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.