Thank you to everyone who has commented on my threads. I do read them all and take a lot of advice, and appreciate the support. When I began this journey, I knew I was doing it without a spouse, boy friend, whatever, and the family that I do have can’t really participate. It is unsafe. My parents are old and they don’t want to know, and they don’t need to know. My siblings, well two of them are perpetrators, and the other three are, well, still connected to my brothers too. So it is painful and unsafe to talk about my healing-journey with family. I’ve tried to talk to my sisters a little, but anything that might be considered, even a tiny bit discouraging can throw me for a loop. So you guys are my support system. I have a couple of other friends who know, but there are limits to what people can hear. I try to err on the side of the listeners.
I saw Angela today. I talked about a problem I ran into this morning — my doggy door was out in the snow, and I had a 1’x2′ hole in my door, that 20 degree weather was just coming in. I had 1 hour to be on the road for my appointment. And I had a litter of puppies to feed, their dam, and 10 other dogs that wanted water and food. I fixed it. Got everything done, shower, dressed for work, and out the door in time to make it there through the snow, on time.
So after half our time was used up, she handed me the buzzers and I knew I would be furious with myself if I did not talk about what I wanted to talk about before coming in. It was so hard. I asked if she liked me. She asked what I meant and I told her.
I told her that for me you either like me or dislike me and there is no in-between. She asked if there was anyone that I didn’t like or dislike. And I said, not anyone I talk to for an hour each week. I told her that if you like me, than I am ok, and if not I am not ok. We discussed this point as well. I told her that it doesn’t have to make sense logically, that is how I am wired on this. And I told her if you like me you want go out of your way to hurt me. We talked about why its about safety.
She had told me she will answer, but I might not be satisfied with her answer. She said she starts off liking everyone. And unless they prove to be assholes (not sure if that was her word or mine), then they lose their A-standing. I haven’t lost my A-standing. I think this part of the conversation was before the bit about feeling safe. We talked about Nancy and transference and how Nancy would not answer this question, but said she approved of me. And Angela said that was worse because that is really a judging kind of work, and that she did not know what she meant. She called Karen and asshole — her word, probably when we were talking about feeling safe/not wanting to be hurt. We talked about not being dependent on the therapeutic relationship, because she could die, and all that. And we talked about graduate classes, and she stops and says, “you have a look of confusion or frustration on your face.” She asked me some questions, whether she said anything — no. Finally she asked if I felt I wasn’t being understood. I told her I must not be expressing myself well. I was frustrated because I was emotional and my words would not cooperate with me.
She told me that I often speak differently and have trouble when we are working on the trauma. She says that I revert to a child when I talk about what makes me vulnerable. Maybe that should have made me angry, but it didn’t. Nancy had said that I was child-like, but that was a hundred years ago. When you are child-like at 26 is a lot different at 51. And at that time, I took offense saying she thought I was childish, and she said she did not say that. But I couldn’t figure out any difference between childlike and childish. But Angela said that “Do you like me?” is a question a child would ask.
I thought about that today, and decided I really don’t know what normal people would ask. Maybe any adult would ask that if they had the balls. And guts, it takes guts to ask that, after having asked Nancy and Karen and having suffered consequences for asking both times. So why am I asking. She asked me, can’t you tell? I told her I thought I could, but I don’t trust my judgement.
But if anything I feel relieved. I asked her how we fix this. And she said, working on the trauma. I feel relieved because there are times when I feel insanely needy, and times when I know I will be sorry if I do something, like ask her if she likes me, but I have to do it anyway, and times when I just want someone to be in control, to feel safe and cared for. Perhaps I want to re-enact what should have been mine in childhood, a time when I did not have to be responsible. Responsible for mom’s mood and depressions, responsible for my little brother and sister, responsible to keep the secrets, responsible to keep the craziness at bay when at any moment all would fall apart. So in the therapeutic setting, when I might feel vulnerable, I tend to function at a child-level.
In moments like these, I am glad I am listed as solongago and not my real name where a search by prospective employers would find exactly how crazy I am.
Thanks for reading. I don’t think this one is as light and quick as some of the previous ones, but I think we covered some ground today.