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Re: Forced Termination - Dory ForeverWounded

Posted by Dory on September 1, 2007, at 10:06:40

In reply to Re: Forced Termination - Dory, posted by ForeverWounded on August 31, 2007, at 23:59:08

ok, i'll do my best, but i am so removed from the situation that it's a difficult question, plus i am hearing your words, not many of his and i am getting your interpretations/perceptions mixed in. i will tell you what i *think* based on what you have said... best i can do. (i will say that you should be proud of yourself for trying to help yourself and to even consider bringing up further things with him.)

i do think he has misread the depth of your attachment. Given what you have said about your feelings and the length of the relationship, along with the self-abuse/etc since his decision, the only other option is that he is very cold. i don't get the impression from what you said about your connection to him that he has been cold to you. i could be mistaken.. when you think about the relationship over the time shared, what has been his attitude towards you? i seem to remember you talking about him making committments of not abandoning you... right?

so, making the assumption that you have felt the relationship to be a good one, a caring and genuine one, then i think he has totally misread your attachment. Now there is one thing i will say about that, and i don't mean to imply that anything is your *fault*, more that there is a *role* you play, as we all do, within the relationship. i don't know how you presented yourself to him... i don't know how open you have been about your feelings towards him, so there is a possibility that you have masked or hidden a lot from him deliberately or not. Part of his job is to probe that, particularly in a long relationship... IMO anyway. If the relationship works or "clicks" then there is an attachment that forms that is strong, that's pretty standard. He would have to know that much.

Perhaps he had thought that work had been done which placed you in a safer mindset... but that again would mean you were dealing with it together.

Right now my own T is just discovering how deep and strong my fear of abandonment is... he made a decision (which i think is a mistake to have done but that's another story) based on his best guess at my fear. That is how a T does it... their best guess based on what they see and hear.. they can't read minds or actually be in our heads. It's a probe and see sort of deal, in the beginning or during a new phase... then they see the impact and choose how to help, hopefully with as much of it being a joint decision as possible.

Without knowing anything about your sessions, i am making my best guess that the subject was not probed enough. My last T never ever brought it up. It was a short term process and i think he honestly thought he was preventing a deep attachment. The end result was a stronger one because i have a history of being pushed away and then working harder to gain that person's attention/affection/approval. Is that the same for you? i would expect that most T's with any amount of serious training would know to flesh out abandonment issues.

That is my rationale for feeling he has misread. If you've seen him for a long time, and you have been able to express such feeling in your first post to strangers, then i feel that it's likely you have given him indicators of your attachment but he missed the boat.. or he thought he had the boat docked and secured but was mistaken.

The path he has taken which is mishandling it? Oh my.. let me count the ways. He has obviously not taken enough time to address your connection and the loss of that connection. He has not counted on it being so strong. He has not, from your account, taken any steps to help you deal with your grief over the loss, or how to handle the obviously sticky aftermath (with him being there but not there for you). He hasn't adequately explained to you why he can't "fit you in every other week" as you said, or helped you deal with the feelings associated with that...ie, feeling unimportant and discarded (sp?). Given the quote you gave regarding him terminating early when you express anger, i think he is not handling his own feelings surrounding his decisions very well either. It is not productive nor fair to you to allow his feelings to flow over onto you... it's a breach of boundaries. A T is responsible for taking care of their own feelings and issues. If he feels guilt or whatever about his choices then he should not make them your issue. A statement like that provokes fear of abandonment, guilt of wrong-doing and creates a bad power dynamic.. it says "if you behave this way or that, i will leave you." It's a subtle threat IMO.

i won't even let my T talk about "outcome markers" as he calls them... goals even. i am too sensitive still about the idea that it will end and he will leave me. i **know** it will end someday, but if i talk about that now i will be too scared to do the work that needs to be done now.

i don't know how he told you, it sounded very sudden and abrupt. IMO, he should have started talking about how you would feel about separation and termination as soon as he even formed the idea that he might even want to change directions in his own life. As a T he should recognize the impact. That would give him a better idea of attachment and how to handle the termination. Then it should be a gentle process with much reassurance and care. In the case of strong attachment i believe that he should be showing more acceptance and care in the face of your anger and other feelings.

Whatever the cause, this ****is**** a loss for you. It's like a death and there is real grief, even in the best of worlds with resolved issues and all.

With him still being a part of your world (one of the problems with having a T being a part of your real life world in the first place) he should spend time talking about ways to cope with that. He could possibly have helped you find a new T and help you transition for example.

i'm not a T, so i can't come up with all the strategies or ways he could or should be doing this. But what strikes me most is his lack of empathy for your situation and his lack of acceptance for his part in it.

Your anger is obviously strong and raw. i am sure it would be hard to face it and not get defensive, but it's his job, whether he likes that or not.

i am basing a lot of what i say on his level of training. You said he was getting a doctorate? yes? There isn't generally any law or regulation as to who gets to hang the shingle "therapist" out on their door... so a lot of insight and training depends on that. Some people with less education and training make marvelous T's, and some with PhD's in psych can be the worst.

ok..i;ve rambled enough... short form:
* i don't think he has read your level of attachment or talked enough about it.
*i don't think he has handled the termination process well because he isn't showing empathy or care in the face of your reaction to the loss.
*He is being defensive and is not handling his own feelings well by making statements like the one you gave.
*statements like that can feel like a threat of abandonment and a judgement of how you feel
*he needs to help you grieve and find ways to cope

There. i hope that says what you asked somehow.

i don't know the answers to your anger... but i do know that it is OK that you feel it.


> I have a question about this statement. Maybe you can lend me some insight (oh and by the way, I wasn't upset by anything you said - I just had some questions. No harm, no foul. Thank you rather for your encouragement, support, and advice.) Anyway here is my question:

:o)

> You said:
>
> "your attachment is in NO way wrong. i am so sorry to have given you that idea. He has been blind if he hasn't understood it. He is handling it badly all around. i do hope that is more clear. i was trying to say that from your post it is very clear how powerfully attached you are, he surely must have known too... i just can't wrap my head around how or why he would either not know, or choose this path if he did. Make no mistake, i don't think you have done anything wrong at all."
>
> So you think he hasn't understood the depth of my attachment? Can you explain why you think he is mishandling it or what "path" he has chosen that is indicative of his mishandling the attachment? I would like to know so that perhaps I can bring it up with him. I think you have the potential to see more clearly than I, since I am very emotionally involved in the situation, and you are a much more objective third party.
>
> Can you please explain about how he is mishandling the super strong attachment?
>
> I hope your weekend proves to be not sooo difficult.
>
> Thanks again.
>
> Forever Wounded


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poster:Dory thread:779897
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/psycho/20070822/msgs/780173.html