As if my client’s firing me a few weeks back wasn’t enough, my therapist had the gall to show me the door last week. It was bound to happen sometime.
I’ll explain. I arrived at our session thinking it might be time to say good bye, but my therapist beat me to the punch. I realize this sounds lame–“I broke up with her before she had a chance to break up with me”–but you’ll just have to believe me. I really was thinking of calling it a day before she pulled the plug. I mean it. Honestly.
I trusted she would welcome me back if I needed her down the road (okay, admittedly my anxiety compelled me to check), so saying good bye didn’t seem quite so scary. And the truth is that I’m managing the cancer roller coaster fairly well right now.
Therapy has really helped. I talked mostly about that mundane daily health stuff and its impact on my life and my relationships. My therapist listened attentively and supported me in ways I didn’t even know I needed. She helped me address the bigger issues so I didn’t get caught up in the details. Who am I kidding? I still often got caught up in the details, but she gently and persistently redirected me. The woman has the patience of a saint. Bless her soul.
So why the departure? As I told my therapist, some unanticipated shifts have come with my blog. A blog is a weird and wonderful thing, which I did not realize until I started mine. It is a public link to my support network. My training taught me not to talk about myself with clients, and I generalized that edict to friendships. But here, in 500 words every few days, I get that chance, and sometimes people actually read what I’ve written. Even better, my friends’ reactions have been so kind and supportive. I’m struck by the number of people who have said to me: “I had no idea ….” I am interested in their observations and grateful for their caring.
Let me clarify: it’s not that my wonderful support system did not try to understand. Everyone tried even though I didn’t share much. But now that I am sharing more through this venue, they understand better. Friends now know the important stuff (and a lot of the really dull stuff too, I’m afraid) from my perspective. I’ve learned that friends can only be supportive if we ask for their support. (You’d think a psychologist might have had this revelation earlier in her life.)
When people talk to me about what they’ve read, the blog has already broken the ice, which makes the discussion easier. I’m not starting from scratch with each person, which can get pretty overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that there was a time that I left it to J. to update everyone. If only I’d been able to initiate these discussions myself sooner.
Since the ultimate goal of therapy is to be fired, I guess I succeeded. Maybe my therapist only had my best interests in mind when she told me not to come back. Maybe “graduation” better sums it up. Sure, that’s what I’ll tell people.
P.S. Today’s entry was closer to 550 words. Sorry.