Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy: A Disorder of Relationships

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since my last appointment due to the holidays/vacation. I discovered something. I don’t like not being able to go to therapy. I was unexpectedly relieved to sit down across from Therapist last night. We had a lot of catching up to do.
Sadistic little bastard
I told her about my trip home to see the family for Christmas. I told her I almost didn’t go but my family guilted me into it. I told her about the stress that built up to it, including my continuing estrangement from Friend and my recent pregnancy scare. Oops, I think I forgot to mention that. I was 2.5 weeks late. That may have contributed to my freaking out about Tech Boy. Skipping periods isn’t unusual for me but when you’re in a lesbian relationship the causes (generally too much stress and/or low body fat) don’t produce the same potential worries as screwing a guy (baby positive). Needless to say, not being preggo is a huge relief.  No, I didn’t tell him. I’m fixing this today. Hello back on the birth control.
Tech Boy and I actually discussed this last Friday which leads me to the definite conclusion that he is thinking at least a little ways down the line. Yeah, yeah, I’m still with him. I’m seriously addicted to physical contact. Beyond reason I would do just about anything to have someone to wake up next to. He FEELS wonderful. Things have taken a turn for the better it seems. Last Friday amongst the beer and UFC matches we had quite a few serious conversations (which he initiated). Amongst them he told me about wanting to have kids someday (but not right now!). I yell a lot about hating kids (which is true 99% of the time), but the truth is that I’m afraid to invest my hope in things like kids and marriage, and my decision to have kids is dependent on my partner (being able to overcome my laundry list of reasons not to).  I will not be a single parent and I don’t believe I will find someone that will stay with me long enough for marriage. We talked about me going back on birth control, {lack of} STDs, dating other people… in terms of not having to worry about him doing this. He seemed quite adamant that I had nothing to worry about in regards to him seeing other girls. This was in response to me saying I didn’t care, I just want to be informed because I can’t control where other people have been and I don’t want to catch anything. I wasn’t pushing him for monogamy or anything, but he just shook his head and told me over and over that it wasn’t on his agenda. I don’t know what this means in terms of our “hanging out” status. The conversation evolved to a place that sounded very much like he was happy to see where things were going with our relationship, wasn’t necessarily into labels, but had no intentions of putting on the brakes. Idk. He may also have told me he loved me. And by ‘may’, I mean, he did, but I think it was not really romantic, and more “I can’t believe you like all this stuff and are awesome I love you”. I had a snap reaction where I responded with “No, you don’t, haha, but you’re cute”.
Do I have any male Readers out there that can interpret that one for me?
He does have a way of just staring into my eyes though and kissing my shoulders when I’m pressed against him. ::sigh:: Look at me getting all sappy. Then again, he also didn’t text me at midnight on New Years Eve or even the next day. Mixed signals much?
Friend. A couple weeks back I got really drunk and finally wrote the letter to Friend that Therapist has been trying to get me to write for weeks. It’s angry, poignant, a little vicious, but also very true and succinctly informative about how our relationship has been hurting me over the past year+ . Therapist was very, very proud of me. Writing out my feelings and thoughts is so important to getting control of how I feel and staying connected to my emotions. It’s been 3 weeks since I got in a fight with Friend and stopped talking to him (except for a few short text conversations/e-mail). I really needed to talk Therapist to help me decide if I should tell him all of this. I just didn’t feel like this was a decision I could make on my own. She was impressed with my ability to resist the impulse to send the unedited letter to him when I wrote it. Believe me, being drunk and as impulsive as I am, I was one tiny split click away from it. I held it together.  I’m going to clean up the letter, take out some of the more petty insults, and send it to him. Therapist reminded me that it is very important to express my anger in constructive and productive ways, like this letter. If I intend to continue a friendship with Friend than I need to release the anger that’s building to resent him. If I can’t let go of this, then there is little hope that we can remain friends. I know he misses me, but frankly, I don’t miss him. I honestly feel nothing. Not a thing. I have no emotions at all in regards to him. He’s a familiar name in my memory with no emotional attachment; a disembodied character floating through my mind.

I stayed home for New Years. I could have gone to a party at Club Boi’s house where Friend and his wife would have been, but I didn’t feel like having an evening of forced smiles and awkward conversation. I knew I would end up being miserable and uncomfortable the whole time so finally I made the decision to stay in (not that I couldn’t have gone to other parties but going places without a date leads to me fending off drunken assholes all night – no thanks). Therapist was VERY proud of me for this as well. At this time last year I was at that party, pretending to be happy, smiling, trying not to let anyone see how much Friend and his wife were destroying me. He wanted me to be there so of course I would be there, I would do anything he wanted, just to see him and spend time with him; no matter how much it was breaking my heart. That I made a different decision this year is major progress.  
Time to let go.
GF is coming over tonight. She wants to watch movies and “cuddle”. Therapist thinks it’s important for me to remain monogamous with Tech Boy, especially as it appears he has no intention of seeing anyone else. I have this sadistic voice in the back of my mind whispering that the reason he doesn’t want to give us a ‘label’ is because he wants a blurry line in case another girls happens into the picture when he’s out drunk with his buddies, but at the same time he doesn’t want me to see anyone else so he wants to plant the idea of exclusivity. < —- This is what Evil-Ex would do. I know that’s not fair to him, but my trust issues are a bottomless well of suspicion and paranoia.

Therapist asked me if I liked him, maybe had love feelings for him. Truth is, I don’t feel much of anything for him, or anyone, if they’re not in my immediate vicinity (or in direct communication) most of the time.( Part of why I hold onto Friend so much is we’re ALWAYS in constant communication so I ALWAYS know he is there.) I have an extremely hard time holding onto my connection to people. When I’m with him, nothing else matters. When I’m not with him, I do wish I was, and I’m very disappointed when I can’t see him, but right now I still have armed guards patrolling my walls after the casino weekend. I’m also afraid of getting too attached. We’ll see.
I’m still reading the book therapist loaned me. She talked about how I needed to cultivate my inner child and the attachment to the Healthy Adult instead of just letting my Outer Child run rampant. Especially as my Outer Child and Tech Boy’s Outer Child seem to really enjoy each other’s company. The gambling, excessive drinking, reckless sex are all reactions of our Outer Children interacting and are not healthy. That we’re going out more (not only drinking), talking more, really getting to know each other she thinks is good. He may not be “the one”, but I’m starting to engage some healthier ideas. In theory. We haven’t indulged the gambling again, but we still drink a lot and sex has gotten even more reckless if anything. TMI? Nah. This ‘relationship’ doesn’t seem to be based solely on sex though.  There seems to be more of a balance. We’re spending time doing other things as well. This is where my paranoia kicks in again and tells me all these ‘other things’ are just space-time  fillers to keep my female sensibilities appeased so he can get what he wants from me physically. I test these things. I know it’s a manipulative thing to do but, I give him ‘outs’ and purposefully say things that relieve pressure of emotional attachment, that leave the opportunity for him to {try to} take advantage of the situation, but he doesn’t take the bait.
 I don’t know what to make of it.
Confused? Yeah, me too.
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Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – Abandonment Trauma

First I’d like to say Hello to all the new followers that have joined me recently! ::waves:: I hope you like it here, or at least find it interesting here. Say hi, leave me comments, or yanno, keep lurking. Friday is my on-going series that I call Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy. I discuss and dissect the things that I have been going over in therapy. That said, let’s get to it.
Yesterday I saw Psychiatrist and Therapist. No new developments in my meds. I’m happy with the Pristiq. Still going. I told her I had a meltdown the night before. It hasn’t happened in a very long time though. She said things like that will occasionally happen along the road to recovery. It doesn’t negate the progress I’ve made so far.
Therapy. I don’t know how to describe how I felt going in to therapy.   Resigned, I guess. I was so exhausted and so emotionally drained that I don’t think I had room for the anxiety or worry about disappointment.
She asked how things with me and Tech Boy were going. I told her about my meltdown Wednesday night. I told her how he told me he was going out of state this weekend and that I snapped (not at him). I was frustrated and disappointed and just broke down and cried. She asked me why I got so upset. I told her I guess it was because I was more attached to him than I thought and for once I’d like someone I invest in to invest something in me.
Then I told her how I finally yelled at Friend.
When I was done she clearly had an “Ah, ha” moment.
What Tech Boy did triggered me, but who my real anger was directed at is Friend.
Trigger. I have abandonment issues. Surprise!
Therapist said that she’s been wondering where my anger has been for a few weeks now. I’ve been avoiding, I’ve been repressing, I’ve been bottling and trying to not let anyone see what really bothers me.
Last week when I was at Friends’ house. After his wife went to bed, we were sitting on the couch watching bad movies like we always do. I stretched out as is usual for me. He started rubbing my leg. Running his hands up on down my calves. Gave me a foot massage. It got late and I sat up to leave, he leaned his head into my neck and just hugged me. I haven’t let this happen in months. I’ve very purposely been maintaining this boundary between us. I was lonely. For an hour it felt good to have someone pay attention to me. To be close to me. I wanted that again. But it brought back all the pain of the last year from the ending of the more intimate aspects of our relationship. And how ultimately, he abandoned me emotionally when I was in a very vulnerable place. With no warning. With no regard for how devastating it would be to me. Instead of talking to me about what was going on, explaining, he dropped off the Earth, quit talking to everyone, including me, for a week. No texts, no communication, nothing. While I was extraordinarily confused and in pain. He just left me like that with no consideration.
Yes. I am angry at him. I’m pissed. And then on top of that, afterwards while I’m working on trying to maintain our friendship and heal, every week after week he rubs it in my face that he’s working on his failed marriage. In front of me he acts all cuddly and kissy and ‘I love you’ with his wife. Rubbing it in my face is tactless and not okay. Especially when the utter indifference is so clearly written all over her face and body language. Not to mention she’s told me directly that she is traditionally a very selfish person with no regard for how anyone else feels, including her husband. So yes, that hurts. I finally told him so.
Therapist thinks it was about damn time too.
I’m so afraid of hurting him, and losing my friend, that I’m hurting myself and losing my mind (ok maybe a little exaggeration there).
I have a lifetime of abandonment trauma. From my parents not being there, from moving, from friends moving, from people dying, from friends that I thought I could trust doing unspeakable things to me, to losing people that I cared for and loved deeply.
None of this has anything to do with Tech Boy. He’s just a guy. A guy I like and is fun to hang out with, but he’s not the love of my life or anything like that. The problem with triggers though, is anyone can set them off. He doesn’t know my issues and did so accidentally. Hell, I’m still working on how to sort through and connect all my issues. None of this really has anything to do with him though. It has to do with my fears and my trauma… and a lot of anger that I have towards Friend and the people that have abandoned me in my life.
Therapist introduced me to a new concept this week. It’s the concept of having a Healthy Adult, an Inner Child, and an Outer Child. We all know the Healthy Adult is the fully functioning, responsible person that we are supposed to be. The Inner Child is the part of you that is vulnerable, that is all about feelings, and craves safety, security and wholesome, loving relationships. The Outer child is the self-sabotaging nemesis of your personality. Therapist gave me a book to read called “A Journey from Abandonment to Healing” by Susan Anderson.
Imagine a parent leads a child into the woods. In the woods there’s a rock. The abandoning parent tells the child to sit on the rock and wait until they come back and get them. The parent never returns. The Inner Child does as she’s told, waits and waits and waits, vulnerable and exposed to the elements. Scared. Feeling. Alone. The Outer Child, however, refuses to stay on the rock. Outer climbs down, picks up a hatchet, and goes on the warpath.
Here’s a blurb from her website about the Outer Child.
Outer Child acts out your inner child’s feelings – especially your abandonment feelings – without giving you, the adult, a chance to intervene. When you feel hurt, angry, or insecure, Outer acts out these feelings in ways that sabotage your relationships. Outer works like a bungling undercover agent in trying to protect (overprotect) you from abandonment. Stealthy, quick, and misguided, it intercepts love before you ever know what happened.
Outer is the impulsive, obstinate, self-centered ten-year old within all of us. Outer wants what Outer wants NOW, and overrules you, the adult, in getting it. Outer prefers to binge on candy when you are steadfastly sticking to a diet (or so you thought). Outer says yes to a third glass of wine when you, the Adult, had decided on a two drink minimum.

Outer child is born of unresolved abandonment. It wreaks havoc in your relationships when it acts out your inner child’s primal fear of abandonment. For example, it aims its emotional suction cups at our prospective partners and scares them away.

Outer fights change – especially change initiated by you, the adult. Outer balks at doing the right thing and only wants things that are bad for your health, figure, or bank account. By bringing Outer out of the bunkers and into the daylight, you get to subvert its mission, rather than let it subvert yours.
Outer is fueled by emotion. Take anger. Outer either overreacts or under-reacts to your anger. For example, abandonment survivors tend to be too insecure to risk expressing anger or assertiveness to someone because they fear it might break the connection. Outer takes advantage of this fear and gets you to take your anger out on yourself, damaging your self-esteem. Conversely, Outer takes your anger out on innocent bystanders and makes you look like a monster.

Outer is the “yes but” of the personality. If you let it, Outer ties your life up in knots.

Outer child likes to play games, especially in relationships. It wears many disguises including “hard to get” and “Florence Nightingale” (where Outer panders for ‘love-insurance’ by over-caretaking). It poses as your ally, but is really your gatekeeper. Its covert agenda is to maintain your patterns – albeit your most self-defeating ones. By deconstructing your Outer Child defenses, your Adult Self has the opportunity to guide your behavior, rather than remain driven by your hidden nemesis.  

For the past few weeks, maybe month or two, I’ve been rooting pretty firmly in my Outer Child. I’m indulging my Outer Child with Tech Boy. He likes to drink, and gamble, and is all about in the moment gratification. I’m letting myself get swept along with these things, rushing physical intimacy, doing what feels good RIGHT NOW, instead of what is healthy for me in the long run.
Surprisingly she doesn’t think I need to stop seeing him. But I do need to change my approach with him. Start over in a sense. Really take time to get to know each other. Do healthy, adult things, not just uncontrolled indulgences. Make healthier choices and base my actions off of those. I won’t see him this weekend, I won’t see him next weekend (It’s Christmas, I’ll be going out of state to see my family). It’ll give me time to take a break and figure out what it is I want to do.
I love my Therapist. I’m starting to believe she really does know me.
Homework: I’ll be reading this book this weekend. You’ll be getting a book review when I’m done as well. I’ll post the Outer Child Inventory a little later. I find it enlightening.
We didn’t talk about what I should do about Friend. I have no intentions of talking to him right now though.  

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – Borderline Ambivalence

Therapy last night was kind of a downer. Mostly we talked about Tech Boy and my hesitations about the whole thing. I told Therapist what I told you about my weekend with Tech Boy and how I’m vacillating between like and dislike.
Therapist wishes I had refrained from physical intimacy with Tech Boy. Taken it slower. I don’t know. This doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. Physical intimacy is safer than emotional intimacy. Which I am taking very slowly.  I think I’ve had enough physical traumas that my body doesn’t feel sacred to me. I’m dissociated from a lot of the things I do to it, with it. Bodies heal; it’s the mental imprint that is the problem.
Therapist was concerned though because the chemical reactions in the brain don’t distinguish between good and bad choices. That oxytocin the brain releases when you have positive physical contact doesn’t discriminate. Just because it feels good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And I’m addicted to this feeling. I’m addicted to human contact. I don’t mean that in a metaphorically poetic kind of way either. I start to jones for it. Without it I get anxious and empty. I crave it. This is probably my own true weakness. It makes me melt and the world is all better, at least for the moment.
I don’t think I have the capacity to fall in love with him. This could be total crap but right now I’m in flight mode. Although, just because I don’t think I’ll fall for him doesn’t mean he can’t hurt my heart on a smaller level, and he already is. Therapist sees my ambivalence. How I miss waking up next to someone, next to him, and yet I have all these concerns that make me want to flee.
Ambivalence.
I swear anytime Therapist or Psychiatrist use this word when they’re talking to me I hear this quote from Girl, Interrupted:
Susanna: I’m ambivalent. In fact that’s my new favorite word.
Dr. Wick
: Do you know what that means, ambivalence? Susanna: I don’t care.
Dr. Wick: If it’s your favorite word, I would’ve thought you would…
Susanna: It *means* I don’t care. That’s what it means.
Dr. Wick: On the contrary, Susanna. Ambivalence suggests strong feelings… in opposition. The prefix, as in “ambidextrous,” means “both.” The rest of it, in Latin, means “vigor.” The word suggests that you are torn… between two opposing courses of action.
Susanna: Will I stay or will I go?
Dr. Wick: Am I sane… or, am I crazy?
Susanna: Those aren’t courses of action.
Dr. Wick: They can be, dear – for some.
Susanna: Well, then – it’s the wrong word.
Dr. Wick: No. I think it’s
perfect.
It is kind of perfect.
Therapist quite clearly doesn’t like this guy for me. She wants better for me. But she won’t tell me what to do and she doesn’t think I should just run away. I need to find more of a balance in my actions. Not an all or nothing response. Therapist thinks I should bring up the discussion we had about depression and mental health with him. And I have to say I agree (I’d already been thinking about this). This is clearly an important issue for me. I should give him the chance to elaborate and explain, and not shy away from providing my real opinions on the matter. Either it will open his eyes to an opinion he hadn’t considered before and he’ll be understanding (because maybe he’s never been exposed to someone who needs medication or has suffered with depression), or he won’t and that will be even more telling.
Ultimately though she doesn’t think this guy is right for me. In fact, she really likes Friends personality for me. She thinks I shouldn’t deviate too much from that. From what I know is good for me. I had so much easy and natural chemistry with Friend. That’s almost absent here.  She thinks maybe I’m using this ‘relationship’ with Tech Boy as a way to get over him still and to assuage my loneliness because clearly I know this guy isn’t right for me.  However, this is what friends are for. To help keep you company and take away some of the loneliness. It’s just not the same though.  
She thinks at best this is a transitory relationship. Those aren’t necessarily bad. What’s important is I decide whether or not it is healthy. I’m dissociating from my feelings in this already which is an indicator that this is not going to be a healing relationship for me. I’m feeling distant from the situation and I’m uncertain of my own feelings.  Right now I’m just sort of going with it until I can be certain, or at least give him a chance to explain and find out more about him. I know, I know, it takes me a little while to build myself up to ending things with people. Plus I have to do it in a fairly neutral way to maintain a decent working relationship. Anyways, so I can probably keep myself distanced from him while remaining in touch without throwing myself over the edge. Continue developing emotional space from Friend, use this as a transitory relationship to assuage my loneliness and {insert psych babble}, until I find someone better or that I actually connect to, or just can’t deal with it anymore. Then end. (That’s how I felt last night anyways).
Right now though I’m hurt and upset and really fucking angry. It’s stupid. I’m going out for Happy Hour with some of the guys from work, including Tech Boy. I figured we’d be making a night of it so at some point afterwards we’d probably head over to my place for whatever and so I could actually talk to him. Newp. Apparently he has a friend coming in to work on his car tomorrow so he’s taking him out after Happy Hour to a place I introduced him to. Which means I probably won’t see him one on one at all this weekend. Ya know what? He doesn’t see me as someone “he’s with” so he doesn’t think to consider me or include me or whatever. Fine. Fuck it all. And fuck him to. I’m furious.
That’s at least a solid emotion though. As I was telling Therapist it’s been a little weird for me. My meds are clearly doing the job they’re supposed to be doing. My mood is more up and I’ve been steadier. It’s just, in a similar situation, before I know I would have had some very strong emotions. However, I actually feel pretty emotionally steady. A little up and down, but nothing I’d consider extreme. Relatively stable. However I’m having some emotional confusion b/c of it. Knowing I would normally feel one thing, but feeling relatively steady instead, it makes me feel kind of confused.  I guess it’s good that I’m not flipping out, it’s just a strange sensation to not be feeling something that is so familiar.

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy : Stop the Borderline "stuff"

Therapy is hard sometimes. I guess if it was easy it wouldn’t really be necessary though.
Therapist earned bonus points this week. I told her about the other night with GF (Read the story HERE)and my worries with Tech Boy. She called me out on that one. Therapist doesn’t like to use labels very much but this is what she considers “Borderline stuff”.  I’m afraid of where things may or may not be going with Tech Boy, so instead of working on that, I’m pushing away, and going to someone that I feel is safe. GF is in and out of the picture a lot. As soon as I mentioned her Therapist was like, “GF? This is going to be trouble for you.”
I want to be friends with her, but I’m still very physically attracted to her and I enjoy the emotional comfort she provides me. Coupled with the fact that she very clearly feels the same way about me, but won’t leave her current girlfriend making it impossible for her to get too close to me, it makes her an emotionally safe place for me to fall back to. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
What it makes it, is me avoiding the actual issue. Which is figuring out how I feel about Tech Boy. I just, don’t know where this is all going. Physically I’m very attracted to him. It’s pretty impossible not to be, he’s a hotty. But we don’t have all that much in common, our personalities are pretty different, our general approach to life is different. He’s not the kind of person to overthink things and just takes things as they come. I overthink things to death, beat them over the head with a shovel just to be sure, bury them, dig them back up, and then perform resurrection rites.
I have a few red flags with him. Last time we went out he mentioned he liked being a jerk. “It’s fun to be a jerk. Say and do what you want, without tip toeing around other people’s feelings all the time, it’s just freeing.” Or something like that. This of course doesn’t apply to people he cares about and works with but still. Of my course my immediately reply was, “Just don’t be a jerk to me. I won’t deal with it.” Him, “Have I been a jerk to you?” Me, “No, just sayin’”.  Gah. On the one hand I don’t like people that are push overs. If I can walk over you (not that I would), I probably will judge you as not having a strong enough personality to deal with me. On the other hand, I have an uncanny ability to choose jerks (who turn out to be very abusive) and people that I can’t trust and this scares me.
Semi-drunkenly the other night I mentioned that I was pretty guarded. He said I seemed to be pretty open with him. I mentioned that I just have sort of a hard time talking about emotional stuff. He said he wasn’t the emotional type either. This is a conversation I’ll have to have with him in the future, and sober, but it worries me because I’m afraid that means he won’t have the ability to deal with me. Therapist gave me sort of a reality check here. I don’t know what he’s been through in his past. I don’t know him very well so it may be that he has his own baggage that he’s been injured from or trying to recover from. Like me, maybe he just doesn’t put it all out there at first and puts on more of a ‘tough guy’ mask to sort of overcompensate. Maybe, maybe not. The point is, I don’t know because I haven’t spent enough time getting to know him yet. Give it time and see what he has to say about himself as I get to know him.
So those are the fears. The reality, he’s treated me very well. Therapist thinks that he’s making good decisions with me. Taking things at a good pace. I worry that things aren’t moving fast enough. I always worry that things aren’t moving fast enough. I just want to know where things are going so I’m not confused and second guessing things all the time.  As I was reminded though, I can’t know where things are going until we actually get there.
I worry about him liking me and wanting to be with me, so I start to freak out and reach for someone that I know I have these things from, and while I’m doing this he texts me to spend the weekend together and go on a trip out of state. It doesn’t take a genius to see who the irrational one here is.
Sabotage. Therapist thinks I’m trying to sabotage myself because I’m afraid of him getting too close. That’s why I let GF come over and set no boundaries of ‘just friends’ with her. She reminded me that I wouldn’t be having all these fears if I didn’t like the guy. What I’m trying to figure out is how to keep myself safe. Safety is very important for me. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the abusive relationships I’ve had in my past. But just because I have had them before does not mean that this is one of those. Clearly he likes me. He’s not seeing anyone else, so I should give him the same respect that he’s giving me. I should allow him the chance and get to know him better.
Therapist kind of kicked me in the ass on this one. This promiscuous borderline bullshit isn’t healthy. I have no impulse control when it comes to physical closeness but it’s major source of emotional turmoil for me as well.  My goal is to be healthy and part of that is learning to be healthy in relationships and forming relationships that are healthy. That’s not just picking good people though. It’s also correcting how I act and think in those relationships. So no more GF for now. Geezus! No more GF! Period. Not ‘for now’. Gah.
She wants me to make sure I’m not acting on my bias against men as well. I seriously laughed when she said this. It’s true. I am biased against men. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I have some serious trust issues, and most of them are triggered from men I’ve been with. Women feel safer to me. That doesn’t mean I can’t find safety with a man though. I just have to be careful and not rush things.
We talked a bit about my going home for Thanksgiving, but I felt like this part of the conversation didn’t really go anywhere. She said my anger at my friend for cancelling on me was justifiable. I stayed in an uncomfortable place longer than I had to and at the last minute it turns out I didn’t need to. Plus I miss her. I haven’t seen her in a very long time. Oddly, she’s one of the very few people I feel like I will always be friends with. We may not talk much but I feel like she’s always there. Her, my friend in Texas, and my sister. Those three.
I still don’t understand why I get so damn angry at my mother though. She’s a nice woman. My parents love each other, they get along great. There isn’t any weird tension between them. My mom just misses me and wants to do things with me, but it drives me up a bloody wall. She’ll offer to take me shopping or something nice and reasonable and I want to snap her head off. Everything feels like nagging and invasive prying or the most inconvenient timing. What sucks is I know she means well and just wants to love me. And I know I hurt her feelings with how sharp I was. I don’t understand why I still feel this way towards her. Nothing I do to tell myself that I shouldn’t be so angry works either. IDK, maybe something for next week’s session.

Addition: (Forgot to include this): I also told Therapist that Tech Boy and I had sex. She was a little concerned about this. And surprised. I’m not sure sex is something she herself is very comfortable with. I definitely pick up on that. She was concerned that I felt alright about the choice to do this. I feel like she thinks it was too soon. But how soon is too soon? We were dating for 4 or 5 weeks, but I’ve known him for like 8 months. How long is appropriate? So, yeah, I guess I’m alright. I’m not flipping out about it so it’s fine. Honestly it almost feels as if we haven’t done it at all. Except my libido is starting to shoot through the roof. Is that strange? I know we had sex, but it doesn’t really feel like I’ve internalized it. Other than now I’m a little more crazy about the little things like how often he texts me.  She asked if he was gentle. Um, not really. I’m not a very gentle person though. It was fun. I think her concern was did I feel threatened at any point. Which, no I didn’t. I don’t think he’s out to physically hurt me or anything. She worries about me so she wanted to make sure. She also knows I’ve had problems with men in the past. For a very, very long time I had problems with men even touching me. Hell I still have problems with men touching me, but it’s not so bad if it’s one I know or am close to. So right now I’m going to say I’m fine. I don’t really feel like it’s a big deal.
We’ll see how I feel tonight though. He’s staying over so we can leave early in the morning to take a trip out of state. I’m kind of excited =)

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

 I’m good at allowing myself into other people’s live, but not at letting them into mine.
This was the main point I took from therapy yesterday.
Therapist says I’m incredibly perceptive when it comes to determining other people’s emotional spheres. I tailor myself to match what I have picked up in another person. She says she sees me doing this quite often. I mirror people well. I don’t even realize I do this most of the time. It comes naturally. Though I do catch myself veering more towards positive stories and spins of experience when she seems to indicate that it’s what she expects to hear. Therapist often tries to explain my feelings on a subject before I’ve finished talking about what it is that I’m saying. Sometimes I correct her, other times I feel like I’ll be disappointing her if I’m not fitting her more pleasant description/expectation. I see how she interprets me, I understand how she wants me to be, I pick up on all the little body, facial, and emotive signals that tells me what she is thinking.
Her point, was that if I’m feeling a certain way about someone, it is often justified, because I am so perceptive and in tune with how other people feel.  Little of my hypersensitivity coming through. I’m hyper vigilant when it comes to paying attention to how people react to me.
This came about mostly because I was fretting about Tech Boy. I’m worried that I may be starting to like him too much. I’m still not sure if he’s ‘right’ for me. I’m starting to get paranoid if he doesn’t text me. He mentioned a female friend’s birthday is coming up and I felt a stab of jealousy (though I didn’t say anything ß— I know better).  I’m worried I’m getting too sucked into this, and I’m not comfortable with myself right now. I don’t know where this is going, or if it’s going anywhere. All the signs point to him liking me, but I don’t like me, so I think I’m projecting my fears onto him where they don’t exist.
I wanted to push away yesterday. Maybe the day before too.
Don’t do it, Snow!
I have trust issues. I’m still trying to figure out how much I can trust him, or if I can trust him at all.  What it boils down to is I don’t trust my own judgment when it comes to trusting other people. I’ve made too many bad decisions, misplaced my trust in too many people and had it come back to bite me in the jugular as I lay bleeding out on the sidewalk. Not that I haven’t made some good decisions. I have, but the good do not outweigh the bad for me. Especially when it comes to men. Sorry guys, I’m sure one or two of you are alright. (Aside: I feel pretty shitty thinking this way after what my boys at work just did – geezus I’m a terrible person). I don’t trust. I do believe people will hurt me in the end. This has been too much of my experience. I am very, very guarded. Justifiably.
However it makes me feel like I’m lying.  I hold back from the people that try to be close to me. I do not share my genuine self because it would make me vulnerable, open me up for the potential to be taken advantage of, and also because I feel like it is too much of  burden to place a lot of the badness that I’ve had in my past on someone. Instead of sharing, I shut down, or re-direct the conversation.
For example: On one of my dates with Tech Boy we were talking about how we felt about living in NY (we’re both originally from out of state).  I mentioned that my first couple years here were pretty rough b/c of my living situation but in general I liked NY. His response was a natural sort of “Well it couldn’t have been all bad”…. “No, I suppose it wasn’t all bad…”, but I wasn’t going to tell him about Evil-Ex. He does know that I had problems with an ex that I was living with in a vague general sense, but I’m afraid to get into the details of just how bad it all was. I don’t want him to think I’m weak. I don’t want him to know how much damage has been inflicted on me. I don’t want him to think I have too much baggage (because this is just unattractive).  I’ve had bad things happen to me and somehow I feel like this will make me a bad person in other people’s eyes. At the very least, it will clash with the impression that I give people of myself. In short, I don’t trust that him to not reject me. So I’m not open about everything there is about me. Since I’m not full disclosure, I feel like I’m hiding things, being secretive (which I am), and therefore not being honest.
Something like that.
If I’m always closed and guarded, it’s going to push him away in a different way. I’m sure he thinks I’m a little closed off. Therapist thinks I need to open up. I don’t need to come out with the worst of the worst, but I should let him in to some of the problems I’ve had in my past.  This will help him understand why I am guarded.
To my credit, I give people a chance ß— Both Roommate and Therapist have told me this. For everything that I’ve been through I haven’t shut myself down completely towards other people. I have in the past, but presently, I’m still trying to meet and get to know new people. I only share what I want people to know of me though. People open up their lives to me very easily (apparently I come across as very open and trustworthy), and I let myself stroll right into their worlds where I can take a look around and judge whether it’s safe for me…. But I don’t actually open up my own doors to them in what I believe to be a meaningful way. I may crack a window, but the drawbridge stays up and I have a few strategically placed snipers looming in the battlements. Overkill.
Therapist talked a lot, but I felt like I was pretty dissociated and floating through a lot of the session. I couldn’t really concentrate on what she was saying. I’ve felt like that the last few days. People will talk to me and it’s a struggle for me to pay attention, to retain the information they are telling me.

I also feel like if I get to invested in someone something is going to happen and it’ll fall apart and all go to hell. It’s just a vague sense, nothing specific, but I always believe that if I let myself get to close to someone that is exactly when everything will go wrong. Catastrophizing, maybe?

Anyways, so I’m very attune to people’s emotional spheres. I have trust issues. I expect the worst. But maybe my issues with Tech Boy are a result of my own closed off-edness (ß– not really a word, I know). I’m closed off because I expect something bad, so he’s picking up on the fact that I don’t want to let him in and is therefore respecting my boundaries, which I perceive as him not trying to get closer, when it’s me that won’t let him even if he was trying, and that makes me paranoid and want to push away which actualizes as something bad happening. Is it all me? Or maybe he just wants something casual, light and fun, which is exactly what we have now, so he doesn’t feel a need to dig deeper and it’s just me wondering if there’s more scenery in Kansas (I’m totally stereotyping Kansas here – Sorry Kansas-anites (?)) .  That may not have made any sense.
Open Up, Stay Closed, Open Up, Stay Closed …. It’s not a simple decision. Therapist says small steps. The things I’ve been through are not too much for someone to handle if they’re someone that cares about me. Someone that cares won’t be judgmental. He’s already proven himself to be open to various aspects of my lifestyle that others might shy away from– shady stripper past, my bisexuality (Boring-Ex was super threatened by this), my extreme Geekery with +10 Nerdiness, isn’t threatened by my intelligence or that I make more money than him. I guess it’s time to do exactly the opposite of what I want to do (Push away) and start letting him in to the more intimate details of my life.  Slowly.
Does anyone else find it ironic that I can easily post the most intimate details of my life here for thousands of anonymous viewers to see, but I have the hardest time opening up to one person in real life? Yeesh.

It’s a nice thought anyways.

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

The Relationship Issue.
Right away Therapist said I looked centered and happy. She asked how things are with Tech Boy and all that. Good. Cute. We’re texting and talking all the time. I feel silly and cute (read: euphoric and high).  She asked me if I think this is on track to being a healthy relationship.
::crickets::
How would I know?
I’ve never had a healthy relationship. Surprise! Don’t look at me like that. That’s not saying they’ve all been bad, just not healthy. I dated a couple guys in college that were really great guys, but I felt no emotional attachment to them. For all intents and purposes the relationships were ‘normal’ but emotionally void b/c I was cut off from feeling (Boring-Ex can basically fall into this category as well except of course, that ended with me in the Psych ER). Unhealthy. My relationships with women were often more affectionately intense, but shorter lived as I would freak out at the speed of closeness. And then, there were the notable abusive messes that have hallmarked my existence. I fail at relationships. I think people are crazy for wanting to be involved with me. I actually TELL PEOPLE that I’m a terrible girlfriend and that they shouldn’t want to date me. I come with a disclaimer ß——– This is a common phrase.
Or like this morning when Tech Boy and I were going out to my project site he was like… “You carry my equipment, drive me around, you’re just a generally good person ::insert cute smile::” To which my immediate response was to laugh that off and say “Clearly, you don’t know me that well”. I’ve tailored responses like that to sound joking, even though I mean it whole heartedly.
Therapist doesn’t see a bad person in me. She sees someone that has had a lot of bad things happen to them, but that doesn’t mean I am bad. I still feel bad. I feel like I’m going to destroy everything I touch. Which is awful because I want to touch things. I want to be touched.
Not literally. Don’t get too dirty on me there. Ok, maybe a little bit literal. Ok, a lot.
I mean I want to be with someone in a meaningful way. Therapist asked if I felt Tech Boy was someone that I felt I could share with? I want to be the kind of person that can be open and share myself with someone in a healthy way. But I have so much unhealthiness in my past. I told Therapist I’m not sure I can be open with Tech Boy (not just him, anyone). What right do I have to dump all that trauma on someone? How can I expect someone else to be ok with the things that have happened to me? That I’ve done to me? How can I expect someone to see all of this and not judge me and think I’m a terrible person? A damaged person?
I have to hide it all. It’s what I’ve always done. Eventually though, when people push to get closer and the walls begin to come down it all eventually comes out. Once my walls start to slip it’s hard for me to maintain that mask that I’ve kept in place for so long. It’s never quite the same.
The first thing people usually ask me is about my arms. For the first time I’m starting to dread this explanation. Therapist was like, well, maybe he won’t think they’re unusual. What? I don’t think she’s ever really taken a good look at my arms. I showed her and she had to admit it was pretty obvious. It’s not like Tech Boy hasn’t seen {some of} them. I don’t hide my scars, but it’s not the kind of thing people ask about in a professional setting so no one has ever brought it up. Then again, maybe I can assume that he’s noticed, and decided that it doesn’t matter, as he clearly has a thing for me.
Aside: When I say ‘clearly’, this didn’t stop me from freaking out about him not being able to see me last weekend because he broke his freaking ankle. I was actually paranoid that this was just an excuse to not see me at first. Yeah, I know. Don’t start.
Also, I don’t assume. And even if I did, I would ignore the assumption and think the worst anyways. I’m just going with it.
Coming back around to my point, I don’t need to unload all of my past at once. That should come slowly over time. I feel like I’m hiding who I am though and thereby not being honest. Bleh. I’ll figure it out.
So of course we ended up talking about Friend. I’m having a bizarre sort of mashup between Splitting and Abandonment here. I can’t let go of my friendship with Friend. I don’t want to. I can’t. I can’t even think about it. But he’s like a disembodied character to me. Every time I see him it’s like I’m seeing someone new that has all the characteristics of the last Friend I talked with. As soon as Tech Boy and I started getting close, my feelings snapped off for Friend (unless his wife is doing something to rub things in my face, then I just want nothing to do with them at all). I split from the love and hurt I felt to utterly neutral and not needing to be around him, or even talk to him anymore. I’m cancelling plans, changing dates, breaking my structures I built with him… in favor of something new. I still have a lot of anxiety about this, but it’s not for fear of his disapproval so much as for fear of breaking what’s familiar and fearing that I won’t be able to maintain that familiarity.
Therapist thinks I’ve done a remarkable job holding onto this friendship. What I went through with Friend and his wife was incredibly hurtful. She still thinks it was healing in many ways though. She asked me what kinds of things I want to remember from my relationship with Friend.
::blank::
I couldn’t think of a single thing. I am completely blocked and dissociated from the feelings that I had. I only remember the bad, the hurt. I don’t even want to think about writing my letter to him. I don’t want to think about him like that. Split. I’m thinking about someone else now, I don’t want to think about what I felt before. What did I love about him? About us?
Homework: What positive things have I taken from my relationship with Friend?
She thinks this would be good for me to remember because I have such a hard time holding onto people. My lack of object permanency. I feel like I’m not a part of people’s lives if I am not in their immediate presence. If I can write down the things I valued about him, that I believe he valued about me, and relate that to how it is still displayed in our current friendship, maybe it will help me hold onto the idea of fluidity through time. It will also help me recognize the things that I want in a future relationship, that I should hold onto, and not allow myself to settle for things that don’t meet a healthier standard.
We’re really trying to work on forming new, healthy, relationships now. She’s very proud of me for taking all the safe risks I’ve been taking lately. She’s trying to caution me to think further into what it is that I want exactly, instead of just throwing myself into the moments.
Homework: What do I envision for a healthy relationship? (I remembered this week!)
I don’t even know. What do you think is part of a healthy relationship?

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

This has been a week of health stuff.
Found a real doctor this week. No I haven’t been sick, but I haven’t had a primary care physician in a very long time so I figured it was about time to get one. He was very nice and seemed really on the ball. Something odd I’ve noticed about myself… the only time I am ever self-conscious about my scars is when I go to the doctors. Whenever the nurse reaches for my arms to take my blood pressure I can almost see her biting her tongue as her eyes run over the deeply pronounced white lines running up and down my arms. As I’ve mentioned before… I don’t hide my scars, they’re a symbol that I’m still alive, that I made it through a very rough time for me. I don’t purposely wear long sleeves or lots of bracelets so I often forget that medical professionals will actually take a look at me and pass some kind of judgment. At the same time when my new Doctor actually asked me, “Are those scars self-inflicted” I was a little impressed. Most people avoid it. Of course I answered truthfully, yes they are. All he said after that was, “Do you have someone you can talk to about anxiety and stress?” “Yes, I have a therapist.” He seemed satisfied with that.
Yesterday was Psychiatrist and Therapist day.
Psychiatrist extended my leash to two months! When I first started going it was every two weeks, then  fluxuating between every two weeks and every month. It’s been once a month now for a while. Yesterday she asked me if she thought I would be ok going two months and instead of coming into the office for my Rx, she’d give me a refill. Progress! Seriously, Pristiq has been nothing short of a miracle drug for me. Nothing, nothing, has helped me out the way this has. No side effects, and my baseline mood has been Okay! Not Depressed, not even mildly Depressed, but Okay, even Good some days. This, in and of itself, is extraordinary for me.  
This is especially great for my productivity at work. I’ve accomplished enormous amounts of work and the fast pace, high stress doesn’t seem to be getting to me at all.
Therapist has really noticed the improvement in my mood as well and she’s quite proud of me.
Though she is noticing that I am avoiding my feelings and avoiding thinking about the future. At this point I really feel like I’m just living day to day. I don’t see the future for myself. I don’t know where it’s going to go. I have no goals, no expectations, no path… except to keep on doing what I’m doing. One day at a time.  
She’s concerned that I’m not putting any thought into what I want out of my relationship with Tech Boy. I mean, first off, it’s a little early to call it a relationship. It’s definitely too early to think about whether I see a future with him. Putting that kind of pressure on it takes out the fire. I just want to feel. I like playing house but do I think he can really handle who I am? If I’m honest, we’re very different people. We’re both engineers, both very athletic, like the outdoors, scary movies, and cooking (and he’ll eat just about anything which is a total bonus in my book), but he doesn’t read, is more into parties and drinking, hunting/fishing, paintball, electronics… yanno, real guy stuff. He doesn’t satisfy that artistic creativity and mystical spirituality that I adore. The element of fantasy that I like to lose myself in. These are things that I really bonded with Friend over. However, where Friend was too soft and I wish he’d be more aggressive, Tech Boy seems to have a more natural aggression which I enjoy. Hell, Lady Friend had the art, the spirituality, the intelligence but a complete lack of aggression and I couldn’t keep hold my interest. Is it all a trade off? In the end do some things not mean as much as you think? This is why I can’t really think about a future… I come up with lists and ruminations of all the things I want and compare and contrast and is this right and will I miss that if he doesn’t have it or what if I decide that there is a thing, something I really do want, that he doesn’t encompass, but we’ve already gotten so involved that I can’t just end it and it’s too late. I’ll have hurt him and driven myself crazy in the process of obsessing about how things should be but in reality never actually are. Bloody hell, I’m going to do this anyways, but I’d like to at least enjoy the ride for a bit first. Is that too much to ask?  
Therapist kept talking about making sure to take it slow and really get to know each other. Asking if he’s respectful and this and that. Then she said, “You’ll set appropriate boundaries though right? You’re good at that, right?” I actually laughed, “No.” I may have a massive amount of internal conflict when it comes to being physically intimate with men, but it doesn’t stop me. I have an uncanny ability to ignore what is best for myself and do what feels good in the moment. Especially as I know I will use physical intimacy as a means to avoid emotional intimacy. If I can distract someone with my body they won’t think to get close enough to actually see me. Keep their eye focused on the superficial and they won’t see all the damage buried below the surface. They won’t see what’s bad in me. Sometimes it’s just easier to have sex than it is to talk about things I’m not sure I want to talk about.
Bleh.
I’ve been avoiding writing my letter to Friend too. Honestly I haven’t done this at all. I don’t want to. I don’t want to think about how I feel about him. I don’t want to feel anything about him. I don’t want to bring those feelings back to the surface because frankly, it still pisses me off. I’m still angry at him, I still have a lot of resentment towards him, a lot of disgust and hatred towards his wife. How they handled everything with me was incredibly selfish and insensitive. I was good enough to shoulder all their problems, be there to take care of them, be his sole support system, but when all was said and done, they completely tossed my feelings aside and changed things so abruptly it was like running into an emotional wrecking ball. And I was expected to just accept it and move on.  Because, yanno, that’s how I roll. Wrong. Grr. Ok, clearly I have a lot of feelings on the subject, but still. Therapist thinks I should tell him! She thinks I should write this letter and actually express these feelings to him! Is she kidding? No, I’m not going to do that. I’m not letting him that close to me again. He doesn’t get that kind of emotional ammunition anymore. He decided he didn’t care about me enough so he’s not privy to the more vulnerable places I have. Therapist thinks that if he was really as good of a friend as I think then he’d be able to handle it and acknowledge how I feel. Yeah? And what if he doesn’t. What if all he has to say is too bad, it was fun while it lasted but you were alone there? I can’t handle hearing that. Close, but not too close, and that would definitely be too close.
Still she thinks my ability to remain friends with him, has been good for me in many ways. While at the same time it has probably extended my grieving period because I see him so frequently and he talks to me every day. It’s important that it didn’t just end. So many of my relationships just stop (or explode) and I never speak to that person ever again. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not, but it’s pretty typical. That I am able to continue working through my feelings and issues with him and remain friends with him allows me to face my pain on some levels and forces me to deal.
She’s also still concerned about my throwing up. I was doing really well with no bulimic instances for a bit, but then I did on Sunday after Tech Boy left and again Wednesday night. I was really lonely and I just needed something to do to fill the space. She thinks I’m doing this as a way to avoid dealing with the emotional emptiness I’m feeling from the loss of prior relationships. It’s a theory. Instead of dealing directly I’m trying to fill the void in other ways. Maybe, maybe not. I just don’t want to get fat. I don’t want my flaws to be visible.
Therapist set some Homework assignments for me and for the life of me I can’t remember what they are. I need to start writing in my journal every day again. She definitely wants me to write this letter to Friend – which btw, I will NOT be reading to him. It was something about Friend, something… GAH I can’t remember. I hate that. I’ll have to call her. Ugh.
Ok, that’s it for now.

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

Therapy absolutely sucked last night. I walked into Therapists office full of energy. Light headed, brain whirring, full of energy. I sat down and she instantly commented on how I was glowing and seemed to really be getting through my grieving process (a.k.a. getting over Friend). I talked about forming attachments at work and how having an emotional investment in the people I work with seems to really drive my desire to have an emotional investment in the work I’m doing.
Not a breathe later she practically cuts me off saying how happy she is for me, and that it’s good that I’m being socially invested with the guys I work with, but I shouldn’t get too close to them. It’s a good idea to keep a nice respectful rapport but dating is a bad idea in case something goes wrong. I hadn’t even had a chance to tell her about Tech Boy. And of course, now I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to tell her that we’ve been talking more and he really seems to like me. Hell, he’s coming over Saturday to make me dinner!
I felt crushed. Instantly. Like someone had just dropped a cartoon anvil on my heart.
For months she’s been asking me if there’s anyone at work I thought had potential to date. Last week she said I was taking safe risks and she was happy for me. This week she completely contradicted herself. I don’t know what to believe. I’m incredibly confused about what I’m supposed to do now. I was so distracted driving home I missed my exit. At home I had the worst knots and anxiety I’ve had in ages. I drank. A Lot. How am I supposed to trust her when she tells me conflicting things? She sees how happy I was and then says I shouldn’t pursue the thing that’s making me happy. Does she not really want me to be happy? I’m sure there’s an aspect of concern for my professional integrity. I have plenty of that concern! Then of course, I couldn’t stop my mind from racing over all the things I have to consider. How close could I actually be? How do I even figure out if I can trust him?
By most anyone’s standards I’ve lived a rather shocking life. At least, I’ve had a lot of shocking experiences. It’s all stuff I would never tell my coworkers. That, of course, makes me think of how much of myself I won’t be able to share, or shouldn’t share with Tech Boy. Which leads to how unfair it would be for me to get involved with anyone because I simply have too much crap baggage. How do I ever get involved with anyone and expect them to be ok with the things that have happened in my life?
I’ve just been taking this day by day. Appreciating each day (ok, so it’s only been like a week or two, but still! That’s longer than I’ve had in so long). I can’t think of the long run. I don’t even know how. Things don’t last that long, or don’t turn out how I want them to. I don’t want to think about the future. I want to enjoy my life now. For once! Apparently I’m not allowed.  Lost and confused.
She asked me how things were going with Friend. Fine. I don’t think I’m so emotionally dependent on him. I still talk to him every day, but I don’t NEED to. She thinks he gives off mixed signals. Like on Saturday for his wife’s birthday, instead of spending much time with her, he spent almost the entire evening with me. So what. You know. He has stuff going on in his life too. It’s a tough month for him and maybe he just needed a caring friend nearby. She thinks there might be more there, but he’s dissociated from his feelings so he’d probably never be honest with me. I’m kind of getting sick of Therapist always harping on him. She puts so much emphasis on my grieving the loss of the intimacy we had. I’m just sick of hearing it. Sick. Sick. Sick.
And then she also went on about how I seem so steady, like my foundation is very solid, so she can’t imagine that I was turbulent when I was younger. I have done A LOT of changing and growing over the last decade. A lot. I slowly changed from Acting Out, to almost entirely Acting In. I’ve put in an incredible amount of time analyzing myself and increasing my self-awareness. I have changed a lot over the years, but that doesn’t change who I was.
She flat out does not believe me when I tell her I was a terror in middle school and high school.  How does she expect to get an accurate picture of who I am if she doesn’t even listen to what I’m telling her? She thinks I’m too kind, and sweet, and loving to have ever been, this violently angry, destructive person. I terrorized my sister, fought with my brother, had house shaking screaming matches with my parents. Daily. I put my fists through windows and walls. Kicked down almost all the doors in the house, vandalized properly, shoplifted, got arrested, drank, had reckless sex, my parents even tried kicking me out of the house until I actually ran away. I could go on forever. I’m not proud of the girl I was, but it doesn’t change the fact that I was in fact, that girl. That she doesn’t believe me really makes me wonder how she expects to help me. 
She wants me to be this person she thinks I am. Except I’m the person I actually am.
I don’t want to go back. At least not to her. Maybe I should find a new therapist.

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

Yesterday was a nice day in therapy. It’s the little things that make me realize someone knows me. I walked in to therapy and as soon as I sat down Therapist was like “Something happened, did you meet someone?”
I think I actually blushed. I told her about hanging out with Tech Boy. I told her why I think it’s a bad idea, but even as I say the reasons it’s a bad idea I feel myself not caring at all. I kind of don’t care if it’s a really bad f-ing idea. I can say no, no, no I won’t do it all I want. I know perfectly well that I’m incapable of saying no because it might be wiser to do so. In fact, the worse of an idea it is, the more appeal it kind of has to me. How messed up is that?
Therapist doesn’t think it’s a bad idea though. In fact she thinks it’s progress in a healthy direction. I’m taking safe risks. As long as I take it slow and take care not to divulge too much about myself too soon, it should be just fine. Not really an issue. I’m fantastic when it comes to keeping secrets, hiding things about myself, and only letting people see what I want them to see (at least until I get seriously wrapped up in someone, then it all goes to hell, but we’re not there yet).  She was actually more concerned with the potential to overshare information with my co-workers in general. I have something of an alternative lifestyle. A lot of people are not open minded enough to accept the kind of person I am. But seriously, I’m not going to go around shoving my homosexual preferences or my desire to take up stripping again into the faces of people I appreciate having respect from. Some things just aren’t peoples business and a professional environment is a professional environment.
She asked me how Friend felt when I mentioned hanging out with Tech Boy on Saturday. He hasn’t really said anything. In fact, whenever I bring it up our conversations kind of die, or he gives words of discouragement hinting that it would be a bad Idea for me to do this. And my subtle I mean sending me things like this:
Anyways, Therapist thinks that coupled with him being increasingly affectionate with the wife directly in front of me is him being pretty passive-aggressive and trying to make me jealous. And frankly, a jerk. I gotta say, I don’t disagree. It’s seriously making me reconsider spending as much time there as I do. And actually not doing it, not just thinking about not doing it.
We probably spent 50 minutes talking about the social choices I’m making and my submersion in my work. She flat out said she was reluctant to talk about serious things because she didn’t want to bring me down. It was nice to see me smiling for a change. Finally though we did get around to talking about homework.
My homework from last week was to expound further on the sentence: I wonder what I would do if he left.
My response: I wouldn’t know what to do. Almost every morning he’s the first person I talk to. I think I’d stare at my IM list and want to tell him things but then knowing I couldn’t, would be incredibly frustrating. I’d be lonely and feel empty, like something was missing from my life.  Eventually I’d probably shut down towards him, if not right away. I’d throw myself into distractions just to not think about it. Anything to bury the lonely place I  feel when we’re not chatting. I’d always wonder if he ever thought about me. If he missed me too. If he ever had any regrets about how things went or turned out. I’d wonder how much he could have really valued me if he was able to just walk away, or watch me walk away without putting up any  kind of resistance. That would probably hurt the most. Realizing I didn’t mean that much to him at all if he was ok with our lives just drifting apart. I’d feel depressed and worthless. It shouldn’t be so easy to turn away from someone you had such a supposedly strong connection to.
As I was writing it out though I felt pretty mixed feelings. I think I’d feel hollow, but I’m not sure I’d be devastated. In fact, I was pretty f-ing angry at myself. Why should my self-worth be determined by how someone else does or does not treat me? My self-worth should be determined by how I think of myself. It pisses me off that he still has that kind of influence over my emotions.
Then I think, well, that’s how I feel at the moment. Tomorrow the thought could terrify me. But at that moment I was pretty riled up. Anger always makes me feel strong. I bottle and bottle my anger and don’t let people see it, but it’s a powerful emotion.
Right now though, I seem to be moving in a good direction. And in the first stages of my revenge! Ha-ha! As they say: the best revenge is a life well lived. Therapist thinks I’m moving forward in the best way possible. I’m not being manipulative, I’m not trying to make him feel guilty, I’m not trying to stir up problems in their tenuous marriage (which believe me, would be super easy for me to do). No, instead I’m putting myself out there, taking safe risks, and trying to move on. And actually feeling pretty decent about it. Take that.
Egads, I’ve even been enjoying work. It helps that I have a cute face to look forward to, but I’ve also been getting really involved in the projects I’m doing, getting a lot done, being very productive…. It feels good for me to accomplish things. Plus the atmosphere at work is really excellent. We have breaks twice a day where my colleagues and I basically have coffee and hang out. We plan lunchtime BBQs and we’re organizing a wine and cheese night for after work. I’ve never had this kind of socially inclusive work environment before. I’ve never had people at work I considered being social with. It’s a major change for me. A healthy change for me. There are days I really feel like an adult. A competent adult.  
I’m making new connections and that’s a really big deal for me. I have major trust issues. I don’t trust people at all. Especially coming off of something like the emotional rollercoaster I went through with Friend, but I’ve also had a lot of trauma and abusive relationships.
She asked me if I thought Tech Boy was nice or would have issues with me having male friends. I don’t think he would, and frankly, I won’t deal with it again. When I was living with Evil-Ex he didn’t want me to have my own friends. When I moved here I didn’t know a lot of people. The only person I was close to was him. I met one guy at a party and we started having a regular TV night on Tuesdays. One night Evil-Ex stormed over, nearly kicked in his front door, screamed at me in a shaking rage and stormed off. I was desperate to find him after that. He went to the house of a girl’s that wanted to screw him. I got there before she got home though and we ended up going for a walk and talking. He threatened to move out, leave, and tried to convince me that this guy only wanted to take advantage of me. Which I knew wasn’t true, but I stopped hanging out with him anyways because I was in love with Evil-Ex and I would do anything to keep the peace and him from leaving. Then when I finally started making my own female friends, he accused me of fucking them behind his back because I dared to want to make my own friends separate from him. When I would go to hang out with them he would invite girls over that he knew, I knew, he was attracted to. Anytime I wanted to do anything without him it meant I was going behind his back. Anytime I showed independence and that I didn’t need to rely on him, I was humiliating him. Every time I tried to expand my life, I became more and more terrified that I would lose him. He had to come first or my world would dissolve.
Never again. That’s not the first time I’ve had boyfriends try to control who I’ve hung out with, but it’s definitely going to be the last. It’s not ok.
So I open up slowly. Epic-ly slow. But I’m still opening. Baby steps. Even slow progress is progress.
Homework:  is still to finish writing a letter to friend (that I won’t send him) and release all of the things I wish I could say to him. I’ve been subconsciously avoiding this.
Total Random Aside:  I have a black eye. I think it’s funny enough to mention. I gave it to myself. I woke up in the middle of the night, still in that super brain fogged half dream state and got out of bed to walk straight into my nightstand/TV. I managed to hit it hard enough that I totally smashed my face on the TV. I didn’t even realize I’d cut my eyelid and was bleeding until I got back into bed.  I’m totally going to tell people I was orchestrating an epic space battle of good vs. evil.

Oh! and I totally woke up to this in my inbox this morning: Click here for the key to a geek girls heart.

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy : Hard Decisions are Hard

Hard decisions are hard. I feel like I’m coming to a point in my life where I’m going to run again. Pick up my life, leave all this ridiculous NY drama behind and move back with my sister. If only running away actually solved anything. ::sigh::
So let’s start with the easy stuff. Therapist asked about work. In a surprising twist of productivity, I’ve actually been pretty happy with my job lately. I’ve been incredibly productive. Getting organized and getting projects done has come together much easier. I haven’t had the constant mental distractions of extraneous people crap that makes it difficult for me to focus. I’ve been feeling more like a part of the team, even socializing with the guys on my own without having to be dragged along. I brought in a loaf of apple bread and I made my homemade Chocolate-Chocolate Swirl Fudge especially for them. They were ultra appreciative which made me feel good. How they raved about the fudge was even bordering on that feeling of proud embarrassment because I’m just not used to such profuse praise.
I did my homework. Therapist was actually surprised that I did the whole thing.  I read through all of it, but we primarily focused on Sadness and Anger. I had a hard time getting started. Admitting that I felt this way about some things. I was worried that she’d think less of me, that she’d be upset or not like me, or not want to work with me if I admitted how I felt about some things. That my answers would show that I’m weak and a bad person. I shared them anyways. I had written them down already. I just had to open my mouth.
Anger. My revenge fantasy. I thought she’d be disgusted with me, think I was a terrible person for thinking these things. I was totally not prepared for what she did. She laughed. She said it was great. She said what I thought was completely ok and I’m allowed to feel that way. That I’m envisioning myself moved on, to something better that could be mine, is healthy. I felt my shell melt a little after that. It was easier for me to keep going.
My sadness is understandable but not entirely consistent. I wonder if it was real. If I made it all up. Therapist doesn’t think this is true at all. What I described when things were closer between Friend and I was very real. We had a very physically and emotionally intimate relationship. I’m distanced from my own feelings. She doesn’t want to diagnose him because she doesn’t know him, but she says it sounds like he’s dealing with his own inability to understand and express what he really wanted. Or wants. He has his own dissociative problems reconciling his feelings. The last night we were together, I remember feeling so wanted and so loved. It was such an intensely passionate evening. As I was turning to walk out the door he reached out, pulled me back to him and kissed me fiercely. And then it was done. No warning.
I said I’ll never understand why I wasn’t enough. If I was enough he’d want to be with me. Therapist thinks this is transference from my past. Clearly, with how comfortable we were together, I was enough. However, he had his own stuff. He decided to work on his marriage and family. That wasn’t my short coming. It’s not that I wasn’t enough, it’s that he had his own issues.
If I start crying: I feel weak. Therapist was actually concerned about this. I know exactly where this comes from. When I was little my father always invalidated my feelings. If I was sad, or upset, he would tell me to toughen up or suck it up. Showing these emotions wasn’t tough, therefore they were weak. Any display of weakness is not acceptable. I remember when I was 7 or 8 and my grandmother died. I locked myself in my closet so no one could see me cry. I still feel like doing this. Therapist notices.
As a reaction to people from my past that have taken or tried to take aggressive or abusive control of me, I’ve developed this mechanism of pushing back. Of holding back.
I finally told Therapist that I’m afraid to talk about some of the things I feel because I’m afraid she’ll be disappointed with me, or shocked, and won’t want to deal with me anymore. I hold back, not because of anything she’s done or her own issues, but because it’s what I fear from anyone I’m close to: if I show too much, feel too much, share too much, people won’t want to deal with me, will be disgusted, will reject me. I don’t want her to tell me to leave or that she doesn’t want to work with me anymore. It came out as a rush. Like I had to say it quick before my brain kicked in and told me to shut up.
I have trust issues. I don’t trust easily, if I trust at all. I’ve learned that it’s not ok to be vulnerable. I’ve been up walls against it. Secluded myself from people and locked my heart away to avoid it. Then of course, I came up against a malicious invader. One time with Evil-Ex, we were actually sitting down having a conversation where he told me it was ok to be vulnerable. My impenetrable walls make me seem like a robot. Everyone is vulnerable sometimes. It makes me seem more human, easier to connect with and relate to…. So of course, being as in love with him as I was, I wanted to show him that I was human. He just wanted to hurt me. And he promptly used it against me. Time and time again. I did something he didn’t expect though. I had so many secrets, kept so many things to myself, bottled up inside, it was like a treasure trove of nasty secrets he could use to hurt me because I was afraid to let anyone see these bad parts of me. That I didn’t want people to know is what gave him the power to hurt me. So I took that power away. I opened myself up completely, let all the bad things out for our friends to see. Ironically, Evil-Ex was right. It did make me more relatable. A lot of my friendships strengthened. And no one cared at all. Except Evil-Ex. Who sat there and stewed in his foiled plans to torment me.  No one has ever said I was predictable.
So Therapist understands why I hold back and act the way that I do. She also lets me know that it’s ok to feel the things I’m feeling. Especially in therapy. My feelings are valid. Then she said something constructive. She’s not here to be my friend. She likes me, she thinks I’m a joy to work with, but I’m not here to impress her or work for her approval. I’m here to work through my problems to heal. In order to do that, I need to be able to express the things I think and feel without worrying that she’s going to judge me. Her job isn’t to judge, it’s to listen, and to help.
She also said something that I’m having a hard time coming to terms with. When Friend and I first started getting to know each other, and even when we were involved beyond just friends, it was a very healing relationship for me. It was a time where I saw that someone could accept me and like me for who I am because I wasn’t hiding who I was. Now, however, I need to consider what continuing this friendship means to me. It is not healing for me anymore. Especially with the frequency which I hang out with him, seeing him so much. Therapist asked me what I’m gaining. All I could really say is that at least when I’m there, I’m not alone. ::sigh:: I’m not usually very connected, but I’m not by myself. That’s something, right?
I don’t want to be alone. But would I really be? I have two guy friends that have been poking me to hang out a lot lately. GF has been texting me and telling me she misses me and wants to see me. The girl from the tattoo shop that I was dating for a while has been texting me and e-mailed me last night to come hangout. There’s this really cute tech that I work with, he just gave me his phone number (**squee** and holy crap!). And let’s not forget Roommate. She wants to do more things too. So what’s holding me back? I am, that’s what. I’m holding on to something that isn’t there. But, why? Do I think something will change? Do I think it’s really worth it? I don’t even know anymore. All I know is I can’t imagine things being different.
But maybe they should be. Therapist suggested that maybe I should consider having less to do with him. See him less. Not hang out so much. I don’t need to cut him out of my life completely, but it might be time for him to have less of a place in my life. ::sigh:: I’m not blind. I’ve had this thought approximately a million times. I just don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to let go. I don’t know if I can or if I even want to.
What’s worse is, he knows I’m in conflict about something. He even said that whatever decisions I need to make he hopes it doesn’t mean cutting them out of my life. ::double sigh:: He is a good friend. Like last weekend I was disappointed that we couldn’t do our usual Sunday night dinner thing (after he told me this I had an all-out binge, which I didn’t tell him about, and didn’t talk to him until Monday –  yeah I know this is bad), but first thing Monday he IM’d me to make extra all day plans for this upcoming Sunday. Or, his phone is dying so he had his wife contact me first thing this morning to let me know and invite me over for stuff tonight. Or like, I’ve had a kink in my back for the past few days so he offered to rub my back later. He’s clearly making an effort here.  It all makes it very difficult to dismiss and remove myself from. Especially when I don’t really want to.
I just want these residual feelings to go away. I want to be capable of being friends without all this emotional bullshit. I hate emotions. They’re so messy. Hates it.
Homework: And I wonder… what it would be like if he left. Therapist wants me to think about this more and journal my thoughts and feelings. Think about what would happen. What it means to me.  
I can’t right now. I’m not ready to make this kind of decision. I’m not. It makes me want to panic. I can’t think about this anymore right now.
Total random. A buddy of mine just said to me: I think you should be a fitness model. You are sort of kinda hot, yanno, if you’re into physically fit star wars nerd chicks.
Score.