elizabeth: woman with a red umbrella walking into a storm (Default)
So this Captain Awkward thread made me think a lot. Like, a lot a lot.

And one of the things I was thinking about -- okay. Let me put it this way. When I moved from New York to Southern Climes for the job that turned out to be incredibly fucking triggering for reasons I still don't fully understand (I have never been suicidal in my life. After four or five months in that job, I was having suicidal-ideation thoughts every day.), one of the reasons I was dreading the move was leaving Dr. L, because omg she is basically the perfect therapist for me in a lot of ways.

But I have been back in the fair environs of my city (my city, O Beloved) for six months now and...haven't called her.

I mean, I had therapy in Southern Climes! I had phone sessions with Dr. L and then I found someone local. (In whose office I cried almost every time; I cried maybe twice in six years with Dr. L and then a few times on the phone, I am pretty sure that is because it was easier to cry when Dr. L couldn't see me and then I was just so job-triggered with Dr. M that any kind of safe environment would have made me cry.) I was not overly fond of my Southern Climes therapist, but she helped. I think. Ish.

...honestly, by the point I started seeing her exclusively I was pretty fucking far over the edge. I'm not sure how much anyone could have helped short of "GET OUT GET OUT RUN RUN AWAAAAAAY" Which I did!

And now I am home and have awesome insurance and a stable schedule and could almost certainly get an appointment with Dr. L again!

And ugh I kind of don't want to. I did make a semi-deliberate decision to take some time, right after I moved, so I could just throw all of my energy at my new job and my apartment hunt (little did I fucking know what a saga that would turn into and that it would be a thing with massive emotional implications) and not spend a fifty-minute hour, plus processing time, every week walking straight into my damage.

Because I am kind of at the point in therapy where all the (semi-)easy work has been done. I am in the best place I can be with the issues I originally came in with (my biological father, mostly. and the part where I was kind of not functioning as a student). I have medication that works for my dysthymia (and I have tested if I can go off it: hell fucking no) (although right now it is fucking with my sleep schedule in a major, unacceptable way). I have a lot of coping strategies for things that are hard for me, and I know why most of those things are hard for me, and mostly I do not get paralyzed by things being hard. I have been able to ask for help when things are hard.

So right now: what I would be doing in therapy would be really hard, excavating-down-to-the-bones my assumptions and habits about how I related to people. How I have relationships. Which sounds excruciating.

Like, I could do that work if it were all I was doing. That would be the kind of therapy I would need a fuckload of free time to process. I honestly don't think I can do that work and hold down a fulltime job and function in the rest of my life. That therapy would be a fulltime job in and of itself.

Do I want to have better relationships? Yes. Do I want interacting with people to be less difficult and fraught and bewildering? Sure. Do I want to spend time and energy and an awful lot of money to get there? Nnnnnot really. The prospect is just ...wearying.

My mother's favorite joke is the lightbulb one -- how many therapists does it to change a lightbulb? Only one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

If I were to call Dr. L, and go in, and sit in that familiar office, what would I say? I have found it to be incredibly helpful, in therapy, to be able to define what it is I want -- "I want to understand what my father did to me and how I can live with it." "I want to be able to function as a student." "I want to have friends in my life." And now -- I want to be happy. I want to be less anxious. I want to have a life full of things I choose -- objects and activities and people.

I don't know if therapy is quite the right tool right now.

Maybe I'll call tomorrow and get an appointment and just -- check in. Run this past her. Get another perspective.

(I am not fucking doing group therapy. I understand why Dr. L is so fond of recommending it for me, intellectually I can even agree that it makes sense as a modality, given the issues I have, but emotionally all I have on the topic is AUGHHHH GET IT AWAY FROM ME. The prospect makes me want to claw my skin off.)
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