Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: It rained.  Hard.  And I didn’t have an umbrella.  And not one but TWO people loaned me umbrellas.  I do indeed have people who love me. 🙂

Got to go to bed early tonight so I can run in the morning!  I’m a tired girl right now — Tuesdays and Thursdays I work 9-9 so not much time for a workout.  Excited to run tomorrow AM though!

Therapy Tuesday

Therapy today was actually quite soothing.  I have struggled a lot lately with opening up and letting L into my world, but today I felt comfortable and contented exactly where I was at.  I felt like we sort of met each other in the middle; like I could be open to her because she was being open with me.  I also think I did a better job today of consciously soothing myself when I began to feel panicky.

I mentioned last week that I was going to compile all my therapy thoughts since January (all of which are documented on the blog) into one epic therapy saga and give it to L.  When I arrived, I decided that it would be helpful for both of us for me to read the entry from last week out loud.  I was a bit nervous since it feels so personal and a little painful, but I did it.  Afterwards, I asked her if she thought it was mean or unkindly or offensive.  She was quiet for a while, actually.  I don’t usually see her thinking like this — she tends to think very quickly most of the time.  She said that she didn’t feel a sense of meanness, but a lot of sadness for both of us.  For me, because clearly I have been in pain and have struggled to let her in; for her because she has not been helpful to me and has left me feeling tense and shaken lately.  For once, we were on the same plane, we were thinking and feeling the exact same things.  This felt wonderfully powerful for me.  It was a lovely connection, even if it did revolve around a sense of sadness.

I feel like it’s sort of hard to describe the rest of the session; like if I try to explain what we were talking about or how we were relating, I’ll just fuck it up.  Basically, we looked at what it means to share yourself in an emotionally intimate way with someone; what it might mean to heal or to help someone else heal.  It was a very back and forth thing; I think she opened up to me in a new way today as I opened up to her as well.  I have felt a lot of curiosity about her lately and told her this.  I asked her a little bit about herself and it was not just interesting for me to hear her responses, but also helpful, I think, for me to know a little bit about what she has been through.  I like to know what “real adult” lives are like sometimes.   I know she has had her fair share of struggles and this,  somehow, gives me a newfound confidence in our relationship: it is easier to know that her life has not been perfect.  All of this is very vague, but that was sort of the tone of our conversation.  Vague, yet comfortably intimate.

I talked a lot about how I perceive her and what she seems like to me.  I definitely mentioned how much I feel like a loser who sucks at therapy and doesn’t deserve to get better.  She calmed me down here and praised me for my openness, honesty, and consistency in therapy.  I felt really just…nice…when she told me this.  It was nice to hear her tell me that she knows I am very dedicated to therapy and to learning about myself.  We all want to be liked and praised sometimes.  And to be honest, I am starting to feel like maybe I am learning new things about myself and about how I relate to others.  I tend to have pretty low self-confidence, and feeling like I am bad at therapy has destroyed what little belief in myself I have had.  So starting to feel like I am doing well at therapy again — like it is meaningful and I am lovable — is quite significant.

I know this is all really unclear.  Our conversation today was not the most concrete.  But I think the important thing to take away is that I feel soothed and calmer and happier, which is such a blessing for me right now.  Leaving therapy feeling tense and angry the past few weeks has been tremendously painful for me, and I am glad that this has turned around, even if it is not necessarily clear what direction we are headed on.

I am excited to get to know myself better through getting to know L better. Does that make sense?  When I ask her questions and learn about her intimate life, even if only a little bit, I learn about my vulnerabilities and tender parts.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!  I’m off to bed, goodnight friends.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 01:23:51

    Two umbrellas? Score!

    I’m so glad to hear that therapy was soothing…I think you are right – opening up has to be a mutual thing, and the reason my therapist earlier this year didn’t work was because she was totally closed off and never revealed anything about herself. My therapists in treatment last year however opened up to me, and I felt that connection you speak about, which is essential to truly heal. Perhaps the key to therapy working for you is for L to be similarly open, so that this sense of connection can grow. Personally I think mutual openness is key to creating a therapeutic environment that feels safe, and I hope there are many more soothing and intimate sessions to come for you.

    Sarah x

    PS have finished my swap piece, so let me know as soon as you are ready to send, then we can swap addresses. If you enter and win one of my giveaway prizes I could send both at once 😉

    Reply

  2. Chocolate-Covered Katie
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 18:45:46

    Hey girlie!
    I’m not sure if you received my email (all my emails seem to go to peoples’ spam boxes!). But I’d love to meet up tomorrow if you’re available :).

    Reply

  3. Ameena
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 21:21:02

    I am so glad therapy went well…I can’t imagine how hard it is to sit and open yourself up to a total stranger. You are very brave for doing so!

    Reply

  4. Marina
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 23:05:01

    I got caught in the rain yesterday too and it was so bad downtown, having an umbrella didn’t even seem to help! :O I still got SOAKED.

    Glad therapy is helping! I know I should go!

    Reply

  5. Hannah
    Jul 15, 2010 @ 01:23:43

    I think you should be really proud of yourself. Opening up like that, and talking about why the therapy relationship wasn’t quite working, is the only way to get past that and make it work. Also, I completely understand your “vagueness” describing how it was good, but that makes *complete* sense. As someone who’s been through therapy too, the most helpful sessions are precisely when there’re a kind of intangible sense of you both “getting it”. And that makes sense, because there’s no One Clear Definable Solution to feeling unhappy – it’s about gradually realigning our ways of thinking and being. So bravo, girl – keep it up 🙂

    Reply

  6. Joanne
    Jul 15, 2010 @ 06:53:24

    I’ve never done therapy before (although I really probably should have) but I can only imagine how hard it is to open up to a complete stranger. I know it’s hard for me now to even open up to the people I love. Good for you for being honest with her about your struggles. That takes guts, girl!

    Reply

  7. Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA
    Jul 15, 2010 @ 10:12:25

    HI!! So happy you had a breakthrough therapy session. Honesty is best and the more you let yourself open up the farther the therapy can take you. I’m so glad you found a therapist too. I went to one before and she was SO HARD to talk to!

    Have a great day!

    Reply

  8. thehungryscholar
    Jul 15, 2010 @ 16:26:00

    I love therapy because I don’t dump my stress on everyone else. Glad it went well!

    Reply

  9. glutenfreemuse
    Jul 15, 2010 @ 16:57:12

    I’ve always considered seeking therapy, but thankfully, my diet choices have been helping my moods drastically 🙂

    My sisters both went to therapy for a while and ultimately loved it. A lot of crying and frustration every session, but if you want to consider it, it is safe. You are in a controlled environment, and you can leave it behind after.

    I commend you for taking this on 🙂 You go girl!

    ~Alyssa

    Reply

  10. shesarunner
    Jul 16, 2010 @ 21:03:34

    I ask my therapist questions all the time. I think it is important for me to do so. As someone with a lot of trust issues, I always feel like I need someone to make themselves vulnerable with me. I can’t be the only one doing it or else I’ll just shut down and start babbling about the weather. Maybe that sounds weird, but I don’t know. I really think it is helpful to get to know your therapist as a person. It also strengthens your connection, and the more you trust her, the more she will be able to help you. And the more you will believe her when she tells you that you are not “bad at therapy”. Which is really just a negative thought pattern and not true at all. There is no way you are bad at therapy. You are committed to going. You are incredibly self-reflective. You write about your experiences and you actually get something out of them. I would say that you are “better” at therapy than most people (even though that isn’t the term I would use…for back of a better word…since no one is truly “bad” at therapy).
    Anyway, I’m happy to hear that you had a good session. I hope you have a great weekend lovely girl.

    Reply

  11. Kate
    Jul 18, 2010 @ 20:22:50

    glad your therapy session went well. there is something quite liberating about sharing your honest thoughts and feelings with someone.

    that umbrella looks cute! maybe you should “forget” to return it?!

    Reply

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