Conflict

So I went to the extra session with the therapist lady. It was fine, but not good. I am not nearly as articulate as our dear “host” (hate that word, but I can’t think of anything better right now), so I am pretty sure I did more damage than good to the therapeutic relationship. I’m not sure she figured out she was talking to a different part until the end, so she probably was confused as fuck and super annoyed at my inherent resistance and basic lack of verbal communication skills.

But I did talk. Well, I tried to talk anyway. I told her that there are just always so many things I could say, so it’s hard to know where to begin. Plus there has been a whole lot of regulations put on what I’m allowed to say throughout my life and let’s just say people historically have not responded very well to the shit I have to share. Among other delightful things, I’ve been called a liar, manipulative, crazy, psychotic, delusional, attention-seeking, and a plain old “spoiled brat” by a variety of mental health professionals, family members, and other random assholes. So I tend to just freeze up. I am terrified of saying the wrong thing or of being accused of any of the aforementioned undesirable character traits.

Plus it was just a hella distressing time. The body is tired as fuck. We aren’t sleeping well. We barely eat. Our stress level is impressively high. It’s hard to form basic sentences while fronting sometimes. Add to that all of the input (read: arguments) I get from the others and it’s just constant head chaos. I don’t know how the host even does it all damn day. We don’t generally get along, but I admire her ability to run this show as well as she does. Kudos.

Then there was a point where shit just got intense. This lady made a comment that made me feel like maybe she thought I was stupid (HUGE trigger for me), so I laughed and said “of course I know that!” Except, then she said she felt a certain way about me laughing at her and she asked if perhaps the way I react to people contributes to my feelings of disconnection from the world. What the fuck? I did NOT like the way this was going. I (of course) started cognitively deteriorating and imagined that she was blaming me for the way people have treated me and especially for Zooey’s abandonment. My brain was reeling. No bueno.

So it was basically all downhill from there. I couldn’t put two words together to save my life. Eventually she gave me the “10 minute warning”, which she has never done while the host was present, so then I got all sensitive and offended that she was freaking out that I wouldn’t leave her office on time (another trigger related to Zooey). So I literally said “Omg, don’t freak out, I’m gonna leave your office on time!” And she was all “I’m not freaking out, but obviously something I just said really upset you.” And then I just started crying so I didn’t punch walls. Ugh. Then she started talking about how there was some conflict in the session and that it was important for us to talk about all of the things that come up while we’re in that space (omg, kill me now). At least time was up.

As I was leaving, though, she asked, “Is there anything else you want to say to me before you go?” and I just said “It was very nice to meet you.” She looked only mildly taken aback and quickly responded, “It was nice to meet you, too.” So…there’s that. Cat is officially out of the bag, yo!

I don’t know how I feel about this. I came home and took a 4 hour nap just to NOT have to deal with it. I feel slightly better now that I’ve rested. Plus the nerds of the system got to spend a few hours studying, so that helped settle some stress. Except: wow, boring.

I guess the point of therapy is to help identify the patterns that keep you stuck in destructive or painful behaviors/thoughts/feelings. She wasn’t wrong to call me out on laughing at her, but nothing about the experience made me feel safe to engage with her about that interaction. But maybe that’s okay. She says we can go slow and build trust gradually. I like the idea of that….but I’m just sorta like: what am I supposed to do in the meantime?

Cuz lemme tell you, this is a lot of heavy shit to hold onto by my damn self.

-Julia

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16 thoughts on “Conflict

  1. Boost Connection says:

    It was incredibly brave of you to go to session and officially interact with the therapist as yourself (not “the host”). I’m so proud of you. I thought you offered some really excellent reflections and insights on how it went. I hope you can share those thoughts and feelings with her at some point so you can feel heard.

    And duper proud of your first solo post, J!!!!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Anxious Mom says:

    What Boost said. Since this was a (sorta) last-minute appointment, I’m sure the therapist anticipated a certain amount of … emotional stuff? (God I’m a shitty English major, so bad with the words.) This therapist does seem on top of her game, so after she’s had some time to reflect, maybe this will help the relationship in the long run. Glad to see you post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      • Zoe says:

        I wanted to add that I sent it that way just because I thought it was more private. I got a little worried after because I didn’t want you to think I was forcing a communication by other means. I don’t ever want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I just figured if the contact form was open I would use it. I wanted to share my experience with a friend and share that I firmly believe our mental health care providers need to be mindful of their patients because these broken relationships with therapists are very costly to us. No one deserves to be made to feel like crap simply because they lack the proper skills to treat us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fumbling Through Therapy says:

        No, I was absolutely thrilled to get your message! I’m just new to this blogging thing, so I’m not as savvy as I’d like to be re: responding to contact form messages. I am so grateful for your thoughtfulness! And you’re the first person to use the form, so I feel totally badass 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zoe says:

        I’m glad. I just want you to always know that I respect you and your spaces. I know how important it is. I’m also quite new to the WordPress functionality, so I’m learning as well. XD It can be a little challenging to find things sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sara J says:

    Hey Julia, I know this shit is hard and therapy can be incredibly triggering for you, but I’m proud of you for sharing this with us and for crying instead of punching things (hey, sometimes choosing a less destructive form of emotional expression over another is enough). I’m guessing the space didn’t feel safe because the therapist has been building trust with the host and not you, BUT you introduced yourself which is a huge first step towards creating this connection. I know it sucks, but I also know you can do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fumbling Through Therapy says:

      I miss you! Thx for commenting on my post! I am hoping that since she knows now that she was talking to someone else, she will sorta connect the dots and understand why there was inconsistencies in behavior/interaction. She seemed frustrated and confused a lot, but I think she might be willing to give us a try anyway. Hopefully.

      Like

  4. Cat says:

    Hi Julia… It is no surprise you are wary of sharing your inner thoughts when you’ve been up against so many negative reactions. When we feel and share trauma, people’s reaction can have an enormous impact on the trauma itself, so it becomes a bigger monster and a lot more complicated to come to terms with and speak about in the future
    As an outsider looking in, I don’t think she was blaming you for people’s treatment of you, Z’s abandonment. What I think she was getting at is they say in therapy that how we interact with the world, is how we will interact with a Therapist and as the relationship changes with the Therapist, so do our relationships with the world.
    It is important to talk about your feelings towards the Therapist and how you’re feeling about the interaction, as this seems to be the portal to change. From what I can see/read, I think you are doing much better than you’re giving yourself credit for. You are being as open and honest as you possibly can be and that can only deepen with time, no one should expect it to happen overnight… I say, well done you! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fumbling Through Therapy says:

      You make so many good points, Cat. That’s exactly how I have been feeling about all of this. I’m glad to hear you don’t perceive her as blaming me – it is super helpful to have other’s insight because I tend to think the worst. I don’t know when I will get to talk to her about this, but I definitely would try to explain some of this stuff. I also need to remind myself to be patient. I think sometimes I worry SO MUCH about people hurting or leaving me that I am kinda like “hurry up and disappoint me already!” you know? It sucks. But I’m working on it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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