Therapy Tuesdays

9:01 AM Edit This 11 Comments »
Every Tuesday morning, I go see my therapist. I've been working with Carolyn for over three years now. I don't like that I still have to see her every week, but I continue to do it, because I kinda like myself today and I don't want to forget where I've been - crazy hospital, group therapy for the borderline inclined, intensive outpatient therapy, treatment for alcoholism, you name it. And now, I go once a week. Progress. And yet it still feels like a failure on any given day that I can't deal with my life like a normal adult. But then again, I gave up on being normal a long time ago.

We talk about my childhood, we talk about college and my insecurities with being me. We talk about Dave (my first boyfriend at 24 - I was a little slow in that department), we talk about my brother and sister and their lives, we talk about my graduate degree and why I feel like I failed that, we talk about my job, my parents, my friends, AA. And then she mentions Jason, and I freeze. I'm getting better at it - talking about him and my anger toward him for slowly killing himself and taking me along for the ride. And then somehow, I turn it all around and make his death my fault. Every time. I don't think I want to believe that he was so selfish as to take his own life through his drinking. So, I constantly fight the fantasy world where he was loving and kind all the time and instead have to delve into the part of our life that was dark and scary. He doesn't get the be the knight in shining armor in that world. I hate taking the armor off and finding him weak, malnourished, and somewhat insane. But that's what he was. And my manipulative mind tries to tell me otherwise.


GreenCanary said...

If we lived closer together, you'd be my best friend. For reals. And my mind sounds a lot like yours... manipulative. I like to call it names, but it doesn't really help matters, y'know?

Holly said...

you should feel proud for staying with therapy for 3 years. more people should be involved with therapy but aren't - and generally for silly reasons.

painted maypole said...

my mind often tries to tell me it's all my fault. what is that about? keep fighting it, even though it's hard.

thanks for stopping by my place.

Malaise Inc said...

I think it is our tendency to not speak ill of the dead and it is so much easier when the beatification allows us to explore those well-worn paths of doubt and negative self-image. But, we need to break out of those ruts. I am not much good at expressing myself, but I do have a favorite song that says it better than I ever could.

Badlands by Bruce Springsteen

For the ones who had a notion,
a notion deep inside
That it ain't no sin
to be glad you're alive

Bob said...

I hope your therapist can help you reach a place where you don't have to take responsibility for his death in order to rationalize it.

My son attempted suicide 4 years ago (when he was 18) and I struggled for a while, wondering if I had failed him as a father. I came to realize that my son is his own person and I cannot take responsibility for his decisions. My role as his father was to teach him how to make decisions. I didn't make him do it.

You cannot take the responsibility for Jason's alcoholism and its effects onto yourself. You didn't have that kind of power - no one does. He did this to himself - and you. Your choices aren't just anger or responsibility. You can choose a third way, a way that allows you to accept what happened and move on.

carrster said...

Oh Kate, big hugs to you. I think you're doing fantastically. You are so smart and loving and wise beyond your years.

Meigan said...

Kate, to add some levity - as long as I've known you, you've never been normal! And that's a compliment!

You sound like you are making a lot of progress. It can't be easy, so don't put too much pressure on yourself. Just a week at a time, you know?

Stapeliad said...

It's good that you're going to therapy, especially because you find it helpful.

The choices others make abut their lives aren't your fault or responsibility. It's not your fault that someone else couldn't escape his inner demons. Seeing the negative, the darkness, in another person and acknowledging it doesn't make your love for them any less.

I learned the hard way in my own life that loving someone else, no matter how true and strong your love is for them, cannot help heal them unless they are actively healing themselves. Loving someone isn't enough. It's really hard. It hurts. But it isn't your fault.

Holly said...

kate. no joke, i should be seeing my therapist way more than i do. and most people i know should see their therapist more than they do. you should not feel down about it. feel proud that you are taking the steps you need to go in a different direction and process through the stuff the rest of the world shoves under a rug.

much love and good juju to you.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should do therapy. It helps. That's quite a commitment. We all have our fantasy worlds. It's the only place we never get rejected, right?


feistyMNgirl said...

as a new reader, i'm intrigued. thanks for the honesty. bold and sassy. i think i'm hooked.

yes, stick with the therapy. alcoholism and other mental illness has affected my family. i've seen a personal counselor to help me stop enabling/worrying too much.

and my husband and I have been to couples counseling too.

the shit works. its hard, but it works.

here's to many gritty eye mornings, but very steady minds....