Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A hot mess

Today at lunchtime, I went to my appointment at Thrive. And as a result, I have decided that I am a hot mess on the inside.

Twenty years ago, Thrive was all about the individual therapy. Nowadays they push the group thing. So imagine my surprise when after laying out some of the basics for the doctor, he immediately asked how I felt about individual therapy. Because he kind of thinks that I need weekly therapy. And maybe some groups as well. So yeah. That's where I am. Oh, and I did tell him no meds.

This evening I kind of discussed it all with Zombie Mom. She pointed out something of which I am perfectly aware but many who know me don't recognize. I have mad coping skills. This means that even when I'm falling apart completely, I can appear to have all my shit together. And by the time that other people realize how far gone I am, it's almost too late. I guess it's a by-product of growing up in a household in which things were not always discussed. I also learned compartmentalization and manipulation during those years. (Some days I think to myself that I should have gone into acting. Because I can convincingly become someone else with relative ease. Or maybe a grifter...) I like to think of them as survival skills and so I often fall back on them in times of stress, especially the first. But I'm getting better about that. Remember that recent girls' night? Oh, and my birthday last year? Both occasions were filled with people whom I've gotten to know in a variety of ways. In the past, I would have kept these groups separate.

Further proof of my coping skills. I've been letting my mother's calls today go to voicemail. Because I really can't deal with her incessant complaining today. I don't get it. She seems to find happiness in being miserable.

And yes, Zombie Mom, next time I'm there, I'll mention that other issue. That food thing. See, I've always been a little self-destructive. In the past that meant that occasionally I was suicidal. But now I'm a little more passive-aggressive about the whole thing. So I stopped being suicidal but I've kept one of my other self-destructive behaviors all these years. Part of my thinness has to do with genetics. A lot has to do with being aware of what I put into my mouth. And sometimes I just don't eat. There have also been periods in the past of purging. Oh, and then there was the summer of the over-the-counter diet pills. And when I did that I weighed about 20-25 pounds less than I do now. But it's not about food or weight. It's about feeling in control when everything around you feels so out of control.

Ever since the appointment, I have been feeling emotionally raw. These are probably some of my first tears since February. All I know is that I'm glad that my next appointment is in the evening because keeping it together at work after a therapy session can be damned near impossible. But I am the queen of being in control and so by the time I get to work tomorrow, hopefully no one will be the wiser.

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