Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 298249

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Why is it so difficult at times?

Posted by Speaker on January 8, 2004, at 17:02:07

I went to therapy yesterday and it seemed to be ok but since then I just want to cry (I never cry...not even when my husband died). I came home last night and I did drag myself out for a meeting...don't remember much about it. Today all I have done is sleep and eat chocolate. I go back to therapy tomorrow - twice in one week...eeek, but I'm glad since I can't figure this out. Life is a roller coaster but therapy makes me want to stop and get sick. I am tired of the ups and downs...does therapy really help?

 

Re: Why is it so difficult at times?

Posted by naiad on January 8, 2004, at 17:41:50

In reply to Why is it so difficult at times?, posted by Speaker on January 8, 2004, at 17:02:07

Speaker,

You are not alone. I have been in that place of wanting to crawl into bed and just stay there until.....

I don't know if therapy works. Clearly it does for some people but it's interesting when I hear about people who have been in LONG term and still want more.

For now, I do therapy as part of my mental health needs. I really can't project how important it will be for me in the future or if it will *cure* me of all of my character flaws. I do know that it is much harder than I expected! It is not linear, at all. The progress, if there is any, is taking a very circuitous route!

I was so discouraged last week that I told my therapist that I wanted a referral for anti-depressants. I made the appointment but haven't seen the pdoc yet. I hope I pass the test but my mood has elevated for some reason so I may not "qualify" for meds. Anyway, I am convinced that I need some help beyond just talking.

Do you have any idea what triggered your downward slide? I think its helpful to have a quick follow up when your emotions are so raw. In my experience those sessions have been among the best.

Good luck and hope you are feeling better soon.

 

Re: Why is it so difficult at times? Speaker

Posted by Dinah on January 8, 2004, at 19:22:40

In reply to Why is it so difficult at times?, posted by Speaker on January 8, 2004, at 17:02:07

You might not know it from my above posts, but it has/does help me. I'm better off now than I was and definitely better off than I would be without it.

That being said, it doesn't *always* help. One of the EMDR therapists I spoke to told me that it can make things worse as well as make it better.

I guess you just need to keep up an ongoing dialogue about how things are going and if the pacing needs to be changed.

 

Re: Why is it so difficult at times? Speaker

Posted by Karen_kay on January 8, 2004, at 19:28:27

In reply to Why is it so difficult at times?, posted by Speaker on January 8, 2004, at 17:02:07

(((Speaker)))
I really wish I could answer your question, but I'm stuck right now in the same situation wondering the exact same thing..... I'm sorry. I'm sending you warm thoughts and lots of support though, if that helps.
Wishing I had all the answers and fearing I have none,
Karen

 

Re: Why is it so difficult at times? Karen_kay

Posted by Dinah on January 8, 2004, at 19:33:28

In reply to Re: Why is it so difficult at times? Speaker, posted by Karen_kay on January 8, 2004, at 19:28:27

Karen, I'm sorry you're going through a rough time right now too. And I'm really sorry I've been so self absorbed that I haven't been able to offer support. It's been really hard for me to read posts right now. My cognitive skills are way down. :(

 

Because life is difficult

Posted by DaisyM on January 8, 2004, at 20:01:08

In reply to Re: Why is it so difficult at times? Karen_kay, posted by Dinah on January 8, 2004, at 19:33:28

I think what everyone is talking about is not so much that "therapy" is difficult, though it absolutely is, but that LIFE is difficult right now.

The after holiday slump is here, plus I think everyone wants to start out the new year fresh, being done with all the old stuff. Including those things we are struggling with in therapy. The world is a mess, the economy is a mess and so many people are sick this time of year. We are all surrounded by all this...stuff...that it makes just day-to-day existance hard.

I also think this time of year makes everyone question their directions -- and we make promises to ourselves to push harder, go deeper, really say "it" whatever it is...or maybe don't say it and stop.

My therapist told me today that he doesn't let clients stop (if he can help it) in January because in his opinion and he has been doing this for a long while, January is the most depressing month of the year. December = stress, Jan = depressed. We talked about anniversary triggers, and social triggers...all the stuff we've all been doing the past 2 months.

So, here is my idea. I think we all need a beach vacation -- Mexico? We can relax, read trashy novels and sleep late. No kids, no husbands, no laptops, cell phones or work projects. Who's in?

I'm open to other ideas too...

 

Re: speaker, why is it so difficult Speaker

Posted by helenag on January 8, 2004, at 21:22:40

In reply to Why is it so difficult at times?, posted by Speaker on January 8, 2004, at 17:02:07

Speaker, Your comment is so very timely! I have been wondering the very same thing myself lately. Had a therapy appointment on Monday and left feeling baited and confused, mixed messaged. I don't know why I didn't challenge what my therapist said; maybe because I have grown used to being told my perceptions are off, of course he never meant that...blah, blah, blah. (sensitive me)

I have been of the mind lately, maybe others have been there too, that therapy requires more of strong backbone that exists in me right now. My therapist works with my pdoc, for whom I have very mixed feelings--it's a love-anger thing for him. Plus I have had a very rocky past eight months that included six hospitalizations and to this moment I could not tell you what the hell is in the back of it all. As if there is one single thing driving it all.

There are times that the situation proved so frustrating for everyone involved that I tended to go along with what everyone told me seemed to be wrong with me. I agree wholeheartedly with the use of alcohol. I am a recovering alcoholic. However, I now have borderline traits tagged onto my original diagnosis--and the funny thing is: this pdoc never knew me when I was well and functioning...and there were times when I have been well.

Now it seems I am mired in this therapy mental health stuff and it is like quicksand. Going to therapy reminds me of everything awful that transpired these past eight months--all my faults, everything I grieve about, and worse: everything I put my husband and children through with being gone in the hospital, esp. worrying my husband.
It has taken a toll on my relationship with my husband. I feel I can no longer talk with him about what is going on with me inside because not only is stupid and mental but because I feel he needs to be spared from it. As a consequence, I feel myself growing apart from him. That saddens me greatly.

Things are not good at all for me right now. I get along better when I just forget all this and act day to day like nothing is wrong. I feel extremely ashamed of myself on top of it. My pdoc told me I make myself sick. That's a fine way to talk to a patient. To me that's saying, there's nothing wrong with you; you make it all up and do it to yourself. You are one sick fu--.

Sorry to be so down here. It helps to share. I hope someone can cheer me up.

 

Feeling better for a second*** Speaker

Posted by Karen_kay on January 8, 2004, at 21:44:58

In reply to Why is it so difficult at times?, posted by Speaker on January 8, 2004, at 17:02:07

OK, my vote is YES!!! Therapy does help! You say that you never cry right? So, now if you feel that you want to cry, isn't that a positive sign? I know that it hurts (trust me hun, I know it does.....), but sad emotions show improvement!! And with the pain comes the JOY! AND that is WONDERFUL!!! I really understand that it hurts, I really do and I am so very sorry but remember that with that soon comes the good stuff that you've been waiting for. The reason that you started therapy, the reason that all of this *junk* and turmoil makes it worth it!!! I'm the same way. I don't cry, but recently I've began crying. I don't cry about the things I should but it's a start. I've been dx PTSD and have blunted emotions so I know that soon I'll be able to feel joy as well and that makes me happy to think about :)

I honestly sympathize with you, and I am sorry. I wish we could be there to hand deliver you chocolate and warm your feet and brush your hair for you. But know that we are here, in our own way. And know that this is a positive sign. That this means that you are feeling things, though they aren't good. Hang in there, the good stuff is coming hun!!!

 

Why is it so difficult helenlag

Posted by antigua on January 9, 2004, at 8:22:45

In reply to Re: speaker, why is it so difficult Speaker, posted by helenag on January 8, 2004, at 21:22:40

I can relate about your husband. I find that it's much easier to keep things from my husband because he worries so much and I feel badly about what I've put him and to some extent our children through. I do feel us growing apart and that makes me very sad. He has been my best friend since we were teenagers. He has issues of his own that my own problems bring up so I get a double whammy when I feel myself slipping away and I feel guilty and ashamed.

I have found, however, that I can open up to him after I've worked something out. If I go to him w/just "I'm feeling bad" he always wants to fix it and of course he can't so he gets frustrated. If I've already worked it out it gives him some satisfaction in knowing that I'm o.k. for today. One of my counselors told me that I should be opening up and sharing things w/him but I swear, when I try he just doesn't seem to understand and we end up in a fight. Mostly over me being quiet and not wanting to talk, or pulling away from him because I need some space. Sometimes I really feel like I can't win. Right now I just figure I have to put myself first so that in the long run I will be better for him.

Hang in there, I know how you feel.
antigua

 

Re: Why is it so difficult helenlag antigua

Posted by justyourlaugh on January 9, 2004, at 9:26:53

In reply to Why is it so difficult helenlag, posted by antigua on January 9, 2004, at 8:22:45

i have been trying to be honest with him, telling him what i need from him..and he wont do it.
he said that he was not responsible for my feelings,,i just asked him if he loved me?
i tried to hold his hand one night and he called me "needy"
i know that he loves me and we will be alright and grow old together...i have to find a way of reaching him..mabe he needs some mind altering medication!
i descided (thanks to everyone who gave me support here)to "work" on myself first..and if that works out mabe ill throw my marriage a bone..
love yourself and others will follow
j

 

Re: Because life is difficult DaisyM

Posted by Poet on January 9, 2004, at 10:03:32

In reply to Because life is difficult, posted by DaisyM on January 8, 2004, at 20:01:08

I'm in. A want a lounge chair under a palm tree on the beach. And several margaritas.

Poet

 

Re: Why is it so difficult helenlag justyourlaugh

Posted by naiad on January 9, 2004, at 13:04:54

In reply to Re: Why is it so difficult helenlag antigua, posted by justyourlaugh on January 9, 2004, at 9:26:53

JYL,

I have been working on myself in therapy for the last nine months and have decided that I can simultaneously work on my marriage. I'm reading "Getting the Love You Want" which has a fascinating premsie. The author, Harville Handrix, writes about why couples are initially attracted to one another (to fix the damage inflicted by their primary caretakers)and how they can use that information to have a conscious marriage. It may sound simplistic but I'm getting a lot out of it. I have high hopes that this will improve my life.

Your husband saying that you are needy because you wanted to hold hands is a red flag that something is amiss...sorry to say.

Take care.

 

Re: Because life is difficult Poet

Posted by DaisyM on January 9, 2004, at 14:32:45

In reply to Re: Because life is difficult DaisyM, posted by Poet on January 9, 2004, at 10:03:32

Ok fine, take the shade. I want whisky-sours, btw.
And a cabana boy...

 

Re: Feeling better for a second*** Karen_kay

Posted by Speaker on January 9, 2004, at 15:01:08

In reply to Feeling better for a second*** Speaker, posted by Karen_kay on January 8, 2004, at 21:44:58

Karen,

I agree today!!! The light has dawned once again. I went to my session today and it was the first time I wanted to go...the T said that was a good thing. I had been in bed basically since the last session. I took my mother...85, and her friend...91, out for lunch before my session and that tends to get life into perspective :). They are so cute and so appreciative that I would take them out to lunch. Its the little things in life! Thanks for the encouragement and hanging in there with me.

 

Feeling Better

Posted by Speaker on January 9, 2004, at 15:07:28

In reply to Why is it so difficult at times?, posted by Speaker on January 8, 2004, at 17:02:07

Thanks to each of you that were encouraging in my difficult times. Today I went to therapy and the sun is shining a bit brighter. Life is hard...but life is good. I wish you each a wonderful weekend.

 

Re: antigua, why is it so difficult antigua

Posted by helenag on January 9, 2004, at 15:51:13

In reply to Why is it so difficult helenlag, posted by antigua on January 9, 2004, at 8:22:45

> I can relate about your husband. I find that it's much easier to keep things from my husband because he worries so much and I feel badly about what I've put him and to some extent our children through. I do feel us growing apart and that makes me very sad. He has been my best friend since we were teenagers. He has issues of his own that my own problems bring up so I get a double whammy when I feel myself slipping away and I feel guilty and ashamed.


>
> I have found, however, that I can open up to him after I've worked something out. If I go to him w/just "I'm feeling bad" he always wants to fix it and of course he can't so he gets frustrated. If I've already worked it out it gives him some satisfaction in knowing that I'm o.k. for today. One of my counselors told me that I should be opening up and sharing things w/him but I swear, when I try he just doesn't seem to understand and we end up in a fight. Mostly over me being quiet and not wanting to talk, or pulling away from him because I need some space. Sometimes I really feel like I can't win. Right now I just figure I have to put myself first so that in the long run I will be better for him.
>
> Hang in there, I know how you feel.
> antigua

Thank you for the post. I went for an extra session with my therapist today and it was very helpful. It got me thinking alot. Four years ago, I went to treatment for alcoholism and that is when the troubles with my husband began. You see, he is a mental health professional and was just mortified that I was a patient where he worked. Whenever he came to see me, I would get so upset that I literally vomited. He was cold, distant, and very angry. Why couldn't I have been in outpatient treatment, he demanded to know. His worst nightmare came true: his wife was now an inpatient where he worked. (I had been hospitalized some years before for depression but that was when he was in school.)

He has since then, I guess, resigned himself to accepting the support that comes from coworkers. He must have had to. I was in the mental health unit six times from April to December. Some of the things my husband said to me were very frightening: that the future is uncertain (meaning our future???) that I seem hopeless and will I keep ending up in the hospital, and then between times when I am doing okay, he starts in on how I am underemployed, how our social status is under what his coworkers is, he wants a bigger house, wants this, wants that, we don't seem to want the same things....

Hence, it's pretty simple to see why I don't communicate emotionally with him much anymore. Losing him this way has taken a toll on me and I wonder if it is behind a lot of the depression and anxiety that I have felt over the past several months. I have made connections with other folks and try to meet my needs there, but my saddness lingers over my husband. Does he even recognize what is going on, I wonder??

My therapist suggests that time bears out a lot of things and to wait this out a little while.

Meanwhile, I feel as though I am living with someone I used to be very close to, still deeply love, but...am moving away from.

I guess mental illness is harder on our families aand spouses than we ever imagined.
Peace.

 

Re: helenlag, why is it so difficult

Posted by antigua on January 9, 2004, at 19:43:28

In reply to Re: antigua, why is it so difficult antigua, posted by helenag on January 9, 2004, at 15:51:13

I'm so sorry that things are so unsettling. We have more in common than I originally thought. My "bigger" problems w/my husband started about six months ago when I stopped drinking. I had to because it was starting to really get in the way of my life. I was under heavy pressure from therapy and my only (or at least I thought) release was to drink. Well, as you know that doesn't work, at least not forever. I made the decision to quit and did an outpatient program. But quitting was only the beginning. W/no artificial defenses left, I had to start facing all the emotional turmoil that I was stuffing down. My husband couldn't handle it. I had had bouts of depression before over the years, but nothing like this. (It seems to get worse everytime, even if the episodes are years apart.) So now I'm trying to deal w/all of my issues on my own--or at least w/o the help of my husband. He hates my father w/a passion and since my father is the source of my agony, I feel very alone in my quest for wellness.

My husband is embarrassed by what happened to me as a young girl. I told him I told one of my very good friends about being abused and he was horrified--horrified that this friend would pity him for what he has to go through. Sometimes he jokes that it's all about him, but in my heart I think he really believes that. As if my troubles are an embarrassment to him.

Furthermore, like you, when I am better (as I do believe I am now), he is on my case about working, and how I'm not contributing enough to the family income, etc., etc. I'm standing my ground on this one. I have to be well to work and he will just have to wait. He has always tried to manipulate me to make me feel guilty (or at least I've always viewed it that way; I know I could be projecting), but I do believe I'm doing the right thing.

It may be the right thing but it is hurting our relationship. On our last anniversary, when we were discussing the durability of our long-standing relationship he actually said to me that if he was going to leave me, he would have left me already. He couldn't understand why I was so crushed by that remark. I've always thought he would never leave me.

Finally, I do know that as I get better and more assertive he does feel threatened. I can't help that, I can just try to be sensitive to his needs.

Enough said. This man is my soul mate but if at some point this no longer works out, I believe it will be my decision and not his. I just have to believe that.

good luck,
antigua

 

Re: antigua, why is it so difficult antigua

Posted by helenag on January 9, 2004, at 22:28:37

In reply to Re: helenlag, why is it so difficult, posted by antigua on January 9, 2004, at 19:43:28

We have even more in common...my husband dislikes my father with a great passion as well! As well, my father has been a source of turmoil for me. I am fortunate in that I have done much much work in therapy over the years and am relatively at peace with those issues now.

Dealing with the emotional stuff that the booze helped quell is hard work. Not for the faint hearted, that's for sure. I have been unable to stay sober for any great length of time, in spite of AA, a great sponsor,etc. A friend told me something that has helped, however. He told me to do what makes me happy. Drinking does not make me happy. I end up kicking myself every time.

Back to husbands...I am uncertain as to what direction to take. Guess time will tell. It's my best guess that my husband has no idea how I feel. He's probably very glad that I avoid talking about myself to him--he's spared, whew!!!. As long as I am appearing well and functional and have no signs of mental or emotional struggle, life is good for him. In a way, it's like a huge denial that I have to play along with and it has developed into a situation where I no longer share much of my inner self with him anymore.

Thank you so much for writing about this. You have no idea how much help it was to me to know that I am not alone in struggling with a situation like this. Let me know how things are going. helen.

 

Re: why is it so difficult helenag

Posted by antigua on January 10, 2004, at 8:44:36

In reply to Re: antigua, why is it so difficult antigua, posted by helenag on January 9, 2004, at 22:28:37

I'm very envious of you and your ability to get beyond the issues w/your father. I've been working on this in therapy for more than 12 years and sometimes it seems like I will never be through it. My strength is my greatest weakness. I built up such a strong defense and denial system to survive as a child that I can't break throught it as an adult. I can intellectualize it, of course, but that doesn't make me feel it.

I hope you feel really proud of yourself for coming through this so well.
antigua

 

Re:topamax and alcohol antigua

Posted by helenag on January 10, 2004, at 13:37:20

In reply to Re: why is it so difficult helenag, posted by antigua on January 10, 2004, at 8:44:36

Perhaps the issues I had with my father were not as serious or traumatic as yours? My father was very verbally abusive and punitive. I never endured any physical abuse.

It took about twenty years to work through all of it. And I still can have things come up now and again, especially because he lives nearby and he is still, even as he gets older, unstable in mood. It's funny how my children, as they grew up, came to see that there was something not "normal" about grandpa. That was very validating for me, somehow.

I read somewhere recently about a pyschiatrist who worked with senior citizens. Some of the seniors were still upset with their parents--parents who had been in their graves for over fifty years.

I have no road map as to how things came to this place for me in regards to my father. There was a lot of suffering involved, that much is true. I was on the outs with him for a time--and I think that may have been a turning point. It hurt him badly. That's when I think I realized that, the man is limited. I always said to myself, this is supposed to be my father! I could never bring myself to sit on his lap or do the daddy-daughter thing. That was never an option for me, never was something for me that I saw my girlfriends do. Never. It wasn't safe. I couldn't trust him not to turn nasty any second.

I stopped wishing he would be different. I took what he could give me, which, when he is okay, is okay, I guess. I know he loves me in the way he can love me. I know he tries, and he does have mental illness, just like me.

Peace, Helen


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