I’ve been seeing a new therapist closer to where I live. It’s nice not having to block out a half day to go to therapy. I can get to his office in about 10 minutes, which is really convenient.
I have mixed feelings though about being back in therapy. Yes, it’s true that therapy is often a step in the right direction along the gentle path toward self-actualization. But the road is anything but easy. Yesterday was a tough session. And today I’ve been this weepy, sad person that I don’t want to be.
Part of what I want from therapy is verification that I am NOT a seductive, career-ruining, predator. I want to move past an academic acceptance. I want to be free of the guilt and shame that I have about having a sexual relationship with my former therapist. His rationalization that we hadn’t really had a sexual relationship because “it was only phone sex” is something I’ve NEVER believed. I saw that as the rationalization when he said it to me, and I still believe with all my heart that although we did not actually have intercourse or actually touch each others bodies, we did have a sexual relationship. I know it. And that sexual relationship was . . . dare I say . . . NOT therapeutic.
I want to feel that sure about whether I did something wrong during our sessions. How do I do that? How do I convince myself that I did not behave inappropriately? What I’ve been doing is telling this new therapist about how I acted in sessions and asking his opinion. So far I’ve asked two therapists if bringing coffee to a therapist is flirtatious, seductive, or bad. So far, the consensus is that it’s probably not a bad thing. Probably. That’s where I get stuck, but the truth is that it doesn’t matter how many times I ask, I never REALLY believe I was blameless. How does that get fixed? It’s like a kind of psychic phantom limb pain.
I’ve been trying to start a 12-step group in my town with very little success. I have a box of stuff, I have a meeting place, but no people. Periodically men will contact the hotline, but they don’t want to talk to a female. That’s understandable, but I’m tired of trying to get a group going.
I’m just sad. I feel like someone dear to me has died. I feel sorry for this little girl who was me, for this woman who was me. I wonder if this is healthy – poor me, poor me, pour me, and all that jazz.
But the scary thing for me is that I’m beginning to feel a bit angry. Resentful. That’s a scary vortex to look into. Recovery slogans aside, I believe I need to walk through these feelings. And I’m going to try hard to do it soberly because otherwise, I don’t think it’ll work.
The new therapist said that it would set me free. I don’t know if I buy that. I’m not feeling so free right now. I’m feeling sad, vulnerable, and wounded.