At the end of last session, I stood up to leave and then suddenly remembered that I forgot to tell the therapist that I can’t do my normal Tuesday session time this week because my professors swapped schedules for Monday and Tuesday. So I quickly blurted all of that out as I was literally walking towards the door. I think I assumed she’d just be like “Okay, no prob, I’ll see you next Friday then.” She didn’t. What she actually said was,
“Okay, well…we have time. So let’s sit back down and try to figure out another time that works because we need to see each other.”
I did as she asked and managed to reschedule the session for Wednesday evening after work, but the entire time I felt my heart racing in my chest. When I finally left, I felt really strange and unsettled about that very short, but obviously significant interaction. I couldn’t figure it out, but something about it just pissed me off.
I think my main reactions are
- why do we “need to see other”?; and
- what is this “we” shit anyway?! There is no “we”. And I don’t “need” anything from her (right?).
If you’ve been reading along with my posts about sessions with her, I think it’s fairly obvious that this therapist and I get along quite well. Things have gone smoothly thus far and she’s been a tremendous resource for me during the aftermath of Zooey’s termination bullshit. But I have approached this therapeutic relationship with more caution than I think I’ve ever used in any relationship, ever. I feel super protective of myself now and especially protective of certain system members. I feel so much guilt over what happened with Zooey. I want to make sure I don’t let anyone hurt them like that again. I think it’s safe to say they’ve been hurt enough already.
I guess this idea that I need her is scary to me and I had a very visceral reaction to such a statement. So much of what made Zooey’s termination as devastating as it was is that she’d become so central to our daily lives. I’d allowed her to become someone I needed very much. And when she decided she didn’t want to be that person anymore, I was left with nothing.
So now I’m tempted to just skip session altogether. I want to cancel them all and never talk to this woman ever again. I know that’s not a good idea. I’ve worked so tremendously hard in these last three months to be resilient and strong in the face of such a traumatic therapeutic rupture. I’ve been fiercely determined to not let Zooey’s behavior cause any more damage than it already had. I’d gained a lot of momentum in recovery and I wanted to use some of that to forge ahead. I’ve done that.
But now shit is getting real. I’m beginning to share the darker stuff. I’m slowly letting my guard down. I’m talking about things that aren’t just related to my last therapist. I’m answering her questions to elaborate and giving her small pieces of myself.
I don’t like it.
I wish so much that I could trust her. At the same time, trusting her sounds legit terrible. I know trust takes time and I’d rather she prove it through actions than words. Zooey said a lot of pretty things that ended up not matching her behavior. I don’t need more pretty words. I need someone to show me that they’re trustworthy. And that generally takes time.
So I’m going to try to stick this out. But I definitely think we need to have that conversation about the impact of increasing session frequency. And I should probably tell her about my reaction to this specific comment, shouldn’t I? Ugh. But that sounds so SCARY. What if she responds in a way that’s really lame or weird or hurtful. I feel like this is a lot to ask, but really all I want from her is to be decent and kind to me, even if I’m pissing her off or being frustrating or difficult or scary or whatever else I tend to be throughout sessions.
Maybe I should just walk into session and be like, “Please don’t be someone who hurts me.”