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Old 02-27-2019, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: LT's thread

Warning: very long (and I even left some stuff out!)

T Monday. First session back after he was away for about 10 days (I'm used to seeing him twice a week). He got me right on time and said "Hello" as I walked past. Me: "Hi." I went back and sat down, feeling nervous, which was probably obvious. T: "I like your sweater." Me: "Thanks." T: "I don't think I've seen you wear that one before." Me: "I probably haven't worn it here." T, commenting on its stripes: "It kind of matches the pillow behind you. Though the stripes on the pillow are the wrong direction." I turned the pillow so the stripes were going the same way, saying, "There! Better?" T: "Yes!" That exchange helped break the ice and reestablish the connection.

T asked how I was doing. I started crying as I said it had been a really long week. I started going through what all had happened, starting with Thursday night (I'd see him earlier that day), when I'd made a Valentine's card for H with a bunch of heartfelt stuff in it, like about his being a good husband, father, etc., and left it for him when I was out at a concert that night. How he just texted me to thank me and did the emoji with heart eyes, but didn't say anything else. That of course I hadn't done it with the intention to get something back, but it might have been nice of him to at least replied with, "You're pretty great, too" or something. T agreed. Me: "But then I was thinking about it, and what is he going to say to me? He probably doesn't think I'm that great of a wife or mother, so..."

T: "When is the last time he said something like that to you, like about how he values you?" Me: "Uh...I don't know. He doesn't say stuff like that much. I mean, I guess I'm not that good at saying things to him, but I've tried to do better with that lately, thanking him for doing things, then with the card..." T: "Well, if you wanted, it's something you could bring up with him." Me: "Yeah, I guess." T: "This is the sort of thing that would be good to talk about in marriage counseling." Me: "Yeah...maybe we need to do that again, I mean not with ex-MC obviously." T: "I know you said H wanted to take a break from that." Me: "Well, it will be a year in April..." T: "It's been that long? OK."

I brought up Sunday (the previous one)...D was spending the night at my parents' (Monday was holiday). We went to dinner and H ended up bringing up my cheating as an example of something. T: "As an example? Of what?" Me: "Like why he didn't tell his friends about it, because they'd always associate it with me." T: "So an example of why not to tell people about something?" Me: "Yeah, well, it involved something with you, but anyway, let's not discuss that!...H never brings that up, and I just felt weird about it." Then I talked about what happened later that evening.

Possible trigger:

Me: "It was when I went downstairs that I contacted your backup T's. Part of me wanted to reach out to you, but it was only Sunday, and I felt I'd have to be really clear in what I wanted from you, but wasn't sure what that was." T: "OK." I said how I heard from the one Monday afternoon, but she was out that day and didn't have anything Tuesday, then didn't want to schedule me for Wednesday because it was supposed to snow, or Thursday, but could Friday, but at that point... How I didn't hear from the other one, so called her, then heard from her that evening--she was sick, so wouldn't be in the office Tuesday but said she could do a phone call, which I ended up taking her up on. T: "So my backup T's weren't particularly available--I'm sorry about that." Me: "Well, the one was sick, so even if I'd had something scheduled with her, it would have been an issue." T: "True. Still, I'm sorry." Me: "It's OK."

I said how the backup T, "R," had been helpful. That we covered quite a wide variety of topics in the hour. And how she just helped me feel lighter. That I felt pretty connected to her and might actually want to see her again sometime, not like long-term, just maybe for another session or two at some point. T said that would be OK, that it can help to get a different perspective. I said I remembered his saying that if I started seeing one of his backup T's, it would cause a problem. T: "Not a problem with you, but maybe a problem with me and R." Me: "Uh, OK..."

T: "I want to be really careful in how I word this. Because you got upset about this the last time." Me: "You mean about the problem with you and R?" T: "No. Where I said that I wanted you to see whoever would be most helpful for you. It felt like you wanted me to say you should keep working with me." Me: "Part of me kinda did, but part of also wants you to say I should be free to see whoever I want. That you just want what's best for me." T: "Well, I do. I want you to see the person who you think will help you the most. That's the best thing for all of us." Me: "OK, thanks. I mean, for now I think it's you. I just....I talked about you a little bit to R and I feel kind of bad about that." T: "You don't have to feel bad. You should talk about whatever you needed to." Me: "OK. I mean, as I said to her, it's not like I told her anything I hadn't already told you. Though it was kinda awkward at the end when she was like, 'Do you have a crush on [T's first name]' and I was like, 'Uh, no?'" T: "She can be pretty blunt." Me: "Who is that like?" (referencing him). T laughed.

I said how that session with R had helped, but then Wednesday was a snow day (D and H at home) and it seemed like H and I kept fighting, like how I'd accidentally knocked over a box with puzzle pieces and H was starting to curse at me and I was like, "Don't curse at me! I don't need this right now." And there were just other little fights over stupid things like me trying to help find a particular nightgown for C and H getting mad at me for that. And it was these little things that made me feel bad about myself that led me to email T Wed. night.

Me: "I was trying to figure out what to say to you and I figured that I really just wanted to know that you still existed." T: "It felt like you were asking for the bare minimum you could ask from me." Me: "Hm, I guess I kind of was. I kind of felt like...I'd intended not to email you. And I'd already had the session with R. It seems like that should have been enough..." T: "You seem to be beating yourself up over contacting me when I specifically said that you could." Me: "I know...and I guess you wouldn't have given me backup T info if it wasn't OK to use it."

T: "I'm just trying to figure out why you don't think it was OK to reach out for support, where that's coming from." Me: "I just kept thinking, 'It's only 10 days. I should be able to manage that, for God's sake.'" T: "But it was a long time for you." Me: "Yeah, I was thinking about it, and it was probably the longest I'd gone without any contact with you in a year, I mean, even the week from when I saw you to when I emailed you." T: "It probably was. It's OK to need support." Me: "And in your initial reply to my email, you said it was OK to contact you again if I wanted. But then in your reply to my reply, you talked about relying on my outside contacts, so...I got the message that I shouldn't." T: "You were reading too much into it. That isn't what I meant at all." Me: "I guess it felt like it. So when I was feeling really bad Friday night--like a few days ago--I didn't feel I should email you. I was looking up crisis lines and stuff." T seemed sad. Me: "Plus, because you won't say where you're going, I didn't even know what time zone you were in, like if you were in Tokyo or something, you might not have gotten back to me till the next night." T: "Hm, I hadn't thought of that, in saying that I'll write back in the mornings, I never said what 'morning' was...." Me: "Yeah."

T: "But with the contact, I worry that maybe I've pushed too much for you to strengthen your outside network, that you might feel that's all you're supposed to use. Like when I've praised you for your success in that, you feel that you're only supposed to rely on them, and not me. When that's not the case. I'm not expecting you to stand on your own right now, to be completely self-reliant." Me: "So not 'I am a rock, I am an island'? See, I managed to fit in song lyrics. But I appreciate your saying that. I do get the message at times that I'm just supposed to rely on outside people and not you." T: "No, and I'm sorry if I gave you that message." Me: "It's OK. I'm glad you clarified."

Somehow still had a few minutes left. He asked me what had made me feel so bad Friday night. I said maybe partly that I'd wished my former best friend (from high school/20s) a happy birthday, and she'd just replied back with "thanks." T: "So it kind of rubbed in where the relationship is?" Me: "Yeah." And I said it was also some more fights with H. How I told him multiple times it was a rough week for me, and I felt in a way like he could maybe go a little easier on me. But that it actually felt like he was tougher on me than anything. But maybe it wasn't fair to expect him to go easier. T: "I think it's completely fair." Me: "OK."

T: "Hm, I just had a thought. You're used to coming in here and getting support and validation. But you didn't have that last week. So maybe you were looking for that more than usual from H, and he was coming up short?" Me: "Huh. That makes a lot of sense actually. I also think of this as a place where I can sort of have a release. And I sort of had that with R, but it's not the same." T: "Yes, I imagine it's partly at this point that this environment is a safe space." Me: "Yes."

I said I knew we had to stop (we were at like 56 minutes). T confirmed Thursday, then said, "I'll be in all next week." Me: "Good!" He said he'd held my usual slots open, so we scheduled for those. Went over to pay. Me: "I hope you had a good trip." T: "I did have a good trip." Me: "Good." T stood up and shook my hand, saying, "See you Thursday." Me: "Yes." T: "I really hope this is a better week for you." Me: "Thanks."

I felt good about the session and also kinda wished I'd reached out a little more in the previous week.
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