Monday, December 17, 2007

Well, this post isn't about Oprah or Christmas..."Stuff I've learned in therapy"

Quote from Dustin Hoffman...courtesy of

I was born into what I now know was a dysfunctional family. I found that out in therapy three weeks ago.

I know I'm taking a big risk typing this quote, because I have extended family members that read this blog and take everything I say in this blog out of context. This quote will (no doubt) be one of them. I should be used to this behavior, but since they're spineless enough to not e-mail me for clarification/complaints/etc., the wheel continues to turn.

I realized the other day that I've been in therapy off and on since 1994, when my first husband announced that he hadn't loved me for a year and 1/2, he was worshiping a Norse goddess named Freja, and thought he got a 21-year-old girl pregnant so he was going to leave me and face up to his responsibility. I had issues of my own in addition to that, so why not spill the guts to a total stranger?

Why not indeed?

Since that time, I've had about 4-5 different therapists (between here and Iowa). I have learned the following about myself, the whole process, and other things:

  • I work well with a therapist who lets me crack jokes and has a sense of humor their own bad selves.
  • I do not work well with a therapist who has no sense of humor whatsoever.
  • Therapists should also have pets. Pets are important. If a therapist doesn't have a pet, they should answer why they don't have pets and not turn it around on you as some kind of Freudian feeling-transference type thing. (My current therapist has pets and that makes a difference to me in terms of how we relate to each other.)
  • My feelings about my extended family are pretty much on the money, and that I should never apologize for lack of "familial love" towards them, as they haven't really earned it.
  • I should never apologize for my feelings, period. They're mine and they're valid.
  • Instead of apologizing for my feelings, I should learn how to sort the wheat from the chaff and understand that just because people say I'm a certain way doesn't mean they're right.
  • I can and should choose who/what to place first in my life. I shouldn't let others dictate who/what I love and care about.
  • It's OK to love someone and NOT agree with the things they do.
  • I did the right thing in calling off my wedding
  • it's not weird to have one of the reasons for calling off said wedding be "I hate my future in-laws except for my stepmother and stepfather in laws".
  • It's kind of nice to have someone be OK with you talking about yourself for about 1 hour a week.
  • I have learned that my immediate family (mother, father, sister, nieces and nephews) aren't nearly as f***ed up as my extended family on my father's side. That's probably why the extended family doesn't like us so much.
  • And finally, the most important thing I've learned from therapy...the health insurance systems in this country are whacked as far as how they deal with mental health issues. Their policies are enough to force ANYONE into therapy.
So anyway...just thought I'd share those happy good-time therapy vibes with you, my peeps.