Therapy update

I’m wishing to keep this blog alive but having difficulty writing. I’ve started a few posts but left off, discouraged. It’s hard to know what to say.

I am thankful to have finished my contract and have some time off until I find a new one.

I went back to therapy last week, after Ron’s vacation. It wasn’t a successful session, but I am going back tomorrow. I do have time and energy to devote to therapy after all.

Last week I went in and spoke in an adult way about my difficulties. I was proud I’d been out to two meetups, one for walking, one to see a movie. It’s hard for me to go to them, and I kind of enjoyed chatting with people. I guess I would have liked a pat on the back or some acknowledgment. Ron doesn’t really do that though. I felt he didn’t get how hard it was for me, and also, that it could be a good thing for me if I could keep trying this.

I guess I mainly remember what I didn’t like about the session. How he again said I was like my family. He’s said this a lot. I think he means critical and judgemental. My family does have strengths, but I don’t think that’s what he means.

My impression is I hurt his feelings by criticizing his therapy. I didn’t actually mean to do that last week at all – he brought up that I hadn’t been coming in much. So I just said I wasn’t sure what he was trying to do with the therapy.

When I say that, he tends to say the same thing. I think he thinks I’m asking him to give advice instead of just sitting there. He then tells me I have to assert myself and speak up with my family. He’s said that over and over.

The thing is, there’s not anything obvious to assert myself about. The main thing they do is cold withdrawal, kind of a silent judging. I’d have to attack somehow, and I’m not sure what the point would be.

I also spoke about my son, who is a continuing issue. He can’t really keep living with my parents, but cannot hold a job. Anyway – I don’t think he and my parents are even on speaking terms, yet he lives in their house. I know my parents are massively disappointed in him, and angry. They seem to be silently blaming me for the situation as well.

My ex and I are hoping to help him move to a small place away from the city. He needs a place with less air pollution. Trying to make that happen is hard. Especially when I’m not sure it will make him feel better. He’s convinced it will though. There’s not a ton of money to help with that, but between us we have some.

Talking to Ron about this makes me feel worse about the situation. He seems so appalled. The thing is, I already find it so overwhelming sometimes I can’t cope with it. So I stay away from visiting my son or trying to find solutions, because I just feel too bad. So I don’t need to feel more about this.

I left the session feeling kind of battered and bruised. This account is  probably unfair to Ron. I know he wants to listen and to help.

I wish he understood PTSD. However. If I want to emotionally explore something, he’s good at that. I just can’t expect him to lead me anywhere. I have to figure it out. If I don’t want his input on some topics, I just won’t talk about those things with him. It’s only fifty minutes after all.

  1. I’ve really found it’s not so much what I do differently outside in the world that makes things different for me. It’s what I do inside. There are probably more times now that I don’t speak up or express myself when in the past I might have, but I know more clearly inside how I feel and what I think. Some part of it is understanding more about the people around me and how they react to things. Putting out what is inside me doesn’t necessarily make things better. Sometimes I need to make things better inside for myself and bring other people along with me into that better place I’ve gotten myself into without their help.

    I was thinking in families that don’t have a lot of emotional resources for coping, there is a lot of careful dancing around, because it’s assumed that if problems arise, no one will be able to cope with that emotionally. It can seem easier to keep problems from happening than to manage emotions when there are problems. It creates this attitude of being allergic to mishaps that are really part of human life. And then there is a lot of shame and guilt when there are problems: it’s like that person has failed at ensuring life will be trouble-free.

    With difficult people, I find it really helps just to try to track my own processes carefully: what am I reacting to? What just happened? And not necessarily jumping in to address that right away, but sometimes mulling that over later, so that I have more understanding of myself and also some prepared ideas for what I might like to do. I don’t know if that would help with your family or not. To me, it’s like things are a lot more okay if at least I understand myself, even if I am working at how to communicate myself to other people.

    It’s nice to hear from you. Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      That seems like a really wise approach Ash. I find that first step, of stopping to notice how i feel and to wonder about that, is huge and not easy to do. And yes, my family does feel/think that problems must be avoided and denied, because they don’t believe they can manage their feelings in the face of them. Exactly. It’s not simple – just speak up.


  2. It’s good to know you’re still there, though I’m sorry you’re finding it hard to post. I hope you don’t feel as if you can only post if it’s long or perfect – I love to hear what you have to say and it’s nice to connect.

    • Ellen said:

      Thank you dangerous. I’m still reading blogs, just not writing much. It’s not so much that I feel my post needs to be perfect or anything like that. I think more that my therapy really doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so I feel inadequate maybe. A failure at therapy…..Ron says there’s no such thing. But I do feel like that and so it’s hard to write about.

      Thanks for being interested

  3. I’m glad you posted. Sorry the session went badly though. Hope tomorrows one is better. xx

  4. It’s good to hear from you. I hate the feeling of therapy not going anywhere or being wasted. I think sometimes that is just maybe part of the process. I don’t think you are failing at anything, and it’s okay to be irritated with Ron. I’m sorry you felt beat up after the session. 💟

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