I went to meet again with the Once and Future Psychologist. I realized that I had talked up such a good game the first time I met her... that it probably seemed like there was no point in my speaking to a therapist.
So at the advice of my friend, I confessed to my day and a half of "self flagellation." as she put it.
Here was her evidence of my flaggellatory behavior:
So I confessed the whole bit to the OFP. The I followed it up with all the great braggy things that I did to bounce out of the whole I dug for myself.
This, naturally, was more of my talking a good game. See? I did everything I was supposed to do when I freaked out. I followed appropriate steps. I did the right thing. I seek perfection when dealing with my imperfections. In failing to please one person, I do my darndest to please everyone else. Me, Spouse, children, OFP...
And she called me on dealing with the symptoms of the Sad without addressing the cause of the Sad. That the whole thing tied into how I felt about myself as a teen and probably even earlier. And that my job was to somehow let the inner seven-year-old know that it was okay that she felt crappy and that it would be okay.
That's not quite how she said it. It sounded much less cracker-jack-psychobabble when she talked about it. But I can't call to mind the wording. Regardless, I had to fight back tears as she was discussing this and it kind of pissed me off because I think she was right.
That this whole lurking perfectionist thing will continue to be an issue unless I completely avoid people (including myself) or figure out some way to calm the super-high-maintanence people-pleasing inner jellyfish.
(Okay, she definitely did NOT refer to an inner jellyfish. Don't even know where that came from.)
I confessed that I had NO IDEA how to comfort the hurting child within. And later I realized that I don't know the difference between comforting and acknowledging the pain and wallowing. I am not interested in wallowing. Wallowing gets me nowhere.
But I see her point in there being a missing step between "I feel crappy" and "I have done things to make me feel less crappy." Somewhere in between I need to get to the heart of the crappy feelings.
And the heart of it is within me, not with whatever it was that insighted the Sad.
Here is the thing about the OFP: she doesn't always tell me what I want to hear. But what she does tell me is usually thought-provoking and leads me to what I need to consider.
Supporting her theory for past hurts being involved in the descent into sad: falling back on old coping mechanism of scratching skin off my arm AND thinking quite a lot about a completely inconsequential moment from my elementary years...
I was swimming in a public pool and accidentally bumped into some random girl. I apologized quickly and went on swimming. She chased after me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Hey girl, sorry isn't good enough."
Later I equated this feeling almost exactly with what it felt like to be criticized for something I had said and had my attempt at apology be brushed off. Your words are not helpful. They don't let you off the hook. You cannot undo the wrong you have done.
Horrible wrongs like singing a song. Or bumping into someone while my eyes are closed.
Hardly felonies. And yet I feel like a fellon.
Grateful Crap: OFP and the scabs that I'm gonna have to rip off. Not literal ones.
Quaker, teacher, parent,