Tag: therapy

Realism ≠ Negativity

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.”

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Raw – Come Play In May

raw-pictureI was hoping for something a little more upbeat for today’s prompt – aka the prompt I participate in again after a couple days off for life updates – but you know what, I think I can do this while not being entirely downbeat about the whole thing. Let’s see…

My Emotions

I’ve never experienced feelings in shades of gray. I can think all in the gray areas and see lots of points of view but my heart? My heart has always been raw. I have boundaries, sure, but they are very different than most people and so some people think my blog is an overshare while others understand the things I do not share exist and are important to me. There aren’t many, but the things I hold behind my boundaries are absolutely sacred.

My Life

I don’t lead a “sweater sets and ice cream social” kind of life. Sometimes I want one very, very badly. I want to be a mom who gets up, makes sure her lipstick is on, and goes out to do the things that normal moms do. If there was ever such a thing as a normal mom. I think it’s just a grown-up version of hoping I would grow up to be a princess. I keep hoping I’ll grow up to be a real-life, normal mom.

My Blog

My blog is pretty raw. Especially since it’s not anonymous. It allows people to read and make impressions and assumptions about my life that may or may not be accurate. No matter how detailed I am, I will never be able to give someone a true impression of what my life looks like. But I try. For my children to read someday, for their children to read someday, for you to read and hopefully enjoy or learn from or feel your own raw emotion while you read.

My Love

My love is raw because I do not pretend. Not with my children, not with my husband, not with my friends, not with my family. I saw some Tedx talk about a marriage/relationship hack. The graph that took my breath away was the slow, downward spiral of marriage satisfaction. He only studied 50 years but wow, that graph.

I have never been more satisfied in my marriage than I am today. I credit being happier now than the day I got married with being raw. Also, maybe, not expecting my husband to be my everything, every day, all the time. So I guess it’s more of a combo platter.

My Self-Care

Therapy is going to be a way to stay raw but with less poky edges and brittle bits. Maybe a little less intense. That being said, if someone didn’t like me before therapy they sure aren’t going to like me after. I hold my tongue a lot and if I am more at peace with myself that could change. Maybe not. We won’t know until we know, will we? I’ve never been the person who says mean things and then uses the “I’m just being honest” excuse to try and justify my words. So I probably won’t suddenly turn into that person during this journey.

But hey, I keep hearing “It’s a process.” So maybe part of that process is where I get to just say what I’m really thinking and feeling without cushioning it at all. Letting people know where they fit into my life and what I’m willing to be in theirs. You know, boundaries. So I don’t just run again.

I’m tired of running. If I move it’s because I’ve chosen to. I’ve planned it. I will be prepared for it. I will stand strong and raise my kids and hug my husband and treat my friends well and have a life well-lived. 

Wait. I did that already. Huh. Maybe I’m farther in this process than I thought. *grin*

Stay Raw, my friends…

Axis of Ineptitude

Looking for the whole list of prompts? They are in text form and image so you can Come Play In May!