CT: So do you have anymore thoughts about what we talked about yesterday, about quitting therapy?
ME: I don't know.
CT: Have you decided if you're going to quit therapy? If you'd like to keep going and set an end date or if you are just going to stop today?
ME: If you're asking because you need to fill my time, then go ahead. I don't care.
CT: No, I'm asking because I want to see where you're at. How you're feeling. I don't need advanced notice to fill your time. I want to know what you're thinking.
ME: I don't really know.
CT: What reasons do you want to quit therapy?
ME: I don't know. It's hard for me. It makes me feel really bad and I don't think anything has changed. I'm still the same. My life still sucks and therapy just adds more to the pile of crap in my life.
CT: Does therapy always make you feel bad?
ME: I don't know. It doesn't really make me feel good very often.
She asks me more specific things about what sucks about therapy for me.
ME: I feel like I can't do anything right. Everything I do is wrong.
CT: How so?
ME: Like today I got a bad review at work from a school I went to on Friday. They called and complained because they said I was too quiet, which they felt was rude. My boss scolded me about it, but when I asked what I did wrong or how I can change it, she didn't give me any advice. "Just don't be rude." It's like scolding a kid and not telling them why. "Just behave."
CT: So it made you angry because you feel it was unjust?
ME: No. I'm angry that I fucked up. Obviously there was a reason they complained but how am I supposed to change if they don't tell me how? My job is to observe and evaluate. I'm not supposed to be talking and interacting. I don't think it's fair that they wrote me up because of a bad review. I've had two bad reviews in six and a half years. That's hundreds of good reviews, but I guess they don't mean anything really. It's really only the bad ones that really count in life. I mean, why would I be praised for not being a fuck up? That's like, just expected. I don't know. I always manage mess things up. Everything I do is wrong. I'm such a fuck up.
CT: Do you see what you're doing again? Something upsets you and you begin to take it on as a flaw in yourself. You are always wrong. You immediately go to the place of self blame. You kind of take the power away from yourself.
CT: Is X your friend that...?
CT: What happened?
ME: I do seriously fucked up shit. Everything I say is wrong. I don't know how to be a normal person. Talking is wrong. Not talking is wrong. It's kind of like the same thing with my job. I can't do anything right.
CT: There is no right or wrong in a relationship. It's all subjective. Each person has their own view.
We talk about right and wrong and argue about that for a while. She thinks that nothing is right or wrong and I start giving her things I think could be wrong, like factual things (math, science, etc...) and domestic violence. It was kind of random and unimportant. Then she started talking about being wrong and how I blame myself for things because it makes me feel more powerful but at the same time takes the power away from myself. I have no idea what that means.
ME: Okay, but is it right to be punching yourself in the head while your friend is trying to talk to you?
CT: We talked about that yesterday. You lost control in a moment of despair because of the auditory flashbacks.
ME: I can't stand hearing Tim's voice in my head all the time. There is something wrong with me. I'm crazy.
CT: There is nothing wrong with you.
CT: I'm not sure what you're saying. If you don't want to be here, then I'm not going to be here?
CT: See, that kind of statement feels like you're pushing me away. I think what happens for you is there is tension in a relationship and you immediately start to push people away.
She goes on a tangent about how I push people away the moment I think someone might leave me.
ME: But it's true. You said if I feel suicidal, you can't be my therapist.
CT: I'm not quite sure why this is coming up now. We haven't talked about that in, I don't know, 9 months? A year? And you know what I said was that you have to be committed to wanting to be here, not that you can't have thoughts. So far, you've kept up your end of the bargain.
ME: Because I'm having a really hard time wanting to be here. Last night I called a cab to go to the hospital. The cab came and I got in, told the driver to take me to X hospital and then changed my mind at the next light and got out, paid the driver, and walked home.
CT: Why did you changed your mind?
ME: I was too scared to go by myself. I don't know. I was just scared to be alone.
ME: I feel like I'm waiting for you to dump me so I think I should just end therapy.
CT: So you want to leave me before I can leave you?
(suddenly sobbing very hard)
Do you know what it's like to see your own child pornography? Do you know what it's like to know that someone is out there beating off to something you have nightmares about? Do you know what it's like to send someone to jail?
CT: Is he going to jail? What's happening with that?
ME: A plea has been offered. X months.
CT: (Looks up at the ceiling and closes her eyes) Wait, I'm doing the math.
ME: That's X years.
ME: I wrote a letter asking them not to send him to jail, but no one cares what I want. They will drop the charges on the possession of X photos and videos because legally they count as his since he had them for a year and didn't report them. He inherited the computer and kept them on there, so legally they belonged to him.
CT: How do you feel about that?
ME: I don't really know how I feel.
I break down, holding my face in my forearms and fists as I cry.
ME: I don't want to send someone to prison. All I do is ruin lives. I fuck up everyone's life. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with this. I don't want to send someone to jail. I don't want two little kids to lose their father for the rest of their childhoods. If I weren't here, they'd still have a dad.
CT: You didn't send him to jail. You didn't ruin his life. He made those choices. (blah blah, trying to make me feel better about destroying so many lives).
ME: Maggie doesn't think so.
CT: Of course she wouldn't think so. Her kid is going to prison and she has to blame someone, so she blames you.
ME: I'm supposed to be her kid too.
CT: (sadly) yeah.
ME: I've never been anyone's kid. I just want to be somebody's kid.
(cry harder. Hands over my face). CT talks in soothing voice, but I could only hear my heart beat and gasps for air.
ME: I don't know how to deal with this anymore.
Cry cry cry
Me: I don't know how to put someone in jail. I don't know how to deal with the photos and hearing Tim's voice, smelling his breathe. I can't find any relief.
CT: Does anything bring you relief?
Me: Not really and then when it does I just worry about the next big thing that's going to happen. I'm worried about how I'm going to handle the next big thing.
Me: It's never going to go away.
CT: What isn't going to go away? The porn?
ME: Well, not really, but the porn isn't going away. It's out there forever.
CT: What do you mean? Do you have access to the porn?
ME: No. It's on the internet.
CT: No one knows that is you.
Me: (crying)You don't get it! I KNOW. I know! I know it's me. I know that people are getting off on it. I know that other kids are probably being hurt by my photos. I know that someone is enjoying them. I know it's out there. I don't know how to deal with this. It's too much. My life is too much. I can't do it anymore I'm too fucked up.
CT: I think this is going to be a tough thing to deal with for a while. And it's going to be hard, but you just find little things that bring you relief, even if it's just a minute. A good cry, a walk with your dogs, playing your violin even though it frustrates you that you're not at the level you were in college. It doesn't matter if it's something simple to keep you grounded and find some relief. Do you talk to your girlfriend? How are things with her?
ME: I don't know. We don't fight or anything, but everything is so... stale. I can't talk to her. She freaks out and cries and doesn't know how to deal with it.
CT: What about your friend? She understands some of these things, right? Can you talk to her?
I break down and start to cry harder.
ME: I ruined that relationship too, remember! We're not friends anymore. I don't know how to do this anymore. I don't know how to want to be alive. I don't have any reason to live right now. The only reason I have is that I don't want to hurt people, but that's starting to not be enough. Why is it selfish for me to kill myself because it will hurt other people, but it's not selfish of other people to want me to suffer for them?
She goes on some tangent about that, but I don't remember it.
CT: Do you have friends you can talk to when you need to?
ME: No. I don't have anyone I can talk to about this because I fuck up everything in my life.
CT: What about your dog?
ME: My dog? Um, you want me to go talk to my dog about child porn?
CT: You're dog is pretty cuddly right?
CT: Well, you can cuddle with him when you feel overwhelmed.
ME: You want me to go cuddle with my dog when I'm feeling sad about kiddy porn?
CT: Why not? You've got your dog, and me, and Dr. K to help you through this.
I cry some more for no reason. CT just sits with me. She began to breathe differently. Can you breathe with compassion? I don't know, but her breathing changed. She said a few things in an affectionate tone about it being okay that I'm crying and that I will get through it.
ME: I just want it to stop. I want it to go away. I want all of these flashbacks or whatever the fuck they are to just leave me alone. I'm so scared about the future, about the next bad thing that is going to happen. I can't do it anymore. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to keep going? I'm so tired.
I cry some more.
CT: I know. It is a tough time and it's going to be tough for a while, but that's okay. We'll get you through it. You've felt better for a little while, remember? You can get there again, but therapy is a slow process. It's not a magic fix.
CT: We actually have to stop right now. Am I going to see you next week?
I pause for a moment.
ME: Do you need an answer right now?
CT: I'd like one, yes,
I start to cry.
ME: I don't know.
I keep crying but say: Okay.
CT: Is that a yes?
I shake my head, yes.
CT: Good. I'm glad! I'll see you next week.
I leave the office, sit in the stairwell, and cry.