My first full year of graduate school is complete! In three weeks, I’ll start all over again, albeit in a more stable mind and body than this time last year.
At times, it has felt like surviving, at best. The past two weeks I was taking a class that was just HORRIBLE. It was the first time in months that I’ve busted out old behaviours and were it not for some friends, some prayer, and some stubbornness on my part, I would be in a very different place right now and probably on track to go back to treatment. Instead, I am a bit flustered and frustrated, but I survived the class.
Actually, I was sort of proud of myself for how I handled those two weeks. And my therapist was too, though she wanted me to dig deeper into some of the stuff that came up. Herein is where I become really confused about what is left to do in counseling.
There’s obviously stuff. My trauma has come up more than once this summer through the course of classes, and, in the strictest sense, hasn’t really been dealt with. Nine times out of ten, I just refer to it as “trauma” and leave it at that, neglecting to say what really happened. And we dealt with it some last year, but that was sort of out of necessity – in order to have sex, I had to shut that shit down mentally and it always came back a few days or weeks later in force. When I stopped seeing/sleeping with the guy I was spending time with, it wasn’t really a pressing issue any more.
And when we do try to delve into that stuff or my attachment stuff, I shut down. Not on purpose, really, but my therapist said she is just not going to push it any more. That I’m not ready to go there, that now’s not the time, and everything else is fairly stable, so there’s no reason to meet every week. Or every two weeks. Or even every month. So after September, it looks like I can stop driving to Charlotte on a regular basis. And when I do go, it won’t cost me an arm and a leg.
I am just really, really scared at this idea. (Not only that, but I feel a bit like some sort of therapy “failure” for not being ready/willing/able/whatever.) It will be the first time in five years that I haven’t seen a therapist on AT LEAST a weekly basis. It will also put me face-to-face with the general lack of nurture in my life. I love my mom and respect her, but I’ve never really felt nurture in that relationship. She’s not someone I can cry in front of, not someone I want to be comforted by, not someone that feels safe enough to do that with.
A has been that person for me for the past two years solidly and I don’t know how I’m going to handle that void. The other person that I associate with care and nurture has just moved six time zones away. And then I start to cry and feel stupid about crying because, HELLO, I’m twenty-nine and shouldn’t I be past the point of needing to be nurtured?
I haven’t taken individual and family development yet, so I’m not sure where that puts me on the typical/atypical development scale. I’ll take it in the spring. I’ll keep you updated on that, but I’m sure it’s related to my attachment issues.
To some degree, I think grad school is about me becoming self-aware enough to know where my issues are so that I don’t wind up making my clients’ issues worse.
And to that point – I’ve pretty much decided that I don’t want to be a counselor.
But more on that later. Tonight, I’m going to nurse this weird head pain, cry a bit, and crawl under the covers with The Catcher in The Rye.