• Pandemiployment

The Therapist Told Me To Journal, So I Started a Blog

Boo and I had one therapy session together. The therapist was late (to a Zoom) because her computer decided it would not acquiesce to her request. If you don't know that quote, I don't want to know you. Move along, quietly.

There we are, staring at my iPhone (lemming) on FaceTime (what is this, product placement?)

The therapist was perfectly nice. We explained that Boo would be heading out on a deployment soon (very soon) and we wanted to work on our communication skills. We've come a long way from that time he told me to wear a really fancy dress for a "surprise" and I thought he was proposing based on a quantum theory calculation on the fanciness of the dress and his level of secrecy, only to be surprised with a trip to see The Book of Mormon.

A great show, to be sure. I looked ridiculous in my fancy black dress as everyone else was at a dress up level of Nice Jeans. We learned that:

  1. I hate surprises (Foreshadowing: Boo keeps having to learn that one).

  2. I will KNOW when something big is coming (I knew with 100% certainty and accuracy he would propose the day he did. I was really calm about the whole thing. Just don't ask me what he said, because I blacked out in emotional joy overload).

  3. Woman logic and man logic does have some disparities. I'm not going to get into nature vs. nurture and gender binaries, but yeah. We were reading the situation a tad differently. My mom heard the details and was convinced it was a proposal. So was my boss. So was every woman I purged my soul to with all the details, because I WAS TOTALLY RIGHT. All the dudes were like ??? when asked their CIA analyst assessment of the clues I was presented with.

  4. Never trust Boo to accurately assess what clothing I should wear. The man lives in army uniforms, nurses scrubs, and work out clothes. His one pair of jeans was purchased at a time when dating me (had he known me) would have been Statutory. The man just thought my dress looked pretty. There was no further meaning behind his suggestion.


Back to the therapy.

The therapist nodded her head, sure sure, she'd be happy to help us with a communication tune up.

Then she asked me about my support network. Was I good at asking for help? Um, not really. Did I want to work on that in our appointments? Well lady, we're kind of in the middle of a pandemic, so every person who comes into my home to help could also be transmitting a killer virus. Let's let this one lie for now.

Well, one thing I could do was work to look at this deployment in a new light. Instead of being all WHY ME I could look for the positives that would be coming out of this experience.

In my head, I was all, my beloved husband will be in a warzone, and I'll be home with a baby and a toddler, during a pandemic, trying to hold on to my full time job, while the dog barks at the never-ending deliveries we're all getting (see note on pandemic) because she doesn't get enough walks because I have two small children and my second in command is gone and...

Out loud I think I said, "Huh."

Then she spent some time asking us about our parents, and their relationships, and what we thought of those relationships. And I completely get it, we're all likely carrying around stuff we learned while we were kids watching the closest available marital relationships. However, see point about Boo leaving in a few weeks, and our goal being to get some good ideas on communication. Tips, techniques, ideas. Suggestions.

She went on to talk about how I should journal. I have nightmare handwriting. I clench the pen, pressing it so hard against the top third of my ring finger that I swear to you my right hand ring finger curves more than my left. I had to take a test to get my masters in English Literature (obviously, did nothing for my writing skillz sorry) where we were given two texts, a few weeks to memorize every piece of critical theory written on them, and then three hours to write a cogent essay answering one question per text, with citations. As in, "According to Smith, 2020, this blog ramble a LOT yo."

I handwrote that motherfucker. We were allowed to type, but when I'm typing and I'm nervous I rewrite the same sentence in a groundhog day loop and I would never have made it out of the introductory paragraph alive. So I handwrote it in those little blue copy books, with a space between each line on the advice of a professor who had seen a sample of my handwriting and was like, yeah you should write this out so you don't just delete the whole damn essay in a panic-induced freakout, but leave a space for us to have room to decipher the hieroglyphics.

I'm someone who gravitates to writing in times of stress. Just ask Boo to send you some of my angry Text Opuses (Opus in the plural, Opui?) where I spew venom like...a pissed off venomous snake. I've also written angry letters on college ruled paper, hidden them in his army bag, then had to sneak out early in the morning to remove said letter and destroy the evidence, having thought better of the surprise pissed off epistolary product mode of communication. Nothing says I love you like your wife's rage coupled with her inability to stay coherent past 8:30pm. And her shitty handwriting.

So yeah, I could journal. I could take my rage and stick it in a handsome cloth-bound tome, or something with leather, with one of those little ribbon bookmarks in case you find it too hard to flip to the last page your scrawl defaced.

Or I could start a blog, and enjoy howling into the void, giving my opinions and swears and rants to pretty much nobody. It's kind of freeing. I mean no harm to anyone, I'm just not used to having a big bottle of what the literal fuck is going on with life right now ANGER.

I'm 12 years late, approximately (every blog influencer I've ever read started her blog "just for fun in 2008", it's a thing). And I never saw that therapist again (when you're low on time, and someone is doing a poor job communicating with you by not listening to what you actually want, and instead giving you what she thinks you should want, you need a new therapist).

I've heard it can take a couple of tries to get the right fit with therapy. I'm sure we'll try it again. Let me just add that to my To Do list, right under check kid for pinworms.

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