I’m going to have to work on title creation. Today is Wednesday December 24th – Christmas Eve. We don’t celebrate Christmas, but Merry Christmas to all of you who do! I know this is a hard time for some people. Family issues, eating, traveling, the economy – it can all be difficult and I hope everyone is coping well.
I really thought I was done cooking for a while, but my in-laws are coming over for breakfast tomorrow, so I am making overnight cinnamon rolls and yeast waffles. I’ve been preparing those for the last hour or so, and now the dough for the rolls is rising and then I’ll put them together with the cinnamon filling and let them sit in the fridge overnight.
I really wanted to work out today, but I had to take the dog to the kennel, I worked for a while, a friend took me out to lunch and then we hung out at the mall, then I did errands, then I went out to dinner with my family and then I started cooking! I controlled myself at lunch because I knew I was going out for chinese food for dinner and I always overdo it with that. Just the sodium alone is enough to make me gain 3 pounds.
So let’s review yesterday. Yesterday was therapy day. I went to my appointment prepared with a topic to talk about. J (my therapist) started with, I have to ask you this since the holidays are coming up, how is your anxiety? I said that I have no problem with the holidays, there is something else I’d like to talk about, it’s not very interesting and I could talk about holidays if he would prefer. He smirked at the “not very interesting” comment, since that is one of my issues, but he said I should talk about my issue if that is what I want to talk about.
Notice that he did not bring up last week’s homework assignment. I’m wondering if he just forgets about these assignments, or if he assigns them strictly for my benefit and not to discuss at a future session. Well, if we’re not going to talk about them I’m not doing them. So there.
I explained the whole story about not contacting the therapist who could help us with some family sessions and how I dropped the ball and how it’s always my fault that my son isn’t successful and that there are family problems, blah blah blah. We talked about that for a while. He wanted to know what I thought the therapist could do for us, why I thought I was responsible for setting this up, how people are resistant to therapy and I can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink (we have a horse by the way, and whenever we give him water he drinks it, but that’s another story). I told him that I thought we needed a plan and that having a third party help us develop it would take the responsibility off of me. He agreed that having a plan is good, but that my husband and I could make a plan. The main thing is how we are going to determine whether our son is successful at school next quarter. This quarter he got 3 F’s and one D. So do we just want improvement, i.e., 2 F’s and 2 D’s, or do we want to set a higher goal. J wants me to sit down and have a talk with my husband about what we expect from our son and then we tell our son what the plan is.
He tried to suggest certain times that might be good for me to talk to my husband, I thought that was a bit micromanagement-style, I mean, I think I can determine when it’s a good time. J suggested a good time would be on our four hour flight this Friday, but since I’ll hopefully be in a xanax induced stupor since I’m a fearful flyer I didn’t think that would work. Then he suggested there might be time while we’re relaxing on the beach; but I just said “Look, I don’t want to deal with this while I’m on vacation.” He said, well maybe you can talk to him while you’re home over the next couple of days, you’ll be packing, etc etc. OK, OK, I said I’ll talk to him, I’ll figure out a time.
So I think we wasted some time in minutiae details that I can handle on my own, but whatever. I also mentioned that I thought that we needed a plan in case my son had to come home in March. J didn’t understand what I was talking about. I explained that the 2nd quarter of school ends in March, and if he doesn’t do well he is coming home for good. I said, yes that is negative thinking and that is not good. I think before I even gave him a chance to say anything, I said “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be thinking negatively. Never mind.” I kept saying “never mind”. I can’t help it, based on my son’s academic history for the past 8 years I can’t help but think that he might not succeed in this last chance that we are offering him. But it’s negative thinking, I prefer to think of it as realistic thinking.
I was severely criticized by my son’s therapist about a year ago when I expressed negativity about his ability to be successful in college. It hurt me pretty badly, and here I am doing it again, this time with my own therapist, and I get the feeling that he is judging me and it’s hurting me. That’s transference I guess. Once again, no one is validating my feeling, or exploring my feeling, just judging me. That’s probably another thing I should add to the list of subjects to talk about with J.
We also talked once again about how I feel responsible for ruining my son’s life, and J asked if theoretically I can believe that isn’t true. I said, no, theoretically, realistically, rationally, whatever, I truly believe that I ruined his life. There is no doubt in my mind. Yes, it is up to my son to do his work, whether he likes the class or the professor, or whether he doesn’t. But the motivation isn’t there, and that is due to mistakes that I have made over the last 18 years. J said an interesting thing – that my husband’s attitude towards my son is “Do your work”, and my attitude is more empathetic. I said I agreed with my husband that my son needs to do his work, and J acknowledged that, but said that I have a more empathetic view of my son’s problems.
After the session I felt gross. Why is that? I felt like I had spent the last 45 minutes stark naked running around the therapist’s office. Which is ridiculous, I was fully dressed and sitting on the couch the whole time. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had 45 minutes to kill, I went to the bookstore and wandered around aimlessly, then I drove around for a while. I just felt awful. I guess it’s exposing myself emotionally, it feels like taking my clothes off in front of strangers. Ick ick ick.
In the afternoon my mother called to chat. She asked when we were leaving on our trip and I said Friday. She said, “Have you been checking the weather and watching the news? Oh this is a terrible time to fly. People are getting stranded at airports everywhere, there is so much bad weather and so many storms and you have to be careful.” I reminded her that I am a fearful flyer and that I don’t check and I use coping strategies so that I can remain calm prior to flying. “Oh yeah,” she said, as though she just remembered, “I shouldn’t be talking about this.” I was so pissed at her. What the hell was she thinking? I work so f**king hard at being able to fly and this is what she tells me? I’ve been in f**king therapy for 8 years so that I can go on vacations with my family!! I was so pissed, did I mention that? I said, “I have to go now, I’m busy. I’ll talk to you later.”
When my husband got home I told him what my mother said, and of course he didn’t give me the response that I wanted. Is it right to want a certain response from someone when you tell them something. Probably not. He was going on and on about how what is the point of checking weather and crowds, especially around Christmas time and winter, etc. What I wanted him to say was “She was wrong to say those things to you, you work hard at being able to fly, I’m very proud of you for your accomplishments, don’t listen to her, tell her to f**k herself, etc.” I kept saying “I know there is no point in checking which is why I don’t check, that isn’t why I’m telling you this story.” But he kept repeating himself, and he never said what I wanted him to say, and my daughter was sitting there and I could tell she knew what I was talking about, that I was saying my mother was being a thoughtless bitch and that’s what I wanted my husband to say, and he wasn’t saying it.
Then last night I drank too much – I had three drinks with no dinner of course. I was watching “Good Will Hunting” and I was crying during most of it. Sobbing I should say. I also decided that I didn’t need klonopin before bed anymore – just quit cold turkey! Dumb!!! I woke up at 3:15am with a panic attack, I haven’t had a panic attack in months. I also felt like I was getting a migraine. So I got up, took half a klonopin (yeah, I don’t even deserve a whole one I’m such a loser), and tried to breathe myself back to calm. The klonopin worked luckily and I did go back to sleep, but when I woke up this morning my eyes were swollen, my migraine was in full force and I felt nauseous. I drank coffee, took an imitrex, hot shower, and managed to get myself out of the house.
OK, I’ve been rambling on way too long here. Anyone reading this – I certainly don’t expect you to read the whole thing. It just feels good to get it all out here, it’s very cathartic. I’m writing this for myself, to clear my head, to get things out that I could never say to anyone in person. If no one ever reads this it’s perfectly fine. I never realized how good writing this all out would feel, and I even have more to say – but my fingers are getting sore.
So – have a Merry Christmas to everyone and I’ll write tomorrow about how my conversation with my husband went tonight about our plan for our son.