Thursday, December 02, 2010

Chapter 7, in which I fail to "make the noise"

There's nothing like taking your car to the shop, after it's been making a "noise" for awhile, and having it run perfectly smoothly for the technician.  It makes you wonder if the car ever made the noise, or if somehow you're doing something dysfunctional to make it make the noise.  In any event, leaving the repair shop after one of these episodes invariably fills one with a combination of disappointment, confusion and a touch of dread.

Yeah; so this isn't really about my car.  But I think you know that.

In the interest of not buying into my own hype, I've starting seeing a new therapist.  I've been so focused on being supportive for everyone else in my life that I haven't taken the time to check in and make sure I'm working my own program well.  And the fact is that I'm pretty stressed; I can't concentrate well at work, I feel completely overwhelmed in balancing work and home, and my husband and daughter are both telling me, "dude, you need to talk with someone."

So today, I had my first session.   I  had the luxury of 90 minutes to talk about meeeeeee.  We covered a  lot of territory.  He asked the normal questions about "Tell me about your support network.  What are you doing for you?  Do you have any guilt about your daughter's death?"  We probed denial, diversion, and re-direction.  We talked about the afterlife.

And we got to the end of the session.

"So what do you think?"

"I'm wondering why you're here."

"What do you mean?"

"You're already doing just about everything I would tell you to do.  I'm wondering what you're looking for here."

"A magic elixir might be nice.  Just sayin'."

"It's always going to hurt.  That's never going away."

"Well, crap."

We agreed to spend some time working on making sure I wasn't spoofing myself over the next few sessions, finding tools to let me better support Mr. Bean and Daisy Mae, and finally to working on strategies for making this year less painful than last.  But in the end, it was rather like going to your doctor with a hacking cough and having him tell you that you have a virus, you're already taking a decent cough suppressant and getting enough rest, so it's really a matter of gutting it out.

But I like him, and not just because he was validating today.  He's a good listener.  He's obviously got his ducks in a row.  So I'll keep going back.  But at the end of the day, nobody expects to go see a psych and be told, "you're pretty healthy; go home." You wonder if there's another shoe to drop.

With my luck, I'll develop a shimmy in my front passenger wheel on the way home.


bhd said...

I've worried, too, that you've been so focused on supporting those around you, and I'm not just talking about Mr. and Daisy Mae.

It's a common theme, yes?

Glad you've found a therapist you like and can open up to. Now, having said that, I need to ask you: are you smarter than he is? Because kiddo, you're pretty smart. And you can talk a good one. And you and I both know that the easiest person we can lie to is our own self.

Seems to me you're seeking pain relief. Sure, you have a virus and you're doing what the doc would recommend, but you forgot to mention your raging sore throat, didn't you. And maybe it's just time that's required to make that all feel better, or at least not as acute. I get that.

But stick with it, Bean. Stick with it as a way of making sure you're taking care of yourself first. Not just a few sessions for validation and normalization. To have on-going support and a clear, healthy outlet would seem to me to be de rigeur for you right now.

And oh, yeah. Me too.

mistr: slapped before one could finish the proper introduction of one's trystee.

Anonymous said...

Ah beanie. If you follow my pattern. Then this year will be hard hard hard in a totally different way. Last year, in a sense, you were fighting to rebuild your life. This year, you will be slogging through mud to rebuild your life. Cry, cry, cry. But life does go on and can be wonderful, nonetheless.