Ok, now maybe I can update about how therapy went on Wednesday.

52 16

First of all, without church and just the feeling of being stuck, I feel even more distant/isolated.  And, I’m an introvert and socially retarded as it is, so it is not like I have just knocked out 80% of my life and am now stuck at home.  Other than not being able to go to the store because it is closed, and the church, my life really hasn’t changed.  I still go to work.  In fact, our company just let us all know that they are an essential business, so we are to report to work whatever the governor says.  But I work second shift.  There is one other second shift guy in the department and he stopped talking to me a year and a half ago.  So I am pretty alone there.  There are some folks I am friendly with, but, they either go home at the end of their shift (early) or the second shift supervisor gets nosey if he sees me talking to anyone.  It’s pretty solitary, really.  I work on cryptograms during lunch and breaks.  

Ok, Wednesday.  This is hard.  Because I have already been fired by my last therapist and my first therapist wouldn’t even see me again when I tried to go back.  I am really starting to think that if I complain at all about what is going on, then it is just me and there is something really wrong with me.  If people who choose as a carreer to work with folks that have mental or emotional problems can’t even work with me…

I went in there and she asks the question, “So how are you doing with all this corona virus stuff?”  So, I told her.  I told her about Monday when the store was closed, and the time changed so that even if I was not on Mandatory over time, it would still be closed.  So I went to the other store that is usually open 24/7 and it was closed and closes before I get off work too.  I told her that I can only shop on the week end now, when all the people are there.  She suggested before work.  well, even if I didn’t run the farm and rush out the door every day to get to work on time, the food would have to sit in my car all day, and that’s ok in the winter, but it’s spring now, and we’ve seen 50 and even 60 degree outside temps.  In the car (black) it is even warmer.  

She seemed to just dismiss the whole of it as though I shouldn’t be upset about being inconvenienced.  She knows I have asthma and diabetes, and heart problems. and shouldn’t be around a ton of people.  And she tried to make the suggestion, could someone else shop for you?  Nope.   My dad had to get me a thermometer and zicam on Tuesday.  She asked if he could shop for me.  I am like, no way!  He is late seventies and diabetic, with heart issues.  And he can’t be bringing home stuff to my mom neither.  I had tried to buy the stuff Tuesday after trying to vote and voting was cancelled.  But there were too many people in Drug Mart and I would have been late for work.  

So this is Wednesday.  She didn’t try to figure out why it was such a problem for me, she just berated me for being frustrated.  She went on and on talking and I sat there watching the time slip away, and that was making me more and more frustrated and less and less able to do anything to change it.  Finally, with less than five minutes to go, I said that we spent all the time on something that really wasn’t that big of a deal for me (the coronavirus itself), because that isn’t bothering me.  She asked, “Why, some passive method of suicide or what?”  I don’t even know what I answered, but it must have been ok, because she left off that.  I am not so much worried about getting the disease as carrying it to my parents.  But if I get sick, I get sick.  She had mentioned not letting this stuff depress me,  I said, I am not going to let it depress me, I have better stuff to be depressed about.  She asked what.  But there was no time now, and I knew it. 

Well, I mentioned my frustration with being expected to be strong, or being considered strong because of the sexual abuse.  She let me go on for a minute, and then she jeered at me, “You are weak!  You are weak! is that better?”  I don’t know what I responded.  I was going to my little place.  She started laughing.  Finally, I said something about her laughing at me.  She said, no, she was laughing because she said stuff like that to people all the time.  She changed tacts and said that she did feel strong for having survived and was proud that her attempts of suicide failed and that she came out of it and is on the other side. 

Good. 

She said that maybe I don’t feel that way now, but other people are just trying to be supportive, and maybe they are further along than I am.  

Well, I left.  And I thought a lot.  

I thought about why I felt so angry about the stores closing so I can’t shop at night when it is empty and a lot easier (and safer) for me.  And I come up with the feeling of powerlessness that drives me crazy.  And the fact that the changes are just coming at me so fast.  We had a meeting about the coronavirus on Friday (a week ago Friday), and then on Monday, then the stores closed up on Monday, and then they come out that we can’t vote on Tuesday at 10:30 PM Monday night.  Before I can wrap my mind around a change, another comes at me, and another, and another.  

I don’t like change.  I suppose everyone faces changes differently.  But I really avoid changes to the extent that it hurts me.  I will stay in a crappy job because I don’t want to change.  I will accept abusive treatment because I don’t want to change.  Normally it is up to me to either stay with something that isn’t working, or to change it, and I generally stay with whatever isn’t working.  When it isn’t up to me, like when Karen chucked me, or when the stores just close, or I have to do mandatory over time, I kind of lose my mind.  

I have written about the being told I am strong stuff before, so I won’t belabor all of the stuff I thought about it.  What came to me though is that I don’t feel heard when I am talking about how vulnerable I feel, how I want to feel protected and nurtured, how I feel needy, and people tell me how strong I am, I feel invalidated, unheard.  It is so important for me to connect with folks and when they aren’t getting it at all…  Yes, I would rather someone jeer “You are weak!” at me than to hear, kindly, “You are such a strong person.”  If that is what I am actually saying.  I know some of you have said, “I know you don’t feel like this right now, but I know that you are really very strong for feeling your emotions.”  And that is really nice.  Because it doesn’t just dismiss how I am feeling.  I am heard.  

When I was a kid, my mom was physically abusive to us.  My sister, who was 2 years older than me, when she was nine or ten or eleven (we lived in the old house), my mom could slap her across the face and my sister would just stand there and look at her.  I don’t know that I have ever seen my older sister cry.  THAT’S FUCKING SAD!!!!  But when my mom would hit me, I would bawl,  when she was going to hit me, I would be afraid.  That would set her off.  She gave up with my sister, but she could still get through to me.  If she was angry with me, I would cry and she would then pounce.  To survive, I had to toughen up.  Had to.  “Never cry at work, they won’t take you seriously.”  I shut down everything.  So now I am strong.  I can talk about being raped without a tear.  I can talk about my brother telling me he doesn’t know what I was talking about and that he doesn’t think about me at all, without crying. I did not cry in Marley and me, Old Yeller, I am Legend — and that dog was related to some of mine, no she looked just like mine, the dog in K9 is related.  But people think I am so strong because I do not show emotion.  It’s the opposite.

I feel alive when I feel vulnerable, when I feel disappointed, when I feel sad, when I feel irritated.  When I feel ANYTHING other than fear and depression and anger.  This isn’t weakness.  It isn’t strength.  I don’t know that it is because others are further along than I am, though they may be, I think I am on my own schedule and part of being whole for me is embracing the vulnerability and the sadness and the feelings most of us don’t like to admit.  Culturally, it is admirable and desired to be strong.  For me, being strong is a denial of me in order to protect me.  You can say, to admit and feel vulnerability is actually strong, I would have to agree.  But to take a simple “you are strong” to mean that, well  that’s hard to do.  

So now what?  I think Angela just had a really bad day, and maybe my bad day collided with her bad day, and we can work this out.  Because the alternative is to change.  And I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate change.  

I’m sorry for being who I am.  

 


Join the Conversation

16 comments

  1. musicislove

    Hi solongago,

    I definitely understand feeling powerless and how frustrating that feeling is. I’m not the best with change either so I know it all can be such a struggle. I’m sorry you and Angela had an off day for therapy but I read and responded to your most recent update and am happy that you guys are doing better now. I hope that with all the quarantine craziness you’re doing okay, it’s a stressful time right now. We’re always here when you want to update us again.

    Delaney

  2. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,

    Thanks for coming by with another update! It’s always great to see your username pop up.

    It sounds like you went through a lot this week. I know how tough therapy must be, especially with bad experiences from therapists in the past. Therapists are people just like us and nobody is perfect. I’d say there’s probably lots therapists out there who are mean. The fact that the previous therapists you saw didn’t want to see you again is a sign that you found some mean people. That has nothing to do with you, and that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you.

    I know in past stories you mentioned that you’ve had off days in therapy before. Whenever one of those off days happens, it could very well be the therapist that was off that day too. I hope next week is better for you, you’re doing a great job!

    I hope you’re staying safe during these crazy times and I look forward to your next update!

  3. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hey there solongago,

    Never ever let people make you feel sorry for you being vulnerable with them! I agree with you–that being vulnerable is really what makes us strong, not putting on the facade that our society expects of us. You have shared so much with us, and that makes you strong. It’s scary to be honest, especially with strangers, but you come back and share with us every week. That’s admirable. I agree with you that you and Angela’s bad days probably just collided. So many people are on edge right now with changes being thrown at us left and right, and it seems that it just finally boiled over for you. Unfortunately, this coincided with Angela’s frustrations, too. Being honest with her about this conversation will, I think, help to ease that issue.

    I am glad that you’re aware of things that trigger you, like drastic change, and are able to use tools you’ve learned to cope. You’re coping the best that you can right now, and that’s okay! I hope that things go better with your next meeting with Angela and hope you’re taking some time for self-care in these weird, uncertain times. We’re always here to be a support system!

  4. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    I don’t think Angela handled your feelings well during that session, and I think she was having a bad day. I hope she apologizes for what she said and that your sessions will be better in the future.
    You’re not wrong for talking about your feelings, and please don’t apologize for who you are. I’m so glad that you’re acknowledging your feelings. You seem to be unlearning a coping mechanism that doesn’t serve you, which is great! It’s not easy to unlearn what we’ve been taught.
    I want to reassure you by saying that it’s okay to feel how you feel. Society does push this image of being strong – one in which people repress their feelings. I personally don’t agree with that image, and I’m also working on accepting my feelings. I’m talking about myself to say that you’re not alone in this journey.
    Thank you for updating us. I know you’re feeling more isolated, and that can be hard. These past few weeks have been strange for a lot of us. You’re not alone – you have us to love and support you through this!

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Thank you. I am going to make a quick update today. But I do want to say that I have really felt supported here this week, and that has made a big difference for me.

  5. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Solongago,
    Angela, whose job is to remain professional with her feelings, was treating you in a very shitty way. You are probably right, maybe she was having a bad day too, but she should own up to and apologize. It is okay that we have bad days and don’t do things the way we know we should, but we also have to own up to them and apologize.
    Have you read any of Brene Brown’s work? So much of what you expressed is exactly what she has researched and teaches. Daring Greatly changed my life. Your strength absolutely lies in your ability to be vulnerable!! You have demonstrated that vulnerability and desire to connect every time you post and respond to others. The repressing of your emotions and not showing a response is a survival response. You had to do those things in order to survive, but it went against what you really wanted to do. Continuing to use them is falling into your habit-self and not being your authentic self. This is extremely hard, and often lonely, work.
    I hope that your week is going better now that you have had some time time to process all of the changes. Even for those who usually handle change well, this has been a LOT in a very short amount of time, and we are having to take time to adjust and process.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Thanks Roxie, I did see Angela today, and I forced myself to talk about both things or all three. Whichever. We talked about the coronavirus and how I felt dismissed. And I said she jeered at me — I demonstrated. She said she didn’t jeer but was being sarcastic, but she also apologized. And we talked again about strength and I was able to talk more fully. She suggested the same person and talked about her work with being vulnerable is really being strong. I’ll have to get my hands on it because no, I haven’t read this. Yet. Well, the therapy with Angela went well today. That’s from 11 to 12. I have to start work at 2:30, which gives me time to regroup. Usually I have lunch at a restaurant and then stop at a store and shop a little. But our state is shut down. So I went to the grocery store and then on to work. But they are practicing social distancing, so the lunchroom’s 9 tables, which usually holds 36, now holds 9, and after having my lunch, I got told that I was supposed to have been told not to come in early. I snapped at the teller. He tattled. I got dragged into the office and got a talking to. So, my day is not going all that good. But thanks.

  6. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    Thank you for keeping us updated. Your feelings are completely valid and no one should tell you they aren’t. It is ok to not feel ok or weak. I like the way you put it as being strong for feeling your emotions. Change is scary to many people and this virus is definitely putting everyone on edge and making those os us prone to anxiety and depression a bit worse right now; you are not alone in that for sure. We are always here for you to help in any way we can; stay strong as much as you can <3

  7. meg Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    Please do not apologize who being who you are. You are someone who is incredibly valued and important. I know how difficult change is, especially when it all seems to be happening so fast. When it seems frustrating, gently remind yourself that some of it is out of your control. It may be scary, but it will be okay. You will be okay. I think when people say “you are strong” they are trying to communicate that you are someone who is fighting to be on this journey. Someone who is being so brave in sharing a part of their lives and examining trauma. Pushing themselves to find the best course of action to heal. Healing isn’t linear or clean cut. You are doing everything you can. It’s okay to be feeling low, just remember you have an entire community that loves and supports you.
    —Meg

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Thanks Meg. I am feeling support here. I actually feel somewhat connected to you folks, even though we only know each other through words on a page beamed through tiny wires and waves/frequencies of communication, dematerialized and rematerialized like Scottie did to Capt. Kirk, Spock, and Bones, so many years ago. Yes, I am learning about how I don’t like things to be out of my control. This too will pass.
      Thanks again,
      Sue

  8. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    You don’t have to be sorry for who you are, and you shouldn’t be. Thank you for coming back to share, as I know things are really tough right now. We are here for you.

    Erin

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Thanks Erin. Things are tough for everyone right now. I got a call from my pastor today, as I am on Trustees, and he is contacting all the trustees because there is not much for our secretary to do, and we need to lay her off. I asked him if he talked to her about it. But, it is better, for her to get unemployment than to just have her hours cut. I don’t like having to make those decisions. Ah well.

  9. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there Solongago,

    I echo Kristin – never apologize for who you are or what you feel. As Dr. Seuss says, “today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you.” And we appreciate having you here with us.

    Bad days happen to us all – and it can be annoying when two people who have bad days collide. I know you didn’t get the support you need from her, but I hope you can find support here. Everything you are feeling right now is valid. I know intense emotions can be hard to process and I hope you can take some time for yourself, even if it’s just five minutes. I appreciate you coming back here and sharing your journey. We are all in this together.

    Sending light,
    SFM

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Hi SFM, Dr. Seuss is one of my favorites. Thank you for the quote, I love it. I am feeling really supported here. Thanks so much.
      Sue

  10. Turnschaosintoart Day Captain

    Solongago
    Never ever ever apologize for who you are, and what you are feeling. Thank you so much for being so straight forward and honest and telling us what you need. I admire that. Strength is a weird concept that I have struggled with for a while. And everyone has a different perspective of strength. You are totally of to not feel strong at all and yes it is hard to do and it is a lot to live up to. I know. So your feelings are very much validated. And there is nothing wrong with that wanting to be nurtured and held and being protected. Its a sense of comfort. And I am glad you told us that. It is good you want that human contact and you want them to listen. But sometimes people think they hear you but they may not be getting the full picture and that can be frustrating. Especially when you feel like you are screaming at them. And I hope people will start to listen and actually hear and acknowledge you and your feelings. As for good old covid 19. I am with you on the quick changes! I hate them, and I do not do well with change, I just got into the swing of getting up and driving a hour to campus, now you are shutting down the state and telling me where I can and cant go…that would have anyone on edge. I am sure Angela was also feeling the effects and pressure the corona virus is causing on people and that might have influenced her mood. Like you said she probably had a bad day. And it is ok to get mad and up set when things are drastically changing. I have really been focusing on my grounding techniques and trying to remain calm. So hopefully it will work. I hope you stay safe at your job and thank you for continuing to work for us since your job is essential. I appreciate you. Sending positive vibes. Stay safe and stay healthy, hug a puppy for me as I won’t get to play with one for I dono when haha

    Kristin

    1. Solongago Volunteer

      Thank you, Kristin. I am feeling very supported here. I really appreciate your response and that you struggle with the idea of being strong as well. I could send you a puppy. I’ve got six, six month old pups, and I should only have one right now. Been hugging puppies all weekend. They do improve my mood. In fact, it was working in the kennels and interacting with the dogs that got me to the point that I could write this particular update. Perhaps that should be my coping mechanism, taking an area that needs to be cleaned/improved and spend time just making it better. And then relaxing while petting and hugging dogs. A lot of people think that taking care of a dog is so hard. I think they ask so little of us and give us so much. Ah well, that is another chapter or book I should write.
      Sue