I genuinely look forward to my own weekly therapy sessions. It helps me to air out and organize my thoughts, while being given feedback from a therapist in respect and gel with. Typically, I leave the sessions feeling better about myself and whatever I discussed. However, I know as both a counselor and client that there will be times where I will leave the sessions feeling distraught or with loose ends.
This week I opened up to my therapist right away about an existential crisis of sorts where the sides of my subconscious have been duking it out. (Check out my last post to see what I’m talking about.) The internal conflict snowballed into a full-fledged war one night. I didn’t feel like I knew who I was or why I made some stupid decisions by letting my “evil side” win at times.
To ensure that I didn’t do anything else stupid, I literally went straight home after work one night. I went straight to bed. My bed was my safe place. It would be extremely difficult for me to let my “evil side” win from that location. I spoke to a few friends about how I was feeling. More importantly, I spent the night laying in bed, simply sitting with this feeling until it passed.
While describing the experience to my counselor, I caught a whiff of my body language. I felt my blood boiling and my face grow warm. My hands flew around wildly (being the Italian I am). My words sped up and grew louder with intensity. I was fucking pissed. At who though?! At what?
I was mad at myself!
I was frustrated with the fact that I put so much work in over the last five or six years to combat the evil little fucker. And, boom, he was back. What added to the frustration was being aware of it this time around and not living in a state of denial.
Thankfully, my therapist helped me put the anger into perspective. This internal warfare coupled with the self-awareness was a sign of improvement and a beacon for change. It was also unreasonable for me to think that I could’ve gotten away from two decades of trauma unscathed. There was a part of me that used my “evil side” to cope. It was maladaptive coping, but it helped me to survive when I needed to put it into play.
The anger also stemmed from wanting to shift my character to one that aligns more with my values. I strongly value honesty, helping others, loyalty, and being genuine. The little fucker that popped up again recently went against these values. That’s why I felt do conflicted. My actions and decisions had not been in line with who I want to be.
I also worked hard to be all of the bad things that my parents, and my evil demon dude encompassed all of these things. The manipulation, pushiness, and addictive qualities were nurtured throughout my childhood. I saw it work for them, and I made it work for me for the longest time.
Unfortunately, I kind of came to the realization that both sides of me will always exist. It is unreasonable to think I can just squash my bad side out of existence. I honestly need to embrace and sympathize with it. Understanding where it came from and its purpose will help me to keep it in check. Simultaneously, I need to nurture the “new me.” I need to continue making decisions and following through on goals closer to my true self.
– The Caring Counselor