The topic of today’s therapy session was My Mom. Yep, believe it or not, it was.
I didn’t have a great session. I do feel like quitting but will wait and see. I can’t go next week anyway, as I’m starting my new contract and will be tired, so it’ll be a while anyway. It felt like a wasted session to tell the truth.
I’d had a fight with my mother. Not a usual occurrence as we don’t speak of anything ever if we can help it. I happened to be over at my parents visiting my son, whom I took out for lunch. He was a great deal worse again, looking as if he had the flu basically, though he perked up during the outing. It was painful to see him looking so bad when he had seemed to be a lot healthier the last few weeks.
He complained that something my mother does in the kitchen is making his symptoms worse, and he thinks it’s the crappy old dishcloth she uses to wipe the counters. He’s highly sensitive to mold. We’d had the conversation a few weeks ago. I bought some J-cloths and mixed up some natural spray cleanser that would disinfect.
When we were back, I asked my mother if she could use the cloths and cleanser instead of the thirty year old dishcloth and the sponge she favours. Mom was offended. She retorted that my son would like them to tear down the whole kitchen. I said no, no one is asking you to do that. Just use the cloths. She sneered at my cleanser (no biggie – she could use any natural type cleanser, but she doesn’t want to). She said that wouldn’t be enough to solve ‘the problem’. By which she meant my son’t illness. No, of course it won’t. But it seems like such an easy thing for you to try, and he’s so sick.
So she walked off to another room and I went home. I assume she won’t bother with the change I asked for.
I know she is passionate about not creating garbage, so she doesn’t want to throw anything out, including thirty year old dishcloths. She doesn’t like using any kind of cleanser either. Fine. I couldn’t care less what she does, except that it’s affecting my son’s damaged health. It seems like such a small ask – as opposed to tearing down the kitchen, or drugging up my son. If something so small could help, why not try it?
So I related this tale of woe in my session. Also that it’s very unusual for my mother to fight with anybody. She gets her way through avoidance and denial. Except for my dad’s wishes, which are always hers to fulfill perfectly.
I was feeling all this anger towards her. It did feel kind of childish. I wasn’t measured or really understanding – I was just mad. At this, and at the way she’s treated me forever. This person who always demanded that no one display any emotion ever, who was unable to nurture in any but the most basic ways. Who is always perfect, always quiet and never complains or has any difficulties ever.
So I was in this childish state in the session, and I don’t think I came across that well. And I felt Ron didn’t sympathize much. He did say some validating things I suppose, but I couldn’t feel them. He didn’t seem to get how my family works and that made me feel frantic.
Then he really got up my nose by diagnosing my son, saying didn’t I think his symptoms were psychosomatic. He’s said it before, it’s nothing new. The thing is, he doesn’t see him. There’s definitely something physical going on. I know my son also has issues. Ron starts harping on about this, and I tell him I don’t want to discuss it. I’ve been down such a long road with my son’s illness already. I know what I think. I’ve researched it and read books on what I think he has and discussed ad infinitum with my ex and friends. I started off also thinking it was psychological, but I changed my mind over the years. And my session is only fifty minutes once a week – I need it to try and tend to my own issues, not listen to his uninformed opinion about my son.
A challenge was that I was really not very adult in session and so it was difficult to engage Ron. I did tell him I felt I was wasting my session and that I didn’t want to discuss my son anymore. Ron said he is weighing on my mind and so we should discuss. But a whole lot of things are weighing on my mind and I do have to choose what to discuss and I don’t care to hear his opinions on my son to tell the truth. He can just butt right out.
So obviously I’m still pissed off.
Also, Ron was a bit pre-occupied. He was texting when I walked into his office and kept going for a minute or two, which he never does. Later, I saw he’d phoned me just before our session but hadn’t left a message, presumably to re-schedule. Then he looked at the clock while i was speaking which he really never does. I think he was on edge maybe with some personal situation that he needed to take care of.
Maybe that’s why he was so un-attuned.
I haven’t had this strong urge to quit for quite a few months now. I’d been having more adult sessions, which are useful as we can actually discuss things without being swamped by oceans of emotion. And as an added bonus, I then don’t seem to fixate much on what he does or doesn’t say – he’s just my therapist and I’m not that bothered with what he does.
Now getting back into more kid emotions, all that angst about him seems to be back. I want to get back to adult type sessions. Or quit. Or something.