I have continued to think about session yesterday. Not sure why my brain doesn’t want to leave it alone. There is something of importance there. I know part of it is seeing a different reaction. Any shift in behavior for the better needs noting, but it goes beyond that. I let myself kick it around in my head. One of the things that really stood out seems to hinge on expectations. Should my expectations of Virgil be any greater than those I have for Beatrice? Am I expecting more of her, based on our 17 years together? I guess I do. But, I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. We all walk into session expecting something. Whether it be understanding, or compassion or connection. Sometimes we go expecting to feel better, though for me that isn’t often the case. I learned a long time ago, you don’t expect rapid shifts. The work is slow and steady. Often hard and painful. I do not expect to walk out the door feeling good. There are times I walk out feeling worse. But in each and every session I do have expectations.
As I sat there across from Virgil, watching her write notes, I thought to myself “I could be anyone”. It felt no different from the hundreds upon hundreds of evaluations I have sat through over the years. They are all similar. Each is meant to glean information, often quite a bit of it, in a short period of time. Just being another number, in a long line of patients. No connection, no feeling. They are all the same. They leave you feeling a bit chilled. Not because of the temperature of the room, but from the handling. As I sat there, I felt that familiar chill. But my mind kept saying, but wait “it is me”. I’m not just a number. Not just another task to be finished before the end of the day. I know in that moment I expected more. Because of all the years and the history. But to tell the truth, it shouldn’t matter. There should always be some connection. Even the endless intakes with the rounds and rounds of questions. Why should they be so cold?
I know it was just a rough day. It is not the way our sessions usually go. Regardless of expectations or not, we are all human. Whether it be myself or Virgil, or Beatrice. There are always times when we are far from ourselves. I’m not angry, or frustrated. I wish I could have figured out my thoughts about the session sooner, but sometimes I need things to settle in my head for a while. I need time to figure them out. This time is no different. I am happy the session shifted, and did not remain so distant and clinical. I am happy I was able to just settle and let it shift without reacting to it. I know with each session I learn something. It is often small, well beneath the radar. But in the years of work, all those little moments add up. They create a clear and distinct shift. I have spent so much time writing about depression and suicide, it is good to be able to note a positive in the midst of it.