I sent an email to my therapist last week asking if she had availability to fit me in at some point. In my email, I mentioned how long it’s been and that I wondered if she even remembered me.
In her reply, the first thing she said was, “OF COURSE, I remember you, silly girl!!”
So, at that point I decided it was either good or bad that I was memorable enough to recall after a year. Although we had been doing consistent meetings for 3 years prior to that…. Eh, yeah. It was nice to be remembered.
My appointment was at the end of my workday, and with how busy I am at work this time of year, it’s hard to get there on time. I was on time but definitely frazzled. She asked if I had a headache, and when I said no, she said it looked like I didn’t feel good (I told her about my Lyme) or was stressed. I realized afterward that I had no mascara on….I at least used to put on mascara and powder. Now it’s an accomplishment if I go to work with both on. Today was just a powder day. It’s funny when people tell you you look tired when it’s simply because you don’t have much or any makeup on…or vice versa when they say you look great because you have makeup on but you feel like shit.
I went on an abbreviated story of the last year. She reiterated the fact that I have a lot of stress. She’s always said that about my life. But it just makes me wonder….don’t most people have a lot of stress?
Anyway, I also told her about some of my recent dating disasters, one of which turned into a mild form of stalking (if there can be such a thing as “mild” stalking). He started with contacting me on Facebook and text messsaging and calling me. I’d made it clear I didn’t want a relationship. So I ended up blocking his number and blocking him on Facebook. Then he found my work email by searching our university’s database. He started and continued to send me emails for months. This happened fall of last year and I got an email from him as recently as 3 or so months ago. I also started getting hang up calls from unknown numbers or calls where I’d answer and there would be breathing or talking in the background that would stop as soon as they’d realized I picked up the phone.
I told my therapist all of this and she told me to make sure I don’t engage with him at all… That I don’t respond to his emails or phone calls. In the beginning I was replying because I thought he didn’t get it. Then I stopped. But my therapist said that this, in itself, is a type of trauma. I felt maybe she was exaggerating a bit, but she asked if I felt that my privacy had been violated and that I was helpless to stop the situation, which I did….And still do. I didn’t mention this to her but I do still dread if any of that may happen again. It was when we were talking about this that I was reminded that when I received one of his emails was when I dissociated for the first time in quite a while.
Of course, during this time in the session she asked me if I was dissociating. I said, “A little.” She agreed and said it felt like I was just a little bit disconnected. But then I realized that the way I felt in the session seemed quite normal to me, making me wonder if I’ve been dissociating more than I realize. This is disconcerting to me. I thought I had a handle on that and I could detect it pretty well.
We returned to the main reason I came. I had simply told her I had some things I felt I needed to work on. In all honesty, the “things” were quite major. I’ve had so many more thoughts…conflicting thoughts… about whether anything truly happened to me. I told her I just wanted someone to tell me, even though I know no one can. She did tell me that, when I first came to her, my symptoms made it evident to her that something traumatic likely occurred. It’s validating but my mind seems to want to reject it.
I’ve actually had 3 therapists now, over 7 years, tell me that same thing….And for some reason I don’t believe any of them. 3 therapists. You’d think that would be enough to convince myself that what I remember, the fragments that I have, are true.
I also question if I’ve shut off my emotions or if I am feeling them. I feel sadness. But my range of emotions… I’m not sure it’s there. I am unsure if I had told my therapist this previously, but I mentioned that when I first started therapy well before I started with her, I couldn’t feel any emotions. None at all. They were all foreign. But that seemed normal to me. I am worried I’m heading down that same road.
When I brought up the issue of “it” happening or not, she said it’s a little difficult to help me since she doesn’t know exactly what happened with my father. I told her I appreciated all of the help she provided me for so long without pushing to know more. I told her I’d tell her, but just not today. I am ready to tell her. I just have to think of what I need, self-care wise, to make the process as painless as possible. Or, I should say, ways to help deal with the pain in the best ways.
That’s now my goal. I’m already thinking of a hand squeezing thing I can bring to try to stay grounded. Although I have yet to stay grounded even when thinking about it. Time will tell.