Wow, you guys really took the ball and ran with it. I don’t think I even mentioned talking to J about this, did I? You see, if I was the kind of person who could talk about this with my therapist, I wouldn’t need therapy. It’s the same Catch-22 that always seems to bite me in the ass. But I think I’ve made a commitment to throw a few new things at him this week. I’ll see how that goes. I’ll report back.
I’m starting to think about the idea of finding a new therapist. I think the impetus for coming to this decision is the insurance debacle of this week, but I know if I was totally happy with J I wouldn’t mind paying whatever it takes. This is kind of an eye opener that something isn’t right. But I’m going to take time to figure this out, because I am afraid that the reason I am thinking this way may be because of my hurt from last week that J didn’t remember telling me in an email that he wanted to discuss a certain topic. It’s one thing to not remember what you tell someone verbally, but writing it? Can’t you go back and check to see what you said prior to the client showing up? And although I said I needed to move on after the lying fiasco because that is part of my process of growth and maturity, well, screw that. I hate the fact that he didn’t own up to this, and it does cause my level of trust in him to decline. And trust doesn’t come easily to me, so it is a major issue.
When I first began seeing J I really didn’t know what my problems were, just that my life wasn’t going as well as I thought it could. Over the last year and half I have really identified the issues, and made progress on them as well. I think this is be very beneficial to me if I do start with a new therapist because I can jump right in. With J I spent months picking apart what the actual problems could even be, and that doesn’t count working on them, just figuring them out.
I also think, but I’m not sure, that now that I have disclosed personal thoughts and feelings and behaviors to someone it will be easier for me to do this with someone else. It was very difficult with J, and I’m thinking it’s because I had never done it before. I would have no trouble going in to see a new person and handing over or reading a list of all of these items.
And I’ve written many times that J is very intimidating to me because of the way he looks, his youth, and the fact that he is man. I thought that part of my therapy would be to overcome this intimidation, and I still believe that. But maybe I would be able to make more progress in other areas if I didn’t have the intimidation factor.
I’ll be writing a lot about this in the next few days. I have so much thinking to do.
And for those of you who are not sick of me writing about the river, and posting photos of the river, here is a video I took of the river this morning:
Today is the day I was supposed to meet my mother, my sister, and my sister’s friend for lunch and shopping. My mother already backed out, and yesterday my sister said she can’t go either. So it’s just me and her friend, L. L is the one who gets messages from dead people. Other than that, I like her, and she is easy to be with. I really need to get out more, so it should be good. I also went out to lunch with another friend yesterday, and that went well. I think know I spend too much time inside of my own head. I also haven’t been working enough hours, I need to work more. Especially now that I’ll be paying full price for therapy. Hopefully therapy will end soon. How do you know when it’s over anyway? My t once said that he works with people for an average of 6 months, and I’ve been going way longer than that.
Thank you for all of the kind wishes about my father. Yeah, I miss him.
I ran along a different part of the river yesterday. It’s the part with the rapids and waterfalls and it is really dangerous. There is a bridge built over the wildest section and I stood on that for a while. The water was so crazy it was making me dizzy. Here is a photo, I didn’t take this, but it shows the intensity pretty well:
I saw four people carrying rafts down to the water – I can’t believe anyone would raft in that ferocious water. And the water must be incredibly cold too. It was even too intense for me, I would not want to die that way. Not peaceful at all.
I’ve been thinking about how the act of suicide affects those left behind. I know someone whose mother committed suicide when she was teenager, and I’ve been doing some reading. Apparently, and judging by this person I know who is pretty screwed up, suicide of a parent or loved one has a lasting impact on the survivors. What isn’t fair, though, is that these people don’t generally show appreciation or gratitude for the suicidal person when she is alive. But after she is gone they get all fucked up. I guess one can’t really expect the people in one’s life to be constantly reassuring them that they are needed and valued though, especially when that person acts like nothing is ever wrong.
My dad died 12 years ago today. On the one hand it seems like just yesterday, on the other hand it seems so long ago. I’m so grateful to have had a wonderful father, because I know that there are many out there who are not so lucky. My father had a terrible childhood, and he wouldn’t talk about it. But rather than grow up repeating what happened to him as a child he seemed to take the opposite approach. My sister and I also suspect that he had Asperger’s syndrome, as my sister’s son does. He was a kind, gentle soul, we called him a “likable guy”. Everyone liked him, and I did too. You know how there are guys who everyone loves except their wife and kids? They put on fake front to the world, but at home are horrible people? Not my dad! He was likable everywhere to everyone. It really sucks that he was ill his whole life, and ultimately had to quit working at age 53. He was sick for the next 8 years, and then passed away. It was really awful, and no one as likable as him deserves such a death. I wouldn’t even wish such a death on anyone unlikable.
Moving on to the here and now, something my shrink, J, said on Tuesday is that I tend to take other people’s comments and opinions as true endorsements of myself. This is true. I believe the reason that this is, is because I cannot trust my own feelings about myself and what I perceive in others. I am too sensitive, and because of this it makes me wonder if my feelings are justified. So if someone tells me something, or makes a remark about something I do or say, I take it to heart. They must be right, because my feelings are unreliable indicators due to my sensitivity. I think this is a realistic attitude.
J himself does this. For example, one day I was telling him about something troubling that I was dealing with, and he said, “Sounds like just anxiety to me.” That made me feel minimized, like what I was frightened of wasn’t worth being frightened of. It’s just anxiety. So I am giving his remark more weight than my feeling of fear. I now feel minimized, and confused, and not sure why I was so frightened if it’s such a minor thing. Then my reaction is to withdraw. Well, I must be wrong, so why bother even continuing with this conversation, or continuing to try to explain my feelings? He has already made his judgment, and it must be correct, because my feelings are so unreliable. Add to that my insecurity about my idea of self-worth, and forget it, I can’t even go on. He is so much smarter than me, so much better adjusted than me, so much more objective than me, that he must be right.
So my feelings take a waaaaay back seat. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, I don’t even know what to think. I’m not even sure if I am making any sense. Time for another glass of wine, I think.
Today was my meeting with Mr. IRS Seal. We had scheduled to meet at 9:30am. I was worried about what to wear, but I did manage to find something. Not business-y, but a few steps up from jeans and a t-shirt. My navigation system said it would take 30 minutes to get there, but he is in the city and it was rush hour, so I allowed an hour. At around 9:15am I knew I was going to be late. There was so much traffic and I wasn’t moving very fast. I hate that feeling of knowing I’m going to be late and not being able to do anything about it. I got to his office at 9:45 and rang his buzzer and he let me up.
I said, “I’m sorry I’m late.” He said, “In my head you’re not late.” In his calendar he wrote that I would be there at 9:30, but in his head he thought our meeting was at 10:30. So he didn’t know I was late. Whew.
And guess what he was wearing? Jeans! And sneakers. And a dark green shirt, untucked. And the piece de resistance – bright yellow elastic bands around his ankles. He rides his bike to work and those elastics prevent the jeans from getting caught in the gears. I have no idea why he doesn’t take them off when he gets to work, maybe he thinks he’ll lose them.
So far so good.
We talked for a while, and he is extremely nice. His name is Brian, by the way, so no more Mr. IRS Seal. He is a little younger than me I think, but he has two little kids. He lives 10 minutes away from his office, which is why he can bike to work. I bullshitted my way through a little speech about the kinds of things I do, and tried to make it seem like I knew what I was talking about. Which actually I did kind of know what I was talking about. I told him that can I organize anything including financial papers, but I have no idea about anything financial, so whatever is on the page is greek to me. He asked me questions like, “What would your perfect client look like?” I asked him if he charges a referral fee. I don’t know how I came up with that question, but it sounded professional. He said there would be no referral fee, as a matter of fact he thinks he should pay me to take care of these clients!
We got into a little discussion of how he ended up where he is. He used to be in the corporate tax world, he actually worked for a large accounting firm, and it happens to be the one that my brother-in-law works for, and he knows my brother-in-law. For a big city, it’s a small world. He went out on his own three years ago. He said that a year ago he went through his client list, and decided to get rid of the clients who he felt didn’t value the work he was doing with them, and the clients who didn’t seem interested in putting work in on their end. I loved him at this point. Wow, a man with values. He left the corporate world, bikes to work, wears jeans, chooses his clients based on his values and not the bottom line. What kind of financial advisor wears jeans? The kind I’d like to have if I had a financial advisor.
I gave him a bunch of cards, and we’ll see if any of his clients call me. He said that if they do, he and I could talk about what I can do to be sure the client has what he needs in order to best serve the client. I told him what I charge, which isn’t much and made me feel somewhat unprofessional, but I did say that most people are not willing to pay a lot for my services, and I’m not in it for the money, but for the ability to help people.
I have a good feeling about this guy, I never expected to meet anyone like this who does financial work for a living. He is definitely an NF personality, my kind of guy.
J asked what we are talking about. I said, well, whatever. He said he would like to talk about my email from three weeks ago, since last week I talked about wanting to talk about that. Unless something happened this week that I would prefer to talk about. I said nothing happened this week, but in his email to me last week he said he wanted to talk about my thoughts that he is sick of me and frustrated with me. He said he didn’t remember what was in his email to me last week. I said, well, you said you wanted to discuss this particular item, and the reason I wrote about it was because I thought I did a good job reframing my thoughts and I wanted to let you know that. But then you said you wanted to discuss it and it made me anxious all week and I was wondering why you chose that item as something to discuss. He really couldn’t remember any of this, so he went to his computer to see what he had written. He claims that this particular item stood out for him because it was larger than the other items since I wrote it in list form rather than paragraph form. Oh.
How could I get so anxious about something, and he doesn’t remember saying it at all?
We did discuss how when someone makes a comment or remark to me I tend to believe it and think that they are judging me and then I hold onto these thoughts and this leads to feeling bad about myself. We’ve had this conversation before, about 99 times before. What it comes down to is knowing something intellectually, but not being able to feel it. I asked him how I do this. He doesn’t know. He tried to come up with an answer. He said if I think logically about things eventually the logic will win out. That kind of sucks as an answer, but maybe that’s the way things work.
Then he asked me if he could tell me about a personal situation he encountered last week, that had to do with this type of logical thinking. I said sure, I’m always happy to talk about the other person rather than myself. He told me his story, and we talked about it for a while, and it was so much better than talking about myself. I wish we could talk about him every week. He was still talking about it when I got up to leave.
I didn’t tell him about the cutting, or the suicidal ideation, or the constant feeling of hating myself. Maybe I’ll tell him that next week.
I talked to my sister yesterday, and she told me that the reason my mother doesn’t want to come to lunch with us on Friday is because she doesn’t want to drive an hour to my house with my sister’s friend because she doesn’t feel comfortable with her. I didn’t quite believe that. I talked to my mother today and she said she isn’t meet us on Friday because we “young girls” don’t need an “old lady” like her hanging out with us. I told her that we would enjoy having an old lady like her with us. I said, “I thought you didn’t feel comfortable driving here with L.” She said, “No, I never said that, that’s not a problem.”
My aunt called me and told me that my mother called her and told her she isn’t going to my cousin’s wedding. My aunt says she doesn’t believe the reason my mother gave, she wishes she knew the true reason why my mother isn’t going. I know the true reason, but I’m not telling my aunt. I don’t want to get caught in the middle between the two of them.
Then I had to call my insurance company. We switched to a new provider on January 1st, and I checked my claims online and saw that they didn’t pay for my last three therapy sessions. So I called them and they said I needed to get these pre-authorized. They said they could do that on the phone, but they needed to ask me a couple of questions, that I didn’t have to answer if I didn’t want to. The first was if in the last two months I have drank too much or taken drugs. The second was if in the last week I felt like hurting myself. Huh? Who the hell would answer yes to these questions? And if you choose not to answer isn’t that just like answering yes? I lied. Well, the first question I told the truth, I haven’t drank too much or taken drugs. Not illegal drugs anyway. And prescribed drugs are ok, I’m assuming. But I did lie about the second question.
Everybody lies, and you never know who is lying, and who is telling the truth, and what the truth really is. That’s life.
I told my husband that I hate this new insurance company and they would only approve 10 visits of therapy, and then the therapist has to apply for more visits for me. Huh? I’m not going to ask him to do that. I told my husband that they were asking me intrusive questions that were none of their business and we are just going to pay out of pocket once the 10 visits are up. With the amount of money we spend on insurance every year (we pay for our own insurance) I don’t feel like I have to justify my therapy to them. So there.
Tomorrow morning is my meeting with Mr. IRS Seal. I don’t know what to wear. All of my business-y type clothes are too big. I’m anxious about the meeting, and I’m anxious about what to wear.
I’m still cutting. It’s like a compulsion now, I have to do this almost every day. I wrote that post yesterday about thinking rationally and logically about what is going on, but once again, although I know these things intellectually, I can’t feel them. I can’t feel better about myself. It’s just really hard.
I would like to end the pity party. I am going to think rationally about what is happening here, process my thoughts and figure out what is logic and what is my irrational thinking. I think that a lot of my feelings of unworthiness and stupidity this week resulted from my therapy session and email exchange with my therapist, J, last week, as well as from my upcoming meeting with Mr. IRS Seal. I am not happy that therapy has this much importance in my life that it can cause these strong feelings and lead to a ruined week. Six full days of crap, feeling like a loser, cutting, isolation, crying, etc. How can a mere 45 minute session cause this? I went into my session last week with the intention of talking about my suspicions that my therapist was searching for specific words on my blog. I was unable to come right out and say what I wanted to say, and thus I never got an answer or the information that I was looking for. I also spent the whole session thinking about what I wasn’t talking about, and none of the session actually talking about anything productive. I got very frustrated and I could feel J’s frustration as well, although he would probably never admit it.
Then I wrote him an email full of everything I should have said in session, and in the previous session as well, when I also did not say what I wanted to say. The words are in me, the feelings are in me, the thoughts are in me. I don’t know how to get them out orally. This is making me feel like I am a helpless loser. Yes, I can express myself in writing, but that is not how therapy is supposed to be. Didn’t someone, maybe Freud, call therapy the “talking cure”? Not the “sit in silence during your session and then send your therapist a three page email that he has to read on his personal time cure”. But my therapist says that he doesn’t mind the emails, that he likes them because if I am not expressing myself in the session, how else will he know what I’m thinking? So I have to believe that it is ok for me to send these emails, because he says it is. I know there are other people who have therapists who don’t do email. So if J says it is ok, then it must be ok. It’s me who has a problem with it, not him.
It is difficult for me to express myself in my therapy sessions
J says he welcomes email
I can write about my thoughts and feelings better than I can talk about them
It is ok to do therapy in a variety of ways, one size doesn’t fit all
This is going well.
I am also feeling badly because of all of things in my email J chose #4 as the item he says he wants to discuss. I feel badly because first of all, that was the one item in the email that I thought I was doing well with. I wrote about it to tell him that “Look, I did something good!” I also feel badly because just last week we had a discussion about my previous email and how there were things I thought that were important in that email, and he chose not to discuss them, he chose another item that I didn’t think was particularly important. So we had a discussion about how I should be the one to determine what is important, and here he is again making a decision about what he wants to discuss. Why couldn’t he say in the email, “You raise some good points here, what would you like to talk about from this email next week?”
I wrote an email expressing my concerns, as well as a couple of things that I think I am doing well as a result of therapy
J said that I did a good job of expressing myself in my email
He did reconfirm one of the items that I thought I was getting better at, and said that he would like to continue working on that
He did say that he would like to talk about this email next week
He said he specifically wants to discuss item #4
I’m not sure these facts are making me feel much better about this particular situation.
As for Mr. IRS Seal, I am comparing myself with him and seeing that I come up short. He is a professional financial advisor, and that is something I have no idea how to do, therefore my conclusion is that he is better than me, smarter than me, more professional than me. However, I am good at what I do, I have had many clients who think I am some kind of goddess for helping them get their stuff organized and getting them set up with systems that help them in their daily lives. I have to remember this.
Mr. IRS Seal is a professional financial planner
I am a professional organizer
He helps his clients do things that they can’t do alone
I help my clients do things that they can’t do alone
I am perfectly capable of sitting down to have a conversation with him in order to figure out how I can best help his clients because this is what I do with my other clients
As for my mother, well that just happened yesterday, so it didn’t have an impact on my week until yesterday. But to think logically about this we have these facts:
My sister was passing on information that may or may not be true
My mother is really not enjoyable to spend time with
This is a great way for me to out of doing something that isn’t enjoyable
Rather than feeling hurt that she doesn’t want to spend time with me, I can feel relieved that I don’t have to spend time with her
This is going well. If I can just keep remembering these things it would be helpful. I would like to be a person who doesn’t have all of these thoughts, who doesn’t ruminate on things, who lets things just slide, who doesn’t let crazy thoughts ruin her week, who doesn’t have to go through this complex mental process in order to get through negative thinking patterns. I know there are people like that – I know a lot of them. They don’t go through all of this. Frankly, it is tiring, it is mentally draining, and do I really end up in a better place after the process is over?
Sure, I have analyzed these situations and come up with logical facts and I see how my thinking can be skewed. Intellectually I have come to some positive conclusions. Am I feeling better? I still have to work on convincing myself for some reason. Why do feelings trump logic? Something is wrong with that.
Last night I had a dream kind of experience, you know when you are not really asleep and not really awake? I had an image of a movie projector in my head, and the film was going around and around and around. And then a really big scissor appeared and cut the film. It immediately stopped going around. That film is the thoughts in my head, and the scissor is the tool I need to make them stop.
I was trying to take a break from the blog over the weekend, but too many things are going on inside my brain. Want to hear about what a loser I am? Here are some search terms that people are using to find my blog:
I was a pathetic child
Painless and effective suicide methods
Is suicide painless
Can’t think of anything good about myself
By the way, although there are effective suicide methods, I would venture a guess that there are no painless suicide methods. However, living may be more painful than dying, so I would suggest weighing your pain level prior to attempting anything.
Want to hear how else I’m a loser? I talked to my mother last week and asked her if she would like to spend a day together. She suggested next Friday. We decided to go out with along with my sister, and my sister’s friend (the empathic one). Today my sister emailed me that she now has to see some clients on Friday, but she can squeeze in a quick lunch. My mother, however, would prefer to stay home and play cards with her friends.
What does it mean when my own mother doesn’t even want to spend with me?
So boys and girls we have a winner! Ding ding ding ding ding…..
The winner is Ron. I’m sorry that I do not have a prize for you, Ron. Although you did choose the correct number, the context was a little off. You said that you thought my therapist might want to discuss whether or not it is worth it to continue in therapy. I had written to him that when he asked me that question I immediately thought that he didn’t think it was worth it, but I realized that these were my thoughts, not his, which for me is progress. However in his email response to me he said that he wants to discuss my thoughts about his feelings towards me. He thinks “we should try to keep those dynamics closer to the surface; to have more awareness of those dynamics as they occur.”
I’m curious as to why, of all of the nine items, this jumped out at him, especially considering that I did have awareness of those dynamics at the time that they occurred. I thought I did pretty well with this, unlike the other eight things. I guess I won’t know unless I ask him.
I’ve been feeling down, and I’m not sure why. I’ve been cutting, not sure if I should write about that here, but it’s my blog, so I guess I can. It makes me feel better. When I run along the river I stop and watch the water swirling around, there are parts that are somewhat rough and even a sign that says, “Danger. An average of 7 people drown in this area every year.” I wonder if any of them drown on purpose. The water must be very cold, I would think it wouldn’t take long to drown. I don’t like the idea of drowning, especially since watching my father die from congestive heart failure, which is basically drowning in your own body.
And I think about my meds stash a lot too. It sounds so nice to just be able to take a bunch of pills, fall asleep, and die. However, I know it doesn’t work that way. I’m sure what would really happen is I would get really sick, and throw up a lot, and maybe even have to go to the hospital, and I would never want that to happen. But I do think about the pills a lot.
Maybe I haven’t been keeping busy enough, I haven’t worked very many hours this week. Although I’m not motivated to keep busy, so I’m not sure which came first. Mr. IRS Seal emailed me yesterday, I thought he forgot about me, which would have been a good thing. But he didn’t. He wants to meet me next Wednesday. Oh well, what’s the worst that can happen? He’ll see I’m stupid and don’t know what I’m doing and that will be it.
I think I am finally finished processing my therapy session from Tuesday. Am I the only one who does this? Therapy is only 45 minutes once a week, but then I spend two or three days processing what went on in those 45 minutes. And lately I’ve really been concentrating a little more on what I don’t say in therapy, because I think what I don’t say says as much about me as what I do say.
Yesterday morning I sent J an email (I’m so glad he lets me email, or he’d never know anything). Some of the email I took from my blog entry yesterday. The points I covered were:
1. the fact that during the last two sessions I had something I wanted to talk about, but I didn’t talk about it.
2. the issue about the search on my blog. I didn’t tell him what I thought he had done, but I told him that I thought he did something, and that is why I was asking him cryptic questions, but now I believe him and I’m sorry for doubting him.
3. how betrayal is a fact of life because people are not perfect and when I am betrayed by someone I shouldn’t just run away, I should deal with it.
4. how when he asked me if it is worth it to keep coming to therapy even though it is not getting any easier I immediately thought that he is saying he is sick of me and he is frustrated with me and doesn’t want me to come back. But now I recognize that those are automatic thoughts and I am now aware that those are my thoughts, not necessarily his.
5. the paragraphs from my blog entry yesterday about developing awareness and how I think going from awareness to change is going to be difficult
6. when he asked me what I thought his role is in the process and I was not able to answer, it is because I do not know what his role is, I don’t even know what I need or want because I am used to just taking care of things myself.
7. how we have misunderstandings because there are times when I am thinking something and I think I say it out loud, but I don’t, and then I wonder why he isn’t getting it (people are not mind readers).
8. that I feel badly that he feels I leave my sessions feeling down because he screws up or misunderstands something, when actually if he does misunderstand something it is most likely my fault
9. how I wish I could actually say all of this stuff while I am in the session, instead of saying about 10 words in 45 minutes and then writing a 3 page email that he has to read in his personal time
Yes, that’s a lot. All of that came out of the 45 minutes on Tuesday. And then he emailed me back saying that it is good that I can convey my thoughts in writing and that the awareness is good and we should work on becoming even more aware. And now the clincher. Six months or a year ago this would have made me angry, but now it is just thought provoking. Of all of those things that I wrote about in the email, nine things, do you know which one he picked as the one he wants to talk about next week?
Wait, I’m not going to tell you. I’ll let you guess. Put your guess in the comments, and I’ll tell you tomorrow.
And I went out to dinner with my friends last night, and it was nice. I had told one of them in advance that there is nothing new going on with my son so even though I appreciate her thinking about him it would be good if we didn’t talk about him. She must have told my other friend what I said, and neither of them mentioned him, and it was good. I’m glad I went.