I am walking through depression these days, that’s for sure. Trying to keep my head above water. I ordered four different self-help books from the library, or maybe five? I can’t decide what I have that’s most urgent – PTSD Workbook, Anxiety Toolkit, 7 steps Through Depression, Compassion Therapy for Social Anxiety. Four. Plus the Mindful Way through Depression, my old favorite. I feel as if I have pretty much every diagnosis out there except for bipolar or schizophrenia. Oh, I’m also not obsessive compulsive. Everything else, I’ve got.
Today I went to the gym, so I am proud of this. Yesterday I spent a lot of hours in bed, so today I’m more active. I might go to 12 step group tonite. Or maybe let it be for a while.
Yesterday was my first session after the holidays. Ron was thirty minutes late. The boundaries with him, which until a few months ago he was great at holding, seem to be falling apart a bit. He gave me no notice of his unusual two week Christmas vacation, and now he both showed up very late and did not bother phoning me to tell me he was delayed. For the vacation, when I asked why there was no notice, he was completely defensive. He carefully explained how he had been telling people and maybe that was the week we did the bio session so he forgot to tell me. He didn’t apologize. What do I care what his exact problems were – the fact is, he hurt me, by inattention, and it would make sense to offer a small apology. I would, if it was me.
I assumed he’d forgotten my session yesterday, but it turned out he’d been coming in from out of town and my 11:30 appointment was his first. The weather was bad, and he was slow to get here. I can actually understand that. What I don’t understand is why he couldn’t let me know. He had a phone in his car. He could have saved me from coming in for a twenty minute session. He did apologize, and did not charge me for the twenty minutes. I do not see why he didn’t let me know. He shrugged and said his kids were in the car.
I’m going on about these small things. I find them hurtful and unprofessional.
My therapy is pretty much in the toilet. Even in the twenty minutes, I felt criticized and unsupported. To the extent that it plunged me right back into my non-functional depression. But today, I realized that I had been criticizing him, and likely hurt his feelings somewhat. Not for being late – we briefly discussed then let it go.
I don’t know. I was thinking in my mind, first of all, I’ve had a rough time, and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been trying to help me – the exercise, the group. But also, what I remembered today, was I said I didn’t think therapy could help me. And that I wanted to work on a plan for making my life better, rather than plunging into trauma feelings, or something like that.
Which of course Ron is going to be irritated by. I don’t know if he actively dislikes trying to plan for a better life, or if it’s just something he doesn’t think works? And my saying therapy isn’t going to help – that is definitely criticism.
I also explained about my Christmas a bit – leaving the family event early. He did say a satisfying ‘wow’ when I explained how my mother and sister had reacted to my leaving before dinner was over – ‘would you like to take pie?’ and ‘thanks for coming’ respectively, nothing else.
After about fifteen minutes, he wasn’t saying anything, and I felt uneasy, so I said it always freaks me out when you sit silent like that. And he said the hurtful thing, something about what I’d said about the gym, how I’m trying to balance the anxiety exercise causes me with the depression that no exercise leaves me in. He criticized that – something about how I’m trying to manage my feelings instead of really exploring them.
The reason that hurt so much is that I’ve been struggling so very hard to not succumb to depression over the holidays – to get out of bed, to do things. Even though if I think about it, my life sucks on basically every front right now. So I try not to think about it. And I’m kind of proud of going to the gym, of finding a way, after years of avoidance. And of going to the group, despite difficulties. It’s me out there, fighting.
And Ron doesn’t see it that way. I guess. I feel criticized for not exploring feelings properly. And it makes sense, as I criticized his therapy. Which I couldn’t see at first, as my pain was overwhelming at that point.
I didn’t say anything to Ron about this. I do not need another discussion about the way to help me – we’ve done that, got the t-shirt, I don’t need to go there again.
Another thing that occurred to me is that this dynamic with Ron feels very much like the one I had with my father as a child. Enormous hurt, feeling criticized and never good enough. I in turn criticizing him. I never seemed to have any influence with my dad, and it feels similar with Ron. So maybe that’s something I can explore.
I also know that therapy feels bad when parts are no longer involved. Ever since Ron rejected B a few months ago, no parts have showed up for therapy. Ron doesn’t seem to notice – I suppose he believes they have magically disappeared. But B is the main part of me that attaches to people, so if she is no longer welcome with Ron, then I feel quite distant from him. So that’s another thing.