My last appointment with T, we were about 3/4 of the way through the appointment when she asked me, “What are we doing here?”
I kind of blanked. Like, what was she asking me? Did she want to break up with me? So I said, “Talking?”
She started telling me that she felt I was working really well with my anxiety, and able to handle things in a better manner than when I first started seeing her. She said she didn’t want to take advantage of me if I didn’t need to be in therapy at this point. So what did I feel I needed to work on at this point? On one hand I was pleased that she felt I was making good progress, but on the other hand I knew I had more work to do. I told her that I felt I was using the time (and space) with her as a “safe place” for me to talk about my anxiety and the things I worry about…as well as the progress I felt I was making. Because I don’t want to burden my husband or family talking about these things and/or looking for validation for how I’m feeling. At some point, the people around you get tired of hearing the same thing, and T is paid to hear it over and over again, if that’s what I want to talk about. She laughed, and said she was happy to be a safe space, but for me to keep in mind that we could change our schedule (twice a month) or open discussions up to things other than anxiety.
I told her that I knew I needed to work on my control issues, but that I also felt I needed to talk with her about my food issues. She reminded me that it’s a “relationship” with food, not an issue. She’s very semantically inclined…which I understand is because it makes a difference how we talk to ourselves. But sometimes I find it funny and distracting, which I think amuses her. Anyway, she said she’s ready and will to work on my relationship with food and to continue working on control issues.
It was good to hear from her that she felt I was progressing with my ability to deal with my anxiety. I asked Hub at one point if he felt I was doing better and he sort of just stared at me, like he wasn’t sure what to say. I rushed to tell him it wasn’t a big deal and to forget it, but I was really disappointed. I feel like I’m doing better, but if he doesn’t see it…what does that mean? Does it mean he can’t see the changes in me, or do I hide so much of my anxiety from him that he really can’t see the changes? I tell him pretty much everything in relation to my anxiety, but maybe I don’t show it to him. I’m not sure.
I know I’ve made progress, I can see it in myself. I don’t know why I feel like I want validation from the people around me, family and otherwise.