J and I talked more about my cousin and her status. She went home from the hospital last Wednesday. I told him that I have only talked to her once, and that was Thursday night when we were trying to arrange who would take her to her ect treatment on Friday morning. Then her mother came down on Saturday and is staying for two weeks. I told J that her mother (my aunt) called me twice on Saturday, but I didn’t answer. Later in the day I felt bad so I called her back, and she went on and on, telling me how she has always had strong faith, even during her divorce and her cancer, but seeing her daughter like this makes her really question her faith. I told J that really annoyed me. She is always trying to find someone to blame this on – my cousin’s father, her ex-husband, her jobs, now God. Plus she wasn’t even there when her daughter was at her worst, so she didn’t see that.
Then I talked about last Tuesday night when I visited my cousin, she was still in the hospital then. Her ex-boyfriend/friend was there too and we started talking about our mothers. She said about her mother, ”She drives me crazy, but overall I think she is an easy person for most people to get along with.” I had to bite my tongue, but maybe it is true, she has quite a few friends. Then my cousin said about my mother, “Your mother is nice to me now, and she is very good to my son, but when I was little I wasn’t good.” It’s true, that is what my mother thought. Whenever my cousin would leave after a visit my mother would say, “What is wrong with L? She just lays on the couch, she never does anything.” I told J that I felt surprised that my cousin felt this from my mother, maybe my mother even said things like that directly to her, I don’t know. I also felt bad for her because aunts are supposed to be the nice ones, and here she has a mean aunt, and it’s my mother. I also told him that it was a combination of validating and fear hearing her say this about my mother. I have been telling J all along that I am never good enough for my mother, but I always had the idea in the back of my head that maybe it wasn’t her, it was me, I’m too sensitive. But if my cousin felt the same way… However, my cousin is very sensitive too, so maybe both of us are wrong.
That night my cousin also said that she thought my mother favored my sister over me. I didn’t know why she thought that. J and I talked about childhood stuff. He asked me if my mother nagged me to be perfect, ie; homework, keeping my room clean. I said that she didn’t have to nag me, I did all of that on my own. My clothes were organized by color in my closet. I told him that they still are. ROYGBIV, you know? He asked me what this type of organization says about me and I said I guess I am a control freak. He disagreed and said that I prevent anxiety on the back end by organizing things on the front end. It gives me some control, but he doesn’t consider it a control freak. I guess that would be if a pink shirt was mixed in with the black shirts and I had a panic attack. That would be over the top. J said that he organizes his clothes in the closet, work clothes vs other clothes, but his t-shirts are just all in a drawer. My t-shirts are folded so that they can all be seen from above, with drawer dividers, and also in color order. Hey, it makes it easier for me to find things, so don’t criticize me!
We talked about what I should be doing for my cousin now. I have been giving her space. I told J that I feel that she doesn’t want me around, that I was in her space for two and half weeks and now she needs to be away from me. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone there every day. He asked me what she is doing or saying that leads me to believe this. I told him that she isn’t doing or saying anything, it is just my distorted thinking. Yay for me! Progress in therapy I guess.
But he did tell me that I should call her and just say that I’m around, if she wants me to come by I am available, if there is anything she needs I should let her know. I told him I could do that.
We also addressed how I should deal with her mother. I don’t want a relationship with her mother, she never wanted one with me, and now suddenly I’m her best friend. She texts me all the time, she wants me to come over and visit. J said I should ride the wave, deal with her while she is friendly, but keep in mind that it won’t last. I told him that she annoys me so much and I am very angry with her, and seeing her is fairly intolerable. I said that I know he told me to let the anger roll off of my back, and he said he knows that is easier said than done. She wants to plan a weekend at the beach, but she told me that she doesn’t want my mother to come. J says if she mentions it, I should tell her that I am not comfortable doing that. My mother still doesn’t know any of the stuff that has happened with my cousin, or my involvement in this.
I talked about my guilt, how I could have done more to prevent the overdose from happening. I should have convinced her mother that L really needed inpatient treatment, and I should have called her psychiatrist to let him know how suicidal she was, as people were suggesting to me. J said that there is nothing more I could have done. I could have talked to her mother until I was blue in the face, but she wouldn’t listen. She minimized the whole thing, she didn’t even come down here until two days after the overdose, and that was because I called her and said I thought L might die. As for calling the psychiatrist, J said that he has gotten calls from people who are concerned about someone he is seeing. It doesn’t make him pick up the phone and call 911. The next time the person comes in, he would ask about things and make his own determination, or he would consult with other doctors seeing that person. If I had called the doctor, it is entirely possible that nothing would have come out differently, except for the fact that my cousin wouldn’t trust me because I went behind her back. I know all of this logically, but it is hard for me to get over guilt.
I didn’t mention Chipotle and he didn’t either. I didn’t want him to think I am a bad or resistant client.
Somehow we got to talking about our dogs. He said his dog is afraid of thunder and I said, “Oh my god, so is mine. Was yours freaking out the last two nights?” Because the last two nights we had storms in the middle of the night. He said he even told his wife that they would have to call the vet and get something for the dog because they aren’t sleeping and they are exhausted. I told him that he could give the dog xanax. He said his dog starts panting and shaking ten minutes before he can even hear the thunder, and I said my dog too! I said my dog is 11 and she still hasn’t gotten used to it, and he said his dog is 7 and hasn’t gotten used to it either. I told him that now my dog is afraid of wind and rain, and he said his is too because she knows thunder is coming. I can’t remember why we had this conversation, but it was so weird, like just a normal conversation two people would have. I think it had something to do with not getting annoyed or mad at the dog, because she can’t help it when she gets afraid. And my aunt can’t help the way she is and she isn’t going to change, so I have to accept her the way she is. I said, “I don’t have to like it.” And he said that I don’t have to like it.
He said that there was only one instance in the session where I was self-deprecating. Previously I would talk about feeling guilty, and feeling guilty for feeling guilty, and how everything is my fault, but today I didn’t do that and he was very pleased.
I wanted to talk to him about how I’ve been feeling in general since the overdose, emotional, bad dreams, etc, but there was no time. All of this will probably go away in time anyway.