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I’m a C Student and Other Things Therapy Has Taught Me.

“Therapy is great,” they said.  “It will be so beneficial,” they said.  Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy my therapy sessions…that actual sessions.  There’s nothing like talking to another person who helps you make sense of why that misspelling in an email won’t mean you’ll be living on the streets and jobless tomorrow.  Yes, this is actually a thought I’ve had.  You try to live down the embarrassment when your Outlook autocorrects PDF to Puff.  Clearly that’s a termination level offense.

untitledThere’s a lot involved with therapy that no one tells you about.  You think you’re going to sit there, talk out your problems and the world with be right as rain.  WRONG!  They give you homework!  Homework!  Didn’t I outgrow this once I graduated?  What is that?  Apparently, it’s a good therapist, which I’m still on the fence about. But still…who really wants to go home and read self help books?  Then once you’ve finished, you give an oral book report back to your therapist. Kid you not, you then have to tell them what thought of the book; how you feel you can incorporate it into your life, etc. I really want to ask her for a grade at the end of those sessions.

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Mmmmm paper

In high school and college, I was a high B and A student.  I procrastinated like crazy, but I still made the grades.  It was probably then that my panic disorder first came out.  I’d procrastinate till the night before.  Then I’d panic.  Of course I was going to fail.  Of course that meant I wouldn’t graduate. Of course that meant I’d be unemployable and homeless.  Then I’d die alone on the streets.  After all that, and screaming out the adrenaline, I’d sit down, write my report or cram for my oral, and I’d ace it the next day. All would be right with the world. Now, my therapist gives me homework and I may do it about 25% of the time.  The rest of the time, I’m hoping she forgets about it by the next session.  It was easier when we first started sessions; she didn’t know me yet.  Now I think she’s catching on. I wonder if she’ll believe me if I say my bunny ate the worksheets? Seriously…he does that.

 

No one ever talks about the work that’s involved in therapy.  No one really mentions it.  I wonder if it’s because they know as adults, we may not be as open to going if we knew we’d have book reports.  Seriously…we pay for that.

tumblr_lwq837wgpc1r468wiThey also don’t tell you that you will sometimes sit in the office and have literally nothing to say.  During a great week, you haven’t been triggered at all, so you sit there making small talk for 50 minutes.  Then you hand over cash for pretty much what was a long conversation with a barista. You just don’t get coffee after.  You make another appointment and kind of hope that you have something interesting to say next week.  Is it normal to worry that you’re boring your therapist? May be I should go out and have a bender to make her job easier.  I’d definitely have something to talk about then.

Sometimes I sit there and try to figure out exactly what she’s thinking.  She has a very expressive face, so she has a hard time hiding her reactions when I say something that clearly isn’t right.  Apparently, I’m the only person she sees who plans out conversations in her head.  I think of any and all possible responses from the person I’m talking to and plan accordingly.  That’s not normal?  Her look of surprise when I mentioned it indicated to me that it wasn’t.  You mean no one is that anxious that they have to prepare for every possible outcome of the question “can you do me a favor?”  Come on now, I need to make sure I don’t come off as hurt or upset if they say no. I don’t want them to feel guilty for setting a boundary. How did we get on this topic?  She told me I hid my anxiety well.  I can’t imagine what must have gone through her head when I explained that I prepare myself for everything. Does anyone else do that?

the-homework-monsterBut over all, therapy is beneficial. I’ve learned more about myself, and I have someone there who is helping me learn healthy boundaries and behaviors, which is where I lack the most.  I’m learning that may be…just may be…what I’ve been told is my fault; what I take responsibility for, is not actually mine to begin with.  Learning what is my responsibility and what isn’t is a difficult and long process.  Learning that people who make you responsible for their reactions or how they speak to you are not healthy individuals is definitely not easy.  It’s been ingrained for quite some time that I’m responsible for it, and changing that thought process is a task in itself.  Here’s hoping for some clarity with this homework.  May be I’ll learn from it just like I did in school.

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10 thoughts on “I’m a C Student and Other Things Therapy Has Taught Me.

  1. I can definitely relate to the procrastination, I’m much better about it nowadays though. It sounds like you’re very analytical and it must be interesting to find out how the therapist perceives you compared to how you perceive yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I prepare for all conversations, multiple times. I hate being caught off guard and not having a plan for a conversation. Sure it’s not a normal thing, but in my case it was a safety requirement and helped me respond better when dealing with the manipulators in my life. You make me want to go to therapy even if it is a ton of work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know several people that have benefitted from therapy and they also talk about “homework” or “working on…” I guess you do need to practice skills like setting boundaries when you are not used to enforcing your limits. Oh, and I’m definitely a procrastinator for things I really don’t want to do 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of the best takeaways from a corporate training i had was categorizing people into 4 major groups – amiable, expressive, analytical and the taskmasters. It was helpful to find out what i was and what my colleagues were.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can so relate. When I realized my life felt like a country song and I decided to make some changes .. I sought out a good therapist. I’m not even kidding .. it was the best decision I ever made

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am a huge procrastinator too although I have got a lot better at managing my time which is good! I was a high A student too but even so I know I could have done better in some subjects but my time management wasn’t as good as it is now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a terrible over thinker which feeds right into anxiety. Having an expressive therapist would make me absolutely batty. My doc has a very kind but totally neutral face when we’re discussing the difficult stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can definitely relate. I’ve been a straight A student for most of my life, and a lot of people have told me that I don’t look like the kind of person who would suffer from anxiety/depression/panic attacks, and so forth. But the thing is, I do and it can be difficult. Nowadays, I’ve been taking better care of my health, and having a therapist can be really helpful. Sending you good vibes your way. x

    Liked by 1 person

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