I have several thoughts from therapy today but I probably won’t be able write it in detail until Star Wars craze has died down a little bit and to give time to people to watch the movie because S and I talked a lot about it – not the movie per se, but the things I related to in the movie and how I felt from all of it. There won’t be spoiler in this post but I will refer to Star Wars since that made up the bulk of the analogies I was using to describe how I’ve been feeling.
It was quite an interesting conversation we had today and all the stuff I had written in my journal that we could talk about was barely addressed. I’ve been finding that this has been happening a lot more lately where the things I plan to talk about barely even come up and other things come up for me instead.
It’s strange because I always have a plan as to what we’re going to talk about – usually it’s so that there’s no awkward lull or so that I get all the issues that have come up for me the week before addressed. I find that the past two sessions, we’ve just allowed things to come up as they come up and it’s been a lot more unnerving that way. Unnerving because I’ve been learning things that I’ve never even thought about and having memories resurfacing when I never thought I would ever remember them anymore.
What I’ve learned this week is that I am still hanging on to the past desperately wishing and waiting for redemption or validation of some kind from what I presume to be my parents – like a certain character in Star Wars. That though I’m not going to head down the Dark side, it’s easy to do so because as Yoda puts it, the Dark side is not necessarily stronger but it flows easier. S told me that it’s easy for us to be angry and just to stop there. I had asked him in the beginning of the session what bad anger and good anger means. I don’t know the difference between the two. And I told him that it’s a conflict because I don’t know how to respond well.
Last night, during what seemed to be a normal conversation with Hubster, I had flown off the handle after he had said something that made me mad. I was so angry that I slammed the car door and abruptly ended the conversation. I told S that I was so angry at that moment in time that when I got home, without thinking, I reached for the knife and cut myself three times on my left arm. It was only after the fact that I realized what I had done and that I just react emotionally.
S then told me that being on the Dark side means that when you’re angry, it just stops there. You experience the anger and let it control you. You don’t analyze it, you don’t wonder why you were angry, you don’t ask any questions. But with the Light side, it’s so much harder. You stop yourself from reacting more. It’s ok to be angry and to be angry is a normal proper response. But to continue to be angry and to not be anything but angry is a problem.
I know I definitely have that problem. And because of how difficult it is for me to acknowledge or express that feeling of anger, I turn it inwards and destroy myself from the inside because I don’t have a healthy way of expressing anger outwardly.
I also have a conflict in my mind because I often feel like my friendships in the past have all dissolved because of something I’ve done or didn’t do. That if I had done something right, maybe it wouldn’t have ended. S asked me if I felt like people had betrayed me because of something I said or did. I said that I felt strongly that it is so because I’ve had many people betray me in the past – the only common denominator in all that is me. How can I not think that I was the one who did something wrong, right?
Throughout the session, we grappled with the struggle that I feel inadequate, that I’ve done things wrong, that things could’ve been better. It brought up lots of memories from my past which were awful – a couple of which really surprised S because I had talked about how I would often get caned for misbehaving and so I had reasoned with myself since a long time ago that I get punished if I do or say something that my parents don’t approve of. So because of that, why wouldn’t that apply to the rest of my life right? If someone abandons me, it must mean that I’ve done something to make them do so. If someone betrays me, it must mean that I’ve said something to make them do so.
After all, that’s what I learned from my discipline – cause and effect. The correlation between punishment and me is my behavior or words. S seemed pretty concerned about the amount of discipline that I got. I don’t remember how much exactly but I got beat a lot. Maybe it’s just my own memories skewing things but I remember a lot of punishments. And I also remember withdrawing from a very young age. I remember that I was never able to make friends and now that I know that I have ADHD, it makes me wonder if my inability to relate was due to that. I told S that I often wonder if things would’ve been different if my parents had recognized that I had a disability that needed attention. Instead, I am left with the sense that I had been rejected or abandoned.
The worst part is how this sense of rejection or abandonment has haunted me for a long time and pervades every aspect of my life. I am so afraid of rejection and abandonment that sometimes I wonder if I end up doing the very things to push people away that I’m so afraid would happen to me.
I haven’t brought this up with S yet – we always run out of time before I get to the things that bother me – but lately I’ve been feeling this fear of termination. I know that eventually I’m going to have to wean myself off from therapy and I feel like I’m making such progress that maybe termination will happen sooner than I want it to. I know it’s an irrational fear because everyone has to quit therapy at some point – especially when they’re feeling better – but it’s one that has been bugging for me for the past 2 weeks now. I know I’ll have to tell him but I won’t be seeing him for another 13 days because of the campus break.
I think at this moment, I’m just having separation anxiety. I get that every time we finish our sessions – that feeling that you’re pining for someone you really depend on, you know? I hate it because it’s feels pathetic and vulnerable to me. I believe it stems from my experience of abandonment as a child. Wanting and needing attention so bad that when you get it, you don’t want to ever let go because you don’t want to lose the happy feelings you get from getting attention.
But anyway… Those were just some thoughts I’ve had today after therapy. Incidentally, it’s the last therapy session for the year. Next year, I’ll have two sessions with S before he goes on paternal leave for 2 weeks. I think the last time he left for 2 weeks vacation, I had a pretty bad response. I tried to hold it together but barely managed. I think maybe I need to alert him of the potential of another bad response from me. Thankfully, I think I’m currently in a better place than I was months ago so it might not be so bad…