(I wrote this Thursday night, and set to post Friday morning. There's a lot here. Bless you for sticking with it.)
My counseling session went very well. My counselor, Julie, connected with me in a great way, asked good questions, "saw" what many of my key issues are. I did a good job, too. I told her at first about my "boxes" and how I didn't want to get into them today. But it was a 90 minute session and doggonit, the boxes just wouldn't stay shut. That was okay, though, really. She said our minds & bodies don't let us go where we're not ready to go. If I'm ready to start working on something, even if I don't think I am, I can go there, if I'm ready. If I'm not, I won't be able to go there. (I hope that makes sense.) Before I left, she had me write down what I got from the session (strange, when she handed me the paper & pen, I felt like I was doing an assignment and hoped I was doing it right so she'd give me a good grade). It was just for me--she didn't want to see it. It's so I can remember what we talked about. I wrote down four main bullet points in her office. I've been adding to it tonight, though, as the session has been rolling through my head. There is a lot, so I'm going to break it into parts. This is Part 1.
Compartmentalize-- --Internally --Relationships
I am one person to the world (with it, got it all together); I am a completely different person when I'm all alone in my bathroom in the morning, or at night, when I'm alone on my couch with the TV and a handful of cookies (losing it, crying, no energy, nothing left to give). We kept using hand gestures--I am trying to be "up here" (hand high in the air) but in reality, after all I've been through, I really am at "down here" capacity (hand held about 12 inches below where the high hand is). The space between is HUGE right now. And it represents a deficit of energy that I'm expending, and it is taking (has taken) a toll. We have to reconcile that distance, bring the bottom up, and the top down, so I am more in balance (what Vickie calls "even," I think). So, when we get them closer together, what I show to the world is really who I am.
Also, and she found this very interesting (and you may or may not realize this), I don't share all the stuff on my blog with people "In Real Life" (IRL, that's blog parlance, right?). Only two people IRL have my blog address--my coworker (hi sweet Sara!) and my husband's niece (Kate, The Fabulous). I know they both read me occasionally, but they don't comment so I can pretend they aren't paying attention to me. Sara & I talk a lot and she gets to see parts of me I wish she didn't have to (bless her, she has to listen to me whine & complain on a sort of involuntary basis, since we share an office space and it's just the two of us). Kate & I have only really talked about my blog after my dad died; I know she's really busy and I'm guessing she doesn't spend her days perusing my blog. But she has a good idea of who I am on the inside, too.
Anyway, there's a solace and openness I find in the (relative) anonymity of my blog. I can't share it with friends, even good friends, even my husband, right now. There's to much ME in this blog for me to share with the "real world." Do you all get this, at all? Or seriously, is it just me?
Julie asked me who my "go to" person is when I'm struggling & depressed. I said, my friends on my blog. And, IRL, my husband, my mom, my sister (to a small extent, but not as much since Dad died), and my friend Debra. She asked WHY I compartmentalized my "go to" person. I said, because I am protecting them. I am protecting my husband because he has enough to deal with, and he gets some of me (I can talk to him about anything---he knows me better than I know myself sometimes) but I don't LET him in. My mom I protect (and I went from being totally composed toward the end of our session to completely losing it & blubbering like a baby) because I love my mom--she's is such a great mom & grandmother to my kids. But, I blame her & my dad for the two "boxes" I keep locked up. I BLAME her, and I don't want her to know that. I don't want to hurt her. So she doesn't get those boxes, or anything remotely close to them.
Actually, nobody gets those boxes. They've stayed nice & tight for years, where I've wanted (needed) them to be. But, apparently, all hell's breaking loose inside me after one 90 minute session, because the boxes did not stayed closed today. Apparently the boxes are all Julie's.
That's a lot for now. I have high hopes that we are going to work well together, and I'm looking forward to sharing my discoveries with you all here. Many thanks, as always, for your friendship and support. Even though I don't know you all IRL, I still consider you friends and comrades. And, many of you are THE REASON I have kept it together as long as I have.
I mean, really, after I laid it all out to Julie today, I was kind of amazed that I've managed to stay out of the loony bin, and as a bonus, have two well adjusted, loving kids, and a successful marriage of 16 years.