Therapy Thursday

I went back to therapy Thursday. I’d say the session was helpful.

We chatted a tiny bit about Ron’s vacation, and how it’d been four weeks since we’d met.

I spoke about the work situation I described in my last post. How furiously angry I’d become, and how it seemed out of proportion to what was happening. Ron had pointed out previously that with bosses, I almost always fear they don’t like me, or don’t like my work, or that they are somehow displeased with me, and he thinks this is the case now. I couldn’t really point out anything specific this boss had done that showed she was angry with me – I just assumed.

Well. I do think I was getting up her nose a bit, because she doesn’t like a lot of questions. Ron pointed out that my anxiety was likely affecting her also. And I did find, on Friday, that as I was less anxious, she reacted better to me.

I found after a while, I really wanted to leave this topic of my new boss and myself. I was feeling more and more anxious, and gaps occurred in our conversation, and then I was tempted to change the subject. I had other things to talk about, and parts also would have liked a say. However, I mostly do jump about a lot in therapy, and as a result, never tackle any subject in much depth.

At one point, Ron asked me to speak in both voices – the part that wants to continue with the topic, and the part that wants to change the subject. I found that really hard to do. Like a pros and cons list, he said. OK, I could do that. Pros of continuing on – we can go deeper with the topic, it’s good to stand up to and tolerate anxiety, instead of running away from it. Cons – it felt like this was a conversation I could have with a friend, and didn’t need Ron for, and there were other things I wanted to talk about – a massage I’d had, and some troubles after exercise. Ron said maybe we could discuss this in a way that I couldn’t with a friend, and that we could come back to the other topics next week.

So I stayed with this. The boss. The feelings of anger. How it tied back to being criticized as a child, how nothing had been enough for my father.

I can’t remember any grand conclusions actually. But the next day, I felt calmer at work, in a way.

That night though, I couldn’t sleep. Parts of me were furious with Ron for not getting a chance to speak about their concerns. I actually wrote him a furious email in the middle of the night, but luckily I didn’t send it. I felt differently in the morning.

At the end of the session, Ron asked how it felt to be back after the break. I didn’t really know – I didn’t feel anything in particular really.

This adult way of doing therapy is kind of new. I like it in that i don’t have a huge therapy hangover the next day. And spending time on a topic seems good. The downside is younger parts don’t get to speak. But, maybe that’s OK. Speaking in therapy wasn’t really getting us anywhere much except triggered.

  1. It almost seems like a kind of gentle way to start therapy again after the break. I’m really glad that it led to a better day at work the next day.

  2. I have the same problem with my bosses and authority figures. When I met my in-laws I was convinced they were angry at me for 2 years!

    • Ellen said:

      Ugh I’m sorry you go through that. I’ve learned that I tend to assume people don’t like me when I don’t know for sure. In this case, it’s turned out the manager seriously dislikes me. Unfortunately.

  3. leb105 said:

    so interesting, E…
    parts of you were furious with the work situation – and then parts of you were furious with the therapy session… what’s the connection?
    maybe midnight emails to Ron are a good and harmless way to express that fury, and give those parts some relief?

  4. DV said:

    it’s hard to push past the anxiety of staying with a difficult topic in therapy – I understand how easy it can be to just talk about something else especially when there seems enough for 10 lifetimes to talk about. Interesting that it didn’t cause the same sort of therapy hangover you normally get.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, lately I have not had the therapy hangover. My life has become pretty stressful and awful in a way, so maybe in those situations, therapy can just be a support, instead of stirring up new stuff. Thanks

  5. Possibly a journal for the parts and then bring the journal to the session. Some of my parts had a round about way of talking that was difficult for other people to follow or listen to it. However, in a journal I could bring different parts together on the same subject. For example have a notebook, at the top of the page write bosses….then allow each of the parts to express their perspective on bosses. Allow them to misspell, poor grammar and other things you usually correct. Being corrected I notice tend to shut down parts. It is an idea that might be helpful. Unsent emails can be great way of finding out what your parts are feeling. Cheering for you.

    • Ellen said:

      That is a helpful idea Ruth thank you – I might try it.

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