Today was marriage counseling day. Marriage counseling always makes me a little anxious, but today I knew we had tough stuff to discuss, so I was extra anxious. Then, shortly after I arrived, someone else came in and sat in the waiting room. Normally, this would be no big deal, but I knew that my marriage counselor was the only shrink in the building today and so then I started panicking, thinking I had my appointment time wrong. Turns out I didn’t; they were there to see my other shrink, who is out of town this week. So they got their appointment time wrong, not me.
Anyways, all of the above led to high anxiety numbers, in addition to all of the other stress that I’ve had this past week. When it was time to see our marriage counselor, my husband wasn’t there yet. This isn’t any different than other days – he’s usually a couple minutes late. I talked about how I was really struggling this week because so much has happened and Thanksgiving was more stressful than I had anticipated. I talked about how I was struggling with wanting to cut, struggling with my marriage, struggling with finances and balance.
15 minutes into the session, still no husband. 30 minutes into the session, I get a text saying he just got out of work and wouldn’t be able to make it. At first I was slightly agitated. Later, it occurred to me that maybe I needed an individual session this week, and this was the world’s way of making that happen for me. He has never missed an appointment before, and we’ve been going for like 8 months now. It’s tough coordinating both of our schedules.
Anyway, I felt like this session was literally all over the place. That’s always a little overwhelming because when I have sessions like that, where we touch on multiple topics and ping back and forth, it’s very eye opening as to how much shit is going through my brain and how stressful it all is. I do really enjoy individual sesssions with my marriage shrink though; she comes across as being really intelligent, but she also shows a whole bunch of compassion when I need it. I feel like I take away a lot from my individual sessions with her. I think it’s because we only have those sessions every once in a while, and so it’s like getting an outsider’s perspective….but an outsider who knows the whole story. She’s also very observant, and picks up on and addresses the times when I become distant or withdrawn, or off in a trauma memory.
Today, she told me I’ve worked way too hard these last 51 weeks on using healthy coping skills to blow it and cut this week. She also told me that I maybe need to look at how I respond to the events/situations that are causing me stress. I think I need to work harder on letting go of the ones that aren’t serving me – like my mom’s comments about my need for 3 therapists. Yes; I am still stuck on that. Although, my marriage shrink pointed out that I can’t really be upset with my mom for being concerned about the number of therapists I have when she doesn’t know anything about my sexual abuse trauma. Fair enough.
Looking back, I’m glad my husband didn’t show up. I don’t think I’m in a place this week where I could’ve handled the difficult conversations that we need to have. And obviously I needed some individual counseling this week just to sort through all of the crap that has happened in the past week…because I tend to just carry it around with me if I don’t talk about it and work through it. I left marriage counseling feeling less anxious. I didn’t struggle with wanting to cut or needing to escape tonight. I do miss my regular shrink a whole, whole lot. But her being here wouldn’t necessarily take away my problems, it would just give me someone to talk to about them. Fortunately, my marriage counselor was able to effectively fill that role for me today.
Six more days until I see my regular shrink again. That means I have six days to figure out how I’m going to say goodbye to cutting. Six days to write about the trauma memory that she asked me to write about. Six days to cope with life on my own. After today, I’m feeling a little more confident in my ability to get through it. However, I’m also anxious about the overwhelming amount of trauma work we have to do when she returns….I think that’s that anticipatory anxiety again. Someone slip me a Xanax or three 😉
PS: My husband didn’t go to jail on Sunday. Turns out our neighbor’s house got broken into over the holidays! Super scary for so many reasons!!! 😮