Warning: Possible incoherent rambling ahead due to frustration. I should be participating in Come Play in May but I am not right now because I cannot stop thinking about this. At first I was wondering if I should share it, but hey, self-improvement is the reason we’re doing everything we are with our lives and the finances so I guess this counds under that umbrella. Or something.
I managed to see a therapist three times before swearing off of the whole thing forever. Again.
My biggest problem? She had me journal and then insisted (I really mean INSISTED) I read her everything I wrote. I told her if she wanted me to read everything how was that different than her just reading my blog (because audience) and she said, “Because of the interaction inherent in the Internet.” <– you saw those quotes, right? I asked her what that meant and she said that I censored my thoughts because I have an Internet audience and I said, “But I don’t know you, either, so if I know you’re reading everything you know I’m going to censor that even more than I do my blog. I mean, I know most of my readers. I LIKE them.” Or, I would have said that if I wasn’t trying to process what she said and how those words seemed to mean something to her when she said them but I would be damned if I could figure it out.
That’s okay. I realized through the relaxation therapy we did together (even though I told her I do guided meditation every night before bed and am well versed with relaxing breathing and do it every day) but she just ignored me and then took me on this awful “meditative” journey to the beach. (I find that the beach is very romantic to people who don’t GO to the beach. I’m sure I’m wrong, but it feels that way to me because when I walk through the sand I look like a land hippo with gorilla arms trying to wade through unseen jello.)
Plus, her overwhelming desire to talk about my husband because she seemed absolutely incredulous that I could be happy and calm about him when I was an anxious wreck about other things. She asked me why I didn’t want to talk about my husband and I told her, “Marrying him is the one decision I have never regretted.” I even thought right after I said it, “I should write that down. That was a really cool thing to say!” It’s also true. She just gave me therapist-nod-half-smirk and I was like, “Whatever.”
If we are talking about the cause of my anxiety it certainly isn’t Mr. Brickie. He has been a calming influence in so many ways and I adore him for that and many other things.
The other thing she just kept bringing up was how negative I was. “You have to be less negative. It’s bad for you. Being negative is going to kill you.” When I responded, “Then how do you explain so many crabby old people?” She smiled her therapy smile and responded, “See, there it is again.”
THUS BEGAN A TWO WEEK PARANOID-MADNESS-FILLED EPISODE OF ME TRYING NOT TO BE NEGATIVE AT ALL.
The reason this is more difficult than you might immediately think is that I’m actually not a negative person. I’m a realist. My motto is, “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” (Thank you Maya Angelou for that last part on the end. I really love that part.)
Preparing for the worst, however, means running all scenarios … including the negative ones. I’m very optimistic, I mean, have you read my blog? You all know I think I’m coming out of the other side of what we are going through right now and into a much better situation for my family. I really do. I mean, find me a percentage of people who are where I am at right now that are happier or more carefree.
This woman, though. The hubris of grinning at me ear-to-ear at the end of our first appointment to find out during the second appointment she has decided she’s figured me out (or something) would have been unbelievable if she hadn’t been doing it to me. I tried to go along with it and trust the system. I asked her what a positive person sounded like so I could model the behavior. She couldn’t come up with an example. She just kept telling me to focus on the positive because anything else was, I am not kidding, “BAD FOR YOUR ORGANS.” (not the musical kind, I have to assume).
I am jealous of everyone who has a therapist that helps them. One that gets you through things and lets you vent. I was hoping to get one of those, but obviously, I did not. I have no ill-will toward her but she was – for me – a very bad therapist.
She kept getting me in a catch-22. She would call me negative, I would try to explain why it wasn’t negative, and then she would gently chide me for overexplaining.
Now for all of you smart people or psych majors or both (they’re not mutually exclusive or inclusive categories, natch) I’m thinking she was just doing some basic cognitive behavioral stuff. But causing a traffic jam in my brain because you tell me I can’t have Option A or Option B but there is no way to learn what Option C is and there are no examples to be found but you have to have Option C or you will die from organ failure is nuts. To tell a person who is in therapy to only talk about things in a positive light and not talk in a negative way during sessions and the rest of your everyday life – including your thoughts – is nuts. I’m thinking to myself , “Are you sure you don’t read ALL THE BLOGS where people are doing that and how utterly unhelpful it is or maybe FACEBOOK where people are only sharing the most positive things for the most part?” Being fake does not make a person positive. It makes them fake and just crushes the negativity down.
But I didn’t say that because I wasn’t being negative.
Instead, I did the most positive thing I could think of and I cancelled my next appointment because the amount of negativity I felt after the last one is something I would like to never ever ever repeat again in this lifetime.
If you’ve read my post from a while back about not being allowed to try new churches anymore because of the disappointment I feel when they inevitably let me down? This was very similar. I guess churches and therapists are things I just don’t have good luck with.
My husband – in one of those rare moments where he just amazes me with his insight – said, “Of course if you look for someone else to fix you, to give you community, or make you someone you are not you are going to have a problem. Every church or therapist you have gone to was because you wanted something only you could do for yourself.”