Unfinished Business

I’m the type of person that when I start something I like to finish it before I start something else.  Some examples: I read one book at a time and I need to finish it before I start another.  Even if I hate the book I have this driving need to finish it.  If I start using a bottle of lotion, shampoo or whatever, I need to finish it before I start another and I never have more than one bottle open at a time.  I know, a weird quirk. (I’m sure I have more than a few quirks)

Having this quirk has presented a bit of a problem in therapy that I haven’t brought up before with my t.  I’m not sure why I haven’t since it does really bother me.  Lately I’ve felt this is a loose end I don’t want to leave hanging after therapy ends with my t. If I did it would bug me forever.

I have this idea in my mind that everything should go from a to b in a straight line. No deviations.  I want to finish one issue from beginning to end before starting another.  Apparently therapy, at least the type I do, doesn’t really work that way.  It’s more fluid.  We visit a topic issue move away from it and revisit it later on.  And I also know sometimes I need to move away from a topic because of the intensity or I’m not ready to go there yet.  But now that therapy is ending we will not be getting back to any issues.

Partway through the session last night I jumped in abruptly and said I needed to talk about something.  I explained the above to her and how I felt about it.  I asked her about one particular topic (among a few) that I really felt I wasn’t finished with yet.  I think I even talked a bit about this in an earlier post.  Just before my three-month break we were talking about my parts.  After the break we never went back to this. I do take ownership of this because I could have spoken up and said I wanted to continue.  In all honesty I’m not sure why I didn’t.

So my t and I discussed the ebb and flow of therapy.  How it is fluid.  She did say in hindsight that it might have been better if she had asked where I wanted to go with it.  I do remember saying I wanted to try to identify the parts of me.  We did work on that. She said she thought we were done when we had done that.  In my mind I think I was starting to think a step further but didn’t give voice to it and then the break started.  I guess in the end neither of us was very clear about the process of this.

But I guess that’s just it, therapy is a process.  It doesn’t go from a to b with no deviations.  My life is like a tangled ball of wool, everything entangled together.

All through therapy I’ve had to try to come to terms with how it works and put the obsessive need to be finished with an issue aside.  I know being finished with an issue is being rather unrealistic at this time. In reality if you were to ask me what the finish of any one topic would look like I couldn’t even begin to tell you.

Even so, with the end of therapy I feel like it’s all unfinished business.

This entry was posted in Abandonment, Attachment, Change, Control, Therapist, Therapy, trauma, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Unfinished Business

  1. WG says:

    Hello 🙂

    Interestingly, for a control freak, I’m the opposite of you.. I always have several books on the go and am a multi-tasking centre of chaos 🙂

    But the a>b would be nice.. to go from one issue, solve it, to another, solve that one and so forth.. but I think it’s meant to be cyclical, so that you can sense and understand the connections between issues and the patterns they form in your life/behaviour/experience of the world.

    And I think, ultimately, endings are meant to be more like a hiatus.. because you never know if life will change and you will want/need to go back.

    Lots of self-awareness in this post.. I love it 🙂


    • lostinamaze says:

      I think that’s what I’ve learned the most in therapy, connections. I didn’t have a clue before how the issues developed from the past dictates much of my behaviour now. That’s a good way to think of this ending.

  2. Just Be Real says:

    I loved reading this. When I am in t. I am all over the place. My t. is very good. I believe to be a good t. one has to go with the flow of the client. Sure, if I get really side-tracked, my t. always pulls me back. But, for the most part, she goes where I go. Thank you dear one for sharing this post.

    • lostinamaze says:

      My t lets me lead the sessions as well but she also let me know if I’m deflecting when we are getting into the tough stuff. It’s probably a good thing or I would be wasting most of my time doing this.

  3. One thing, that I have found that helps, is having specific goals. You still go through the ebb and flow, but you have something concrete to come back to.

  4. lostinamaze says:

    I think goals are a really good idea. My t has set some goals with me in the past but I’m not sure how closely I stuck to doing them. They do give me a direction to move towards in therapy though. I like concrete for sure.

  5. Harriet says:

    I’ve had this same conversation with my t. I hate how nothing ever gets resolved and every week it’s a new thing. After almost 3 years I still can’t get used to it. And it’s gotten so that I don’t think he even wants me to talk about the same thing every week, so I feel uncomfortable doing that, like I’m talking about the same thing all the time. But how can anything get resolved in 45 minutes?

    • lostinamaze says:

      It has been one of the things that has bothered me a lot about therapy and I’ve never talked to her before this about it. I feel like I’m leaving therapy with nothing resolved. I wonder who came up with the 45 minute therapy session idea and why? Because I think you are right.

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