21 Mar 2007
I took the kitties to the Milo Foundation, which was totally heart-breaking, but I couldn't keep 4 cats. I kept the white one with the black chest, and call her Penguin because it looks like she's wearing a little tuxedo, sort of. I cried trying to choose--it was like Sophie's Choice or something. I hope I don't feel haunted the rest of my life by the three kitties I gave up. I know they'll have good homes, though. Milo is very particular about who gets to adopt their animals. I hope Penny (short for Penguin) doesn't get too lonely missing her puppy-pile sisters and brothers. Maybe I should have kept them longer at least. This shit makes me cry.
I wanted to tell my therapist all about the kitties, but I thought that probably wasn't something I should be spending money to talk about. But then I had that problem of not knowing what to talk about, because they were pretty much all I could think of, and I couldn't think of any problems. So we sat there with neither of us talking, because she usually just waits for me to start. Finally I just told her it was really uncomfortable sitting there and not knowing what to talk about. I wanted to ask her questions about her life, but I didn't think I should. She told me lots of people are uncomfortable in the first minute or two, trying to figure out what they want to say and getting started. That was a relief knowing I'm not the only dork in the world. She also said I was welcome to talk about anything, and if I came in with something, that was fine, or if I didn't know what to talk about and sat quietly, sometimes what's really deep down in my heart will sort of bubble up into my head or something, and it can be very useful. I just hope something bubbles up into my head before I get so nervous I end up saying something stupid from I don't know where--certainly not from deep down in my heart.
So I asked her how I would know when I was done too. She started telling me, and I like totally spaced out. So I asked her if I could have a pen and piece of paper to take notes so I could get it all right, and look at it later and all. So I'm going to try to say what she said to make sense of it all. Ok, so she said emotional growth happens for our whole lives unless we get stuck, so in or out of therapy I would never be done growing. But therapy will help me get unstuck so I can keep growing on my own, or in more therapy if I want. She said people use therapy in different ways--some people come in emotional pain and when that is gone they reassess whether they want to keep working on other stuff, or are done--but it's totally up to me--she won't ever throw me out for being "done." She said some people come to therapy to feel better from whatever is bothering them at the moment; some come to know and understand themselves better, some come to talk about hurtful things that happened while they were growing up and their personalities were forming; some come because they're lonely and need someone to talk to; and some come to change how they deal with hard stuff at a fundamental level. She said depending on which thing people want (which can and often does change during therapy) people come for a few months or longer up to many years sometimes. She said neither is better or worse, it's just about what I want from therapy. Oh, she also said I could leave and come back as needed for help with small or large problems that come up. I think that was about it. Pretty complicated--especially trying to figure out what I want, so I know how long to be there and what to do while I'm there. Really, the truth is I just like to talk to her and have her listen and tell me her perspective. It makes me feel calmer, and like there's a net under me so I won't crash if I start to fall. But I feel like I should have better reasons and goals and stuff for being there. Maybe getting goals can be my goal.