In the past few weeks I’ve been trying to make some time to prepare for therapy. Otherwise I’m on the go until I’m walking to J’s house and then I’m often too distracted to think about what I want to say.
There are probably hundreds of things during the week that prompt me to think, ‘I should talk about that in therapy’. In the few days since my last session, I hit quite a low ebb and so that provided enough material to fill most of the time today.
Last week I had to go to Sweden for a few days on business. I knew there was a risk I would be tempted to drink. But I also thought I would do something fun to fill my time alone in between meetings. Unfortunately, the fun part didn’t happen. So I was on my own in a hotel feeling miserable. I went downstairs to the bar mainly because I was lonely. At first I had a Coke. But the bar tender was friendly and as I chatted with him alcohol seemed like more and more of a good idea.
It wasn’t. It made me feel guilty and ultimately more lonely. It probably also contributed to the fact that I had multiple night terrors as I tried to sleep. They are even more terrifying when my wife isn’t with me.
Today I shared all of this with J. And I talked some more about my self-destructive behaviours, because I’m finding them more compelling lately. Particularly cutting.
It’s been some months since I’ve cut myself very frequently. However, it still appeals to me. I still think about it most days. It’s an addiction like any other. But I’m not certain what aspect of it I’m addicted to.
I’m not necessarily addicted to the act, rather how it feels to allow myself to go there. It’s exciting and it does bring a degree of relief. There’s also a thrill in knowing I am doing something people don’t want me to do. I suppose to some extent we are all drawn to what’s forbidden aren’t we?
When I talked about all this with J, it was really hard to be honest. It’s hard to say out loud something that to most people would seem sick and twisted. I felt ashamed. I can still feel some of that shame recalling the conversation now. I want her to know about my suffering, but I don’t want her to see me as ‘disturbed’. And it annoys me that I even worry what she thinks of me.
That’s something I am working at doing less of; worrying how J will receive what I say. It takes a lot of trust, and I’m not quite there yet. I trust her in the basic sense; i.e. I am confident she wouldn’t talk about me to other people and that she has good intentions.
But even after almost two years of working with her, I don’t 100% trust that our relationship is secure. I still get scared that one day she will reject me. I get scared she will hear so much shit from me that she won’t see anything positive in me anymore, anything worth investing her energy in. That is doubly frightening because I need people like her to invest in me and hope for me, because it’s been a long time since I’ve done that for myself.
Photo: Craig Berry, Creative Commons.