Home alone on a Saturday night. Ugh.

I worry that I have offended my main friend that I spend time with. She has not called me, and when I call her, she’s very fast to get off the phone. We used to spend some time together weekends, but not for the last three weeks. Maybe my life has gotten too depressing for her to deal with. No job, no date, sick…She does disappear when things get difficult. I worry I’ve been too pathetic and clingy. I’ve decided to give her space and wait for her to call me at some point.

This is making me more lonely than usual. I’m also still recovering from this flu. Still coughing a bit, congested, and I have that post flu fatigue that is dragging me down. So I’ve not been going out to things I was going to, like the movie group or the 12 step group. I feel too tired when it’s time to leave for these, but then I feel lonely later.

I’m still going to therapy. I feel like I’m paying for a friend sometimes. Quite an expensive friend. I just have to have someone to listen and provide some caring, if only for fifty minutes a week.

I went for a job interview for a full time role Friday that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I guess I appeared sick, for one thing. My voice was very hoarse, and I did cough a few times. They remarked on it several times.

I was interviewed by three directors for a bank. It was technically the second interview, because I’d missed the first with the hiring manager because I was sick. They were bending over backwards to have me come in though, so I appreciate that. Just, it was very formal, and I got asked questions I wasn’t sure how to answer, though I did say things.

It would be great to move to full time from this contracting. I can’t keep interviewing every three months, looking and looking. So I’m disappointed the interview didn’t go better.

Therapy was Thursday, and I told Ron I didn’t want to be triggered as I sometimes am, because I needed to be able to pull myself together for the interview the next day. Ron was agreeable, though it’s hard to tell sometimes what is really going to hit me after a session.

The main topics Thursday were – mother, who called me, and how we ‘don’t get along’. She doesn’t speak really, and doesn’t listen or respond to things I say, so I’m reluctant to tell her anything much. My worries about my friend. How I must be pushing people away, to be alone like this, but I don’t know what I’m doing. And what it was that caused the last boss to fire me so fast, what I did to contribute. How I wished Ron could be present for some of these situations, because I can’t tell him what I don’t know. I don’t know what goes wrong.

On the boss question, Ron said that from his knowledge of human nature, sometimes people will be disturbed by and push away someone who is vulnerable. And in my case, she went beyond pushing me away, and also wanted to ensure she hurt me.

Could be. I really don’t know what it was. It’s kind of painful to think I appear in public as so very vulnerable.

We also talked about fear. Sometimes lately I’ve found myself full of fear. I started to feel this towards the end of this session, and remarked that it would be preferable not to have to leave feeling like that.

Ron asked what the fear was about. I didn’t know, but felt maybe it’s about being rejected by everyone in the world. He said he didn’t think he was rejecting me. Which was true enough, he wasn’t. He suggested maybe it’s an inner part that is afraid and that I’m punishing. I could let it be OK to be afraid. That actually seemed to be kind of true, true in the way that some things just resonate. A part of me that wasn’t being heard was afraid.

So I left. I felt upset about some of things discussed, but was better Friday. I can’t blame the unsuccessful interview on being too close to a therapy session.



Aack. Loneliness. One of my few friends has now found other friends she prefers, so I feel cast aside. We aren’t that close, but she is someone to do a few things with, but she no longer has much time for me.

I also fear I alienated another friend, who lives in another province. We just visited by phone. I know I touched a sore spot with her, and so she has withdrawn. My friends are withdrawers – if something goes wrong, they say nothing, but distance. I find that difficult. I know I picked them because their style felt familiar and safe to me, but now I no longer like that.

The friend who I alienated, I said something about her ‘diagnosis’. She lives on disability on the basis of this. It’s a tough diagnosis – schizophrenia. This came about because of a breakdown she had many years ago, where she landed in hospital. We have similar issues of abuse in our backgrounds. I do feel that her issues are similar to mine – that’s why we’ve been pretty close friends – we understand how it is. My opinion is that she was misdiagnosed – I think dissociation and PTSD can explain what she’s going through well enough. Though of course I wasn’t there.

This friend is not at all critical or independent minded. She barely knows the internet exists, for instance, and so does no research on her own. She believes what those in authority, doctors, tell her. This would be OK, except she is taking a heavy duty anti-psychotic. I think it’s bad for her health. She has a bunch of health problems that some research has linked to side effects of these medications. Anyhow – none of my business, right? It’s been my opinion for a long time, but I kept it to myself.

However, one day she called and found me in a bad space. I had been struggling mightily with my work situation and was really down. She launched into maybe twenty minutes of talking about her own issues, which admittedly, were severe. But I knew, after about ten minutes, that I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t listen to her any more without talking. My friend was too overwhelmed maybe to ask me how I was doing, she just wanted to talk.

And so at some point there, we were going back and forth, and my reservations about her meds/diagnosis popped out. I didn’t insist I was right or anything. I didn’t dwell. But she hasn’t called me since, maybe, two months, which is completely unusual. I know her, and so I know that what I said offended her, and so she withdrew. Hopefully she’ll get over it if I give her space.

So I feel lonely. Ron is away. I had sent him two distraught emails earlier in the week, as my work situation again deteriorated and I felt completely frantic. It does my head in, there, and I can’t work out how much is my part and how much is the dysfunctional workplace’s and boss’ part. I got so depressed I had trouble washing my dishes, and they were piling up. This is one of the basics I need to be able to do in order to keep working, and when I can’t do it, that really scares me. I mean, not that I was doing other things and couldn’t get to the dishes. I just had stopped doing anything much at all.

Writing to him helped. I knew he was out of internet range, but it helped anyway. Like the kid part of me is so relieved that we’re telling a ‘grown-up’. Kind of crazy.  I decided while writing that I needed to get mad, and that mad energy helped me carry on.



Art: Separation, Edvard Munch, 1990

I fit in therapy this week by squashing in the appointment in the afternoon, then going back to work and staying late. It was different, going as an adult, as it were. I was busy using all my energy to cope with work and being adult, so there was not a lot left over for emotions. So in that sense, we had a very grown-up kind of a session, and didn’t get into the heavy territory we’d been in the previous weeks.

However, I learned something about Ron that threw me. One of the kid parts had asked him, last session, if he was getting his wife a present for Valentine’s. She loves all holidays, presents, etc….And Ron had kind of looked away, said no, and nothing else. After the session, I had huge anxiety, mostly about other things, but also I’d had the feeling I had offended him by my question. Not sure why, but it felt like I had. So I sent him a long email, and that was one of the things I asked. He didn’t reply to that one, so I sent him another, on a different topic, asked for a reply, and he did reply to that one. So he never replied to my question.

At my session Friday, I talked about how anxious I’d felt after the last session. Then as we were talking, it occurred to me about the Valentine’s question. So I asked – did I offend you? I didn’t mean to. At which point Ron told me he’d been separated / divorced from his wife for the last two and a half years. So he hadn’t been offended, but hadn’t been sure how to answer with more information than I wanted to know.

Um. I started seeing Ron four years ago, at which point, according to his website, he was married with children. So he’s been through a whole divorce, without me knowing a thing about it.

I was stunned actually. Ron never does chat, so I don’t find things out about his life unless I ask him directly. However, he always says he’ll answer truthfully anything I want to know. I don’t know – I have asked him about his vacations, for instance – you’d think he would have mentioned something huge like this?

So this news scared me. Not entirely sure why. I told Ron it scared me, and we didn’t really discover what the fear was about. I was allowed to ask what I wanted, so I asked how come, of course. And Ron did provide a psychological type explanation, which was pretty open, though it was obviously his side of things – they didn’t have the kind of relationship he wanted to have. He didn’t go into a lot of details, as he said, he didn’t want the session to be all about him. I asked if he’d had to move, and he said yes.

So this all happened two and a half years ago, and I was oblivious.

Here’s what’s coming up for me as I think about it. Is Ron a trustworthy person? I wonder if he met someone else, a ‘younger model’? Was that the actual reason he left his wife? If so, I don’t respect that. But does the person who is helping me have to be blameless in his personal life? Is that really necessary?

I ask if they tried couples’ therapy, and we laugh. Yes they did. Ah good, at least you believe in it. Ron says couples’ therapy only really can point out and clarify the issues – then each individual in the couple has to go off and do their own work.

I say I thought therapist were better at relationships than the rest of us. He says we’re only human.

I’m still scared. At this point, I think of some bloggers I know whose therapists have fired them. I ask Ron if he’s ever decided he can no longer work with a client? Ron says no, never. I tell him about a blogger who has stopped writing, whose only contact with the world was her psychiatrist, who inexplicably got angry with something the client wrote and terminated her treatment. The most vulnerable person in the world, and that’s what this ridiculous psych did to her. Ron says that this psych was clearly not a good therapist.

He goes on to say that he sees why this is coming up for me, but that to him, divorce and therapy are completely different issues. He has no plans to get rid of me. (He didn’t say that last phrase. But he was very reassuring.)

I went back to how much we were not getting along at the end of group, two and a half years ago, around the time of his separation. Ron says he didn’t feel that, but he knows I did.

Now I’m at home, I’m thinking that Ron is probably out there, dating women. Not like pathetic me, who hasn’t dated anyone in years. Maybe he’s living with someone already in fact, who knows. It is easier for middle aged men – they don’t have the expiration date women seem to have.

If my thoughts get darker, I wonder if he’s ever dated clients. To me, this would be the heart of darkness. If I ever found out Ron dated a client or former client, I would sever our relationship at once. But just because I have this fear of sexual misconduct, doesn’t mean it exists. It just means I am afraid.

I’m not afraid of a single Ron hitting on me. I’m not especially attractive, and I’m about three years older than Ron. If he were to act out in this way, he’d have better options for sure.

Does Ron deserve my doubts and suspicions? No. It’s not unethical to get a divorce. Or two.

I just depend on him so much. It’s a shock that something I was led to believe, that he’s married, is not the case. I’d say misled is right though. The kid asked him the same question about Valentine’s presents for his wife last year, and he said nothing. There would have been an obvious and clear place to tell me this.

So, we talked through the first half of what I thought, but not the second half. It did feel very reassuring to hear him say he had never terminated a client, and he wouldn’t terminate me either. Even that he’d never felt we’d had a rocky relationship, when we so clearly had, in my eyes. That was all reassuring.

So I feel oddly connected to Ron, probably because he said this. Plus, I have all these fears and feelings about having been misled, of someone maybe pretending something that was no longer true.

Rain today. I went out anyway, got my hair cut, went to the library. Braving the grey day felt good for a while. Not shrinking away and staying home – going out even it it was a bit unpleasant. Staying home all the time is depressing. Better to venture out and have some kind of experience. Bad experience, good experience, it’s OK. The bad is certainly not very bad when all it is is some rain!

I have lost my desire to note down the details of therapy and group. Group is going better for me, ironically, now it’s about over. There are two sessions left. I’d decided I wanted to still engage with some people about things that had happened, so I’ve been doing that. It’s interesting, but hard. But the thing is, I’m not getting overwhelmed by it as I was. Not sure if this is a breakthrough or why this has happened, but there it is.

Last group I brought up that I feel that one of the members dislikes me. It was hard to say this. When I said it, I felt more and more unlikeable – bad looking, badly spoken, and foreign. lol. I suppose because I was from another country as a child, so when I’m embarrassed, I feel foreign.

She was upset by this, said I was ‘closing the door’ to us. Nope, I don’t think so. I was trying to open the door a crack. Her solution was mostly to not bother talking to me – that’s what we do IRL afterall. And with the pain of facing this, I can really see why. It’s a lot less painful in the short term.

So first of all she denied that she felt that way and she was upset with me for saying this. Then Ron asked her if there was any truth in what I felt her feelings to me were – any kernel of reality. And talking to him, she said yes, she didn’t feel she wanted to talk to me or have a conversation. I’d interrupted her in the past….and something else too I think.

So I said well, that’s how you feel when you don’t like someone. You don’t want to talk to them. She said dislike was too strong a word.

She never at any point asked whether I liked her. I’ve said in the past I care about how she’s doing……

So that was about it. I felt relieved that my perceptions were actually based in reality. I often think people don’t like me, which I said too, so I knew it could be that I’m projecting this altogether. I’m not, so it was kind of good to have that information.

Some people are just never going to like you. They may tolerate you, but they won’t warm to you. I don’t think it’s anything I did. I feel she’s massively projecting bad things onto me. Even trying to talk to her, was like facing down a tunnel of badness.

At the end of group though, she was talking about problems with her hub, and the discussion turned to divorce, so I talked about my experience of divorce, and we had a bit of a connection around that.

Then A piggy backed on this discussion of liking to launch into how he feels about me, which alternates between like and dislike. With A, it seems like such a completely different situation. He’s all passionate about how he dislikes me….similarly to how he liked me before. The feeling I get from him  is so different from the feeling from E. He is interested, while she just wants me not to be there.

I talked about how his anger had reminded me of my ex’s angry outbursts…and how on some level, I felt I deserved anger. Not that I agreed with what he said, but that somehow I deserved to have some man angry with me.

A talked about how he’d been blamed in his family, and how he is trying to protect something. He talked mainly to Ron. I didn’t totally follow – it’s always a complex story with him, and I lose the thread.

But the upshot was, we both felt better about each other. We didn’t really engage back and forth, just talked about our own feelings and experiences, and it seemed to help.

The big anxiety point for me, that woke me up that night, was as usual Ron. I felt Ron was even handed about it all – I didn’t experience him as taking sides. I was jolted by the way he said my name at the beginning of group, right after I started talking. He usually names everyone very gently, but this time he said my name so loudly and harshly – like I was a problem child, a woman who won’t stop talking…..someone he doesn’t like.

Stupid in a way. In my session, Ron said he hadn’t been thinking anything of the sort. But….I kind of think sometimes he doesn’t care for me much. Maybe he was real tired from his day. In the session I said fine, I’m imagining things. But I don’t think I was. However, it stopped bothering me the next day. If Ron sometimes doesn’t like me, it’s OK, as long as he mostly does.

In group, I’ve decided I’m going to talk when I want. I’ve spent a lot of energy trying to not talk so there’s space for the quiet members, but I’ve given that up. They don’t talk anyway, and it’s their loss. I’m not going to sit in silence for minutes at a time when I have things I’d like to say. I feel relieved with this decision. If they need to be quiet, I need to talk, so it works out. Evil laughter….

Up in the middle of the night blogging. I’ve had a heavy week at work where I needed to be in every day and then in pretty much all day meetings, and I’ve not been sleeping well. Lack of sleep compounds my usual issues, so I’ve been taking a pill whenever I wake up to try and calm down and get some rest. It’s been kind of working.

I get home from work pretty shut down most days. I feel exhausted from the stress of it.

So last night’s group, I was both keyed up and shut down from the stress of it all.

The topic was at first the group ending….and I once again went on about people not talking. I wish I could stop doing that. It feels like blaming other people for the group not working….

Both E and I spoke about how we’d withdrawn from the group in recent months, for different reasons. She because she felt she was ‘too much’ for the group, me because I found it too painful to try and work out issues with group members when no one else was doing so.

Then A started talking. Mostly about how much he dislikes me….He feels I have endlessly attacked him, and he feels I owe him an apology.

My instinct was to figure out what he was talking about. I thought we’d barely interacted, though yes, a few times we’d clashed. So I wanted to know when I’d attacked him. Then I told him about the times he’d hurt me.

Ron said this approach wasn’t useful, that I should stay with my feelings and see where they led. It wasn’t useful to go over he said she said….

A also said I ruined his experience of group. There was the rest of the group, which he felt was supportive, and there was me, the person who ruined it for him. You’d think we were interacting negatively every week….but really, we hadn’t. A few problems over many months was all I could remember.

A seemed very angry. He was able to stay with his anger and outrage….Well, he’s not a dissociater like me. I said I felt upset, but detached, which was true. I felt super alert, but not very emotional. Just upset, and not knowing what to do.

Ron said to stay with the feeling of upset and not knowing what to do. Other people said some things, especially E who associated our fight to her own with her husband, she of course identifying with A, and me being her husband. Difficult to take on board when I’m already struggling with difficult feelings.

So I stayed with the feeling of upset, and Ron moved the discussion back to the group ending.

After group, I felt OK about things. I was relieved to hear A’s real feelings I suppose. I didn’t retaliate and attack. I felt kind of soft.

But now at three am, I feel bad. Like I’ve been kicked around like a football. It’s sad to inspire so much hatred.

Then as usual, I now think Ron thinks bad things about me. He only worked with me on accepting A’s feelings – he had nothing to say to A about how he was handling it. On the one hand, he is trying to help me to change. On the other, why am I so at fault and A so perfect?

I also want Ron’s good opinion and I don’t feel I have it. He kind of winces when I say things half the time. I said goodbye to him, and the way he said goodbye it seemed like he didn’t like me.

I know this is my stuff. It’s hard. I want to hear people’s true feelings, and then it’s really hard to do so.

I know Ron would feel a lot more sympathy if I cried. I can’t cry. I’m all split into pieces and the crying doesn’t happen easily.

I find if I’m honest I feel a lot of difficult emotions about people in the group. And they don’t seem to have that problem. So it feels lonely to try and express and work things out….I’m alone out there.

Of course A did that tonight. It doesn’t seem that complicated for him. He just stayed angry and outraged the whole evening. He wanted an apology, I’m not apologizing, and that was it for him.

I feel like if I had Ron’s support it would be more bearable. I’m going to ask him how this helps me. I’m refraining from emailing him. I’ll see him tomorrow anyway.

After not being able to function all weekend, I got up Monday and still thought about dying. So I emailed Ron for an emergency appointment. As soon as I hit send, I started to feel better and to get it together.

I’m glad I did that. The session helped. It’s nice to go for help when you actually need it, and the help helps.

I’d said in my email that I wasn’t up for an arguing type session, or a session about my failings, and we stayed true to that. It was a bit of a relief just to be able to tell someone how awful I’d been feeling, what my weekend had been like.

I didn’t cry a lot, but I was still feeling very emotional so I seem to have fogged out a lot of the details of what was said.

One thing that emerged is that Ron thinks I’m reliving an experience from my FOO of being attacked and criticized. He didn’t think people in the group were attacking me, but that I perceived it that way because my past was triggered.

Maybe. But being told I’m judgmental isn’t the funnest thing, even if no one is attacking me. Isn’t that a judgment in itself?

I’d remembered our dining room table, sitting around it for dinner, when I was lying down in my zoned out state on the weekend. We talked a bit about what it must have been like for me as a child when my father froze me out. I cried when I remembered how painful my weekend was, but I didn’t feel much when trying to remember dinner times as a child. I suspect those emotions may be held in a part, and this wasn’t the kind of session where I wanted to go there, even if I could.

One thing I did this time that made me feel more grown-up was slowing things down when I disagreed with Ron. I did that twice, and it seemed to calm him down quite a bit, lol. He repeats things over and over, because I think he believes I don’t hear him. So I’m making extra sure he knows I hear what he’s saying.

First I let him talk. Even if I feel completely impatient and want to jump in, I don’t, I sit with it. When he’s completely finished, I reflect back what I hear him say, and ask him if I’m hearing it correctly. Only then do I respond.

It maybe sounds ridiculous that I have to do this with a therapist. But our wires are truly crossed. I do know basic communication, so why not use it. It makes me feel more competent, it grounds me as an adult, it slows the interaction down so I can cope with it, and it makes Ron more interested in listening to my response. All good things.

Those times I did this were bright spots for me. The rest of the session, childish parts of myself were bleeding through, and I couldn’t think well, was tearful and inarticulate. But truly trying to communicate brought me back to a competent adult state. This is sorely missing in my therapy. Ron seems to think I really am a child, not a woman with child parts.

We talked about whether he thinks I’m using having child parts as an excuse to avoid working on other things in therapy. I was sad that he thought that. Can’t remember what he said about that.

Right at the beginning, Ron said he thought that I believed he was attacking me and didn’t want to understand me, just as my father had done, and so I felt severely abandoned. That was so true. When he said that, I felt at least he understands some things.

I said I’d felt he was closed-minded and completely certain he was right about everything in the last session. Ron responded that he’d thought similar things about me, and that I’d seemed very angry. That I’d left in the middle of the session because I was angry.

No, it was actually fear. It’s always fear when I leave things.

We didn’t talk more about this, so maybe next time. I guess I seem only angry to him, when actually my world is falling apart and I’m getting more and more desperate for him to understand me and more and more inarticulate and childish as I try to talk about it.

We had this whole exchange about M’s comments to me in group.

E. Do you think it’s ever OK for a client to say that’s enough for now, can I talk about this later, because the client is overwhelmed already? Or is that always resistance?

R. ….Yes. It would be OK.

E. Then how come it wasn’t OK for me to say that to M? Why did you have to keep pushing? You asked me if it would be OK to get more feedback from M on what she meant. I was overwhelmed already, so I said no. Why ask me, if I can’t say no?

R. It would have been good to find out how M’s comments related to what A had said. You’d said you didn’t see the relationship.

E. So more intellectual knowledge….

R. Not intellectual, more understanding.

E. OK, so you believe that it would have been good for me to say yes, so I could get more understanding about what M was saying. Is that right?

R. ….Yes.

E. But I was overwhelmed already. When I said no I don’t want more feedback, I neglected to say because I’m already overwhelmed, can we discuss this later. If I’d been crying….you would have stopped pushing. But I because I have this problem…

R. What problem?

E. A dissociation problem. So then you think I’m closed-minded and resistant.

That’s all I can remember. Likely Ron said more on this. But I did feel he listened to me, once I’d reflected back to him that I understood what he was saying. I slowed this whole interaction down and broke it into pieces so I could deal with it.

I’m still feeling shaken up from what happened. I still don’t really know what is best – if Ron is the therapist for me, if his kind of therapy is going to help me. What’s clear is I’m attached to him and I lose my mind when I think I’m leaving or that we are on really bad terms. Plus I get triggered into feelings from my past and everything gets all mixed up.

This was one session where I felt better coming out than going in. Couldn’t have felt much worse in any case. Glad I took the risk of asking to see him.

I can see I leave a lot out when I try to communicate. Especially when things get difficult. Like in every therapy and group session for instance.

Tonight was group night and I stayed away. I felt pretty sad. Also there was some relief that I don’t have to struggle with the aftermath of it all this week. I also felt the absolute ocean of fear that stops me from going. I can over-ride that ocean of fear and go, and then I’m fighting myself from the start. Because lately that’s just triggered an avalanche of pain and strained my relationship to Ron to the breaking point, I need to take a break. It makes sense and it still makes me sad.

I’ve been sitting for about an hour trying to feel and to sit with how I feel, with tears running down my face. The anxiety is back again. I started spinning out about whether Ron is trustworthy or not, and just went in circles with it all. There are things about him that trouble me.

At the same time, I know this deep anxiety and feeling of coming apart is in me, it’s coming from inside myself. Even if I start obsessing about Ron as the possible cause.

Ron is about the seventh therapist I’ve consulted. Most only lasted a few months. With the majority, I ended the therapy very suddenly after getting mad and disgusted with them. I wasn’t attached like I am to Ron, so it was easy to leave. I can’t keep running.

The intensity of my distrust right now reminds me of my history with men. The only serious boyfriend I have had after my divorce turned out to really be untrustworthy and really did lie to me. However. Even before I knew this, I would have huge anxiety attacks based on whether he cared or not, and couldn’t calm down until I’d talk to him on the phone.

Then I’ve been obsessed with men I only knew slightly – I did this throughout my thirties. It would start out like a pleasant fantasy….and then time would pass, and I would start to feel massive fear and anguish at the thought of seeing them, to the point where my sleep would be interrupted by the fear.

Ron is not a romance, that’s for sure. Yet I wonder if some of these feelings are being triggered off yet again just because he is a man, who has displayed some caring towards me.

I thought if I can just feel what’s underneath the fear, I’d get some knowledge.

Thanks for the comments on my last – I will respond, just can’t do it right now. I read them all carefully and I thank you.