The Therapy Room

I hate therapy. I love being a therapist. But I hate therapy. Therapy is a strange concept, isn’t it? You are in a one-sided relationship where you are expected to pour out your soul. The therapist encourages you to think for yourself, take care of yourself, and allow yourself to feel overwhelming feelings instead of run from them. The therapy room becomes a haven where you greatly look forward to feeling relaxed, safe, and comfortable; but the therapy room also becomes a dreaded place where you learn to talk openly about nightmares, trauma, and the dark aspects of your life that you would never talk about otherwise. After you experience these conflicting feelings for 45 minutes to an hour and a half (that’s how long mine are; an hour and a half), you are expected to zip up your emotions and walk out of the therapy room as collected as you were when you first walked in. It’s bizarre. It teaches “containment skills.” In non-therapeutic terms, it teaches you to wear a facade. In some respects, a facade is necessary or you would never get anything done but wallow in the overwhelming feelings. However, you feel desperately alone in the facade. You go through the motions and wait both anxiously and excitedly until the next session, where you will pour out your heart in this bizarre, one-sided relationship.

I hate therapy. It sends me into a spiral for a few days following because I hate shoving my mask back on. If I could, I would shout my trauma from the roof tops, I would announce it to the world; I am sick of wearing this mask and pretending that I am functioning on a normal level. Anyone who is hiding something knows what I’m talking about. Statistics say at least 1 in 3 of you are hiding something. I’m so sorry. That is why I write this; you are not alone. You are not the only person wearing a mask. I wish we could come up with some sort of subtle sign to wear to alert others that you are falling apart beneath the facade. That way, those not struggling would not notice, but those who needed to know they are not alone would see.

My husband will be gone all day tomorrow. Where I usually have a break with the kids, I now have them ALL. DAY. LONG. So, here’s my to-do list. We’ll see how much gets done. This is me, zipping up my mask to function and parent, and do my best to manage myself and my household. I hate this mask. I hate learning to wear this mask, and I hate learning to manage the emotions under the mask. I hate therapy. I wish I could both never go to therapy and never leave therapy, all at the same time.

to do list

13 thoughts on “The Therapy Room

      • Not alone at all. It is a strange, amazing and confusing thing, all at the same time. And I should know this having family members as therapists, but your own therapy is always such a personal paradox that no other experiences you hear of seem to do it justice! Hugs to you too xxx

  1. I’m so glad you had the courage to speak out about our masks and facades. I know that i wear mine the whole time that i’m not in therapy but wish i could show my true self. I can really identify with this. It is such a hard place for us to be. Hugs xx

    • I wish we could break down these barriers somehow, but in a huge way the mask is protective- we can’t pull the mask down until we are sure there is safety. I’m sorry you can identify but I’m also glad I’m not alone. Hugs. xx

  2. I’ve been in therapy for years with this PTSD crap, and finally come up for air a bit, yet still struggling at times. Therapy has helped in so many more ways than medication (don’t tell the pdocs that).

    • Good, I’m glad therapy has been so beneficial for you. There is certainly a place for medication, but I tend to agree with you… it’s so important to have support and have a safe place to work through stuff. Enjoy being up for air ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure you do not take it for granted ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I feel just the same way. I get to my therapy appointments, looking forward to the safety and compassion of my therapist, but at the same time, I dread the stuff we could talk about. Some sessions are harder than others. I also have a hard time learning those containment skills. And I’m one of the queens of wearing the “I’m fine” mask.

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