Tag Archives: therapy

Should it feel the same?

30 Jul

I saw my therapist tonight. I’m only seeing her once a month now. Really as a way of saying goodbye more than anything. When I first showed up a blubbering mess on her doorstep back in September I didn’t think I would ever feel OK again. Now, I do (most of the time). And I owe much of that to her.

Anyway, tonight we talked about how busy I am at work, and with seeing friends and trying new hobbies. I told her I don’t have the energy to date right now. It feels too complicated, too much of an investment. And maybe there’s just nobody out there for me.

She asked me, “Would you like to meet someone?”

Yes. I want to meet someone. But, I explained, I can’t imagine feeling anything for anyone right now. I just need to trust that if the right person comes along then my feelings will kick in.

Then she asked, “Do you want it to feel like it did with your ex?”

Wow. That’s a question and a half.

Because – yes – falling in love with my ex made me the happiest that I’ve ever been in my life. It was so exciting. I felt so loved. I felt special and important and pretty and fun and like my whole future was falling into place.

And then, of course, he ate half a pizza and told me he had never been in love with me. So it was all fake. It didn’t mean what I thought it did. The feelings I experienced were real, but they were based on fantasy. So can I ever feel that way again? Should I ever feel that way again?

Only time will tell, buddies. And if I never feel that happy again, then maybe I’ll also never feel as low as I did after the pizza of doom.

That, my friends, would be what we call a silver lining.

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The cost of a break up

8 Jul

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I’ve ranted and raved plenty about everything I lost after the pizza of doom. The man I loved. My best friend. The ability to sleep, eat, and dress myself. Reason. Logic. Hope. My sense of humour. All my beautiful plans for the future. My two hypothetical children.

Gone. In the snap of his fingers. Or, more specifically, in a mumbled, confusing speech he managed to blurt out while digesting half a pizza.

A pizza I f***ing paid for.

And that’s what I want to talk about today, buddies. For eleven months I’ve watched my bank balance do some real feats of acrobatics.

Anything to feel better.

I bought every self-help book that Amazon stocks. I went to psychics. Therapy. Reiki. Online dating. Flights. Holidays. Business-class flights (well, the air stewardesses make me feel so special). Train tickets. Yoga classes. Italian classes. My good friends at KobKun Thai Massage might as well have a direct debit from my bank account. Buying myself extravagant bouquets of flowers. And boxes of chocolates. And paintings. New furniture. Rugs. Lamps. More self-help books.

It’s best not to think too much about the cash monies I’ve shelled out in the name of feeling “less awful”.

But I’m usually a careful cat with money, so I can’t help thinking about it. A lot.

Well, guess what, buddies. It actually doesn’t worry me.

I could have pissed away money on alcohol and drugs. Or Louboutins (which are magnificent creations, but my little paws could never walk in them).

I have plenty to show for my power spending. My flat looks awesome. I can speak Italian and do handstands. I’ve visited friends and family, and earned a lot of airmiles. And, honestly, it makes tears swim in my eyes to consider how my therapist helped put me back together.

I didn’t just spend: I made investments. In me.

Investing in me is something I’ve never been great at when in relationships. I have a tendency to put my boyfriend first. And second. And third.

So next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll need to find someone who treats me as nicely as I’ve learned to treat myself. I know this now.

However my next relationship begins, and ends, he’ll pay for the f***ing pizza.

So what’s the financial cost of this break up?

I don’t even care. It’s money well spent.

What I have

15 Jun

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OK, I’ve thought about it and decided the best way to deal with not knowing who I am anymore is to start with the good stuff. So here we go: ten things that I still really like about myself.

1. I like that I make what is probably the best aubergine parmigiana in the world. No, wait. Definitely the best. But it’s not just the parm itself I like, I like the fact that I only make it for people I love. Because it takes hours to make and stinks out my flat, it’s reserved for very, very special friends and family. I like that I show my love through food. It keeps me authentically Italian. Or at least part Italian.

2. I like that I’m not arrogant. Yes, yes, of course I’d like to be just a little more confident at times. And not doubt myself so damn much. But there’s no fear of me ever alienating people by being an arrogant twat. So, you know, yay me for that.

3. I like how much I love animals. I like that I’ve been helping to keep pandas alive by sponsoring them for the past five years. Not to mention the monkeys, penguins, leopards and tigers who I’ve also donated to. I like that I stop to say hi to cats and dogs who I meet in the street. I like that I can sit in the park for hours imagining the conversations that dogs are having with their owners.

4. I like that I laugh a lot. OK, so maybe the therapist and Irish Two reckon I come across as miserable, but I know I spend a lot of my day laughing. I know it only takes one look at this clip to set me off in hysterics. I know that before all this happened I used to regularly have trouble falling asleep at night because I was laughing so hard at things that had happened during the day. Life is funny.

5. I like that I can make fun of myself. That I know I’m a geek. That when someone leaves a date with me after only 40 minutes, pretending to be ill, I find it humorous enough to post on Facebook.

6. I like that I’m one of the most empathetic people I know. It’s probably because I’m such a bl**dy sensitive cat, so at least I do have the ability to channel that into helping others. And I like that I feel good when I do help others. I’m no saint. There’s nothing selfless about it: it makes me feel nice. But I’d rather that made me feel nice than kicking kittens or tossing hedgehogs at a wall. Or breaking people’s hearts.

7. I like that through everything that happened last year I never missed a day of my new job. I never thought about it at the time, but physically forcing myself out of bed and into the shower when I was lying, sleep-deprived, food-deprived, tortured by sadness, with tears streaming, is one of the bravest things I’ve ever had to do. There were days I considered giving up. I very nearly asked to take a month off to get my sh** together. Who knows, maybe I should have. But I chose to keep going. And I did keep going.

8. I like that I have learned appreciation. Some of my friends met the love of their life before they even turned 21. Some shortly after. And they are nearly all now married and making new people. I’m alone. As far as I’m concerned, life has spoilt them. When it happens for me, OK, if it happens for me, I’ll appreciate it so much more. If I ever find someone who actually likes me enough to want to spend their life with me, I’ll never take them for granted. Never. Ever.

9. I like how excited I get about stuff. I like that I start packing for holidays weeks in advance. I like that I count sleeps and make lists and daydream. I like that last time I went to Disney World (unfortunately the time that I broke up with the ex-before-the-ex), I was so excited I ran out of the hotel room without my flipflops on. My ex sometimes told me I got, “too excited” about things. What a f***ing c***.

10. I like my friends. My real-life friends. My blogger buddies. All of you. I like that I can pick up the phone to people around the world, or type out an email, and know there’s someone at the other end who cares and who’ll respond. And I like knowing that if all these wonderful, smart, funny, caring people value me as a friend, then I must be wonderful, smart, funny and caring too.

Maybe I don’t exactly come across as a ray of f***ing sunshine right now. But as a buddy put it earlier in the week, my beating heart was ripped out of my f***ing chest. I’m allowed to be sad sometimes.

I’ll get back to the person I thought I was. With a little more baggage. But a lot more wisdom. Eventually.

What do I have?

14 Jun

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I had a couple of weird conversations this week that, frankly, knocked me for six. “Oh, don’t bother listening to people who make you feel bad!” I hear you cry.

And usually I’d agree. Except in this instance it was my therapist and Irish Two. My therapist is a professional. And she’s never been wrong before about stuff. Irish Two, well, I knew he wasn’t being an asshole. He was delivering some home truths.

I’ve always considered myself a bubbly, friendly, happy joy to be around. Turns out I don’t come across that way at all. I come across as “low energy” and “unhappy”. Or, “nice but sad” as Irish Two put it.

So I’m left wondering: was I always this way? I thought I was starting to feel more like myself. Was I ever a bubbly, friendly, happy joy to be around?

Ugh. I do not want to be a big old drain on everyone else’s happiness.

I lost my mind for a couple of days, emailing everyone I know asking what kind of person they think I am. I also had some email chat with a blogger buddy (you know who you are) who made me feel approximately ten thousand times better.

But when I wake up every morning I’m still feeling confused as to who I am and who I’m supposed to be and who I was before the pizza of doom. Through the whole mess of the past ten and a half months I never doubted that I’m a good, kind, fun, friendly person. If I don’t even have that, then what do I have?

Yes, what do I have?

It’s not an entirely rhetorical question. I’ll answer tomorrow.

Oh. OK. Yeah. What am I supposed to do now?

12 Jun

Apologies for writing less, my buddies. I’m sure you miss my ramblings terribly.

The problem is, I thought I was OK. So I was thinking, “What shall I write about, then?”

And then I had therapy yesterday.

And now.

Now. I. Think. I. Am. Having. A. Breakdown.

For real.

I have harassed a few friends on email today. I have met Irish Two for lunch and cried on his shoulder.

I’m seeing a friend for dinner.

And a margarita.

Lack of feeling

7 Mar

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So I still need to explain what’s happened with Irish Two.

The unaffectionate cat.

Last weekend he took me on an amazing date. We went to see a play, then went to the Oxo Tower for dinner. (If you aren’t familiar, it’s super fancy). Wish I’d known we were going there. I was wearing Uggs.

Anyway.

He sat through the first five minutes of dinner emailing people on his phone. Rude.

Then we got to talking about this whole affection thing. And he told me, under no uncertain terms that:

  • He won’t be impressed by me doing nice things for him.
  • He was “turned off” by me making him pate on toast when he was hungry and asked for pate on toast. Go figure.
  • When I send him nice texts and emails he thinks they are “engineered” and so he doesn’t bother responding in nice terms.
  • He won’t say “thank you” when I cook for him because he just doesn’t care.

There was more.

What an asshole. Am I right?

The pate thing bothered me the most, and we argued about it until the next day (although we had some quite good angry sex in-between).

So on Tuesday I met up with him to end things. I can’t be with someone who doesn’t value empathy and compassion.

And we got into the strangest conversation. I told him, “I was really upset after the weekend, and the more I think about it, the more apparent it is that we just don’t value the same things. I need to be with someone who can show me that they care about me. When I had a migraine last week, I was visibly unwell and you didn’t even put your arm around me.”

He said, “You should have asked me to put my arm around you. I’m not a mindreader.”

Great.

Anyway, we discussed things further and – boom – it suddenly hit me that he isn’t an asshole. He literally has no compassion or empathy or love or care within him. He’s incapable of it. Poor man.

He told me that he wants to find a wife and have kids.

I asked him if he thought he should have kids if he isn’t able to show compassion. He said, “Well, someone like you could train me.”

In the end, I couldn’t finish things on Tuesday because I was partly fascinated by his lack of feeling, and partly sad that I won’t be able to hang out with him anymore.

So this weekend it’s over. Hmph.

I feel sad about the whole thing. Sad that we connect so well on so many levels and yet there is just no care or affection there. Sad that he thinks I’m “too nice” and he doesn’t appreciate the things I’ve done trying to be nice for him. But mostly sad for him.

I know I love with all my heart, I feel with everything in me. I know I’m a sensitive soul and a creative cat. And I know those things are not character flaws. They’re the things I’m most proud of.

What is he proud of? What does he have to measure himself against? What does he aspire to? Does he feel anything at all?

I’m genuinely worried about him. Maybe I am too nice.

The beach

13 Nov

Florida is bliss.

I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s actually not sunny today. But, I’ve spent the past two days on the beach, so I’m not complaining.

The beach here is my happy place. Whenever I am trying to be calm and focused in life – in Pilates, before big presentations, when things feel like they are falling apart – this is the place that I picture. My family have been coming here since long before I was even born. Which is a looonnnngggg time ago. These days I am here at least once a year, usually in November when London gets too cold.

Walking on the beach yesterday I was thinking just how many memories I have tied to it. Running around as a kid, playing with my barbies in the water. Reading Sweet Valley Twins books on a sun lounger. And, as I got older, walking along beside that turquoise water, just thinking.

I’ve walked that beach wondering when I would ever find a job after I graduated university. I’ve walked while beyond ecstatic that I had just got my first role as a copywriter. I’ve walked knowing that in a few months I was going to work in New York. I’ve walked pining for my Secret Work Boyfriend, and fighting with the ex before the ex. And, of course, last year I walked along there daydreaming about my ex. So far this year, most of my walks have involved fairly sad conversations in my head.

But it’s got me thinking, I wonder what will be in my head as I walk this beach next November?

Looking out on the Gulf of Mexico, there’s nothing but sky and water. Of course, sometimes clouds come over. But, the thing is, they always pass.