree there is an ebb and flow. Thanks Nice

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