After a sort of muddled start this summer, I have been in therapy for a few months on a regular basis. I was referred by my best friend (she is also a therapist) and have been seeing the most wonderful and challenging therapist since....mmm, maybe October. And I'm a little excited that it's been so regular because the only regularly scheduled activities I do anymore are school and work, which get in the way of EVERYTHING fun I've ever wanted to do regularly. Like date. Or have a dog that I can be responsible for all the time. Or, I don't know, read a non textbook from time to time. Ugh. Anyway, in my months of being therapalized (that's what my best friend and I jokingly call it) I've apparently made wonderful strides. I don't see them for the miraculous result she seems to think they are, but I guess they are there. I started therapy for a number of reasons. I don't think I ever processed through my parent's divorce and even though you wouldn't think that would affect an adult, it threw me for a loop and resulted in all kinds of messed up things like mothering my own mother and eliminating all contact with my father. And about the whole contact elimination, that's not the only time I've done that and I am more interested in resolving conflict rather than cutting that person off because, hello healthy relationship anyone? And basically there are things I need to fix about myself before I can ever be in a husband-wife relationship with anyone, not that there is opportunity for the moment, but I like to be proactive.
Part of the reason there were fumbled beginnings to this process is because shortly after I initially saw the therapist, I met someone and was happy so what would I need therapy for? Right. So after I realized that it wasn't all happiness and I was a PARANOID FREAK about everything and had a ridiculous number of insecurities, and started smoking again because I needed a coping mechanism for these issues I hadn't encountered in a very long time - I contacted the therapist again to really, seriously, find a regular time we could meet. And the relationship? Ended pretty quickly after I realized how much I didn't want him to date someone else and how that couldn't be avoided because he was in a bad place where he thought everything in his world would be better if he dated EVERYONE else. And don't get all frowny, he's not a cheater or mean or anything, he really is a wonderful man and I regret every day that things aren't different and he's having such a hard time trying to be happy. It's hard to be happy when awful things are happening and you wish everything were different. Anyway, this is not about him.
So here are my strides: I quit smoking (again and hopefully for the last time) at the very least because I started again because of a boy who isn't part of my problem anymore so why smoke? I realized that I am smart. I've spent a better part of my life thinking that I was stupid and couldn't learn certain things because of that stupidity. I'm all the way done with that now. The reason I couldn't learn those things was because I didn't have the tools to understand how I best learn things like that, because I, like many others, learn differently depending on the content. I have stopped crying everyday about lost loves. I don't know that it's a huge stride, because there are still days when I'm sad, but I'm working on it and realize it's probably going to take time. Also, I think I will be able to complete a homework assignment given to me at the very beginning of therapy.
My therapist asked me to write a letter to my dad, not mail it, just write it, about how he hurt me. Whenever I sat down to write it, all that would come out is how I am angry at him, nothing about hurt. I initially thought that it was because I was being prideful, that I was tamping down all these hurt feelings as if to say, "I'm too strong, you can't hurt me, you aren't important enough to hurt me." At the time, he was important enough to hurt me, he was my Dad! Now, it's more a matter of annoyance because he sends me presents at Christmas and my birthday, which I promptly return because I've asked him not to contact me. But hurt isn't the only thing and in fact it's a very tiny portion, the rest of it is a whole bunch of other stuff that I am better able to sort through and identify now.
So, sometime before next Thursday, I will be completing that homework assignment. Wish me luck. And pray that I can figure out forgiveness, because I know that's the next step.