Thursday, May 3, 2007

You're wrong, dammit!!!

I am so angry at my therapist. I have been doing that whole conversation in my mind thing since our session on Tuesday. You know, where you hate the way something happened and so you recreate the scene and say all the things you wish you had said. Sometimes I make the other person even meaner and me even tougher. I suppose that she is the one person I ought to actually confront with my feelings. But sometimes I hate the whole therapist/patient relationship. I hate that she can just make everything my issue. Maybe she should think about the fact that she's human and might just be a bitch and make mistakes sometimes and say things that aren't quite right or nice. Maybe it's not that I'm this insecure moron. How about that??? Huh??? What makes it worse is that Marco is there lapping it up. I mean, we're there to get assistance in life and our relationship. Normally, I highly recommend it for everyone. It's nice to have a place you know you go every week or two or month to regroup and talk about some of the bad shit or the pain or maybe just say you're doing fine. But when she comes to conclusions I disagree with, then I get totally furious. And I'm not talking about issues I need to work on...

Let me splain.

I decided, since Marco and I are doing quite well and happier than we've ever been (sigh and smile) I would talk about some thoughts I've had regarding pregnancy. I thought I would mention my fears about something going wrong and concern about not knowing anything and worry about being a mother. Now, I know when I'm obsessing about something and letting fear take over my life. That is not the case. And from what I can tell, other people have these same fears. It's NORMAL. In fact, it makes me feel quite good that I am normal and just need to take a deep breath and keep on trucking. So, I was saying that I have some fears about the baby being okay inside me and a little bit of worry that she's not okay in there and might die at any second. And I said that I was concerned that I might carry this worry on when the child was born. She looked deeply concerned. I said, well, I'm pretty sure it's just normal first baby concerns. Don't most people worry about their unborn child? She said no. What??? I mean, I'll give you that other people might not have some of the crazy thoughts I have at intervals, but they have to worry just a little. She made it seem like a sane and healthy person would just be totally positive and not worry at all. That is complete crap. Well, maybe some people don't worry, but don't you just HATE them?!?!! I mean, does anyone want to be that perfect and weird. Aren't WE the majority?? I hated her, I can tell you that. Am I really supposed to get through all of my crap and just go about life being all placid and calm and Pollyanna about everything??? Is that what I'm going for?

I think the Beasty Boys should do a song with the lyrics, "You gotta fight for your right to WORRY!!"

Now, I don't actually want to worry. I do actually want to be that woman who is all cool and calm and totally fine with what life has coming her way. I also want to be industrious and proactive and want to fold my laundry. I want to be so together that I can do cloth diapers and make my child's baby food and eat only organic and walk around in long skirts and write every day. I have a lot of ideas of who I'd like to be. I think everyone has those. She made me feel like everyone else was already there - already in that healthy space of no-worry. And that makes me feel worse about myself. Shouldn't she be saying that, Yes, indeed it was normal but that I could overcome and not worry. At least then I wouldn't feel like an outsider.

Oh, and then she said something that really burned my ass. And it's going to burn yours too - friends of mine. I was saying that I'd known people who struggled with breastfeeding, that I'd had friends who had a hard time. And she said, "Well, I don't know who these friends are, but breastfeeding is really easy." I mean, she made me feel like I was crazy and all my friends were crap friends with terrible breasts. And to say that breastfeeding is really easy, c'mon!! Maybe it was for her. I am not surprised. The woman gets up at Five AM every day to run. Of course breastfeeding was easy for her. She said that women she knew who worried about it had a hard time and those that didn't had an easy time. Well, maybe anxiety does affect things, I'm sure it does. But can't one also say that the easy-time women didn't have anything to worry about and so didn't worry and the ones who struggled then worried about it?? So, the goal is to try and not worry and to try and go into breastfeeding with a positive attitude. Fine, she could have just said that. Instead she made me question myself and my faculties. I did not cry. I said that all the books made it clear that it could be tough. And then, last night, I was confirmed by the woman giving the breastfeeding lecture at the Baby Fair I went to. She said it can be hard and painful in the beginning. And, for once, rather than dread breastfeeding when I heard this, I was delighted that I was RIGHT. I was thinking, "That's right. It's damn hard." How crazy.

I bought myself Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. I have been dying to read this book for like 8 years. But I was holding out until I got pregnant. I love the way she writes. I love that she is so real. She talks about being human and makes you feel okay for having a dark, worrisome, crazy side. She makes me feel the way my therapist ought to make me feel - that, yes, I have bad parts but they are normal and I can overcome.

By the way, I am in love with Anne Lamott. I have been for many years, ever since reading Bird by Bird in my creative writing class in college. That was the only good thing I got out of that class. I ended up with a badly written "story" that was basically just about my life. I did learn how amazing my friend was and who beautifully she could write. I was seething with jealousy. She's still brilliant and probably a genius writer now. She is finishing grad school at Columbia. Is it wrong to hate someone for being so gifted and cool? Oh - and she's skinny and beautiful too. But anyway...Anne Lamott. She makes me feel like faith is possible. If anyone can do it right, she does. I wish I'd known her growing up. I think things would have turned out differently. Instead I was surrounded by people like my therapist who think faith is about being all shiny and perfect and never saying Fuck or drinking wine (sometimes too much). Her words really resonate with me and make me feel whole just as I am. They make me believe in myself just a little bit more.

She has the same quality I admire in my mom. My mom will just spill her weaknesses out there for people to see. It's not very Christian-ladylike. It's awesome. She will admit to things that sound absolutely awful but make you feel better because you were thinking the same thing. I love that about her. Unfortunately, I think other people get annoyed and take it the wrong way, especially those Christian ladies who think God speaks to them and tells them when to go shopping. They don't like to hear her views on old age and death and the "pillow treatment", especially not at a baby shower. My Aunt sometimes looks like she's going to choke when my mom says things. And I sit there and just smile. People should be uncomfortable sometimes. My sister has come a long way in this department. I think she used to be more worried about bothering people and now she can be snarky with me and laugh about how crazy people are. It makes me happy that she's not perfect either. I mean, she's close. She runs five miles every day and has her house in perfect order even with four kids and two dog and two businesses. It's sickening. But she's human and insecure and has no idea how incredible she is. If you met her you'd be like, why aren't you famous or something? She's that beautiful and great. She should have her own show like Martha. Only she'd be so much nicer to guests. Actually, maybe my mom, my sister and I should have a show together. It would be hilarious. I love them both so much and am so glad they're not perfect. They make it okay for me to be absurd.

I'm feeling so much love for the people in my life these days, with the rare exception. I mean, I'm still not sending good vibes to my therapist or to my former employers, be they damned forever, or to a certain Darcy L who once made my life hell. But I have a short list of people I loath. And I'm sure my therapist will be off my list very shortly, once she fixes all Marco's problems. Unfortunately, Darcy L., I fear you may never recover.


kc said...

I don't know much, but if your therapist is so off base to say that negate your feelings and say that "normal" pregnant people don't worry and "breastfeeding is easy," then perhaps--just perhaps---she's also off-base in other areas. And if that's the case, you need another therapist. Someone like Anne Lamott, perhaps.

I saw her speak once. And she was lovely and frighteningly honest. I feel like she gives voice to all those mean and insecure and honest things that women sometimes think, but are so afraid to say out loud, lest it scratches our veneer a bit. I think she's wonderful.

So find a therapist like her: authentic and gritty and artistic and maybe even filled with the faith that you want to have.

We all love you and we all understand the worries. I'd be worried if you didn't worry, to be honest. It means you care.

Katie Collins said...

Heather, I still adore my copy of Operating Instructions, the copy you gave me at my baby shower. I've read it three times and shared it with one friend. It's still the best mom book I've read b/c it made me feel so normal and okay with the fact that becoming a mother means going crazy a little. A.L. is my hero of heroes as far as Christian women go.
And yeah, you might really need a new therapist b/c anyone who says breastfeeding isn't hard and "normal" moms don't worry is a liar. Breastfeeding hurst like hell in the beginning no matter who you are and to be a parent is to be a worrier - at least A LITTLE!
I love you love you my friend! Take care and when are we going to the beach?????
Your other KC,
Katie Kjome Collins

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