Today’s counseling session was another heavy one.
I’ve been battling with the inability to feel lately.
I’ve also been battling with battling with my own brain. For master’s level students in the counseling field, we are encouraged to see a counselor to make sure we aren’t carrying around our own baggage for when we begin to see clients. It’s considered a primary part of our self-care due to the fact that with all the knowledge we are gaining we begin to reflect it all back on ourselves and we have a hard time handling it.
Add to that I’m a left and right brained individual.
Add to that I’ve suffered some serious trauma.
What ends up happening is I stay awake until two o’clock in the morning building an entire pyramid out of all the steps I can add. Last night it was a pyramid primarily constructed out of questions like, “Have I ever really been in love?”, “Have I ever felt love?”, “Am I even loveable?”, “Is true love even a thing?”, and so on and so forth. I worked on this pyramid of self-destruction for so long that by the end I was convinced I was a horrible person who had never fallen in love, been loved, and people basically just tolerated my presence.
When I told my counselor, Courtney, all of this she was deeply concerned. She’s well aware of the effects of grad student reflection and what it can do to us, and with the previous issues I had discussed with her, and now this type of behavior, she used the entire session to help me break down why I was feeling this way, how I’d gotten to this point, why it was very important that I learn to compartmentalize these issues, and while all this is going on I have to remember that I’m fully over-loaded, and thus I feel numb.
Part of what I had to share with her was the fact that I realized it had been a while since I’d had feelings one way or another about the opposite sex. Back in November when I began counseling I’d had myself set that I was looking to connect with someone new and that would be my focus. I put myself out into the dating pool, even went on dates, and tried my hand with numerous people. Nothing took. I kept trying, kept going out, kept throwing my lure into the pond, and still nothing. As I explained it today, I couldn’t tell if it was me that people didn’t like, or it was my insecurities, or what. I was completely awash with chaos.
Courtney added an element of “or” today by saying, “Or you haven’t met anyone that sparks your fancy.” She’s convinced I just haven’t met someone that is as passionate as I am, and that wouldn’t be intimidated by my personality. To her, it isn’t anything I, or anyone around me, is doing wrong or right it’s just the fact that I’m a complex personality who wants someone to fully engage with me and I haven’t met that person yet.
To me, it feels like I’m either failing or so confused and numb that I’m hardly able to function. Right now I’m just an exposed nerve who feels like nothing really excites or stimulates me because I’m so overwhelmed in my own process of thought. Courtney made sure to explain that as we get older our values and expectations change and mold. So, for me, I’m at that stage of my life where I intimidate most people, and to find someone that I resonate with and I know they want to actually hear what I have to say, that’s my ultimate goal. The hard fact is that I’m a complex persona and I don’t resonate with very many people in general.
The goal this week is to step up to the plate and be honest with myself. Stop trying to force dating. Stop grabbing for the programmed expectations and responses. I’ve been so caught up on trying to make first contact with people that I’ve ignored the signs, and I need to just make it about fostering and building friendships until I can fully come to terms with where my head is right now.
It’s important that I own the reality that I had thought I would be able to have physical encounters or relationships with little to no expectation of involvement. Keep it simple and surface level. After today and talking to Courtney I know this isn’t what is best for me, and she feels strongly that I need to focus on myself for a little while so we can work on getting all my sections organized in my head. It’s definitely not where I thought this was going, but considering I’ve never felt so overwhelmed in my whole life, I think her assessment is accurate.