Pros & Cons of Existence

The Monday appointment I was hoping for in Nothing is Broken didn’t happen, but at the end of the day Sadie sent me another e-mail saying she had openings at 11 am and noon on Tuesday, if I could take either of those.  I was scheduled to work, but asked her if she’d please reserve the noon appointment for me on the condition that I might have to cancel.  I went into work Tuesday morning and asked for permission to leave for an hour and a half in the middle of the day, with the intention of staying late to work my full shift.

At noon I was in her office, and didn’t know what to say.  I was still shaken by our miscommunication, but rationally I knew she hadn’t intended to hurt me so I wasn’t sure what still needed to be said.  She tried to explain what she’d been trying to say in the e-mails I took so wrongly, and I don’t feel I ever really understood.  One of the e-mails had said that the conversation would be easier when we had body language and tone of voice along with the words, and I told her I didn’t see how that was any easier, as I don’t feel like I understand body language.  She insisted I must understand it, seeing as how I’m an actress, and I said, “But no one said I was a good actress.”

A good chunk of conversation was about my plan to not return to see Brent anymore.  She said that would confuse and concern him, and that after this much time seeing him he deserved for me to explain why I felt that way and give him the opportunity to resolve the issue.  She did not tell me to take my medication that I’d been skipping for 5 days; in fact, she said that I know me better than any of them do, and if the medication isn’t helping I have the right to not take it.  However, I felt ashamed that I’d been skipping it, and we discussed the idea of stopping shameful actions, so when I got home from the appointment I resumed my medication.

I was scheduled for another appointment two days later and Sadie asked if I wanted to keep it.  I said of course, that if nothing else we could work on those last few DBT skills she hasn’t given me.  She offered to print some of the handouts right then, but then rescinded the offer when she decided on a “more important” project.  There was a pattern on my diary card of me interpreting people’s actions to mean that I didn’t have value to them, and Sadie wanted me to make a list of evidence that I have value.

The evidence was not supposed to be strictly based on what other people think of me, but given that I don’t have any intrinsic value aside from what I can do for others, this seemed an impossible task.  I have a list of evidence, but I’m pretty sure it’s not what she wants.

She had an idea for another assignment, which I did not do.  In DBT, the Pros & Cons skill asks you to write down both pros & cons of one action and the pros & cons of its opposite.  An example might be drinking vs. using a DBT skill to distract yourself from the urge to drink.  Sadie suggested I do pros & cons of existing vs. not existing.  I was alarmed.  I told her I didn’t think that was a good idea and asked what would happen when I wrote down all my pros & cons and came to the conclusion that it was better not to exist.  She didn’t really answer me, but didn’t pressure me to do the exercise either.

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One thought on “Pros & Cons of Existence

  1. Pingback: Too Many Thoughts for a Title | Stuff That Needs Saying

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