Why I got upset in Monday’s Session

After therapy on Monday, I was really doing a lot of thinking about why I had gotten so upset, so quickly. While crying and grieving over some of what my parents had not been able to give me was healing, I still wanted to know what had set those tears off to begin with. So, as I drove home, I thought about it. When I got home, I journaled. And then, as I cleaned up the house, I thought some more. I did eventually figure out what led to my reaction, and proud of myself for figuring it out, I emailed Bea.

Hi Bea,

Well, the dishes are out of the oven, and in the dishwasher. 🙂 Cleaning up gave me plenty of time to think, which led to this:

I figured out why I was so upset when you said I had been doing so good not picking, when in fact I was picking at that very moment and had been all weekend. It wasn’t really that, or at least it wasn’t all because of that, not even mostly because of that— it was just the final thing that was too much. So I had to hide my face and cry.

I was feeling guilty over feeling so bad about my parents not being there, talking about my mom and for being so mad at her and hurt by her, like I have no right to be so upset….like I’m being a drama queen and negating the fact that I had it good. Kind of like my mom is right; nothing satisfies me, I am too needy.

I was thinking about taking that sweater back, and realized I wouldn’t really be able to. It’s from a “skinny girl store”, and I can’t walk in there and exchange the small sweater for a bigger size, even with Hubby doing the talking. That’s an internal, silent panic attack just waiting to happen. I can’t do it. I was thinking what you were saying sounded nice– take back a sweater, be fine with me, with my size, my body, ext, whatever. And I was thinking that was some kind of fairy tale. I hate the ways I think sometimes, and that’s new, that’s different for me, but it doesn’t change how I think. That’s so ingrained, I practically was taught to think this way from the time I was little. How can that even be changed? The sad truth is that my thoughts regarding food and body size and weight and eating aren’t really different than they were 10 years ago. Or 15 years ago.

So those things were at the front of my mind, plus the idea of trying to put into perspective/accept/grieve/ the idea that my parents were not able to be there emotionally, that they had a set of standards I had to meet to be loved. And the new perspective on what really happened with Him when I was a child– the r word. Those things were swirling around in my head.

And then you said I was doing good at something that I was actually not doing good at; at least not at that moment, and that was just too much to handle. (And I hate this, because it means talking about relationships and admitting closeness or something, and I don’t do those things.) It gave me the feeling of not meeting the expectations, the standards, of being a disappointment.
I was just too overwhelmed with everything else to add that on top of it. And I was waiting to be “scolded” or lectured or made to feel guilty, or something—- all my whining and drama queen freakouts, and now I screwed this up and am picking again? I was just waiting to be made to feel guilty for this.

So that’s what happened.

I feel like I put a lot of rules on you, and I’m sorry. It’s not that you can’t talk about the relationship piece because I’m being difficult. It’s because it scares the crap out of me. I’m trying. I’m trying not to be so freaked out by people and trusting them and being close to them. And then talking about it. Why do we need to talk about it?

Alice

I sent this email Monday, late afternoon, before the fight with Hubby. Bea didn’t answer the email right away, in fact, I didn’t receive a response until Tuesday morning. Of course, not hearing back quickly sent me into a tailspin, because I had admitted I felt like I had disappointed her. If you are upset that you disappointed someone, then you care about their opinion. If you care about their opinion, then you must care about them, need them. Which means, I had basically admitted to needing Bea, to being close to her, to trusting her. I was freaked beyond words when she had not responded, sure I had done something wrong. (And, hating myself for feeling like that)

Of course, her response was thoughtful, and real, and calmed me.

Alice,

Well the fact that what I was saying–about taking back the sweater, feeling empowered to be who you are, etc.–sounded nice is a very good thing! If it sounded nice maybe it would be a good thing to think more about? Like what’s really standing in the way of that? What makes it just a fairy tale?

I just ordered some books on having a healthier relationship with food and our bodies–for people with all kinds of issues from eating too much to eating too little. They should be arriving soon–I’m excited! Maybe we will find some helpful ways to think about this and work on it more. Two are workbooks, one is about soothing without food, and one is just a regular book, I think.

All of those things that you said were swirling around in your head are big and hard to wrap your head around. I’m sure they will continue to swirl until they kind of settle into perspective in your “story” and lose their emotional punch.

I so wanted to take back saying anything about the picking! But it caused you to think about your reaction, so it was actually good–that is the thing–everything that happens to us causes both positive and negative things to occur as a result. The same with your parents and the things they put on you. There are positives–you do accomplish a lot and are very capable. There are negatives–we are dealing with those now. Nothing is really ever just black and white, bad or good–there’s almost always another perspective.

What you are considering “rules” for me are all about you feeling safe, which is very understandable. Why do we need to talk about it? Well, if we don’t, from time to time, it’s no different than not talking about things in your family growing up, right? This is a new way. I brought it up yesterday just to point out the parallels. I know it’s uncomfortable–feels risky and unsafe. And unnatural in some ways, but it can be very helpful.

Bea
.

I didn’t have a response to her email, partly because Hubby and I had a fight, and partly because the things she asked I’m still trying to answer.

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3 thoughts on “Why I got upset in Monday’s Session

  1. Fascinating. Sometimes my head just swirls with too many things. I don’t wish that for you, but sure do understand. It’s like, let’s just get this all fixed right now! I’m still learning patience..

    Like

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