Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Love/Hate of Therapy

I like the therapist, I really do. But at the same time, I hate her. She sees A LOT of what is going on with Son and I. And A LOT of it is very hard for me to hear about but I am listening and trying to learn. I took a whole page of notes on things she said to me, which she laughed about because she hadn’t taken a single one during our session. Good Mom.

We started out the session talking about Son, how wonderful she thinks he is, how intelligent he is, that he is mechanically inclined and just a joy to spend time with. That made me happy because he actually behaved for her.

She is surprised that he is classified as Aspergers because he seems to have a good grasp of feelings as well as good eye contact. She said he seems to be almost hypersensitive to my feelings. I told her that he is a very high functioning Aspie.

She said that he didn’t want her to tell me what a good kid he is because I would just make a negative remark to take away her compliment. Yes, I do that and is usually in jest and without realizing what those remarks do to Son. I have made my son afraid of compliments. Bad Mom.

She said that he is afraid in disappointing me and gets very upset when he does. He doesn’t like loud noises, so yelling freaks him out. When I yell at him for anything, he freaks out, which makes me madder, yell louder, he freaks out more and around and around we go until the tornado is swirling to F5 scale. Bad Mom.

He is upset that we are not an intact family. He doesn’t understand why or the reasons behind it but he wants us to get back together. She said I must be doing a pretty good job of not bashing his father around Son because he doesn’t seem to know the reasons behind the split and seems to care for both of us equally. Good Mom.

Son HATES having to transition between the two houses. He hates having 2 rooms. He just seems to hate everything about us having to share him. He also is upset that we had to sell the house and move into the apartment, he didn’t want to leave his old room.

She recognizes my need to control everything around me. And for a long time, having complete control was the only way I could survive. But now, its turned into a power struggle with Son and I and neither of us has control over the situation. Bad Mom

The therapist asked if I play with him at all. I don’t because I don’t want to be around him as everything we do ends up being a fight and power struggle. Bad Mom.

So that’s 4 Bad Mom’s to two Good Mom's by my count. Its my hope that by continuing the therapy sessions and by doing my homework with Son that next time I do this, there will be more Good Mom’s then Bad.

Home work:

1. I am to give him at least 5 compliments EVERY day. No matter how little of a good thing he does, I am to compliment him. Yesterday, I asked him to turn off his A/C, he replied “Ok” and got up right then to do it. I thanked him for this and told him that made me very happy. He came running over to me for a hug. I almost cried when I realized how badly I have been treating him and how easy it is to make him happy. Just a few words of praise.

2. I am supposed to practice Reflective Listening with Son and reflect his feelings back to him. When I ask him to do something and he whines over it, I am to say something like “I know you don’t really want to do such and such, but thank you for doing it anyway.” I will be acknowledging his feelings as well as reinforcing that I expect him to complete the task.  I also am to practice this when he talks about his dad, reniforce his feelings for his dad without showing my feelings toward his father.

3. I need to toss out all my negative thoughts and stop being a victim. I am not a victim anymore and its time to start living again. I will take a page out of Dharma’s book: put it in a bubble and blow it away!

When I was younger, I had a friend who called me a “Bitch with a Mission” because I didn’t let anything stop me from getting or doing what I wanted. I always found a way to succeed. Now, I let the negative thoughts keep me from even trying new things. If I don’t succeed, its ok because at least I tried to do it and probably had fun trying it.

4. I need to let go of the control a lot. Son needs to be able to make some of his own decisions; its how he is going to learn and grow. I need to stop obsessing over his actions so much. Let him be a kid. I know that I have taught him how to act appropriately and I have to trust that he will follow the rules. If he doesn’t, its his choice and he will have to pay the consequences, if any. In other words, RELAX DAMN IT!

5. I am to contact dog trainers to see if someone will help Son learn how to be with Jaxon. Son won’t take instructions from me and it probably won’t hurt either of us to get some formal instructions. I will call the YMCA and the SPCA to see if they can recommend someone for us.

I will work on the homework, which in turn will improve my life with Son and my life in general. And I will just deal with the Love/Hate relationship with the therapist. If I didn’t have ANY feelings toward her, I would have to wonder if she was doing us any good.


  1. Wow,I think I learned alot from this session too. Sounds like a lot of good suggestions and hopefully will help your lives. I divorced many years ago when my 2 sons were still young and your sons feelings about the divorce sound pretty normal to me and God knows I can relate to your feelings about it. I just wanted to tell you that I believe your doing a very good job of trying to be the best Mom for your Son and give you a pat on the back for all your hard work. Hopefully things will get better soon.((hugs))

  2. smiles. glad you shared this with us...and that you are going to do your homework...that to me makes all the difference in the will get better...

  3. Thanks for sharing, and stay at it ... sounds like a good theraputic path to go down, for real.

  4. Wow Amy, thanks for sharing this as I need to do some homework too...really hit home with me too as I need to dole out some positive AND some compliments too.
    Sounds like you are ALREADY on the right track.


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