Monday, April 9, 2012

apprehensive....and "i" statements

so....tomorrow I have an appointment to see one of the therapists that I used to work for. This is a first for me.

I believe in the healing powers of psychotherapy. I do. I just....never have believed in the healing powers of psychotherapy for myself.

This means that in the many years I scheduled appointments, ran insurance, did billing, and in general convinced other people that it was perfectly normal to see a therapist for anything as simple as "coping skills" to things as difficult as major depression and anxiety, I never actually saw a therapist myself.

I mean, I saw the therapists every day....

but I never scheduled an appointment as a direct reaction or coping strategy for something going on in my own life.

Until now.

The appointment is tomorrow, and I'm feeling apprehensive. I'm hopeful that acknowledging my anxious feeling will help me be less prone to nervous tears tomorrow. (I cry when I'm really nervous. It's not exactly a helpful coping strategy. Also, I sweat when I'm nervous. Like, buckets of water, sweat, which is also not a helpful coping strategy.)

I had thoughts of canceling the appointment -- thoughts running through my head like, "oh, you're doing fine, plenty of people get jealous when their friends announce that they are pregnant again" and "Oh, whatever, no one has asked or hinted in a long time that you should have babies soon."

But then, things like family gatherings happen, and I am reminded of why I thought this appointment would be a good idea in the first place.

Family gatherings like, say, Easter dinner. Yesterday.

When we were all sitting around, watching my cousin Rebecca wrangle her one year old, and my older but unmarried brother decided to make the comment that next year that would be me.

Hahahaha. If only he had a clue how insensitive his comment seemed to the girl who wants very much to have a baby, has wanted very much to have a baby for some time, and apparently lacks the ability to have a baby, I'm relatively certain that he wouldn't have made this comment.

But he doesn't have a clue. Because sweet hubby and I decided not to share with our families and friends that we are trying to have a baby, so that they wouldn't start asking us all the time about how it was going. And sometimes I think it is a great decision, not to be asked all the time about how the whole process of getting pregnant is going.

Other times, however, I think it makes the whole process more difficult. If I had told my mama when I stopped taking birth control two years ago, by now she might have hinted about the wonders of fertility drugs, or other such things. If my mama knew that we were trying to have babies and failing, she might spread this news quietly and behind the scenes to my aunts, who would spread it to my cousins, and then magically, without me ever having to laugh awkwardly and suggest to my brother that maybe, since he's older and seems so interested, he should just have the babies himself. Which got a little laugh, but not such a big laugh as my Aunt Lou C. responded that maybe he does have babies and we just don't know about it yet.

And so, this morning, I woke up thinking in "I" statements.

I-statements which will most likely never actually be shared with my brother, but which are making me feel powerful within my head, anyway.

I-statements like....
I feel uncomfortable when you say that I'll be next to have babies because I really probably won't be even though I wish I could, and I would like for you to keep your big mouth shut.

I feel sad when you say you want nieces and nephews because so far I can't have babies and I would like for you to go find a wife and leave me alone.

I feel angry when you suggest in front of others that I should have babies soon because you don't know how long I've been trying to do just that and I would like for you to stop saying how much it looks like sweet hubby would like to have a baby of his own when you see him playing with other babies.

I feel disappointed when you think it is appropriate to suggest that I should have babies because it really isn't appropriate to make your sister sad in public, and I would like for you to not assume that all couples who enjoy playing with babies want one of their own and/or are capable of having babies.

I feel embarrassed when you tell me I should be next to have a baby because my body is not cooperating and I would like for you to let me grieve this in private, rather than force me to think about it in public.

I feel ridiculous when you tell me I should have babies because I want to but I can't think of any good way to acknowledge publicly that I want to but am unable to without making everyone in the room full of extended family feel extremely awkward and sad, and I would like for you to stop thinking that it is ok to make comments about when I should have babies.

And so, as these I statements keep swirling around inside my head, I think I will be quite well prepared to express myself to my therapist tomorrow, at the appointment that I am eager to have, because learning some coping strategies is exciting to me, and anxious about, because I'm sure I'll be a sweaty, tearful mess.

I'll let you know how therapy goes.

Plus I think it will be awkward to see my old boss in the waiting room, and have him know that I chose to make my appointment with someone else. But he's a therapist -- they are typically very understanding people.

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