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Old 01-14-2019, 09:29 PM   #51
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I saw T today after the weekend. Came in and sat down. As usual he asked me how it was going. I told him that I wasn't really sure, something about how I was done adulting today. He laughed at that and said that at least I was there at session and I agreed. I told him that a few weeks ago I talked about how I needed to make an appointment for my annual physical and that I had that appointment today. We talked about how the appointment went, that my doctor is testing me for rheumatoid arthritis because my mom has it. He said he didn't know I had issues with my hands and laughed again that I was cracking my knuckles. I told him that my doctor looked at the SH I had and knew that I had went in on Friday for SH. T asked how did my doctor know that I went in on Friday so I told him that I saw a partner of here so it was in my record. He asked if I went after my session on Friday and I said yes, but I'm not sure if T thought that I had SHed after our session or before (It was before but the appointment was afterwards but I didn't mention it to him that day.) After we talked about that, T asked me how I was feeling now that I was there and I told him that I was just on edge. He said he could tell because I seemed really tense. I said I wasn't sure whether or not to talk about something that happened because I didn't want to face the consequences. He commented something about of I'd still have to face the consequences even if I didn't talk about it. I said no, because then I could just hide away from it and ignore it. He encouraged me to talk about whatever it was that was going on.
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Near the end of the session he asked me again how I was feeling and if there's anything I think I need from him. At first I said that I wasn't sure what I needed that would be helpful and he said even if I wasn't sure to tell him. I told him I already feel like I don't deserve to come to see him as much as I do and that I feel like I'm being a burden because all I do is talk about my H lately. He told me that some of his clients come once a week others come every day that he's there, that everyone has their way of doing therapy. He asked if I wanted to add another session, at least for this week. I told him that it's already hard enough with Hs work schedule but that he could write down a few times and I'd text him later if I wanted to. I did end up texting him tonight that I'm going to try my best to make it tomorrow at 4. So we shall see what tomorrow's session brings.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:53 AM   #52
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About my email from my former T that she sent a couple of days ago:
At first I was glad to hear from her just to know that she is okay, not hospitalized or anything because of her condition. But I found that it wasn't enough. The email didn't make me feel better in terms of missing her or how to move forward with new T. But now that it has been a couple of days, I can hear the caring in her email and I can almost hear her voice, but not quite. I think she wants what is best for me. She mentioned a couple of concerns with a few things of new T, which I was able to take into consideration. One of the things is the infrequency of sessions with new T, which a few of my friends here on PC have also mentioned that I might think about increasing the frequency of sessions. It's something to talk to new T about. As for missing her, she acknowledged it, and I don't think there is another way through it besides how I am going, which is just through it, one day at a time. I feel a little better about the email now. It's always good to hear from her. I wish she hadn't waited so long to respond, but the fact that she responds at all, when she doesn't have to, is in itself, remarkable. I wish she could help me more with the pain of missing her. But I don't know how she would actually accomplish that. For now, I'm not going to email her again, at least not for a few weeks. I will try to go longer, if I can be stronger, and so I don't have to go through this anguish. But I know eventually I will want to hear from her again. I need to try to "bond" with new T so I don't need to rely on former T. I just really really do not want to feel this kind of hurt again. So it keeps me at arm's length from new T. And I'm not sure that's really good for me in the long run either. Kit
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:58 PM   #53
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Note: The topic of my T session yesterday involves my being unfaithful to my H 3 years ago. I told H shortly after it happened, and we decided to work on things (and continued marriage counseling for a while after that). I'm completely fine with people commenting on my T session itself, but please don't share judgments on the mistake I made, as I cannot go back in time and am still struggling with what I did.

T yesterday. Went back and sat down. Started discussing snowstorm. I said how on the news, they kept saying this was our first big January snow since January 2016. Me: "And it's like I keep flashing back to what happened around that time, the being unfaithful to my H. Snow is all tied up in my memories of that time. Like I took D out to play in the snow so that I could talk to ex-T on the phone. I called ex-MC at 2 a.m. while sitting out back in the snow. Seeing the snow on our back deck kind of is triggering me. And I started getting emotional last night about it, but just played it off as being tired/stressed from snow."

I'd started crying when I shared that with T. T: "You seem to get really emotional whenever that topic comes up. It makes me wonder if you've really forgiven yourself." Me: "I don't think I have... I guess maybe we need to discuss it more."

T asked about whether I felt I'd learned something from it. Saying that one way to forgive oneself is to realize you've learned from something and have changed as a result. I said I guess I had in the sense that I don't intend to repeat it. Me: "Like, if I'm talking to someone in a bar now, I'm mentioning my H and flashing my wedding ring...though I guess the other guy knew I was married...but it's more that I might be talking to someone but don't have the thought of 'oh maybe we could hook up.' I mean, not like in the bar or something, but like, 'let's go to a hotel.' But I don't have that thought."

T said that sounded like I'd learned and changed from it. Me: "Yeah. Like I was looking for something from that experience. I'm not entirely sure what. Like I almost had this feeling that I had to get something out of my system, then I could move forward with my relationship with H. Like, ex-T said afterward that she thought it was inevitable that I'd eventually cheat. T: "That seems very astute of her. Did she explain why?" Me: "I think because of things I kept doing, like I was heading in that direction. Like, having feelings for that guy in grad school. Then around that time I was at a concert, and I took off my wedding ring. Like thinking maybe something could happen. I've met guys at concerts before, like...this is probably TMI, but I lost my virginity to someone I met at a concert." T: "Did it happen *at* the concert?" Me (laughing): "No, we went on a couple dates first. I'm classier than that!" (I did not mention that I did make out with the guy at the concert...)

Talked about what I'd wanted from the guy I did cheat with. T said how a long-term relationship has certain benefits, but you can't get certain feelings you could get with someone different. Me: "Like...novelty or excitement?" T agreed, saying how if you're with a new person, you don't know what they'll say or do. Me: "Yeah, or what they will look like naked." T said that one generally knows what to expect in longer-term marriage. Me: "Yeah, like if H and I are intimate, it will probably be a particular one or two positions." (I was able to say that without any embarrassment or looking at the floor--I think I've hit some new level in discussing sex with T.) T: "Yes. though there are some benefits with a long-term relationship, too." Me: "Yeah." T: "And people may decide, OK, those benefits are worth the loss of something else." Me: "Yeah."

I said how part of what has made it difficult for me to forgive myself is the lack of repercussions. Me: "Like, H stayed with me. I know I told you this before, but I was worried for a while that, because the protection failed, I'd get pregnant or end up with HIV." T: "Yes I recall you saying that. It felt like you were expecting too much punishment." Me: "But it just seemed like there should have been something lasting, like I deserved that...." T: "I think people often forget how strong psychological repercussions can be for something like this, how much they can affect you." Me: "yeah..." T: "In terms of you punishing yourself." Me: "Yes. How do I stop doing that?"

T said that learning from it is a way to self-forgiveness. That if I've learned and changed my behavior as a result, which it seems I have, then I should be able to forgive myself. Me: "Yeah...I mean, I've learned that hooking up with someone just for sex isn't the answer. But then...with ex-MC, where you'd said my email had suggested 'let's run away together,' if he'd said, 'yes let's do that...' I might have considered it. I mean, I'm sure it wouldn't have lasted, and it would have likely destroyed me, but...Like I realize a purely sexual connection isn't going to solve anything. But at times I wonder if there's a better emotional match for me than H." T: "It could be that's a way you keep yourself distanced in a relationship."

Me: "Yeah, that could be. I mean, I don't believe in the soulmate thing there's someone perfect out there for me." T: "Because that means people would have to be perfect. My sister-in-law would say, 'there are no perfect people, just perfect pets.'" Me: "OK, yeah, that makes sense. Hm...have I had a perfect pet?"

Somewhere in there, T talked about how learning from experience is the most intense form of learning, which is what I had. T: "Like pretty much everyone knows that they should exercise and eat well. Yet only maybe 25% of people exercise regularly. But if someone has a heart attack, it can be a big wakeup call for them. Some will say it's the best thing that every happened to them." Me: "Yeah." T: "Next level is social learning." Me: "Like if a friend had an affair and her husband left her?" T: "Yes, or if someone you know has a heart attack. The most common form of learning is from reading about it." Me: "Like reading the rate of heart attacks for someone who doesn't exercise?" T: "Yes. And it's the least effective. Most people just do levels 1 and 2 of learning, not experiencing it themselves." He said people learn the most from experience though.

This was earlier, but: Throughout session, T kept referring to it as an affair. Me: "I tend to think of an affair as more of an ongoing thing. While this was a one-night stand." T: "You can call it a one-night stand if you want." Me: "That makes me think of a line from Duran Duran's 'Save a Prayer,' 'Some people call it a one-night stand, but we can call it paradise.'" T: "That might not be the best way to frame it!" Me: "Yeah, well, I was just trying to keep my song-quoting streak going." T: "Is that a challenge on the forum? Like, how many songs can you quote in session." Me: "No, but I have mentioned it on there. And I'd think it would be especially impressive if I quoted songs without you realizing it. But not challenge." T: "I don't know, I could see you being like, 'I hit 23 in a row today!'"

T did ask if anything positive came out of what happened with the cheating. I said I guess I realized how much ex-T and ex-MC cared, from how much they supported me. T said that was positive. I said I guessed so, thinking (but not saying) that neither of them are in my life anymore, so...I also said how some friends I'd told about it had been accepting (though not all), and T said that was good, suggested they were really good friends. I agreed.

He was saying again that if I learned from it, it's a way to forgive myself. I said I wasn't sure that was enough for me and asked what other ways are to forgive myself. T said how there are many books out there on self-forgiveness. I wanted to be like, "But I don't want books, I want you to help me."

We were out of time (I pointed it out). Confirmed Thursday, scheduled for Monday and Thursday. Went over to pay. Shook hands as he said, "Have a good few days." Me: "Thanks, you too."

Ended up sending him an email that evening, because I was feeling really bad about myself. He responded in a caring way this morning and included a modified version of the COPE inventory to fill out and bring to next session (it's about ways that I, well, cope). He offered earlier session or "if there is something else you need to help you through this tough time." Which meant a lot to me. I'm going to try to stay with scheduled Thursday session (partly because I'm having lunch with a friend I met in autism parenting group tomorrow--second time I'm seeing her).
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:55 PM   #54
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She'd had an emergency and couldn't meet last session. She has no idea how much panic I have felt for a week not knowing if she was ok. I wanted to tell her how much I worried about her but couldn't. She shared the nature of the emergency with me and it was pretty serious. I was grateful she shared it with me and I was so relieved when I saw her smiling face and that she was ok.

It's strange to care this much about a T. She's the 8th one I've seen in my life & I never cared about any of them outside normal courtesy.

I didn't have to share any of my holiday season emotional rollercoaster either because she brought up an unexpected topic that we focused on for the session. I'm glad because I'm not ready to admit how much I need her and all of my insecurities about that yet.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:38 AM   #55
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From yesterday:

I asked him what was up as he was smiling at me much more. He said that we had entered a new stage, where I'd stopped being hostile and angry and that it was nice.

Last edited by Lemoncake; 01-16-2019 at 06:43 AM..
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:47 PM   #56
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I spent a lot of the session talking about a few recent instances where people have misused power in ways I have found upsetting. He was very validating, particularly around my feelings about my proposed research supervisor, who is someone who I have clashed with before, and whom I would never have a conversation with again unless I recorded it (my previous clash with her involved her denying my experience of what happened and what was said). He told me I shouldn't have to work with someone I don't find trustworthy and he helped me make a really important distinction in that she invalidated my experience twice- she invalidated my experience of what happened in the room with her and also invalidated my feelings about what I had been talking about by saying I had said something else.

We linked my feelings about power and authority to a few things including when I was in 6th form and I was shoved in a room with a teacher and told to "resolve your differences". T said "as though you were equal" which I found very validating. It was a hugely unequal and unfair situation.

We also linked it to my Dad and I said how he wielded power and I never felt like my feelings or rights were respected at all. T said he had never heard me talking so strongly about my father before. I am usually very protective of him because I value my relationship with him. I took this as permission (I don't know why I felt I needed it) to go deeper into my feelings about being my father's daughter and how he was so strict with me because he was a single parent and just didn't know what to do with me when I was a teenager. How that led to me running away etc.

There were 15 minutes left. I asked if he thought there was time to look at his session notes from my first ever session with him. He said yes if I wanted to. I said "can I have a hug first?" So we stood up and he hugged me tight. He said "it's been an intense session" I said "Yeah I needed to hug it out I think".

I read his notes. I can't believe how much I told him in the first session. It was mostly biographical (and there were a couple of inaccuracies) but it was so comprehensive.

At the end he wrote:

Her father "doesn't do emotional", whilst her mother would always make her feelings the centre of attention in feeling conversations - mother's narcissistic wound? My initial hypothesis - wants to fall into emotional reverie and be held as her mother could not provide this, but is also fearful of being engulfed.
That last line seems particularly accurate.

We discussed some of what he had written. Then we reached the end. I asked if I could keep it and he said yes "and treat it with discretion and caution" i replied "or take a photo of it and send it to [friend], whichever." He laughed and said yes it is mine to do what I like with.

He gave me a sheet of paper with his holiday dates on. He's only gone for two weeks this year. One in February and one in June.

Weirdly I can't remember if I paid him, and i can't remember if we hugged at the end as we normally do. I can't understand why I don't remember because we were just chatting about holidays so I won't have been dissociative.

He wished me luck with something I'm doing this weekend and I left. I emailed him after to ask whether I paid and he hasn't replied yet.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:11 PM   #57
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So I went to T. I really don't like her but whatever. She wants me to journal which I'll start the mood/thought/event chart tonight. She wants me to take a walk or do sit ups any time I want to hurt myself. I’d be doing sit-ups all day. That’s kinda the point though isn’t it? I’m learning I complain about the boys to much and I really need to stop. She says I’m enabling but everyone has roles in a household, right? I didn’t tell her about how my depression feels. She asked if I wanted to hurt myself I could only shake my head yes and she asked if I needed the hospital I shook my head no and squeaked out “I wouldn’t do anything.” I would do anything to get rid of this pain. I know that’s a slippery slope. It sucks knowing a couple solutions but being unable to do them because they frowned upon. It’ll just make it look like I’m doing worse than I actually am. She made sure I have a Pdoc appointment. I don’t see the point in doing this anymore. I kinda just want to fade away anyway. Why can’t I just do that? Why is that wrong? She’s already frustrated with me and it’s the 3rd time I see her. I’m the best at introductions. (sarcasm).
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:27 AM   #58
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Today’s session was a good way of addressing the aftermath of the 15th. R arrived and explained that there had been a chicken walking down the pavement as she was driving in. She isn’t overly keen on birds. We sat down and she asked how I had been.

‘This week has been gruelling.’
‘Tuesday was hard.’
‘What was Tuesday?’
‘Tuesday was the significant date I mentioned.’

I explained that it had been harder than I thought – stomach ache, restlessness and a severe headache yesterday.
‘And you are attributing all of that to this one day?’
‘I don’t recall so many physical symptoms before.’

I explained that I met a friend on Sunday. ‘Friend is too small a word for what this person is.’
‘Somebody very important to you, then?’
‘She was supporting me at uni when the photos came.’
‘So she has an understanding of what you have been through.’
‘Yes, and yet when she asked me how I was, I said “Work is going well.”’
‘So you didn’t want to expose her to that, and you didn’t answer her question?’
‘Eventually, she asked in a little more detail…not pushy, but…’
‘Gentle probing?’
‘Yes, the Critic was present, arguing whether the date is truly significant, but I eventually said I needed to ask her something.’
I couldn’t get the words out, so she asked me whether I wanted her to text me. R asked whether knowing that I was in mind on that day would have been helpful to me, and wondered whether I would have felt worse if I hadn’t asked for that additional support. I said that I’d told my friend about the experiences of asking R for post-it notes, and R said that she hoped the more I asked for things, the easier it might become.
We talked about how I am more used to sadness than anger.
‘Is anger less comfortable because it is a newer emotion, or because it is less easy to express?’

I replied that it was a little of both. We went on to talk about and list ways in which people express anger. I laughed as I talked about growling, and R wondered whether I was embarrassed. I explained that I express anger so infrequently that it comes across as funny to other people. R replied that she has heard me swear in session, and it does not strike her as funny. I explained that it is probably because people aren’t used to hearing that from me. At some point the Critic entered and R highlighted the fact that I had turned away from her whilst fending off the Critic. I tried to get the words out twice before I ultimately said ‘What I mean is, did you get my email?’

She confirmed that she did, and apologised for not responding. Then the conversation returned to my feeling that anger, expressed well, should not affect anyone. She gave examples of slamming doors, and if somebody drove into her car. I said it was alright to express anger at somebody driving into your car.

‘I am having trouble justifying my anger.’ I continued. I brought some of this on myself. I reiterated that the ideal anger, if there is such a thing… ‘It’s your new theory’, doesn’t hurt anybody else. I observed that 'There seems to be a crossover between interpersonal and situational anger.'

R said that she would keep that as an observation.

R asked me something like ‘What would you do with your anger, in an ideal world? No magic wand, that doesn’t exist, but…’

‘In an ideal world I would like them to know that they hurt me, but that’s evident from ‘She knows you worry and ‘I didn’t want to tell you this, but.’

‘That is when I hear the most anger from you.’

‘Going back to what I said earlier, I trust you, and I don’t want my expressions of anger in this space to affect you.’

R explained that anger directed at her would not be acceptable, but anything below that level is fine.

‘I trust you and yet I want to protect you from my darkest imaginings.’

‘That comes across.’

I reiterated that I needed to find my way of expressing anger, and she offered to find some exercises we can do together.

Last edited by LostOnTheTrail; 01-17-2019 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:26 PM   #59
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I canceled my appointment with my t today because I'm tired and haven't showered and just.... can't

t e-mailed me and said hey how about tomorrow? t doesn't work on Fridays so I was surprised. but I feel like t thinks I'm not doing well, try to put me in the hospital, idk. I'm scared but I said ok and we are meeting at 2. I already don't want to go
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:00 PM   #60
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It looks like the therapist I had been planning on seeing is going on maternity leave in 2 weeks, and then will be gone for 6 weeks. I really want to see her so I guess I’ll wait 2 months for an appointment. I’m kind of struggling, but I think I can hold on. I just don’t know what other options I have.
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