Friday, May 20, 2011

My first counseling session

I was pretty nervous walking into my first counseling appointment today. I was nervous I wouldn't know what to say. I was nervous I wouldn't connect with the counselor, or that she would say something that made me put my guard up. Mostly, I was nervous about how much emotion would spill out, not because I would be embarrassed by it, but I didn't want to have to feel it all.

I'm thankful to report it was a positive experience. I did cry, but not unmanageably so.One huge bonus for the counselor is that she faced infertility, and conceived one child after 3 years and never conceived again. Also, amazingly, her daughter had a long infertility battle and eventually conceived through IVF (and she had her mom in the room with her for one of the procedures!). So it was really great to start off knowing that on a basic level she got it.

Nothing that we talked about felt new to me, but it was validating that she understood and sometimes gave me language for the things I brought up. I felt like I knew myself pretty well and was able to lay my cards out on the table, and she agreed with it all and told me exactly the things we are going to work on. I liked that there were "action items" and goals, and I think it will essentially be accountability and help for me to move forward.

There are a few difficult relationships in my life that were a large part of our conversation. They don't have anything directly to do with infertility, but I think my infertility journey has highlighted that I don't feel supported or understood, and thus I shut down in those relationships altogether. And I feel guilty about it....which I think is a good catalyst, because I don't want to damage these relationships further, I want them to improve! It has felt like this point of our journey - and whether or not I can or will let these people in a little - is a potential turning point. And that needs to start by me communicating what I need and feel. Frankly, it HAS to be a turning point because I don't know how I can proceed with adoption since I will HAVE to communicate about it on some level - it can't be a secret like infertility was.

I'm sorry to be so vague. I haven't written about it before because despite the fact that I try to keep this blog anonymous, people can still find it and figure out my identity (hi, M - haha! :)). And I don't want to write about other people in my life and have them find out my thoughts or feelings about our relationship - especially difficult things - in this way. I am considering moving over to Word Press so that I can potentially password protect specific posts, in which I could write more openly about this. I'll keep you posted. :)


twondra said...

I'm so glad the counseling was a positive experience for you. I have a Christian counselor and I don't know what I would do without her.

If you need to talk, I'm always here. I, too, recently stopped fertility treatments and when the timing is right, we'll be undergoing adoption. We've been through 12 IUIs, 1 IVF and 2 FETs. It's so hard when you stop, isn't it? Soooo many emotions.

Sending you lots of hugs and prayers.

A said...

i am so glad you were able to find a counselor with IF experience- the counselor i went to see in november was Christian but had no idea about infertility specifically, and so i dont really think she helped me (validation-wise) as much as it sounds like this lady might be able to help you. always praying for you (HUG)

andreajennine said...

Glad to hear you had a good appointment. Will pray for those difficult relationships. We've all got 'em!

Marie said...

Hi! I didn't find you; you pointed me here.

I do love me some wordpress.

I'm glad you were able to connect with the counselor on the first try. Some people have to try a few different counselors before they find one that sticks.

Britney said...

i'm so glad you've decided to go to some counseling sessions. in my humble opinion, EVERYONE should be in counseling! It's just so refreshing to get an outside perspective, to just vent, and ultimately, to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings. you are heavy on my heart -- i'm invested in your journey.

Melissa G said...

I'm so proud of you for seeking help (outside of blogging!) It's really easy to say that you're going to look in to counseling, but quite another to take the step and actually do it.

And I agree ONE BILLION percent with Britney, everyone should be in counseling - seriously. It's so beneficial, it seems crazy not to do it. Ha, get it? Anyway....

I'm happy for you, and I'm glad you're on your way to reaching a new set of goals.