This is what I said aloud at the end of my appointment with my therapist the other day. What I wanted to say to her was that once again she had taken the focus of the appointment off the patient and put it on herself. Thank goodness we are now on an as-needed basis. We could have already been on this basis except I got upset about something the last time I was there.
She said that I squelch myself. Well, duh, any therapist watching our sessions would see that my need to be polite and trust the process would cause me to squelch myself as she goes on and on about her life.
What it does — this elephant in the room — is make me look like a horrible person. I am so mad at her for talking for upwards of ten minutes several times per one hour session about things I have no business in knowing. While it may be her approach to try to be conversational (oh wait, it’s one-sidedly about her!), it just goes against everything I learned as a psychology major to tolerate her telling me such personal things about her life. The things she tells me are either so trivial that they are not to be believed (where are this woman’s friends? Why is she telling me this?) or, the other extreme, such sad things that have happened to her or her family that I am left to wonder who’s counseling whom. I’m so wound up with irritation with her need to share that by the time she gets to the point of her yarn that I can only muster a hint of sympathy, whereas in real life, among real friends, I would be the very model of a shoulder to cry on. It’s like she needs me to like her. I went to her back in the fall because I didn’t like myself, so why would my therapy need to have anything to do with liking her? Ugh!
So what I would like to say to her but am too polite to say is that she would have helped me a lot more if she didn’t spend our time talking about herself.
I could tell she was through with me today at the end of our session, and I know she thinks I am completely heartless because I kept interrupting her long tales today. One was particularly awful and, again, if it had been between friends, I would have acted much differently hearing her story, but I just couldn’t give her that satisfaction since all she ever does is interrupt me. I really wish I had the guts to say that it is not that I don’t find her to be interesting, but it is that I have been coming to see her these many months because I needed to talk about myself and work on myself. My insurance and co-pay are not to go toward a reciprocal relationship in which I mull over her issues.
Okay, so that’s off my chest.
I am really happy every time I look outside our house and see the fruits of my labor. We have some really gorgeous flowers in bloom right now.
I can’t figure out how to add pictures from my phone into this blog, but once I do, I will add the pictures of our flowers to show you.
Springtime is absolutely here in Atlanta now. All the flowering trees greet us as we drive around and the trees are getting their yearly shipment of leaves in. The days are lenghtening and it’s warm enough to wear a dress. It’s hard to be down in the dumps about anything when it’s beautiful outside! I’m still living with some anger over the dynamic with my therapist, though. Why can’t I call her on the carpet? I guess it’s because I feel like she could legitimately say she knows best and has decades of experience and a doctoral degree and I can’t stand up to that.
My therapist said I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and I know I probably do, but it’s much better than it used to be — so much to the point that I always know when it’s there. Before I knew the terminology, back in my school days I used to have to be right about everything, I used to think I was the only person to do the job if I wanted it done. I used to see so many faults in others that I felt needed to be fixed. I used to be so close-minded and perfectionistic. I admit that these tendencies are still there sometimes, but I’d rather play on the team than carry the weight of the world like I used to.
I came to the conclusion a while ago that it’s more important to be kind than it is to be right. It goes along the lines of catching more flies with honey than with vinegar. I also am good at stepping back to maintain perspective: how important is it in the long run that my way is best — usually it’s not worth voicing once I realize how trivial my thoughts are in some areas.
Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape. How flexible, bend-over backwards with kindness do I need to be in order to not actually snap?
How do I maintain kindness and not get squelched? How do I speak my mind without hurting others? I guess at some point hurting someone is inevitable, as I am sure my coldness toward my therapist (because I was angry yet again) hurt her.
Yeah. There are definitely lots of things that I would love to say aloud, but not saying them seems the most peaceful way to live, most of the time.