I had my talk therapy session this week. It’s really hard to talk because I was taught to be silent, to keep it in, and I’m either one extreme or another.
In my case, I was punished for speaking as a child, so I have a bunch of hangups surrounding talk therapy, sensitive topics, etc. Manners were everything in my family, and to speak diplomatically, without revealing any kind of emotion or underlying agenda, was always the goal. Politeness and debate (diplomatic debate) were crucial tools growing up in my home.
As an adult, I can speak on sensitive topics, but I’m usually crying the whole time (which I ask folks to ignore, as it’s a stress reaction and not at all relevant to what is trying to be communicated). It’s not a cry for help. It’s not manipulation. It’s my body’s fear mechanism reacting to the anticipated punishment that (thankfully) no longer comes because I am an adult and answer only to myself.
When I was a kid, speaking frankly would get me beat up by other peers, or punished. I was pert, fresh, or rude. No one ever said I didn’t have a point – just that they didn’t want to hear it. Not from me.
At any rate, we can be talking about almost anything, and the conversation will range from scattered topic to topic, and then I’m crying. All while still talking.
I don’t know if it’s a woman-centric thing. A hormonal reaction to stress. Whatever.
In my case, I just accept it as some sort of remaining PTSD stuff and just work with it, while asking others to ignore it as I’ve mentally examined it and it’s not meant to be manipulative or anything else. It just is.
When I google, “Eyes water while talking”, “Tears while talking”, I can see that I’m not alone and that lots of us have a similar problem. Ok. Whatever its cause, I don’t care. I just get frustrated that it sets a false impression of emotional manipulation. One of my best bosses really used to find it funny. I could negotiate million dollar deals, etc., but give me one kind word or harsh one, and the reaction was the same every time – red face, strangled ability to talk, if I could talk, and tears. I am the original choked up softy. But a softy with a backbone of steel.
I’ve become a master of prevarication over the years when grabbed in the ladies room and offered comfort. “Oh, I’m fine. Just allergies.” Seriously, the allergies distraction works every time because my breathing is fine, I’m not emotionally upset (I’m crying, yes, but the causes aren’t tied to anything that I can find and nail down to “cure”).
At any rate, I tell you all that to tell you this:
– I managed to move my talk therapist out to quarterly appointments following this week’s appointment. Phew !
I know I need to have someone on my team to talk to about life and death issues if I move forward with the stem cell treatment (which I’ll pursue if I’m told I’m well enough to work).
However, I’m not at that point yet and I don’t see a lot of value in going over stuff that cannot be changed. I am at peace with my life, my history and my future. I focus on the here and now while also making plans for the future (because no one ever knows how much time they will have when battling COPD), so whatever’s going on in my head is what it is.
I’m not wasting my money or resources.
I’m not being mean or cruel to other people and poisoning my emotional relationships.
I’m not living in denial. I accept death’s reality and understand that no one ever gets enough time on this world to satisfy all their goals and hopes. I accept what is, keep making plans to find the joy in life by tangible activities that give me pleasure, and I exist. It’s all ok.
Going to the therapist once a month when I can’t see what we have to talk about, or things that need to be fixed, is aggravating. Since I’m only dealing with a talk therapist because the stem cell people require it, I don’t think moving her out to quarterly appointments is disingenuous.
I feel that she has enough of an idea about who I am after 6+ months worth of talking that we’re good. Should I go through with the stem cell treatment, I’ll have her in my roster of professionals, and will go back to monthly appointments.
But, I tell you all that to tell you this.
I get a lot of help from these blogs. Both the ones I write as well as the ones that others write. I treasure the comment give and take.
While I would never want to be a troll for anyone, I also find it aggravating to be silenced and to have my comments deleted vs. responded to. Even if only to tell me that my opinion doesn’t matter.
But, to delete a comment without remark, is the cruelest form of being silenced that I could think of doing to another person. Disagree with me. Warn me where I’ve gone wrong. But to delete my comment to silence me? Unhelpful. Hurtful.
Rather than be a troll and ask that person, “why?”, I’ll simply wander away and stop reading their blogs. It’s no loss to either of us, but it’s still sad to be silenced after all these years.