Therapy Challenges: I’m giving the wrong impression

Saw TM today. We talked a lot about the disconnection from last week, and what was the same or different about it vs. other times. We also talked about the self-harm and went into a bit of an over-view of the narrative I had done. I had been present most of the session until we talked more about the narrative, maybe? I’m really not sure. I know she asked me to track something, but for the life of me right now I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was dissociation? or triggers? or moods? I would call her to ask, but I’ve already spoken to her about a schedule change, and then called and left her a message asking her not to read the narrative I had left with her… I think that calling her another time would be pushing my boundaries a lot.

Boundaries. Oh yeah, we had kinda talked about reaching out and having that be ok. She had mentioned that sometimes it’s still necessary to reach out when we are struggling because we are all human. She says humans sometimes need other humans when we are in a tough spot… I’m not sure I can justify calling in general, but maybe…

Still not sure what she had wanted me to track… maybe it will come to me later. I know she wants me to work on coming up with other coping skills since the ones I have are getting quite worn. I dunno. It was so hard to find ones that worked even a bit, I’m not quite sure what else to put on my list. She’s focusing on finding a “pattern interrupt”, but I’m not sure how to create one. Things are already different from even a year ago. I find myself at a loss for new suggestions.

TM called just now in response to my message. I think I put her on alert more than I mean to. I know she doesn’t know me all too well, but I have a feeling she thinks I’m more of a risk to myself than I actually am. I’m not sure how to put her mind at ease. She wanted to make sure that the narrative didn’t contain anything that may hint at me being unsafe. I’m not sure how I gave her the impression that it might, but it certainly doesn’t. It’s only a description of what happened 3 years ago. I think I will need to have a conversation around safety. The only issues we have talked about have been in the past. I did admit to the ever-present suicidal ideation, but nothing about any immanent threat. Maybe I should take in that likert scale outline I came up with and flesh it out with her to help find a quantifiable and qualifiable way of talking about safety. It might also help with communicating about the self-harm urges and the flashbacks… I dislike being seen as such a liability when I’m not actually there. I get that it was appropriate at one time, but I’m not in that place anymore. It’s kinda bringing up that feeling of her having pegged me into a certain diagnosis. I don’t like it. There’s too little room for growth if I’m always battling the stereotypes. :sigh: I dunno. Guess I will need to wrap that into the safety conversation. I get conflicting readings from TM. In one moment, I feel like she gets where I’m coming from and is willing to work with what might be helpful. In another moment, I get the impression that she is waiting for me to fall into a specific pattern… Maybe that’s why she keeps using the term “pattern interrupt” when I would say “stepping out of my comfort zone”…  I’m not sure what her field of study was to get her LPC credentials, but her vocabulary is very different from what I am used to for a bunch of stuff…

De felt I was too dramatic. I never intended to be, but I guess I came off that way. Maybe being so worried about coming off as dramatic to TM makes things look worse to her than they actually are. Maybe me insisting that I don’t want to be too focused on the “distractions” of the self-harm thoughts and the suicidal thinking makes it look like I’m trying to hide the level of severity. The truth is, I know that stuff is just distraction when dealing with the trauma gets too overwhelming. I know how to keep it in check, and how to reach out when it gets too dangerous… I know she has no reason to belive that. I have to figure out how to build that trust with her.

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