| Teen Diary Serial |

Metamorphosis: Chapter 13

She’s always asking where I’m going when I go to therapy. It makes the whole thing so much worse.


I confide with my mother about how disillusioned I am with therapy. She gives me a hug and basically just listens for about a quarter of an hour. Then we have a whole discussion about what therapy is, what it isn’t, and that a specific therapist is not a reflection on therapy in general — in any profession some people are just not good.

So I feel better about giving it another shot. My parents will do more research this time and my mother promises to come in with me for the first appointment.

Still, there’s a dread that grips me from the tips of my toes to the top of my frizz. What if this one won’t work out either?

Miss Lev talked me into keeping a diary. I have the coolest notebook ever; it has different sensory stuff like sequins and fur. Occasionally, I use regular papers instead to really go loose with my feelings and then I’ll rip them up afterward.

Sometimes all I want to do is cry. I often cry for hours into my pillow.

I also talk to Hashem a lot. I tell Him all my feelings, even that sometimes I don’t feel like talking to Him at all.

My relationship with Hashem has gone up and down throughout all my pain, but I feel that even the downs will ultimately strengthen my relationship with Him.

For the first time I realize that I am not crazy! Esther didn’t laugh when I told her about my crazy thoughts, like the blue pizza I couldn’t get out of my head. She has many clients who have similar thoughts. In fact, everyone thinks funny stuff sometimes, just when you have OCD you can’t get the thoughts out of your head. These thoughts are called neutral obsessions. People with OCD can’t tolerate uncertainty. They have to be sure.

The modality used for OCD is called ERP — Exposure and Response Prevention. It’s grueling and liberating at the same time. Basically, I expose — do something that invites more anxiety and uncertainty, like read a book about someone who got sick. Then I prevent the avoidance, reassurance-seeking, and compulsions. Avoidance would be avoiding anything that makes me anxious or uncertain, like avoiding looking at a hospital when we drive by. Reassurance-seeking is asking others for reassurance about whatever I’m uncertain about. This can be asking my mother over and over again to reassure me that I’m not sick. Compulsions are actions designed to make me more certain, like putting money in the pushke so that I will stay healthy.

Another exposure that I’m doing for my anxiety about getting sick is actually saying, “It’s possible that I am sick.”

I am making progress, albeit slowly. I feel so much more hopeful.

I’m furious at Dini, I write in my diary where I pretty much give my emotions free rein, she is patronizing and nosy, why does she keep trying to subtly hint that she knows what’s going on, it’s none of her business!

It takes me a long time to let out all my Dini frustration. She’s always asking where I’m going when I go to therapy. It makes the whole thing so much worse.

After spending half a session letting off steam with Esther, we discuss if there are any silver linings to having such an annoying older sister. The only thing I come up with is that I’ll make sure to be the best older sister to my little siblings and never do anything like that.

Usually Esther knows exactly what to say but today she invalidated me. Is there something wrong with her or me or both? What’s going on?!

I call Miss Lev.

“It’s normal,” she explains, “no one always says all the right things. Every therapist has times when she isn’t getting her client.”

to be continued…


(Originally featured in Junior, Issue 964)

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