Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Intake

So, I went for my "intake appointment" for counseling yesterday. It was pretty nerve-wracking going there, but I guess the actual session wasn't so bad.

Basically the whole thing was questions and answers about my life and feelings. Having a blog, of course I talk about myself all the time, but it's always things that I want to talk about. It was pretty strange spending an hour-and-a-half not just talking about myself, but talking about things about me that someone else wanted me to talk about.

It wasn't hard to answer the questions honestly, though. I think I'm pretty honest and more than usually self-aware. (Although like anyone else I must have my blind spots. It was actually finding one of those blind spots that led me to realize I need help.) The hardest part was just remembering. The counselor asked me all kinds of stuff about my "family of origin." I hadn't thought about some of that stuff for 25 years or more.

I guess I just don't think about my childhood anymore. I mean, sometimes I think about it in more general terms, what it meant to me, but not what it felt like or what happened, if that makes sense. I don't think I'm "repressing" it or anything like that; I just have no reason to think about my childhood anymore; it was so long ago.

I guess. Do "normal" people in their 30s or 40s think much about their childhoods? I have no idea. Anyway, it was weird, because I talked some about my dad and how he was kind of messed up, but I totally forgot to mention his gambling problem, which certainly had a big impact at the time. No, not "forgot to mention," I actually forgot he had the problem. But he died 30 years ago, so why would I have thought about it for years?

In general, I probably focused too narrowly and literally on the questions, because I also almost forgot to mention formative experiences like living in Japan for 9 years and being a devout Mormon for 25 years or so and then quitting.

Anyway, the best part was probably when I described what somebody did to ruin a relationship and the counselor solemnly said, "Wow." (w00t! for validation.)

The worst part? I make too much money, so I maxed out their "sliding scale" and it's going to cost $43 per session. Oh well. I guess I should be glad that it won't totally destroy my budget or anything.

Anyhow, I'm supposed to be matched up with a counselor in the next two to four weeks, so we'll see how it goes.

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