I had another really good session this week with Jonathan. I’m already noticing a good change in me knowing I have him back in my life as my therapist. I really needed to talk to him this week as last week from after our session on I seemed to be experiencing more anxiety, and more PTSD symptoms especially around being triggered by my friend closest to me, her tone of voice/ moods making me freeze up and reminding me of how things were with my emotionally abusive unpredictable mother. If someone has a certain tone of voice/ mood I get triggered into a mode of not knowing what to expect next and just totally freeze up and feel small.
I did not talk to Edith about this though she knows about my trauma issues. I wanted to wait to talk with Jonathan as he knows the depth of all these issues and can best help me. I thought maybe I wouldn’t be able to see him this week, as did Jess and Edith due to the department of public health, the state department that oversees Albany doing their yearly investigation. But he had a quiet hour on Wednesday when they were busy looking over charts and we got to talking.
I came in anxious and started talking to him about my anxiety. I said maybe a big part of it was not being able to really get out my emotions over the crisis with Jess a few weeks back. Because while I talked with Edith it isn’t nearly the same as processing something with Jonathan. So I dove into that topic and talked his patient and wise little ears off about the two self harm situations and the results of each. Especially the last one that included the really upsetting room search, the back and forth about Jess being hospitalized, her having to stay in observation, my frustration about her not really consistently being invested in treatment ETC.
I also talked about how lonely and isolating it was because I did not want to talk with staff I don’t trust which is basically everyone except Jonathan and Edith. I cried a lot and he totally just listened intensely to everything.
Then he told me the two issues from that that we’re gonna work on.
Separating my relationship with Jess from the feelings around the relationship with my mom. Which he said is going to be an ongoing struggle because that’s the nature of PTSD. He encouraged me to be more assertive as in when I see Jess having a hard time and suspect she needs staff support, to tell staff. This way I feel like I’m doing something positive that will directly be helpful to her, and it’s a mutual understanding between us already that we bring each other to staff when needed. The whole feeling empowered thing sprang from the other issue. That for the longest time in therapy I felt like the worst friend in the world. Because of all the stuff in my head around that I’m a bad friend that my parent’s basically told me. And I’d had a history of failed relationships feeling like a burden to others not being in equal relationships ETC. Now I don’t feel that way and try to help her as much as she helps me. I have enough self worth now that I know I’m a good friend.
It’s just hard because I am working so hard to help her and be there for her but not seeing the benefit (I.E the things I do kind of go in one ear and out the other through no fault of her own, she’s just at a certain place in her recovery and this needs to happen in its own time). So the going to staff thing is one way I’ll know for sure that I’m helping.
The second one is even harder. He said if I was stranded on an island I may not ask for help if someone came along because I don’t trust them. And that comes from deep hurt and trauma about not being able to trust my own parents emotionally, especially with my mom a whole lot of emotional unpredictability, not knowing what’s gonna come out of her mouth ETC. Then there’s been bad experiences with professionals actually coming to the same conclusions as my parents, saying I’m too sensitive ETC. Finally I found the good ones to lead me in a healthy direction who could build a positive connection with me.
That said the core belief that I came out of all this with is that it’s better to keep things to myself when I’m feeling really emotional and struggling, than it is to reach out to someone I think/ know won’t understand me and feel misunderstood and not truly heard. Because we’ve learned for me to process things I need to feel truly deeply connected to the other person, and like they fully get the complexities of what I’m saying who I am as a person and my feelings in the moment. Rationally I know not everyone is as emotionally atuned as Mr. J. There’s only one of him in this world though staff still are looking into the science of cloneing him LOL! And I have had good relationships with my caseworkers in the end because we started out in a place where I wasn’t in crisis and I could afford to go through a stage of not liking them. Then we’d somehow reach a moment of understanding where they’d do or say something I really resonated with and that would set me on a good path to liking them.
So he said we’re gonna work on “expanding your trust bubble.”
Should be fun LOL! I think both things will be extremely emotional and intense. But I trust him in this territory. That took a long time to earn and he’s fought for me and with me against my illness to get me here. It’s such a relief to have someone like him in my corner.
Now of course that I have him back I want to talk to him every day! Unfortunately I will have to wait til next Thursday to see him instead of Wednesday because Wednesday we’re going to Walmart.