I came. I went. I conquered.
Parents went to therapy with me last night. Lets just say I am SO glad I did it with Sara (who is kickass at this whole therapy thing btw). It isn’t because we would have went up in a ball of flames if she wasn’t there, or that the conversation would have dissolved into a major argument. We actually probably would have accomplished the end goal–getting my parents to be my go too in an emergency.
So why am I so glad that I did it with her there?
- I didn’t have to worry about being in charge of the conversation. Dad listens, mom is apt to talk over and try to fill in the blanks on her own without listening (must be where I get it from….). By the time she finishes talking I’ll forget what I wanted to say, or even what we are supposed to be talking about. I held my own, but I needed Sara to keep the conversation on track and remind me what I thought was important.
- Explaining what psychosis is to people who haven’t experienced it is really hard. When I would strike out with 5 different explanations (they kept trying to compare it to the racing thoughts of anxiety…”I understand, your brain is just really busy, that happens to me all the time!” Um. No. If this happened to you all the time you’d be sitting in therapy and playing the magical guessing game with meds too.) Sara would jump in and try. I would have gotten frustrated and given up.
- She helped me (nicely) get across that they don’t need to be afraid of me. You have any idea how awful it feels to find out your parents spend 15 minutes consulting each other on writing a text message because they were afraid of setting you off? I still don’t understand where this idea that I’m this volatile, angry person came from. Am I really that oblivious to how bad I was? Was my anger never justified? Still don’t know what to do with this one.
- She helped me not get frustrated when my parents kept asking what they could and could not say to me.
- She prompted me to get the hardest part over with quickly, talking about the suicidal thoughts.
- She emphasized 351354 times how well I’m doing, that the worst of this is behind me, and that I’m a strong person.
Goals were accomplished no fights happened, and I would bet $100 that my parents were completely satisfied with the conversation. So why did I walk away upset? Why did I get home and text my support people because I felt frustrated?
It took me a while to figure it out, and by the time I went to bed I knew. Part of it was because I felt like I had to reintroduce myself to my parents, and sometimes it was like they took it as everything I’ve done since I was 14 wasn’t really me, and every emotion I had was the result of a mood swing. There was lots of re-explaining who I am.
But really, I was upset and frustrated because, despite the love and support (however misguided it may be sometimes) from my parents, I don’t feel a connection with them. Why? Hell if I know. For the longest time I simply thought I wasn’t capable of it. But I am. I have that relationship with other people. I just don’t have it with them.
So yeah, goals were accomplished, but a slew of other things came up that I need to deal with.