Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the list

I did make a list of things to talk about with the new counselor - I started making a timeline, but that grew too tedious. So I just clipped the second to last paragraph, added some more things (more?!) I had forgotten and tucked it into my purse. I never pulled it out, but I think I remembered almost everything. Like Clickmom said in her comment, I should have booked at least a double session - she had scheduled longer than one session, but I took every second of the 75 minutes alloted. And we scheduled for next week, too.

I haven't told my husband, but probably will after next time. I think he needs some counseling, and I think we need that space to talk freely. Because what came up time and time again as her saying, well, do you talk about it? Nope, not a word. We have perfectly functional conversations, but never dive any deeper than that. Do you think that's weird? It is weird, when I think about it. How can we be sitting on this mountain of stuff and pretend it's not there?

The biggest realization? I made it through so many elements of my life story with slight trembling of voice and tears in my ears sometimes. I relayed deeply personal things without batting an eye. I talked of hurts and betrayals that wound me to the core. And when it came to the point of telling the pregnancy loss part, I sobbed. That was the only time I lost it. She asked me how I dealt with that now and I said, mostly, I don't. Everything else has piled on top of it, burying it, I thought I was mostly done with that part, but clearly I am not. Clearly I am not. I told her about the coping story I had read, and how I thought I had coped - it happened, it sucked, other things have sucked more, before and since. (This still remains my favorite set of comments ever - so thoughtful, so much truth in them). In thinking about it more, I think I have mostly coped, but the hurt is deep. I can type about it, but can't talk about it. There is only one other thing in my life that's as deep - my mother's sister died of breast cancer 11 years ago. My daughter is named for her. I cannot speak of it at all, and have not and cannot join in all the breast cancer awareness raising that many people seem to embrace after a loss like this. My sister once gave me a pink ribbon, and I cannot, will not, wear it. It's too deep, too personal a loss. Maybe my way of coping, with the deep down stuff, is denial (hello Niobe - we have much in common).

Anyway, the other stuff. We spoke about the inlaw situation. Unlike other advice I have received, she got that this was an untenable situation that was causing me much anxiety (the advice from my friends - the blogging advice was spot on, thanks again, another great set of comments). The thought they may show up here, or at the hospital, unannounced, unplanned - yikes. Stress through the roof. She suggested I talk this through with my husband. He must take some level of control of this situation, for me and the baby if nothing else. Which means setting boundaries. She suggested a script of him calling them, telling them about the pregnancy, that it was a difficult pregnancy, and that our top concern was having a healthy baby and mother, which meant we'd talk to them after the baby was born and have a visit sometime after.

I was going to wait a few days to bring it up, but instead talked about it over dinner. He agreed something had to give. We talked about birthday plans and rest of pregnancy plans. My daughter's birthday is a Monday, two weeks from yesterday, and so instead of having a party on the weekend, we'll just have a family dinner (my parents, my brother and family) over for dinner Monday. That mitigates any pressure husband's brother might put on us or on himself to come to a party - and negates brother in law from unexpectedly bringing in-laws along. We might do something fun on Sunday, and brother in law can choose to join in.

After my daughter was in bed we sat on the couch and talked some more. I said what do you want to talk about? And he suggested plans for daughter's schooling. Ahhhhh. Another functional talk (with no way to reach a resolution and quite a bit of stress involved, btw). I said why that? He said because of the 50 things we could talk about, this one popped to mind. We ended up talking more about his parents. I had never really thought of this before, but husband said it hurt to think how little they cared for our daughter as evidenced by nearly 9 months of silence. Yes. It's similar to how I feel about them, too - how quickly my mother in law said well, it's for the best this marriage is over. How quickly she was ready to throw me and daughter over when it was so awful last fall. It hurts. I am sad for my husband that his father has walked away. I am sad for my daughter that her grandparents don't seem to care.

The counselor was right - what we can do is say, this is our life. You are welcome to be a part of it, if you respect us and our choices. And if you choose otherwise, it is your choice - and your loss.


Antigone said...

I love that last line.

Maybe I'll get my therapy vicariously through you. I've been wondering lately whether to invite my in-laws into my child's life.

mama-2-4 said...

Im really, really glad you went. Keep it up because it might get worse before it gets better.

Tash said...

I might have to take your therapist's IL quip to my session tomorrow. We more than invited them in, they more than shat on us in return. But we're supposed to keep things going for the sake of the granddaughter? (The alive one?) meh. Foo I say.

ANYHOO, sounds like a most productive session, and it sounds like it might be a nice fit. I always like coming home from sessions and doing something immediately, whether it's talking to my husband or writing about something or whatever. It's the sessions that leave me feeling like I need a bath and a glass of wine and 12 hours of sleep that make me wonder.

Molly said...

I hope you walked out of there feeling like a brick was taken off your shoulders!

CLC said...

Sounds like a good session. And glad you were able to talk about the in-laws later with the husband. I hope your stress has subsided a little.