I don’t know what is going on with therapy right now, but I’m feeling very…stuck. It seems like the therapist and I keep just missing each other at several points throughout session recently. This happened during both sessions last week.
I went into Friday’s session feeling admittedly vulnerable since I’d shared not only a photo of myself as a child that was directly linked to a trauma memory I’d disclosed, but also because I’d read her my letter regarding my hopes and expectations for treatment.
I think part of the problem may be that we didn’t get enough time to really process the letter. We had about 10 minutes or so and the conversation we did have was a good one. But I don’t think it was enough. Thus a lot may have gone without saying and it’s adding this other layer to our work that we’re struggling to navigate through.
I’ve become extremely sensitive to the way she reacts to me. The questions she asks, her tone, her body language, her words. I feel very tense during session. There’s this underlying feeling that I’m going to fuck up. So I act defensively, which then puts her on the defensive. We tend to mirror each others emotions and behavior, even if only subtly. She pointed this out and I said I agreed, but it can be hard to know who is responding to who.
It’s like the chicken or the egg question: which comes first – my emotions or hers? Is she reacting to the emotions I’m bringing into the room? And then I’m reacting to her reactions, which then brings up even more emotion within her? Or is it the other way around? Ugh. So confusing!
I was also especially giggly during session. It had been a weird day and I felt blended with Parts that I wasn’t even sure of. It’s a strange sensation that feels very out of control. So I tend to laugh a lot to mask how insane I feel. I was just telling her random (but purposeful) updates about my life. I wanted to tell her some good stuff: keeping my 4.0, nailing a headstand in yoga, my wife FINALLY signing a full-time contract, crossing 500 followers on this blog. I needed to share something good.
Which is valid, but I think she sensed I was also using that as a mechanism to distance myself from her. I was. She said something (don’t remember it exactly) and I laughed.
“Everything I say is funny today, huh?”
“Yes. Well no. I’m not laughing at what you’re saying…I’m just laughing because I’m so ridiculous.”
“Why are you ridiculous”
“Am I not allowed to be ridiculous?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“I didn’t say you said that, I’m just asking.”
“Okay. You seem defensive right now. I’m trying to connect with you, but it seems like maybe you need more space today than normal. Maybe you don’t want to delve deeper into things today?”
“I’m not trying to be challenging.”
“I didn’t say you were challenging”
“OMG! I know you didn’t say that. Did I say you said that? Why do you take everything so literally?!”
“I don’t really know what’s going on today, but this feels like a power struggle – like you don’t want to allow me any control to ask questions or dig deeper. You don’t want me to get close to you.”
“Obviously you just don’t like what I was talking about or how I was talking or whatever.”
“It has nothing to do with what you said. I’m just reflecting back to you what I’m observing.”
And then I just shut down. I couldn’t find any more words to find my way back to her or to the work. We seem to reach these critical moments in session lately where I just malfunction. Something she says or does in reaction to what I’m talking about causes me to suddenly and abruptly withdraw. I can feel myself throwing up a wall in defense. And I know she feels me pushing her away. I don’t want to be doing that. I want to connect with her. I don’t want to push her away.
Yet I can’t seem to stop it.
She asked me if I knew what it was I am trying to protect. She said she got the impression that whatever we were talking about was very difficult for me and that was causing me to feel frustrated. It was, but no – I don’t know what I’m trying to protect.
I wish I did.