Monday, September 16, 2013

He's Got Me Unsettled

A couple of months ago I decided I was ready for a break from therapy.  These have been a couple of really tough months.  And even though I've had moments when I wished I had my therapist to draw strength from, for the most part I was happy with my decision.

I have faced incredibly difficult things without him these last two months.  Ugly times between my husband and myself.  My parents pushing boundaries I've established to keep myself emotionally safe.  My husband's unemployment.  My depression.  The loss of a friendship.  A personal struggle with self-definition.

And I've done well.  I held my boundaries.  I practiced forgiveness and humility.  I communicated openly and honestly.

I've been doing just fine without therapy.

But something happened Friday that's got me unsettled.

My dad was going to be out of town and asked if I could take my mom to her therapy appointment.  I thought about this and decided I was okay with it; it didn't cross my boundaries.  I agreed.  But as I thought about it I realized something.  There was a possibility I would run into my therapist because he works in the same office as my mom's therapist.

I wasn't sure how I felt about this.  Did I want to see him or avoid him?  Did it matter either way?  Would he even say anything if he saw me?  Would it be uncomfortable?  I just didn't know.

Well, I took her.  She went in and I waited in the lobby.  Therapist after therapist came out and claimed their clients.  It was almost half past the hour by this point.  Maybe he wasn't there that day after all and all my worrying would have been for naught.

And then he opened the door to the lobby.

I was listening to an audio book and playing a game on the ipad.  I was just going to let it be.  I knew he was there but didn't look up.

I heard a slight sound.  Then another.  With my audio book playing in my ears it wasn't clear.  But soon I realized he was calling my name.  I turned off my book and looked up at him.  He smiled and waved and said hello.  I returned his wave and hello and looked back down at my game.

His client was waiting, had been waiting for an extra long time, so I expected that was the end of it.  Then I sensed him approaching.

I took out my headphones and looked up to see him extending a hand to me.  As he shook my hand he said, "I just wanted you to know I'm still here if you need me."  All I could muster was, "Okay.  Thanks."

And then he was gone.

And I've been unsettled ever since.

Our last session was not a good one.  I don't know if he understands this the way I understand it.  I don't know if he thinks I quit coming because he challenged me to do something difficult and I am hiding from it.  He could very easily think that because of what happened in our session, but it's not the truth.  Not even close.  If he knows me at all, he should know that I don't run from difficult things.  There was so much more in the reason I quit seeing him.

I've been asking myself why I'm unsettled.  Why am I suddenly questioning my decision to quit therapy?  Do I want to go back once Bill gets established in his new job and we have good insurance again?  What's got me so stuck in my head about this?

Is it because there was no closure, because I didn't go back and tell him what the problem was and why I didn't want to see him anymore?  Is it because I am struggling right now and really could use a trained professional to talk to?  Is it because therapy had become an addiction for me and seeing him was like getting a tiny taste of my old, familiar drug?  Is it because no matter how much I tried to say he was just my therapist, I really see him as a friend and I miss him?  Or is it just because I'm lost and floundering for direction?

I don't know.  But I've got some time to chew on it for a while as I try to figure things out.  My husband starts work next Monday and won't get paid for a while after that.  It will take us some time to figure out what our insurance situation is.  I've got at least that long to postpone the decision.

Oh, so much to think about.


Bonnie said...

I recognize that lostness. Unsettled is a very good word for it. I think reaching out for other people is a good thing, a natural healing thing. In studying for my lesson about the transitions of the Iowa time period for the saints, I was struck by how the Lord wanted them to do things with each other: dance, organize, be careful how they interacted, etc. He taught them how much they needed each other, and him, during hard times so that those would be consecrated. I was unsettled a few days ago and, against the prompting of the spirit, went over to ask the advice of a friend. It was not a good experience, and I came away from it stung at a vulnerable time. The Lord was very clear to me: "I would not have treated you that way. You should have counseled with me, but I can help you untangle the damage that was done." I have sometimes been healed by people around me and sometimes been healed by leaving the conversation between me and the Lord. I know you will know which is best for you.

Carol said...

Perhaps he is the one unsettled. He may have thought you were there to see a different therapist.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

That's a lot to think about.

Sheila Skillingstead said...

I was in therapy, stopped, and then restarted. I stopped when I was pregnant. Boy was I in baby brain, moo cow, nothing can phase me hormone city. Then I had a miscarriage. Things were not finished. I went back for a while, but not for long. I never felt as if I made progress, but the girls say different. You look at us said one. Ahhhh, how many years did I disassociate as I raised them. Let it go, they're well-adjusted adults--I guess some of us had to be. : )

Chew on it--I like that phrase. I think you'll know what's right for you when the time comes.

Melanie said...

Hi there! It is hard when you've got so many weighty issues on your plate. It sounds to me, the untrained person who has only read this one blog post on your beautiful blog and thusly knows nothing, but it could be a compilation of things that are leaving you unsettled. Lack of closure, the current struggles, you miss your friend, all of the reasons you listed.

Good luck to you lady, I've been to therapy and found it really life-saving. I just moved to a new town and am terrified to try to find someone new, but I know I need that support ya know?

We just keep on keepin' on as best we can. Hugs lady, big hugs!

Mommie Daze said...

Sounds like you have a difficult decision to make. I hope you can find the clarity you need.

Shannon Thomas said...

I have always found dealing with male therapists to be messy. Taking a break is always so complicated. Luckily, it's his job to understand stuff...

Stephanie S. said...

That is definitely a lot to think about.

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life said...

I think people often go in and out of therapy due to a variety of reasons, he may just want to reassure you that he's not upset that you've left but you're welcome back anytime. But who knows really. If you feel you would like to go back at some point, you can, and that's reassuring.