Control. We all like being in control, to some degree or another.
I grew up in a house where everyone was trying to manage (see also: control) everyone else’s feelings–or at least, specifically, my mother’s. Which seems to still be pretty much the case.
No, Aunt Lolly (mom’s sister), REALLY, DO NOT TELL MOM that you spent time visiting with our dad / her ex-husband! She will be PISSED! So DON’T TELL HER!
–that was both my brothers, only 6 months ago.
Anywho. So I really want to be in control.
In my session with Sid this week, I told him about all the drama. Chris not being at my share, and the other woman I’d dragged into the drama when I was just trying to vent, Lee*. From my perspective, I was just trying to vent, and she was trying to calm me down ASAP, but it felt incredibly judgmental. Sunday morning I sent her a few texts explaining that I hadn’t said anything about Chris, never really intended to, and in retrospect I’m kind of glad he wasn’t there. And that my conversation with her had influenced me to add a paragraph, but entirely about me, and I think it was a really good one.
So when I saw him on Monday night, I hadn’t heard back from her at all, and had effectively given up. Lee herself had told me not to pursue unavailable people, and recognize that “people” really means that, “people,” it’s not solely applicable to romantic interests. And I cried. I hadn’t realized how upset I was over my perceived loss of her friendship / fellowship / etc. Especially since, before Friday, I’d been hoping to have her as a sponsor, once she was ready to be one.
Tuesday morning, she finally messages me back, asking if I still want to work with her as a sponsor. My knee-jerk reaction was, “OMG YES!” Partially because I want her to like me / seek her approval / etc., and partially because I may be freaking out a little over my lack of a sponsor. But I stewed on it for a little while, and then wrote back, “I’m leaning yes, but let’s meet for coffee.”
Which we were supposed to do today. But I had to cancel because I still have no voice. Let’s see, Friday night, I talked for an hour straight, giving my 1st step share. I should’ve paused for water a little, especially since I had it close by. I’d also practiced the whole thing earlier in the day – also without break or hydration. Then Saturday, I had so much fun, lots of laughing, and stuff like that, that I’d pretty much lost my voice entirely by the end of the night. Sunday morning it was the worst. And now it’s still not all back, and that’s annoying the crap out of me. I went to the doctor yesterday, and he said the best way for it to get better is time, and resting it. So I had to raincheck my meeting with Lee. I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt, because I do rather like her. I want to say, “this is what happened from my POV, what happened from yours?” We’ll see how that goes.
And of course, lest I go too many posts without significantly talking about my therapist… back to Sid. Smarty pants that I am, I chose to go to my session Monday, and talk for an hour, with no voice… rather than pay the full fee I’d be forced to pay if I cancelled last minute. I also really wanted to talk about the first step share, and the sponsor drama.
Anyway. More doorknob therapy! I waited until the last 5 minutes to bring this up, even though it’d been on my list for 3 weeks. (Yes, I generally make a list before sessions, so I have some direction to what I want to talk about) Or maybe because it’d been on my list that long. I explained (as I may have done so here? I’m not sure…) that I’ve definitely had thoughts and feelings that, “hey, he seems like a nice / cool guy, I wish we could be friends!” knowing full well that we can’t. No shame there. But any time I poke the thought, “hey, he’s cute!” OMG THE SHAME. Knowing full well that nothing would ever happen with that, if I were to make any attempt down that road… and knowing that I would never do that, anyway.
He pointed out that the second thought (he’s cute) is taboo to me. Not sure why, but neither one of those thoughts is taboo to him.
I feel my addict perk up.
*facepalm* No, no, down addict. That in no way shape or form means he wants me to hit on him, and that it wouldn’t be taboo to do so.
Anyway, Sid goes on to tell me that it’s “something to smoke on,” since we were pretty much out of time.
About an hour after I get home, I’m doing the dishes, and it hits me. It’s so 1984 of me to worry that I’m going to be punished for my thoughts! So I send him this Email:
How very Orwellian of me to worry that I’d be punished (and punish myself) for my thoughts.And, yes, that realization was so important that it just couldn’t wait.See you next week,
Because I couldn’t wait to show him how clever I am!
Also somewhere in that session I went back to my argument that I want to get to know him, that I want to connect with him. And my Psychology studies have given me more to argue with! “If you really wanted to be a blank slate, then why am I not laying down on this couch, with you sitting behind me?!” (a la Freud) Damn it, Sid! Be a person, not a robot!
Yeah. He respectfully tells me that he’s neither a Freudian, nor a Jungian, but somewhere in between. And the blank slate is what works best for him, and his clients. I said something like how reading Adler made me think a lot of him. “I like Adler.” Wait, wait a sec, Sid. Did you actually just tell me that you like something/one?? Express an opinion?!? Stop the presses! 😛
Earlier in the session, we’d been talking about how I like to try to be in control. So much so that I’m afraid of not having control. I further realize (after the session, mind you) that that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. Control him. He says, “this is what works best for me, and my clients.” BUT! BUT! BUT! THIS IS WHAT I WANT! LET ME ARGUE MY POINT SOME MORE AND TRY TO GET YOU TO CHANGE SO I CAN BE IN CONTROL.
Isn’t that what therapy is all about? Convincing your therapist to change?
Side note: I’ve even thought, “why can’t he like wear sweatpants or something, preferably food-stained… maybe gain a lot of weight, so that he’s not so attractive?”
Fuck. So I need to cede control to Sid. I’ve said before that my last long-term therapist was more forthcoming with personal info… though certainly not an open book. Why can’t Sid be more like that??
Oh. Right. That’s like comparing your current S/O to your ex. Yeah, y’know that relationship that didn’t actually work out that well? Why can’t you be more like that??
And, back to my Orwell analogy, I did kind of grow up under the rule of Big Mother. I wasn’t necessarily punished for my thoughts… just any thoughts that I actually expressed which were contradictory to hers.
One final thought. I also think some of the shame comes from a lack of experience with having those thoughts (he’s hot!) but not acting on them. Or at least obsessing about them.
SLAA’s 12 characteristics of Sex & Love addiction, #9.
We avoid responsibility for ourselves by attaching ourselves to people who are emotionally unavailable
He’s my fucking therapist.
Doesn’t really get more unavailable than that. I suppose we could do therapy from across state lines, via Skype or something, throw some physical unavailability in there, too.