Today’s session with S went relatively well – as usual we always run out of time when we start to work really hard. I say relatively because I really enjoyed his company today, but I was also just feeling raw and weepy. I like how I can feel safe enough to go to his office and be able to open up and just cry.
I haven’t cried in a week, and crying is so cathartic but it’s something that I find great difficulty doing outside of CAPS.
“How are you?” S had asked me. His standard opening line. He rarely deviates from this – except during times when he has to start with a disclaimer or when we’d done some small talk.
“Well, I’m not the best… But at the same time, I’m also not the worst. I know I’ve had worse weeks…”
I started telling him why I was feeling this mix bag of emotions. I got into the issue of how much stress I’m under in school – how I am not doing well in Calculus despite the fact that this is the second time I’m taking it (so I should be doing better! Not worse!), how I don’t have the motivation to study or do my assignments, how tired I feel all the time, how I can’t concentrate in school, how I just feel hopeless.
As we talked, he let me vent for a little while before he asked me what this week’s good things had been.
“Well, I tried to contact Jenny (*Not her real name) again… I hadn’t heard from her in 2 weeks. I saw that she was online the other day so I sent her a message. She didn’t respond. El sent me a link to an article about how millennials and online daters nowadays have adopted this practice called ‘ghosting’ where they don’t break up with you, but rather just disappear. So I feel like I am getting ghosted… I started beating myself up. Like, ‘What did you do? Why did she ghost you? Did she find somebody better?’ – but then, I don’t know how but at that moment, I somehow stopped, and I said to myself, ‘You know, actually you did everything right. You did everything you could. If she doesn’t want to respond or if she doesn’t want to continue, then too bad for her… Because you’ve got a lot to offer, and if she can’t see that, if she can’t recognize that, then that’s just her loss…”
“Wow… That’s a big deal for you!” S said. He looked like he was proud of me. At least, that was the impression I got.
I started to cry because every time I validate myself, I cry because of how overwhelmed by emotions I get.
“Yeah… Yeah… Because I don’t tell myself stuff like that,” I said, my voice cracking. “So I don’t know what it took to do that but I did that on Friday and I felt kinda proud of myself!”
“You should be proud of yourself!” S said with gusto.
Despite my tears, I felt really good to hear that from him. I felt even more validated, knowing that I had done something that I deserved to feel proud about.
As we talked more, I confessed that although I have the fear of losing him, I also want to push him away because I didn’t want anyone to always be keeping an eye on me or to keep me accountable and not harm myself. I wanted to harm myself more but I knew that I would feel too guilty doing it if S was still my psychologist. So with that reasoning, I wanted to push him away. But it’s like I said last week, there’s that conflict of me wanting people to really care about me but also not because I constantly feel like I deserve to be punished.
“I think a part of me just craves the comfort. To feel like I’m not wrong about something… That it’s not my fault… I don’t like it when you call me out because it makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong”
“So even just saying, ‘You could be doing this’ or ‘This might help’, feels like a punishment, like you feel like you’ve done something wrong?” S asked.
“Yeah. I feel that way a lot… Growing up, whenever I was punished, I was always made to feel like things were my fault!”
“So right now as we’re talking, I get the sense that I don’t need to convince you of anything. Or educate you because you obviously know and you obviously have the insight. So right now, we need to help you tolerate these emotions better… That seems very positive to me. It seems like a long way from where you were,” S said.
I felt proud of myself again – I felt good to hear that S thinks that I’m doing a lot better. That I am showing progress.
We talked more about other more negative things and while they’re important, I feel like these things that I’ve mentioned here in this post are the ones that really stuck out to me – the ones that really impacted me from today’s session.
I’ll add more about the LGBTQ+ topic that we’d covered lightly in another post. For now, I just wanted to put this here. I should probably go to bed too since it’s 3.30am! Eep!