Sometimes Therapist says things that are so completely obvious I want to roll my eyes at him. I don't--because obvious or not, the things he says are usually beyond my range of thought, and definitely things I need to think about.
me: So why haven't we talked about my attachment issues? You know I have them--I know I have them.
Therapist: Yes. We haven't talked about them because you haven't asked.
me: You're the therapist.
Therapist: And you're Samantha.
me: I don't understand.
Therapist: Yes, you do. This is your show. You've let me know from our first visit that you want to choose what we talk about and what we work on together.
Therapist: So, do you want to talk about it?
me: Maybe. Will it help?
Therapist: I don't know. It might. Your attachment issues, however, are things you've already addressed.
me: I haven't.
Therapist: Not consciously, maybe, but given the extent and frequency of abuse and abandonment you've experienced in your life, you function at an impossibly high level for someone who has never addressed that issue.
Therapist: You've identified behaviors and feelings related to attachment issues and understood what you need to do to cope with or manage those. Otherwise you'd have a number of social problems that you currently don't have to deal with.
me: So--I did this by myself.
Therapist: I think so, yes.
me: See--I can do things on my own.
Therapist: There was never any question of that.
me: What was the question?
Therapist: The question was whether or not you'd be able to allow others to lend a hand.
me: Sigh. This is too complicated. I need sleep.
Therapist: True. We can talk about it another time.
me: Why do we have to talk about it all?
Therapist: Because you brought it up, which means you have something on your mind. I think you'll tell me when you're ready to work on it.
me: Do you always throw my words back at me?
me: Okay, so I have abandonment issues.
Therapist: We're changing the subject?
me: Well, you mentioned that earlier.
Therapist: Yup, I did.
me: And those abandonment issues are part of the reason I'm constantly waiting for people I love to leave me, yes?
me: And why, sometimes, I want them to just do it, so I can stop agonizing over when it will happen, which, by the way, is horribly painful.
Therapist: I would think so.
me: You don't worry about that? About people leaving you?
Therapist: Probably everyone has some level of concern about that, but it usually is not the focus of interaction.
me: Okay. So what do I do?
Therapist: Talk to them? Tell them your thoughts, fears?
me: I have. I think they're really tired of it.
Therapist: Someone who cares about you, who understands your background, who wants to remain in your life, will not become tired of it. Remind them you need to hear often that they care about you and they intend to stay.
me: It makes me feel so pathetic: PLEASE--tell me constantly that I'm not a pain in the ass, that you aren't going to run away from me, that I'm not making you crazy with my insecurity.
Therapist: Is that what you say?
me: No. I just tell them I'm having a difficult time and ask them to remind me again that we're friends and no one is going anywhere.
Therapist: I can't imagine that would upset anyone.
me: Maybe not. I'm just tired of always needing to be taken care of.
Therapist: Sam, they love you. They're not going anywhere.
me: How do you know?
Therapist: Well, when you ask them to remind you of those things--where are they? They're right there with you. They're there NOW.
And this is something I have never considered. In order for me to force someone to leave so that I don't have to wait for it anymore, they have to be present. And if they're present, I must assume it's because they want to be. And if they want to be...why would I ruin that by pushing them to leave?
It's completely obvious--just not to me. At some point, though, I'm going to think about it enough that it will become so. So if you're my friend, don't leave, okay? And keep reminding me that you're not the one trying to make that happen--it's me and I can manage that impulse if I tune into it. And when I finally figure all this out we can go get ice cream to celebrate and I'll eat some even though I don't like it.