Tuesday, 8 November 2011

learning to trust

Rewind to Dec of last year. It was my second ever visit to my first therapist, K, and my toddler was sick so I had to take her along with me. She just had a rash, she was actually fine, but rash automatically means 'no creche'. The session went ok. I had been pretty organised and brought along enough food and activities to keep her amused. And apart from one trip and fall and cry towards the end, toddler was pretty good. But in the back of my mind I was worried about the inconvenience I was causing by having her there. And right at the end this back-of-my-mind thought came right up to the front.

K leaned back in her chair and said "I just want to tell you..."

and then: pause...

in that split second pause I managed to think a thousand thoughts: starting with "oh sh*t here it comes" and progressing at lightning speed to "I don't care what she says, I don't have to come back here any way". In that split second I imagined she was going to tell me how bringing along my toddler showed a lack of commitment to my recovery and she wouldn't be able to continue to work with me. In that split second I put up a wall so big I was ready to get up and walk out and not even let her finish her sentence.

So when she finished with "...I think you're a really good mother" I was so shocked I actually blurted out "I thought you were going to tell me off".

Fast forward to last week's session with J - and the identical situation arose. Toddler was too sick to go to creche and I had to take her to my session. Again I tried to keep toddler amused, but this time I was very conscious that toddler really was quite sick so I was more than willing to put her needs ahead of the effectiveness of the session.

And sure enough, towards the end of the session J made a comment, and then there was *that* pause.

Two very interesting things have sprung up from this pause however:

Firstly, I was able to catch my thoughts this time. Yes I drew breath, but I was able to remind myself that my worst fear didn't eventuate last time so it was unlikely to eventuate this time. Relax and wait and see what she says.
And secondly the moment came and went, and I don't actually remember what was said. I remember the moment, I remember my feelings, but the exact words have faded. They are not indelibly etched on my brain; burned into my memory for all time. The terror of the first situation was not there this time.

I have learned to trust. Trust that J is not just faking being nice to me and will turn on me at any moment. Trust that I am not doing anything wrong that I will get into trouble for. I can trust her to help me and support me with kindness and constructive advice - not just put me down and bully me as a means of motivating me to excel simply to avoid the shame of failure.

I trust J. Yes I still hold a lot back from her - and I probably always will. But at least I know that the bits I chose to share with her will be heard and dealt with fairly and non judgmentally. So even if the wall never comes all the way down, it's certainly getting smaller.


M said...

What growth!

So good that you are learning to trust and that your trust has been rewarded with kindness and advice that is helpful and empowering. Glad that last week's session was still good even with a sick toddler in tow. Hope that she is feeling better now and that you are growing in confidence in yourself.

PJ - you are truly amazing and a real inspiration.

The Dandelion Girl said...

first it took me awhile to think about what 'creche' was - it made me smile when I could think back to hearing it said before

but my main point -- I'm glad you're validating your progress by posting it here... because there is DEFINITE progress that you should be proud of... Trust is one of those things that I think is always in the process of growing (and maybe sometimes taking a step back)... so it's understandable that you don't share everything with J...

I hope this week brings you more growth in whatever size feels okay.

Anonymous said...

I think ED really works its way into your brain and causes distrust. I have returned to my RD as I have had a relapse and I find that I have such a terrible time trusting her. It is like ED is telling me that she doesn't care and that she wants to make me fat and take my money. That she is not there to help me, but to make things worse. She cut back my exercise and added quite a bit of calories and fear food to my plan.
I think you learning to trust shows a huge step in recovery. Congratulations.

Quick question. I think I read that you take meds to help deal with anxiety/ED. My Dr. wants me to start Prozac, but I am terrified of weight gain. I was wondering if you had any insights.

PJ said...

@Anonymous - I don't really know anything about prozac I'm afraid. I have put on weight since starting on my meds BUT (keep reading!!) it is more because I needed to and I was ready to than I think because of the meds themselves. I have been able to remain much more calm when facing challenges, including eating. And I know that gaining that little bit of weight has allowed me to see much more clearly and feel much much better.
So if we're talking about meds in general I am glad that I gave it a go. In fact I made a deal with my gp that I would stick it out for at least 3 months (which will be up soon) and I have no intention of going off them yet. I can see that the progress I've made since being on them has been vital in moving me forward in my recovery.
Hope this helps.

scottrecovered said...

this is amazing progress :) I am so happy for you!! Absolutely amazing, you're a rock star!


C-Girl said...

it amazes me how learning to trust others is hard enough...but learning to trust yourself again is a whole different story. You are clearly learning both and that is a MAJOR step in the right direction... Keep trusting those around you that are there for wisdom and support, what an encouraging post!