Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 661678

Shown: posts 1 to 19 of 19. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Holding my breath ...

Posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 18:59:54

That's what it feels like when my T goes on vacation. I told her that today. She reassured me in her usual ways, and I nodded accordingly. But it still sucks.

Besides the usual, she did say this, "Every couple days you know you'll see me (normally), you rely on this. Now I'll be away. You'll be alone with all these feelings we are working on, and that feels familiar to you, being alone. Having no one to share your inner thoughts."

And I think she is right. That's the part that is so hurtful. I told her this feeling is not duplicated elsewhere in my life. My daughter is going away for 2 weeks and I don't feel this inner panic. When my husband goes away on business, I'm fine. And then I realized another difference, ACCESS. When I'm away, or my husband, I can call (and do) and talk to him everyday just to make sure he is still there.

It's complicated. A grown mature adult woman feeling a bit adrift when her T goes on vacation.

I told her that it seems like a waste of each other's time today and tomorrow's sesion. I'm just holding my breath until I say "good-bye". Holding my breath with a lump in my throat and already anticipating the longer break in August.

 

Re: Holding my breath ...

Posted by sunnydays on June 26, 2006, at 19:20:10

In reply to Holding my breath ..., posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 18:59:54

(((annierose))) My T is on vacation right now too. I kind of wish I could have had the holding your breath sessions, as I know exactly what you mean, because my T told me at the last minute. Try to do something comforting for yourself while she is gone.

 

Re: Holding my breath ... » annierose

Posted by fallsfall on June 26, 2006, at 20:00:24

In reply to Holding my breath ..., posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 18:59:54

It is hard to tolerate their vacations. I try to see managing as a present I give to my therapist. Though sometimes it isn't much of a present...

Camp Comfort is up and running. I hear it is extra nice this year. Can I come and visit you there even though my therapist is not on vacation? What would you like to do?

 

Re: Holding my breath ... annierose

Posted by Dinah on June 26, 2006, at 20:59:01

In reply to Holding my breath ..., posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 18:59:54

I can come and visit as well, if I might.

Can we have a pizza party and gossip about our therapists?

 

Re: Holding my breath ...

Posted by llrrrpp on June 26, 2006, at 21:05:04

In reply to Re: Holding my breath ... annierose, posted by Dinah on June 26, 2006, at 20:59:01

I'm leaving my T to go on vacation. I might have to miss the entire month of July. oh boy. And I'll be on the road, so I won't have psycho-babble much either. I'll check in every moon phase or so. One campground we'll be staying at has wireless internet. go figure!

I don't know if I have allowed myself to "miss" my T, the 2 times I had to miss my session. BUT, I certainly was more unstable. bonkers. loco. etc. A mess. I saw him again, and he was able to pull me out of my funk. That was pretty cool. But being in the funk for two weeks was most unpleasant...

hope you do better annierose. don't have much good advice, only generic pats on the back. and hugs, if you like that? (((annierose)))

-ll
will you guys do arts and crafts at Camp Comfort? toast marshmallows? sounds nice.

 

Re: Holding my breath ... sunnydays

Posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 22:12:07

In reply to Re: Holding my breath ..., posted by sunnydays on June 26, 2006, at 19:20:10

I did read your post re: the last minute vacation. That would bother me too. I hope that isn't his normal pattern. My T gives me at least a month notice under most circumstances.

We can go to Camp Comfort together.

 

Re: Holding my breath ... fallsfall

Posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 22:15:54

In reply to Re: Holding my breath ... » annierose, posted by fallsfall on June 26, 2006, at 20:00:24

Of course you can come visit.

I just can't get over how strange it is to feel this way. Did you understand or relate when I said to her, "It's a feeling not duplicated elsewhere in my life."

I decided to go to yoga on my therapy days. I need to check out if there is a similar class time that would work with my work/baby-sitter schedule.

 

Re: Holding my breath ... Dinah

Posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 22:18:57

In reply to Re: Holding my breath ... annierose, posted by Dinah on June 26, 2006, at 20:59:01

Yes, let's! I love the idea of a pizza / pajama party. Hopefully that can come to be one day.

 

Re: Holding my breath ... llrrrpp

Posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 22:22:32

In reply to Re: Holding my breath ..., posted by llrrrpp on June 26, 2006, at 21:05:04

Enjoy your camping trip. I hope the weather will be good for you. In my part of the woods, rain is in the forecast all week.

When I was younger and in therapy, I told myself I never missed her when she went on vacation. Now I do miss her. But it always goes better than I think.

Have fun!!

 

Re: Holding my breath ... » annierose

Posted by fallsfall on June 27, 2006, at 7:24:27

In reply to Re: Holding my breath ... ? llrrrpp, posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 22:22:32

>Did you understand or relate when I said to her, "It's a feeling not duplicated elsewhere in my life."

I think that when I miss my therapist is it like when I was a very little girl, and I had been put to bed and I would look out my window and into the window of the main part of the house. I could (barely) see the couch where my mother sat. I did this both when she was home and when she wasn't home. I think that the ache is the same. We talk about that window a lot in therapy. My parents just sold their house, and had marketing literature printed up, including a floorplan. I brought it into therapy so that he could see my house and how it was arranged. I was able to show him my window.

I think that the feeling is different for when the people currently in my life are away. In general, I take care of them. The fact that my therapist takes care of me (and it is not reciprocal) parallels only the parent/child relationship from when I was little. My parents are now becoming elderly, so even they don't take care of me like they have in the past.

But certainly, missing my children is different.

 

Re: Holding my breath ... annierose

Posted by TherapyGirl on June 27, 2006, at 17:36:20

In reply to Holding my breath ..., posted by annierose on June 26, 2006, at 18:59:54

I hear ya' and I'm right there with you. My T just got back from vacation last week and we all know how well that session turned out. So we are in a bumpy little area of therapy right now.

I'm thinking about you and hoping the week goes quickly.

 

Re: Deep Inhale fallsfall

Posted by annierose on June 27, 2006, at 19:14:57

In reply to Re: Holding my breath ... » annierose, posted by fallsfall on June 27, 2006, at 7:24:27

I guess the difference for me is that my mother never had time for me, or made the time. My T tries to point out that is wasn't "my fault" but she is just an emotionally unavailable woman. And I assumed that she made time for my siblings, but she probably didn't, it just seemed like she was there for them. From your description, it sounds like you had a loving and caring mother.

Anyways, I'm breathing now. We had our last session for 2 weeks and it did go okay. It was a little rough in the beginning. I was so angry. She said, "I think your description 'Holding my Breath' is just the title ... knowing you, you have pages and pages of feelings and ideas that you want to share but you have anxiety telling me all that you are thinking." I smiled because it's hard to say more. I even said, "How can an adult have such child-like feelings?". She patiently explained why I felt this way and that it was okay and natural .... AND ... who cares if no one else understands it, do you really need their reassurance? "Your friends on the internet, they understand, don't they?"

Yes, and I'm so happy for that. Thank you.

 

Re: Deep Inhale » annierose

Posted by fallsfall on June 27, 2006, at 20:19:15

In reply to Re: Deep Inhale ? fallsfall, posted by annierose on June 27, 2006, at 19:14:57

My mother... She was always there. She was a housewife who made sure that dinner was ready every night. She did the cooking and cleaning and shopping and drove us kids around. She was the Girl Scout Leader, a choir mother, etc. etc. etc. She was really good at DOING things.

But she is emotionally unavailable. She just doesn't get emotions. When I looked out the window I was longing for a connection that didn't exist. At least if I could see her, I could feel the physical connection - and that was all there was.

I'm still looking for the connection/comfort. I get it sometimes from my therapist.

I'm sorry that your mother was emotionally unavailable. Was your dad around for you?

 

Re: Deep Inhale fallsfall

Posted by annierose on June 27, 2006, at 22:58:39

In reply to Re: Deep Inhale » annierose, posted by fallsfall on June 27, 2006, at 20:19:15

Yes, we do get that connection we are longing for from our T's. That is ONE of the reasons their absences are so painful --- something that was available to us every week at our special time has gone away.

I can just picture your house with that window and you looking through it wishing your mom would notice, not just "you" but all of you. Sometimes I worry I'm that mom. Doing stuff and not just being with them. I work hard at it and am not always successful. It took my T more than a few weeks of understanding how lacking I am in the "mom" department. I have zero frame of reference for how a mother talks to a child when they are hurt, sad, disappointed, happy, jealous. I don't know what to say. Now my T helps give me some dialogues --- very helpful, especially with my daughter.

My dad? Well, I think he meant well. But he worked every single day of his life --- 7 days a week. (He took off only Christmas day and complained every Christmas, "I should be working") Came home to a messy house, unhappy wife and 5 dsyfunctional children. What can you say? After dinner, my mom went to bed, my dad read us stories, played games and put us to bed. But he was angry most of the time. He did everything. I do believe he truly loves my mom, just doesn't understand emotions.

What was your dad like? Was he more available?

 

Re: Deep Inhale » annierose

Posted by fallsfall on June 28, 2006, at 7:31:46

In reply to Re: Deep Inhale ? fallsfall, posted by annierose on June 27, 2006, at 19:14:57

My dad... He started a company (that eventually employed 6,000 or 9,000 ?? people) when I was in 6th grade.

He is a geek. With no social skills. He would come home always at the same time - he didn't stay late at work. 10 minutes later my mother put dinner on the table. We watched the news while we ate dinner. Then he sat in his chair and read his technical journals or took work out of his briefcase. You didn't make too much noise or disturb him. On weekends, when I was little he did some things around the house (yard work or building something with big scary power tools), and then took a nap in the afternoon when we had to be quiet. I couldn't ask him if I could go play with a friend, he had no idea. One day my mother was upset and crying in the bathroom. He had to feed his 3 small daughters lunch. He heated soup up on the stove. I was amazed. I didn't know he knew how to cook.

He is a deeply emotional man who rarely pokes his head out of science/mathematics/computers long enough to face the emotions.

He is now retired and very depressed. Without his work he has no identity.

I love him very much.

 

Re: Deep Inhale fallsfall

Posted by annierose on June 28, 2006, at 8:05:19

In reply to Re: Deep Inhale » annierose, posted by fallsfall on June 28, 2006, at 7:31:46

I'm going to work now but here's just my initial thought ...

Should we wonder why our therapist are so important to us, this intense emotional relationship that focuses just on us, just for us?

At my house we were supposed to be quiet when my mom was "resting". Unfortunately, that was during most waking hours, unless of course, she mustered the energy to go shopping, her only hobby.

And I tip-toed around my dad as well. I didn't want to draw any attention to myself. But I know he meant well, loved/loves me, just doesn't know how to express it or show it. Once he was driving me home from work, I was probably a freshman in college and he said, "You know, I don't think we've ever had a conversation, just you and me. Why can't we talk to one another?" My insides were screaming, "After 18 years, you finally noticed I existed?". I of course said nothing.

 

Re: Deep Inhale annierose

Posted by littleone on June 28, 2006, at 21:09:32

In reply to Re: Deep Inhale fallsfall, posted by annierose on June 27, 2006, at 22:58:39

> Yes, we do get that connection we are longing for from our T's. That is ONE of the reasons their absences are so painful --- something that was available to us every week at our special time has gone away.

But once again I think it's tied into the access point you raised earlier. I know that for me it was forbidden to have emotional needs met by my parents. It wasn't said outright that it was forbidden, but the negative responses I received back from them gradually made it an unspoken forbidden. I am forbidden to approach them. I am forbidden to ask them for help, etc.

Then when my T goes away I feel forbidden from asking for those things from him.

Do you feel that way?

> I have zero frame of reference for how a mother talks to a child when they are hurt, sad, disappointed, happy, jealous. I don't know what to say. Now my T helps give me some dialogues --- very helpful, especially with my daughter.

Yeah. I don't have kids, but I try to talk to myself like this and it just doesn't work at all. I can even tell that I'm saying the wrong things to myself, but for the life of me I have no idea what the right words are. It's just a totally foreign language when you've never been taught it as a kid.

You say it's been helpful with your daughter. Does it feel real when you say the right stuff to her, or does it feel fake and put on? Maybe it only feels fake for me because I get so cut off from my feelings. I'd really like to hear how you've found it to be.

 

Re: Deep Inhale littleone

Posted by annierose on June 28, 2006, at 21:24:16

In reply to Re: Deep Inhale annierose, posted by littleone on June 28, 2006, at 21:09:32

>>>Then when my T goes away I feel forbidden from asking for those things from him.

I don't think I feel like it is forbidden, I just know I don't have access. For me it feels more than she is on a deserted island, unreachable. I'm really okay with that intellectually. I'm glad she is taking care of herself and spending her time as she wishes.

Regarding my daughter, yes, that has been so rewarding. I smile when my T is dead on right. More times than not, it's just the right thing to say, or the right line of questioning to explore. My daughter shares a lot of teenage angst with me and sometimes all I can do is listen --- which is a good start, and sometimes all she wants.

Self-talking would be more difficult. I'm getting feedback from another person who has a completely different perspective than me - i.e. she doesn't think that nobody likes her.

When your therapist goes on vacation, do you want access? What has he offered you in the past? I never asked but I know she leaves a name of another therapist on her machine in case one of her clients is having an emergency.

Do you feel you are still cut off from your feelings? Is therapy helping your access to them?

 

Re: Deep Inhale (sorry this turned out so long) annierose

Posted by littleone on July 2, 2006, at 21:51:56

In reply to Re: Deep Inhale littleone, posted by annierose on June 28, 2006, at 21:24:16

> >>>Then when my T goes away I feel forbidden from asking for those things from him.
>
> I don't think I feel like it is forbidden, I just know I don't have access. For me it feels more than she is on a deserted island, unreachable. I'm really okay with that intellectually. I'm glad she is taking care of herself and spending her time as she wishes.

I hear a real big but there in that last bit.

I don't think I explained myself very well last time. I guess I'm asking if she feels inaccessable (and I mean this in an inside feeling way, not a logical in your head way) because a) she's just not there to access (either in a physical sense with your T, or in an emotional sense with your parent) and it's totally out of your control. Or b) she's not there to access, but if you were just smart enough or strong enough or nice enough or pretty enough or whatever enough, you'd be able to get to her. Then it feels like it's in your control a bit because you can try and be smarter/stronger/nicer/whatever.

Actually, I still don't think I'm asking what I want to ask, but that's the best I can do for now.

> Self-talking would be more difficult. I'm getting feedback from another person who has a completely different perspective than me - i.e. she doesn't think that nobody likes her.

I got confused with this bit. Are you saying that you believe nobody likes you? And getting feedback from your T is good because she doesn't believe that? But getting feedback from yourself is not so good because it comes from the nobody likes me perspective?

> When your therapist goes on vacation, do you want access?

***YES*** I don't know how to make it bolder/louder than that. I want access, but I don't get it in any real sort of sense. But then I also never really ask for it outright. I kind of ask around it because I never want to ask for anything. So if I asked for a phone call or something, I'm not sure what he'd say.

> What has he offered you in the past? I never asked but I know she leaves a name of another therapist on her machine in case one of her clients is having an emergency.

Last time I was thinking about seeing someone else while he's away. But one of my defenses is to run away. And if I build even a small relationship with another T while he's gone, it will make it way to easy to run away from him next time I get the urge. So we used other strategies to cope.

Last time he went away he stocked up our hanky with "himness" so there was lots of him in it before he left. And his wife ironed it so I had her creases (I know that sounds kooky, but it's because I wish he was my dad and she was my mum). He wrote me the 4 page wonderful letter which I read so many times it's practically memorised. And I have some photos of him. So all those things kind of gave me access to a remembered him (I have a lot of trouble holding on to him eg when he went away it was like he ceased to exist and never had existed).

I also got physical access to his waiting room, so I would go in and sit there for an hour or two. Which wasn't as nice as seeing him, but it was good because the waiting room is kind of a comforting safe place for me. Sometimes it is a bad place, but normally safe.

I had other coping strategies, but they were the main access kind of ones.

> Do you feel you are still cut off from your feelings? Is therapy helping your access to them?

I read on another forum recently that the first step is to know that you have feelings, then you need to learn to feel your feelings and then you can learn to express them in increasingly appropriate ways.

I think I am at the stage where I can tell if I am feeling something, but I can't always tell what it is that I'm feeling or why. And I still have a lot of trouble where my feelings cut off if there's too much to handle. It is getting better, but it still happens a lot.

And yes therapy does help with this. Without therapy I'd be back where I've always been.

Also, I've noticed that when I sit on the floor, I feel the session a lot more and am connected to my T a lot more. Whereas if I'm feeling older and sit in my chair, then I'm more cut off and afterwards it feels like I didn't even have a session.

When I first started writing for therapy, everything was written as "I think ...". Now most of it is "I feel ....". There's been a big change there. But still a long way to go.


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