There are things I should talk about; a whole list, in fact. Actually, two lists. I have a list of things that really should be talked about– big things, things sending me into “not okay” and the whole fact I’m kind of “not okay.” Then there is list number two, containing all the things about pregnancy and birth and my mom that I thought about after Monday’s session, and figure I should bring up. But I can’t address any of those things until I discuss the latest stunt on my mother in law’s part. I need to talk to Bea about it, find out if I am being unreasonable. Although I have talked about it with others, even if I am in the right, I need to examine it a bit more, and come up with some kind of plan, because my mother in law is crazy.
I’m curled up on the couch, drinking my vanilla chai tea latte, and Bea has just asked me if I had any thoughts about about what we had talked about last time. “Well…not really, kinda. I did, I mean, I do. But I really need to talk about my mother in law and what she did on Monday. I so don’t want to spend the whole time on her, but I just….well, I need an opinion about it.”
“Okay, all right. What happened?” Bea is one of those people who can go with the flow, she’s not locked into having her questions answered, or things going her way.
I explain the situation in detail, ending with, “So really, it boils down to her not caring about Kat’s feelings, as long as she gets what she wants and looks good. And that’s not okay with me. So I told hubby that Kat can not be alone with her anymore, and that I am not going to repeat this cycle of letting his mom have Kat alone, takeing away the privilege, giving it back because his mom behaves and I start to feel guilty and she plays me right so I question if I’m the crazy one. It has to stop. This is the last time. Final straw. It’s not healthy.”
“No, it’s absolutely not,” Bea agrees with me.
We talk about other things my mother in law has done, the fights she has caused, and her behaviors. I tell Bea how our nanny sees Kat’s relationship with her as almost abusive, where the person being abused can’t see or admit the abuser is bad. I’m not sure that is a completely accurate assessment, but that gives Bea a clear picture, combined with other stories.
“I really think she is narcissistic. Like, psychological disorder, not just selfish. I mean, I know I’m not a professional, but this woman isn’t sane. She can’t be. But she can act normal and sane when it suits her. But she lies and manipulates when it it suits her, too.” I sigh. My mother in law wears me out. Mentally, she drains me.
“I think so. It sounds like there is some kind of personality disorder. And that kind of charming but abusive dynamic, that can make you feel that you are the crazy one, that is so common with a narcissistic personality disorder,” Bea tells me, “I agree that it’s not a good idea for Kat to be alone with her. You need to stick to the rules and boundaries you are setting, and protect yourself and Kat from her.”
“I know everyone always feels like they got a crazy mother in law. But I think I really did!” I whine.
Bea laughs. “I think you did, too. You really do get to say that.”
“I just don’t know if I can stick to what I said. She always ends up making me feel crazy. Like I the one who has someone done something wrong.”
Bea crosses her legs. “Yeah. You just have to know that she will do that. And you aren’t wrong, and you aren’t crazy.”
“Okay. Okay,” I know I don’t have a lot of time left, and Bea has an appointment to get to right after this so we can’t go over today, “Should I…well..I had a panic attack during my c-section.”
“What happened? Who calmed you down? Do you know what triggered it?”
“Well, they perform a c-section with spinal anesthesia, it’s administered like an epidural. So, the anesthesiologist gave me the spinal, and I couldn’t move. I freaked. It was like, ‘oh my gosh, I can’t go anywhere, I can’t leave.’ It was awful. The nurse who,was supposed to monitor the spinal and me was awful, and the anesthesiologist ended up speaking with me, breathing with me, calming me down and then stayed, holding my hand, until hubby was allowed in.”
“Fight or flight. You couldn’t do either, and it seems like dissociation didn’t work in that instance, hence the anxiety attack,” Bea says.
“Oh, you couldn’t dissociate very easily if you wanted to. There are a million people around, you know someone is about to to cut you open, there are bright lights shining in your face, it’s too much in your face to really block it all out.”
“Yeah. It’s fight or flight, and when you realized you couldn’t flee, you panicked.”
“It’s not really a huge deal. I just realized I hadn’t really thought about that, or mentioned it, is all.” I shrug.
“No, it is a big deal, and I want us to talk about this, but we need to wrap up for today, I’m sorry,” Bea says.
“It’s okay. Really, it’s okay.” I smile at her as I grab my things. For all the times she has gone over for me, I don’t think she should feel bad for ending on time at all. And technically, she still gave me a 60 minute hour, which is more than most therapists give.
We say good bye, and see you tomorrow’s for Kat’s session. I’m almost glad to have the extra time between therapy and yoga, because it means I have time to run to the yarn store and buy some new yarn and a few more sets of knitting needles.
It wasn’t a deep session dealing with ugly stuff, but I feel better, nonetheless, like I can maybe learn to set and keep a boundary with my bat crap crazy mother in law with Bea’s help.