Therapy Updates: Solo Work
I’ve forgotten most of Twitter’s main characters of the day. A few stand out, but for the most part, what exactly happened doesn’t survive the wash of time and more interesting trends. That said, I think about Beans Dad at least twice a week.
For the blessed unfamiliar, Beans Dad was a man on Twitter who bragged about not feeding his young child until she could figure out how to use a can opener without his help. According to him, this took several hours, and was meant to be some kind of lesson in self-sufficiency. Twitter, rightfully, did not see it that way. While the domino effect dug up previous racist posts and ultimately forced My Brother My Brother and Me to find a new theme song, what always stuck with me were the posts pointing out that his behavior was abusive. Regardless of whether you agree, the time Twitter spent that day on kinds of abuse that are less overt was a boon to me, and I felt seen in a way that I rarely do there.
All of that being said, when my therapist returned to her favorite tool without further explanation or any guidance, I realized that I was basically working with Beans Dad. Not only was she not considering that the tool was ill-fitted for me, she also refused to offer me any instructions or help using it. I understand that parts work does wonders for some people. I understand that it’s remarkably common. I also understand my own brain, and after another session in which my therapist all but insisted I dissociate through a significant portion of my time, I bit the bullet and ended our relationship.
Combined with also leaving my job, it’s been a very weird week for me. I feel at once relieved and keenly aware of the instability inherent in not having a job or a therapist again, after two months of having both. I’m starting over in more ways than one, but I feel like I’m learning some important lessons.
It isn’t lost on me that seven years ago, when I first started therapy, the idea of walking away from a therapist I didn’t mesh with seemed impossible. Less than a year ago I kept postponing that same decision as my list of unmentionable topics grew with a therapist I had long since outgrown. Despite having been deeply unhappy and mentally unwell in jobs, this is the first I’ve ever walked out.
I’m learning to stick up for myself. I’m learning to take a risk on my own happiness and my own well-being. It’s still scary and hard, but I’m doing it, and I think that’s worth celebrating.
I’m, of course, going to have to wait until I have another job before I can start therapy again. I’m okay with that. If nothing else, my most recent therapy gave me a new starting point, and I’m grateful for that. I’m also grateful that she allowed me to bow out without making that decision any more difficult than it already was.
I’m going to keep updating this series as I recover from the job I walked away from and start working on my dissociating less and focusing on myself more. I know I have a lot of work to do, but already it’s going better for having walked away from what wasn’t serving me.
Things might be weird right now, but I feel like what’s coming next can only be better.