Thursday, September 27, 2012

Zingers for the Neurotic

I went to see a counselor last week. I was lunching with a friend who mentioned 'My therapist said' and my eyes got all wide and I said, "Ooooooooooo! I WANT TO SEE A THERAPIST! Do you love her? Tell me her name!"  and she did and I immediately called and was positively giddy with anticipation for two weeks until I could get to my appointment.

I know that to some of you, that may sound all Woody Allen and weird but I am convinced that this world would be a much better place if, well, everyone in it just had some sitdown-and-talks with a good counselor. What if your mother-in-law had worked through her junk with her mom? Different Thanksgiving dinners. What if Hitler had worked through his dad issues? Different world.

The last time I was in counseling was when I was pregnant with Maggie, when I had my Early Thirties Breakdown. I can't tell you how many women I know who've gone through the ETB. At some point between the ages of 30-35, in many of us, any un-dealt-with childhood junk will bubble up like lava until it eventually explodes. During this period, any husband who fails to buy the right brand of milk and child who dares leave Legos on the floor are in deep danger of finding themselves covered from head to toe in molten mom lava. I'm not sure why the early 30s is prime eruption season. Maybe because we are having kids and viewing our childhoods through parent eyes? I'm sure hormones are also partially to blame because, sheesh, aren't they always?
During the ETB, my therapy was a long, painful open heart surgery, examining shabbily bandaged wounds, lancing them, and healing them. Not fun, but so very necessary. One of the main reasons I did it was to avoid generational sin. I did not want to pass down my insecurities to my daughters, and I knew I was headed down that path. My goal was for my babies' sin to be original, not inherited from me with the crystal and silver. I shudder to think what kind of wife and mom I'd be now if I hadn't had Cindy's help.

This time is not so rough, thank goodness. This time I just have some stuff. Mainly dealing with friendship. The past few years in Houston were not super fun ones for me from a social perspective, and they did a number on my self-esteem. I feel like Austin is a fresh start, so I want to unpack that junk, slam the door on it and kick it to the curb. Which means the thought of walking into an office with a comfy couch and saying, "Oh objective stranger! Let me catalog all my neuroses so that you can FIX ME!" sounded positively delightsome.

The way my psychology works is that, once someone points out the way in which I am acting irrationally, I usually have a V8 moment and can stop. That's what therapists do - they go to school to learn to facilitate V8 moments. (And lots of other stuff but for Missy-time, that's their money maker.) The way they do this is with Zingers. (I'm sure any therapists out there are loving how I'm summing up their eleventy thousand hours of training with these technical phrases.) A Zinger is the basic element of the V8 Moment  where the therapist says something so profound and applicable that I have a response called the Stop and Stare. Then I write them a check, and drive home pondering the Zinger, chew on the Zinger for weeks, and ultimately apply it. With their help, they have application techniques and stuff. Cindy was the Zinger Queen, and it appears that Leslie also has Mad Zinger Skilz.

Now is where I have to warn you that, if you get a Zinger, it might be/probably will be new to you and only you. During my ETB I'd be so excited over my latest zinger, eg, "I have rejection issues!" and my husband would look at me and go, "Um, so how much are we paying her to state the blatantly obvious?" Whatever, it works, go with it.

So why did Missy get all personal and share-y on this sunny Thursday morning?

Because yesterday my friend Megan wrote a post called I'm a Praise Junkie and I Hate It and my neurotic self and her neurotic self cyber-hugged and cyber-patted each other's hair and then cyber-smiled and cyber-nodded with tears in our cyber-eyes.
I, too, place way, way too much value on other people's opinions. I know this is stupid and sick and immature and I also know God's word, hel-lo, I wrote a whole blog called God Thinks You Rock the Casbah. I know all this in my head. But sometimes, especially when I feel vulnerable (which is at least half the time, stupid hormones), I have trouble getting it into my heart.

I spilled all the details of my sad life with the mean girls in the Scaryburbs. Leslie took it all in and then she let loose with her Zinger du Jour. Y'all ready for this? She said:

"At some point in your life, you gave power to other people to deem you worthy or not."

DAY-ANG, huh? Stop. And. Stare.

Isn't that so messed up?!?? To give other people - sometimes people I don't even know, often people I don't even like - the power to deem me worthy?? IS THAT JACKED UP OR WHAT??

I used to do this with boyfriends during my tumultuous 20s. Then I married an awesome man who gives me no cause to be untrusting (thank you Jesus). So instead of just being nice and normal and sane, now I give this power to other women. {Oh, gag me with a insecurity complex!!)

I've been chewing on this for two weeks now.  Still chewing on it. Still reminding myself daily that the only person I need to be worried about pleasing is the Lord, and He is already very, very pleased with me, He's so into me that He, you know, DIED FOR ME AND ALL, and as for the sin in my life that could use some work (like giving other people the power to deem me worthy, for instance) He sent the Holy Spirit, aka THE COUNSELOR, whose job it is to help me get over that insanity. 

Did that zinger reach out and touch you today too?


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