Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 451102

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Your Self littleone

Posted by Shortelise on February 2, 2005, at 15:18:07

In reply to My dad, posted by littleone on February 1, 2005, at 15:11:29

You could grow, learn to understand things about yourself, and where those things came from. I believe it's only when we are comfortable in our understanding of ourselves that we can start trying to understand others.

I see it sort of like trying to look through very dirty glass - it needs to be clean for me to see clearly. The crap on the glass is my crap, and once I get a few places cleared up, maybe I can see more clearly what is out there.

I think it's **unfair** to ask ourselves to have insight into the people who screwed us up until we've got ourselves in a better place.

You are doing really hard work right now so please be good to yourself. Be nice to You.

Hugs
ShortE

 

Re: My dad (csa trigger) daisym

Posted by littleone on February 3, 2005, at 21:26:07

In reply to Re: My dad littleone, posted by daisym on February 2, 2005, at 1:29:37

> I think you have more than two choices. You just can't see them yet.

I'm sure you must be right. Often I'll take a problem to my T with my two solutions and he'll suggest a few more possible choices. And I'll think, wow, he's clever. Then I'll have another problem and will be certain there's only two answers to it and sure enough, he'll find some more. And for each problem, I'll think "but this one's different, there ARE only two choices".

> For me, I've split my dad into two people. Who he was before I was 15 and who he is now.

I must admit that I'm often confused as to how you are so sure that your own kids are safe with him. Like maybe something happened in his life to change him. I guess I always think that if he realised what he did was bad and felt remorse, then he would have apologised to you. But it sounds like that hasn't happened. I'm sorry, it just confuses me. You don't have to reply to that bit.

I'm really glad you can find good things in your dad. Do you enjoy spending time with him or is it something you tolerate for the sake of your kids?

> I also don't know (yet) what role I played in allowing everything to happen, how needy was I that this got played out over and over again?

Aw daisy, I think it's important to understand this so that you can ensure it doesn't play out in future relationships. But I hope you understand that you were an innocent victim. Even if someone dances naked in front of their dad, it is up to the dad to not act on that. To simply ask the kid to put their clothes back on and then try and understand what is causing the kid to act out in this way.

As a kid you have needs, and your dad is there to fill those needs IN A HEALTHY & APPROPRIATE MANNER. He was filling *his* needs, not yours. Your needs were for love, not sex.

Sorry to hammer this at you. Especially if you're a bit unstable at the moment. I just think it's a really important point to understand. And believe.

 

Re: Your Self Shortelise

Posted by littleone on February 3, 2005, at 22:01:11

In reply to Your Self littleone, posted by Shortelise on February 2, 2005, at 15:18:07

> You could grow, learn to understand things about yourself, and where those things came from. I believe it's only when we are comfortable in our understanding of ourselves that we can start trying to understand others.

I guess I'm kind of working on self and others at the same time. Like I have a problem with A and it shows up in my life as B and I can see that this is because C happened when I was younger and that my parents acted the way they did because of D. Kind of fitting it all together as I go along.

> I think it's **unfair** to ask ourselves to have insight into the people who screwed us up until we've got ourselves in a better place.

I think I would find it too overwhelming to uncover and understand my childhood without understanding why my parents acted like they did. Without understanding my parents' whys, I think I would hurl into a dark and ugly pit of blame and anger and hurt and cling to a victim mentality.

But then, the other side of the coin is that I am thinking instead of feeling. I was *too* successful in cutting off my feelings when I was younger. It's kind of funny in a way how there are people here immersed in their feelings and I bet some of them would love to cut those feelings off and do the work in their head instead. Therapy is so hard.

> You are doing really hard work right now so please be good to yourself. Be nice to You.

You mean this gets easier!?! ;)

 

Re: My dad (csa trigger) littleone

Posted by daisym on February 4, 2005, at 0:39:36

In reply to Re: My dad (csa trigger) daisym, posted by littleone on February 3, 2005, at 21:26:07

You ask really good questions. I never left my kids alone with my dad until they were much older and I have all boys. I only recently found out about my baby sister, so I thought it was just me for a very long time. And while I always knew about the touching, etc., most of the really awful stuff came back into memory over the last year or so. Especially how it all cycled around.

I'm trying hard to understand it all. Intellectually I *know* it is never the child's fault. But inside, I'm so ashamed and I question all the time "why didn't I tell?" We've spent whole sessions on this and again, intellectually, I can give you the list of why kids don't tell. It is hard for me to forgive myself though...I even upset my therapist around this. I was so upset at one point about "participating" that he sort of got in my face and said, "your parents put their shame into you...him for what he was doing and her for what she wasn't. If you step outside your feelings for a minute, you KNOW this isn't your fault." And while I really wanted to believe him, most of me fell apart because now HE was mad at me too...

We worked it out. He said he was totally feeling protective and angry at my parents, not me. But it is so complicated, all these feelings. I agree with you, about trying to understand their motive. Otherwise the only conclusion I arrive at is that I was somehow bad, and not worth saving.

I wish it wasn't so hard for you. There are answers, you will find them.

 

Re: My dad (csa trigger), Daisy

Posted by sunny10 on February 4, 2005, at 9:13:05

In reply to Re: My dad (csa trigger) littleone, posted by daisym on February 4, 2005, at 0:39:36

daisy, honey?

It is hard enough for most men I know to say they are sorry that they forgot to pick up the milk on the way home, much less that they acted in a morally inexcusable way. Your dad IS a different person than he was back then, but you'd be the luckiest survivor in the history of man if you got him to admit he acted shamefully with you and your sister. I hope that you realize how lucky you are that you know about your younger sister; that is a HUGE validation that a lot of survivors do not have. And are you as hard on your little sis as you are on you? Was it somehow her fault, too? I really don't think so.

And your mom? IF she did know the whole time and did nothing, then I can guarantee she was afraid of him. And you are STILL allowed to be mad at her. She was supposed to be your first and foremost protector. Unfortunately, she was human.

Only your T and you can figure out whether you need to forgive them or not. But without question, you need to forgive little daisy. She didn't tell because she was terrified by all that "life" had shown her so far. Try to be her mother, get angry on her behalf. Maybe write a letter to her telling her what you would have done to save her if you had been there as an adult at the time. Try to give yourself permission to save her now, because she's still living in that hell, even though the outsides have matured.

I have done this. I continue to do this from time to time. It helps me. I hope that it helps you. If it doesn't, try other ways.

And, yes, in my opinion, therapy does get easier- but not without doing the hard stuff... I did it "easy" for YEARS.... But when I started putting my emotions down to the grindstone and actually did the work, it seemed to get much easier as I went along. (hmmm, partly bcause I didn't fight it as much? Boy, you've really got me thinking....)

((((Daisy)))))))

 

Re: My dad (csa trigger), Daisy sunny10

Posted by Daisym on February 4, 2005, at 11:31:33

In reply to Re: My dad (csa trigger), Daisy, posted by sunny10 on February 4, 2005, at 9:13:05

I have a million questions --

But what I really want to know is exactly what does "doing the hard work" mean? I've read the books, I've researched therapy protocols a ton, but I still don't know what is "normal" for this process. (Of course you don't have to share if you don't want to...)

I struggle with telling the stories over and over and over again. Some part of me wants to keep dragging them up and out but then I get really scared about overwhelming my therapist with sadness and negativity. So I move away from the past stuff and we try to deal with the present stuff. But the effects of living with a really angry person (my husband/about his illness) are setting up what feels like a re-enactment of some sort -- so I'm in these old fear feelings all the time. And I go back to telling the stories. And I'm so easily triggered right now, even by my therapist's questions. I just float away. Urg!

I want to know how long people keep telling their stories -- it has been over a year for me -- and I want to know if other people find themselves at the extrememes of "save me/don't leave me" and "I should pull back and give you space" with their therapists. I'm driving myself crazy with all of this. No one I know IRL has the attachment issues I do in therapy. I guess that is why I hang out here so much.

 

Re: My dad (csa trigger), Daisy

Posted by antigua on February 4, 2005, at 21:22:47

In reply to Re: My dad (csa trigger), Daisy sunny10, posted by Daisym on February 4, 2005, at 11:31:33

I think we keep telling the stories until we can move through them, process them and let them go. I'm stil looking for somany pieces so there are still a lot of blank memories.

You keep vascillating between what happened early and perhaps you are faced with abandoment issues w/both your father and husband. You may be coming to huge melding of all this so it may be hard to sort it out all out. Maybe that's why you feel you bounce around so much. You will find a balance, but you will be constantly pulled in all directions so that you make little steps w/each when maybe you want to solve one issue completely and move on the next one/

I could be totally off base.
antigua

 

ReEnacting and Cycling -- Big Trigger antigua

Posted by Daisym on February 5, 2005, at 19:55:47

In reply to Re: My dad (csa trigger), Daisy, posted by antigua on February 4, 2005, at 21:22:47

>>>>You keep vascillating between what happened early and perhaps you are faced with abandoment issues w/both your father and husband. You may be coming to huge melding of all this so it may be hard to sort it out all out. Maybe that's why you feel you bounce around so much. You will find a balance, but you will be constantly pulled in all directions so that you make little steps w/each when maybe you want to solve one issue completely and move on the next one/

<<<<I think you are totally on base, actually. I would like to completely solve the abandonment issue but another looms large in my future. Isn't death the ultimate abandonment?

What is so much harder are the emotional similarities -- especially the angry explosions and then the contrition, which usually results in "make up" sex. When I was a kid, there was anger, hitting and then the "I'm sorry, I love you" part of the cycle, which often resulted in csa. I'm still vague about the cycle, it didn't start that way. But it seemed like, from my memories, if there was physical proximity with my dad and he was in that space of being sorry or feeling loving towards me, sex of some kind happened. This is amazingly hard to understand.

So I'm triggered all over the place with my husband. I'm trying to seperate them, but in this moment, with all the flashbacks, it is really hard. My younger parts get so upset and sort of limit my ability to respond in an adult-like manner.

My therapist keeps telling me that even though my husband is sick, it is not OK that he has these angry outbursts and then expects me to be completely understanding and physically close. Especially with my background. But I can't tolerate the tension and I NEED to make it all better as quickly as possible. And I freeze up during sex, so saying, "no" is impossible. And then I'm furious with myself because no where else (NO WHERE ELSE!) do I allow myself to be treated like this. I make so many excuses for him, but they are wearing thin these days. I feel like a bad person for not being more understanding, but I think there is only so much emotional abuse that can be excused.

In therapy, we talk over and over about re-enacting, especially during this phase of getting the memories back. My therapist helps me understand what is happening and why I feel so frozen and we practice responses, which helps, but I can't change the situation -- not yet anyway. I get upset when it feels like he has expectations for change quicker than I can get there, but I think this is a projection of my own frustration and expectations.

I often wonder how many other women who experienced csa find themselves in weirdly similiar situations and experience that really old guilt of being responsible for it all somehow.

 

Sorry, I think I hijacked your thread (nm) littleone

Posted by Daisym on February 5, 2005, at 19:56:33

In reply to My dad, posted by littleone on February 1, 2005, at 15:11:29

 

Re: Childhood protection daisym

Posted by littleone on February 6, 2005, at 21:02:44

In reply to Re: My dad (csa trigger) littleone, posted by daisym on February 4, 2005, at 0:39:36

Thank you for sharing daisy. For some reason, I kept getting real upset over the fact that you'd let your kids be with him. I kind of sensed that you'd be very protective of your kids and wouldn't let them be in a dangerous situation, but it was upsetting me anyway. I'm sure it is something to do with my own issues, eg no one protecting me as a kid. Thanks for putting my mind at rest.

> your parents put their shame into you...him for what he was doing and her for what she wasn't.

This is expressed so clearly and makes so much sense. Your struggles and conflicts come through so strongly in your posts. I honestly don't know how you're doing it. It amazes me that you can work on something so much and so often. I get antsy over the smallest thing and jump around from one subject to the next to the next. Sometimes I'm sure I leave my T (and probably other babblers) dizzy trying to follow my therapy roadmap.

> Otherwise the only conclusion I arrive at is that I was somehow bad, and not worth saving.

I don't understand why no one helped me when I was younger. At the very minimum anyone can tell I am extremely shy. At best you can see that I'm really screwed up. I don't understand why no one has ever suggested therapy before. Ever. Why no teacher or school guidence councellor or a family friend or relative has ever tried to help me. To even talk to me, connect with me. Hurts so much. Couldn't they even see a smidgeon of something worthwhile in me? Couldn't they see a sweet little kid underneath the shell?

 

Doing a runner

Posted by littleone on February 6, 2005, at 21:19:26

In reply to My dad, posted by littleone on February 1, 2005, at 15:11:29

I've been so messed up since my last session. My T read through the hate list about my dad and then tried to convince me to tell my dad all my hates. Of course, they would have to be reworded into I statements instead, but still. This is the very last thing I want to do. In fact never never never. Nuh uh. No way.

And it wasn't just a suggestion, it was a real hard shove. In fact a few real hard shoves. Then he went through the whole "what would you lose if you did it" and really hammered me over that. He thinks I have nothing to lose 'cause I basically don't have a relationship with my dad at the moment anyway. Nothing to lose, lots to gain.

And he didn't want me to tell my dad one or two hates, but rather the whole lot at once. Don't want to take a leaky tap approach.

And I can't believe this. It has me so insane. I've been having nightmares over and over and over and I'm just crazy over the whole thing.

And I know I'm supposed to stick with my T, but I didn't like his shoves and I don't like this and I can't do this. So I've looked around heaps and I've found a potential new T. But she's a lady and I don't get on with women. But she's much cheaper than my current T and she's in a more convenient location and she does inner child work. Don't want any more REBT or CBT thrown at me.

Don't know how to get around that stupid promise thing I signed. I've got sessions booked up to the end of Feb. I could cancel the last few weeks and just ride out a few sessions with him then disappear. He won't notice. I'm good at being invisible. But I don't want to go back. Never ever.

 

Re: Childhood protection littleone

Posted by daisym on February 6, 2005, at 22:04:26

In reply to Re: Childhood protection daisym, posted by littleone on February 6, 2005, at 21:02:44

((((LittleOne)))

I've said everything you wrote down. How could no one see? I was painfully shy, completely parentified and I even had an illness that could only have come from ONE thing...*sigh* I guess people only want to see what they need to see. It is really hard to understand all of it.

One really important moment for me in therapy was when little daisy come out really, really strongly and asked my therapist if he would have noticed and if he would have "told." It was one of those moments -- the room narrowed and it was just him and her. He said "yes, I would have told." She responded, "so many people would have gotten in trouble...then what?" He said, "We pick up the pieces." It was a defining moment.

I hope you can find this with your therapist, or you can find one who can meet this need for you. It takes courage to begin to talk about it. And I think it takes frequency of contact. I don't think I could get it open and keep it open if I was only able to talk about it one time per week. And I really believe that you must be working with someone who knows how to draw you out, help you hold stuff and gives you explicit permission to reexperience it all.

It isn't easy. Babble helps a lot. I hope you keep sharing.

 

Re: Doing a runner littleone

Posted by antigua on February 7, 2005, at 9:44:34

In reply to Doing a runner, posted by littleone on February 6, 2005, at 21:19:26

My father is dead so I can never tell him my "hate" list, but I don't if I would have anyway.

With all due respect, please don't let your T tell you what to do about dealing with your father. You have to decide if you want to confront him, at your own pace and willingness, because you have to deal w/the consequences. At this point, I have not plan to confront my mother because I haven't worked my way through all the possible ramifications for me, her, or my children. So please be careful, for your own sake
best,
antigua

 

Re: Doing a runner

Posted by gardenergirl on February 7, 2005, at 10:06:12

In reply to Re: Doing a runner littleone, posted by antigua on February 7, 2005, at 9:44:34

From the literature I've seen, there is no consensus as to whether confronting is therapeutic or not. The way I use that information is to leave it as an individual choice for each client. I support whichever decision they make and help them to think through it if they are undecided.

Just my 2 cents.

Take care,
gg

 

Re: Doing a runner littleone

Posted by Dinah on February 7, 2005, at 14:11:40

In reply to Doing a runner, posted by littleone on February 6, 2005, at 21:19:26

How does he think doing this would help? He may think you have nothing to lose, but how would it help?

Do you have relationships with other people in your family that have relationships with your father? If so, there may be some collateral damage.

 

Losing my Protector

Posted by littleone on February 7, 2005, at 15:26:21

In reply to Doing a runner, posted by littleone on February 6, 2005, at 21:19:26

Sorry about yesterday. I was pretty panicked and upset.

The funny thing is that I posted those two posts straight after each other without even realising how connected they are. On my way home yesterday, I realised that by confronting my dad, I'd be losing my protector (my T) because it's him throwing me to the lion. I felt much better when this dawned on me.

I have no need to run now.

I probably painted my T in a really bad way in my last post. I can't really remember my session now to know if his shoves were as hard as I said they were. I am pretty sensitive, so they may have felt a lot harder than what they were. I think he switched to cards just after that talk, so he probably knew it was time to stop pushing. I don't know, I can't remember.

I know he would never force me to confront my dad. He'd leave the decision up to me and accept it either way. But I can tell he really thinks it would be helpful.

I've been pretty cut off from my dad for the last couple of years. So all those bad points I wrote out were of how I knew him up til then. Back in November, I called my dad to say I was skipping Christmas and he was like a different person. He was so caring and thoughtful and concerned for me. He answered some questions I had about when I was really little. He was really willing to talk and open up.

But it kind of scared the socks off me because it was so unlike him. He's never been like that before. My T thinks that maybe my dad is ready to think about why his marriage broke up and his family cut him off and whatnot.

And it's kind of hard to argue against a maybe like that when I haven't really dealt with my dad in so long.

One thing's for sure. I'll be taking teensy tiny ant steps around this.

 

Re: littleone daisym

Posted by sunny10 on February 8, 2005, at 11:15:25

In reply to Losing my Protector, posted by littleone on February 7, 2005, at 15:26:21

My father had a heart attack over the weekend. He is 79 yrs old, so the prognosis is not good.

The rest of my "family"- if you can call it that- is all for keeping him alive for as long as possible via modern medicine. I firmly believe in quality of life vs quality of life; so you can see, I am conflicting with my family even on this.

I am horribly conflicted. Part of me wants to get things off of my chest before he dies because I know that when he dies I will no longer even have a choice. But I also know that he is sick and weak. And I don't believe in kicking someone when they're down.

And part of me wants to ask him what HE wants (he had had blood in his stools and, according to the doctors, two prior heart attacks that he never told anyone about); it just doesn't sound to me like he wanted modern medicine to help him. The other part of me is furious at me for even CARING what he wants.

Most of all, I wish that I had gotten through all of my anger with my dad before all of this happened, because I cannot sleep. I am so conflicted that I am just a mess.

Maybe this is why littleone's T is suggesting that she get it all out in the open. Maybe if you(littleone) can get past it now, you won't be thoroughly smashed up inside while he is dying later in life like I am.

Just my 2 cents,
Sunny10

 

I'm sorry about your dad sunny10

Posted by Dinah on February 8, 2005, at 11:34:34

In reply to Re: littleone daisym, posted by sunny10 on February 8, 2005, at 11:15:25

I don't think there's anything you can do or not do that makes this time any easier. The fact is that they're out mothers and fathers and nature has hardwired us for certain feelings toward them, certain expectations that lead to pain and confusion when they aren't met.

When my dad strongly suspected he was dying, he started apologizing when he saw that he was hurting me. But it was a here and now sort of thing. I kept my conversations with him as positive as they could possibly be, and I'm really glad I did.

 

Re: littleone daisym sunny10

Posted by Susan47 on February 8, 2005, at 12:56:29

In reply to Re: littleone daisym, posted by sunny10 on February 8, 2005, at 11:15:25

I hope your conflictedness subsides somewhat, enough at least to make a decision over what to do, Sunny. I'm so sorry it's happening like this for you.

 

I'm sorry about your father Sunny10

Posted by antigua on February 8, 2005, at 14:50:01

In reply to Re: littleone daisym, posted by sunny10 on February 8, 2005, at 11:15:25

Try to do whatever you think you need to do. Regrets are hard later.
antigua

 

Re: I'm sorry about your father Sunny10

Posted by sunny10 on February 8, 2005, at 16:29:24

In reply to I'm sorry about your father Sunny10, posted by antigua on February 8, 2005, at 14:50:01

it's all hard NOW ! I have no idea what to do at all about any of it...

 

Re: I'm sorry about your father Sunny10

Posted by sunny10 on February 8, 2005, at 16:30:20

In reply to I'm sorry about your father Sunny10, posted by antigua on February 8, 2005, at 14:50:01

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

(Sorry, littleone- didn't mean to deflect from your problem)

 

Talking to your dad sunny10

Posted by littleone on February 8, 2005, at 20:45:36

In reply to Re: littleone daisym, posted by sunny10 on February 8, 2005, at 11:15:25

Sorry to hear about your dad. I have no idea what you should do. That can only come from you. But I did think of some things you should think about.

The decision to confront or not needs to be thought out carefully in regards to how you would feel about it, what you hope to gain, what sort of reactions (or lack of reactions) might occur, how you would feel about each of those reactions, if you are hoping for a certain outcome, how you would handle it if that outcome didn't occur, etc...

I realise that it seems that time is against you. Plus there's probably added factors here, eg medication affecting him, his reaction being more based on the fact of his near death rather than on what you are saying, etc.

But it's possible that without considering what each reaction would mean to you, you could be faced with a reaction from him that has a terrible effect on you and hinders your progress. I've read that it is still possible to "confront" even after the parent has passed away, eg by writing letters, etc. Obviously you won't get an apology/whatever from the person, but you may not get that while they're alive anyway.

I don't think I'll say this very well, but I think you need to make sure you're doing it in a way that it is the act of telling that is healing, and that your healing isn't dependant on something from the other person, eg an apology.

Hope that made sense.

 

Re: I'm sorry about your dad

Posted by daisym on February 8, 2005, at 21:54:45

In reply to I'm sorry about your dad sunny10, posted by Dinah on February 8, 2005, at 11:34:34

I'm sorry about your dad. Not an easy time.

I've thought about this too, getting that call before I've worked through all of this. I think we can only do what we are able, and have to follow our gut. You can't help it if you still love him, even if you think you shouldn't. You can't help him if you don't, even if you think you should.

Be kind to yourself and to him, if you can. This will go a long way to reduce your regrets.
Keep us posted.

 

((((littleone and sunny10)))) (nm) daisym

Posted by gardenergirl on February 9, 2005, at 11:04:02

In reply to Re: I'm sorry about your dad, posted by daisym on February 8, 2005, at 21:54:45


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