Possible TW?: Non-descriptive references to emotional abuse.
Thank you all so much for being supportive of me and my decision to go back into therapy. (Especially all you many who commented—I tried to link you, but Kinja.)
I had my first session in the late afternoon yesterday after working a little event in the morning, and it was good. I was early and the building was super empty on a Saturday, but she saw me right at 5 and I spent 50 minutes talking, which is a lot for me. I tend to talk a lot when I'm drunk or high on my own drama and/or arrogance, so I was fucking exhausted.
I think it's going to be classic talk therapy, because I have all the self-care stuff in my routine. (She did go, "Oh, I'm glad we don't have to work on that," when I mentioned it to her.) Part of the reason my depression flared up is because I let all that go between a bunch of travel, weekend events, and illness, but I could still discern what was the depression and what was reality and I'm already layering those in. (It should've been a sign a couple weeks ago when my insomnia flared up for a few days that something was happening, but there is something sort of satisfying and dramatic about the first couple days of it, and then I managed to get it under control, too.)
She used the technique of just not saying anything except for a sentence here and there to validate me or offer up an idea about what was going on, and it was good. I just fucking went for it and opened up and just talked wherever my brain took me. I think it's clear that I'll be considering things and working things out on my own, so she gave me no homework.
It was really great to be validated that yes, my dad engaged in emotionally abusive behavior, and yes, my parents engaged in damaging behaviors to try and control me after I moved out. (When I mentioned them threatening to pull my health insurance at one point in college, she actually stopped and was like, "They did what?" OH MY GOD THAT WAS HUGE.) It was a relief to hear that my sense that something was very, very wrong and my memory of living in fear was a reasonable reaction to the circumstances. (My sisters tend to disagree when I bring things like that up, I think as a coping mechanism.)
She suggested that I may feel paralyzed in my writing now because it's delayed reaction to all of the living in fear—I haven't had time to process those feelings ever, and now I do, so opening myself up to be rejected and feeling unloved is difficult in the face of always feeling as I can't be myself and that my self is not valuable. Which is interesting. She actually said that I may be afraid of being punished for not being perfect in my writing (and then being rejected) and that could be that paralyzing factor. Which was also a relief to hear. A classic "I'm not crazy or lazy or untalented, I have real reasons for this behavior I don't understand!" kind of relief.
Afterwards I went and celebrated by buying yarn and sushi, and then Mr. PKB and I watched Doctor Who and a lot of Parks and Rec and cuddled and loved on each other.
I'm going back next week, and then I'm back the homestead for ten days. Hopefully these sessions will help me reconcile the parents I remember from my childhood and the people they are now.
I am very glad I went and I am so tired. I got home feeling like I'd thrown a massive tantrum, although I only cried a little and not in the big wet sobs kind of way. Is anyone else this exhausted after a session?