Tomorrow is my/our first appointment with the new therapist, and I’m actually a bit nervous. I’m certain I’ll be the one presenting. It’s who might or might not be riding just below the surface that worries me.
Since this is the first meeting, we won’t likely get in to deep subjects. Still, it will be a chance for both me and the therapist to assess the other. Growing up, I had to develop an uncanny ability to spot and interpret nonverbal cues. That can be a very helpful skill, and it does make me feel safer. However, in a therapeutic environment, it can also be quite the hindrance. It takes me a bit of time to stop monitoring a therapist’s body language, breathing patterns, and eye movements long enough to actually begin the work of therapy. That lasted over a year with the therapist who just left, and I know she could have helped me quite alot more if I could have loosened up earlier. It’s funny how survival mechanisms that were absolutely necessary in childhood can become so maladaptive once the immediate situation is over.
L is the most likely person to be stashed just below the surface tomorrow, and he will only magnify the sceptical side of me. He’s also a formidable protector/gatekeeper, so he can catch any signs I might miss that could point to the therapist’s being less than trustworthy. For an SRA survivor, that’s always a real concern. Kathy can present a sense of calm when everything inside is chaotic, making reading *my* body language a bit more difficult. My guess is it will be one of those two under the surface, or maybe the three of us together who meet the new therapist tomorrow.
In any event, wish us luck! I’ve had a bad feeling about this therapist from the minute the last therapist said her name. Probably just a knee-jerk response to losing a therapist I *had* started to trust, but it’s still not a comfortable way to start things off.