Bad day

Bad day. Overall I feel I’ve come through a bad patch and am out the other side. But emotionally, today seems difficult. For no huge reason. The commute home was rough – I couldn’t read, couldn’t get interested in any of my podcasts. Once home, I felt white with exhaustion. I’d wanted to go to the gym to help with the depression, and just couldn’t get it together. Instead I had to lie down. Now I’m up, and feel sad.

I have come through the dental surgery, and the cancer scare. My boss is not on my case at present. I even have a task to do at work, so I don’t have to fill in endless hours.

So in a lot of ways, my life is better this week. Even the severe heat we had for a few days has let up.

I just really don’t like my job. I don’t like how the managers don’t interact with us peons – only they meet to discuss anything, or interact with other departments. We sit all day and do our allotted tasks. It’s hard for me also because I am so old – all the other ‘analysts’ are decades younger than I am. People my age have pretty much all made it at least into middle management. The other analysts do have hope, that they are at the start of their careers, while I don’t have that.

I was a stay at home mom. For so many bad reasons, including lack of confidence. I started in corporations at forty. So yeah, I haven’t made it that far. The money is fine – it’s the lack of interaction, the being treated as less than, the lack of challenge, that hurts.

Not sure why this hurts so much today, and other days, I can deal.

I wanted to also write about the rest of my therapy last week. We basically talked about the time I spent with my family, going to the family event, driving with my brother. Basically what I wrote about here. I got the feeling Ron was looking for much bigger traumas than what I came up with. I just have ordinary complaints about my family – no trauma with a capital T. No, my younger brother in no way abused me, ever. He’s gentle and withdraws if there’s trouble.

I felt angry with my mother. Ron always gives me this look when I talk about anger at my mother, I suspect because as my father was abusive, I’m supposed to be angry with him, not her. It could be displaced anger. The thing is, I tell him, my mother’s lack of response, her withdrawal, is so infuriating to me. If I tell my father anything, he does respond. He doesn’t pretend I don’t exist suddenly. But this is what my mother does, and I can’t stand it. Yes, my mother never intrudes, never imposes her own views or emotions. But there is such a complete lack of connection with her, it’s scary. It’s like being around an automaton.

I tell Ron I yelled at my mother last time I saw her. This was no big deal, really. We didn’t have a fight. I’d think a fight would be some kind of connection actually. My mother has become hard of hearing, and she pretends she has heard, and nods vaguely. She did that, and I repeated what I’d said, but I screamed it at her. She looked startled, and left the room.

I realized then, I must be angry with her. I remember now what had happened. Like a kid, I was telling her about my dental surgery. She was doing some task, but at least pretended to listen. In the middle of this, my brother arrived. She dropped me completely, and started making a fuss over him. Did he want a glass of water, how was he doing, etc etc….She’d never think to go back to what I was trying to tell her about.

So yeah, I got angry. I guess therapeutically, I would have spoken up, said something about how I felt. I didn’t do that.

Maybe Ron thinks I have all these micro interactions with family members that never really get at what is really going on. He didn’t say that, but I got that impression. I think I’ve gotten enough perspective to be able to track what’s going on for me at least, when we interact. That’s something.

Thursday sessions are after work, and I’m pretty tired from coping all day. I’m not really in a space to be able to really do amazing therapy. It does seem up to me to a large extent – Ron simply waits for me to talk, or not. Sometimes I wish he had more of a plan or idea of what we’re trying to do.

I have also been missing Ron. Which is kind of crazy, because I don’t feel we’re really connecting that well. Parts are not getting the chance to talk with him directly, and maybe they miss him. These parts are the most attached to him. I am more skeptical – while i know he cares a lot about his work, this is a job for him. If I’m not there, someone else will take my spot. But for parts, it’s as if he somehow stepped back into my childhood and is there to be their friend it tough circumstances. He’s hugely important.

However I’m also back to wishing he had trauma training and experience, or at least the desire to learn. He doesn’t. He did take a book I lent him, The Haunted Self, and gave it back after a year I think. That book is so difficult. I’ve read several since that are so much clearer and more helpful, however, I buy them on my Kindle, and so can’t share. Anyway, if he wanted to inform himself, he could. He just doesn’t. He feels, I think, that he has his method down, he knows what he needs to, and that’s it. Nothing has been discovered or thought of in the last two decades that has much interest for him in the way of trauma therapy.

So I’m disappointed that way. I have approached two other T’s who indicate they have a trauma background on their websites, but they had no space for new clients. I am also not flexible, as I need after five or weekends.

Right at the end of our session, after I’d talked about my family, I felt that old feeling of ‘wanting to die’. I told Ron. He remarked that often V seems to come up when I discuss my family. I hadn’t actually thought of V, but I realized that he was right. That was a V type feeling. There was that little ‘ping’ moment, when your T says something that you hadn’t thought of, that seems right.

So since then, I have been dealing with V’s dark feelings, even though she didn’t speak in session directly. So that’s a reason for the depression.


  1. We would maybe make a good pair as I’m feeling much the same. Just can’t deal and feel like dying. It’s a crap feeling isn’t it. Take care Ellen, I’m sorry you’re having a rough time.

    • Ellen said:

      Thank you AG. I’m sorry you’re having a crap time also. Maybe we can both feel our way through.

      • Okay, it’s a deal. No other way really. The only way out is through. 💜

  2. Yes, I can see that. (All of it.) It sounds like you are sensing a complacency about Ron, that might be accurate. I have had that feeling about therapists myself. There are teachers like this too. They just have it worked out, and actually whatever they choose to learn in terms of advances in their profession is a refinement of what they already think. Their assumptions are unshakeable, and anything that does not support those assumptions is discounted. I wasn’t making the kind of progress you are making in therapy, but I remember that sense: what I am saying is being seen through the filter of a particular set of assumptions, and the goal of the discussion is to get me to understand their viewpoint better. Because I am unhappy, because I don’t see things the way they see it. The goal isn’t for the other person to understand me and go from there. Like you, it made me feel really despairing, as though–even as an adult, even when I am paying someone to listen to me–I was still not worth being genuinely interested in or having someone try to imagine my perspective.

    I do think your mom’s lack of ability to connect to you probably had a more profound effect than your dad’s outright abusiveness. That feeling of just being dropped for better playthings would have hit you hard all throughout your childhood. I think it helps to note this is happening: my mom just dropped me and I felt angry. I don’t know that speaking up is the way to go. It might help. It might not. If you spoke up, I doubt she would be receptive. There is always this fantasy that if you could just articulate your feelings, someone might take them into account, but probably she just doesn’t care. I mean, anyone would sense would know this is hurtful behaviour. If she didn’t refrain from it when you were three, I don’t think she will change her behaviour now.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, that is kind of what I was thinking about Ron. I do think though that to an extent, we are all like this. I know in my job, I do have certain assumptions that I work from…..I guess I think that while this is an issue, Ron also does try and understand me. He really does step up and into my shoes at times, especially when I’m going through something in his office. He seems to veer off track more when he’s theorizing. I think I’m making progress because he basically is able to empathize and never condemn. If he wasn’t able to do this, he would not be useful. So I get mad at blips like what I describe here, where I wish he had better theories, but in general, he does step up.

      About my mother – yep. Exactly. Speaking up is supposed to help me come to terms with my parents, rather than change them, but….I’m not seeing that it would help me. I am sorry you understand this issue so well from personal experience!


  3. You are makimg progress,our true feelings can be so buried it can take so long to uncover them. Thank you for sharing ♡

  4. Rachel said:

    There is a lot going on inside of you, Ellen. The depression makes sense to me. It is too much to carry yourself. It is a lot of grief and anger and pain. And the therapy isn’t exactly addressing it. Ron is someone, he is there, but he isn’t helping the trauma effects move. Which puts it back on you to navigate, but if you could, I know you would have healed from it long ago. You are obviously motivated and wanting to feel better.
    Glad the work situation was OK this week. That place still sounds tough. Anyways, sending support. And I’m sorry you’re going through all of this.

    • Ellen said:

      It is a lot to deal with.

      Yes, work is rough. Thank you for the support Rachel.

  5. Feeling disconnected and not properly listened to really sucks. I’m sorry that you’re in pain. Bad days fucking suck. I hope it passes soon.

  6. e.Nice said:

    I relate to the having a tough time even after the worst parts have passed. It makes sense that family stuff brings out V and depression. I agree with what Ashana said, it makes sense to have more reaction to mom. Neglect is more damaging then anything else. Little, prolonged trauma compared to big T’s and I think you have both. Ron does sound like a caring and empathetic and skilled old school therapist. He is good for what he does and can help you at a certain level, but you are wanting more. For him to step up and find out how to better meet your unique needs (both ahort and lon term). I really relate to wanting a plan, a way to move forward towards healing and defining what that is, what it looks like, and how that will happen. Seems like it should be something easily and readily discussed, a treatment plan. Hoping you, V, and everyone else gets to feeling better.

    • Ellen said:

      Oh to have a plan! Though then, if the plan ‘doesn’t work’, I might feel worse than ever. I’d still like some kind of road map. Thanks nice.

  7. Glad your work is better. I understand the challenge issue, hopefully it will be something for you as well; moving up in the company! I am sad for you about your T; he seems like a great therapist, just not attuned to your specific needs. I wish you had a trauma T to help regulate the things you’re experiencing. Praying your depression subsides and you can feel more like yourself.

    • Ellen said:

      My T is really good actually. But yes, he does not help with regulation much. Thanks DID.

  8. Also, this sounds like your family. There are the important people. Then there is you. Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      Lol. There are the important people with the knowledge. The me, without any and therefore useless. It is like my family. I wonder if someone with a different history would have this whole different experience of my job there. Thanks.

      • I think most people hate that dynamic, but maybe it would be less intense–like just an annoyance.

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