Forward Thinking

Howdy all, I'm back from the Rocky Mou.ntain state. Spent some fun times with my family, went up to our cabin (where it was cold enough to need multiple layers!), hiked, kayaked, and did other wilderness things. I got back home today, a good 40 degrees higher than it had been where I was. And now, 10:30 at night my A/C has chosen to crap out. Fabulous.

I had sent A an e-mail last week after our last session because I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with the things we were discussing and my inability to acknowledge them at that specific moment in session. That in turn was leaving me to feel extreme guilt for what I left unanswered and for telling myself that I should have been brave enough to talk. After all, they are just words right? Beginning our session tonight with the e-mail I sent, we picked apart the things I told her were keeping me from speaking up in session, as well as my hopeless feeling that no matter what I do, there is just too much to fix to even bother. At first we focused on why I feel as though I am not able to speak up in session when asked something that really strikes a chord with me. Bottom line - I'm telling myself I should not be feeling this way and that I am bad/awful/wrong for doing so. Solution - Work on using positive reinforcement as a means to at least acknowledge what I am feeling is there, and if I can do it, tell myself it is OK that I am feeling that way. Main line - the negative thinking is hurting and not helping me, but positive thinking is at worst neutral, but has the potential to be helpful.

In addition to that, I am to start working on forward thinking instead of backward thinking. Part of the hopelessness I am feeling is because of revisiting sessions where I feel I did not do the best I could, or push myself as hard I could, causing me to wish I had said this or done that, etc. etc. Instead of thinking backwards, I am to think forward. If there was something I didn't answer or bring up that is still on my mind later, write it down and talk about it next time... or don't if I still don't feel like it. That way I am taking control of what I can change (i.e. the future) instead of obsessing what I can't (the past). Seems so obvious, but for someone like me who was always called out on past actions, it is not easy to break that cycle.

After discussing these very important things, she asked me: "What do you feel you are ready to talk about?" causing me immediate stress in having to categorize and prioritize the things in my mind and pick something to talk about. Ugh. Picking one thing over the other is hard for me to do, because it means that I have to vocalize what I think is the most pressing issue. In all honesty, I'm afraid that what I want to talk about is something that she thinks I don't need to work on. Stupid I know, but I am afraid that if I say the abuse is something I want to talk about, she's going to think "Why is she bringing this up again? Doesn't she know this isn't the cause of all of her problems?" So instead of being direct, I tiptoed around vague things until time was up. My immediate reaction was to be disappointed in myself, but I tried to push that into making goals for next weeks session based on what I would have changed for this weeks.

They are as follows:
- Don't be vague, be direct and give details of my fears
- Try not to hold back tears if they are there
- Be honest about what I want to talk about

It's now 11PM and it's still 93 degrees outside.. and I still have a broken air conditioner. Forward thinking says I'll be placing a call to the office at 8AM sharp to get someone to come fix it.


Erin Merryn said...
June 23, 2009 at 11:31 PM

I just stumbled upon your blog and feel I need to share my thoughts on a few things with you. First of all my best advice is not to tiptoe around how your feeling because in the end it will only catch up to you. You must put it on the table and deal with it all. Sort it out and pick a place that is causing you the greatest stress, pain, and frustration in your life.

Also don't be afraid to cry. Crying is not a sign of weakness but a sign of letting it out and processing what is going on. It is very healthy. It allows you to grieve for what you might have not grieved in your life yet. Next time you feel like crying just let it all out. I promise you will feel ten times better afterwords.

Good Luck!
Erin Merryn

Harriet said...
June 24, 2009 at 6:39 AM

I know exactly how you feel. I have so much trouble in therapy talking about how I feel and what are the important things. Then I feel guilty that I didn't say the right things, and I think my t will think I'm wasting his time, etc etc.

He reassures me, but sometimes he also a bit judgmental. I know t's aren't supposed to be, but I guess they can't help it sometimes. Or maybe it's just my perception.

Just wanted you to know you're not alone!

Wrapped up in Life said...
June 24, 2009 at 7:44 AM

"At best positive thinking is neutral". That was an incredible statement. I will remember that.

And you know - my brain uses the same excuse to not bring up things in therapy that I know I need to still work out. It's the part of me that is still trying to please others. The part of me that refuses to acknowledge that my sick mind needs to work through this more before there is any rest.

YOU pay your t. Talk about what you need to! Rooting for you,

HeartfeltHeartLook said...
June 24, 2009 at 4:34 PM
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Just Be Real said...
June 25, 2009 at 6:02 AM

I hear you . Many times in my head is where I wish my t. could go to fully understand what the heck I am trying to verbally say and find the important things that need to be dealt with. Becomes very frustrating for me many times!!!