Two things happened in my therapy session last night that keep playing over and over and over in my head.

  • My therapist said she learns something from every client. I’m sure that’s true, but what on earth could she possibly learn from me???
  •  We talked more about the fact that summer is coming and all that means to me. In a moment of unguarded openness – and amidst snivelling, childlike sobbing – I said, “For once in my life, I want to look like a girl.” I can’t get this out of my head – nor the annoyingly doe-eyed nod of understanding from my therapist. Is this a good thing? A sign of progress in disguise? I don’t know.

Therapy is hard enough sometimes without having the session on endless repeat as well.


8 thoughts on “Repeat

  1. Maybe you should ask her what she’s learned from you? I can think of several things your fellow bloggers learn from you on a daily basis, one of the most striking being that for someone with trauma history, you regularly manage to achieve genuine humility — as opposed to self-negation — and it is one of the things that is most valuable to you in your therapeutic process. It’s a pretty rare quality, to be able to hold that place of stillness and questioning yourself, while still remaining very open to input.

    Do you know what it was about that statement in therapy that makes it repeat for you? What strikes me about it is that there’s a real shift in your wanting to embrace your femininity, which implies a possible new openness and hope about your sexuality and your future. I think it’s wonderful, and I’m sure it’s terrifying as all hell to you. That’s the thing that’s so confusing about therapy … the big shifts, the really big ones, are like geologic movement, and cause earthquakes. The resulting new continents may be great, but the process of the movement is pretty scary.

  2. David, thank you. As always your insight is both helpful and greatly appreciated. Re the humility – I’m blushing. Re being a girl – I think you’re right of course, both about wanting to embrace something about being a girl (I’m not prepared to call it femininity yet) and that this is scaring the hell outta me.

  3. Hi Kerro,

    What David said. I can’t explain how wonderful it is to get to posting a comment and find exactly the right thing to say already there.

    Also I would suggest that you look over some of the things us blogger friends have told you that you do, and so well, and reflect that perhaps it is some of those things. I will tell you something my first therapist told me, therapists love clients who really work at healing and who come to work.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


  4. Reckon it probably is progress. I have maybe half a day when I get up the courage to dress ‘like a girl’ then spend rest of day in comfy PJs that make body not so much body as thing under pile of clothes somewhere. Lol

    The looking like a girl thing takes a lot of work… emotional and physical but maybe you can start ‘window shopping’ online?

    also, you should know feeling like a girl can be even better than ‘looking’ like one. maybe you don’t do it with short dresses anyway… maybe you just buy some awesome accessories that highlight your eyes or you wear your hair up and find an exotic scarf to compliment it (strangely effective, no matter if you’re otherwise wearing a Hessian sack).

    point is, creativity is in order because there are so many things other people have already told us just aren’t for us, or we’ve told ourselves because they’re on that scary borderline. and those rules are hard to change over night.

  5. @ Kate – thank you. 🙂

    @ Catatonic Kid – Hair up? That would mean making face a face instead of ‘thing’ under pile of hair! Seriously, the rules are hard to change, but I’d like to try. It’s great you’ve been able to be a girl, even if only for half a day before hiding behind the safety of your pj’s again. I totally get that. 🙂

  6. I hope that one day you will be able to see yourself the way others see you… Your humour, strength, courage, the humility that David describes…

    In regards to your therapist saying that she learns from each of her clients, I say the same about each teaching experience I have. It’s totally true, each interaction gives both parties new insight into what has worked, what didn’t work and hopefully the reasons why. If your therapist ever stopped learning from their clients, it would probably be time to move on or re-evaluate their practice.

    You’ve mentioned that you can do make-up, that’s a step towards femininity that you now take for granted. Maybe if you try one more step it won’t seem quite so scary? I’ve often thought that it was a self-defeating cycle – we wear ugly clothes because we feel un-worthy; prettier clothes might help us feel better about ourselves, but we can’t wear them because we feel so un-worthy.

    Take care,

  7. CG – I hope so too. As you know I accept that the way I see myself isn’t how others see me, but I can’t yet see it for myself. It’s odd, though a step forward from self-negation, I guess.

    You’ve got that right about the self-defeating cycle. I guess we have to start by wearing clothes that feel good and look good on us… that might give us the confidence to take the next step? I don’t know.

    My mother arrived today and one of her first comments was, “Your bum’s got bigger again.” Sigh. Thanks Mum. Ugh.

    You take care too please.

  8. As you probably know, I carry around a soapbox for society related posts. I think sometimes we get caught up in what we think society wants from us, such as in how you might think looking like a girl would be. Maybe examine that. What does looking like a girl look like to you? Does it include a cardigan with pleated, knee-length skirt? Is it big boobs barely covered by a tight top and slinky short skirt and 6 inch heels, or it is simply being clean and wearing clean, pressed clothes or PJs (like Catatonic Kid)? I have learned to take a hard look at what I want, and what society wants – they are never the same. I would even venture a bet that there is someone in your life, that you may know, or not know, who when she/he looks at you they see a person who fills their description of what a “girl” looks like. I agree with Catatonic Kid that feeling like a girl is important.

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