Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Invasion of...

I only learned this last week, but now my anxiety has arose. Any guesses?

Hint: a mostly bald man, a red-headed lady, and a mini coop. Ding ding, if you guessed my parents, you are right (not that any of you would have known that my dad is mostly bald, that my mom has red hair, or that she drives a mini coop). Both will be arriving on Friday. Though they are divorced, they still enjoy these types of trips together. Honestly, they mostly want to come to see Tovah while she is still little. Since I don't have human children, my dogs are like their grandchildren, only in fur suits, literally.

I only agreed to both of them being here at the same time, because a) they can entertain each other while I'm at work (inevitably my boss is out of town this week, so I have to work more), b) I'll only have about five days disrupted instead of two weeks if my dad came down a week later, and c) with both here, there is less likelihood that my father will be an ass to put it mildly. So far he hasn't mentioned my future or career choices in almost two months, a new record for him! The last visit with him, he mentioned it something like fifteen times or so in a four or five day period.

Normally, because my anxiety with their arrival increases, my exercising or whatever other Ed behaviors that have remained dormant shoot up. There is just the thinking that I won't have time to exercise, so I must get it all done before they come. I take that back, the only time I'd really have to exercise is before work which means getting up earlier and running in single or teen degree weather. I figure I already have a hard enough time running in 30-degree weather, so this just does not bode well for me. This time, however, I'm going to try really hard NOT to lose insanity in the exercise department and instead just get the cleaning stuff done.

I think I'm also concerned, because my father's reactions about weight have kind of thrown me for a loop. He keeps talking about Oprah and not understanding how a person who has done so much can still be so focused on her weight. Then he'll say how really being fat is not a crime, it's not the end of the world, etc. This contradicts much of what he has said in the past, including remarks about other people. Supposedly, he is sort of better in this department, the comments have just turned towards being unkind about some people. His wife D. says it is from the stroke where he has lost inhibitions, but it is really hard to tell the difference. He was still that way before. Plus, if he can actually inhibit himself from not discussing my future and career plans with me, then there must be some ability to "control" himself. Okay, that's another post for another day.

Moving on. The other major thing is that I agreed to have my mom meet with my therapist, C. At the time, I thought this would be a good thing since she was in town, that maybe C. could offer her some insight into how I'm feeling since I kind of shut down talking to my parents about that kind of stuff. But then, I get nervous about the whole thing and think it really isn't the best idea. I called C. on Monday and told her and said I'd call her back at the end of the week about how I wanted the appt. to go.

The scenarios are:

  • My mom just meets C. just as a "Hi, I'm Tiptoe's mom."
  • My mom and C. have a brief maybe 15-20 minute session with the remainder time as my session
  • My mom and me have a session together
I pretty much scratch the third option, so it leaves the first two. In general, it's been a very long time since I had a therapist meet with a parent. C. did meet my dad in college once. I know the session was videotaped, and I wish later I had seen it. That appt. did give C.better insight into my father and the way he was. I no longer felt like I was exaggerating.

As a teen, my mom met with one of my first therapists, and that didn't go over too well. My mom felt very pounced on which I know was not that therapist's intentions. I know C. would not be like that, and I do know my mom is looking forward to at least meeting her.

So this is what I'm facing this week. I really haven't thought a lot about what my original goal in therapy was: to learn to move on with my life, to find some career path, to have less anxiety about it. I know I'm just distracting myself with other things, and I really do need to face the music so to speak.
Damn fear and anxiety!

Anyway, my posts towards the end of the week may be a little less since they'll be here. The one positive out of all this is it's good a training opportunity for Tovah. We can play "round robin" in recalls. Okay, I know, I'm very geeky when it comes to my dogs and training.


Kim said...

I know how stressful it can be entertaining parents. My ed behaviors always say "HELLO" (very loudly) when my family is around, especially in my space, where I expect to be able to do what I want food-wise and exercise-wise. You'll be fine though. Even if their time here isn't EXACTLY as you want it, it will come and go pretty fast. And you always have little Tovah to keep you company :)

Lisa said...

About eight months after my diagnosis when things were not going well at all, my mom had a session with my psychiatrist. It was one of the best decisions we all made - Mom was able to put all the guilt and confusion out on the table and hear some straight talk from a licensed professional. My mom also had a couple of sessions with me. They worked fine for us, but I'm less sure about those than I am about a one-on-one parent-therapist meeting.

kb said...


This may sound a bit empty, but "wow". It sounds like a very challenging week, and although I don't "know" your history with your parent, I am impressed that you are dealing with all of this. Fear and anxiety would certainly seem to be an appropriate response, but I do hope that you can take care of yourself and focus on what you need (that always seems to be my challenge when my parents visit).
And I'm so impressed that you want your mom to meet C.
Good for you, opening up that conversation.
Do take care of yourself.
- Kristina

Kyla said...

oh my! SO MUCH going on for you! That really is a lot to deal with. The parents. It sounds as though you're handling this as maturely and healthily as possible. Don't forget to pamper yourself extra-well this week and put your needs first.

Tiptoe said...

Kim, yep, ED liked to rear its ugly head in these moments.

Lisa, it's great that the sessions with you and your mom worked out for you. Sometimes, it really does help with the communication flow.

Kristina, thanks for acknowledging the challenge. Sometimes, I feel like I make such a big deal out of it, and it just all seems like old news. But apparently, it still gets me every time.

I will try to remember to take care of myself and not worry so much about them, their comments, etc.

Just a quick update, but my dad is apparently coming tomorrow now. It's not so bad other than I have not done much cleaning and such, so am a slightly freaked in getting everything done.

Tiptoe said...

Kyla, we were writing at the same time :-) Thanks for the support. I will try to treat myself kindly.

Lola Snow said...

Well that's going to keep you busy! I'm really not surprised in the least that you're anxious. That would put pressure on someone without anxiety, so you're feelings are quite justified. I have little advice for you, but just lots of hope that it goes well. You sound like you are coping ok and aware of your feelings, i think you're going to do just fine.

Lola x