Like a Virgin

Touched for the very first time!

Full disclosure:
1.  This post is not about sex.  At all.
2.  I really wanted to quote the Weird Al version, “Like a Surgeon,” but Madonna was more applicable.

Hi.  I feel like I’ve been pretty absent from blog-land.

It wasn’t until my session with Sid today that I was really able to come to terms with the fact that my volunteer training is kicking.my.ass.  Emotionally.  I’ve had 3 trainings, and 2 of them made me cry.  The third made me feel very… small.

It’s humbling.

Shit, I’m glad I didn’t sign up to help people because I thought it would be easy, or fun.  If it were either of those things, they probably wouldn’t need to reach out for help.

I’m having … feelings.  And they’re hard.

Anyway.

When I first started working with Sid, my revelations from therapy didn’t come for a few days, until I’d had time to process stuff.  Twice now, in the last month or so, they’ve come in session.

Whoa.

The first was when I figured out why I was trying to change Sid.  Why I keep arguing to break that blank screen. (See Ground Control to Major Tom)  As I was going over that with him, I realized: Oh.  I want you to like me.  If you open up to me and I get to know you better, that’s how I know you like me!
Because, y’know, there’s no other indication that he likes me.  He just went out of his way, above and beyond, to attend my first step share.  On his own time.
But clearly he’s very lukewarm.

Anyway.  The second was today.  At the very end of the session, so I rushed through it because we were out of time. 😛

We talked about my training.  How it’s hard.  How… oh, right, I’m allowed to have feelings about it.  I’m even allowed to have hard feelings about it!  In fact, I realized that if I could go through that intense training and not have it affect me… there might be something wrong with me.

We talked about my family.  My brother trying to manage my Mom, my Mom trying to manage my Aunt… my brother trying to manage my mom’s managing of my aunt… everyone trying to manage everyone else.  It’s literally exhausting.  Just telling the story is exhausting!

And then.  I put the two together.

The reason everyone in my family tiptoed on eggshells was to avoid the wrath of Mom.  Which was generally successful maybe 75% of the time.  Sometimes she was going to blow up no matter what you did.

But the whole premise was to prevent her from feeling anything negative.  I’ve often thought of it like the kids game Don’t Wake Daddy! but instead, Don’t piss off Mommy!  I mean, I understand it was out of self-preservation… nobody wanted my mom to blow up, least of all at you.  But so much maneuvering to protect her from anything and everything negative, because it might set her off.

SO!

Close of session.  “How has this been helpful today?”  It’s good to acknowledge that I have feelings.  That I’m allowed to have feelings.  Even bad ones.  Oh!  With everyone in my family trying to protect people from negative feelings, no wonder I thought I wasn’t supposed to have them!

Until next week, Sid.  I wonder what else I’ll figure out in the meantime…

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3 thoughts on “Like a Virgin

  1. Admittedly, that’s what has me so conflicted recently. It hit me hard after session that my psychologist said he found himself “walking on eggshells for me” & thinks I walk on eggshells for him. Big fear! Ami I like my mom/your mom? I explain in my post “Hit me with your best shot”. I was torn between anger & fear. He’s a psychologist. He’s seen the worst reactions. Why is he walking on eggshells & now (my post) Silent Treatment” …. it’s just pure fear that he’s walking on eggshells cause I’ve done something wrong!!! Ugh & wow

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    • For starters, I absolutely do NOT think you’re like my mom. (Or yours, assuming they’re as similar as I think) If absolutely nothing else, the fact that you’re in therapy speaks to that. My Mom seems to think that everyone else is wrong, and she is right… so it’s everyone else that needs to change. She is perfect, and would never do anything to try and change / better herself.
      You, OTOH, are working your ass off. No matter what slips / backslides / whatever you have, don’t forget to give yourself credit for all the hard work you’re doing.

      I have no idea what your therapist meant by saying he walks on eggshells around you, or what he was trying to get at, but honestly, I don’t think it was helpful, or appropriate. But your therapist clearly has a different approach than mine. Totally not saying it’s better or worse, just different. But I don’t think expressing that you frustrate him, and he feels like he has to walk on eggshells is remotely helpful. He’s the professional, so even if that’s the case, that’s on him to deal with.

      So here’s what I’ve thought about Sid:
      I feel like it would be really hard for a therapist to work with a client they didn’t like. So, clearly he must like me, right?
      Oh. Right. If a therapist has a strong reaction to a client – like, dislike, lust, anger, etc… that is counter-transference, too. It’s not just romantic.
      “Why does my client, Jane, make me want to kick puppies? OH. She reminds me of mean old Aunt Susie!”
      And that’s something for the therapist to work on, on their own time. Maybe with their own therapist?

      Buuuuuuuuuut then again, that’s all assuming the blank screen, where I don’t get to know if he’s having a great day or a shitty day. I don’t get to know if he was super pissed that I Facebook stalked him, or thought it was laughable that I made such a big deal out of it.
      I’m amused when something I said makes him smile, and he tries to hide it behind his hand. And I’m incredibly proud when I make him laugh! 😛

      Anyway. I think I’ve gotten off on a rant here. But I think it would be worthwhile to ask him to explain what he meant. And, I’m totally interpreting here, I get the impression it felt like a slap on the wrist for you, like you’ve been doing something wrong. Personally, I think there are more constructive ways to guide / redirect a client.

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  2. It WILL be the topic of Friday morning…. with care. I was initially going to include my conflict … “”I haven’t had some sort of inappropriate reaction, so why would you walk on eggshells?”” Yet now I’m so anxious that I’ve been overly emotional & I want to zip my lip on Friday for fear of any reaction on my part causing him to feel MORE compelled to walk on eggshells. I’m afraid he’ll be guarded, hold back, be utterly exhausted working with me & just over it. I definitely WANT to walk on eggshells & bite my lip & approach it tenderly with caution. I want to work thru it. I’m open to whatever it takes. ??? Scared.

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