I don't have as many details (or maybe the patience to -- titrated up the dose today) as I thought. Let's see.*
Essentially, she implied throughout the session that I was using the loss and infertility and grief to get in the way of really dealing with my depression (a distraction, like bitching about my brother, or getting off topic). I tried to conceptualize for her that the experience of the infertility and loss and grief seem to be enmeshed (I can't think of the right word) with the depression, and that the only way to get through the depression was to try to parse out what was what and how one affected the other.
But of course, I'm just the depressed client, what do I know.
She even told me about a couple she treated who had tried for maybe 10 years to have a child and got a surprise pregnancy, made it all the way to delivery and the baby died. And she treated them. And they got pregnant again and treated them through the whole, fraught second pregnancy that did result in a living child. (See? I can treat you too?!?) I said, she was very lucky to get pregnant a second time if she had been infertile for so long. The chances are infinitesimal. Yes, she was very lucky, said my therapist.
During my session, I tried to communicate to my therapist the experience of losing not just the child, but his future -- made harder by seeing those his same age going through all the milestones I thought I would go through with him. Caught up in the discussion, I said, "Imagine your children had died at age 3, but you see all their friends going through elementary school, high school, prom..." And she said, starting to cry "I have to stop you there, because you're starting to make me angry. My daughters, at age X and X+3 watched their father die a horrible death and I was a widow trying to take care of two fatherless children." I made some comment about me losing my mother, too, but of course as an adult it's different (actually, I agree with that). I don't even really remember much after that. As I left, she asked if I would be back next week and I said I didn't know.
To be honest, I felt a little bad about bringing up something that would be so painful for her and maybe it was a little too much. But as I took a drive to burn off some anger and sadness, I realized something and called her. I said, "I'll be in touch in a month to let you know what my plans are. I also called to say that I realized, after our conversation, that it seems that you believe your pain is (greater/more important/more significant) than mine, and I believed that was not necessarily the case.
I can't imagine being a widow with two small children. For Christ's sake, my friend B was days away from the very same situation. With smaller children. But I think that, aside from the arrogance (common in the public mind, I think) that there is not complexity of experience and pain in the impact of IF (certainly none she needed to even look into), my therapist believed that her pain was worse than any mine, and I didn't believe that was true. Can you say medalist in the Pain Olympics? Guess what? I felt my dead child against my leg but was too drugged to do anything about it. I delivered my dead sons and held my mother as she died a terrible death. What medal do I get?
I hate that.
So, the message from my therapist from yesterday? I didn't want to listen to it, and C didn't want to, so my sister volunteered and I let her. She emailed me the message: My therapist still thought we could still work together, and hack away at the work we had to do and was saving my spot for next week.
Finally got to talk to Dr. Shrink, whom I gave the session highlights and told I was actively searching for a new therapist. I told him I felt like we crossed a line and that I wasn't comfortable gong back. He didn't argue or challenge. He said he'd check with a couple of people locally. "There's got to be someone who's got some experience with this around here."
I'm still not sure about, well, much -- how I've been feeling, thinking about myself -- is it "simply" depression or IF complicating things or what. Don't know how to communicate anything, emptiness, hopelessness, helplessness, fatigue, poor concentration, poor sleep -- what to tell whom... it's easing, maybe, I think. And I can eat now. Maybe that's the drugs. But what does that say about my mental health in general?
Oy. C keeps telling me that I can let it go for a little bit. I don't have to constantly think about it. He's right. But it's hard.
Well, I guess I had more to say than I thought. Thanks for listening. And for all your kind, supportive comments on my recent posts. It means a lot.
*Yes, yes...more than I thought...