In my last post , I shared about what happened after last Friday’s therapy session. I was not involved/present during the session, which I did on purpose. My little one’s had planned to visit with my T and I didn’t want to be there. That probably sounds bizarre, why would I choose not to be present during therapy. It was the questioning of my friend, the “damn therapist”, that triggered feelings I was completely unaware were buried. The question as to why I chose not to be present in that session left me with swirling thoughts, sharp pain, tightness in chest, and a deep sadness welling up quickly.
While crying in my closet (my crying place), I realized the one person who could help me, put words as to why I wasn’t present, and get me to a calm place, was my therapist. I have been working intensely toward being honest and upfront with my T about my past, how I’m really feeling, and what I need. It isn’t comfortable at times, but extremely necessary and important. With that in mind, I apprehensively called my T. Not gonna lie, there was a moment when I felt like, “What if she answers; what will I actually say?” LOL
Of course she answered, asked if I was okay, and right away I started crying all over again. Seriously, I couldn’t even hold it together for a, “Hi, how are you?” Ugh! I told her that I had been asked about why I chose not to be present during the session; she wanted to know as well. Shocker!! I began by saying it was, at times, uncomfortable to see myself sitting there as a child (but 47 yrs old), listening to my T read my favorite picture books, and feeling so at ease. It’s hard to wrap my head around all that, but I know this is how it all works.
The biggest reason- my mom never read to me, but the babysitter did. The lady who babysat for me (5 yrs old) and my siblings, was married to a pedophile who would sexually abuse me when he came home for lunch. When he would leave, she would rock me in a chair and read books to me…like somehow that was going to fix the problem!!! Later, when I was 19, I started therapy for my eating disorder. My first attempt at therapy, and I only went because my really good friend/mentor was noticing I was acting strange when it came time to eat. She was the first person I told about being bulimic, she freaked out, and like a good codependent (didn’t have a clue what that was at 19), she found me a therapist, drove me there, and had actually met with her once because she didn’t think it was going well-yikes!
I began to share with this friend, things no one knew about me. I trusted her with information, but mostly she was the first person I thought truly cared about me. She saw the dysfunctional relationship with my mom and was shocked by her constant behavior towards me. It was soothing to have someone care, encourage, and love me for who I was. She allowed me to be a part of their family, watch their kids, and see what a loving family looked like. Unfortunately, she saw me as her child, and wanted to mother me through these difficult days…that’s when I learned the word codependent. Her intentions were good, but unhealthy. And one day, after therapy, I drove to her house and broke down emotionally about not having a mom who loved me unconditionally. I was grieving something I would never have, sad for always being criticized and judged, and pretending that we had this “great family”. She walked across the room, sat with me in the chair and rocked back and forth. Moments later, she was reading a children’s book to me and thinking it would bring a sense of comfort and peace. My child parts (I was unaware of at the time) attached to this lady who was very kind and loving. I remember feeling very small in that moment; I just didn’t know why.
2o+ years later, I see all the unhealthy attachment there, my therapist, at the time, saw it and point it out to me too. I wish I knew then what I know now, but we all could say that, and it isn’t helpful for today. I don’t have any connection with this friend; we live hundreds of miles apart. There is so much more about all that, but it will have to be another day, another post.
So, that is why I didn’t want to be in session. I was unable to separate myself enough to see the healthy parts of it, enjoy being there, and seeing this as a new and positive experience. All of this new information surfaced, became overwhelming and I was completely taken out emotionally. My T thanked me for being vulnerable, honest, and calling. She understood why I did what I did, and said we could work through it when I was ready…which is therapist code for “we will be talking about it next session”. I know how those “damn therapists” work; they aren’t fooling me. LOL
The problem with working through the issue came when I didn’t go to therapy today…I took the day off to work outside in the flower beds, knowing that I really don’t know what I’m doing. My mom always did the flowers, because I could never “get the right things”, “plant them correctly”, or do “enough to make it look good”. Another mental block where she is concerned and it paralyzed me again today. First it was the books and now flowers!! OMG