Mandala Day 3
The Art Therapist
I have been thinking a lot the past couple of days about how things are going with the Art Therapist. He is my third therapist in the past 12 or so years. Each therapist had their own niche and kind of acted as a scaffold for the next therapist. Of the three, I think the first one I saw was the poorest fit for me. Not that he didn’t help me, because he did….But when I think back to working with him…it was like we didn’t quite click in the right way. However, he helped me get my head on straight, build some confidence and make some decisions in life that were very helpful to me, like going back to school.
Eventually, I reached a sort of impasse with the first therapist….As we delved into harder (sexual dysfunction) issues, I just got stuck. And other than the sex issues, I felt like I was in a good place, so I stopped going to therapy with him. As part of ending the relationship, he and I decided that maybe a female therapist would be a better fit for me, so after a brief hiatus, I started seeing therapist number two. I should say though, that I did try to see an actual sex therapist before I started with the second therapist. Of the couple of sex therapists in the area, one had just stopped taking insurance and so was only private pay ($$$!) and the other was unable to work with me due to a conflict of interest (in terms of her professional affiliations.)
So, I ended up with Therapist Two. I spent six years in treatment with Therapist Two. I worked very hard and really made a ton of progress with her. I had been seeing her for about a year when something happened at school that triggered a very strong PTSD response and ultimately, this round of depression that I am in now. I am very glad I had developed a good relationship with her at that point, because I thought I was totally losing it! (Flashbacks, disassociation, mood swings, hypervigilance, hyper-startling, nightmares, night terrors, etc., and deep depression.) She was able to help me keep my head above water while teaching me how to manage my symptoms. We also worked on decreasing my self-judgement and perfectionism. It was six very productive and helpful years in many, many ways. But eventually, I felt like the relationship just got stale. And I got very tired about talking about everything. And when I said I was feeling tired of it, we would have to talk about why I was feeling tired of it…and eventually that got old too. I had a break from her for a few months after I had knee surgery and then I went back once or twice (hoping the break had refreshed things) but I was just done. I liked her a lot, I learned a lot there…but I just was done.
So, I went basically therapy free for a year. I figured, why not see how I could manage? And I always had my appointments with my Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner to tide me over in case I really needed anything….But I ended up slowly not really managing very well and though I was better in terms of my depression (You know, half-way down the hole vs. mired at the bottom.), I was not at all where I want to be. Thus the hunt for a new therapist which led me to the Art Therapist.
More on that tomorrow…Suddenly, my day has sort of kicked into gear around me, and I need to participate!