I'm just after having a long chat with Hubby, who as always (well, most of the time) sees things more clearly than I do. I've probably mentioned, oh, not short of a hundred times at this stage, that Therapist being away has proved something of a problem for me. The longer she's been away, the bigger that problem has gotten, and the more time I've spent turning it over and over in my mind. My mind is noisy enough at the best of times at the moment, and something like this, well, it's like Christmas for the negativity spiral.
So how did I deal with it? By deciding that counselling isn't working for me anymore, obviously. I decided I'm far too focussed on her, that I want to know more about her than is allowed, and that this would be a very good reason for walking away. Again. I should recognise this one by now. In fact, I do recognise it, I've been down this road quite a few times already, and I'm really tired of it. I managed to convince myself that I'm actually subconsciously preventing myself from being well because if I'm well it means I don't get to see her any more. If you can keep up with that logic I'm seriously impressed. Welcome to the wonderful world that is inside my head!!
Hubby pointed out a few home truths. First and foremost, this is an ENORMOUS red warning flag, waving frantically and trying to get my attention. By walking away, I would be ignoring that flag, and doing myself serious damage in the process. I would be depriving myself of the one person who has been able to keep me going through the absolute darkest of times, times that I haven't even begun to talk about here yet. I would also be letting my family down, because without her support, it would be very difficult for me to manage depression. This flag tends to pop up at the start of a slide. I can't ignore it.
Second big one - I've been seeing Therapist a long time. She reckons it took a good two years before I trusted her properly, but I do now, completely. The therapeutic relationship is a very unique thing. It's a place of total safety, where you can be heard without judgement, or fear of recrimination. You can explore the things that scare you most, or that you least like about yourself, and the only things that comes back are empathy and support. Boundaries are vital. It's the anonymity of the therapist that makes it possible to talk so freely, that's the whole reason why therapists keep their private lives private. After working with someone for such a long time, it's natural to be curious, and it does feel strange to be in a room with someone who knows your deepest, darkest secrets, while you know nothing about them. I struggle with this one, I always have, and I suspect as long as I need her support, I always will. Some times it bothers me more than others, and this is one of those times. Like everything else, it will pass. But not before I have a very difficult conversation with her about it, and how it makes me feel.
But, talking with Hubby has helped. Writing this has helped. That's a start. I'm on shaky ground at the moment, there's no getting away from it. But I'm aware of it, that's new. That's progress.
Labels: boundaries, empathy, flags, Hubby, negative thoughts, psychotherapy, Rumination, support, therapist, thought spiral