Thursday, April 26, 2007

On the therapist's couch

So, I did it, I went to my very first therapy session ever. Which is an odd thing to me as I've always prided myself on being able to work through my issues myself. But, I went.

Veni, vidi, vici. As they say. Maybe. If I have my latin quotations correct.

Except I didn't conquer. I'm not sure what I really thought of the therapy. Of course, it was only the first session. It was more of a fact-finding session really, for me to explain what I'd done and where I thought I was at. She asked a few questions but I don't even remember what most of them were.

The big thing I came away with was that she wants me to be open to having a relationship in my life. That I need to be focussing on things other than infertility, so that if I never get pregnant, I have some sort of a life to pick up and can see some future in. But mostly I need to be open to a relationship. Because, after all, maybe I can try to conceive with a partner. Except I don't really see how you can meet a guy and be trying to conceive the next week - don't you usually wait a couple of years? I don't feel like I have a couple of years to see where the relationship goes. My eggs need to get fertilized NOW, before they shrivel up.

Here's the big secret, though. I'm not really open to a relationship. I'm safe in my little solo bubble. OK, it's boring a lot of the time, but it's safe. I'm really not interested enough in the positives of a relationship for the want of those things to outweigh the desire to remain safe. Or at least for me to want to go out and actively try to find a relationship. Opening myself up to someone has only caused hurt in the past, so it's something I tend not to want to do. So, it is something I need to work on, I guess. I am trying to repeat to myself that I am open to a relationship. I am open to a relationship. See, I said it.

You know, I could be open to a relationship with the right guy. Do you think it's OK to start off with being open to a relationship with a skinny dorky pacifist vegetarian who doesn't mind women with some cellulite and chunky thighs, who's into being green and can hold a decent conversation. And who likes red wine and dark chocolate. I'm not sure if guys like that exist, and if I'm just looking for a reflection of me (well, except the skinny part - maybe that's just a reflection of who I'd like to be) but maybe if I start off thinking I'm open to that, maybe I can expand my horizons to more realistic types of guys as I get a bit more comfortable with the theory.

But as far as coping strategies, I didn't come away with any. Except homework to read Alice Domar's book, and a promise that we will work on some of the mind/body stuff together. Oh, and I'm supposed to journal. I said I blogged, and asked if that counted, but the therapist thought that blogging was too public, and I need to do some free writing and just let things pop into my head.

I don't know. I don't know if this is going to work. I don't think I'd be going if I hadn't already tried pretty much everything else. I don't think I'd be going if I hadn't reached the point of crying far too easily over set backs. But what have I got to lose? Except yet more money, but hopefully insurance will reimburse me for some of it. So I'll see what she can do for me.


bleu said...

Hi sweety,
I am a believer in therapy, but I am also a believer in the right therapist. It is so important. I think 2-3 tries with one should tell you if it is a fit, if not one. I wasn't there so I do not really know how it was, but part of me felt, from your description, that this therapist was imposing some of her beliefs on you. That is NOT ok. Being open to other life paths, sure fine, but the emphasis on a relationship screams bias to me. You are of an age, and made a very clear choice to ttc now. That does not really gel with finding a relationship. Not that you never will, but it is not the focus. The energy and time right now is being spent on something you thought through and decided. Working on body image, on your ttc issues, on the wanting/needing/deserving a child stuff. All of that is relevant. Focusing on having a life above and beyond ttc is relavent, but trying to get a man so you can try with him???????
Way off to me.
I guess what I am saying is that I worry for you. This was recommended by the acu who I have some irk with to begin with. I am very pro therapy, but do not be afraid to say "you are not for me" to a therapist and find another one.
Much love.

Jade said...

I've been in therapy for a very very long time (probably too long).

Interesting discussion with the therapist. I wonder if they understood that you that are looking for coping skills - as opposed to a mega-life fix (which is was they seemed to be suggesting).

My question (and maybe this is obvious, and I hope it is not offensive) is do you think that your desire for a child is driven by the need for an intimate relationship? And do you think that perhaps an intimate relationship with a child feels less threatening (and less risky) than a relationship with a man?

Orodemniades said...

I don't like her. Just feels like she already has an agenda. Does she know anything about infertility? Cuz, it sounds like she just kind of pooh-poohed it. "Maybe you can conceive with a partner". Yeah...

Carey said...

As a therapist-in-training, I was also put off by her comment about telling you to be open to a relationship, esp. in the first session - it's not like a therapeutic relationship has even been created between the two of you!! If I were you, I'd make it very clear about what you want to get out of therapy. It is your decision, not hers. She is only there to act as a guide & help you gain insight, not spew advice. (that's why WE'RE here, for the assvice!) :)

Therapy is wonderful (& difficult - you really push yourself mentally) with the right therapist and a waste of time with the wrong one. I also agree that after 2-3 sessions, if you aren't clicking with her, find someone else.