I had my 5th therapy session today. I think I’m starting to feel less anxious whenever I step inside the building now. My heart would pound rapidly in my chest and I could feel my stomach gurgling inside. The trick is to remind myself that 1) I’m not crazy to be seeing a therapist 2) the therapist is there to help me as what bestie would always remind me. I used to feel anxious when I see people sitting in the waiting room because then they would know that I am seeing a psych (which technically, I shouldn’t care because I won’t see these people anymore).
Today’s session was basically to talk about my mother. I also told her about my reaching out to my sister and learning about her painful childhood. As there were so many things discussed in the session, I find that I can’t remember certain things. Will probably have a part 2 of this session.
What we discussed:
1) My mother will never be happy with who I am and what I do for her. I need to accept that so that I won’t change myself just to suit her needs and to make her happy.
2) She asked whether I am prepared to accept that she will never be the nurturing mother I want her to be. I asked her what does she mean because I have already accepted that she is the way she is and will never change. She said that in the process of me accepting that I will never get the mother I would like to have, feelings of guilt, anger and grief might arise and I might need to address that.
3) She said that to prevent this pattern from repeating itself (my Grandma being a narcissistic and then now my mom) in the future, I should spend time with emotionally healthy older women who can become my role model as I lacked one.
4) I told her that since she can’t change, I will need to change. She stopped me right there and said – No, there’s nothing that you need to change. If I want to change to a better person, then by all means but not to please her.
5) She asked me that when my mom lashed out at me, what was so bad about it. I told her that I am not affected about what she says about me or my friends because I know myself and my friends better than her. But it affects me when she curses me and wishes that I’m dead. I told her that which mother wishes death upon her child? I’ve been hearing that statement for years and instead of not feeling affected by it, it actually hurts me even more. She said, so has it happened? It’s not up to her to decide who lives or dies. But I told her that it’s what she said that hurts me, not so much about whether it happens or not.
6) I told her that I am trying to change the way I think now. My mom used to make me feel guilty about things that I should not feel guilty about like having lunch with a friend. I would feel like I am disobeying her and feeling guilty usually increases my anxiety. I have spent hours mulling over these trivialities when in fact, I am not responsible for her feelings. If she feels angry that I am meeting my friend for lunch for example, then she can deal with her own emotions. In fact, if I were to tell my dad that I am having lunch with my friend, he would say “Have a good lunch”. I would rather focus on that positive feedback rather than anger from my mom. It has worked for me by the way. And I have stopped placating her whenever she starts ‘misbehaving’.