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Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #42

Adult Child of an Alcoholic, ACoA, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Finding Peace, One Patient's Journey, Therapy For the Adult Child of an Alcoholic
Posted: November 23, 2015 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

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–Sessions: 31 of 53
Monday, August 24, 2009 11:00am

I continued to ask questions about therapy ending. Last time, Elsie told me that my symptoms would probably continue after therapy ended. If my symptoms will persist, wasn’t this a sign that I should continue therapy? She said the persistence of symptoms does not mean therapy was a failure. I think she meant that the therapy I had been through up to this point would reduce the severity of my symptoms significantly. My symptoms were likely to continue, but their impact on me would be greatly reduced.

I had wanted to ask her for a long time why I don’t want to start new projects. I feel that I am afraid of feeling regret if I didn’t finish. Her answer was simple, “You are an adult, you start whatever you want and if you lose interest you pack it away, sell it or throw it out. You decide.” This answer, like many that I heard during therapy, is simple. I probably could have provided this answer myself, but, hearing it from Elsie made me take it seriously. I am an adult and I make the choice. Simple but very powerful.

Elsie had told me once that it would have been normal if I had married someone like my mother. I wanted to know why I hadn’t. She said it was because I had a good core and given what I had experienced growing up, I shouldn’t have.

I told her that Snap told me he had been living with our mother the last two years to take care of her. I asked Elsie what I owe him for doing this. Elsie said I shouldn’t go ‘into the past’. She pointed out that he didn’t call me two years ago to ask me how I wanted her care handled.

I had been taking guitar lessons for about six months since I got my first guitar. I found it very difficult to play my guitar. I was thinking about giving up altogether. It is an unfortunate irony that a cheap guitar, which is what you would typically start with, is so hard to play that it makes you give up the whole project. My instructor, Sean, had me try his electric guitar. I was stunned by how easy it was to press down the strings, how soft the action was. I wanted an electric guitar. Since I was taking lessons at the music store, and they are a Fender dealer, I looked at what they had in stock. I looked online and read about the Fender line. I wanted a three-tone starburst Stratocaster, but, depending on the specific options, they could cost up to $1400.

I had enjoyed looking at all the Fender guitars, and picking out what I wanted, but I was conflicted. I enjoyed what I had learned about playing guitar but I clearly had no great talent. It was a struggle for me. Buying a very nice guitar might help me learn more easily, but it might also be a big waste of money. I could afford it, but I wasn’t sure what to do. I told all this to Elsie. Her response was very direct. “If that is what you want, $1400 is not too much to spend on a guitar. You have helped so many others that if you wanted to spend ten times that much it would be ok.” I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t tell them about that ‘ten times as much’ comment down at the music store. I ordered my American Standard HSS Deluxe Stratocaster. It took nine months for it to be built and shipped. My youngest thought it odd that, surrounded by a store full of guitars, I decided what I wanted to order and waited for months for it to be delivered. I knew what I wanted and I was happy to wait for it. I continued, as best I could, playing the guitar I had.

After this session, I got a voicemail from Snap. My mother had had a relapse, was having heart problems due to fluid buildup, was on oxygen and if she didn’t get better she would have to go back to the hospital. He also told me that her Social Security checks had been cut in half because she was in the nursing home. I was beginning to realize that whatever was going on financially was complicated. He also asked for another $100, and I deposited the money into his checking account.

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