Therapy Session 3 – 04/03/22

So I talked with my therapist about a lot of different issues which have popped up over the past few months. Here’s some of my notes taken from the session..

Boundaries: I seem to continually violate others boundaries whilst also not putting any in place for myself. My therapist mentioned how it’s often easier to pick out others problems and as a result of my own expectations, I form my own judgements which surface. In relation to a really specific incident, I crossed a few boundaries when someone had opened up to me, causing me to lash out as a result of my own judgements and being unable to ‘catch’ myself. My therapist had mentioned how I’ve got to work on catching myself and being mindful. In order to do this, I’ve got to have space in order to center myself in moments like this.

Red Flags: My therapist recommended that I write down a list of red flags. I’m supposed to ask myself what pulls me to an individual and what deters me from them. With space and time, I should be allowed to process if our values are aligned. I was recommended to ask myself if what I’m asking for is being provided. She suggested that if I’m basing it from a friendship foundation, I should create a list of my values and tick it off if they’re being met. On a friendship level, if the person is being transparent, non-dismissive, respectful and recognizing me for who I am, then despite all the other differences, if those basic values are met then a ‘bond can form stronger over time’ since we are able to work through those differences. We talked briefly about things like chemistry, familiarity, comfort and love languages which was something different.

Dating: My therapist recommended that I give myself at least 3 months before I start dating again. This is because I’ve got to give myself time to process through my feelings of anger and so I can experience the grieving process of ending a relationship. She said there’s a cycle where you get depressed, angry, you start self-doubting and I’ve got to allow myself to process through those emotions and allow them to surface. During this period, I am supposed to allow these emotions to surface, name them and make peace with them. We also talked briefly about how this is a period of post-traumatic growth which was a term I’ve never heard before!

This is just a brief summarised overview of everything we discussed. I found it pretty valuable. Although I haven’t really written out my red flags checklist, I do think I will eventually be able to get to it. It’s been a pretty rough time and honestly I didn’t realise how much work I had to do and how much I was suppressing.

There’s a lot more I’ve been wanting to talk about with my therapist, mainly being that I am a poor listener. I genuinely believe my inability to truly listen to those around me negatively impacts my friendship and relationships. Although I do think I’ve improved with my overall communication and tried to listen more to others and their issues, I do still think it’s fundamentally an issue. In fact, may be to the point where I sometimes myself can’t put in proper boundaries and become a primary support mechanism for someone else to rant to. The weird nature of this is truly perplexing.

I’m not exactly sure if I want to date again. It’s been something that’s on my mind but I feel so discouraged after my last relationship. I think being in therapy and feeling invalidated about my progress in my past relationship negatively impacted my own self-perception about my development and progress in therapy. I really thought I was doing well and attempting to address all criticisms that I received but perhaps that in itself was insufficient. Feeling inadequate makes me feel pretty sh#t about myself. No matter how many books I read or how many therapy sessions I go to, I suppose I will never be the perfect or ideal partner.

One other massive issue I wanted to tackle with my therapist is my often crippling anxiety. Crippling to the point where I avoid going out and enjoying myself because of my fears around COVID or getting sick again. I guess no one really knows what my hospital experience was like other than myself. I can still remember the excruciating back pain which made it near impossible for me to sit up or walk. I am really thankful for my health even though I do experience chronic pain. I am so thankful that I can walk. Perhaps one thing I need to add to my green flag checklist is needing someone who isn’t flaky. I do need stability. I need stability and faith in someone when I’m sick and scared sh#tless or hope that they will be with me even when things aren’t going great in my own life. I feel like the entire purpose of a relationship is to work towards eventually getting married. Marriage is the ultimate form of commitment, especially because it is legally binding..

I have learnt a lot from this experience though and it’s YOLO. You only live one. Say what you need to say, do what you need to do because this really is the one life that we get. I feel a little more ease in the future choices I want to make, especially with my future studies. I’ve come to realise that I do genuinely want to help people and the only way I can do that is by potentially switching fields in order to maximise my skill set. I suppose I will have to revisit this thought at a more appropriate time.

Photo by Maria Tyutina on

It’s been quite rainy these past few days. I really love it. I miss going on long drives at night in the rain. In many ways it was a different kind of therapy.

Moving on is difficult. I no longer play the songs that remind me of anything painful from the past and I believe this effort has paid off to some degree. I haven’t played Bennie and the Jets for years. I loved that song. I think now I can play it and finally embrace it for what it is, instead of having the painful reminder and memory along with it. Some wounds are more recent than others and I know it’ll take time for them to properly heal. All things do get better with time and may be I will too.

I remember when I was 19 in The Netherlands. I was on a train from Leiden to Rotterdam. Surprisingly, the public transport system there is amazing. I remember the beautiful greenery on that trip.

Now I’m alone, there’s nothing left just endless thoughts and memories, some which will finally be put to rest.