Oh, you know what was really hard, though? I used last week’s discussion of real vs. unreal as a starting point for this week, and at one point while talking about whether I remember things “right,” she said, really softly, which is also always difficult for me to deal with: “My impression is that when you do remember things differently than they happened, you remember a version of events that is less favorable toward yourself than reality.”
By the way, September and my therapist are the two people in the world whose names I never use. Today my therapist brought up the idea I’ve been circling but not saying, which is maybe things about this relationship remind me of things about that relationship; today is also the first time I used my therapist’s name (well, initial) in my post-therapy notes. I don’t think this is a coincidence but I don’t know where I’m going with it yet.
can’t believe you’re gonna put your feet on two separate pieces of therapy furniture before i’ve managed to do it even once
Let this be ur ~~~inspiration~.
i’m seriously excited for you
R u excited for my shoes to be on that armchair?
Anyway, the new office really is nice, I’m not kidding about being excited about it. It’s in a big Victorian, like, mansion, and there are cute weird nooks and cubbies and half-floors all over the place; the office itself has a fireplace and a chandelier and the windows are taller than I am, when we first started today I was literally like “Sorry, hold on, I’m distracted,” and had to take a minute to look at everything. The only thing I don’t like is how it’s arranged, if I sit on the couch now the desk is behind her, which is distracting, I might try the new armchair so I’m facing the fireplace, but I’ll have to ask if I can sit with my feet on it first (shout out to LJ).
Here’s a question: September came up because I said I was thinking about it a lot around my birthday, because I am the age now that she was when we met. My therapist asked while we were talking about it if something she was doing was reminding me of something September did. These two things tie together because: I finally Googled my therapist last week, and I know it’s meaningless but my brain is latched on to the fact that the age difference between me and my therapist is exactly the same as the age difference between me and September, and not letting go. Do I mention that, or is my penance for finally giving in and looking her up never telling her I looked her up?
A lot of things I was really insistent about wanting in the beginning are happening sort of naturally now: it feeling more like a conversation, her pushing me more, her setting a direction when I seem rudderless, or picking up on directions I’m moving in. She talked a lot again this time — she’s been doing that thing a lot where she provides possible evidence against a belief I have, not telling me not to believe it, but not allowing it to not be challenged. At one point she asked “Can you see there are reasons why people would like you?” and before I could even get all of “Well, everyone has things that some people will like about them” out of my mouth she said “You’re minimizing!” and it shut me up so hard I laughed. I got stuck on “I don’t know” to a question she asked, and she said “Okay, let’s try it this way,” and approached it from another angle. We talked about September; when I described something that had happened she didn’t stop me from getting to the end of what I was saying, but she didn’t let me get there without hearing “That was inappropriate” first; when I focused on September being “nice,” she immediately brought up the time I said I didn’t like it when she was “too nice,” and then asked if things she did made me uncomfortable because they reminded me of things September did.
(The windows were amazing, by the way!!!)
By the way, today she had to say a bunch of nice things about me to, like, address a thing we were talking about (people saying they were intimidated by / afraid of me before we became friends) and in the middle of it she stopped and was like “I know this is hard for you to hear,” completely seriously, and after she was done I took like a full minute to not cry, this doesn’t happen when other people say nice things about me, this only happens in her office, what a weird thing therapy is.
Also: “Sometimes, when people are young and they experience — I won’t characterize that relationship as abusive, but —” WOW.