Writing a letter to my 14 year old self

 

 

I’ve been seeing a therapist for the past month. It’s something I’ve been meaning to get back into, and financially, it seemed too burdensome.

Self-employment comes with its benefits, but damn,  the insurance sucks. We have a incredibly high deductible making it almost impossible for people like us to buy/purchase services that people with better insurance might have an easier time with.

Back when we went through fertility treatments, our friends used their insurance to cover the entire cost of their treatments. While we paid cash, out of pocket.

Some things have been happening lately to test me to the core. And my responses to these situations haven’t been savory.

Although, in my defense, I haven’t been entirely at fault by feeling angry. And I resent that other parties involved have recommended to me that see someone. Nothing like having to carry the burden of guilt when there are multiple parties involved.

But who am I kidding? I’m the faulted party here.

Soooooooo. 

Therapy is good. And I strongly recommend it to most anyone. The catharsis alone is great.

Back when I was retiring belief, it allowed me to talk through things at a time when no ears were understanding nor caring about the topic of criticizing or letting go of religion.

I strongly believe that if religious folks sought mental help and had the ability to freely discuss the ins and outs of their feelings regarding even the slightest doubts, the strength of their religious beliefs would wane and might even subside.

Beliefs, from what I can tell, are culturally validated and encouraged. They are average, run-of-the-mill group dynamic. I’ve found that once people have the freedom to wander through their wonders, it opens the door to considering that a man/god’s death for regular a person’s regular feelings and behaviors isn’t all that and a bag of tacks.

With these last few sessions, the stuff I’m working through most is the anger attached to different aspects of my life that stem from past events. I’m working on triggers that I’ve already identified and finding ways to better understand why my emotions are there rather than managing the state of anger or frustration.

Apparently, managing a feeling is the rough equivalent to repression. And if you repress emotions, they will only come out when you least expect them, like a small argument with your spouse, on a walk with your dog, or when taking an incredibly tough poop.

Therapy is also good because it’s validating.

One of my trigger points is communication. When I don’t feel that I’ve been heard, or I feel misunderstood, I lose my shit. Or, I can.

For instance, if I feel I’ve told Tina that I have Basketball on Thursday, and Tina asks, “Do you have basketball on Thursday?” My immediate response is turning red in the face, clinching my teeth and saying, “i already told you, I have basketball on Thursday.” 

The words spit from my mouth like a tommy gun.

Staccato.

Hurtful, because I’m retaliating for feeling hurt.

The alternative is looking at my response or wanted response and thinking, “Why am I wanting to respond that way?” Oh, it’s because as a kid, when I didn’t communicate properly, I was spanked. If I didn’t explain my feelings quickly, I was yelled at.

If I stuttered, I was told to hurry it up, fatty!

But I was never even fat.

I don’t believe it was intentional, but I was often punished in school and at home for not communicating properly or fast enough. The memory of these events causes a sort of residual reoccurring mental dilemma often posing a debilitating anguish and stubbornness to move forward rationally.

I hate when I communicate and it’s either misunderstood or unheard.

I practice to be a good listeners, and when people tell me something, especially emotional or in a hurt state, I practice validation rather than telling them about the time that happened to me. I’m not perfect at it, but I hate when people jump to a conclusion about making a comparison to their experience rather than finishing hearing me out.

Tina and I are over accommodating to our friends. We have a really hard time saying no. We’re problem solvers.

Our triggers that send us into negative emotional states are often setoff by the others triggered response. So often times, we subconsciously can’t resolve an issue because we’ve triggered each other to a stubborn state.

Professionally, I feel therapy is essential. Being an “artist,” I get stuck in details that I might not need to. The perfectionist in me doesn’t allow room for failures or mistakes. Therapy helps a person like me find solace in accepting mistakes.

I’ve never read the book, “The Four Agreements,” but from what I understand, we have to remember that people’s responses to things are often internally driven, rather than outwardly. Sometimes people’s emotional response to something mutual, isn’t actually something that you should take personally.

 

I could write forever on this topic, but I have a TON of work to complete. We have a 12.5 hour day tomorrow. If this blog wasn’t part of my therapy regime, I wouldn’t have written this at all.

So I hope you relish in the idea that my mind is a treasure trove that needs therapy, and it makes you feel mightier and more empowered.

Or it inspires you to make an appointment with a professional who might help you work out some of your feelings and emotions.

 

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