Friday, 15 October 2010

And how do you feel about that?

*see below*
So the counselling is still happening.  And throwing up the occasional surprise, it has to be said.
Bearing in mind the initial reason for having these sessions was because of my shattered confidence behind the wheel of a car - due in no small part by having two die at my hands in 5 months, as regulars will already know - the 'conversation' occurring once a week doesn't seem to be tailored to re-building my assertiveness on the road or anywhere else.

I don't know what I expected to be frank (although it IS quite refreshing to be Frank once a week). But I think I kind of imagined it would be a bit more structured than it is.  I mean, I  seem to go inside the room, sit on my chair and just vent my spleen.  Not in an altogether *bad* way - although last night I did seem to simply sit and bitch about The Husband for an hour solid (I was still making mental addendums on the way out for next time.... sad, but true). And  I think I thought that by now we'd be... I don't know... doing psychological exercises in self-delusion techniques so that when I get behind the wheel of a car I imagine I am an Invincible (female) version of Damon Hill or Jensen Button or whoever is the greatest driver of all time.  So not Jeremy Clarkson.

This doesn't seem to be happening.
But these things I have learnt thus far from my sessions:

1. I can recall a six digit code to enable my entrance through the front door of the therapy centre after only having looked at the piece of paper once.  (I was unbearably smug at parties with the *guess what's missing off the tray* game).

2. I don't blame my parents (as much as I thought I did, anyway).  Or maybe this has more to do with "not speaking ill of the dead" than proper, actual forgiveness - my counsellor has yet to give me the 'nod' on this one.  That's how it works, right?.

3. Whilst I can speak for a whole 53 minutes without repetition and hesitation,  I can still deviate for England.

4. I think I'm stupid.  Every time I say it, it echoes through my head.  "I know that's a stupid thing to think" I say.  Or "I know I'm being stupid".  And she doesn't do what 'ordinary' listeners would do in a 'usual' situation.  She doesn't frown, shake her head and say back "Oh no, no you're not...".  She just sits and waits to see if I need to quantify my stupidity and when I don't (because I'm waiting for the 'normal' noises of assurance that I'm not stupid, and that's a stupid think to think) she says something like "you say you think you're stupid a lot...".  Which makes me think.  And then she'll say "why do you think you're stupid?".  And when I think about it properly, I realise I actually don't think I'm stupid, I just need assurances that I'm normal.  

5.  Even though I was never a Brownie ( they scared me and I couldn't even go into the village hall to join them because I was convinced they'd all laugh at me and hate me) or a Girl Scout, I have a very real need to Be Prepared.  This manifests itself in my kitchen cupboards.  There is nothing there that hasn't got a back-up.  And, as the Girl and the Hubs will confirm, my mantra is "we never run out".  Which is currently not working at the moment because both we and Sainsburys have  run out of Tomato Puree and for this reason I am mightily glad I have sleeping tablets to get me off of a night otherwise I'd be lying awake 'til the small hours re-scheduling meal plans for the remainder of the week or until I have enough bravado to scale the winding car park of the nearest superstore (ironically Sainsburys).

6. The tiniest glimmer of understanding can make me weep.  As I was leaving my session, my counsellor said 'see you next week' and I must have looked a bit non-committal.  'Do you still think you're wasting my time?' she asked, and I nodded.  'I'm sure you've got better things you could be doing,' I told her, 'people with far bigger problems than my stupid (see?) ones...' and she smiled like I'd imagine the Virgin Mary would, if I believed she ever existed.  'You're not wasting my time,' she said.  And with that reassurance I left, in tears.

Then on the way home I realised that she could also have meant that I am a prime candidate for counselling, I'm as mad as a box of frogs* and will keep the Counselling Centre afloat single handedly for the forseeable future.

And I still don't know how I feel about that.


diane s said...

You are normal. :)

Honestly, you'd be surprised how many people feel the same way (and if that's mad, there's a lot of us about).

I know you wanted coping techniques etc, but I really think exploring feelings is often a better way to go than trying to convince yourself you feel better when you don't. (Not that I've had years of experience in this regard. *cough*)

On an entirely superficial note, you've given your blog a revamp, haven't you? I like it a lot.

Clodagh said...

Oh my God, I'd forgotten about the 'guess what's missing off the tray' game! They don't have parties like that any more. *Sigh*

(Sorry - so not the point, I know. You're not the only one who can deviate.)

When you learn meditation, they say you don't have to feel like it's working for it to be working. Maybe therapy's the same?

Debs Riccio said...

Diane, thanks for the blog-compliment (blog-pliment?) I know what you mean, and they do say everything stems from childhood - maybe my true answer does lie back there...
Clodagh, I was a royal pain in the arse at parties - not competitive, just miserable if I didn't Do Good. (haven't changed have I?!)

Ms Mac said...

I think you're perfectly normal. I read the most fantastic novel once about a women who, even though she wasn't religious, ran a prayer group. She didn't think that praying was doing her any good but in fact, the more she "prayed for" her loved, the more and more enlightened she became about her life and those around her without even knowing it. You remind me of her. You'll get there.

Debs Riccio said...

Oh bless you, Stella, that's already made me feel a load better. See... all I need is a little bit of understanding and encouragement. Thanks x

Jacqueline Christodoulou said...

Yes you are normal, Debs :-) loads of people feel this way about counselling. IMHO it stems from a need for solid answers (to prove it's 'working') because we're all so used to tangible 'outcomes' measurements of success.
I think counselling works on a different level of existence where we can just 'be'. It's a level that we aren't monitoring all the time for success becasue we take 'being' for granted, as Clodagh says about meditation, it's working in ways we don't measure in the same way as solid acheivements so we don't always recognise them. Until it stops working so well.
Is it less about repairing bits of yourself back to how you were and more about bringing your whole life to another, happier place?
It's wonderful to see you write about it here... thanks for writing it, Debs, you really made me think. And it says a lot about how far you have come, I'm proud of you xxxx

Debs Riccio said...

Oh Jacqui, your comment just made me cry... just that little "I'm proud of you" bit - can you adopt me and keep telling me this please?x

Talli Roland said...

I agree - you're normal! I'm sure I could not talk for 50 minutes with no self-doubt or incriminating voices in my head.

Lane said...

I think it takes a lot of time and courage to work out 'how we feel about that' about many things. I admire your commitment to 'working it out' as it's often easier to just to let stuff fester.

Keep going Debs. You're normal and you're not wasting anyone's time. x

Debs Riccio said...

Talli, and Lane -thanks so much for your comments - I think I have let a lot of stuff 'fester' in the past - maybe I'm at the Spring Cleaning stage in my life and I need to get rid of the crap... 'they' say everything happens for a reason, right?

Anonymous said...

I think it'll be worth it in the long-run, Debs (says the woman who practically threw a party when her own car died last year, so she didn't have to, like, drive any more). I HATE driving but am starting to miss the convenience of it all. You were bloody unlucky with what happened to you, that's all. Keep going - it might be a while before there's a 'breakthrough.' x

Debs Riccio said...

Thanks NWBI, I do feel like I'm having mini-moments - hopefully there's a breakthrough one on it's way!

Helen said...

When I went for counselling I was almost ashamed to think *I* was going when people with far bigger problems in life were just getting on with it.

Also, I wondered if it was helping. I didn't know how much it helped until something terrible happened a few years ago. It gave me coping mechanisms to deal with it all.

So let me (along with the others above) reassure you that everything you're feeling is normal. You *are* normal. (Either that or we're both as mad as a box of frogs ;) )

Debs Riccio said...

Helen, thanks for the kind words. I sincerely hope that this helps me as much as it clearly helped you. I literally have to force myself to go every week because I don't see the point, or an end... still. Or should that be 'yet'?