Tag Archives: annoying

goodbyes are hard

I have trouble with the concept of feeling cared about. I don’t see why anyone would want to ever remember me unless I’m in their face & bugging them. To me, goodbyes feel like a death. Some people have proved that fear wrong, but I still fear it all the time. It’s a combination of not feeling real or worthy of being remembered, feeling really crappy about myself, and knowing I will miss the person’s company (probably a ton more than they will miss mine)… I guess you could say I don’t believe I could have object permanence with someone if I am not right there for them to be reminded of me. Most of my goodbyes involve a final severance. I suck at keeping in touch b/c I worry I annoy or frustrate the other person by trying to reach out to them. They probably get frustrated and think I don’t care, so they give up trying. In reality, I care a whole lot, but feel awkward reaching out…

I was told it’s natural to miss someone you have grown used to seeing, but I never manage to believe anyone should put effort into missing me.



This move is so anxiety-inducing… and then the decision around whether or not the anxiety and depression warrant a check-in call to TM today is anxiety-inducing. I think I will ask that it’s either scheduled, or that there isn’t a call expected, but that it be decided before I leave session either way. I’m leaning towards “I’ll call and leave you a message if I need to” but not set a day and time for a check-in call that may or may not happen. Having to make that decision (even though she said either choice would be ok) is worse than having to make a decision to simply leave her a message. I keep landing on the side of “this isn’t important enough to warrant a check-in”. It feels like a check-in would only be ok if it was something hugely impossible to get through (kinda like last week). This week is difficult, but not as bad as last week…

The depression is still really bad, but it’s manageable at the moment. Going out for a bit yesterday helped (so did that nap). The flashbacks are once again just “background noise” in my body. Though I would love to get them to stop completely, as well as this newer pain that comes with them, I don’t think it’s enough to bug her today… I can still change my mind for the next 2.5 hours, but at this point, I’m settling on “not gonna be annoying and needy”.

On another note, I don’t know why I thought that the happy memories timeline would be emotionally easier than the aversive memories one. There’s no real emotion attached to the happy memories, but they trigger more aversive memories that are connected to them in one way or another. Those negative memories definitely come with some serious emotions. :/

I keep telling myself I need to handle all this differently. I need to not be so triggered by it. I need to be able to deal with it without contacting TM. And then I cycle around to wondering what use trying to deal with all this is with only a few sessions left. I want to hide and put up walls and push TM away (or, push myself away). I don’t want to feel a need to talk to her about anything. I don’t want to find myself looking to her for support. I don’t want to feel like she is a safe person. I don’t want to trust her. I want to be able to walk away without looking back. I’m trying to prepare for this loss that will be huge when it shouldn’t be… Attachment and trust and safety are sticky and messy things for me. I’m not sure how to navigate them as easily as I should. It plants a lump squarely in my throat, and a huge weight into my chest.

The other day I had a lightbulb moment around why I cling so desperately to anyone I care about right before an immanent ending. I’m not really sure why didn’t realize this sooner. I was journaling when it suddenly jumped out of the screen at me: I pulled away from my aunt before she died. I didn’t spend much time with her in that last year she was sick. It was hard. She was cranky and mean from the chemo. I didn’t want to be around that, so I stopped going to see her. I stopped spending time with her. She was one of my favorite people, and I abandoned her because I couldn’t handle her being sick. Then one day, my parents tell me I should go see her because “she doesn’t have much time left”… I think I might have seen her 2 or 3 more times before she lost consciousness in her final week. Then the hospice nurse told us she was likely going to pass that night. Her body was giving up, it was out of fight. She was out of fight. So we spent several hours with her. We would talk to her, and hold her hand. And then it got late, so my mom, brother, and I left. She died later that night…

I felt cheated. And I was angry at myself for not having been there for her. I was mad that I had let my fear and anxiety win to push me away from “my other mother”… I think because of that regret, my reflex is to cling desperately to any relationship right before it’s over. Be it romantic or therapeutic, if I know it’s ending, I become annoying and needy and ever-present… I’m trying not to do that with TM. The only alternate though seems to be building huge walls and lots of distance. It’s another thing I can’t find a middle-ground with. I don’t know how to take an impending loss and not feel giant emotions around it. It was easy to recognize in the termination timing with De, but it’s been harder to put together when it wasn’t so obviously entangled. With De, termination came 6 days before the anniversary of K’s death. I would trip up and use K’s name with her. It was painfully obvious much of the gravity of emotion came from the first loss (and from the coinciding anniversary of my first suicide attempt, thought that came 13 years after K’s death)… Other losses have felt as huge, but never were that easy to put together. I’m not sure what prompted me connecting the dots with the impending loss of TM, but it finally clicked. I am well aware that most of the emotions going on right now are transference. Yes, I will miss TM. It was a good fit for the most part. I know though, that most of my issues with loss go further back… I know losing people I trust and feel safe with just picks at an old wound that never truly healed. 😦

a love/hate relationship with therapy

(sorry this is not a very cohesive post. I’m rambling a lot…)

I hate the therapeutic relationship… I love the benefits of therapy, but the nature of the relationship makes it hell and like a bad break-up when it’s over. I mean, when else do we risk/tolerate getting incredibly emotionally intimate with someone who doesn’t open up in the same way? All the while knowing full well that they never will, and that the relationship will end with a near-complete severance? While many people are able to find one good therapist and work through their issues with that one person and feel natural with the break in the relationship, many people will bounce from clinician to clinician. Trust will need to be built with each new person, and will likely break before things are resolved in the person’s life. For me, it comes as a bi-product of having limited finances which necessitates seeing students or seeking community resources. This pretty much guarantees me a break in the relationship within several weeks at worst, and several months at best. Having been on both sides of the therapeutic relationship, I am acutely aware that a change in the relationship after termination is unlikely to go well. It’s not to say that becoming friends is impossible after (I am still friends with my h.s. guidance counselor), but chances are it will not work out nicely (it took us quite a while to settle into our routine, and even now it’s more of a mentor/mentee relationship than a truly reciprocal friendship). In therapy, we (as clients) are somewhat lulled into the one-sidedness of the whole thing. We “take” and “take” without ever having to “give”. We have a relatively neutral picture of the clinician, and we are expecting a lack of moral judgement around anything we bring up in therapy. We expect (and pay for) an ally who will at least “have our backs”, if not be totally in agreement with us. We pay them to have our best interests in mind when interacting with and reacting to us. We pay for “professionalism” in situations they may otherwise be wholly opposed to when outside of the office environment…

“Unconditional positive regard” is something we will likely only ever find in therapy. It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s warm & fuzzy. It’s nurturing… and it’s contrived. Not to say it’s not genuine, because in that environment it is. When training and working with clients, I was acutely aware of the factors motivating behavior, even if it would be considered “deviant” or “immoral”. I would not judge my clients, but try to help them resolve the turmoil in their lives. Every demon has it’s reasons… This has somewhat spilled over into my personal life, but I still have a very visceral response to things in my personal life where I would genuinely not react in the same way in a professional role… It’s not hypocrisy as much as it is a different mind-set. When working with a client, I try to look at their past experiences and how those have shaped everything they do or experience in the moment. I can work with a sexual offender without judgement. I can work with a domestic violence offender without judgement. I can hold their truths without harshness or anger. In my personal life, I can look at the past, understand it and how it shapes the person, and still hold anger and judgement around their behaviors (though, I generally dislike the concept of judging anyone except myself and a very few select people. Judgement about actions and behaviors comes easier). In my personal life, my own emotions and thoughts on things get in the way. I react out of anger or hurt or sadness or judgement when I would not do so in my professional life… I mean, where outside of therapy can you be guaranteed (I use that word loosely as there are some very judgemental and/or unprofessional therapists out there) a genuine acceptance of all the “crud”?

But I digress. I hate the emotional experience of therapy. It’s like asking you to strip naked (while the other remains totally clothed), jump around in thorn bushes for a while, then leave (often times, still naked and now sore and raw). It’s totally shitty for someone who feels emotions so strongly on top of everything. I admire (and am envious of) those people who can walk into therapy and walk out relatively unscathed. It takes me ages to trust anyone, let alone feel any attachment. It’s risky and scary and I dislike doing it. I prefer to keep everyone at arm’s length because it lessens the inevitable roller-coaster. Once I get attached though, I cling for dear life. You could run me over, smiling and laughing maniacally as you do it, and I would come back giving you chance after chance to apologize or change the behavior. It’s not so much a sense of masochism as it is a disbelief that I could have misjudged someone so badly that I finally grew to trust them… I know this is counter-productive to healthy relationships, but it enables me to return to therapy despite the emotional toll it takes. I focus on the positives (one of the few times I am able to tenaciously hold onto something positive despite all the negatives; it’s usually quite the opposite to when I focus on the negative despite mountains of positives). I convince myself that all the struggle and pain is worth it. Yes, my emotional experiencing seems very much out-of-proportion to the relationship, however if I go with the theory that I generally experience emotions either out-of-proportion to the situation or not at all, then it makes sense. Considering the amount of effort it takes to open up and trust a therapist, it makes sense that there would be a tidal wave of emotion surrounding the relationship… So yeah, I hate it. Yet I continue to subject myself to it time and again…


Tears have snuck out of my eyes more times than I’d like to admit today… It sucks. Also because I hate crying. I mean really, truly, emphatically HATE it. It’s messy and uncomfortable and slimy… I get the benefits, but I still hate it. And I hate admitting to crying…


I’m told it gets better. The professional me is trying desperately to convince me of this. I’m told there’s hope… The emotional me is saying a big “fuck you” to the professional side right now. The teenager is throwing a hissy fit in her own sulking and brooding way. She’s reminding the rest of me about all the times it’s gotten worse. She’s throwing out all the negatives and the hopelessness because that’s what she does the best. I can’t have lied to TL though, so she’s just going to have to deal… One day the teenager will admit some of the tears are her’s also…

Oh, and just so I can keep track of it somewhere: distraction need is set to super-high today. I was playing on the computer, listening to music, watching tv, and messing around on the phone all at the same time earlier. At the moment, I’ve got music pumping into my ear, typing here, on a forum, and playing on the phone… need to find some way to ride this wave of emotions without a self-destruct creeping in.

the concept of neediness

I’m feeling very “needy” today. I crave interaction and talking about some of this stuff. I desperately want to talk to TL and address the transference piece because it’s making such a huge impact on things. And I want to talk to her about it today; right now

The flip side of all this is the judgement that goes along with my neediness. I see it in all the negative light that’s been cast on the concept by everyone ever. I’ve got the dialogue in my head repeating every negative judgement I have ever heard about it playing loud and clear in my brain: immature, too much trouble, you should know how to get through all this on your own, never grew up, never learned to do things on her own, bothersome, troublesome, frustrating, pain in the ass… It plays in the voices of people I have known, and the random voices of people I have heard speak of neediness in negative terms. It plays in TL’s voice (though she has never said anything even hinting at it being negative)…

So what’s the balance? When is neediness ok? and when is it too much? (and no, I don’t have any proposed answers to this right now, just raising the questions) As I’m told (and as I can intellectually gather), everyone has needs. They range from physical to emotional, but everyone has them. So how do we determine that a need is invalid or inappropriate? The clinician side of me would offer up support around anything a client found pressing (within the limitations of my expertise). I would be ok with calls about fears or worries or symptoms until we worked out an appropriately healthy way to deal with them. But the kid side of me worries about becoming annoying. I worry that my very “kid” needs would be inappropriate and unwelcome. Despite TL having reiterated that I can call simply to “vent” on her voicemail, I can’t bring myself to do it around this. I feel like it would be pushing the limits of her tolerance, and she would revoke the privilege… Of course, I can’t know this for certain if I don’t ask about it, but I figure I can ask next session. In the mean time, I am left struggling with it…

Now that I have recognized these needs as “kid” needs, what do I do with them? How do I handle them? The judgement of them being “inappropriate” is still very loud in my head, which makes me feel bad about even having them (I’m not a kid after all). But I don’t know how to suppress them or quiet them or deal with them.  I don’t know how to make them go away so they don’t interfere with life. Not only do the needs now feel “wrong” to have, but I feel wrong for having them. It feels like I’m intrinsically flawed, and that it can never be “fixed”. I’m back to feeling defective and unworthy at the core. I should know how to deal with this stuff myself, I should know how to handle my own needs, I shouldn’t have needs in the first place

On an intellectual level, I can see the flaw in that line of thinking. It doesn’t penetrate to the emotional level though. I can’t seem to talk myself out of feeling so wrong at my core. I should be able to, but it’s too deep and I can’t do it on my own… which comes back to being needy and having needs that I can’t fulfill myself at the moment, but I also don’t feel right asking for help in handling. It’s a nice little Catch 22…

2014 100-Theme Challenge #46 & #47 (WIP)

I’ve been trying to catch up on my theme challenges lately. I also saw (again) the art therapy prompt to make a mask representing what you show to the world, and what goes on inside (similar to last year’s “inside-out box”). I liked the idea of the duality, but didn’t want to do an actual mask. I decided instead to do a single piece with a face split down the middle (combining two of the 2014 theme challenges: #46 – to the world & #47 – on the inside).

wpid-20140920_232157.jpgI tried to sketch out the basics first. I kinda like the way the right side came out (the “inside”), though I still need to work on my color-shading skills and painting skills in general for faces. I can get more inanimate objects painted well, but facial features elude me… Anyway, I wanted to make the inside kinda gross and zombie-ish, because it’s how I feel most of the time (and pretty much always like that deep-down). I would have prefered a more realistic look to it, but I’m going to say it’s ok because my painting skills have never been on par with my drawing skills (back when I could draw better). I added the words around the image to convey more specifically my inner dialogue… Needless to say, my self-esteem is below pond-scum most of the time (though with my continued practice of art, it’s growing a bit at least around my artwork).

to the world; on the inside IP)I wasn’t sure what to do with the left side. I thought of trying a painting of a happy face with a happy, confident, and calming image in the silhouette and then marker in the features, but I couldn’t decide on an image I wanted to use that would convey all the stuff I project.  I remembered I had found some cool “inspirational” tissue paper on clearance at the store the other day and had yet to find an art application for it. I tried that for the bg of the “outside” half of the face. I forgot tissue paper gets pretty transparent when glued, so the words are sadly not easily read (had to use multiple layers and over-lapping pieces). I have yet to decide how to do the rest fo the face… There will be positive words around that head, ones that represent all the stuff I display to the world so they don’t see what’s really there.


I don’t know happened, but I’m incredibly cranky tonight.  I feel really bad about it, because everyone is catching my wrath. I just want to throw things and break things and scream for no apparent reason. I hate this anger that comes out of nowhere.