My Journey….”The Exploration”
I spent an hour yesterday with Erica. I’m on an every other week schedule.
She had given me homework. I read it and reviewed it yesterday before our session. I’m at the point in my therapy where we are beginning to search for the source of my bout with depression.
It’s strange that I spent so many years, almost 50, in the communication business and in so many ways I’m a poor communicator. When you step back from yourself and are forced to think clearly about how you behave, how you react to situations, how you respond to others. Certain patterns emerge and I found myself yesterday thinking, “Holy shit, that’s why that happened.”
An example, Erica asked me, “Have you ever told Jan how you want to be loved?”
I thought about it and said, “No, not exactly.” She said, “Why not?” I didn’t have an answer. That’s certainly something to think about isn’t it?
On the other side of the coin, I haven’t ever asked her how she wants to be loved, either. It’s pretty dumb to stumble around mentally, when all you have to do is ask, listen and respond in an appropriate way.
When I was a kid the people around me didn’t or seldom ever expressed the way they really felt about things, we all suppressed our feelings. I know my Dad was very frustrated much of his life, but he seldom talked openly about it. I watched him take a 180 after his heart attack at 39. He was angry, depressed and pretty much a changed man. It was painful to watch and experience, but Dad never said anything about how he felt. He just acted pissed off all the time. My Mom was hurt, worried and would sit up most of the night doing ceramics to take her mind off all of the crap that was going on in our lives. What did I do? Nothing, I never asked my Mom how she felt, never asked Dad either. Did I tell any of my friends? No. We all just kept our mouths shut and suppressed it. We enabled each other’s behavior. It took years for my Mother to let it out, all of her hurt and anger and pain came out 25 years later.
I talk all the time, most of the time without actually communicating. I think it began when I walked around in 9th and 10th grade never telling anyone how I felt or what was going on in my life. I’ve never stopped and I’ve made people close to me very puzzled from time to time because of it. Erica didn’t say it, but all these years later it all caved in on me and I sat on my ass at the bottom of that deep dark hole for a year and a half.
Insight is a wonderful thing…
More to come.