The Heart Card

Hmmm, not feeling so great today.  Feeling pretty damn angry with myself.  Its been bubbling under for a while and it’s all come to a fat white-head of a zit that needs me to squeeze it, till it splats all over my bathroom mirror so I can wipe the zitty yellow gunk off with a tissue and throw away.

No, no zit really…but the puss that I’m about to splatter all over this page isn’t very pretty.

I had an observed skills practice in my training last week.  Yes I had been very, very nervous about it.  My bumbling attempts at being a ‘therapist’ were on show to someone who has done it for many, many years. I was being observed by my tutor and a fellow student and it was bloody tough.

I won’t go into the material that was brought to my ‘session’ as that is confidential, but my own observations of my self were that I was struggling.  Struggling to find a way to knock on the door of this person who was refusing to talk about the issue that was bothering them, and to let me in enough to explore with them the emotions that were inside. I struggled, and I struggled some more.  I had a major internal fuckwittery panic when I forgot to hold time for our ‘session’, I lost track of what I was really feeling inside, and was scrabbling about scratching on the surface of the material without going into any depth at all.

Not a good one to be observed on then.

My feedback from my fellow student was useful, critical, and kind of mirrored what I had felt it was anyway, though I had my reasons for doing some of the things I did, I felt this student feedback was fair.

Then my tutor sighed, crossed her legs and started to give me her feed back….  she called it…..  “One of the best observations she’d seen on the foundation level that term.”

I should be happy. right….?? I mean that’s FAB feed back isn’t it??!!

I don’t believe her.

And don’t ask me what she said after that as I zoned out into some kind of white noise that shut me down.

Why???  Why don’t I believe her, you may wonder.

Y’see, I went to her for a tutorial the week before, she asked how I was doing and how my own supervision was going, so I told her.  I told her that I’d been struggling the last 3 months, coming to terms with the ‘Journey to the Centre of Me’ (you can read that one here), I told her, being honest about my feelings, that I had been avoiding being observed for the 1st part of this term, because I was so emotionally raw and sensitive any kind of criticism be it constructive or not, I felt I just couldn’t handle.  That it would compound all the rubbish-ness that I felt about myself.  I was touched that she was excited not at my distress but about the work I was doing to really understand myself, the willingness to face up to myself, to be a better therapist.

And now…. well now I feel I was softening the blow for myself, I feel I was unconsciously asking her to be kind to me, to cut me some slack and I feel appalled by it.

I feel I’ve written myself the biggest, slipper-iest sick-note to excuse me from doing PE (which is bloody stupid as didn’t do PE so never had to get mum to write one or forge one myself).

Now I just feel cross. Cross that I let myself down. That I asked and was given a concession, an easier ride than my fellow students being observed with me.  That I played the ‘Heart Card’.

I guess that’s the rub of it, I feel like I coughed, put my hand on my heart and said – “I don’t want to play today because I have a bad heart….”  I dislike playing that card, because I’m MORE than a bloody heart defect, and maybe I don’t like playing that card because once I did, as a little girl, and was over heard by my mum, who banged me one so hard I did fall into next week.  I was told never to use it again.  So I don’t.

Which is also bloody stupid, as I am knackered, I am managing a condition that is life changing and very slowly worsening, and at times I need a bit of slack given.  Not often, not a lot and not until I’ve really considered all the other options, which brings me back to last Friday.  Maybe my tutor was exaggerating, so what if she was!  If she feels that I need a little love and consideration, and that is how she can do that for me, then I thank her and I am grateful, because I did need it.  It was a gift and I should be more gracious.  I should not look the gift horse in the mouth – I’m usually in there counting it’s bloody teeth – you all know how much I beat myself up about stuff, (if not you can read that one here).  I should be able to say, I can’t do this today but maybe tomorrow I can, I should be able to say please cut me some slack I’m actually working really hard at the moment, I should be able to say, sorry that’s not cool with me please don’t do it again and not fear the come back (if there is any), not fear that I may lose opportunities if I take it easy for a while (what’s the point of running myself into the ground on a ‘what if’).  I must remember this kindness and be more kind to myself.