Saturday, March 14, 2020

Happy, happy, happy

I had my second therapy session today. I left feeling energized. I didn't expect resuming therapy to feel so good.

Especially since today, the important part of our conversation centered on grief.

I began this journey because I'm not handling Henry's accident, and his aftermath, well. We were told, shortly after the accident, that his brain injury would cause fits of depression, aggression, and erratic behavior. After all, the portion of his brain that is most effected controls reason. This causes Henry to experience great frustration, and he lashes out. I understand this. So why does it hurt me so when it happens?

What feelings does it trigger in me? What's unresolved that won't let me get past his bad behavior (which I know he can't help)?

Today she brought me back to my uncle, whom I mentioned in last week's session.

My uncle has been dead for nearly 10 years. And while his life and death had a massive impact on me, I may not have allowed myself to mourn him. Or perhaps I'm not over the grief. But the connection is there, and it's powerful.

Like Henry (before the accident), my uncle always saw the good in me when not everyone did. Now all that unconditional approval is gone. I miss it.

At the end of his life, my uncle's battle with Parkinson's left him different. He was super emotional and ultra sensitive. The meds caused delusions. So I missed him when he was still here, much as I do with Henry.

Also, Henry and my uncle really hit it off. They met when my uncle, his wife and my mom spent a week at The Banyan. As a child, my uncle was a a big part of my Christmases. As my family fractured, I've begun spending Christmas with Henry and Reg.

This is all deja intense for me. But it makes sense. Giving me a handle on this helps me restore order to the chaos of my feeling. I never would have made this connection on my own.

I'm grateful to my new shrink, who gave credit to "the foundational work" I did with my previous shrink. She said she thought that made me more open to this process, and makes it easier to connect these dots.

So the dots are connected. Now what? Knowing where they feelings come from doesn't show me how to handle them.

It's only been two sessions. I have time.

Saturday 9

I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen (1975)

Chosen because St. Patrick's Day is Tuesday.

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This week's song is widely considered a traditional Irish ballad. Are you of Irish descent? I've got a wee bit of Irish blood, maybe 10%. My dad's mom was 1/4 Irish. Except for Grandma's branch, the rest of my family tree is, as far as I know, German.

2) It's a song from a groom to his homesick bride. Who did you most recently serenade? (Yes, "Happy Birthday" counts.) My cat, Connie. I work her name into songs all the time. As in, "Connie, how I love ya, how I love ya, my dear old Connie!" She's very patient with me.

3) Kathleen considers "home" her mother's cottage. How about you? Is "home" where you live now, or is it where you grew up? This condo. I've lived here since 2001. Though when I dream, I am alternately living in parents' home, or in my previous apartment. I wonder why that it is.

4) St. Patrick is credited with driving snakes out of Ireland, and to this day the Irish report there are no snakes on their land. Ophiophobia is the fear of snakes. Do you suffer from ophiophobia? Nope.

5) Irish Americans held the first St. Patrick's Day parade on our shores in New York City in 1766. Does your town host a St. Patrick's Day parade? Chicago has two freaking awesome St. Patrick's Day parades. (The south side throws their own.) But alas, not this year. With the coronavirus outbreak, they have both been cancelled.

6) Leprechauns are a symbol of St. Patrick's Day. These small Irish fairies are said to live in the forest, guarding their gold. Do you more often wear silver or gold? Silver. I worry about what all that Purell will do to my ring!

7) The signature color of St. Patrick's Day is green. Will you wear green next Tuesday? Probably. I may not have to go to work on Tuesday. (Coronavirus. Or layoff?)

8) This week's featured artist, Elvis, was the idol of millions. But not the Songfellows. In the early 1950s, a young Elvis auditioned for this gospel group and they refused him. Just as well, as the King of Rock 'n Roll did rather well for himself as a solo. Like Elvis, did you ever interview for a job that you didn't get? Oh, good goobies, yes! This one still bugs me: An executive secretary from a small but reputable agency out in the suburbs called me. 

She called me. Remember that.

She said her boss really wanted me to come in. This agency was known for its digital work, and at that time I had no web experience. I mentioned that to her.

"He really wants to meet you," she insisted.

I told her I was quite busy with my current job and now wasn't a good time.

"He really wants to meet you," she insisted again.

Naturally, I was flattered. I took a vacation day, got all dressed up, took a train and a bus, all in 80º+ heat and humidity, for this interview. He casually flipped through my portfolio and said, blandly, "You don't have any digital here."

I refrained from clawing his face.

I did, however, ask why he wanted to meet me. Seems an old boss of mine had recently become his next door neighbor and gave him my name. Literally, over the hedge. 

He was so remote and bored that it was clear he felt I was wasting his time. Never mind that he had wasted mine. I wanted to yell, "Don't be such a cheap bastard! Hire a recruiter or an HR rep who knows how to screen people properly!" But it can be a small world so I didn't. I did, however, make him find me a Coke before I headed to the bus ... and the train ... in 80º+ heat and humidity.

The upshot was, he sent me a rejection letter. As though that was necessary. The last line was, "We reserve the right to call you in the future."

And I reserve the right to not pick up!

9) Random question: Do you believe women are more emotional than men? No. I think women are freer to express those emotions.