I finally saw my therapist last night, after two very long weeks that felt almost like two years. But our session was anticlimactic. I don’t feel like we had a very productive session, but that wasn’t his fault, it was mine.
I had sent my therapist an email containing a poem I wrote last week (“The Gift,” which is about growing up with narcissistic parents) and it was one of the first things he brought up. He seemed to want to talk about what it meant and what I was feeling when I wrote it, which makes sense, given that I had sent it to him. But when confronted with it face to face, I felt too exposed and vulnerable so I kept trying to deflect attention away from it. I giggled nervously, talked a mile a minute and said I didn’t remember it too well, which is partly true, but not completely. I just didn’t want to talk about it because talking about it was making my old shame feelings come up for some reason. I know I need to deal with those feelings but I just…can’t. Not yet.
I do this sort of thing a lot. It’s almost like a kind of teasing. I had also given him the link to my primary blog (not this one yet–yikes, not ready to do that!) but then when he told me in our last session he had looked at it and seemed to want to talk about some of the more personal posts in it, I had a similar I-want-to-sink-into-the-floor-right-now moment. But I had given him the link so even I couldn’t understand my feelings of shyness and shame over talking about it.
We did talk about that. I talked about the way I “tease” (unintentionally though) and then retreat. I desperately want to talk about a lot of painful things I don’t have the courage to actually take on. I want to get into the specifics and talk about my pain and shame an vulnerability and fears, or at least try to figure out what emotion I’m feeling (because sometimes I don’t really know), but often when the opportunity comes, I can’t do it. I want to cry in front of my therapist. I definitely can’t do that. I actually told him I wanted to do that, and he told me I could. Once again I changed the subject.
He asked me if by reading my blog he was invading my boundaries. I said no, of course not, otherwise I wouldn’t have given him the link to it (which is true), but then I asked him to please not talk about what he had read in front of me, and keep whatever he saw to himself. I joked that maybe he could find out things about me that could help him treat me, if it didn’t confuse him to death. I think what I’m doing, the “teasing,” is part of the “go away-come closer” behavior so common in borderlines. It’s not intentional though. I can’t help it. I want “closer” so badly but I get so scared when it’s right there. I always self-sabotage.
Last night was bad. I felt like I was less open than usual and holding back and “cloaking” a lot more than I have been lately. I kept deflecting attention away from deeper, painful issues onto frivolous things, like the weather, a book I’m reading, and my blog stats. I can get very narcissistic and grandiose when I’m trying to avoid talking about certain issues. I didn’t realize this until after I got home, and went back over our session and cringed at how much I sounded like I was bragging when talking about how many views I get and how quickly I mastered the WordPress learning curve. Why was I talking about this in my therapy session? I was avoiding my issues, definitely not something I want to be doing in therapy. We’ve established a strong rapport; why do I still feel so wary sometimes?
I’ve gotten good at mindfulness though and that’s made me able to look at myself objectively most of the time, even if it’s sometimes after the fact. I’m glad I realized later on how much I wasted last night’s session on bullshit because I want to stop doing this. I’m not going to ever get well if I don’t confront unpleasant or painful emotions. I think this is what I need to talk about next week.