Dear Miranda, my therapist is probably the coolest person I’ve ever met.

So as I told you, My therapist is an INFP like you so she gets me. My first visit was to say the least extremely therapeutic. I’m going to massively condense and tell you that basically I explained my brain tangle and then told her what was going on with me, the issues I was having (like that my emotions are at a constant 10). There were lots of questions and lots of tears and lots of thinking and talking. It was the first time I’ve had a therapist listen to what I told them and instead of explaining to me this complex maze of stuff, she simply explained exactly what I had told her in new terms. For example I talked about how my personality changed as a teenager and how I became just like my dad and how we are both high strung and emotional and not good with change, ect. So she explained that because my mom was unlivable I learned my coping skills from my dad and while they helped my survive at the time, they were the coping skills of someone who is damaged and in survival mode.

So that information isn’t  new exactly but its just explained back in a way that I’m like “Yes! That. Exactly.”

Another example is my “brain tangle” where I told her I can never seem to find a balance and am exhausted because I always have all these overwhelming emotions and feelings that I try and analyze and understand and I’m both extremely logical and completely irrational, sometimes simultaneously. So she explains back that because of the coping skills I learned combine with the fact that I’m an INFJ it’s causing a tug of war with my limbic system and frontal cortex…or more simply put my F (feelings) are running wild but keep slamming into my J (judging) and visa versa.

Again, not news per say but it makes SO much since and its just a relief to have someone be able to verbalize WHY this is going on. And if someone is going to help you sort things out its pretty essential for them to UNDERSTAND you. And she basically commented that we would have to formulate a plan that let me have a “checklist” of sorts because I’m a J and dude… like… I know you might not get this but that was a HUGE deal to me. Like. She isn’t going to try and change WHO I am, she is just going to help me untangle and learn a new coping pattern, based on my strengths!

We talked a lot about my mom. No surprise there.

I don’t know Miranda… she was amazing. Nothing has changed and obviously I have a really LONG way to go but it just feels amazing to have someone understand me, and to have some validation about the things that are driving me crazy. I see her again on the 26th.

-Me

Dear Miranda, I need therapy… but this time for reals.

I have so much to tell you about and there is no way I’m going to be able to condense it all. This is the best I can do. My new job is amazing. Like. Fantastic. But a couple of things have happened to convince me that I really need to finally sort out all my emotional baggage.

1. I work with a bunch of therapists. Which is really great because they are totally understanding of your emotions and take your feelings  and personality into consideration in the workplace enabling you to use your strong points and filling in the gaps in your weak ones. All work places should be like that. Unfortunately they also know when you are bull shitting AND they constantly are handing me (because I’m interested) books about the biochemical effect that past stress and trauma have on your body and mind. And to say the least, it’s profound. Which I mean I knew but I like to pretend I’m different and I’ve got it all worked out. (I don’t.)

2. The therapist I work for are all making a really big push for me to go back to school and finish my degree. They think I should be working in the field with them. And that’s extremely flattering. But part of the deal with why I haven’t continued to pursue that path is this: I would be unethical to do trauma work with clients when I have a jumbled personal mess of a past that I haven’t worked on. It’s just way to risky that you would get your own stuff mixed in with theirs and that is no good! Even now doing what I do I feel like it would be really beneficial to have emotional clarity.

3. The more I read and study the “evolution” of trauma and the way who we are and the habits we form are because of our childhood and repeated in cycles they more relieved/distressed I become. I am relieved because so so so much of the things I thought were just weird quirks about me are actually part of a cause effect chain that I can actually SEE. And so many of the problems that continually resurface in my life are fixable with therapy (like scientifically…  there are things a therapist can do to help you to put information that is trapped in one part of your brain, causing issues, into another where it should be). Therapy is so much more than just talking things out now days and since I work with Therapists I was able to get a really really good therapist recommended to me. Good therapy vs. Bad therapy is a big deal. Anyway back to the topic. I am distressed because I can already see ways in which I have probably done harm to my sweet little girl just because I am damaged. And for the first time in my life I really really see what it means to say in order to help others you must first help yourself. Just by continuing to try and work everything out on my own/minimize any problems I have/slough things off as it just being the way it is… is really damaging to Emily and to my relationship with her. And everyone else I get close to.

So I start therapy tomorrow. And I’m nervous… but I am also so freaking ready. I want to be a better me. I want to untangle the clutter in my brain and cut out the anxiety that I can’t escape from. I want to be more emotionally whole and more stable. I want to be a better girlfriend, better at my job, and most of all a better mother. Wish me luck.

-Me