When I went to my therapy session on Tuesday I was not liking J very much. I was doing a lot of projecting and after our session last week I felt that he was minimizing my issues, and being judgmental. That is projection, right? But I’m glad I didn’t say anything this week, because he was very nice. Maybe he really was minimizing my issues and being judgmental last week, and he knew it, so he deliberately tried not to be this week? Or maybe it was just me. I never know.
He started things out by saying he wanted to talk more about my disclosure from two weeks ago. We talked about that and I tried to explain more about it, but it was hard to explain and I even told him it was hard to explain, and he said it was ok. But it came down to me feeling like I have an evil part of me, that I have kept hidden from everyone, and the reason people like me is because they don’t know about the evil part. And I’ve tried really hard over the last 30 or 40 years to not act on the evil stuff, to keep it all as thoughts but not actions. But it’s hard work sometimes.
J said it’s admirable that I have been able to function for so long despite having these intrusive thoughts and urges. Not sure if he was being sarcastic. He also kind of laughed at the issue and then apologized and said it’s in his nature to be light-hearted. Hmmm…..
He asked me if anyone else thinks I’m evil, and said that no because they don’t know about this part of me. He said that he knows about it and he doesn’t think I’m evil. He thinks I’m a regular, decent, nice human being. He said that is his objective opinion, and I said, “Your judgment?” See, therapists do have to make judgments.
J asked me what the payoff is in thinking I’m bad. I couldn’t really think of one, and I don’t think there are any payoffs to having intrusive thoughts and thinking oneself is evil. He said, “Well if you know you are bad you don’t have to work hard to be good.” I replied, “I do work hard to be good, so that theory doesn’t hold water.” I still don’t believe there is a payoff.
He said I often say, “Is that bad?” when I say I did something, and that I seem to always have a battle between being good and bad. He asked what would happen if I didn’t try so hard to prevent the evil stuff from actually happening. I don’t know what would happen, I obviously have never tried.
At the end he said that we can’t control our thoughts but we can do thought inserting. He said, “don’t think about a zebra” and I thought about a zebra. Then he said, “think about a dozen roses” and then I didn’t think about the zebra anymore. I guess I need to think more about zebras and roses, and then I won’t have intrusive thoughts? Except when he told me to think about the roses I had some visions of thorns and the damage they can do. Why would I immediately focus on the thorns rather than the flowers?
And during this whole discussion J told about 10 stories. He is always telling me hypothetical or theoretical stories, and I remember the stories but I can’t remember the purpose of them. For example this week he told me about:
A recovering alcoholic working as a bartender, vs someone who doesn’t drink working as a bartender
A friend who was very rigid in raising his own kids, but is very lenient with his grandchildren
A guy he knew 15 years ago who was 75 years old and has probably passed away by now and I don’t remember anything else he said about this guy
A man yelling at his wife in public and people likely thinking “he is a jerk” when actually no one knows what kind of relationship they have and perhaps they have been married for 30 years and get along really well
People like to sky dive and ride rollercoasters because they want to feel close to death but in a controlled environment.
We were talking about something I don’t remember and he said, “We could get really deep here.”