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Re: Very mind-blowing session. Confused. Tabitha

Posted by Cal on July 10, 2009, at 6:38:05

In reply to Very mind-blowing session. Confused., posted by Tabitha on July 10, 2009, at 2:24:32

> Was doing my usual litany of complaints when I came to this great insight. It was about how I came to therapy with this idea that it would make my social life & my love life so much more successful. I'm isolated and feel like a loser in those areas. I've craved some kind of special other or audience as long as I can recall.
> I thought my therapist valued relationships over other aspects of life. I thought she'd never really approve of me unless I had some kind of minimal level of intimate relationships. I've given up on the social success idea, but I thought she wanted me to have a mate instead.
> I get kind of mad at her for having this expectation. After all, I'm just not good at relationships. I've tried, and I just can't get it. I can't find a mate. I've never gotten dates easily. Now that I'm middle-aged it's gone from difficult to impossible to find someone.
> I still want it myself, but I resent that she demands this of me. I've been thinking (for years) stupid therapist, of course she over-values relationships. It's therapy culture. Why not value career success or hobbies or art or intellectual pursuits instead? It's not fair.
> Well guess what? She says she doesn't have these values or expectations and never did. (So surely it's my projection.) She says the most important thing is the relationship with yourself.
> I asked over and over, was she kidding me? She really wasn't the source of these beliefs? Would she really be OK with me if I was alone & just had my hobbies and a couple cats? She said yes, if I was happy with myself, that was enough.
> I'm floored. So I can drop this expectation that never gets fulfilled, this longing, this shame over not having these things. I asked who's the observer? Isn't someone supposed to witness my life somehow? She says that's the adult (my adult self).
> But I swear, I've talked about this before, about just giving up on ever having a mate or a satisfying social life, and she's made me think (I think) that would be abandoning my little girl. I'm really confused on this. I swear it was not OK with her for me to just quit trying & hoping.
> If I give up on these things, and work on achieving things I can actually do, and stop wanting things I can't do, isn't that good?
> But it's like saying to myself "you don't deserve anyone, you deserve to be alone" and I can't do that, can I? But the alternative is saying to myself "you have to get relationships. you're not ok til you do." and since I don't have relationships, I'm never Ok. I'm a loser. I've been this shameful, lonely person forever. I don't want to be that person, but I can't seem to be that person that attracts friends and dates & suitors. I try & fail. My isolation level hasn't changed much at all for years. I'll gain a little, and lose a little.
> But if I love & accept myself as I am, she's Ok with that. I asked her, is this some trick, some means to an end. Like if I accept myself, it's really a trick to be more appealing to others, right? To draw them in? She says no, it's really Ok to just love & accept myself. That's enough.
> My mantra for the week is "Even though I may never have the social life my critical parent says I should have, I choose to love & accept myself".
> So confused.

You Know I've struggled with this issue during my journey in therapy also. T has a book entitled "On needing people", ever since I first saw it it caused me to erupt in laughter, more from fear I feel.

As I begin to find who I am and fix the broken parts of me, I realise now that it was the power I was giving ot other people that was scaring me so the question "should I or shouldn't I have succesful friendships" really doesn't appear so b/w now nor so urgent. Your last sentence is a key one, its the relationship we have with ourselfs that matters and is what I am in therapy to heal. The other people aspect is becoming more "right sized", its almost a by product of my life. If I happened to have a chat with someone hten fine, if I have a day where I dont' talk to another living soul, then thats ok too. what goes on outside of me isn't as important as the life that goes on inside of me.

Best wishes.




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