Posted by Daisym on March 28, 2008, at 21:06:08
In reply to well, posted by raisinb on March 28, 2008, at 16:40:24
**But occasionally, I go in there and she seems cold and distant, which is what happened today.
**I feel she's inconsistent--emotionally warm, caring, and we have this intense connection--one day, and then like this the next
**I feel caring from her so often, but then sessions like this make me doubt the whole thing. I *knew* today that she was just doing her job and that it didn't mean that much to her.
**It seems like she has a tendency to kick me when I'm down, which makes it hard to feel safe.
**Near the end of that session, she kept urging me to call her if I needed to. I said that if she wanted to talk to me she could pick up a phone like anyone else. She said, okay, let's set up a time and I'll call you.
I'm noticing from what you've written that there are times when you really feel connected to her and you can feel her caring and then something interrupts that feeling - like an insurance deal or maybe she is less effusive with her warmth - and you want to chuck the whole thing. I often have to remind myself that therapy can't be all warm and fuzzy all the time - it is painful work and most of it I have to do on my own. Sometimes I feel like my therapist has withdrawn into a corner and is asking questions that he knows hurt - but later I can see that these are the things that I have to deal with. I know this might sound harsh but believe me I do understand a lot of this - I'm someone who struggles a great deal with the connection and caring thing around therapy. I've found, for myself, that certain subjects or certain things that are happening in my life always bring on this reaction from me. Usually it is mother stuff - I have a hard time dealing with my feelings about my mother because some how my therapist gets all mixed up in them and I end up feeling like he has pulled away, that he can't stand working with me and that he thinks I'm a whiny brat. Since we've identified this pattern (it took a long time) he will now say, "I'm not your mother!" - That usually calls it out and breaks through. I noticed that you wrote, "it seems like she has a tendency to kick me when I'm down" -- is it possible that when you are down it tends to feel like she is kicking you because you feel ultra vulnerable and she hasn't realized this yet? The same from coming off a rough visit from your family...you needed her and she didn't meet that need - perhaps she didn't know what you needed, yet? But if she figures it out, do you then get it?
I really doubt that a therapist who didn't care would urge the phone call today and want to talk about it more. They would let you stew and/or figure it out on your own. And she did remember the phone appointment, even if you weren't in any shape to keep it.
Three and half years is a very big investment of time. I don't get a sense from your post if you feel caring from her most of the time or half the time or not very often. I ask because perhaps this is one of your therapy tasks - to trust that someone cares about you even when they aren't overtly saying it or showing it or even when they themselves are having a bad day or hard time. I know it is one of mine - to believe that caring exists even if it goes invisible sometimes and that relationships can survive anger, hurt feelings, mis-attunement and unmet needs.
But I hate, hate, hate having to work through it over and over again. So I do understand your angst, and if I had a better answer than keep talking about it, I swear I'd give it to you.
I hope you can read this hearing a gentle voice - as I intended it.