Sunday, July 30, 2006

Since the cat is out of the bag

I made a commitment, begrudgingly to TGF that I would go see our therapist one time to talk about these things. Writing that Mercury post was one of the more painful things I have done, I was half crying the entire I was writing and for a few hours afterwards. Since I don’t really cry much, that’s big. I seem to be doing a lot of painful things the last couple of years. Growth – it brings pain. TGF was deeply troubled by what I wrote but, I think, glad I am doing some work on this issue.

Of course I keep thinking of other twisted things I have done or thought in regards to my eating disorder. While it’s true I never made myself throw up, I did try and was bummed I didn’t have the nerve or ability, which ever to actually do it. I tried adopting any habits that I thought might work, especially if they were done by people with worse variations of this crap than me – because, well they were actually thin. Things like I would not touch the fork with my lips. Like any addict I have hidden the evidence of my crimes, burying ice cream pint containers down into the layers of the kitchen trash in such a manner that if one was doing a timeline like they do in archeology it would be all screwy – along the lines of the placing the iron age before bronze, history would be messed up forever.

I feel like if write every unreasonable odd ball thing I have done, it will make it more real. I have said in a casual way for a long time that I have an eating disorder but because I have never really met the criteria for anorexia or bulimia, you know an actual “condition” it’s like I don’t really have one. Of course now that I have the DSM sitting in my office I could read up and see if I “officially” qualify. But if I did, or perhaps more importantly, if I didn’t, what would that change. Since I don’t have insurance, it’s not like my therapy would be covered if I had enough of the qualifiers. If I don’t have the markers established by the APA, it’s not I will wake up tomorrow “normal”, with all this free time available in my head to get the rest of my life together and orderly.

Perhaps the reason I never talked about it therapy was because it seemed so indefinable, on some level not severe enough, not real. I had that sort of thing happen with my very first therapist, a wonderful woman named Nohmie Myers. Like all mothers or mother figures they are flawed creatures, as we all are, and they let us down. She let me down in a very profound way. I spoke of something I had held in for years and years. Because I had no actual clear memories of abuse, she wrote it off. I remained silent on the subject for years. Now I that I write this out, it makes sense that here is another invisible topic so, no, no thank you I don’t want to talk about it. I can’t have another therapist say something isn’t real. However I am older and wiser now, I know L. wouldn’t think of not exploring this further. In fact with my luck she will say that I certainly need to do more sessions; that one is not enough. Just what I want to hear. NOT. It’s scary. What if I do deal with this? What if I become “recovered” in some fashion? What would it be like to live in my brain then? It is so foreign, such a huge unknowable – it frightening to consider what that would be like, what I would be like then.

To quote Scarlett: I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Oh girl, we must talk. Reading your last two posts is very much like being inside my head on a daily basis. As for not telling L. I was telling Akilah recently about a behaviour that I have she knew nothing about (and yes, we'ver been together 11 years) and she asked if I'd told L. "no, that's much too private!"
Love you

wen said...

sending you lots of strength and good vibes for your session. you'll make it through! and yes, it might not be comfortable. that's true...but it will be okay regardless!

my advice is to approach it with curiousity and wonder..."hey, why do i do this? it's a pretty interesting thing i do. hmmm. i'm curious about it..." or "i wonder what it'd be like to not have to deal with it?" etc.

it's a technique i use a lot and it works for me so i thought i'd share it.

Juno said...

I could smack that therapist. If you once have the courage to drag soomething into the light the very least a professional can do is take it seriously.

And as one on the far side of 5 years of therapy - it was so worth it. You never get done exactly, but the big stuff getting cleared out leaves some much more room to figure out who you are and it. is. good. I promise.

Scary, difficult & upsetting, but good.

A friend of mine - who is a counselor - told me once that when you finally admit to your therapist that last dark secret thing...that’s when the real work – the good work - begins. And you can’t get there if you’re still keeping secrets. Secrets smother all the good green growing things.

Best of luck.

Diane said...

I wasn't there, of course, and if your therapist really did write off your vague memories, that's not good. But speaking as a psychotherapist, when a client has vague memories, we have to be very, very, very careful we don't say anything to make them "true."

I have quite a few people come in with vague memories. Privately, I believe there are actual memories that are still suppressed. But all I can is say "You may remember more, or you may never remember more." I also believe that the unconscious mind gives people what they need to have when they need to have it.

Dharma said...

I want to thank everyone for the support in the comments lately.

Wen, thanks for the thoughts.

Ruthie, yes we must get together.

Juno, WOW you commented! Seriously though, I am hopeful that by finally being as clear and directly and emotionally honest in my posts, and hopefully my session it will be the start of some seriously good things.

Diane, I believe among other things there were some countertransference issues impacting our therapeutic relationship in good ways, and perhaps some bad. I understand what you are saying but I also think she could have handled it better, or perhaps I could have heard her better. However it did seem very clear to me at the time that she really didn't want investigate it at all. However I still love and adore Nohmie, and most importantly am very grateful for my work with her all those years ago. It's been over 20 years since I had contact with her.

Diane said...

It sounds like you need to confront the therapist, then, about her avoidance. Avoiding hearing painful material of that sort only reinforces what women usually hear from their families--get over it.