Posted by Dinah on July 1, 2009, at 23:14:59
In reply to Re: Suddenly develop Dependent Personality Disorde » Dinah, posted by garnet71 on July 1, 2009, at 22:51:37
Well, in general terms, I think it would mean that you were taught that asking for something was an intrusion to your parents. Either because they were aggressive (your dad) or overwhelmed by their own needs (your mom). If you grew up believing that asking for something was intruding on another, you would consider it vaguely wrong to ask, and a "no" would tell you that your asking was one of the wrong sort.
But that it is possible to see a request as being not like an intrusion and a no as not being a sign that the request was wrong.
My therapist did that by demonstrating good boundaries. Showing that my asking for something did not intrude on him because he could always say no, and that saying no did not mean I was wrong to ask, it just meant that for whatever reason he could not answer in the affirmative.
I don't think I can explain it as well as I see it in my mind. The whole boundary thing with my therapist was so enormously helpful. Well, this aspect of it was anyway. My family of origin had very poor boundaries of every sort. It was hard to tell where one person started and the next stopped.
My therapist clarified where he ended and I started both in actions and in words. My request was mine, and didn't intrude into his boundaries because he didn't feel compelled to answer yes and he didn't feel angry that I asked. My request was mine and he considered it and answered yes if he could and no if he couldn't and was sensitive to my feelings and sorry at my distress without letting them seep into him and have him become either angry or feel put upon.
His answers, yes or no, were the same way. They were clearly part of him, not me. If the answer was yes, it was because he was genuinely ok with saying yes. If the answer was no, it was because he didn't feel able to say yes. It wasn't a reflection on me at all. So even if I felt briefly angry or hurt or embarrassed or ashamed, those feelings didn't last because there was no intent on his side to do anything but answer the request.
I know that doesn't make sense. And to some extent he expressed these things to me, but I put my own words to them. To a greater extent he showed me. In that sense it wasn't intellectual at all. It was a visceral incorporation of something he was conveying. More the way a child is supposed to learn from a parent than the way a student learns from a teacher.
Hard to explain.