So the session I had on Monday was okay. I was admittedly exhausted and kind of going in and out of dissociation, which made it very hard to stay with my thoughts. But I think some important stuff happened in that space anyway.
I started out by just sitting down. I said nothing. I don’t know why – I wasn’t trying to challenge her or be weird or deliberately difficult. I just literally could not think of a single thing to say. Anything that came to mind seemed dumb or trivial or just wrong. I knew from experience that this therapist is pretty darn comfortable just sitting in silence. After a while, I started to worry that she would let me go the entire session without speaking at all.
About five minutes into my silence, she very gently said, “I wonder if how you’re feeling right now has to do with how our last session ended“ (with me in tears because she merely suggested we increase session frequency to twice a week). I just said “Yeah. Probably.” So we talked about that. I think. It’s all very fuzzy in my brain. I know that we definitely spent the rest of session talking.
What I do remember clearly is asking her why she suggested an increase in sessions. She said that, in her experience, when there is as much trauma as I’ve dealt with – more sessions allow for more space to explore the depth of what I’m constantly holding onto. She said that she doesn’t necessarily even mean the depth of what we could delve into (i.e. the details of trauma), but the depth of what I exist in on a day-to-day basis.
At first, that was really hard to hear. I told her that I’d been thinking about the previous session and asking myself what I had done to make her think I needed more treatment. I had been talking in sessions, sure, but not about very serious or difficult stuff. Not the “big deal” stuff anyway. So I felt really overwhelmed to think that somehow I was already sending out the message that one session a week wouldn’t be enough for me. I’m barely sharing and I’m already “too much”?! I asked her if I talked too much or too fast or with too much intensity?? I wanted to know what I was doing wrong!
She countered my questions by explaining that it wasn’t about me being too much or doing anything wrong. It is merely about the space required to do the kind of work I need to do. She said that I need more than an hour to really get into the process. She also said that she would understand if that was really scary for me because she realizes that she’s essentially asking me to trust her and enter into this space with her after I was just betrayed and abandoned by another therapist.
Hell yes, lady. I’m scared as fuck.
Yet, still, something about this woman is admittedly reassuring. She has a way of interacting with me during sessions that demonstrates a high level of self-awareness and professionalism. She doesn’t really seem scared or nervous or unsure of herself or her capabilities. But she’s still realistic and grounded in the knowledge that she may not end up being the right therapist for me, or have the right skills. It’s strange.
But I can feel her sense of commitment to me and my treatment getting stronger every session. And that absolutely scares me. I can tell that I’m starting to feel drawn to her. I’m curious about how things might look if I was able to let go and trust someone again. I’m beginning to picture being in therapy long-term with her and imagine getting better. All things I envisioned happening with Zooey before that all came crashing down on my head.
I told her about how I tend to put up walls when I think people are starting to care about me and invest in me. It’s my way of ensuring I don’t get hurt. If I don’t let people in, they can’t disappoint or hurt me. She asked, “Do you think that’s part of what’s happening in here?”
I just laughed and said, “Absolutely!”
And then I explained that Wife no longer has a job offer, so even if I wanted to have more sessions, we can’t afford it right now. She said she was sad to hear that and we agreed that perhaps fate is telling us to take it slow for now and that there’s always the option to change things up at a later time.
It might be naïve and premature, but I think I actually like this therapist.