I have one hour of therapy a week. No, actually I have 45 minutes. It’s so little time, sometimes just enough to get me up the point of something deep and then it’s time to go. Also, E. follows my lead in what we do with those 45 minutes. This makes me feel like I need to go into every therapy session with a plan for what I want to talk about.

So tomorrow evening I have therapy. What should I do with it?

The predominant thing I am thinking about is, “I am so tired and have such a mountain of work to do; how will I make it until my leave starts on October 1?” But that’s not a good way to use that time. It’s only two weeks, E. doesn’t really know what the pieces of work are, and anyway, the only solution is to do as much as I can and not worry about the rest (even though I am worrying).

I have also been thinking about who I am at the core, and whether I have a core. But in some ways, that is just a philosophical question. I am not sure I need to answer this in order to get better. Or perhaps I do one day, but I don’t feel it’s pressing right now.

Part of me wants to talk about my first marriage. I have never talked about that except in passing. I feel myself wanting E. to hear about it, to help validate that it was crazy-making, that I’m not simply blaming my ex-husband unfairly because I don’t want to take any responsibility for the failed relationship. I feel like it was something that affected me deeply but she doesn’t know what it really looked like. (Just the other day, I found an old email from him that started: “The older you get, the stupider you become…” and later went on to say “you are a failure at everything you have ever attempted in your life.”) But I wonder if this is an evasive maneuver, designed to postpone processing early sexual abuse.

But sexual abuse is not the only thing that has contributed to my long-lasting depression. I wonder if I have been taking too narrow a view?

There’s the whole issue of my step-father, who never touched me but who made my siblings and me feel very unwanted, even hated. My mother and all of us tip-toed around his rage for years.

Or perhaps the next topic should be all the anger that I’m sensing from my little girl self?

How can I know where I should go next? How do I make best use of those precious few minutes in E’s office?