She says she’s happy to work with me.
She also says that that before that can happen I have to work to a satisfactory ending with my psychologist.
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I really appreciate it, it suggests to me that she understands something about how to work with me. On the other (I’m reminded of a line of poetry: On the other hand, there is another hand.) it makes me realise just how much my psychologist doesn’t know how to work with me. I mean, on a basic level,she’s reaching around for ideas, she’s trying to brainstorm “Things Which Might Help” with me. I guess you could argue that it’s good for me to be encouraged to use my own resources, but I’ve realised that I really want some guidance in living my life right now. I’ve also realised that my psychologist may on some level be relieved that I am deciding to move on. She doesn’t really know what to do with me. I mean, I believe she genuinely wants to help but she hasn’t known how to deal with me. That first time Anna talked to her, she asked me what I wanted her to do if it happened again. I should have realised then, but I was blinded by my dependence on her. (And she didn’t know what to do with that dependence either). There’s another time I keep coming back to. It was the session we had just before I went on holiday. She was talking about the holiday and how I could cope – and yes, she suggested mindfulness – and I was alternately laughing about how crazy the whole thing and declaring that I had no idea how I was going to cope, but I would cope somehow, and going into a face twitching distress, with a voice in my mind trying to be spoken. And she said, in almost a jokey way “What’s going on? Things are fine when we talk about the holiday, and difficult as soon as we stop. Let’s talk about the holiday!” So I went back to laughing. Yes, I can see that she was trying to keep me “together” so that I would be okay travelling, the problem is that I was already not together, and I needed some help in the moment, help she was never able to give me. Yes, you can say it was my job to ask for what I needed, but the one thing I asked her for – to give me a five minute warning for when the session was going to end, so I could make sure I was able to navigate the journey home – she only managed to remember that first time. Now I’m thinking that that is a completely unreasonable demand. But when I went to talk to the art therapist she just seemed to understand that – I was late but she said she still had some time, she told me exactly how much time she could give me, and she kept an eye on the time, and told me how much time we had left, so I didn’t have to worry about it. I found this immensely reassuring. (Now I’m thinking that she was probably hoping I would go sooner, but she’s offered me more time if I need to talk to her again before making a decision so, I don’t know?)
I could go on, but I’m starting to feel like I’m criticising my psychologist. I don’t want to do that, it’s just that I’ve had a small series of revelations about my relationship with her, and myself. Not entirely comfortable ones, all of them. The upshot of it all, and to return to where I originally started, is that I have no idea what a “satisfactory ending” with her would look like. The only way I know how to handle such things is to be very polite and appreciative and thank her for all her help. But whether I’ll be allowed to do that by the others – I can see this potentially being very awkward. And I can’t trust her to know how to deal with it well. Looking back I see how much she tried to keep things light, she kept making it clear that she only really wanted to talk to certain parts. And she tried to treat those parts as the person, and the other parts as the disorder.
I have no idea whether that’s true or not, but it got perceived and written. How am I ever to judge my own insights, to assess them for validity?
I would like to write a great deal more about the art therapist and why I am deciding to start working with her, but before I start blogging about her I feel I want to ask her permission.