Therapy myths

One thing about my new role is that I have the opportunity to be present for people while they do through hard times. My dissertation topic focuses on married black women and work life balance. So naturally I’m especially intrigued by clients who match the population that I’m studying in my academic life. Black women have higher rates of depression and anxiety than their White counterparts but are also less likely to seek treatment. Week after week I hear black women tell me that this is their first time in therapy or the first time they’ve opened up to anyone. Many tell stories of being discouraged from going to therapy by their families who say that they just need to have faith or pray more. Others speak of being judged by their faith leaders because they feel like they need to talk to someone and just reading the Bible is not enough. It’s ok to need help and it’s ok to get help. The commonality in many stories is that they are all expected to be strong and hold the family together through anything. They feel guilty crying or expressing emotions because they need to keep a straight face and move on. So many have been just existing in survival mode for so long that they’ve lost sight of their own dreams and aspirations. We have to stop discouraging people from getting help. Stop expecting your friend to be ok because she appears “strong.” There’s usually more going on than meets the eye and we have to stop assuming that things are fine. Because sometimes they aren’t. 

Museum People

I think that everyone has a standard in their head of what they deserve in a significant other. This standard is based on their own self-worth and insecurities. Like a lot of people, I have a list that identifies the characteristics that I’d like in a significant other. I think of it as a guideline and not an absolute because it’s important to be somewhat flexible as long as you aren’t compromising core values. My list is the equivalent to a high end car like a Maserati. Not too long ago I “met” the Maserati. He was educated (check), easy on the eyes (check), intelligent (check), and really chill (check). I felt like I was in a museum surveying a brand new piece of art or a top of the line Maserati. I admired and appreciated the many perks and accessories. It was just like I had imagined it would be–but a lot better. But by the same token I knew that I couldn’t take the car or the piece of art home. It was just a reminder that what I wanted really existed. That my imagination actually had some basis in reality. And even though it wasn’t meant for me to keep, it was still refreshing to interact with him and have some great conversation.

Loving and losing (a song)

I first heard this song on an episode of Queen Sugar (great show by the way). The melody is simple and somewhat haunting but you can feel the emotion dripping from it. I think on some level that loving and losing is just a part of the human experience. You won’t be loved by everyone and your feelings won’t always be reciprocated. Needless to say, I wish I knew this song existed when I got dumped. It would’ve been therapeutic. I love how music can make you feel better because you feel like you’re actually understood for a change.

Loving Deeply

While I’m not as eloquent as this particular author, I think that her words accurately describe an experience that many people can’t relate to. Beautifully written. 

God & ManLet me tell you about people who love deeply. They are wells of feeling. Storms of hope and heart that never know when to stop the downpour. People who love deeply are both soft and strong, they are whirlwinds of rarity that will only ever know how to empty themselves out for the…

via Let Me Tell You About People Who Love Deeply — Thought Catalog

Memory Lane

Earlier this week I had the chance to chat with a friend (I’m using this term loosely) that I catch up with about once a year. We usually meet up in person but schedules wouldn’t allow it so we had to settle for a video chat. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and there were SO many things left unsaid that the conversation just felt heavy? It was like that. I was cool and kept it as surface and general as possible without getting into anything too personal. Annual conversations aren’t the best outlet to bare your soul. But as I talked to him I remembered the memories we’ve had over the years. I remember a moment when we were hanging out and I felt both incredibly happy and incredibly sad at the same time. It was a bittersweet moment in exponential proportions. It’s interesting how conversations with someone can bring back so many memories. I realized that I haven’t met anyone lately who even remotely compares to him education wise and also in ambition. While it’s not a bad thing, it does make dating just a little bit harder. The point is that there are some people in your life who you love but you really should only speak to once a year.

Getting attached easily

I woke up this morning to an article that a friend sent to me asking me to read. You can read the article here. I feel like the author hit the nail on the head. As someone who tends to give a general disclaimer to romantic prospects that I can be intense, I could definitely relate to the author’s words. It’s like running a race and having a lot of false starts. It’s easy to get attached when you want to get attached and as a result it can be hard to discern clearly what exactly is happening. You get tired of being the only one there for you and you just want a companion. It can be a two edged sword because being too open too quickly can be a recipe for disaster while staying closed off means that the relationship will never grow. Balance is key.

Emotional Hostage

Relationships can be tricky things. There isn’t a “one size fits all” formula that will work everyone. People want someone who will complement them because opposites tend to attract and it’s hard to have a good discussion when someone agrees with you ALL the time. But sometimes a relationship can develop into something like a hostage situation. You’ve seen it. There’s the couple who are always fighting and are constantly breaking up and getting back together again. One partner is always trying to distance themselves but they can’t stay away.  The other person knows exactly what buttons to push and what to say in order to have the other partner cave in and stay with them as an emotional hostage. It’s a cycle of dysfunction that has become comfortable. While some people can end a relationship and remain friends, the best way to end an emotional hostage type of relationship is to stop having any contact with the person. Change your number, find a new hobby, move somewhere else, etc. It can absolutely be done but it takes effort, determination, and action to move on with your life and leave the dysfunction behind.