I’m taking a break from my break to write a therapy recap. I had a good therapy session today. I’m not sure why this is, it could be due to a number of factors, but none is definitive.
When I went to see pdoc last week I told her that J, my t, asked me why I keep coming back to therapy. This hurt me. She told me to ask him about it.
So when I walked in we said our hellos and how are you’s, and then I said, “What did you mean when you asked me last week ‘why do I keep coming back’?” J actually answered the question, he didn’t put it back on me or deflect or any of those therapeutic techniques. I realized then that my favorite twin was in session with me today, so that was a relief. He told me that he was asking me that question for me, not because he wants to kick me out. He wanted to know what I am getting out of therapy. That he realizes it is very anxiety provoking for me to come to therapy sessions, and it takes tremendous fortitude to do this every week. I accepted that answer and thanked him for explaining his motivation. I told J about my cycle of feeling frustrated after each session because I didn’t talk about what I want to talk about, and that lasts a few days, then I think “I can do better next week” and that is what motivates me to come back next week, but then I don’t do better and the cycle repeats every week. We talked about my high expectations of myself, and what I feel I “should” be doing in therapy. I asked how do I know if my expectations are too high, and he said if I am never meeting them perhaps I would think they are too high.
Then I said, “I wanted to continue our discussion from a few weeks ago when we were talking about aging and illness.” I asked J if he remembered that and he said he did. I told him that I was going to send him some stuff to read via email, but I didn’t. That I wanted to explain more about why I feel the way I feel. He said, “OK, let’s talk about it then.” I said, “OK, yes, now seems like a good time to do that.”
So I told him the whole story about my father’s illness, and my sister’s illness, and my nephew’s illness. I guess I kind of rambled. I said, “Where am I going with this?” a few times. I talked more than usual. More than I really normally do. J was so quiet. I’m used to him doing a lot of talking. I thought maybe he was bored. Not because of anything he said or did, but because I thought maybe it was a boring story. Before I began the story I told him “It’s not that great of a story” and he said something like “already minimizing yourself before you even start” and I said, “yes, exactly, don’t get too excited.”
Afterwards he asked me a few questions. One I found interesting was about my father. I told him that my father couldn’t do the things other fathers did because of his illness. And because of the secrecy about his illness I had a lot of questions. J said, “Questions like, ‘Does my dad really have an illness, or does he just not want to play with me?’” I thought that was weird. Like he is looking for reasons to explain something. I have told him in the past about how great my father was, and how he thought I was great no matter what I did. So I said, “No, not questions like that. Questions like ‘Am I going to get the same sickness that my dad has?’”
Then we talked more about aging and illness and my thoughts about how people aren’t meant to live to be 98 years old, and The Wrestler. J said he has seen The Wrestler (he hasn’t seen many movies that I have seen) and I went into a whole lecture about the themes of the movie and how I relate to it. J said he admired Randy’s perseverance and did I admire it too? I said he persevered in the wrong things – he spent all of his time trying to relive his glory days instead of persevering in developing good relationships with people which would have made him happier in the end.
We disagreed about the ending of the movie though. J said, “We don’t know what happens in the end.” I said I knew what happened. I won’t tell though, in case you haven’t seen it.
We talked about J’s positive outlook on aging and how great his life will be when he is 70, as he told me a few weeks ago. He changed his tune today, however, and said he doesn’t know that. He could be hit by a bus tomorrow; he could have cancer, etc. I said, “yes, but if you are alive your life will be great.” He’s perfect, so how could it not be?
Then I said, “I stopped writing in my blog.” J replied, “That is a big change for you.” I told him that I thought it was replacing interacting with real people. He asked how today’s session went in relation to this revelation about not writing anymore. I asked what he meant, and he explained. I said, “So what you are saying is did I talk more today because I am not writing in my blog? Yes. And that is part of the reason why I stopped writing.” He said that isn’t exactly what he meant, not talking more necessarily. We talked about talking in therapy, and I told him that the days I have something to talk about are the days he has something to talk about, and then I’ll come in the next week with nothing, and he’ll have nothing. We discussed having an agenda, either me emailing him one, or bringing in one, or just having it in my head. A soft agenda he called it. Not set in stone.
I told him that I just need to be more assertive. He said he doesn’t consider it assertive; it is more of a natural thing. He described how other clients bring up their issues in sessions. I said, “What you consider ‘normal’ for a client, I consider assertive.” He said he doesn’t like the word normal, but for many people it is “natural” to go to their t and talk about what they want to talk about. I said that I was reading someone else’s blog and she said to her t, “I’d like to continue our discussion from last week about xyz.” And I think I can do that. So that is what I tried today.
He said there are things we have talked about in the past that if I want he could bring up again, ie; how my anxiety is doing. I said that I thought he didn’t like me to talk about things that we already talked about, and he said no, that isn’t true, therapy involves talking about things again and again. I said, “I have that idea in my head, I don’t know where it came from.”
I asked J if he thought I talked more today than usual. I said I thought I jumped around a lot and he said that is natural in therapy. He said he would be curious to know how I feel about this session in 6 hours or 3 days. I feel pretty good about it actually. Like I spoke up about things I wanted to talk about and that he pretty much got what I was saying. He said it was really good how I brought up the issues about the question from last week, the illness and aging stuff, and the blog.
I think it was good today. Not sure where the therapeutic part is, but I’m sure I’ll have insight into that as the days go on. So as I said this is a break from my break. I really miss writing in the blog. Instead of writing blog entries I am keeping a list of things that I would be writing about if I was writing. I need to do something to keep writing, so I’m thinking about what that might be.