Those were her words, not mine. Apparently I frustrated J to the point that she wanted to growl at me today. It’s been a damp, grey, gloomy day and I just felt like hiding. I was withdrawn and kept myself distant from her. And she didn’t appreciate it.
Basically, I feel really overwhelmed. These are the reasons why – in order of how much they are bothering me:
- My brother (who abused me) is due to become a father this week. My emotions in relation to this are complex and horrible.
- My grandfather has just been diagnosed with cancer. We don’t know how serious it is yet, but he’s 84 so it doesn’t look good.
- My sister has reemerged into my life after abandoning me during the police investigation. She wants to have a talk tomorrow about everything and I’m too pissed off with her to feel like it will go well.
- My wife is out of work and I’m worried about money, plus she’s depressed about the whole situation and her unhappiness is contagious.
- I’ve got a performance review at work tomorrow. I hate those intense and frank conversations about where all my faults lie.
- My workload is huge right now. I can’t get on top of everything that needs to be done. I end up sitting at my desk, unable to begin anything as it all feels like too much.
This concoction of stresses mean that therapy feels pointless because I can’t just pick up one thing and focus on it when my head is a mass of anxiety and worry. I go to my sessions because I want to be able to offload something. And I want to spend that time with J, because she makes me feel calm and safe. At the same time, I want to stay wrapped inside my inner world. I don’t want to take a risk and make myself feel vulnerable, because I’m already incredibly fragile.
I know it must be hard work for J when I am like that. I didn’t want to connect with her, because that makes me feel things more deeply. I avoided eye contact and stayed curled up. I didn’t volunteer very much information, I just stared at the carpet and hoped she would do the talking. And of course that isn’t productive. It’s just hard to know what else to do, and tough trying to force myself out of that zone to do something different.
Hopefully tomorrow I will feel more open. Right now, I’m going to crawl under my duvet and hibernate for a while.
Photo: Ishan Manjrekar, Creative Commons.