Friday, April 01, 2011

Friday - First Counseling Session, Part 1 "Compartmentalize"

(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.


Vickie said...

sounds like a very good first session.

I spent a long time saying - I don't know.

Actually because of that we did testing for the first several sessions. The tests must have been a safe way for me to start to communicate. And the answers gave her more information than my (honest) - I don't know.

My husband outed my blog to my mother (a while back). And I chose to leave it intact, keep going, not edit myself. I have no idea if she ever read or if she reads every day. (Truly if she reads every day then she is sort of a dumb ass, because she certainly isn't applying what she reads).

I don't think she would have the courage to read. I don't think she wants to know. She likes to live in the world of 'nice'. and I have come to understand that the world of 'nice' actually means she does not live up to her responsibilities.

I understand about not wanting to even get into it with a mom who will not be able to see and apply. I have learned that it is just like my kids. There is no point in rehashing. it is better to tackle things proactively. give them information as new situations arise rather than rehashing the past.

EVEN is one of the most important things to my maintenance and my life. Your description was good. My own description is not wanting to be a 0 and not wanting to be a 10. 5 used to feel like a miracle (when I was stable there). Now I stay in the 7-8 range. And even now, going through a tough time, I am sort of leveled off at a 5 1/2 - 6.

I have no idea if anyone in real life reads my blog. It is open on the bottom of the house computer nearly every day and all my kids know it is there. To my knowledge, they don't read it, but if they do, they do.

because of what I write and how I write, reading me is a scary thing to many people. I don't think most people WANT to know what they are going to have to do to maintain. They don't want to know what they are going to need to do with food, nor exercise, nor daily habits, nor any of the inner stuff. I see people write all the time "we are all so different". I don't think we are different. some of us have to watch different food groups or have different triggers, we are not identical. But the basic elements are the same. We have to do the inner work in order to maintain.

such a good post you wrote. and be very proud of yourself for going. also be proud of yourself for listening to me that you needed to find a therapist. I know I am almost always the lone voice on these types of things. you were very smart to see you were cycling through again. some people cycle through forever. you are very smart to be your own best friend and break the cycle.

Jill said...

I get it Laura. I really do. I keep a lot of things from a lot of people, but on my blog, I'm pretty much an open book. I can tell my blog friends what's going on, because I KNOW they will get it - they are going through the same things. My IRL friends & family don't understand nor do they want to talk about emotional eating, etc. That's why in some ways I feel closer to you than I do my own sister! :)

I am so glad the session went well. I think you will really benefit from this and I think it is interesting what you got out of it. If you don't mind, I would like to keep hearing about your sessions - you never know how it might help someone else (me).


Monica said...


Shauna said...

huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuug... so proud of you, such a huge step forward xxox

jen said...

It has to be exhausting to maintain different identities with different people. Sounds like you took a good step toward authenticity today.

Laura I. (G.G.) said...

Glad it was productive for you and hope it continues to help you heal. Hang in there!

Jodie said...

Another great post. Sounds like Julie is perfect for you...and this is exaclty what you need!