Counseling 2--Third Session
Things about Therapist that make me love him:
1. He never asks me to tell him things point blank. Today I ended up telling him all about the abuse, sans details, and why my parents were not notified about it by me. He never asked. Just talked about possible reasons, conclusions that could be drawn...oh, I take that back...at one point he asked me if my cousin, David, had insisted on secrecy. So, one real probing question. That's all. I don't respond well to personal questions. This approach makes me feel more comfortable than having to write the experiences down and share them. I feel that, at each step of the way, he is allowing me the choice to protect myself or allow myself to be vulnerable--but I always feel in control. That, to me, is extremely important.
2. He lets me laugh. He thinks I'm funny. He laughs with me. Former counselor always seemed to want me to cry. She never laughed with me. Truthfully, I'm a riot!! People should laugh with me! Granted, the subjects we're discussing are not funny...but allowing them to descend to a level of intensity that makes me uncomfortable makes me shut down. As long as I feel I can crack a joke or just laugh a little, I'm much more willing to talk about what hurts me. I even admitted today that I was using laughter/humor as a defense mechanism, and he said, "That's completely normal. You've been put in a position where you had no defense. You have to be able to approach your social interactions, especially with men, from a standpoint where you feel in control. If you can disarm people with humor, keep them off balance, you maintain that feeling of safety in any situation. Also, laughing is a great way to release tension." And that's what I've always believed, but former counselor said it wasn't being true to myself--it was hiding. New Therapist says I'm allowed to hide as much as I'd like to. He also says that we sometimes discover more about ourselves through use of our defense mechanisms, rather than through their disposal.
3. He read me a story. I love that. It was a children's story. I collect children's books. He asked me questions about relating to the story. He allowed me to tell him what I thought, instead of telling me what to think. I was free to disagree with him if I felt his conclusions were not accurate or not completely true. He didn't keep bringing up the book once its discussion was concluded. It served a purpose, then we moved on.
4. He believes we can "fix" the problem. Notice I said "we". He said the not eating is a symptom of a process that isn't quite finished inside of me. I started something, emotionally, but didn't allow it to go to the finish before shutting it down. So somewhere inside, I'm still agonizing about it. Now all we have to do is identify the subject and follow it through. Is this not the most beautiful logic ever expressed? I LOVE this man!! He speaks my language.
5. He believes that the only way I can successfully overcome my anxiety is to involve Darrin in my therapy and make him my regular confidante. I said I already do that. Therapist said he has no doubt that I'm utilizing my best friend, but Darrin needs to be given the tools to help me when I go to him. Otherwise, I'm just venting, and that only helps for a little while. By giving Darrin more information, he can determine if I'm just needing to talk, or if the problem is escalating beyond my control, and take the proper steps to give me appropriate help. Sounds like Darrin's going to get more therapy than I am. So Darrin will accompany me to my next session, and the three of us will talk.
Therapist said, "Before I meet with the two of you together, is there anything that might be helpful for me to know? Things that make your marriage unique?" MY MARRIAGE????? UNIQUE?????
Samantha: Hmmm....I'm not sure I'm comfortable answering that. And isn't my session time about up?
Therapist, laughing: That was really creative--and you have great comic timing--and yes, your session is, indeed, over in a couple of minutes. How fast can you talk?
Samantha: Okay, remember how you said if I was telling you something I didn't want repeated to my dad, to let you know? What I'm going to tell you now falls into that category.
Therapist: Understood--that's fine. He probably shouldn't be knowledgeable about your intimacy with your husband.
Samantha: Right. So first thing, I've dealt with same-sex attraction for most of my life. It's not something currently troubling me--hasn't been for a very long time. Darrin knows about it. We work together to make sure our marriage is good. I'm committed to it, and I think we have a really terrific relationship, because there has never been a time when we haven't had to work on it. Also, in the recent months, there have been times when I've cried after physical intimacy with my husband. I don't know why. Darrin and I have discussed it. I don't know how he feels about that. Okay, I think those two things are the most important things you might want to be aware of.
Therapist: Wow. Yeah, those two things are certainly pertinent.
Then Therapist spent about 10 minutes quizzing me on different aspects of SSA throughout my life. He wanted to know how many people I had told, and was relieved when I said my bishop knew. He said he'd like to address the intimacy issues when Darrin is present and can express his feelings (YAY!! See why I'm in love with my therapist???). And then I left.
So I left for home (3-hour drive each way), feeling hopeful, and I stopped at Sam's Club to get some things we need. While there I bought a pretzel and some fresh fruit and ate for the first time in a couple of days. And it felt okay to eat.
I just have to say it one more time. I am so in love with my therapist.