I like E., my therapist. She’s been wise and very helpful over the years. I started seeing her a long time ago, primarily to deal with the stress of my elder son’s developmental disabilities. He went through an incredibly difficult period in middle school, and besides suffering a lot himself, he sucked all the energy and joy out of our family life for a while. E. helped me set some boundaries and protect my marriage and my relationship to my other son, while also comforting and supporting my oldest. Sometimes we briefly touched on the childhood reasons that boundary setting was so hard for me. I told her a little about the “less scary” abuse experiences I had, but we didn’t spend a lot of time on them.
I quit therapy for a while and then returned again to talk about the my son’s needs as he grew older and less inclined to listen to parental advice or observe household rules. We talked about my dad’s need for help as he aged. And then E. thought we were about done. That’s what made me realize how much I still needed to process the deeper wounds that had been locked up in my heart for so long.
We started that work last fall, and it led me to the deepest depression I had experienced in many, many years… essentially since the time I had first been in therapy with Hannah.
Do I go to therapy because I am depressed? Or do I become depressed because I am in therapy? Does talking about childhood abuse help me get better or suck me into the pit? I am honestly not sure.
Maybe I should reduce my focus on therapy and increase my attention to doing thing that make me happy in my current life. Maybe I should quit therapy entirely. Maybe I should backtrack with E., get more clarity on where we are going together. Maybe she’s known me too long and doesn’t see me anymore–I feel a little disturbed that she didn’t see how very depressed I was this past winter and spring. But most of all, I feel worried that all this healing from sexual abuse is actually making me more, not less depressed.
I have a therapy session this evening–seems like this might be what we should talk about, don’t you think?