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Old 08-16-2018, 12:01 PM #1
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Default In Session Today: Part V

Continued from here In Session Today: Part IV
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:11 PM #2
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

T yesterday (a day early because he's out of town today and tomorrow). Went back and sat down. As I put my phone back in my purse, one of my daughter's apps opened and started playing loudly, which made me laugh and broke the ice a bit, then led to brief discussion on children's shows, particularly Dora. I felt an sense of relief that he seemed to be interacting with me and looking at me as usual, after what I'd shared the previous session.

I glanced over at sand tray: "Oh, it's still how I arranged it!" T: "When did you do something in the sand tray?" Me: "On Monday while you were reading the printout to occupy myself. See, it's all the animals gathered round this piece of wood, like it's a fire." T: "Ah so you're anthropomorphizing animals then. Or Disney-fying them." Me: "Don't read too much into it!" T: "I won't!" Brief discussion about how some T's use sand trays, then into drumming, as T said he knows another local therapist who drums and says it regulates heartbeat, like meditation.

Me: "I suppose we should talk more about Monday's session." T: "That was an incredibly short email you sent me!" Me: "Yeah, I know, you were probably surprised!" T: "I was." Me: "But that was all I really needed to know, that you were still OK with it. So what you said was all I needed." T: "It's good you were clear what you wanted." Me: "Though...I suppose you could have answered 'no'..." T: "Then what would have happened?" Me: "Right, we'd have talked about it today." T: "Exactly."

Me: "It's interesting...I know it was the weekend, so I'm sure you were just busy all day, but since I'd emailed you Sunday morning then hadn't heard anything that night and wasn't sure if I would before session...normally my first thought would have been 'Oh he's annoyed with me.'" T: "So what was it?" Me: "OK, now I feel awkward saying this, but...I was hoping you were OK. Like, that you hadn't been hit by a truck or something." T: "Hm, OK." Me: "But I think that's progress of some kind, right? That I didn't jump first to 'You're annoyed with me.' Because I didn't think you would be." T: "That seems like progress to me. Though how much time did you spend concerned about the hit by a truck thing?" Me: "Not that much really, was more a fleeting concern, not like I was obsessed about it. But also a little worried I'd show up and no one would come out to get me. Even though I know we've discussed what would happen in that case." T: "OK, good that you didn't spend long on it."

Me: "So...I'm trying to figure out how to continue Monday's discussion. Any thoughts?" T: "I'd really like you to recap what you feel we talked about. I sat done to write notes right after last session, and I had my pencil above the paper and didn't know what to write." Me: "Well, I think really I'd come to session with just brainstorms and not fully formed ideas. I felt it was more of a to-be-continued. I wasn't totally sure what came out of it either, or how I'd summarize it." T: "OK that makes me feel better."

T: "So I guess the first part, if I understood correctly, was about how you kind of wanted me to be attracted to you? But weren't sure if you wanted that?" Me: "Yeah, pretty much that. But there's also the part where...it seemed kind of paradoxical, but it was like I was afraid of your being attracted to me at the same time." T: "Why do you think that might be? You mean in the sense of, if I treated you differently because of that?" Me: "I think because...attraction is fleeting, it can go away." I started crying, "Like, if you had a younger, prettier client come in, then...maybe you'd forget about me." T: "Do you feel like you want to know if you're my most attractive client?" Me: "I don't know, not exactly...I think it's just all tied up in wanting to feel special, you know? Like I talked about that before with ex-MC, where he said 'You're special, just as all my clients are special,' and even though he said it that way, it's like that was enough, I just needed him to say I was special."

T: "Do you feel like if someone thinks you're special, they'll care more about you? And maybe be less likely to abandon you?" Me: "Yeah, I think that's what it is. Like how I wanted to be teacher's pet, for my bosses to like me...then when I had a job where my boss didn't seem to like me, that was really hard for me. So...I think it's an authority figure thing, because I don't feel the same need to be special, like, to my friends. I mean, maybe sort of, but, not in the same way..."

T said that made sense, and I forget what he said after that, because my mind was busy putting something together. I think a lightbulb may have literally popped up over my head as I was like, "I think I just figured something out." T: "What's that?" Me: "I think the reason I was so upset I was rejected from the PhD program--I mean aside from it being a professional disappointment--I think I've basically been in a depression since then." T: "It was a huge blow." Me: "Yeah, but I just realized that maybe part of why it hit me so hard is that I was basically rejected by 11 authority figures (the professors I had interviews with)."

T: "Hmm." Me: "So it crushed me in that way, too. Did I ever tell you what my mom said when I told her I was formally rejected?" T: "Do I really want to know?" Me: "Maybe not...She said, well, she may have said a brief 'I'm sorry' first, but the main thing she said was, 'Don't you think they were looking for someone with more experience?'" T visibly winced said, "Ouch." Me: "Yeah...it just felt like...she didn't think I should have gotten in anyway. Like, how is that supposed to make me feel?" T: "That reminds me of...now I can't think of it. But it's this square with four options of how to support someone and which is best vs. worst, and her reply would have been 'negative specific.' I think the worst was 'negative general.' But hers is near the bottom. I'll look it up later."

Me: "Yeah...and it was also...she wasn't really checking in with me at all during the process to ask if I'd heard anything." (More tears) "It was like you...and of course H...and some friends, they checked in with me and seemed to care more about whether I got this thing that I really wanted than my own mother did..." T: "Her reaction to the whole thing does seem odd." Me: "Even when I first told her about applying--and I waited until after I'd applied--she seemed negative about it, like not at all excited that she could have a daughter with a doctorate. I wanted her to be excited because I was excited, because it meant something to me."

T: "I really can't understand what's behind her reaction. But it must be her stuff, ot about you." Me: "You mean like her anxiety, like the thing you said about having compassion for her?" T: "I don't see how anxiety would have led her to make that comment though. Maybe something else." Me: "Maybe it's just...it wasn't the path she pictured for me?" T: "Maybe."

T: "I feel like you're continually looking for someone to give you what your parents didn't, in childhood or even now." Me: "You mean looking to you for that?" T: "Not just me." Me: "Authority figures in general?" T: "I really feel like you're looking for it from anyone who could possibly give it to you, whether me, authority figures, friends, anyone." Me: "Yeah, that makes sense." T: "And then when it feels like you might have it, then you get scared, because then you could lose it." Me (crying): "Yes...It's like I both want it and am terrified of it. Hm, just like the thing about you being attracted to me. So I guess this all ties together."

T: "Yes it does seem to connect to the attraction thing." Me: "And something else I kind of realized about that...it's like, OK I feel kind of awkward saying this, but, uh, I think you're an attractive man. So, it's like, Adult LT would be flattered if you found her to be attractive, like because you're attractive, too. But I don't think that's where this is coming from. It feels like it's coming from a younger part of me. Like a little kid part almost." T: "OK, so maybe it's more about being cared for then." Me: "Yeah, like...trying to make up for stuff I didn't get in childhood. Trying to fill the void, which I talked about before with ex-MC. Where...he said because it's from childhood, that no one can really fill it, that I have to either learn to fill it myself or else just learn to accept and live with it." T: "That's a good way of putting it. I do think it's something you can have other people help with but mostly have to fill for yourself, and I think it's something we're working on in here." Me: "Yes."

Got out my phone confirmed Monday, requested the following Friday instead of usual Thursday since I'd be away most of the week after and wanted session to be closer. Which he was able to do.

Went over to pay. Me (knowing he'd be away next few days): "So, if you're traveling, then safe travels, and if not, like if you're just staying home, then have a good weekend." He gave me a warm smile and, shaking my hand, said, "Thanks. You have a good weekend." Me: "Thanks you too." T: "See you Monday." Me: "See you."
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:16 PM #3
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

End of session today, we were talking about something (I don't want to get specific) and I said it was like a metaphor for therapy, because it was a situation where one person gets paid to be involved with the other. T seemed a bit annoyed by the reference to him getting paid. I'm not really sure why (it's true, after all) but feel bad that the session ended on a bad note. Guess I'll have to ask next week.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:26 PM #4
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

I called her and left a voicemail mid panic attack last week. I thought she would be angry, the point was that I always present like I'm fine but never tell the truth and I wanted her to hear a moment that wasn't so perfect. I went in to my session nervous and before I could say anything she thanked me for sharing such a vulnerable moment with her and that she valued that we could work together on this. She took it exactly how I intended. I wasn't calling because I expected her to fix something there and then, I just wanted her to know the extent of my anxiety so we could work on it.

I don't know what to do with T understanding so well. It really disturbs me.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:50 PM #5
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneTennison1 View Post
I called her and left a voicemail mid panic attack last week. I thought she would be angry, the point was that I always present like I'm fine but never tell the truth and I wanted her to hear a moment that wasn't so perfect. I went in to my session nervous and before I could say anything she thanked me for sharing such a vulnerable moment with her and that she valued that we could work together on this. She took it exactly how I intended. I wasn't calling because I expected her to fix something there and then, I just wanted her to know the extent of my anxiety so we could work on it.

I don't know what to do with T understanding so well. It really disturbs me.

Wow, that's great that she understood your purpose in calling her and thanked you for it. That was smart of you to do.


And I get what you mean about being confused your T understood so well...I'm guessing you probably aren't used to others in your life (whether now or in childhood) understanding so well?
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:22 PM #6
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Originally Posted by LonesomeTonight View Post
Wow, that's great that she understood your purpose in calling her and thanked you for it. That was smart of you to do.


And I get what you mean about being confused your T understood so well...I'm guessing you probably aren't used to others in your life (whether now or in childhood) understanding so well?
Thank you, I think only about 3 people in my life have seen or heard me panic, well others have but I hide it. I couldn't express how bad it is and I couldn't express things in session so this was the next best thing. I think it was really valuable to both of us to know what my goals are

Almost no one seems to understand me, except my OH. I kinda got used to it.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:49 PM #7
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Gonna put all of this in a trigger box, though half of it is probably not triggering. But not sure, better safe than sorry.


Possible trigger:
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:34 PM #8
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

I don’t cry too often in session, but when I do....I get completely dehydrated!

———————-

Me: *sits down and immediately talks about the weather for 3 solid minutes*

T: Wow, Em, you must think very little of me if the weather is your best attempt at distracting me.

Me: I seem to remember that you are some sort of weather nut. Weren’t you in something called the Cumulus Club or something?

T: *smiles at my joke attempt* Em, come on, talk to me. What’s going on?

Me: *silent, and looking at the carpet very intently*

T: We both know that there’s something we need to talk about. We’ve been dancing around it for a while now. Should we see if we can try a different approach?

Me: *nods*

T: *smiles* Alright. You and me, we get along well, yeah? Is that an accurate statement?

Me: 100% yes

T: I’m curious what it is you are afraid of as we start getting into the details of *insert trauma here*

Me: I’m afraid I won’t be able to handle it. I can manage well now. What happens once we open this up?

T: Are you worried that you will become too much? That you will drive me away?

Me: You know, I would totally understand if it does. I wouldn’t blame you. And I wouldn’t be bitter about it or resent you.

T: So you’re offering me the chance, the permission to escape?

Me: Yes. Feel free to use the “eject seat” button. I’ve had my finger hovering on it for a while.

T: Would you like to hear my theory and then you can tell me if I am right or I am way off?

Me: Sure

T: I believe you when you say that you won’t resent me, even in secret, if I abandon you. Because you are comfortable in that experience. You’ve been left alone before and you’ve been able to deal with it. You know what to do in case that happens. What you are actually frightened of is someone staying and someone keeping the focus on you. Because that would mean you will finally have to deal with this trauma. That you will finally need to say it out loud, talk about it, work through it. Me staying means you don’t have a good reason anymore for avoiding dealing with this. I completely understand how that can be scary. .

Me and T silent for what seems like eternity.

T: Em, you always have a choice about when you want to talk about this. I will always ask questions, I will always try to lead us to this place, I will always make sure you know that I am not about to shrink back from this. And once you are ready to talk, I will listen.

Me: *bursts out into tears suddenly*

T lets me cry a while

T: Thats been inside you for so long. And even though you haven’t put anything into words, you’ve already started telling me about the trauma.

Last edited by emeraldheart; 08-17-2018 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:40 AM #9
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Em, you and your T seem perfectly in tune.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:33 AM #10
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

I love the repeating lesson he is teaching you that the worst thing that can happen is you will talk about something in session- no sudden abandonment, nothing spiraling suddenly out of your control, no shoe dropping when you didn't see it coming.

The other thing in this session that struck me is the Getting Warmer impression he has of you looking all around the world for a feeling you didn't get from your parents as a kid, but then upon finding it , immediately experience terror of losing it again. I think he will work on having you find the feeling, and then be nourished by it, trying to lower the wattage on the fear?

These sessions seem good and heartfelt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LonesomeTonight View Post
T yesterday (a day early because he's out of town today and tomorrow). Went back and sat down. As I put my phone back in my purse, one of my daughter's apps opened and started playing loudly, which made me laugh and broke the ice a bit, then led to brief discussion on children's shows, particularly Dora. I felt an sense of relief that he seemed to be interacting with me and looking at me as usual, after what I'd shared the previous session.

I glanced over at sand tray: "Oh, it's still how I arranged it!" T: "When did you do something in the sand tray?" Me: "On Monday while you were reading the printout to occupy myself. See, it's all the animals gathered round this piece of wood, like it's a fire." T: "Ah so you're anthropomorphizing animals then. Or Disney-fying them." Me: "Don't read too much into it!" T: "I won't!" Brief discussion about how some T's use sand trays, then into drumming, as T said he knows another local therapist who drums and says it regulates heartbeat, like meditation.

Me: "I suppose we should talk more about Monday's session." T: "That was an incredibly short email you sent me!" Me: "Yeah, I know, you were probably surprised!" T: "I was." Me: "But that was all I really needed to know, that you were still OK with it. So what you said was all I needed." T: "It's good you were clear what you wanted." Me: "Though...I suppose you could have answered 'no'..." T: "Then what would have happened?" Me: "Right, we'd have talked about it today." T: "Exactly."

Me: "It's interesting...I know it was the weekend, so I'm sure you were just busy all day, but since I'd emailed you Sunday morning then hadn't heard anything that night and wasn't sure if I would before session...normally my first thought would have been 'Oh he's annoyed with me.'" T: "So what was it?" Me: "OK, now I feel awkward saying this, but...I was hoping you were OK. Like, that you hadn't been hit by a truck or something." T: "Hm, OK." Me: "But I think that's progress of some kind, right? That I didn't jump first to 'You're annoyed with me.' Because I didn't think you would be." T: "That seems like progress to me. Though how much time did you spend concerned about the hit by a truck thing?" Me: "Not that much really, was more a fleeting concern, not like I was obsessed about it. But also a little worried I'd show up and no one would come out to get me. Even though I know we've discussed what would happen in that case." T: "OK, good that you didn't spend long on it."

Me: "So...I'm trying to figure out how to continue Monday's discussion. Any thoughts?" T: "I'd really like you to recap what you feel we talked about. I sat done to write notes right after last session, and I had my pencil above the paper and didn't know what to write." Me: "Well, I think really I'd come to session with just brainstorms and not fully formed ideas. I felt it was more of a to-be-continued. I wasn't totally sure what came out of it either, or how I'd summarize it." T: "OK that makes me feel better."

T: "So I guess the first part, if I understood correctly, was about how you kind of wanted me to be attracted to you? But weren't sure if you wanted that?" Me: "Yeah, pretty much that. But there's also the part where...it seemed kind of paradoxical, but it was like I was afraid of your being attracted to me at the same time." T: "Why do you think that might be? You mean in the sense of, if I treated you differently because of that?" Me: "I think because...attraction is fleeting, it can go away." I started crying, "Like, if you had a younger, prettier client come in, then...maybe you'd forget about me." T: "Do you feel like you want to know if you're my most attractive client?" Me: "I don't know, not exactly...I think it's just all tied up in wanting to feel special, you know? Like I talked about that before with ex-MC, where he said 'You're special, just as all my clients are special,' and even though he said it that way, it's like that was enough, I just needed him to say I was special."

T: "Do you feel like if someone thinks you're special, they'll care more about you? And maybe be less likely to abandon you?" Me: "Yeah, I think that's what it is. Like how I wanted to be teacher's pet, for my bosses to like me...then when I had a job where my boss didn't seem to like me, that was really hard for me. So...I think it's an authority figure thing, because I don't feel the same need to be special, like, to my friends. I mean, maybe sort of, but, not in the same way..."

T said that made sense, and I forget what he said after that, because my mind was busy putting something together. I think a lightbulb may have literally popped up over my head as I was like, "I think I just figured something out." T: "What's that?" Me: "I think the reason I was so upset I was rejected from the PhD program--I mean aside from it being a professional disappointment--I think I've basically been in a depression since then." T: "It was a huge blow." Me: "Yeah, but I just realized that maybe part of why it hit me so hard is that I was basically rejected by 11 authority figures (the professors I had interviews with)."

T: "Hmm." Me: "So it crushed me in that way, too. Did I ever tell you what my mom said when I told her I was formally rejected?" T: "Do I really want to know?" Me: "Maybe not...She said, well, she may have said a brief 'I'm sorry' first, but the main thing she said was, 'Don't you think they were looking for someone with more experience?'" T visibly winced said, "Ouch." Me: "Yeah...it just felt like...she didn't think I should have gotten in anyway. Like, how is that supposed to make me feel?" T: "That reminds me of...now I can't think of it. But it's this square with four options of how to support someone and which is best vs. worst, and her reply would have been 'negative specific.' I think the worst was 'negative general.' But hers is near the bottom. I'll look it up later."

Me: "Yeah...and it was also...she wasn't really checking in with me at all during the process to ask if I'd heard anything." (More tears) "It was like you...and of course H...and some friends, they checked in with me and seemed to care more about whether I got this thing that I really wanted than my own mother did..." T: "Her reaction to the whole thing does seem odd." Me: "Even when I first told her about applying--and I waited until after I'd applied--she seemed negative about it, like not at all excited that she could have a daughter with a doctorate. I wanted her to be excited because I was excited, because it meant something to me."

T: "I really can't understand what's behind her reaction. But it must be her stuff, ot about you." Me: "You mean like her anxiety, like the thing you said about having compassion for her?" T: "I don't see how anxiety would have led her to make that comment though. Maybe something else." Me: "Maybe it's just...it wasn't the path she pictured for me?" T: "Maybe."

T: "I feel like you're continually looking for someone to give you what your parents didn't, in childhood or even now." Me: "You mean looking to you for that?" T: "Not just me." Me: "Authority figures in general?" T: "I really feel like you're looking for it from anyone who could possibly give it to you, whether me, authority figures, friends, anyone." Me: "Yeah, that makes sense." T: "And then when it feels like you might have it, then you get scared, because then you could lose it." Me (crying): "Yes...It's like I both want it and am terrified of it. Hm, just like the thing about you being attracted to me. So I guess this all ties together."

T: "Yes it does seem to connect to the attraction thing." Me: "And something else I kind of realized about that...it's like, OK I feel kind of awkward saying this, but, uh, I think you're an attractive man. So, it's like, Adult LT would be flattered if you found her to be attractive, like because you're attractive, too. But I don't think that's where this is coming from. It feels like it's coming from a younger part of me. Like a little kid part almost." T: "OK, so maybe it's more about being cared for then." Me: "Yeah, like...trying to make up for stuff I didn't get in childhood. Trying to fill the void, which I talked about before with ex-MC. Where...he said because it's from childhood, that no one can really fill it, that I have to either learn to fill it myself or else just learn to accept and live with it." T: "That's a good way of putting it. I do think it's something you can have other people help with but mostly have to fill for yourself, and I think it's something we're working on in here." Me: "Yes."

Got out my phone confirmed Monday, requested the following Friday instead of usual Thursday since I'd be away most of the week after and wanted session to be closer. Which he was able to do.

Went over to pay. Me (knowing he'd be away next few days): "So, if you're traveling, then safe travels, and if not, like if you're just staying home, then have a good weekend." He gave me a warm smile and, shaking my hand, said, "Thanks. You have a good weekend." Me: "Thanks you too." T: "See you Monday." Me: "See you."
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