Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A brief history of coffee and therapy


I never, ever liked coffee until I had my first Frappuccino from Starbucks.
I got a caramel one, with a shit load of whipped cream on top, extra caramel drizzled all over the fucking place, and it was the bomb. I remember clearly standing in Scottsdale Fashion Square with my sisters, and I was 11, and the caffeine hit and I could taste colors, I swear to God.
My dad was super pissed at first about my new love for coffee - I don't remember why exactly, but probably because I started asking for Starbucks all the time, like luxury had just become my standard - and he was all "We have a Goddamn coffee pot right here on the counter, it will make you a cup of coffee for basically fucking FREE! Drink this!"
But I was changed.
I couldn't just go back to the ghetto of caffeinated beverages after what I'd seen. I'd been to the mother fucking mountain top!
Anyway, finally my dad started taking me to Starbucks twice a week and buying me a sugary, caramel Frappuccino. He wouldn't let me get any lemon pound cake or any bullshit like that for an extra $1.89 because let's not get crazy. But he took me, and didn't complain about what it cost.
I got these little treats on the days that I went to therapy.

I was 11 when my dad made my sisters and I go to therapy, and even then I thought it was a crock of shit.
You sit around and talk about all the fucked up shit that's happened to you, over and over, and in painful detail, as many times as it takes until you can "let it go"?
Fuck that.
Not only does that sound exhausting and painful, but I'm not good at letting shit go.
For a long time I felt like I'd earned the right to be pissed off and depressed, simply for surviving most of the shit I'd survived.
The anger and the sullen resentfulness felt like my trophies - my fucking door prize, my SOUVENIR. And I love souvenirs, I never get rid of those. {Shout out to all my ribbons "Great Job Participating" pins from 4 years of little league baseball. You always make my lanyards look fly as hell.}

There was a Starbucks on the way to the therapists office though, and my dad promised that if I just went and participated for my hour long session, we'd stop there on the way home.
When I started counseling, it was the summer I was going to turn 12. 
I had bad insomnia, and was sleeping maybe 2-4 hours a day total, and none of those were during night time hours. I would stay up at night and watch black and white movies, pull weeds in the backyard, play with the dogs, put on every item of clothing I owned and put a fashion show on for the dolls in my room.
Anything but sleep.
Therapy was hard.
That shit fucking hurt, and I hated a lot of people for a while.
I stopped going, I left. I always eventually went back.

I sat for an hour a day, two days a week in my therapist's office and dug up dead bodies from my past.
It was the most beautiful and morbid thing.

After the sessions, my dad would always ask how it went, and I would always say fine.
We'd walk the rest of the way to Starbucks in silence and I'd get my Frappuccino and try to forget about what had just happened.

For years I never thought I ever made any "breakthroughs" or experienced any major recovery as a result of therapy. I just knew it was something that sometimes helped me feel better when I got so sad that I couldn't make myself feel better.

But lately things have been hard, and I've been recalling all the hours logged on the chairs of different therapists over the last 14 years since my first non-consensual visit. 
I thought for a while that I've been lonely lately.
I kept talking about it, I kept needing people around more and more, I kept feeling desperately sad in the face of all the things that hurt, and all the things I can't do anything about right now.
And then I realized: it's not loneliness, it's grief.
A kind of mourning.
I never really had the words to attach to a feeling so heavy, so I assumed it must be loneliness.
I've never been good at grieving. Usually I allow myself a specific amount of time to cry about it, and then I eat all the bread in the house and act like I'm ok. 
I've also never been good at letting things go.
But I feel like these are both skills I could improve, and eventually bring up to par with some of my other mad skills. Like rapping. My fucking rapping skills are legit.

So, maybe it's time to go back to therapy.
And Starbucks.

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