love languages…

…for some reason my therapist decided that we should talk about different “love languages.” i’m still not entirely sure why we were doing this, since i’m on “relationship restriction” and all. i’m so fucking confused by love and talk of love. quite honestly, i’m entirely clueless.

i’m full of love. i have lots of love to give…tons and tons. i give it to those that want and return it…buggs, my nephew, my nieces, my friends, my other dogs that live with my ex (cash and carly), strangers that i try to be kind to each day, even r*****d, and the girls. i even love myself now, finally after all of these years.

but, i still have this surplus…a giant surplus of love that just feels like it’s causing my heart to burst at the seams. i feel it. my heart feels full, tight, and engorged. there is so much there, none of it surface, all of it very-very deep…it’s dark blue, non-oxygenated, never released, donated, or given to another…thick, sticky, completely pure.

like i said, i feel it. it’s always there gnawing at me, reminding me, prodding me forward. this fullness in my chest makes me wonder why exactly i’m still on “restriction” and why on earth i’m still taking any of this strange approach to therapy so seriously still. the answer is that i’m not giving up on myself. i’m trying everything, until something works.

hee-hee-hee…someday my charm, wit, and love will get to someone. in the meantime, what do i do? well, i’m bidding and biding my time to make extra money to make my dreams a reality. i’m keeping an open heart and mind with these therapeutic tactics, even though i’m clearly not pleased with being treated like i’m less than…i march on.

so anyway, gary chapman wrote a book called, the five languages of love, in 1995. my therapist thought that i should take the profile test and see what my love language was. for some reason, she thought that i would learn something remarkable from discovering my “love language.” well, i guess that what i did discover was pretty surprising to me.

the following are taken directly from the website, but these are the five languages of love and their descriptions:

physical touch: “this language isn’t all about the bedroom. a person whose primary language is physical touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.”

quality time: “in the vernacular of quality time, nothing says, “i love you,” like full, undivided attention. being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the tv off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. quality time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.”

words of affirmation: “actions don’t always speak louder than words. if this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. hearing the words, “i love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.”

acts of service: “can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? absolutely! anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “acts of service” person will speak volumes. the words he or she most want to hear: “let me do that for you.” laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.”

receiving gifts: “don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. if you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. a missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.”

okay, so i took the profile test, which if you’re interested in taking it, i’ve provided the link. the results of my profile test revealed the following score: 11 physical touch, 8 quality time, 8 words of affirmation, 2 acts of service, and 1 receiving gifts. so, for anyone keeping score…apparently, my love language is physical touch. i never knew that before.

apparently, i do best with physical touch and intimacy. i like to feel connection to my partner. of course, i also like quality time and words of affirmation, both make me feel loved and appreciated. i’m not big on receiving material gifts. i’m more into receiving gifts of love and gifts of the heart…that’s what matters to me.

 

wellness activity…

…so, i mentioned that i joined an online support group. on the website, they give you different wellness activities for body, mind, and spirit. 

you can choose up to three. i chose to floss my teeth (body). i chose to go out and “people watch” at the dog park (mind). and, i chose to make a groovy playlist (spirit).

here’s my groovy playlist:

tuesday (the first part of the day, part one)…

i’ve spent a lot of time this week, trying to figure out exactly what upset me so badly, on tuesday, and why. i came to some conclusions, but they are intertwined and detailed. i don’t think that a,”normal,” person would’ve ever gotten so bothered, by such seemingly trivial events, but i’m still working on, “self-talking” myself down…

as i’ve stated before, i left the apartment in a good mood. i was happy. i had my “stems” homework ready to review, and i had therapy. i was driving and singing along with radio. it had already been an awesome morning…and, i was thinking that after the therapy of the previous week, that i was doing awesome…

i arrived and emailed my completed homework, to my therapist. she began looking at the pages on her ipad, as she printed them out. she then asked me questions, before looking at everything together, as a whole (as she always does), and that was where i started getting irritated, i think…

because, she was asking me questions, that she would’ve already had the answers to, had she waited to look at the pages that she was diligently printing out. also, she was getting distracted by other things that were going on, on her device, and she told me so. the way that she was asking me the questions, to me (at the time), felt more like a critique…

and, i don’t know if that was because she wasn’t really paying attention to the fact that each “stem,” built upon the previous one (per her specific directions), or if we were both just having a major miscommunication (which, i’m guessing that it was). i felt myself getting really discouraged, because she raved about my homework, the previous week…

and, i could feel myself disengaging and shutting down, very rapidly. i wanted to go elsewhere in my mind, but used my emdr technique and fought to remain present (even though i didn’t want to). she kept on with her questions and very uncharacteristically of the “old me,” instead of just letting it go on and on (and me, mentally leaving)…

i said, “i’m going to have to stop you there, because i’m done with this topic.” she looked at me rather surprised that i actually said something. she then asked me why and i told her, “because apparently i did them right last week, but not this week.” she then explained to me that she thought that my work last week, “made me dig deeper…”

and quite frankly, i didn’t like that answer, because it made me really defensive. and i answered, “so did you even see the stem about driving?” i had done what i thought was very “deep” work and came to some of what i thought were interesting discoveries, but she didn’t even see them…

shifting gears, she then addressed my defensiveness. she asked me if i always expected to do something right the first time. i had to think about that for a minute, but i classified the question, by responding, “when it comes to any job that i’ve ever done…most of the time, yes. i always cut the mat right the first time…there were no do-overs…”

and, in her next breath, she called me out on my bullshit. she said, ” didn’t you tell me that your mom used to assign jobs to you and then have to go back again, and do them over again the ‘right way’?” touche’…she “got me.” after which point, both parties were “back on the same page” and resuming our dialogue, but changing the topic…

for some reason, she mentioned my insurance and told me that they would pay for me to go and see a cognitive behavioral therapist once a week, while still seeing her, twice a week. she explained that she thought that it would be helpful with my ptsd, coupled with the emdr and therapy that i was already receiving. i was fine with that…

and then she said, “and you know, that i’m not firing you right?” i had to sit there for a minute and think about all of the information that i’d just heard. and then, i felt the need (as i do sometimes) to clarify what i just thought that i heard, to make absolutely sure that i understood correctly, “now, i just want to be certain that you are not firing me, right…”

she looked at me seriously and said, “oh no, i’m absolutely firing you.” which really upset me, because that’s why i ask, to make sure that i heard and understood correctly…because my dad and other people have told me one story, only to turn around and change it…and then say that i misunderstood, so many times…that it makes my head spin…

she had to tell me that she was pulling my leg and i said, “don’t fuck with me like that. my dad and richard do that to me all the time, and i hate it.” she apologized and went back to talking about me going to see another therapist once a week, to help with my ptsd. she was telling me about how adding cognitive behavioral therapy would benefit me…

she said, “i want you to benefit from all of the help that you can get. i’m not going to lie to you and tell you that you’re getting all of the help that you can get.” i said, “well, why would you do that?” and what i heard next, was just jaw-dropping, to me. she said, “all therapists lie.” i must’ve have some noticeable change in demeanor…

because, she immediately began backpedaling, from there. she said, “when i first started as a clinician, my supervisor taught me that i was supposed to lie, when it came to boundary issues…but, i don’t lie to my clients. i’m not lying to you.” i wasn’t listening to anything really. oh yes, i heard it all, but, i wasn’t really invested in listening anymore…

all i could think about was the fact that here was yet another person, of great significance to me, that i’m trusting with my life, my mind, and my heart…that’s lying to me. i just kept thinking that i couldn’t really trust anyone, anymore…now. and, she knew that, that was exactly what i was thinking, because she said so…

she just kept talking and trying to convince me, that she didn’t lie to me. i thought about it logically and rationally, and made the choice to believe her, as she has helped me so much. so, we went back to talking and we began talking about my fear that i wasn’t going to be able to ever trust anyone again, fully…

it’s unfortunately been the case with me, that the people that i really should’ve trusted, the ones that only had my best interests at heart. i didn’t trust. and, the people that i really shouldn’t have trusted, the ones that only had their own best interests at heart. i did trust. so, where does that leave me exactly…other than incredibly fucked up for life?…

our hour was nearly over and i was just really ready to go. it had been a really long hour and i needed to go off somewhere, and just get lost in the city, on a photographic expedition. i started to get up and put my phone in my pocket. she said, “oh, before you go, i have some clearly “cya” (cover your ass) paperwork, that i’m having everyone fill out…”

she continued, “i just need you to fill in the blanks and sign it. i’ll make a copy for you to keep and put the other one in your file.” i just looked at her, probably very exhausted-ly, and asked what it was that she needed to have filled out and signed. she looked at me very nonchalantly and answered, “no big deal…it’s just an, “agree to live contract…”

and, there you have it…tomorrow, i’ll finish my story…

in spite of everything…

…i showed up for this day…

…i took a shower, got dressed, fixed my hair, and acknowledged that i looked my best…

…i put a smile on my face…

…i went out and did things that i wanted to do…

…i responded kindly and respectfully to everyone…

…i maintained my composure through the stressful moments…

…i was patient with those who were not…

…i tried to understand other people’s perspectives and opinions…

…i engaged people in conversation, even when i didn’t feel like it…

…i practiced my silly affirmations and made myself laugh, when i wanted to cry…

…i gave others the benefit of the doubt…

…i rethought my negative self-narrative…

…i gave back to those who helped me out…

…i spent time really thinking and being grateful for all that i have, instead of dwelling on what i don’t have…

…i made one new acquaintance…

…i reminded myself that i will never know what tomorrow will bring, so, i better be ready today…

…i nurtured, strengthened, and nourished my body…

…i was kind and gentle to/with myself…

…i focused on possibilities and the opportunities that are the natural byproduct, instead of focusing on problems, and thus having more problems…

homework…

​my advisory panel:

strategist – melissa – problem solver, multi-tasker, logical, critical thinker, planner, brainstormer, unbiased, truthful, straightforward.

cheerleader – grace – optimistic, happy, go-getter, enthusiastic, supportive, encouraging, good listener, fun to talk to and hang out with.

reality checker – wendy – questioning, listener, deep thinker, realistic, lots of real world social experience, straight-shooter, doesn’t mince words.

best friend – jenny – loyal, honest, fun to be with, supportive, silly, adventurous, a kindred spirit, a big kid like me, knowledgeable, thoughtful.

enforcer – richard – cares for me, protects me, hard as nails, repugnant in a chivalrous kind of way, loud, powerful, force to be reckoned with.

contemplater – neil – considerate, easy to talk to, caring, kind, deep thinker, helpful, eager to please, can usually fix things and find solutions easily.

playmate – erik – irreverent, colorful, daring, outrageous, adventurous, exciting, fun to be with, great storyteller, up for absolutely anything.

healer – j***** – patient, knowing, professional, soothing, creative clinician, understanding, supportive, trustworthy, entertaining, listener.