My therapist is still getting to know me. Now I have books to read and worksheets to fill out. It’s somewhat strange; I’ve been putting myself through self-help for years, but I’ve never traced it so far back to my childhood. I don’t like to blame my parents because I see how Darren and Pat have survived far “worse” but it’s getting more and more obvious that there’s trauma in my childhood that still affects me to this day.
- Apparently, I’m moderately depressed, and “moderate” is not normal.
- We’ve figured out that my unassertiveness is the result of conflict avoidance. Even if I practice a situation in my head where I say something that may bring up conflict, I often can’t follow through. I feel helpless to fix this, and this leads to a self-defeating attitude.
- This stems from my childhood. I’ve almost never argued with my parents (there were two times in my life I felt strongly enough to stand up against them, both ending in me submitting because there was no reasoning with them). I’ve always felt like I wouldn’t be loved unless I got good grades and did everything I was told. In other words, it was an extremely conditional love.
- This means I care about what people think of me, and I define or evaluate my self-worth through them. Knowing this pisses me off because philosophically and pragmatically I don’t agree, but can’t do anything about it.
- Every time I’ve been in therapy, I’ve cried at least once. This happens whenever I bring up specific aspects of my relationship with my parents.
- Hearing my therapist say, “Wow, that’s bad” brings me a comforting validation to what I feel.
- Aside from being slightly verbose, my therapist is great. He’s a non-judgmental, ethical, open-minded intellectual. He’s also a good listener.
It’s a full seven days between sessions, and at this point, my pschologist is just starting to know me. In between, I can never stop reflecting. I’ve always believed that I know myself well, but these sessions are probing ideas and memories I haven’t thought of in a while, and opening up completely new areas of reflection.
And while I could write for days about these thoughts and epiphanies, I simply don’t have the time, so I figured I’d briefly touch on them in point form.
- I need to respect my psychologist in order to accept help from him. i.e. If he was a Freudian and I was a Jungian, I wouldn’t be able to agree with any of his methods.
- I get very anxious when I’m in his office. This is because I don’t like to admit to myself that something’s wrong with me, but when I’m in there, it’s a very tangible reminder that I have mental problems.
- I’m very conflicted on several issues.
- I don’t want to lose my emotions because I need to suffer to create. Yet the emotions are bad enough that I don’t want to have them anymore (or have them in moderation at least).
- I want to love and be in a relationship, and at the same time I cling to being single because I’m scared of being hurt (in addition to the fact that the freedom is intoxicating). I do this by pushing others away from me or cutting them off.
- This stems from two significant childhood memories, where I felt betrayed in friendship, as well as my relationship with my parents.
- I want to be settled and have some stability (in terms of schedule, relationships, finances etc.), but the struggle to be settled is what makes me grow and be stronger.
- Many of these issues can only be resolved from decisions I should make. (i.e. No one else can make the decision for me)
- Turning to Taoism, which is very paradoxical in itself, has only helped so much.
- Without my creativity, or my desire to express myself, I’m nothing.
- I don’t want to “blame” my parents for confidence problems or perfectionist tendencies, but I’m slowly starting to find out that they’ve affected me even more than I thought before.
- As a hedonist, my greatest fear is losing my joie de vivre. If this happened (and it has once), I would consider killing myself. This is because the joys of life balance out all the bad and makes it worth living.
- I’m dependent on other people for happiness. I don’t see my friends often enough for me to be satisfied, and it’s a simple fact of life. They all have significant others, and I’m the only one left single. I don’t blame them for not spending enough time with me, but it makes me very sad.