So I see a shrink every Tuesday named Elle. Therapy has been going nowhere for the last year and I feel like I’m not getting better. Whatever “better” should look like who really knows as it’s all kinda subjective.
Most weeks over the past year I’ve been wondering why I even go. 95% of the time I am late for sessions or worse yet I have just plain forgot. How does one forget their weekly therapy appointment? Lol.
Now if you are in the mental health field you know there are “Treatment Interfering Behaviors (TIB).” A TIB is any behavior that is incompatible or directly interferes with a person’s ability to participate in treatment successfully. This behavior is important to address because it can prevent people from overcoming problems.
I thought to myself,” I wonder if my constant tardiness is one of these such behaviors?” But then I reasoned that I am late for everything else in my life so perhaps not.
I’ve been keeping the fact that I feel like I’m not making any progress with Elle from her. That probably isn’t a good sign. I mean my fiancé knows, my BFF knows, even the man at the deli knows, Walter. I talk with more candidly than my shrink, there’s just not enough time at the counter and he doesn’t have a degree in Psychology. I didn’t want to hurt Elle’s feelings. She seems kind, nice, and I really like do her.
Last week I finally took a deep breath and just said it.
“There’s something I want to let you know.”
“I really like you and I feel like we have a good rapport.”
“But I just don’t feel like I’m getting any better.”
* Silence *
Me stammering and feeling uncomfortable as fuck, “I mean, I’m not sure what we are really working on, I’ve got so many issues it’s like one of those clowns that can spin the plates?”
“And I’ve got like a crap ton of plates of trauma right, but I feel like none of them ever get resolved.”
* More silence *
Again with the clown reference. Mime Clowns WTF is wrong with me?
“So I guess I dunno, I’m not sure what else to say.”
“I’m sorry you don’t feel like this is helping. It doesn’t help that you haven’t been here much. “
Ouch! There’s her counter-transference defensiveness although I wasn’t expect such a soft-spoken shrink would bang that out.
“And when I did give you a workbook to try, you had a major life crisis and had to leave therapy for awhile.”
Double ouch. This cat has claws.
* Silence fills the room *
“Well we are about out of time,” she sighs, “you did come in 15 minutes late.”
Hell no, she’s not seriously gonna go there with the time shaming thing?
“Why don’t we pick this up next week when we start. Again, I feel really feel badly that you haven’t felt like this has been helpful.”
I’m anxious, sweating, and wishing there’s like a rock I can crawl under fast-like. I feel like I have to “fix” this somehow?
“Yeah no, I mean I really like you, maybe it’s just me and I’m too broken you know?”
”We’ll talk about it next week,” she answered dryly.
I felt like I had just stabbed her in the back. Yet I didn’t. This was feeling crazy. Shit! this is why I’m supposed to be here. I’m too over-analytical, too OCD, too wound tight, and a sneeze away from being Sylvia Plath. Which is why I didn’t say anything to here for a year.
I learned from such an early age loyalty to the family secrets are more important than how you feel inside. I learned the art of people pleasing. You had to figure out fast how to keep people happy to survive my childhood home.
Well that session did not go well. I just broke some of those childhood rules. I didn’t stay a people pleaser by saying therapy was going nowhere. I sure as shit wasn’t remaining loyal to the relationship at any cost.
Maybe that’s why I feel like crap? Meh.