Friday, August 14, 2009

Therapy homework...

This has probably been the longest or nearly the longest since not blogging. I certainly have a lot of emotion going on and no lack of topics to write about, but I am really struggling to get it out of me and onto the page.

I told my therapist that I wasn't blogging anymore. He was intrigued with that new development and saw it as possibly that as I'm trying to internalize things more, I don't need "Beck" as much as in the past. However, he strongly encouraged me to continue writing and to blog and sees this as a good thing.

Speaking of my therapist, (and I really like him and enjoy talking and sharing my life and experiences and circumstances with him - and I'm super comfortable in doing so - though I'm still very skeptical that it will ever amount to anything) in my follow-up visit this week, he has given me three assignments:

1. I am to keep a "guilt log". Every time I feel guilt, I am supposed to write down the circumstance and how I feel and why I feel guilty. He is fascinated, it seems, in breaking down my guilt and trying to get me to realize that guilt is part of the "facade" that I've created around me and I need to break down those facades. I'm not sure of the "how" I'm to do that just yet, but I am being the "good student" and am faithfully keeping my guilt log.

2. I am to keep a "hiding log". Every time I hide something from my wife or others, particularly in being ashamed of being gay, or in doing a gay-type thing and not wanting her or others to know about it, then I am supposed to write it down. I'm not sure how he is supposed to use this information, as my entire life is an exercise of "hiding".

3. Take some of his suggestions for embracing my passions and wholeness and authenticity and try to outline steps of how to do this. I thought HE was supposed to tell me how to do this, not me. I mean, where is this magic pill that gets me to where I want to go?

He likes that I have already outlined my wants and desires and goals. He also is very impressed with my ability to deal with my homosexuality and my mixed-oriented marriage as well as I have and finds my life quite unique and commendable. I don't know if he's patting me on the back or what, because I don't feel unique and commendable in the least.

So, what do you think? Should I keep going to therapy? Is there a reason for this? Why can't I do this on my own? Why do I need him to listen to me? Don't you all listen to me? Isn't that good enough?


A lot has developed with my marriage as well... some good, some bad, some very ugly... I may decide to blog about these things, but not just yet... A week ago Friday was ugly - really ugly, leading to a discussion of divorce or separation. We reconciled later in the evening, but things are tense. More on that later...


Public Loneliness said...

Hi Beck,
My heart goes out to you. I never used to be a big fan of therapists, but have found my recent experience with one very helpful with all that is going on with my own life. Having said that, the last visit was weird (well not so much weird, mostly non-useful!) and I am considering putting any further appointments on hold, but the process has been very helpful for me. I'd say work with the therapist as long as you feel you're getting your money's worth (after all you're the paying customer!) and always question where you're both going with his homework, you don't want to spend all that time/money if it isn't useful to you!

Bravone said...

I like that he is giving you specific things to do. I found that most helpful. Yes, you might be able to do the same on your own, but probably wouldn't!

Sorry to hear about the marital tough spots. Dang, its got to get better, doesn't it? Don't read my last blog if don't want to feel hope right now.

Love you fratello. Call me sometime.

Beck said...

PL: I don't know yet if therapy is worth it. I guess I need to know where these exercises will lead to and what tools I will gain in the process. Right now I don't see the end of the road.

It is a lot of money, particularly at a time when things are tight and I could be spending it elsewhere on the kids going to college, etc. So I'm struggling still with the value of it all... but still going along for the ride for the time being.

BRAVONE: I still have hope. I always have hope! And I read your last post and thought it was beautiful and am grateful that you posted it. Thanks for doing so.

Hidden said...


For years and years my mom would insist that I needed therapy, that I should help, but I always said no or avoided it. Because I felt like going to therapy would mean admitting and confirming that something was wrong, or out-of-sorts.

And then I broke down and went. And I LOVED it. It was amazing! Liberating! Helpful. I kept going for years. Because here was a place I didn't have to lie, a place I could tell ANYTHING, and not be judged. On the contrary, I could get an open opinion, honesty, and have someone to bounce my concerns, worries, and problems off, without fear of repercussion. I think therapy is so useful, especially if you're in turmoil. Just my 2 cents.

Beck said...

HIDDEN: I am beginning to feel the same liberating sensation of not having to hide, of being open and honest, and myself for an hour with my therapist. I do feel the benefit of not having to feel guilty or hide from myself - which is what I do for the rest of my life outside that room.

So, I guess I am beginning to see value in therapy.