The psychologist was far too nice to me – that’s the main thing that I took away from the second part of the assessment! And she’s so nice that I even got up the courage to tell her that., to chuckles from both of us.
We talked about lots of things in roundabout ways, as you do in a psychological assessment, most of which I won’t go in to as I’m sure they’d both bore and scar you – but mainly because I can’t remember a lot of it!
One thing that I did want to share, though as it is particularly pertinent and opposite to my expectations, is that she came to the conclusion that for the moment we just need to focus on gently and slowly discovering who ‘Molly’ really is, because I honestly do not have a sense of who I am any more, or whether there even is still a ‘Molly’ there. (the below sketch taken from a journal entry a few weeks ago shows how this thing that is ‘Molly’ and my body are never one, often not even being in the same airspace)
But, recognising my debilitating fears of letting people down, she decided that I could do this exploration, under her direction and suggestions, but without having to feed back whether things had been a ‘success’ or not, simply that I’d manage to try them. And we then went even further as to come up with a long (and potentially growing, if I wish) list of things for me to try, to make sure that I didn’t feel the pressure of ‘having’ to do a specific thing. The overall idea is something completely alien to me: trying out things with the sole focus being the effect those things have on me. No one else should be thought about, there should be no targets to meet, and it should be as stress-free and whimsical as possible. Her analogy was that of a toddler exploring their environment: they investigate how things around them make them feel, inspire them, or bore them with no one then analysing how well they could shake a rattle. This is definitely not how I would ever treat myself, and even allowing the focus of my attention to be on myself is something terrifying and alarming to me.
How on earth can something so kind and gentle be my homework from this person who I was so scared of disappointing? I feel like she should be being much harder on me, which is definitely part of my problems. The psychologist even commented that in a way she’s glad that I’m so completely burned out at the moment, so that at least I won’t be able to be the same Molly that overworks herself and obsessively works to perfection in therapy; that perhaps it’s nice that this has given us a rare opportunity to explore that alien idea of focussing on ‘Molly’ with kindness and minimal demands.
And you know what? I think she might be right. The tough part is going to be sticking to it and not beating myself up too much.