Sunday, September 7, 2008

new counselor, new counseling

Tomorrow is my first appointment with a new counselor. I know, having been through this drill before, that the first appointment is kind of getting to know you and figuring out where you are and how counseling can be approached. I'm a teeny bit stuck, though, on how this is going to go tomorrow. She's the experienced one, so I'll follow her lead, but I have a LOT of freaking ground to cover.

I've written a couple of times about the past few years. Hmm, here's one. There's another, I know, but I don't feel like weeding through to find it. Bottom line is a lot of shit has happened over the past few years.

I was a little sad Thursday night about the delay in the job (absolute end of my rope frustration just gave way to tired sadness, finally). My husband and I just sprawled out on our bed watching crap TV, him trying to just be there for me. At one point I said, I just don't know where my life went so off track. And, I meant all of it - him, the marriage, the in-laws, working, fertility, the whole damn thing. After a few quiet minutes, he said, maybe it's not off track, maybe this is the track it's supposed to be.

And yeah, in some ways he's right. There is no one point where it All Went Wrong. It just is. And it's now all bad, but lately it's been a lot of bad.

I think I want/need to go to counseling to focus on getting it - my life - in some sort of order that works more often than not. I can't hold onto everything. But I also can't just let go of somethings. And most importantly, some things aren't going to just disappear. I fret a lot - A LOT - about the in-laws. While believe me, I LOOOOVVEEE where we are now - not speaking, not interacting, no contact - that just doesn't seem to be a situation that can be maintained. Last week my brother in law texted my husband - can we talk about something? My husband ignored it for a few days, thinking it was about my daughter's 3rd birthday, coming up soon, and how his parents might want to be here for it. But he did call his brother, left a message, and hasn't heard back. With the start of college football season, my husband has mentioned calling his dad, another fanatic, more than once. I'm nearly 7 months pregnant and they don't have any idea (I don't think, but brother in law could have spilled the beans in his "helpful" way). I feel something building, and know there will be a break sometime.

So, while there are any number of ways to focus this appointment tomorrow, I think my ultimate goal is to get through all of the story enough to even get to the part where the in-laws become a factor. Because, all these months later, I still don't know what is a reasonable, sane response to insanity. And goal #2 is focusing on some level of rebuilding this marriage in a way that works for me and for him, too. Weird that's the secondary goal. I feel sometimes we could just keep going on the marriage, without "working" on it, but I know that's only patchwork for another couple of years, and we need to get beyond all this and get to something new.

My list is long - the marriage, the betrayal, healing after betrayal, still hurting after betrayal, in-law insanity, body issues, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, job loss, sense of self loss, guilt over job loss/finances, anxiety over jobs, working mom vs stay at home guilt.......where do you even start?

Anyway, my point is I think I'm going to write a little cheat sheet to make sure I get through everything - as complete a story as I can. What do you think? If you were starting counseling, and there were half dozen or so reasons why you wanted counseling, how would you approach the first meeting?


Molly said...

I think a little list of all this would be helpful, if nothing else than to let her know the magnitude of your anxieties and issues. There are a lot of things weighing on you right now, obviously, and it might feel good to just run it down with her.
But I just wanted to say, in regards to the in laws, the job problem, the past...try to focus on yourself and want is good right now. Your husband, little girl, and new baby deserve you, and you deserve them right now!

Antigone said...

I've been thinking about starting counseling myself. I can't imagine where I'd begin as my list is fairly long.

CLC said...

I think that's a good idea. I always make a list in my head and then always walk out of there forgetting one or two things. The counselor needs to know your whole story anyway, so bring the list. Good luck. I hope you like him or her.

k@lakly said...

I like the list and the words you use to describe your overall feeling of 'my life is off track'. Using the list to explain that feeling should be a really useful way of telling the counselor what you need to get out of counseling. Back on track...or at least feeling like you are in control of the track you are on, right?

clickmom said...

Not only did I show up for my first session with a list, but I booked a double session as well. Should have booked triple.

niobe said...

I am so bad at counseling that I wouldn't even try to create a list. And anyway, the things that are the most troublesome are the things I want to talk about the least.