I flip-flopped a bit when I walked into Bristle’s office before we settled on a topic to explore today. It started with a recap of my week, and how I’m stressed because I have a lot of catch up work, but no desire to get anything done. Then I mentioned my lack of communication with two individuals in my life, and that brought me to tears.
I wasn’t aware I was so bothered. That happens a lot in therapy, actually. I talk about something, and then in the middle of a seemingly controlled sentence, my voice catches, and I’m crying. Bristle asks me to identify what’s going on every time the tears start. A way to get me to check in with myself, I guess. I practice doing it on my own, too. It helps when I’m feeling like an emotional wreck. If I can identify what’s happening in my brain/heart, I can start to trace it back to a source, which makes me feel less crazy.
The last thing we talked about in our session today was the way that I share with her, and with other people. I’ve mentioned before that when I tell people about my life, I become removed, sort of, the narrator rather than the protagonist. Bristle mentioned that sometimes she feels that when I talk to her. It’s super subtle, and she knows that I share real things with her, but that I seem restrained at times. When I come in, sometimes the things I talk about, or the manner in which I speak about them, give the appearance that I’ve figured them out. We both know that’s not the case, but to her it can feel like I’m presenting these nuggets I’ve already worked through.
I was surprised. I thought I was being supremely open with Bristle! I mean, she did say that it’s really subtle, and she knows that I share honestly and openly, but it’s something she’s noticed nonetheless. I want to fix it. I don’t want there to be a wall–no matter how transparent–when I’m trying to open up. It’s become a reflex, now, to share without really giving all of myself. After she described what she sees happening, I thought about it and I realized there is a distinct difference when the wall leaves. I get really serious, and it sort of feels like I’m talking to myself more than to another person.
So far, this has only happened to me in therapy, and once with Dapper. Hopefully, I can find someone else I can do this with–someone comfortable enough with me to do the same. In the meantime, I want to work on not restraining myself in my remaining sessions with Bristle. Practice makes perfect, or at least capable.
Practice makes capable.