You guys I am so tired. I started back to work yesterday, and it’s true what they say, it’s one thing to feel good at home, an entirely different thing to feel good at work. I hope this recap even makes sense.
When I got to my session J asked how I was feeling and did I go back to work. I told him that I went back to work yesterday and it was a long day and I was really tired. He asked me how long I worked for and I said, “Let’s see, I got there at 10am and got home at 7pm.” He said, “Oh, only 9 hours?” And then I did two loads of laundry, made dinner and cleaned the kitchen. I was in bed by 9:30. We talked about how I had told my boss last week that when I come back to work I really only wanted to do about 2 hours at a time, but when I showed up yesterday she handed me a stack of work three feet tall and asked me how long I could stay. I guess she forgot about the 2 hour thing, and I didn’t say anything to remind her. My other boss is much more concerned with my well being, he keeps saying “Only do this if you feel up to it” and “This isn’t something you need to do today”. So J and I spent time talking about how I can’t tell my boss that I can’t work, how I am fearful of looking incompetent and letting her down, how much more empathetic boss #2 is than boss #1, especially since it is boss #1’s busy time of year and she always gets a little freaked out at this time.
Then I said I didn’t want to talk about work anymore and J asked if I want to talk about the dream (he brought it up first!). I asked if before we talk about the dream, we could talk about last week. I told him that more than once last week he said he was happy to see me, and glad I came, and that it seemed genuine, and I doubt he would say that if he was just happy to see me for the money, and I don’t really understand why he would be happy to see me. He asked why I think he wouldn’t be happy to see me, and I said because I am a difficult client, I am a terrible communicator, I don’t talk about the things he thinks are important to talk about, and I don’t respond in the moment and then I send annoying emails. And he knows all of my “bad stuff”. He told me that he does not think I am difficult, and our communication has been much better. He said we have a professional relationship, but it’s somewhat like a friendship because we’ve been doing this once a week for 3 years, and people develop a fondness for each other, like a neighbor who lived next door to you for 10 years and then moves away. I said that a neighbor doesn’t tell you all of their bad stuff. He said that my “stuff” isn’t bad, and I said ok “dysfunctional” and he said it’s not dysfunctional and I said ok “using maladaptive coping mechanisms” and he said not that either. That would be if someone was drinking at work, or not being able to function in their day to day lives.
J said that my status in the office is higher than I think it is, and the fact that I told him twice that I don’t expect him to hold my time slot while I am out shows that I don’t feel very important. He said he would hold my time slot for months for me, he has seen other people long term, but usually their time slots would change every now and then, but this has been my time slot since September 2008.
I said that in real life people like him never talk to people like me, and he said he would disagree with that. I said that I am speaking from experience, but this isn’t real life, so we really don’t know.
He asked me if I thought things have been going better with us and I said that they have gotten better. I said I thought it was from the wellbutrin, it must be working this time, and I stopped writing so much in my blog, and I stopped talking about the philosophical, existential, amorphous stuff that he doesn’t like and started talking more about my day to day life. He asked if I made that change to appease him, and I said that I did, but it has been helpful. But I don’t have anyone to talk to about the philosophical, existential, amorphous stuff, but it’s ok, I can write about it on my blog. He asked me what would be the purpose of talking about that stuff, why do I need to talk about it? I said that since my kids grew up I have felt like I have no purpose in life, everything revolved around raising children, and now I just get up every day and go through the day and do the same thing the next day, I don’t see any purpose and I don’t have any passion. J asked me if the cancer episode has changed my thinking about having a purpose, since I had to do a lot of research and follow up. I told him that it didn’t feel like a purpose, it seemed more like a distraction. He said something about my will to live, but I don’t remember that exactly. He asked me if I am looking forward to anything, and I said that I am looking forward to October 7th because I will be able to run again. This totally changed the conversation to one about how I will feel when I start running again, and will I be disappointed in myself if I can’t run well, etc. It was a good conversation, but it was amazing how quickly he changed the conversation to something more concrete than my purpose in life.
Then we talked about the dream. He had printed it out so he could read it while we talked. He had already told me that the part about leaving my children alone in the hotel could be related to my fear of dying in surgery. He also said the hotel could represent the hospital. I asked how the children part relates to the therapy part of the dream. He didn’t really connect those two parts like you guys did in the comments. He said that a lot of it could be that I don’t feel good enough. I told him that in the dream when I was trying to text him and couldn’t find his number I thought he would be mad because I didn’t let him know I wasn’t coming. J said maybe it had something to do with me being late last week (I was 2 minutes late, but he said I was 5 minutes late). We spent some time discussing my fear of making him mad. He wondered if his expression of being happy to see me last week could be in the dream, and I didn’t know. He didn’t really say anything about how his office suddenly moved to the town my mother lives in, except that we have been talking about my mother lately in relation to the surgery and her coming to stay with me. He also didn’t have much to say about the house in my dream – I told him it was just one room with a desk in the middle of the room piled high with papers. He said it sounds like a TV house. I said it seemed like that, because in the dream I didn’t walk into the house, I just was in it. J said that dream interpretation just raises questions, it doesn’t answer anything and there can be many interpretations. He definitely didn’t get into it as much as the people reading my blog and commenting. But that is to be expected, he is very literal and surface. I didn’t tell him about the other interpretations that you all offered me, but maybe I will next time.
J told me that this morning his wife told him that she had crazy dreams last night and he remembered that last night he dreamt that he was the wide receiver for a college football team and he was wearing #3. He said it was probably because he was watching some game last night and a player had the #3, and he was talking with a client about college football. He talked about that for awhile.
There was some conversation about a lawn with weeds. Oh, this was back before the dream conversation. J was saying that he has seen a big change in me, but probably no one else has, and I said that no one mentioned anything. He said I am like a lawn, from far away it looks nice and green and healthy, but if you go up close there are weeds here and there. Not totally overgrown with weeds to the point that the neighbors complain. Interesting analogy.
I can’t think of anything else right now, my brain is mush. I got a good feeling from the session, I believe him when he says he cares about me and is fond of me and is glad I am doing well after my surgery. I do wish I could talk about the more amorphous things with J, and maybe I’ll get him to do that at some point. There has got to be some depth to him somewhere, right?