I’m going to try and give you all a glimpse into what life is like for me these days.
But first! Here’s what daily life was like before I moved out.
I was a stay at home mom (SAHM). I cared for our daughter during the day, often went to meetings at night and sometimes on weekends, also therapy, and probably could have done a better job of keeping up the house. Seth slept downstairs, and I slept in the master bedroom. At least that was the sleeping arrangement since March, when the whole thing blew up again. There was a little bit of time in there where I invited him back to sleep in the bed with me, but that didn’t last. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but status quo seemed good to me… SAHM, recovery, figure the rest out later.
Now I live in an apartment about 5 minutes from the house. Seth lives in the house. I wanted to be the one to move out because I didn’t want to live in that house knowing what he had done in it. Well, probably only knowing a fraction of that, but I digress. I am still a SAHM, caring for Emma during the day, going to meetings most nights and both weekend days. I go to far more meetings than I did then, because I’ve finally accepted that SLAA is where I belong. I have a therapist (same one for about 6 months or so now, so that started while I still lived in the house). I have a career counselor. I have a lawyer… I guess I should put that in the other order, since the lawyer recommended I get a career counselor. I have two sponsors… well, three, but I’ve kind of put my Anon program on the back burner. I’m looking for a job, thinking about school… weighing all my options very carefully. Honestly, I’m wondering if the resume format my career counselor had me use isn’t working very well, since I don’t feel like I’ve had much in the way of positive results. Oh, and I know I could do a better job of keeping up my apartment. I also have both cats now. I missed them too much, and they missed me.
So not much has changed, and yet everything has changed.
The other day, I was working with my SLAA sponsor. It was pretty intense. We’re doing Step 1, because that’s where you start… and that’s involved going through my entire life, as much as I can remember, in painstaking detail. This was the second time that I came away from a session with him feeling much like I do after an intense therapy session–raw. We covered what I would consider the worst romantic/sexual relationship I was ever involved in. I was pretty reckless as a teenager… incredibly reckless. There’s a reason I refer to him as Psycho Steve.* I was 17. I’m not going to touch the details here, at least not today. But, yeah, it was really intense to share that entire story… that may have been the worst vulnerability hangover I’ve ever had.
I was so… I dunno, worked up? Triggered? Feeling downright AWFUL afterward, that I called my GA sponsor. Well, first I stopped at the convenience store to indulge in two moderately less harmful (maybe?) addictions–energy drinks, and cigarettes. Both of which I said I was giving up for New Years. Well, the store was out of my favorite flavor of energy drink (thanks, HP!) and so I didn’t get the cigarettes either. THEN I called my GA sponsor, and told her that all I wanted to do was run away from this feeling. In her ESH wisdom, she shared that when she was dealing with some really intense emotions she bumped up her therapy to twice a week.
What? NO! Dear god no! I really like Sid, and think he does a great job. I would go all the time if I thought I could. But the thought of actually asking if we can increase the frequency sent my anxiety through the roof! What I think that boils down to is: expressing my wants or needs?? What? I just don’t DO that. Not even to my therapist!
For example, when Seth and I were in couple’s therapy, and I told Al that I thought my current therapist wasn’t quite fitting the bill, he asked if I had expressed to her what I wanted… she was there to help me (and I’m paying her). Dear god no! And if he hadn’t been sitting right there, and MADE THE APPOINTMENT FOR ME, I may never have made a first appointment with Sid. I would’ve continued with my lukewarm therapist, or maybe just abandoned it altogether, rather than upset the status quo.
So. I’m feeling super anxious about asking Sid if we can try twice a week for at least a little while. So I Google something like, “how often should you see a therapist?” Because what if twice a week is too often?! And I come across an article about getting the most out of therapy or something like that.
As I’m reading, I’m getting more and more excited to recognize so many of the things the article talks about. When I told Sid I was seeing him as a blank slate for me to project onto? That’s a thing! It has a name! It’s called therapeutic neutrality. There are a few other examples, but I’ll spare you the psychobabble.
Holy shit, Psychology is fucking fascinating! Why didn’t anybody TELL ME!
So. Looks like I’m going back to school, to get my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. I think I’m going to work part time, and go to school part time.
I’ve said this before, though maybe not here. In a world where there are endless hours in the day, and days in the week, I want to: work full time, go to school full time, watch Emma full time, and work my recovery. Oh, wouldn’t that be nice. Until the past few days, I’d been waffling, unsure where exactly I wanted to go, but leaning toward work PT and school PT. Now I am sure I want to go to school. I’d really like to have some of my own income, too. We’ll see how that plays out.
I also think I don’t fully appreciate what it will be like not watching Emma all the time. I’m in denial.
*I changed his name, but I do actually refer to him as Psycho _______. Andplusalso, alliteration!