boundaries in therapy, and ASL class 3

I feel like I need to explain myself better, mostly to those in real life.

I think boundaries are really important. I think it’s imperative to maintain a professional relationship with your therapist. I feel this way because I have had times when those boundaries blurred. It was very awkward and weird (tho never yet detrimental to either relationship). When I was studying for my BA, my work study site wanted to give us a chance to see what it was like to be a client. It also needed to guarantee the PhD students a certain amount of experience. I ended up seeing my first therapist there my first year of college. It made for an awkward day when I would pull double-duty as client and as co-worker with my therapist. We would have work-related conversations sandwiching my therapy sessions. It worked out ok in the end, but I think I taxed my therapist quite a bit… It also made therapy awkward if we ever broached a subject on which I had prior knowledge of her feelings. I noticed myself censoring what I would tell her because I knew if she was having a rough day, or she was stressed with something else. I kept certain things unsaid because I knew she felt negatively about it outside of the therapy room (though she never would have given me that impression during a session). I think I missed out on a lot of growth at the time because I was so worried about protecting her or making her comfortable with sessions.
Don’t get me wrong, I would not be here today if my h.s. guidance counselor had not crossed those boundaries with me, but I think it becomes something else as you get older. I think it also takes on a different connotation when there’s unresolved romantic transference within the relationship. An innocuous text can be blown into something it totally isn’t. I know this is my insecurities around L’s intentions based on my past history with infidelity, but it still screams in my head. I’m actually fairly confident that L will not stray and that J will not cross any boundaries. I just don’t know how to tell my head that. I don’t know how to convince my gut to not cringe when L sends J a text that is not strictly about our therapy sessions. I flinch when her first reaction is to tell J about a success immediately when it could stand to wait until our next session. We try to talk about it, but L gets defensive and I get anxious, then defensive myself. It causes a lot of tension. I know we need to talk about it with J, but I don’t know how to bring it up. I am torn between worrying about making L uncomfortable and wanting to get things addressed. It goes back to boundaries… or maybe my insane need to keep everyone happy. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I don’t want to upset anyone, so I don’t want to bring this up in therapy. I don’t like having to ask L not to text J about everything. I don’t want her to be mad or frustrated with me. I don’t want J to impose other boundaries because I think sometimes it’s helpful to be able to tell her things or get info from her during the week.

On another note, I felt so put on the spot in class last night. We had some homework to do in which we had to unscramble some signs. The directions said to EITHER translate then unscramble, OR just unscramble them. I simply unscrambled them, but the teacher did not approve. He wanted us to translate the letters then unscramble. I happened to be the first person he called-out on “doing it wrong” (though half the class did it like L and I did). It hit me so hard that I wanted to leave the class and never return… definitely some stuff I need to address with De.  I think part of the of it came from my history with my father, for whom anything wrong on homework or a test was unacceptable.  It meant hours and hours of studying to make up for the error in learning (or reading as was often the case with me… I tend to skim directions, or not read them at all if I think I know what I’m doing). Anyway, it stirred a lot of crap inside me. It took everything in me not to cry and run out of class.

Well, it has taken me the tried to get this far in this entry. I think I’m going to end it because I don’t really know what else I was going to write for it. The gist of things: I have a huge pile of stuff to talk to De about tomorrow morning.


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