Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 537257

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no talking about past?? maybe

Posted by sleepygirl on August 3, 2005, at 21:49:25

Hello there,
So I went to therapy and now I'm bummed. I'm a bit more stable lately as far as my mood and anxiety goes, so feeling ambitious, I thought it'd be a good time to talk about why I never talk about so many periods of my life. It just seems like sometimes...so much of it really sucked. So I'm trying to talk about my adolescence, one of the more painful periods of my life. But, it seems I can't really explain it to my therapist, and I'm not really sure he wants to hear it. I sometimes feel like I'm a pain in the *ss dredging up the past and all. But all the time, when I hear people talk about when they were this or that age, I cringe, I feel sad because it brings up the feelings I had at that age, and how badly I felt about myself. I'm so ashamed of myself I can barely stand it. I think maybe it has to do with my horrible lack of self esteem. So maybe I should keep talking about it, but somehow it feels unimportant. I just don't know, and I can't read my therapist's vibes. So do I just forget it? I might need to borrow a little perspective here.
Thanks,
sleepy

 

Re: no talking about past?? maybe sleepygirl

Posted by gardenergirl on August 3, 2005, at 22:14:22

In reply to no talking about past?? maybe, posted by sleepygirl on August 3, 2005, at 21:49:25

> So I'm trying to talk about my adolescence, one of the more painful periods of my life. But, it seems I can't really explain it to my therapist, and I'm not really sure he wants to hear it.

You mentioned that you cannot pick up on vibes from your T about this. So it's possible that your T is not the kind who finds it valuable to talk about the past, or this could be a projection (not a bad word!) on your part that has to do with your self-esteem, maybe. Either way, you know the saying...ask about it! It's definitely grist for the mill.

> I sometimes feel like I'm a pain in the *ss dredging up the past and all.

I have had this feeling before, too. Like I'm a big whiner, and I should just "get over it." But my T never validates that feeling. He reminds me that my childhood did have really painful aspects, and this pain is still with me. I fall into the trap of saying to myself, "It wasn't THAT bad. Why am I so upset?" But he reminds me that isn't the point. The point is how it affected me, which just is. It's not something to labelled or judged. It just is. (sigh, see how I'm working on this?)

Keep working in therapy. If you and your T have a good working relationship, you'll get through this and grow. That's my perspective, but I'm on a bit of a therapy "high" right now.

(((sleepygirl)))

gg

 

Pretty much seconding GG

Posted by Racer on August 4, 2005, at 16:30:56

In reply to Re: no talking about past?? maybe sleepygirl, posted by gardenergirl on August 3, 2005, at 22:14:22

> > So I'm trying to talk about my adolescence, one of the more painful periods of my life. But, it seems I can't really explain it to my therapist, and I'm not really sure he wants to hear it.
>
>
I don't know that it really matters so much whether he wants to hear it or not, and I am not sure how much it matters that you actually do talk about your adolescence -- a part of my life I would love not to have lived through, personally -- but I do think it matters a LOT that you discuss your inability to talk about it... Make sense? The inability to talk about that period of your life is in the here and now, no matter where the period itself might be located in time.

My session yesterday was all about shame, so that's on my mind today. (A shameful day, by the way, for many reasons...) Is it shame that keeps you from talking about your adolescence? I know it's shame in my case -- even though, as an adult, I can see that the shame is mostly misplaced.

(And, if you want a smile, ask yourself what happened to all those people who were so happy and well-adjusted through high school? Seems as an adult, I never meet any of them -- maybe there's a re-education camp in New Mexico for them? ;-D)
>
> > I sometimes feel like I'm a pain in the *ss dredging up the past and all.
>
> I have had this feeling before, too. Like I'm a big whiner, and I should just "get over it." But my T never validates that feeling. He reminds me that my childhood did have really painful aspects, and this pain is still with me. I fall into the trap of saying to myself, "It wasn't THAT bad. Why am I so upset?"
>

Repeat after me:

THERE IS NO HEIRARCHY OF SUFFERING.

Period.

It doesn't matter so much what actually happened to any of us -- most of us suffered something, at some point. There's no one-up-manship to it. It happened, and -- good, bad, or indifferent -- it affected us. Some of those bad things that might have happened can end up having a good effect: that's the adversity that makes us stronger, through our striving to overcome it. Then there are the things that might have been good, had we had the support to put them into context. The lasting effects matter more than the events themselves.

So, get over that whole issue of "It wasn't *that* bad..." It was that bad if it felt that bad.

OK. Who kicked that soapbox out from under me?

I'm done now and will go sit quietly in the corner again...

 

Re: no talking about past?? maybe gardenergirl

Posted by sleepygirl on August 4, 2005, at 22:42:26

In reply to Re: no talking about past?? maybe sleepygirl, posted by gardenergirl on August 3, 2005, at 22:14:22

thanks gg,

I'm a bit low in the self esteem department, and I've been known to utilize projection before. I like the whole 'grist for the mill' concept, it makes me feel like I'm always working, ya know, no matter what, even when I'm confused, really confused....I'm feeling kind of low about the whole therapy thing, like it's a bit of a dead end, trying to hang on to hope (I don't know if that's good, bad or indifferent) Maybe this will pass, I'm kind of frustrated about a lot of things right now. But anyway gg, I'm glad you're doing well with therapy. I know you're in therapist training right now (I read a lot of posts) and I wish you all the best!! Take care, sleepy

 

Re: Pretty much seconding GG Racer

Posted by sleepygirl on August 4, 2005, at 22:52:37

In reply to Pretty much seconding GG, posted by Racer on August 4, 2005, at 16:30:56

Hi Racer,
I kind of enjoy you on your soap box. Who had the nerve to kick it out from under you?!! I like the whole 'here and now' thing. Yes, and it's a lot of shame. But I have trouble connecting to it, the where and the why and the how of it, and I simply don't remember too much except a lot of pain. Sometimes I feel like I've stumbled into the country called "not completely and totally objectionable" and I am just waiting for someone to ask me for my passport because I don't have one, and I am here illegally. If that makes no sense to you, then you are not alone. Thanks for the no hierarchy of pain talk, it helps not to feel like I have to justify myself. Well thank you Racer and take care. :-)
sleepy

 

Re: Pretty much seconding GG sleepygirl

Posted by Racer on August 4, 2005, at 23:23:38

In reply to Re: Pretty much seconding GG Racer, posted by sleepygirl on August 4, 2005, at 22:52:37

> Hi Racer,
> I kind of enjoy you on your soap box. Who had the nerve to kick it out from under you?!! I like the whole 'here and now' thing. Yes, and it's a lot of shame. But I have trouble connecting to it, the where and the why and the how of it, and I simply don't remember too much except a lot of pain. Sometimes I feel like I've stumbled into the country called "not completely and totally objectionable" and I am just waiting for someone to ask me for my passport because I don't have one, and I am here illegally. If that makes no sense to you, then you are not alone. Thanks for the no hierarchy of pain talk, it helps not to feel like I have to justify myself. Well thank you Racer and take care. :-)
> sleepy

Thanks for saying those nice things about me.

Listen, when I look back on my adolescence, all I can see at first is this big, miasmic, indistinct landscape. It hurts almost too much to remember specific incidents, and I am pretty much only aware of pain when I try to.

Guess what? I'm over 40, and I still have a hell of a time remembering incidents that occurred when I was 15??? I'm over 40 and I am still unbearably ashamed of something that happened in my teens? You can probably see the problem, right? :^P

The point is, though, that when you do look back, and you grit your teeth and open your inner eyes, and look at what really happened, at all the details you can remember -- guess what? If you can really look at it, with your eyes really open? Instead of that half-averted gaze that you're used to using for the exercise? You know what you're most likely to see? You'll see that you have no reason to be ashamed. You'll see the incident with set of new, adult eyes, and you'll be able to feel something else -- whether that's compassion for a child who didn't have a lot of protection, or anger towards an adult who failed that child, or just a sense of love and protection towards yourself for having experienced it, well, that I can't tell you. Just trust me -- if you look honestly, you will see it differently.

Best luck to you.

(And feel free to babblemail me if you want to whisper secrets about this sort of thing.)

 

Re: Pretty much seconding GG

Posted by sleepygirl on August 6, 2005, at 22:29:50

In reply to Re: Pretty much seconding GG sleepygirl, posted by Racer on August 4, 2005, at 23:23:38

geez...that was a wonderful perspective that I am sincerely lacking, it almost makes me cry, oh crap...it did
thanks :-)


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