Last night’s session
I was as desperate to see T last night as I was nervous. I had emailed her on Monday evening to tell her what had happened with work and the doctors etc. She had said we would talk about it when I saw her and so hence the nerves. Saying that, I was glad that T already knew what was going on and that I didn’t have to walk in there and tell her.
She asked me how I was feeling and I said I was feeling okay… I don’t think I was actually looking at her though.. it all felt very awkward. T said “I don’t think you are okay actually” and then we spoke in detail about what work had said and what the doctor had said. She said that I didn’t need antidepressants because I wasn’t depressed. She said I was in fact “coming out of depression and beginning to feel” probably for the first time.
I liked those words. Those words felt far more promising and hopeful than being told I was in fact, depressed.
T went on to say that antidepressants would block me from feeling the things that I very clearly need to feel. I told her that was my worry also but the doctor had said it wouldn’t interfere. She asked me if I had got the pills and I said no, I hadn’t bothered because I didn’t want to take them.
We spoke at length about work and how they have handled this. I told her that I felt like a fraud yesterday because although on Monday I was in a mess, yesterday I got up early and went to the gym, went food shopping etc and felt fine. I said that now I am signed off work for a week and it felt wrong and insincere. T said I didn’t need to be signed off work but that everyone just wanted a quick fix. Work expects me to be “better”, the doctor gives pills that essentially fake that feeling – she said how very frustrating it is that nobody has a real understanding about these things. She told me that I wasn’t depressed nor mentally unwell, I was just struggling a bit with processing the trauma and I was becoming quite regressed at times like that. I agreed.
I told T that my team coordinator had suggested my T wrote a letter to them to tell them what they should expect from me, what I was dealing with etc. T said she wouldn’t write a letter but she would speak to someone on the phone if I wanted her to. She said she wouldn’t discuss specifics about my therapy but would explain that sometimes I just need a bit of space to be able to cry and that working from home every now and again was helping with that because I was still able to do my job but didn’t have to spend the day crying on the train or in the office. I told her that is exactly how I felt but now they had taken that away from me. T started to say a few of the things she would say on the phone to my HR department and she sounded FIESTYYYYYYY!!! I liked it. She clearly would not be taking any shit. She sounded fiercely protective of me, I liked it. I also thought I would not want to get on the wrong side of her LOL! She said she would tell them that the way there were treating me was absolutely disgusting (amongst other things).
I told T that I liked being able to send her the hard stuff before seeing her because I always worry that she will react and I will see the reaction on her face. T said she thought a lot of this came down to feeling ashamed which is part of the reason she thought I locked myself away. I admitted that I felt embarrassed that I wasn’t handling things well and that I felt I should be able to deal with it better. T told me that I couldn’t because I was never taught how. She said I was never given the tools to self-soothe and said that anyone with a childhood like mine would feel exactly the same way.
Moving on we spoke about my actual feelings during the crying.
I hate this bit because I still can’t express myself. T asked me what it was I needed when I was feeling like this and I told her I didn’t know. I told her I had no conscious thoughts and that was very frustrating. She asked me whether I felt that I needed her? I felt mean saying no, but said I genuinely, seriously did not have the answer. I didn’t know. It all just felt very hopeless and huge and as I had said in my email to her the day before, as though the sadness and pain would never end.
She said that she had been a little worried that my crying wasn’t providing any relief. I said I wasn’t really sure.
She said that it was okay to feel I needed her in those moments and that she wanted to know what my fantasies were. I said again, I just didn’t know. T said that perhaps it was an idea for us to check in by phone to see if she could help to ground me a little.. this wasn’t something I had ever thought about. It wasn’t something I had even fantasied could be an option. I don’t know if she meant a quick few minutes to ground me or a proper paid for session and I didn’t ask. I said that perhaps it would hep but that during these times, I can’t even speak because I am crying so much.
T said that what she worried about was that during these episodes I was kind of experiencing a repeat. I wasn’t really sure what she meant at the time but we later discussed this a bit more and basically when I was a child, I spent 99% of my time in my bedroom. I guess it was my safe place (that and the fact that I wasn’t actually allowed in the lounge because of “adult time” pfftt!!). Anyway, I used to have extreme OCD and even eat my dinner in my bedroom. T was concerned that I was repeating this by locking myself at home on my own on days I felt that low and suffering alone rather than trying with someone who could help me a little. I guess that was what I was used to.
I said that this was true, I did like to lock myself away. I liked to draw the curtains and hide under a blanket. I rarely shower and I never put on make up. She said that this was what she worried about. That I wasn’t able to ground myself or be comforted by anyone and that if I wasn’t sure I was getting any relief from these crying episodes, perhaps I was almost re traumatising myself.
T said that she had been thinking about me and I admitted that when she says that, I guess I still struggled to really believe it. She said she had been questioning whether to send me a text to tell me she was thinking of me but she wasn’t sure what to do because she said then the one time she doesn’t text, it could feel as though she isn’t understanding my pain. I agreed with her because I know myself well enough to know I would feel very hurt if she text at certain times and not others, especially if I perceived them as equally painful. I do like that she even thought about this though. I also thought that the check-in calls were a nice suggestion because I felt I already took up enough of her time.
At some point in the session T asked me whether there was anything else perhaps that I had written about on my blog and not shared with her. I said no. I said honestly there is nothing else. I then questioned myself.. was that true? I think so. The problem with that question however was that it made my inner critic say “see, even T doesn’t know what you are making such a fuss about!”. It also said that clearly this isn’t “normal” for other people and has made me feel like I am exaggerating or doing something wrong.
I then told her that I had a dream about her the other day where she was Jewish. I said that there really wasn’t much to the dream at all but that she was Jewish and had a large photograph of her mother behind a desk who was also Jewish. T asked me what being Jewish meant to me and I said not a lot really.. I said I had been asking myself the same question but hadn’t been able to come up with much. I said I had Googled it and couldn’t find anything that rang any bell. I added that the reason I knew she was Jewish was because in the dream she had this hugely exaggerated Jewish nose (I know this reads very as hugely stereotypical and isn’t meant as offensive!) I said I had looked up the word nose and the only thing I could come up with was “being nosy”. T asked her being nosy or me and I said me. At this stage I kinda figured out that the nosy dream could have been about the blog post I wrote the other day called “What I was really saying was” … shit. I have since debated sending it to her/reading it to her tomorrow but I feel too nervous.
Anyway, when I woke up this morning I remembered that last night I had dreamt I had a new therapist and this therapist was saying the exact same things as T – the same words and the same phrases. In the dream I was really hurt and shocked because it meant that nothing had been authentic with T – it had all just been textbook stuff. I don’t think this consciously about T but I can only assume that subconsciously I am worried about that somehow.. I haven’t thought too much about this yet but I will give it a bit more thought. I might share that with her tomorrow.
Lastly T asked me how I was feeling about not having therapy next week (I am going to be on holiday). I told T that stupidly, I hadn’t really figured that out until a couple of hours ago. I had been thinking of her next break as mid July and it had only just occurred to me. She said whether it was me or her going away, the break may still be just as difficult.
I think I am going to re-read that blog about what I was really asking her and see if I can somehow muster up the courage to let her see it… agh I’m just not sure I am ready yet. We will see.