Friday, February 5, 2010

I finally did it.

I figured that since I have some time on my hands, it would be a good time to start counseling for myself. I had my first appointment yesterday. It was kind of awkward, it seemed like the counselor (a lady, younger than me) kept waiting for me to talk, and I'm a quiet person. I told her what's been going on (you all know that), and that I'm feeling stressed out, scared, and overwhelmed. I told her that I try very hard to accept DH's mental illness but that sometimes I can't tell if it's his mental illness that makes him a slug, or if he's just being lazy. I told her that sometimes I resent him for not contributing more, and that I wished we could be a team again, instead of me doing everything or nagging until he does SOMETHING.

But she really didn't have much to say. So I'm not sure about this....but I know you've got to start somewhere. There aren't a lot of counselors/therapists in our area, and I had to find one who wasn't already familiar with our family/situation. I don't know if she's any good. Maybe she's just waiting until I show up in the middle of a crisis so she can help me "get through" it?

I haven't heard back from that interview yet (the one at my old company) but I'm sure it wouldn't be good news anyhow....bleh. I get angry just thinking about it. I know it probably wasn't meant to be, but jeez.....


Elizabeth A. said...

I'm learning recently with my new pdoc, sometimes you have to be assertive to lead your appointments where you want to go and announce your expectations. In the end, they work for you.

If it makes you feel any better, my pdoc stands up after 15 minutes and continues to do so until I leave. We're about to have a little talk.

Donna Jo said...

I have been reading your blog for some time now. I have enjoyed it. I too have a bi polar husband and when you write some things I think AHH is she living in my house. How many times have I said to myself "I'm so tired of doing this alone!" I'm so glad you decided to go for therapy. It has really helped me. Elizabeth is right, you need to lead. Go in with something specific you are having a problem with, like "I feel so much resentfulness toward my husband and I don't know how to talk to him about it without hurting his feelings". Ok that was kind of broad and straight from my life but it gives you an idea. Good luck!

perphila said...

The first thing your therapist should do is tell you how they usually handle sessions. The first few times you go can be kind of tedious because there is a lot of paperwork and background info that really needs to be done. A good one will ask you what your goals are and what you would like to get out of therapy. If you don't know but just know you need some kind of support then the therapist will help you to make some short term goals and the two of you should be reevaluating them at least once every three months or when you feel you need a change. If you feel you have to lead sessions you need a better therapist. A good one should be leading YOU without you even noticing. That is their JOB.

One thing you can do to help them and you with that job is keep a journal or notebook of things that have bothered you between visits. Any ideas, dreams, bad days etc. A good therapist should be able to find what kind of therapy works for you after getting to know you and your situation. You might find that the first half of sessions is you telling about your more recent issues then going into other insights and/or skill building on how to deal/handle with hard to manage emotional situations. Anger, stress, you name it. Always keep in mind this person works for you and if after you have given it a real honest try, at least a few months and that person isn't the one for you try someone new. You don't keep going back to the same person you mangled your last haircut but you still are going to need your hair cut sometime, right?

Be proud of yourself for taking the step to get some extra support. Go you!!!

Also, what a great example you are setting for your family...:) Then again you have always set a great example!

DogAteMyFinances said...

I'm wildly speculating here, but I'm guessing thie blog is more therapuetic (and less time consuming!) than talking to some community college graduate in her mid-twenties.

Every time you post I struggle with the balance of lazy and mentally ill in your husband. I find your experience pushes the bounds of what marriage means to me, and what I am willing to tolerate (and sometimes I don't like what I see in myself).

I am not sure anyone knows what is mentally ill and what is lazy, but nothing is going to change until something does or you make something change.

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GB's Mom said...

I have a husband and three children, all bipolar. I get what you mean by "going alone". Sometimes, all I need is a day when I can "not be responsible" for a couple of hours. Good luck with therapy. I had to try a couple of different therapists, before I found a good fit, but it was worth it.

Miz Kizzle said...

There are all kinds of therapists. Yours sounds like the type who lets you arrive at your own insights by listening to yourself talk and asking occasional leading questions, i.e., "And how did that make you feel?"
If you feel like it's not a good fit and you don't like doing all the talking, you can ask her to contribute a little bit more or you can find someone else who will give you more guidance.
My good friend loves her therapist now but when she first went to him she found him silent and intimidating. She finally asked him to talk more and they worked out a better therapeutic relationship.
I'm glad you're talking to someone. You have a lot on your plate. Maybe therapy will help you realize the best route for you to take. It seems like you do all the giving and everyone around you does nothing but take. And yes, I understand that some of them can't help it for one reason or another. Good luck.