To Sleep. (Updated.) Plus Therapy.

March 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Posted in Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy) | 10 Comments

So when I was describing the Go To Sleep Issue to my therapist last night, she gave me a really good idea.

First, she told me that it was good that we weren’t laying down with him, that instead we were in a chair in the room. And she validated my thought that he kept waking himself up to check and make sure we were still there.

So she suggested a new “game” we played at bedtime, which was to tell O that we’d sit in the room with him for as long as he needed. But, instead of sitting quietly and waiting for him to fall asleep, she suggested that we ask, every few minutes, still awake?

And then leave when he couldn’t answer.

I wasn’t home last night, but I called J to relay the suggestion and he put it into place. O did his typical delay and thrash tactics, but J did get out of his room a little earlier than 9, which means less than an hour of routine.

My therapist told me that it was her experience that with transitions, kids sometimes needed a little extra comfort, and that it’s okay to stay with him for the next few weeks until he gets more comfortable with the bed.

So that’s what we’ll do for now. We’ll see how it goes.


I’m about two luxury car payments months into my therapy sessions thus far.

Initially I was worried that the money I’m spending would be wasted, since I spend a lot of time thinking about my life anyway.

But I can say unequivocally that the money isn’t wasted.

Things that I thought that were A Really Big Deal, I’ve discovered, is just NOISE.

I’m realizing, for example, that infertility is just noise.

Yes, it sucks to have to go to the doctor. And it SUCKS that I don’t know what’s going to happen next, or if we’re going to be pregnant, or end treatments, or whatnot.

But the deeper issues, I’m discovering, have to do with how I react to the infertility. The fact that I try and talk myself out of every emotion I have: my anger at myself for wanting more than what I have, my ambivalence of changing the status quo in my life, my feelings of wanting to JUST MOVE to escape feeling shitty.

I have never allowed myself to sit with an emotion and really FEEL it. I’ve bottled it, yelled it out, beat it out of myself, stuck it in a corner until it faded, locked it in a closet so that I’d never see it again.

I’m not lying when I admit that I try and talk myself out of nearly EVERYTHING I feel.

It’s a huge revelation to be shown, all of a sudden, that you’ve been telling yourself that you’re wrong for most of your life.

And it’s rippled outward into everything. How I approach interactions with my husband, O, coworkers, friends, family.

Because figuring out how to sit with an emotion, really ACCEPT it as an emotion, and then deal with it is really kind of hard.

Before now, I could intellectualize it away. I’d tell myself: Hey, Serenity, you SHOULDN’T feel this way!

And POOF! It went away.

(In the short term, of course. If it REALLY went away, I wouldn’t freaking need therapy in the first place, right?)

But sitting with an emotion, really ALLOWING myself to feel whatever I’m feeling, is causing stress on, for example, my marriage.

Whereas before I would get upset and eventually talk myself out of my frustration, accepting something now means that I WILL get annoyed at J for something.

I was GOOD at the process before – within minutes, sometimes SECONDS, I was able to talk myself out of annoyance on some things. I Failed sometimes, of course. But for the most part, I was okay with it.

Now? It takes more time for me to figure out WHY I feel so shitty. And in the meantime, I’m annoyed.

Which doesn’t go well, because then my husband gets mad at himself for causing an issue in the relationship. Because he hates confrontation.

Which then puts pressure on me to go back to my old habits and not say anything.

It’s really frustrating.

Thing is, though, I DO need to learn how to MANAGE my feelings. Because okay, yeah, I might get annoyed, but if I can accept it, acknowledge it, then let it go, then I can get better about prioritizing the intense feelings over the minor annoyances.

And eventually, maybe things won’t be so EMOTIONAL.

I hope, anyway.



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  1. Keep up the good work. With O, with therapy, with life.

  2. I’ve never had much luck with therapy. But one really great thing a therapist said to me was “you always have a right to feel the way you’re feeling. you don’t always have a right to act on it the way you want, but you always have a right to your feelings.” I still repeat that a lot.

    And I like the therapist’s strategy of getting O to bed. Every night, I fall asleep in J’s room and wake up between 11 and midnight. Clearly, I am chronically overtired, but I wish that could stop.

  3. Your comment about luxury car payments really cracked me up!! I am glad that you are getting something out of therapy and that it is helping you to learn to process your emotions rather than shunting them off. I’m the total opposite…I have a hard time STOPPING my emotions and stepping back from the situation.

  4. LOL at the car payments! 😀 Hope they’re helping, though…seems like they are!

    And gl with O and the bedtime routine getting shorter and shorter! Sleep issue are NEVER fun for ANYONE.

  5. Bravo for therapy!

  6. I agree with the “feel the way you’re feeling” comment … while in the short term that makes for a stressful relationship, perhaps, in the long term it makes for a stronger relationship built on a more solid foundation. You are brave to face this head on.

  7. It sounds like therapy is doing great things for you on all sorts of levels! Happy to see this, although having been through therapy myself I’m sure it is not always easy to go through it.

  8. I read this yesterday and tried it last night. I was determined to get out of there for Grey’s, but he had other plans. I put him down at 8:15 and did this exact thing. Every time I asked he answered. At 9:00 I was so frustrated so I just told him I was going in the office to watch my show. He cried “No, you need to stay with me.” I told him he would be fine, kissed him and left. Not another word was said and he went to sleep. Now I highly doubt that will continue, but we shall see!

  9. Really glad to hear that the therapy is helping, even if you have some short term difficulties while you figure out how to process the new way of doing things.

    Good luck with the transitioning and the sleep training. I have no assvice, but am avidly reading. 🙂

  10. It sounds like therapy is helping you, and I am glad for that. It is hard to go through it, it sucks to pay the bill, but sometimes, it really can be helpful.

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