When do you know you’re done with therapy? I’ve been going for over 18 months now and my sessions have transitioned from stuttering to push out words that I never wanted to say, even to myself, to basically letting my therapist know all the great things that have happened over the last fortnight. I still have a rant occasionally, but it feels more like I’m venting to a friend or a stranger in a bar, putting the world to rights rather than working through deep seated issues anymore.
When I try and focus in on things that are negative on my life, things that get to me daily that maybe he can help me through, I generally don’t see a pattern. They are things that would annoy anyone. It wasn’t until last week when he pointed out that a major part of mental health, and in particular, transactional analysis, is knowing that people are inherently okay. They do good things, they do bad things, but they are in essence okay. It’s accepting that they are at different points in their journey and perhaps they haven’t had years of therapy to draw on now. You can’t force people to deal with things that they are not ready to face yet, even if I, or anyone else can see straight through these issues. Unfortunately that means that people play games, repeat unhealthy patterns and, generally, seem pretty dumb. It’s frustrating. It’s irritating trying to support people close to me through something that I’ve seen them do a million times before. Same shit, different day. And that’s what I rant about. It’s always people and it’s always the seemingly stupid decisions they make. At what point am I bad friend for deciding I don’t want to listen to it anymore? Does it make me a bad person if I’m not able to stand and watch them go through the same mistakes over and over? My therapist says no (because I’ve got to remember that, essentially there are no bad people), but it’s something I need to work at.
If you aren’t careful, it can be something that seeps into every part of your life. I think because thing’s are going really well for me at the moment, when I see other people struggling it bothers me more than it did before. I grew up thinking I had to save the world but learnt eventually that I had to learn how to look after myself before how I help everyone else. Now I am doing that and I am nailing this self care and independence malarkey, I have more time and brain space to help others. I have friends going through horrible break ups, suffering for the jobs they hate and being trodden on by “friends” whichever direction I look. I see my family sticking to the same script they have for decades. People telling me they need someone or something, saying that they just want someone to look after them or holding on to every little piece of negativity they encounter, because it proves the monsters in their head right. It’s like everyone’s living in these comfortable little bubbles of toxic air and they don’t even want to try and burst it. I can’t burst it for them, but I can’t climb in to keep them company either.
Understanding is one thing, embracing the concept is something different. Having boundaries is healthy, but at the moment I let these games affect my well being too much. It winds me up and sometimes I just want to grab people and shake them and yell at them until they hear me. It’s not their fault that they can’t hear me. They just aren’t ready yet. For my own sake, and the sake of my relationships, I need to be okay with that, and acknowledge everyone’s individual experiences and journeys. I need to aim to be a positive role modal and force for them to relate too, but I can’t be relatable if I’m pissed off all the time. I guess, I’ve still got a few bubbles of my own to pop. Luckily, I’ve always found running with scissors so much fun.