Do I Need Therapy? Nope. Just a fantastic comment thread.

by mssinglemama on February 27, 2008

intreatment.jpgDo you know yourself? I can’t say that I truly do … yet. But I’m getting a bit closer – thanks to Tim Chard. A man who commented on a post I wrote months ago, titled “Do I Need Therapy?” At the time I had started pushing Kris away…I was acting bitchy, demanding and closing myself off from him intimately. And I didn’t know why.

I stopped and told myself, “if you do this, you’re nuts. Because there is no reason not to be with him right now. He’s perfect!”

I was chatting with my best friend about it and she suggested therapy as an option. After all, since my divorce (technically one year ago but coming close on two since the separation) I had been dating steadily but after a few weeks – I would drop them like flies. Done and done! See ya! Now, granted, they weren’t the right ones…however, there was a pattern. That pattern being that I was scared of something…of commitment.

So here I was letting my irrational fears get the best of me at the risk of losing a sweet, adoring boyfriend who meant the world to me. So in my “Do I need therapy?” post I explained my fear of commitment and my fear of losing someone. And then I asked – do therapists make house calls? And then Tim showed up. He started commenting and I felt like he was reading my mind.

What he said has had me looking at myself and my emotions differently ever since. And as you know – Kris and I are still happily together. And any issues we may have in the future won’t (if I can help it) be due to irrational fears.

Here’s a synopsis of what unfolded:

Tim: I would say from reading your comments that you haven’t really stopped in your life to ask yourself about yourself. It might sound silly but taking ‘time out’ can help. For this to be beneficial you need to be alone. No kids, no relatives, friends etc. You also need some time. If a few days is out of the question then how about 1/2 – 1 an hour a day for a week. Ask yourself these questions? What do I fear? Who do I love? List your top 5 for both. But don’t post them. No one needs to see them. When you have done that, you will be ready for step two.

Me: My fears are deep. My fears about the future…about losing someone else. About how my son will judge our situation in the future. How do you come to terms with your fears? I wrote the lists. The fears came quickly. The people I loved the most were harder.

Tim: Fears, (my def: a lack of knowledge) can be overcome by gaining knowledge. It is impossible to gain knowledge of the future but we can lay a very good foundation to enable us to control it. Fear is one of the biggest contributors to mental exhaustion. e.g. Fear of not making enough money to survive, fear of not being able to achieve goals, fear of losing loved ones. Understanding our fears reveals so much about our emotional state that we can then take the steps to be emotionally in control.

As far as the love list, If you were not at the top of that list, then it would be difficult to love others. Write your list again and put yourself at the top. After writing that list, write another with all the reasons why you love yourself.

Love, (my def: The desire to please.) is the most important factor in being able to move ahead in life whether just get to tomorrow or to reach a goal in 5 years. Before you can please anyone else you must please yourself. If you do not love yourself you cannot love your son.

(This shocked me at first – and then I realized he was right!)

Obviously you must love your son and so you have love for yourself, but I believe that people in general don’t know enough about themselves in this crazy fast paced world to love enough. Your son will judge your situation based on how you handle it. While no one is in a position to tell you how to deal with it, being objective in handling it is a good place to start. Having empathy for your son will reveal many answers also…you see, as your son gets older and begins making choices of his own, he will remember ways that you dealt with situations and he will replicate those. So remember that blaming another is a good excuse for not taking responsibility.

If you only know 10 % of yourself, how can you expect to know more than 10 % of another person? Relationships of any kind are bound by rules. If a man was to try and get to know you and you only know a little about yourself, he can only have a relationship with the little he knows of you. If you turn that around, would you be interested in a having a relationship with anyone if you knew that you could only get to know 10% or even 50% of that person. It would not be wise. We often hide the worst till last.

The reason you need lists is for evaluation. Each time you write a list it will change. Note these changes to yourself. Recognizing yours fears is the first step to addressing them, by gaining knowledge. A dark room is scary until we turn the light on.

There’s much more – believe it or not. These are just nuggets. He also mentioned my fear of death, grief and loss… read the entire comment thread here

I’m bringing this up again because his tips on self-exploration have truly had an affect on me. Immediately after these comments from Tim it was like a light turned on. With my son, with Kris and most importantly with myself.

Since then I have felt more comfortable in my own skin as I’m trying to discover who I am again. Having a child alone is enough to lead any woman to lose touch with herself – and being a single mom on top of that … well, we might even have it a bit easier. Because at night when the kids are asleep it is just us … all on our own. And my fear of being alone … that one has all but disappeared. I guess I’m not scared of myself anymore.

Tim has started his own website – it’s a work in progress…and he also has book on emotions in the works. Please check it out. If you have any questions you’d like to ask him – contact him here.

[Photo is from the new HBO Show, In Treatment]

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