How to get a boyfriend: the first therapy session

I felt a bit of imposter syndrome when I went to my first therapy session. Like I’m not that fucked up at the moment. Also, because time had passed since the break-in, I wasn’t even feeling that vulnerable about it anymore. 

Although to be honest, it was never about the break-in. It’s the constant reminder that I’m always alone and that I can’t rely on anyone else but me, and I’m sick of it. And I know that I don’t want to rely on my parents. Not because of a pride thing, but just because, and this is not going to sound nice, I don’t really like them. I don’t enjoy talking to them, their company, or anything really. I know this makes me sound like such an ungrateful person but every interaction I have with them normally ends up with me feeling like shit. They constantly tell me I’m fat. 

My mum has tried several times to matchmake me and complains about how single I am, like I am an extra mouth that isn’t worth anything until some man, ANY man comes and wifes me up and makes me a mother. Not like I have my own accomplishments and am completely capable of looking after myself. 

Plus, it’s like when someone keeps telling you they’re worried about you and that they’re worried about your future and it’s like ok? Why is this my burden then? Worry about yourself. I literally have a full time job, a side hustle, stable housing, disposable income, no drug, drinking or gambling habits, my typical day consists of me getting through a Netflix show and getting in bed by 10.30pm. I have no health or life problems. My biggest struggle is literally washing my hair. I’m extremely, on the surface, FINE.

My dad is a whole other story. Honestly, I don’t even like complaining about him because I don’t even want to think of him. 

And here we go, a classic daddy issues story that HAS to be linked to why I can’t seem to want to, or can, talk to the right man.

It’s weird how you know how different approaches works for you. Some people need tough love. Heading into my first therapy session, I just hoped that my therapist and I gelled. I’ve had some ‘tough love’ therapists before and I’ve always bristled at their bluntness. I hate bluntness. 

As I started talking about why I had come, and what I was wanting to achieve, it’s crazy how the dots start to join already.

I told her about how a therapist had told me that my excuse to see my parents to exchange food was ‘lame’. And how I could TELL this was from privilege. There was no way she could understand that from a culture of survival mindset, where my parents had seen their own family and friends starve to death, and for me who had spent a year unemployed in 2020, was not LAME. It was like she had just judged me, like I was seeing my parents to swap books or something.

I told her about how I felt intimidated when I saw guys that I thought were hot and single. That I felt extremely self conscious, and that I never really fit in.

This is also the first time I’ve had a therapist that is a person of colour, and she told me that these were very relatable struggles, and a weight and struggle that many POC felt. 

So this is how therapy revelations go (for me, anyway):

Me: I always feel like I’m not pretty enough or interesting enough and that they wouldn’t want to talk to me anyways.

MT (my therapist): What does that voice sound like in your head?

Me: Oh it just sounds like me. Like my thoughts. There is no difference from me saying ‘it’s hot in here’ and ‘I am not pretty or interesting enough to hold this person’s attention’.

MT: But for me, when you said those two things, they sounded very different. I could hear a difference in pitch. And we can work on recognise between you speaking, and what that voice is speaking.

She then made me draw what this voice looked like.

It’s me with a bowl cut fringe, glasses and chubby with pants on, and angry. Me at what I think is my most unattractive state, and yet always with me. Now that I’m writing this, I’m realising it’s also what I used to draw myself as before the age of 18 – round face, glasses, short. I have always seen myself this way, as a geek with nothing interesting about me.

MT asks me where this ‘not pretty’ and ‘not interesting’ thoughts comes from.

I tell her that I think it’s from when I realised in high school that my old friends that I had grown up with in primary and who I thought were once my best friends, straight ignored me for the pretty girls. 

MT tells me it’s normal to be hurt after being rejected.

We talk a bit about my parents. How I realise my parents don’t pay attention to what I’m saying until I snap or yell at them. That my dad has narcissistic qualities – he loves arguing. He seems to live for them. The whole house is ruled by his emotions, and he always feels hard done by, unappreciated, smarter than everyone and if he’s not feeling it than the whole house has to suffer from his strop.

He honestly doesn’t think or give a shit about what other people feel – but he constantly gets furious and butthurt, and his feelings are the only thing to exist. And like a classic narcissist, the fight seems to calm him down but makes everyone around him agitated. 

I talk about how he was unemployed for about 5 years when I was in high school – and so he became the one who was always home and always there. And I HATED that. I loved it when he wasn’t home. I loved the absence. I have self diagnosed myself with a fearful- avoidant attachment style.

I think it’s so funny that my parents love to harp on about how I can’t get into a relationship when it’s like hello – who do you think the dominant male figure in my life to be an example is??

I tell MT that my worst nightmare is to be in a relationship with someone like my father. And that I found taken guys much more safer, and I feel more connected to them.

She says it sounds like I’m so scared of that, that I’m willing to not take the opportunity or want to talk to someone who is single because of the fear.

It has made me realise – I constantly think about how uninteresting and not pretty I am. It’s the only thought in my mind when I’m at parties or meeting new people.

MT says I should be aware of when I’m thinking these thoughts, and that to remember that they are thoughts, and not the truth.

And before you know it, the session is up leaving me with a swollen face from my non-stop crying and MT asking me what I can do to make myself better. I give the on-brand answer of eating junk food, which isn’t a good one, and we agree I can eat some of my cheap caviar I got at Pak N Save.

I feel like if you’re read this far you might be thinking this is super personal. I know it is, but at the same time, I feel like it could be relatable. The first therapy session isn’t scary, and like what I mean with saying strength in vulnerability at Tsrang Label – these stories no longer hold so much power over me when I’ve said it aloud so many times and had time to think about it. I’m at a point now where I feel like I’m ok to talk about it and answer questions about it.

I feel like for a first step it is a momentous one. I can see now why I don’t talk to boys – because I have such a fear of rejection, negative self talk and actually a bad self esteem. 

I know logically that I should be a bad bitch and funny, friendly and silly like I can be like I am with people I think are ‘safe’ – my girl friends, guys I’m not interested in, guys who are unavailable-  but emotionally I always feel like the last girl in the room that everyone forgot was there. And it makes me really, really sad. Even typing that sentence makes me well up because it’s so true.

The first therapy session was way more heavier than I thought it would be. I have never felt emotionally drained before – because I guess I’ve never been in this situation – but I actually felt dulled down from all the crying and truth telling.  I drive home thinking of ways I can make myself feel better.
So although this is a year of confronting the demon of singlehood, I think I’m also learning this year of starting to really treat myself with things that actually restore me. I hate to quote sex pest Melissa from MAFS AU, but I really want to find simple things that can ‘fill my cup’.

That weekend I went to the beach by myself and read a book for hours, and then in the evening my friends joined me to eat some dinner, which I naughtly had KFC. This is a photo from the day 🙂 

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