I had a session with my T a few days ago. I had been looking forward to it as I had a lot of good and exciting things to talk about. I was going to be starting my first class at the local college and felt like I was making forward progress in my life after feeling stuck for so long.
Let's just say that I cried, no, bawled, through most of the session. Not what I was expecting at all. I guess I had a lot of bottled up emotion and it just exploded. Not pretty at all. One of those times where I left feeling exhausted and emotionally drained.
So, what happened??
I had just completed a 4-day/3-night babysitting stint. My brother's kids were at our house (I live at home with my parents) during that time. We had 5-8 kids, depending on the day as the 3 oldest were helping their parents with an event during part of that time. Things went fairly well, but let's be honest - having that many kids can be stressful.
The weather wasn't helping things either with snow and ice and extreme cold. The day of my therapy session it was snowy and very windy with some drifting. When I arrived, my T asked how the roads were. I replied that I really didn't noticed as I was fighting a war in the car.
I had swapped vehicles with my parents as my van is leaking anti-freeze and my dad was concerned. It's a long drive to my T and I thought it might be better if I drove their car. I forgot that I hate to drive it and why. The seat is torture for me to sit in and I can't get it adjusted to fit me. The headrest tilts forward, putting my head at a bad angle causing neck strain. I have chronic neck/back pain and it was very painful. My hip was flaring up too. I was almost in tears as I was driving. I had to use a tapping technique to try to calm myself. I felt so guilty for being so upset. I felt like I should be grateful that I had a car to use, not all worked up because the seat didn't fit me.
On top of the seat issues, my coat was driving me crazy. I had worn a cardigan sweater under my coat for extra warmth. Only problem was due to my large wrists the cuffs were too tight and were restricting my arm movements. I was feeling confined and starting to get a bit claustrophobic.
By the time I got through telling my T all of this, I was crying in earnest. She told me it was ok to have both feelings of gratitude for the car and frustration at the real discomfort I was experiencing.
As we continued to talk, the subject of my health problems came up and how I can't afford to go to a doctor. She strongly urged me to pursue getting public aid to help until I can get on my feet financially. I cried even harder. This was not how I had envisioned my life to be like by this point in time. Growing up I'd always assumed I'd get married and have a family. Instead, here I am struggling to get to the point where I can support myself and live on my own. To have to admit that I need help is not easy. I took that step when applying at the college as there is no way I can pay for it and I am getting help. But to take it further and get on public aid...
My T was comforting and encouraging, reminding me that this would just be temporary and that my situation is what it's there for. She pointed out all the steps I'm taking to get to the point where I won't need aid and that I'm not just being lazy, looking for a hand-out. (Let me be clear, I know that there are many out there who really do need help and I don't think they are being lazy. I just struggle with feeling that is how others will view me.)
I met with a close friend last night and shared about this with her. She also was encouraging me and reassuring me that it was ok and nothing to be ashamed of.
I did manage to dry up my tears by the end of the session (which lasted 2 hrs by the way!) and handled driving home ok until I stopped to grab a bite to eat on the way home. The check oil light came on and was dinging loudly at me along with a message saying that the oil pressure was low and to turn off the engine. What??!!! Here I was driving this car because Dad was worried that mine would have problems and now I was having to deal with this! I pulled into a parking space and called home. Dad had me check the oil and we determined that it was just the crazy computer getting its sensors mixed up and that the oil was not a problem. I made it home without any more problems.
So, yeah, it was a day when my bottle exploded. I guess I need to be more careful not to try to cram so many emotions into it, but to let them out as they come! When will I learn this lesson, I don't know. It has been my coping skill all my life, this cramming down my emotions. But that doesn't really work anymore.