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Re: I'm proud of me. Krissy P

Posted by Dinah on March 15, 2003, at 19:20:27

In reply to Re: I'm proud of me. Dinah, posted by Krissy P on March 15, 2003, at 18:35:25


Ok, but as long as my goal doesn't have to be to stop therapy. I'm happy to learn additional coping skills, but I'm not particularly enamored of the idea of completely losing this one. :)

It is true that in the end we have only ourselves to rely on. And relying on someone you pay definitely has its drawbacks. But as true as that is, it's also true that it's important to have a support system. And it's not fair to dump all the worst of my stuff on family and friends so paid supportive therapy remains on my list of available sources of support. (Ok, you online friends. I do dump stuff on you too. :) And thank you very much for your support.) I really really wish that my parents had had ongoing therapy as a child so that they didn't use me as their ersatz therapist (mother) or just vomit anger all over me (father). If that's all that therapy accomplished, keeping me a good mom and keeping my stuff from affecting my son, it would be worth it.

I think the point (about five or six years into therapy) where I really began to feel safe in therapy is when I point blank asked my therapist how he felt about ongoing supportive therapy. And he said that it depends. If you come in for a bout of depression, therapy shouldn't last for a long time. But if you're dealing with an ongoing... ok, I'll say it... mental illness, it's ok to use therapy as an ongoing form of treatment. That I may not get all better from it, any more than a diabetic gets all better from insulin, but that if it keeps me productive, functional, and out of the hospital, he would consider it a valuable service, and would not at all mind continuing to be my therapist for that purpose. Because I have therapy available, I am able to use less SSRI's and other drugs with side effect profiles that I just don't like while keeping my job (darn it) and being a reasonably good mom. My pdoc even wrote me a prescription for ongoing therapy, so that my medical reimbursement plan would realize that it wasn't for personal growth, but for medical treatment.

With that assurance from him, I was able to release a lot of my fears of abandonment and deepen my commitment and involvement in therapy. A lot of the work we are doing now wouldn't be possible if I were feeling like I needed to get better and move on.

I've never really felt the need to manufacture emergencies to see him. For one thing, my meltdowns come with depressing regularity - every eight or so weeks without stressors, more often with work stressors or lack of sleep. For another thing, I've spent my life trying to be an unemotional, nondramatic person - as far from my mom as I could get. :) And the manifestations of my illness are far too dramatic for me to comfortably endure, so I usually get quite upset with myself about them.

I have been very lucky in finding my therapist. He has grown pretty sensitive to my abandonment fears and always tells me I'm free to call him - even at night or when he's gone out of town for work, or even on his vacations. He probably feels freer to do this because I rarely if ever take him up on it, yet he knows I feel safer knowing I have the option.

Yet even with all that, our relationship is a very professional one. I neither want or need him to like me. I think he probably has developed a certain fondness for me over the years (at times - at other times he finds me exasperating), but for the first several years I think he felt mild dislike for me. And that was ok with me. I don't in any way mistake our relationship for a personal one, nor do I want one. My dependence on him is oddly impersonal, other than that he has an amazing ability to soothe me. Even his voice does, and I sometimes am able to calm myself by calling his answering machine without leaving a message. He's also made a relaxation tape for me.

So, in long, what I'm trying to say is that while on one level my dependence frightens me a bit, because I know he could leave the area or the profession at any time without a second thought to me, on another level I am perfectly content with the dependence. I have thought it through carefully and come to terms with it and accepted it. I see supportive therapy as part of my lifelong plan, if not with him then with someone else (unless my illness and meltdowns decrease with age). Yet I also do agree with him that developing a range of coping skills so that I am not solely relying on therapy is good, and something that he is supposed to help me with. So I am more or less comfortable with my interpretation of his statement (as verified by him).

Sorry to go on so long. I'm kind of using this post to think aloud.




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