Therapy review

I find it interesting that in my previous post I said that I had a dream about having sex with M but I didn’t describe the problem in my dream. We tried to have sex and M couldn’t (in that way men can’t have sex). I tried a few different things but they didn’t work. When I had the dream I was upset because I thought it was wrong to dream about having sex with M and it pointed to some desire I wasn’t acknowledging. Now I wonder if the dream isn’t really pointing out the way M and I can’t connect in therapy. Maybe it is just about my feelings that therapy isn’t working anymore. Of course I have that interpretation after my session today which went terribly.

First the computer in his office was making frequent but random beeps and chirps throughout the session. The things I put in brackets are things I thought but didn’t say to M. We started with some brief chit-chat about his vacation and my week. Then he asked me how it was not having any sessions last week and I said it was okay. I felt pretty good (which made me wonder why I am going to therapy anyway if I am pretty good without it). He asked if I thought of things I wanted to talk to him about or if I had just avoided thinking about him and therapy. I said “no I thought of telling you lots of things just like always… I just didn’t have any sessions where I failed at telling you things” He finished the sentence with me and chuckled and I started crying. He asked me why I was crying and I said because it isn’t funny to me that I imagine telling you things and then I come in here a fail over and over at actually telling you things. It is painful to me. (I wonder if I only trust the M in my head because I can tell him anything but when I am with real life M I feel stuck and scared and judged and alone. We’ve also talked in the past about how I can imagine telling him lots of things but I can’t imagine him responding to me so the communication is one way). After a few moments he said he understood that it was painful for me and he hoped I realized he wasn’t making fun of me or laughing at me for my feelings.

Then he asked me questions related to the update email I sent him this morning. He brought up my work because I told him it was going well. Then he asked about my conversation with my eldest daughter about sex and relationships and I said it went pretty well. He asked me how often my husband and I were seeing the marriage therapist. He didn’t mention the dream. In my email I just said I had an upsetting dream about him but I didn’t tell him what it was about. Then I started crying uncontrollably. I buried my face in Kleenex and sobs shook my body. He was quiet for a long time, 5 or 6 minutes, and I wondered why he wasn’t saying anything because usually he doesn’t leave me alone for so long. After I calmed down I looked at him and he was looking at me with interest, kind of how I think a collector looks at a butterfly in a jar. So I started crying again. When I am not looking at him I wonder if he is counting the minutes to the end of the session, frustrated or bored either way I feel terrible. After several more minutes of hiding my face he asked me if I could tell him anything about my internal dialogue. I didn’t because all I was thinking was “leave, just leave, you don’t have to stay until the end of the session” and “therapy is over, you have nothing to say or more accurately nothing that you can trust him enough to talk about anymore”. I did more crying.

Then M asked when I had the nightmare about him. I said Thursday morning but it wasn’t a nightmare just a dream that upset me because usually my dreams are so easy to interpret I joke that my subconscious should try to be less obvious. He asked if the dream was upsetting because I couldn’t interpret it. I said I didn’t like the obvious interpretation and so I wasn’t sure what it meant. He said can you tell me about it. I asked him if he thought people just dreamt random stuff that wasn’t very interpretable or meaningful. He said yes he thought some dreams were just random images or associations but that didn’t mean my dream was random. I started crying and hiding again. After several more minutes he asked me what I was most afraid of besides time passing. So I looked at the clock and realized that I started crying hard about 20 minutes into the session and it was now quarter to the hour so I had spent 25 minutes in a session with neither of us saying anything much.

I said I didn’t know what I was afraid of it just felt like there was nothing to talk about. He looked irritated by that and said “nothing to talk about even though we have started so many conversations lately”. I said it felt like it was impossible for us to talk about things. Then M said that I have so many different ways to make it difficult for me to talk: am I talking about the right things; is what I am saying okay to him or me; I’ve already said something so what more is there to say about it; or what good is it going to do to talk about something because I don’t see how it will help (in all fairness these are all things I have said to explain why I am not talking about something in the past). M said that sometimes I have to give myself permission to talk even though it will unleash all these difficult feelings. So we sat until I finally said “so I just have to talk, ignore how I am feeling and force myself to talk” (while I thought it is my fault again, I’m failing at therapy, why wait 50 minutes to tell me I just have to talk even thought I have lots of stupid reasons to doubt it helping, why not tell me at the beginning of the session, is it more fun this way?). M said I wish it was so simple. Sometimes you have to talk about whatever part of the doubt is the loudest, sometimes you have to talk about what is keeping you from talking, what got in the way, was it a feeling or a reaction to something that I said.

Finally I just said I don’t want to keep failing at talking. It depresses me and I feel more depressed about therapy than about the rest of my life. Of course the session was over so there wasn’t time to discuss it. M said he would think about that for a bit and it would be depressing to feel like you didn’t have permission to discuss what you are feeling or dealing with or have experienced. I said I think it is telling me that it is time to quit therapy as I stood up. M said that he didn’t have quite the same view but he heard how I felt. I left without giving him his stuffed animal back and when I sat in my car I realized I kept it because I thought it would make me go to my session on Wednesday. So after ten minutes I went back and left he stuffed animal in his waiting room. I don’t know if I think it is a good idea to go back. I know I am not done with therapy because everything in my life is better. I am still struggling with a lot of things but some things are better.

For a couple of weeks before M went on his vacation I had two types of therapy sessions. Sessions like today’s where I felt like I couldn’t talk to M about anything that really mattered to me and I felt like he didn’t want to hear it or he was frustrated or angry with my silence and crying and whining. Sessions where we talked about my children were relatively easy with little crying and no silences. Things with my children can be difficult and triggering but I am having more success telling M about them and in talking with my children. For example my eldest daughter recently told me she is dating a girl which was a surprise to me. My daughter and I have talked about her relationship and her sexuality in general. My daughter is amazingly honest and forthright in describing her feelings and talking about sex including asking me questions. These conversations aren’t easy for me and they often illustrate how very different my teenage years were from my daughter’s and how very confused about sex and love I was then and still am. I am still talking to her and I can talk to M about the conversations I have with her.

What I can’t do is talk to M about how I feel about sex and how confused I am about it. I also can’t talk to M about how much I hate how I look or how I can’t control my eating or at least I can’t talk about it anymore than I already have. There are so many things I want to say, so many stories I want to tell. I imagine the conversations but when I sit down I don’t speak. Maybe I am so sad right now because I think I should find a new T. Maybe no T can help me with these feelings and I am blaming M and thinking about changing T’s to avoid the fact that I can’t be helped or I have been helped as much as I can be and this is as good as it gets.

Dreaming about my therapist

M is on vacation this week so I haven’t seen him for a week. During our last session I talked about my children and how I am enjoying my relationships with them more. We didn’t try to talk about anything difficult or emotionally draining. I understand why but I still end up feeling like he is helping me avoid things that I need to talk about. M did give me a stuffed animal from his office to keep while he was away. This is the second time I’ve taken the stuffed animal.

This week has gone very well. I’ve been busy at work and at home but my mood has been good. I feel like I am doing better with my day-to-day life. The bigger issues are what still cause me so much pain. I hate how fat I am but I keep eating every night after my kids go to bed. I can feel quite good about things until something happens to remind me how screwed up I am. This morning I had a dream that triggered me badly into the “I am so screwed up nothing will ever help” state.

****Triggers*** for sexual content

This morning I woke up after having a very disturbing dream about M. He was coming back from his vacation and he came to visit me at home but it was my childhood home. I was an adult with two kids but I was living with my parents. M came in and hugged my daughter and then hugged me and kissed my head paternally. I was surprised in the dream because we don’t touch other than shaking hands at the end of sessions. Then we were walking my children to school and we stopped at a cafe to get coffee. At first it was a typical coffee shop and in the next moment we were the only people in the room and T was kissing my naked back erotically. I was very excited. After dropping my kids off at school we were in a bedroom and we started to have sex. I woke up feeling confused. I rarely have dreams about consensual sex. I use to have repetitive rape dreams but those have stopped in the last year.

I feel guilty even though I wasn’t in control of my dreams. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to have sex with M. I have felt a lot more connected to him in the last six months. I am afraid I am not going to be able to go to my session next week without telling M about the dream. I am also afraid of telling him the dream. I am wrong either way.

Attractiveness ***triggers about sexual abuse***

For the last couple of weeks M and I have been talking about my feelings about my appearance.  I finally talked to him about what I wrote in this post. It was very difficult to talk about, much harder than writing about it. I spent most of the time looking at the floor and crying. I don’t remember very much that M said. It seems to me that when I am very upset he is quiet and says very little. He acknowledged how painful it is to only see flaws when I look in the mirror. He also commented that I sounded like I was afraid to look at myself. It is true that I feel afraid but I am not sure what the fear is about.

During our next couples session my husband told H that I had not told him that I was abused by my cousin until several years into our relationship. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t told him because I know I told him I was abused and I assumed that I had told him who the perpetrators were. I felt so ashamed. It was our fourth couple session and H and heard that I placed an online ad looking for casual sex partners in our third session. I ended up explaining to H that I was abused by my older brother (11 years older) and by an older cousin (12.5 years older). I have always had a limited number of memories but I’m not clear how long or how often the abuse happened. I think I avoid telling people who I was abused by two family members because I think it proves that the abuse was my fault. After all I was the common denominator in both situations. So I didn’t realize I hadn’t told my husband about my cousin.

I am also much more confused about my cousin. He was kind to me when I was a child and spent time listening to me and teaching me to play games. I remember him as an oasis in the desert of my childhood because no one else was interested in what I thought or how I felt about anything. When I was a teenager, 14 or 15, my cousin moved into the town my family was living in. My parents let him move in with us until he got on his feet. Even after he moved out he spent a fair amount of time with me and my family and I tried to act like nothing unusual had ever happened. One night my cousin made it impossible for me to pretend anymore by telling me he wanted to apologize for abusing me. He then went on to explain that I had started the sexual relationship between us and he would never have done that to anyone else. He said that I was special and that he loved me and he had always loved me. He said he loved me so much he wasn’t able to maintain a relationship with someone his own age. At the time I took his apology at face value and I felt sorry for him because he seemed so messed up.

That was a very difficult time for me. Earlier that year I had my first boyfriend. I was confused about relationships. I liked boys but I was afraid of them. The marriage counselor asked me how I made sense of what my cousin told me at the time and my husband remembered something I had told him when I first told him about my cousin. I was afraid that there was something wrong with me, that I was so attractive that I caused my cousin to fall hopelessly in love with me, that there was something I was or did that caused both my brother and cousin to abuse me. It was a direct contradiction of how I felt five years later when I would look at strangers and try to figure out why I was the ugliest person in the world. Confused, scared, lost… I felt that way when I was a child, a teenager, an adult. I still feel that way.

I haven’t quit therapy yet

I was surprised to find that I hadn’t written a post for 10 days because it feels like I have been doing so much thinking and processing about therapy. I’ve had three sessions with M since my last post and one with my husband and H the marriage therapist. My obsessive thoughts about finding a stranger to have “forced” sex with have lessened. I’m sleeping better and feel more like myself. After our first marriage therapy session my husband tried to incorporate some of what I talked about in our next sexual experience. I didn’t find it exciting and mainly felt confused. I suspect that might have been part of what triggered the search online for a partner to fulfill my fantasy. I managed to talk to my husband more about my sexual fantasies and how conflicted I feel about acting them out even though I find them exciting. I also shared how sex doesn’t seem very associated with love for me right now. I even find it difficult when my husband tries to express his love for me particularly during sex. I can accept loving gestures a little easier the rest of the time.

I’ve explored with M some of the reasons I am afraid to talk about desire with him even though I want to. Essentially I feel like there is something wrong with the intensity of my desire. I am afraid if I talk about sex or fantasy in detail during a session I will feel that desire or arousal and that will be confusing for me and he will be able to see the “wrongness” of it. M told me he understands that I am afraid he will judge me and that I am wrong or bad for how I feel but that he doesn’t think of it in those terms at all. He thinks that my feelings create a lot of pain for me and that I probably need to make peace with my feelings in order to feel less conflicted and in pain but that isn’t the same as thinking I am wrong or bad for how I feel. It sounds like that should be comforting when I wrote it out but it wasn’t during the sessions he had tried to explain it to me. Instead I felt even more despair and like I would never be able to talk to him about it. The more understanding he is about the reasons I am having trouble telling him the story the more I think he is agreeing that I shouldn’t talk about it, that it might cause me more pain to discuss it, that I might not trust him enough to talk about it, that it is a very layered subject that involves many different threads involving sexual desire as an adult, sexual abuse and how I felt conflicted about the abuse as a child, trust and control issues. By the time he is finished I don’t want to try to tell him anymore and so I sit in a frustrated, tearful silence almost gritting my teeth to keep myself from telling.

The story that I’ve been trying to tell him is the one I described here about my experience at 14 with my first boyfriend. I managed to tell M the story briefly using the phrase “my first boyfriend and I were making out and stuff and then he moved his hand to my ass and got thrown out of my body”. I told him the part that was hard to tell him was how I felt about “making out and stuff”. M was interested in the obvious dissociative response I had and how upsetting it must have been for me to be separated from my body but I told him I didn’t have any trouble telling him about that. I think I regularly could leave my body when I was being physically punished by my parents or being lectured and yelled at. I didn’t know that everyone didn’t separate themselves like that. I thought that was how a person could keep themselves from getting angry or responding. I think the hardest part was not being able to get back into my body when I wanted to. It is even less important to tell him the details of the story because he understood from what I said that I felt the “making out” very intensely and he thinks the desire I felt at the time might have been the trigger for the dissociation but I have always thought it was a reaction to his hand on my ass. I don’t think I felt like the desire and sexual arousal I felt at the time was “wrong” or inappropriate. I felt like it was wrong to describe it to M in the present.

M tried to tell me that even though I felt like I couldn’t talk about desire I was able to tell him the story about when I was 14 and so I would be able to tell him more stories. I disagreed because I didn’t tell him how I felt and instead he filled in part of the story and while he was mainly right about what he said that wasn’t the same as me telling the story so it didn’t help me talk more about my feelings. So now I feel like I can’t talk about desire and I still want to tell him the story even though he understands the story so I feel wrong that I want to tell him about details for no good reason. I believe that M is willing to listen to whatever I decide to tell him but he isn’t willing to lead the conversation even if I ask him to. He also doesn’t seem interested in any alternative ideas I have for telling him the story. I recorded myself telling the story and told him I was thinking I could play the recording for him. He didn’t seem interested or suggest I play it. He didn’t tell me why he didn’t think it was a good idea just didn’t respond to the idea at all. I think he thinks that I just have to talk, get up the nerve and tell my story, like I couldn’t as a child. He might be right and I may just want him to help me because I think if he helps me it means that he cares about me or my feelings or that he wants to hear what I say. I feel quite sad tonight because I trust M more than I ever have and I believe that he will listen to whatever I say but I don’t know if that is enough. I don’t know if he can help me find the reasons and the courage to tell my story. I feel like sessions like I had today reinforce my belief that I can’t talk and that he can’t help me and that isn’t good.

More about sex

I am exhausted but I can’t sleep. When I try my mind races. In my last post I talked about my sexual fantasies and how guilty and ashamed for having them. My first sexual relationship lasted for just under three years from when I was 17 to 20 years old. My boyfriend was 6 or 7 years older than me. The relationship was unhealthy in a lot of ways but I enjoyed our sex life. My boyfriend enjoyed dominating me sexually and I got used to a variety of different sexual activities. Shortly after he broke up with me which was heartbreaking I realized I was much happier without him but I missed the sex, particularly the wild and exciting sex that was unpredictable and overwhelming. I didn’t want to get involved in another serious relationship but I wanted to have sex. At the time (a long, long time ago) there was no internet and the only way I could imagine meeting men who weren’t part of my regular life was by going to bars and trying to find someone willing to have sex with me. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with wanting to have sex without being in a relationship and I wasn’t worried that I would meet someone who was physically dangerous. I genuinely didn’t worry about dying and did some very stupid and unsafe things because I didn’t care. I didn’t start caring about my own safety until I had my children and then I worried about what would happen to them if I died.

What actually happened is that I got used to not having sex with someone else. I had sex with myself and developed the habit of fantasizing about sex and rape. I didn’t think anyone I had just met would want to have sex with me because I was physically repulsive. I talked about that in this post about a depression inventory question about appearance. At the time I was in my early twenties and I was only slightly overweight but that didn’t change how I felt about my appearance. I couldn’t face the rejection I was sure would happen if I showed interest in anyone, interest in sex or a romantic relationship. I have had sex with very few people in my life and all of them were men I knew for several years before I had sex with them. I hoped that if they got to know me well I would be less repulsive. That wasn’t true for my husband who showed he was attracted to me on the first day we met. I thought he was crazy to be attracted to me and told him so once months after we started dating when he called me beautiful but I liked that he found me attractive.

Writing that post and considering the possibility that I wasn’t as repulsive as I felt for most of my life has really shaken me up. I’ve felt sad about the years I spent hating how I looked and not feeling good enough to date or have sex. I think that examining that one thing “maybe I’m not as ugly as I think I am” has shaken up some sense of myself.

Sex **Triggers**

I’m struggling in a new way right now. I’ve been spending time online looking for casual sex partners who would be willing to “force” me to have sex. I know it is a bad idea and I won’t actually do it. I don’t want to cheat on my husband but I keep looking. I tried to tell M about it in my session today but I couldn’t. I told him I wanted to hurt myself but I wouldn’t describe what kind of hurt I meant. I had hoped talking about sex last week in therapy with M (and with my husband and H) would decrease the desire to have someone force me. I have always been excited by the BD activities of BDSM role-playing. I’m not into actual physical pain or injury but I like being tied up and forced to have sex. I am excited by being used for someone else’s sexual pleasure. I used to think BDSM games were no different from liking a particular sexual position or type of sexual activity and I am sure they are that way for many people. When I first started dating my husband I told him about my desires but he wasn’t interested and after trying a couple of times I realized that he wasn’t capable of acting that differently than himself and I resolved myself to only fantasizing about those activities.

Now I feel a lot more conflicted about that type of sex. It is probably obvious how conflicted by how many different words and initials I have used in this post to describe it. z I hate that I’m excited by fantasies of rape or forcible, painful sex. It bothers me that my sexual fantasies are very similar to my PTSD-like nightmares that sometimes wake me up feeling like I am physically in pain, terrified with my heart pounding, sweating, breathing heavy, and feeling sexually aroused. I did manage to tell M that last week. That the fantasies that I have while having sex with my husband are like my nightmares which terrorize me. It doesn’t sound like a good thing. Also those nightmares (or fantasies) are much worse than anything that happened to me when I was abused as a child which makes me wonder think there is something perverse about me. After I left my session last week I was very sad and I was flooded with a lot of memories of my sexual history and how much shame and confusion I felt. Today M asked me what memories I thought of and I couldn’t tell him even the easiest one. The one where I didn’t do anything wrong and it is only looking back I can see that my feelings probably related to my abuse. Thirty years ago I had my first boyfriend and once we managed to find a place to be alone and started making out. Mainly kissing and necking and slowly we moved onto second base. When I felt his warm mouth on my nipple it was incredibly exciting. I still can remember how shocked I was and how I felt it throughout my entire body. I was completely overwhelmed and caught up in the moment until he moved his hand down to my ass and it was like I was thrown completely out of my body. I felt like I was watching from six feet away and I couldn’t feel anything anymore. I stopped his hand and he agreed that was as far as we would go but I couldn’t get back into my body at all. We kept making out and I tried to feel something and then I pretended that it felt great and faked my way through heavy breathing and moaning so he didn’t know I just wanted him to stop.

Another memory I had been the first time I was sexually excited by a book I was reading. I was a teenager and I don’t remember the name of the book but I haven’t forgotten the scene. The story was set in some fantasy world which resembled viking times. A woman is walking down the street when three soldiers pull her into an alley and start to rape her. They hold her down and cut off her clothes. One of the soldiers rubs the knife along the insides of her thighs and then gets ready to rape her. The hero walks by interrupts the rape, beats off three soldiers, and rescues the girl. It takes the rest of the book before she finally admits she loves him and gives himself to her. The culmination of their love in a consensual and mutually satisfying scene wasn’t nearly as exciting to me as the aborted rape scene.

I told M today that if I couldn’t even tell him the easy story about my first boyfriend and what happened when we made out I didn’t think I’d ever be able to talk about what sex is like for me today. I can’t tell him about the first man I had sex with and the games we played or my entertaining the idea of acting out a fantasy now. I think what I’m most ashamed of is my sexual desire. I am so ashamed of my sexuality I can’t talk about it. I can’t reason with myself that all humans are sexual because what if the intensity of my desire is out of proportion or out of control. I could if I had describe what happened without describing the emotions or at least I did earlier in therapy when I first discussed the abuse. It is my emotions that seem so wrong or to but it another way I am ashamed of my sexual desire.

Two good sessions

Today was therapy day. My husband and I met with a T for an assessment session that turned into a double session. I think I am going to call him H. H is a psychiatrist who is probably 10-20 years older than I am. He asked us that traditional “what brings you here today?” and we were off. My husband started talking about his goal to improve communication between us. We moved fluidly between what our marriage was like today and the past including our individual therapy histories, the abuse in my childhood and how it affects our sex life today, my husband’s childhood and the sudden death of his mother. It was a good conversation and H made some interesting observations and connections in what we chose to discuss today. At one point I used a specific phrase to describe what our current sex life was like for me. I said that I had told M we mostly had “drunken, angry, sex”. H asked me what I meant by that and I hesitated and my husband jumped in with his interpretation which isn’t at all what I meant. I didn’t know how to describe it and H said but you have been discussing it with your individual therapist. I replied “No, I’ve mentioned it like I did now but I haven’t discussed or explored it and I don’t know if M understood what I meant”. My husband asked me to try to describe it and after a few minutes I managed to start to tell my husband what I meant looking only at him and not at H. I kept the description very intellectual and non-emotional and H made the kindest possible interpretation of what I said and how it might represent a wish I had for the relationship I had with my husband. Then he asked me how I felt talking about it and then said perhaps you don’t feel you got all the way into it. That is true. I don’t regret it because I’m deeply ashamed both of my sexual behavior and desires and of what they say about me. I don’t think the first meeting with a marriage therapist is the place to delve into that kind of shame. We agreed to meet with H again in a couple of weeks and both my husband and I felt good about the session.

Afterwards I thought about the fact that when I mentioned “drunken, angry, sex” (DAS) to M a few months ago I didn’t say anything more about it (kind of like I was reporting the final score of a sporting event) and he didn’t ask me any questions. Ideally the place to delve into that topic would be with an individual therapist with whom I’ve built a long-term therapeutic relationship. But I don’t. I struggle to even bring up a subject like that and M doesn’t ask me about it and I shut down very quickly. I know that M is very non-directive and willing to talk about anything that I want to talk about but that just leaves me feeling like it is my fault for not being brave enough to talk about it. That kind of illustrates part of the difficulty I have in therapy. Then there is the fact that I am continually preoccupied by my worries about what M really thinks of me, how needy and dependent I am on him and therapy and how annoying that must be, and my constant quit/don’t quit or find a new T/stay with M battles. So individual therapy brings up a lot of the issues I have around attachment, dependency, trust, vulnerability and those issue make it very hard to talk about the things that I am struggling with Irl like my weight or my sex life or my relationship with my husband.

So before I went to my session tonight I wrote M and email talking about how fear that he is angry with me for calling him recently even though I didn’t have a “good” reason to call and the way I am battling with myself about how needy I feel. I told him about our session with H and then told him that I managed to talk about DAS during the session. I told him that I wanted to talk to him about it but I realized that he wouldn’t ask me about it when I mentioned it and I didn’t know how to bring it up again. I wondered if this would be a good time for me to take a break from individual therapy and the endless cycle of attachment, need, shame, and self-loathing that get activated and concentrate on marriage therapy with my husband. Even writing the sentence stressed me out and I realized that even when I think a therapy break might be a helpful thing there is still a huge and relentless fear that wells up in me thinking about it. I sent the email to M about 30 minutes before my session. When I arrived M had just read my email. He didn’t mention my fear that he was angry at me for my recent phone calls or the idea of therapy break. Instead we talked about DAS, what I had told my husband and H, and the fact that there were a lot of things I didn’t tell them. I talked more about it with M. He asked me some direct questions which helped me keep talking about it and isn’t how he typically operates but I appreciated it. Near the end of the session M asked how I felt talking about it with him and what I was afraid he was thinking which gave me a chance to predict the reaction I might have to disclosing so much. I admitted I was afraid he thought I was disgusting (because it feels so wrong) and he told me he didn’t see it in those terms at all. He didn’t think I was talking about something wrong or disgusting and that he had a lot of sympathy for the obvious conflict and pain I had between sexual desire and my childhood experiences. I also admitted that something he had said earlier in the session made me think that I didn’t need to tell him everything that I did and that I might have said too much or told him something that wasn’t necessary. Saying too much is a big concern of mine. There are so many things I want to tell him and I stop myself because I don’t think they add anything new to the story of my life, like if I’ve told him three stories illustrating how incredibly narcissistic and emotionally abusive my mother was in my childhood why do I need to tell him more stories even if I want to. He pointed out that I was unnecessarily judging how much I said or what I chose to say and that telling more stories or giving more details was a way to flesh out the conflicting and confusing feelings I had about a subject. I thanked him for telling me what he thought at that moment which has given me something positive to remember when I think about the session.