Tag Archives: therapist

Good at something

In session today, we talked about the total disconnect I have with everything relating to the “memories” these last few days.

She says it’s because I’m really good at dissociating things.

I guess.

I reiterated that none of it feels real. (I left out that nothing feels real at the moment. None of my history feels like it belongs to me, not even the things I’ve known all along). I reiterated that it’s all just a story I made up, though I can’t figure out why I would do it.

She said that she believed me anyway. She said I might not have any connection to it at the moment, but she was there when the part of me who experienced it also re-experienced it when I told it.

She said she’d hold the “trueness” of it for me…

Ok… that’s good. Because it feels like a tornado whipped through a store-room full of cabinets and sent the papers flying everywhere. Things are mixed up, employees are battered and confused, and the secretary is running around trying to put it all back together again in some semblance of order (hopefully back where it all belongs). It’s nice to have someone take the weight of the truth away from all that running around and fixing… I picture a woman carrying a huge manual while trying to also pick up random scraps of paper. As she bends down to pick up something else, the manual tips to the side and starts to open. It’s tall and held together with flexible rods through one side. It’s much easier to pick all the stray papers up if the manual is not in her hands…

The boy grew up while we were talking (briefly?). For the first time in several sessions, I actually left feeling ok; like I had stated to talk about what was pressing to come out. I’m not quite sure what the boy wanted to cover, but he seemed satisfied with whatever it was we talked about.

I still don’t like this process. I still feel like I’m falling apart more than coming together, but she says that’s a good thing. She says the system has outlived it’s usefulness and now it’s time to move on… I’m not sure I believe that last part. At least, I’m not sure I want to believe it.

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Missing people & vulnerability

Suddenly missing De a lot.  I think it might have to do with recently being asked to submit art for a domestic violence awareness exhibit next month…

It’s a weird feeling; missing someone who played a really significant role in your life, but who you will never see again.

My train of thought then flips to TM, who I also miss. I could probably call her though. I could get away with some form of connection by listening to her outgoing voice mail greeting (wouldn’t presume to cross boundaries by actually calling when she could pick up).

Going to see Dr C in a few minutes. Bringing in my inside out box to show her. Not quite sure why it’s something I want to show her at the moment, but likely has to do with missing De… also with feeling very vulnerable lately. I dunno.

Vulnerable and overly emotional for no real reason. Trying to figure out if there’s an anniversary of any sort coming up (or recently passed), but nothing significant comes to mind. The closest I can think of is that this time of year was when I started talking to De about Duckboy details (should never have done that, it helped burn her out)… two years ago this month was the first time I every shared any of what he did… the memories of what I went through with him feel fake also (unless they are intruding upon my body). Maybe I’m just exaggerating everything…

The little kid inside is out…


Titles and faking it

Last week with TM, the concept of feeling like a fraud my whole life came up. I was explaining that I know I have these accomplishments and education, but when I’m not in an intellectual space, I don’t connect to any of them. I can look at my resume and my degree and see my name, know I was there, understand that I knew this stuff at one time, but it all feels so removed.
A few sentences later, she called me by a title I never internalized; she called me a therapist. I visibly balked when she said this. I don’t identify with it at all. Yes, I have education towards it, and yes I was in that role at one time, but I only ever considered myself an intern or trainee. I never finished my schooling. I didn’t hold that job for more than a year… Yes, I had individual & group clients. Yes, I was the person they talked to about their “stuff”. Yes, we did “therapy” things, but I never felt like a therapist.

Therapists have their shit together. They don’t fall apart at the slightest trigger. They know how to handle stress. They are good about their self care. They stay working…

So no, I don’t consider myself a therapist. It’s something I’d like to get to some day, but most days I don’t consider myself a very good adult, forget the responsibility that goes along with the title of “therapist”… I hope I don’t ever come off as knowing more than I do. I don’t mean to.


randomness

L remembered J’s birthday is today. I remembered De’s birthday will be coming up on the 19th… I can’t remember Dr C’s b-day, and I don’t think I ever knew anyone else’s. I don’t know TL’s…

Funny how we remember some pretty random things. I have trouble remembering my sister-in-law’s b-day, or any of L’s family’s, but I know my former therapist’s birthday…


Loss in any form is difficult, especially when you have not dealt with the past ones yet.

So I’ve had a few hours to sit with the concept of De leaving the agency.  I had cried about it (yup, actual tears spilling down my face. Not just tearing up, but real crying complete with gross boogers).  I was somewhat able to “talk” to L about it.  I have thought about it, and processed it, and moved past the anger (it was fleeting).  I’m in a weird flat place right now. If I think too hard or too long about it, I will cry again (have I mentioned I hate crying?).  So I’m concentrating on little things.  I’m concentrating on typing my words correctly (I’m sure there will be many mistakes, and I suck at proof-reading, always have).  I’m concentrating on keeping the dogs from going nuts because they are tired and want to get to bed.  I am taking breaks to take them outside one by one so I can finally put the boys to sleep.  I was concentrating on listening to my mom as she talked about how we may go about fixing the fridge.  I’m concentrating on the decision-making process of whether or not to start into Game of Thrones again tonight, or go with something easier, like Orange is the New Black, or Grey’s Anatomy or Dexter.  I’m concentrating on wanting to find a way to express myself either through art or writing, but certainly no more crying.

I’ve been able to formulate and articulate to L that this overwhelming loss I feel at the termination with De is really the compilation of losses that I have yet to deal with.  It goes back decades.  It’s disproportionate to the relationship because it is so much more than just this one relationship. It’s the loss of friends and family and memories and innocence.  It’s the loss of supports and home-bases.  It’s the loss of a sense of security.  And it’s the premature loss of someone I had expected to lose, but managed to trust anyway.  I am not good with loss.  I never have been.  Sure I can smile through changes, but the tears always glisten in my eyes.  This time they broke free.  I don’t know if was because of how worn-down I feel lately, the creeping depression, or the fact that De was the first (only) person to hear some really heavy stuff. I was prepared to walk away from this relationship at the time of my move.  I was expecting it to help keep me balanced as my stress rose.  Just last week I had asked her for more support.  This week it’s all going away much faster than I had thought.  It’s pointless to try to find another therapist for those last 6 weeks, so I guess I will have to just figure it out on my own (though I am toying with the idea of trying to get a referral to someone for those 6 weeks)… I know it will be ok, because it always is in the end, but right now it feels really shitty.

When she first told me, I couldn’t exactly speak. I was too busy trying to hold back the tears and the sobbing because I knew it was disproportionate to the situation.  My tears didn’t listen to my insistence.  They spilled down my cheeks anyway.  When she asked me to articulate what was going through my head at the moment, all I could muster was a half-whispered “whatever” through clenched teeth.  I was afraid that if I opened my mouth more than that to speak, I would either sob uncontrollably and loudly, or I would speak out of my fear-driven (and old) anger.  She challenged my “whatever” by saying that she knew this was hard for me, and she knew it wasn’t “whatever”.  All I could do was shake my head as more tears streamed down my face.  I couldn’t look at her, so I looked everywhere else in the office and just repeated “whatever” one more time.  We sat in silence for a bit longer as I looked everywhere but where she was sitting.  More rogue tears.  She asked if I could tell her what I was thinking, if self-harm urges came up.  I realised then that my head was frantically backpedaling in an attempt to halt all thought (much like pedaling backward on a BMX bike to brake).  There was a forced-stillness in my head.  Conscious thoughts had stopped.  All efforts were being diverted to stave off any melt-down beyond what had happened.  It struck me as odd that there were no self-harm thoughts or suicidal thoughts.  There just were no thoughts.  She eased into a verbal safety contract, and was able to joke around it, which helped pull me back into the room and back to functioning. When I stumbled over concepts as I tried to agree to what she was asking, she helped out by saying “Whatever you need to agree to to get back here in one piece next week is what we are going to agree to”.  In the past, she had always wanted specifics, but I don’t think I could have given those to her in the moment.  I think I recognized a bit of freedom in that change (and I think I just now recognized how the weight was off her this session.  It was familiar in that I had felt it after I had given notice at the group home, but still had to deal with the kids for 2 more weeks. I no longer cared about the strict rules of etiquette because I was leaving soon. I was able to be more genuine, and the girls had picked up on it with me.  I think that’s what I felt from De today.  It was a freedom from the pressure to be “perfect” in the role… It’s funny how some guidelines are in place to help us do our jobs better, but in the end we are burdened with the pressure to stay within the boundaries – we lose our genuineness…) but I digress.  We chatted about other things for the remainder of the session. She had asked something about letting “us” know if I ever figured out a way to apply my knowledge-base in psych to myself.  I think she was going to go somewhere else with that, but she stopped herself.  I talked about my complete inability to have access to both my emotional and intellectual sides at the same moment.  We talked about this blog, and how it had been born of the idea of being able to look at all of it over time (the more professional side of me when I am in a more emotional space, and the more emotional side of me when I am locked in professional mode).  I told her about an early entry on the concept of  “attention-seeking” and how it is not always as sinister-ly manipulative as the field makes it out to be…  I kept a close eye on the clock because I had brought my Wreck This Journal with me to show her.  With about 5 minutes left, I changed the topic to that.  She always seems genuinely interested in what I bring in, but this time there was something else again.  I showed her the piece with the prompt to “make a paper chain“.  She seemed excited about it.  It was weird because the excitement was different… I’m not sure how to describe it.  She said something along the lines of wishing she could show it to other people because it conveyed so much more than just words could. The way she said it made me feel like she was trying to make a point to someone.  I had wanted to tell her she could (I may have imagined it, but it looked like she was ready to get up and walk out of her office with the book. She scootched forward in her chair as she had said that about showing it to others), but I was caught off guard.  The words “you could” spun around in circles in my brain, but never made it to my tongue… We moved on to scheduling after she looked a bit more at my book.  She pondered the best way to fit in the second appointment.  I put my vote in for Tuesday & Friday citing my “OCD-ish tendencies” for wanting to space out the days a bit more. She actually laughed and said she prefered that for the same reason (more genuine-ness).  So I will be seeing her twice a week for the next few weeks until she leaves.  We will be figuring out the content of our sessions as we go.  She checked-in about the possibility of doing more Duckboy work on Tuesday, and would I be ok if she sprung it on me that day.  I told her I was open to whatever, but that I needed her to lead if it was the Duckboy stuff because I feel totally lost on what to do with it.  I think she was still deciding on how to approach Tuesday.  There are a lot of days between now and Tuesday, so my opinion may change, but for now I’m ok with pushing the assault topics.  I guess it depends on how far I get with this internal processing of her leaving instead of me leaving.  I may decide by Tuesday tha I really need to talk to her about some of this stuff and whatever else it will bring up.


Emotional flashbacks

Session with De today went pretty well. We talked about the legal definition of assault and rape. We compared notes and she validated my hesitation to discuss anything about Duckboy for the last 17 years. We discussed the power dynamics of relationships. We talked about how that can effect whether a person leaves; whether they fight back.  Things were going good.  I was able to see things both intellectually and emotionally without it overwhelming me. I recognized the negative thoughts and she helped refute them (or start to). Then something changed. I started drifting away. De noticed and asked about it. I suddenly wasn’t able to talk to her about anything.  I couldn’t tell her what was going on because I couldn’t figure out in myself what was happening. Emotional memories sometimes overtake me and I have no idea until long after… De helped me ground a bit.  She asked about my recent art. I wanted to show her, but I wasn’t in a place to explain it, so I just handed her the book. She looked through things and asked about them.  Some were easier to talk about than others, but it worked to help ground me (at least long enough to be able to walk out of the building. I was shaking inside and was surprised I didn’t bump into every wall on the way out). I got in the car and blasted my music. The air from the open windows and the loud noise helped me ground more.  I wasn’t ready to be home yet though, so I asked L if she’d go to the beach with me.

It was a nice change from the house.  The winds were strong so the seas were choppy.  It was sunny but pleasant. Birds were out in force. I have a “slight”obsession with birds and birds in flight. I brought my camera (the good one, not just the phone. I’ll have to add those pics later because I’m posting from my phone) and was able to get some decent shots. There was a pelican that was particularly bold. He sat still as I took pictures about a foot away from his face. He tolerated me for a good 5 minutes before he flew off.

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Because of the rough seas, there were also several man-o-war washed up on shore.  I normally see blue ones, but these ones had purplish pink on them also. I had to stifle the urge to play with them (I’m sure the sting would not have been all that painful, especially with the head-space I occupied earlier in the day)… regardless, they were really pretty.

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There was a rather large flock of birds I have never seen before. They kept their faces to the wind even when resting. They had relatively large beaks (long) for birds their size. I also had trouble finding their eyes. They were pretty cool when they took off (sadly that pic is only on the computer)… but here’s a pic of them chilling on the beach all facing the wind.

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and finally, some pictures from the “real” camera (Canon Rebel xTi with kit lens)


take 2 of take 3

I had a post all written out, then I accidentally got rid of it by reloading the page when all I meant to do was add a picture… oops…

I don’t really feel like re-writing it, so I will just upload the picture.  It’s the third take on my picture for De.  April is coming up fast, and I want to get this piece in to her.  I just have to finish the arms of the adult, and the pieces she is picking up… I was going to have a background originally, but I don’t want to push my luck with the piece.  When I’m finished with this one, I will put up all three versions (all different in a few ways) and explain the different meanings.

wpid-PicsArt_1393214059745.jpg

Last session, De had described this house as screaming (with memories of the past, and flashbacks…)  I added that it literally screams with anger most days.  I really connected with her description, and I wanted to record that… It had been better-written in the first version of this post, but like I said, I’m not in the mood to write all that out again.  Things are all churning in my head, but I am not sure how to communicate what that really means.  The past is screaming at me.  The house is screaming.  My fears of what the future will be like are screaming, and it’s all very loud right now.  I’m trying to work it out through art, within myself, and figure out how to process things with De.  It’s all just a jumble right now.  Hopelessness is sneaking back in, but I am not supposed to indulge it.  I’m a bit at a loss with how that is accomplished, but I’m trying.  L and I both have a lot of stressors brewing, but I feel like I can’t talk about mine because I feel like I only ever talk in circles about it (and because I don’t really know all of what it is). It has kept me from writing much, from reaching out, and from communicating.  It’s really difficult to communicate when you have no idea what you are trying to say.  I know a lot has to do with finances.  Some has to do with work (or lack there-of), G coming down in 2 days for a 7 day stay (please shoot me?), and my judgements/fears/hopelessness around having to utilize disability… Part of me really wants to say I’m good to go back to work right now, but there’s the doubt yelling loudly.  It tells me that things will never be ok for me, I will never again be able to hold down a job, I will be worthless and useless the rest of my life.  It whispers my failures over and over again.  It points out how things always go wrong shortly after they go right… It beckons me to throw up my hands, curl into a little ball, and fade from life…  I just wish I hadn’t ruined life for so many people. I’m sorry…

I think it’s time to go to bed (not that there’s much relief there. I die in my dreams just about every night.  Sometimes multiple times a night.  ugh).  Anyway, I’m shutting up.  Sorry if you actually read this far.  It was rather a poor post…