How do you talk about the hard things in therapy?

You’d think I’d be good at this “therapy” thing by now. Especially since I’ve been with my current therapist for something like 6 years now…which that in and of itself is nothing short of a miracle. I’ll never say enough good things about her, and she’s done a stellar job at keeping me alive. (Good work, JP 👍)

But there are still things that just…for whatever reason…I physically can’t bring myself to talk about. I imply it, I infer it…but actually saying the words about certain topics? Shit. It’s as if I’m trying to admit to a crime or something. (I’m not, obviously, but it feels like it must be equally as difficult.)

There are the “safe” topics. Ya know…marriage, parenting, general life and family stuff, depression, the fun sarcastic times…

Then there’s the “ehhh…grayish area” topics: my family (different type of family…not the husband and kids type), more severe depression, alcohol intake, etc.

And then…the red button topics. The “don’t push me unless you’re a 8/10 drunk, or a second away from killing yourself or worse, type of topics: just how actually suicidal I (sometimes) am, self harm, just how much I’m actually drinking/how much more I want to drink… anything relating to sex. At all. Any part of that is just….I’d rather die than talk about it. Sexual assault (almost easier than sex to talk about though…so what the fuck? Or even leading into the positive things. Anything vulnerable that’s positive. Like…admitting I like her? (Ew. That’s horrible. You don’t actually tell someone you “more than tolerate” them.) My birth son (shutters. Eck. Seriously…no. In an abstract way? Sure. We’ll call that “safe”. But certainly not attached to real emotion.)

Literally just anything that even closely resembles vulnerability.

I want to. Don’t get me wrong…I fucking want to. I so desperately wish I was like…normal enough to talk about the things that (probably aren’t that) hard. But I freeze and I shut down, or I turn off the emotion attached to it and just…ugh. It’s frustrating.

I want to be better. But I really do not know how to do this. I’ve always chosen my words carefully…let alone the topics.

I’ve been taught what to say, what to avoid, what not to say…a lifetime of “neglect and abuse” will do that to you, I guess.

But really…how can I be better at this? Is it even possible? How can I talk about things that I’d actually rather die than ever confront…but also desperately want to confront?!

I know, I know. It’s another example of me being a fucking enigma. I don’t make sense, I never will.

4 thoughts on “How do you talk about the hard things in therapy?”

  1. I suppose the choice is do you really want to exist in the same way or use what sounds to be a great therapist to explore these euuuk subjects like sex and birth son and emotional connection that is so difficult after sexual assault. The choice and control is yours. All yours. Sometimes what others don’t know about us actually gives us power yet I feel the question is – would you not feel more powerful if you did show this therapist the real and whole of you? What have you got to lose apart from those feelings you so hate?
    and hey it’s quite common to think of wanting to end one’s life following sexual assault – but the fact is you’re still here and still writing so there’s a reason for you being here x

    1. I want to be better about talking about things, it’s just so hard. A major goal of ours currently is vulnerability. I’m not so guarded, I guess. But I desperately want to feel better and less alone, so I’m trying.

  2. I like this post… to me it shows your spirit and your mind in a battle. There are many of those battles…big war lots of little battles.
    Your spirit yearns to be freeeeeer
    Your mind tells you – it’s not possible
    Your spirit whispers you are doing great
    Your mind YELLS why are you not doing better!!
    Listen to the whispers when you can.
    My favorite saying that came to me in a dream once is “Spirit trumps ego – every-time.”

    1. I like that. I haven’t thought of it that way, but it makes sense. There are definitely tons of little battles. But spirit does trump ego!

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