I missed writing about this sooner because well, I was a mess.
I had therapy on Thursday. Every Thursday. I had a very rough week and as the week went on, I became more and more detached and dissociated because I didn’t want to feel the pain anymore.
Upon walking into my appointment, I quietly walked past him and took my seat. He talked a bit, asked me how I was, told a joke or two; the usual. Me? I sat there. Shaking my foot like I always do, and just looked around. I maybe gave him a one word response of “Ok” when he asked how I was, a small smile to his joke so he knows I heard him, but nothing more. I did what I did my whole life; what I remember doing as a kid when being in the moment was just too hard.
I looked around. I stepped outside of myself. I counted books on the shelves. Read every word I could find. Observed the placement of every single thing in the room. I made a conscious decision to be lost.
I don’t remember much of the appointment up until the last ten minutes or so. He tried to get me to talk but nothing really came out. At one point I had him google this awesome thing online. I laughed and seemed to have come out of my zoned out state of mind, but the second it was over, I quietly took my seat again and resumed my zone-out.
During one of my appointments I pointed out to him that of all the clocks he had in his office, none of them were pointed toward me to see. It bothered me. When our session was over it was like he was kicking me out. Just getting rid of me and it was so unexpected. Now every time I go in, he is sure to have a clock sitting right next to me on the table, pointed my way so I can check it as many times as I need to.
Well after all of my silence, here it was 6:44pm. Eleven minutes before he usually kicks me out. He asked me what I was thinking and he told me that he thought that whatever it was, I was avoiding something.
I told him I really wasn’t sure what I was thinking. He said I must be thinking something and I said, “Oh, I’m sure I am. I’m just not sure what. My thoughts are all right here (hand mimic to one side), but I’m way over here (hand mimic to the other side) so I’m not really sure what’s going on over there. I don’t want to be there.”
So he asked me to step into it and take just one thought out with me and tell him what it is. Whichever the first one. I told him I couldn’t dare do that. There’s no way. He was trying to trick me. There’s no stepping into it and taking only one. Stepping into it breaks open the gate and the whole thing will flood me and consume and overwhelm me. Then I’ll be a mess and it will be time to go. I had wasted too much time being detached, and at that point, I had to keep on with it so I could function when I left.
Well apparently that was all it took. I lost it. I started escalating. More and more started coming out. My anxiety and anger was growing and before I knew it, I was yelling and squirming in my seat; clearly trying to hold myself there so I didn’t leave that chair and destroy the first thing in his office I could get my hands on.
I yelled. I stomped my feet. I huffed. Shear frustration. “You don’t get it! You think I can just recognize a faulty thought and replace it with one that ‘feels good’ and suddenly I’ll just feel better and be better! You don’t know what it’s like in here! It’s like I have two brains. One is good and one is bad and someone just replaces it without warning and suddenly I’m all backward and fucked up and it’s hell, and then they switch it back and it’s as if nothing happened. You don’t understand the intensity! You don’t understand! Why did you have me write things down in that damn notebook anyway! You never even went through it with me!”
He said, “We aren’t ready for that yet. I just wanted you to start writing things down.”
I continued my squirmy, feet-stomping rant, “Well I wrote things in there that I needed to tell you! I brought that damn notebook with me to sessions and you never asked me what was inside! I wrote things I needed to tell you. You only THINK I’ve been open with you but I haven’t! I needed to tell you things but as soon as I get in here I chicken out and I never tell you because I’m too afraid to tell you! But you just don’t understand! I want to believe you that I can get better, and I must have some hope or I wouldn’t fucking be here. But I have to admit that there’s a big part of me that wonders. Wonders if I really can get better. How long does it take!? I don’t know how much more time I have. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. And don’t you dare take that as a suicide threat! I know how you people work!
Him…”I didn’t. I’m not going to 302 you. You’re safe here; I’m not going to put you away.”
Me…”You only say that because I didn’t actually say I was going to kill myself. If I did say that, you would put me away. Don’t you get it!? My whole life has been like this. For 29 years I’ve been living in hell, or hell has been living inside me, and I can’t do it anymore, and so sometimes the best I can do, is to just step outside myself and say, “I give up for today.” It’s the only rest I can get. You just don’t get it.”
Silence and the most serious look on his face I’ve yet to see.
He proceeded to calmly tell me that I’m right. He doesn’t ‘know’ what it’s like inside me. All he really knows is what he’s been educated on and what he’s experienced with the many other patients he has had. He has had so many other people, women even, who’ve come in just like me and not even able to imagine what it’d be like to be ok. 15 sessions later, they’re coming into their session saying, “Wow. I never knew I could be like this.” They’re progressing. He said he never intends to minimize what I am going through and he knows it is hell for me, but he’s there and he’s not there to hurt me.
And with that, the session was over.
I got into my car and the tears and craziness came over me. I started driving home and about ten minutes before I got home, I was such a mess I had to pull over to the side of the highway. I screamed and threw things in my car. I had the music so loud to try and drown my sounds out because it hurt to hear myself. I prayed and prayed for God to take me right then and there. Every car that passed by me was another rejection at my request for death.
I texted my boyfriend. I don’t remember what I said, I just remember he said to stay there and he was on his way. By the time he had gotten there I had calmed down but was just left a shell of damage and pain. He drove me the rest of the way home. Held me a little. We talked a little. It was good; difficult but good.
And since then I’ve been ok.