Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 669755

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Re: He's leaving Ľ MidnightBlue

Posted by ElaineM on July 24, 2006, at 19:58:57

In reply to Re: He's leaving ****triggers**** Ľ ElaineM, posted by MidnightBlue on July 23, 2006, at 21:30:31

Midnight: I do live in a large city. I never read anything about my problem cause that just upsets me. And I don't want to get addicted to the internet, reading about all worst-case scenarios -- I'm afraid to work myself up into even more of a frenzy. I'm terrified I'll read that it's even more hopeless for me than it already feels. I don't know of any organizations. I don't have any coverage at all right now. I'm not even getting disability benefits yet. (I have an interview soon) I can't even afford to get additional repairs done on my teeth. I've always leaned on the university to cover alot (med, optical, physio, medical, and dental). Last year I maxed out the limit. But since I've graduated, I have nothing supporting me.

How do I reach out to others? I can't even reach out to doctors! My family won't listen to anything to do with emotional or physical problems. I'm afraid that another T, okay, I know another T would push me away. I feel like I need more help, not less. It's terrible for me to say, I know. I don't often think of working on the issues that I came to therapy with -- I don't think future oriented anymore. If it's coming, it's going to be a painful and bleak one.

I know I'm pathetic. I know my situation is wrong. But I can't do this alone. I just can't. I'm sorry. I know it's so annoying when people can't accept good advice. I'm sorry. I love reading your messages, I try and get into the mind-set where I'd consider how I could follow through, sometimes I think of what it would be like, often I end up reminising about my last T, or my Doc. But then I throw out a knee putting on a shoe, or I strain my back trying to get out of the shower, or I'm staring at the clock at 2:50am unable to sleep but exhausted, and all I care about is having someone to hold onto.

If I was stronger. If I had a string of good weeks. Maybe I could try looking again. But the last time, talking to that woman at the center, emptied me. I'm so tired. And too sad. Desperate.

Midnight, I wish I could give you more to work with. I do. It means ALOT that you would take the time to respond. You guys are really the only people I hear from. The only good thing I've started to do is email one of my old friends that lives far away. Sometimes she sends one back -- and that makes me smile for a minute or two. That's the best I've been able to do right now.

thanks, EL

 

bizarre meeting(s) [and llrrrpp]

Posted by ElaineM on July 24, 2006, at 21:02:22

In reply to Today, posted by ElaineM on July 24, 2006, at 8:15:08

[Good to hear from you LL. Thanks for thinking of me. You help.]

For the past couple of weeks he had been referring to me as [and I'm going to spell it very wrong on purpose, so it won't come up on search engines], his "Ladee of Sha-lought". I finally asked why he was saying that, and he said it was from a poem. I hadn't read it before so I asked him to give me a copy so I could learn it. He brought a printout of it and I took it home. When I read it, it was printed on the back of old paper. Like photocopies of documents. The poem was like four pages long, on the back of the cover letter of his divorce case, and some property documents. It had him and his ex's full names, birth dates, and multiple copies of their signatures. I know where she lives now, and her maiden name. I know how much his home is worth, the address of it (I already saw it though), where he banks, who his lawyer is, his phone number (which I already knew), her phone number. I don't understand what it means for him to give me these things. Do you think it was an accident? How am I supposed to react to this? I kinda feel a bit like a pervert, or voyeur, or something.

And then to top it off, I read the poem, and the woman sets in motion her own death, for wanting to be with another. Is that what he wants me to do? Have I interpreted the poem wrong. Why would he call me that? He used to call me his Eliza, and I could kind of get it, but this one isn't making sense. Is he trying to tell me that I'm going to end up killing myself?

We've also been talking about his ex, and he was telling me about how they met, and what it was about her that made him leave her. He has described me using similar words, in a letter he sent me 1.5 months ago. He probably forgot, but I haven't. I still have the letter. I think he wants to warn me about the parts of my behaviour that could push him to leave me too. I just don't know how to change. All I think about now is how to feel the least amount of pain as possible. I don't care so much that I'm indecisive, cold, ambivalent... I don't think I can fix myself. I'm going to upset him. TELL ME HOW TO CHANGE!!! I'm afraid my personality will come out when I see him to say goodbye and he will never come back to me too.

Today's session was really weird. When I came in, we talked for maybe five minutes about his vacation, and then he said that he thought we should do something different to relax. He asked me to read poetry to him. I felt pretty silly. I've never even volunteered to read during my lectures at school before. Some were victorian era stuff (which was fine) but then it was 20th cen. love poems. I asked him if I could turn away if I had to read them outloud (cause I was already nervous and embarrassed) and I knew I'd stutter if I saw him watching me. Sometimes when I'm anxious my vision blurs (or the letters don't make sense to me). He said okay. But then he came right up behind me on the couch, and read along over my shoulder. I felt so stupid. Nobody reads poetry to others.

Then after like 12 or so, he said that he had brought in some music. So we lay back on the couch (me propped up by a bunch of pillows) and listened to opera arias and chorales. We weren't touching though. But at the end he moved over beside me and put his arm around me (over my shoulder) and said, I'm so glad to be able to share this with you.

It was bizarre. Not romantic -- which was really good. Not comforting though. More like surreal. I think he wanted to calm me (which was kind), but I just felt confused about what I was supposed to do. But he seemed pleased. And he still wants to see me tomorrow, so I guess he enjoyed how the day went. I hope I don't screw things up tomorrow, cause I feel like he might definately come back now.

Sorry, I've jumped around here, and have asked alot of questions. I'm just confused (on top of everything else). I have a history of angering people and I want to learn how to not do that. I'm so nervous and sad for tomorrow. What should I say to him? He said he is going to have another surprise. I just hope I don't have to read anything else.

thanks for listening, EL

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s) [and llrrrpp] Ľ ElaineM

Posted by llrrrpp on July 24, 2006, at 21:27:12

In reply to bizarre meeting(s) [and llrrrpp], posted by ElaineM on July 24, 2006, at 21:02:22

Whoa,
This stuff T is doing is totally crossing the line. I think he is using you to fulfill some fantasy of his, and no wonder you're confused. You're not a fantasy, you're his client for god's sake! He's trying to change you all right. But not for the better. He's trying to change you into someone who will give him some kind of romantic satisfaction. This is very alarming ElaineM. I hope you can recognize that it is unprofessional.

I worry that that surreal feeling you describe is actually some kind of dissociation. Like how we kind of go into a little dream/trance when we are confused and traumatized.

Anyways, think long and hard about why you're in therapy. rewind your life to the time when you were referred to this guy. What was he supposed to be doing to help you improve your life and realize your dreams? What does it mean to you to feel better? What are your long term goals in life? To have a job, start a family, join the peace corps, travel abroad, retire early, reconnect with your parents, Move to the big city, start a horse farm [not necessarily in that order, *grin*]?

Anyways, his behavior is very alarming. I'm worried that he is making you feel weaker and less self-reliant all the time. This makes it easier for him to manipulate you. I don't want you to become his puppet. I think you are a wonderful person, and you deserve to fall in love with someone who can love you for who you are, and make you stronger with their love, not weaker and more uncertain.

I hope I haven't offended you; I'm concerned about you and I only want the best for you. I don't know anything about the T-client relationship. If you were dating this guy, and he *weren't* your T, I'd still say it was a distructive relationship.

take care,
ll
(p.s. your writing is great. Don't you dare deflect that compliment!!)

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s) [and llrrrpp] Ľ ElaineM

Posted by annierose on July 24, 2006, at 22:13:19

In reply to bizarre meeting(s) [and llrrrpp], posted by ElaineM on July 24, 2006, at 21:02:22

Elaine -

This isn't therapy. This is destructive. You shouldn't be worried about pleasing him, wondering if you said the right thing. This is so harmful to you. I wish you could see that.

You wrote:
>>>I'm afraid my personality will come out when I see him <<<

Therapy is supposed to be a safe place for you. Yes it is scary for most of us, but we should be comfortable with our therapist enough for them to see most parts of us.

I'm sorry you are so sad, lonely, confused and scared. As much as you think he loves you, he loves himself more. He needs help. I just wish you could see that.

 

Re:EL

Posted by LadyBug on July 25, 2006, at 1:23:24

In reply to He's leaving Ľ LadyBug, posted by ElaineM on July 24, 2006, at 16:35:58

My T offered to come and see me last Thurs morning, 3 days after my surgery. I told her no, I wasn't feeling up to it. I regret it now a little bit, but at the time I didn't think I had the strength to go to the door to let her in let alone get myself ready. She offered to come one day this week, but I'm not thinking I could manage to drive myself to her office. I had my house all nice and clean for her before my surgery, now with my family not takikng care of things the way I do, it's not how I like it. So I'm really having my doubts that I have things looking good enough for me to let her come and visit me. It would be a first. If I'm up to driving, she shouldn't have to come and see me. I am having a second surgery next week.
I'm sad after reading your post about your visit. I do think your T is messing with your mind. Who wouldn't want to be loved and taken care of. It's just such a scary thing for me to see how things are going. It's gone far beyond any kind of boundaries. You are still the patient, but what he's offering you isn't therapy for YOU. He's taking pleasure in it and I'm afraid he will hurt you in the end. I may be wrong. I know you are intellegent and I know you have to trust your gut. Do you pay for your sessions? I sure hope not. And if I were you, I'd stop seeing him as his patient right away. If he wants to see you *Outside* his office, then that's where it needs to go. Please don't do work with him anymore. Please take care of yourself. If you want to have a relationship with him and he does too, then go that way. No more patient/therapist, it's gone too far.
Hugs to you my brave friend. Do be careful.
LadyBug

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ ElaineM

Posted by Tamar on July 25, 2006, at 14:17:30

In reply to bizarre meeting(s) [and llrrrpp], posted by ElaineM on July 24, 2006, at 21:02:22

Hi Elaine,

Iíve been away from the boards for a while, but Iíve been thinking about you. Iím so sorry youíre going through such a hard time physically. I think I can understand why you donít want to think about it or read about it. I know exactly what you mean about making it real. On the other hand, might you feel in a bit more control if you knew more about your illness? I only ask because I became diabetic about four years ago and Iíve found that understanding it helps me to manage it better. And I can ask doctors for specific things that Iíve read about. But of course not all conditions are the same.

Iím still very worried about your therapistís behaviour. Therapists are supposed to limit the amount of personal information they give out about themselves, because clients might think they have to behave in a certain way to make sure the therapist still likes them. Thatís what seems to have happened with the thing he told you about why he left his wife, and your memory that heíd said something similar to you. No wonder you worry that he might abandon you. His disclosures about himself are playing on some of your deepest fears. No therapist should *ever* tell a client why he left his wife. There are no circumstances in which itís appropriate.

Iím also worried about the love poetry. My question is always: How is that therapy? I know you said that perhaps he wanted to help you to relax, but as a therapist he should be helping you to explore possible methods of relaxation. He should be saying, ďHave you tried reading poetry?Ē or ďHow do you feel when you sit quietly and listen to music?Ē But what he did was intrusive. Asking you to read love poetry doesnít sound like therapy; it sounds like seduction. But the purpose of your meetings with him is supposed to be therapy. If you need therapy and youíre not getting it from your therapist, then what will you do for therapy?

Sorry to be so negative about him. But I hate seeing you so hurt and fearful. And the thing that makes me terribly sad is: itís completely unnecessary. If he were a responsible therapist you would have appropriate support from him and you would be working through your difficulties. Instead, it sounds as if life is even harder than it needs to be Ė and when itís so hard in the first place, I feel you could do without the extra strain.

I know itíll be hard for you while heís on holiday. If you feel up to it, come and post here lots and lots. Itís always good to see your posts, and I hope you know we care about you.

Tamar

 

Re: bizarre meeting Ľ llrrrpp

Posted by ElaineM on July 25, 2006, at 18:56:31

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s) [and llrrrpp] Ľ ElaineM, posted by llrrrpp on July 24, 2006, at 21:27:12

Hi LL: I don't think that I was dissociating -- I do that sometimes. I call it "going into the wall" or "up into the light fixture". This time it felt more like sounds were getting fuzzy (if that makes sense), and slow. I just kept saying in my head over and over, "what do i do. what do i do...."
I've warned him before that I don't know how to act properly in social situations. I don't know how to interact and converse. My brain stops around others.

When I was referred to him, my time with my lady T was up, and she said she thought I really needed to learn how to be around men again. Especially after being in ED programs that were 99% female. I'd spend 6months at a time with only females. (Though to be honest, I have a history that lead me to fear men before the AN started) I full out told him at our first meeting that all I wanted was him to watch me for signs I'd hurt myself and hospitalize me if I was dangerous, and re-fill benzos if I decided to give them another try. We never spoke of life and dreams or goals -- he said it was fine to not have any of those things.

I've never really had longterm goals. Well, maybe one: I always wanted to be a mother. That's it. (Maybe a wife, though I could never imagine who would choose me) That hope died years ago. [Even when I was little, like 8, I never expected to live this long. I always wrote wills and left them beside my bed at night.] So when I look at my life now, I try to not complain more than I can help, because it feels as though I'm already living on borrowed time.

Nobody wants a crazy, unattractive invalid. They didn't think I'd be able to have children, even before the AN -- now they think it's even more unlikely. I've had to grow used to throwing away the idea of a future. It is too painful to think of -- it is better to kill the part of you that wishes. I'm sorry, I don't mean to squash your questions. That's just how I've come to think now.

I think it is true that I'm extrodinarily inept and weak. [I'll write about the mess that happened today, later. I start crying when i think of it] I don't know what I am going to do without him. I hope he doesn't die while away. I hope the part inside of him that thinks I'm good doesn't die. I hope he still wants to speak to me when he comes back. Though after today, I think I know how much he needs me.

Lurp, I'm not offend. Nothing you guys say ever offends me -- I know what's motivating your words. And even if it did, I wouldn't want anyone to apoligize for what they think. I'm used to hearing way worse, and you all have gentle typing voices :-)

EL

 

Annierose, LadyBug

Posted by ElaineM on July 25, 2006, at 19:29:00

In reply to Re:EL, posted by LadyBug on July 25, 2006, at 1:23:24

Annierose: I hear your concern, and it makes me think I'm less alone. But it is hard for me to think that he is destructive when my body is breaking me way more than he could. It is so hard -- pain dwarfs everything else.

I'm sure he loves me on some small level -- more than romantic. And I don't think he loves himself at all. Oh if you were only there to witness our meeting today. You'd feel so sorry for him. I think he may even hate himself. It breaks my heart to witness pain like that. I'd rather bare it on my body for him -- suffering through pain is my life, but I don't think he is used to it at all. Sorry, I realize it's hard to understand without being there. I hope you don't hate me for seeming so stubborn. I'm frozen, stone-like with all my problems right now. I don't want to turn you all away though.

LadyBug: Another surgery! My god, you must be so tired. Will that be the last one? - hopefully. I hope you will let your T come and see you. If she was so caring to offer, I'm sure she wouldn't even be judging your actual house. It sounds like it could be such a bonding thing for the two of you. She'd have a new little piece to help her know you more fully. Though maybe that would be too stressful for you right now. Don't do anything if you think it would make you too uncomfortable, but also don't be ashamed or embarrassed to let her show her support.

In my heart, I'm afraid that I will end up hurting him, rather than the other way around. And it's funny that you asked about paying for sessions. Two weeks ago he stopped charging entirely for my three times a week sessions.(never for occasional weekend ones) He said that it was a gesture of his friendship. And he already knows I can't afford my teeth. Or upgrading my degree at school -- that's why he offered to pay me to work, or lend me the money. The whole money aspect is a relatively new thing.

He does want to see me "outside". He already has a couple of times. He keeps pushing for more, because he says that it would be easier to act more natural "out in the real world". But I'm afraid to have others watch me walk. I was nervous in public before my health deteriorated. I just feel safer, in a way, being inside the office.

I wish a were braver. I always want to be stronger so the doctors will respect me more. But thank you for the complement. You are very brave yourself :-)

I will be thinking of you next week for sure.
EL

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ Tamar

Posted by ElaineM on July 25, 2006, at 20:05:04

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ ElaineM, posted by Tamar on July 25, 2006, at 14:17:30

Tamar, I'm glad to hear from you. I hope you're feeling a little better now. I think what my whole situation comes down to, is that he feels bad I have no love (or even like) in my life now. All there is is pain (which he, and all the other doctors, can't lessen). He said that I deserve someone to go through this with. And since there was no one else, he made it him. It's more like "friendship therapy" now. We don't talk about the past or patterns, or anything except how it get from one day to the next. How to get through a long night. How to not hurt myself when the pain medication is not bringing relief. My life has changed soooo much since I was with ladyT. I guess the way of doing therapy had to change too.

I do think the poem stuff is weird. I never considered the difference between suggesting I read, and reading to him. I suppose he figures that I'm so lonely and isolated at home, that I would like to share things with another person. I do sometimes get "romantic" vibes from him -- not often, and not very strong at all. I could even be making them up. Just an odd feeling. I don't want to ever have to sleep with him, and I'm not even sure if I could kiss him, but I feel like I need a bit of love, and I'll take it however it comes, from whomever it comes. I can't be choosy. I worry that another T will not love me -- though I know that that's not what T's are supposed to do. I just need to know that someone else's heart breaks when I'm in agony, or that they'd crumble in tears if I died. I'm afraid another T wouldn't be human enough. I don't want to suffer alone. Selfish -- I admit. But I can't help what I feel, and fear.

This holiday will be hard. I MISS MY DOCTOR SO BADLY! If only I could've stayed with her until after his vacation. Thanks for talking to me. Your posts have been comforts from the beginning.

EL

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s)

Posted by Emily Elizabeth on July 25, 2006, at 21:53:32

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ Tamar, posted by ElaineM on July 25, 2006, at 20:05:04

This is going to be blunt: your T is abusive. He is emotionally manipulative and sexually harassing you. If you doubt my assessment, ask any other mental health professional. It is very hard to recognize abuse when you are in the midst of it. Please get out of this relationship ASAP.

You need a T who will nurture you and help you--not gratify himself. You deserve it (even if you don't think so.).

Best,
EE

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ ElaineM

Posted by Tamar on July 26, 2006, at 3:18:34

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ Tamar, posted by ElaineM on July 25, 2006, at 20:05:04

Hi Elaine,

> He said that I deserve someone to go through this with.

I agree with him about that. You do deserve someone. You deserve lots of people. I just worry whether he can be what you need him to be.

> And since there was no one else, he made it him. It's more like "friendship therapy" now. We don't talk about the past or patterns, or anything except how it get from one day to the next. How to get through a long night. How to not hurt myself when the pain medication is not bringing relief. My life has changed soooo much since I was with ladyT. I guess the way of doing therapy had to change too.

I think thereís a lot to be said for addressing a crisis when youíre in one Ė and it does sound as if youíre in a crisis right now. And Iím not a therapist so I donít know exactly how therapists help patients through a crisis in the long term. But Iím pretty sure that some aspects of a present crisis can be found in the past. And maybe doing a bit of the kind of therapy you were doing with your female therapist might help you bring the crisis to an end. I would hope that he asks you how you dealt with various kinds of pain in the past: physical pain, emotional pain and so on. For example, it sounds to me as if your emotional pain manifests itself in your body. If thatís the case, your physical pain could be made much worse by the accompanying emotional pain. If your therapist were helping you to manage your emotional pain you might be able to manage your physical pain better. Also, it sounds to me as if you might have punished your body and made it somehow external to yourself. If your therapist were able to help you to think about your relationship with your body and how to love and care for it, perhaps you would be better able to handle the pain. But I donít see how your therapist can provide you with a safe space for talking about your body when heís overstepping the boundaries in such an overt way. And I think you need a therapist you can feel very, very safe with. You deserve that.

> I feel like I need a bit of love, and I'll take it however it comes, from whomever it comes. I can't be choosy.

This sounds very much like the words of someone with a history of abuse. People who have been abused often think theyíre unworthy of love from someone who will respect their boundaries. People who have been abused are often willing to put up with love that is mixed with danger, because they have learned that danger and pain are part of love; they donít expect anything better. And thatís true for all kinds of abuse: physical, emotional and sexual. Therapy should be helping you to find ways of valuing yourself and coming to believe that you deserve the love without the fear. The thing is, love that comes with fear isnít really love. Itís just more abuse. Real love doesnít ask you to do things that make you feel bad; real love is a gift rather than a contract. Someone who really loves you would respect your boundaries. You deserve real love.

> I just need to know that someone else's heart breaks when I'm in agony, or that they'd crumble in tears if I died.

I canít speak for others, but I would certainly crumble in tears if you died. Please donít die.

> I'm afraid another T wouldn't be human enough. I don't want to suffer alone. Selfish -- I admit. But I can't help what I feel, and fear.

I donít think itís selfish at all. Itís completely normal and acceptable. And I can see that he gives you something that you donít feel able to find elsewhere. But Ė and itís a big but Ė you are such a sweet and kind person, I find it impossible to imagine that youíd find it difficult to make friends or find a partner. Who wouldnít want to get to know you? I know we at Babble feel incredibly privileged to be getting to know you. Iím so glad you joined us. Youíre a real asset to the community.

> This holiday will be hard. I MISS MY DOCTOR SO BADLY! If only I could've stayed with her until after his vacation. Thanks for talking to me. Your posts have been comforts from the beginning.

I know. Itís very hard to miss people. But each day you get through is a day closer to seeing him again. Is there any way you can use this time to think about things you would like to do that are within the bounds of possibility for you? Something that would help you get through the day? Maybe getting involved in a charity or a campaigning group or something like that, where you can meet people who devote some time to caring about other people? I donít know what kinds of things youíre interested in, but youíre clearly a caring and intelligent person and you have a lot to offer. I donít know whatís possible for you when youíre in so much pain.

I hope things get easier for you soon.

Tamar


 

Re: bizarre meeting(s)

Posted by caraher on July 26, 2006, at 8:18:34

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ ElaineM, posted by Tamar on July 26, 2006, at 3:18:34


> > I just need to know that someone else's heart breaks when I'm in agony, or that they'd crumble in tears if I died.
>
> I canít speak for others, but I would certainly crumble in tears if you died. Please donít die.

Elaine, the thought of you dying is so sad to contemplate. I don't want to think about it. And reading about your suffering has brought tears to my eyes more than once.

> > I'm afraid another T wouldn't be human enough. I don't want to suffer alone. Selfish -- I admit. But I can't help what I feel, and fear.
>
> I donít think itís selfish at all. Itís completely normal and acceptable.

For some perspective on how normal this is, I've read a few books on psychological aspects of war recently and one of a soldier's greatest fears is not so much of dying as dying *alone*. I'm certain the same goes for suffering.

Elaine, you're not some hideous freak but a sensitive, honest and kind-hearted woman. You deserve far better than the hand you've been dealt. Know that you are lovable. Know that many people here value you and care about you very much. (((Elaine)))

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s)

Posted by mswgradstudent on July 26, 2006, at 15:06:12

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ Tamar, posted by ElaineM on July 25, 2006, at 20:05:04

Hi EL. First of all, the stuff you wrote about with your illnesses and giving up hope... it all resonates deeeeeeply within my own heart. I gave up marriage and a family before I was old enough to marry. I know my issues are too much for a man to handle.

That all being said, all I know about your therapy sessions is what you have shared and what I'm saying is based upon just that... Please promise us that if this therapist become inappropriate, that you will report it or at least transfer to a different place for services.

Therapists are people and they are human and there are times I've been inappropriately flirty with some of my clients. I didn't realize it until afterward b/c I don't think of them as clients... they are people. People have emotions and emotions get intertwined and mixed up.

STILL, it's the responsibility of your therapist, who is trained to look out for these thigns, to protect you from his own mixed up feelings!!!

It could be a misinterpretation of sorts and all accidental... or it could be that he is reacting to his divorce and out of line professionally concerning your treatment.

I know you care for him and I'm sure he's a wonderful therapist but please know that absolutely NO responsible therapist would jeopardize their client by trying to have a relationship outside of client/therapist. Even friendships aren't encouraged b/c you lose the ability to see things clearly ... or at least minimally clearly.. .when you are too invested in someone else's life...

Again, I'm so sorry about the pain. I feel it too. I'm hiding right now b/c I owe about 700 dollars that I can't pay to my roommate and my landlord. I haven't even eaten but I'm terrified to leave my room. I could work but every joint I have burns like fire... It's just too much for me and I'm overwhelmed and it sucks. I know what you mean about the nowhere to turn...

take care, be safe, and protect yourself girl!!!

stay strong

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s)

Posted by mswgradstudent on July 26, 2006, at 15:09:05

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ ElaineM, posted by Tamar on July 26, 2006, at 3:18:34

T-- this is an awesome post. You are so supportive. The boards are lucky to have you as well.

 

I may have mislead you Ľ Emily Elizabeth

Posted by ElaineM on July 26, 2006, at 16:03:49

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s), posted by Emily Elizabeth on July 25, 2006, at 21:53:32

Emily: Thanks for your advice. I don't think I know you, so it's nice to meet someone new. I know this might sound stubborn but, I don't think he's abusive. I think he's wounded. He needs someone as much as I do. If I feel trapped into performing, then it's my own fault for being too pliable and spineless.

I tried once to speak to another ladyT but it didn't turn out well. It is too hard. I am too desperate.

I hope I haven't mislead you, but he's never sexually harassed me. I haven't yet slept with him, or even kissed him. We just touch now. And not unclothed or anything like that.

It's nice that you think I deserve better, but this is all I'm being offered now, and probably ever will be, so I just don't think I'm strong enough to give it up, hoping of something closer to ideal.

Sometimes I wonder what would've happened if that other woman kept me. But I also worry that I would've been sitting in agony with a stone-T, having my tears bounce off her uneffected. At least my T validates my medical condition. And sometimes it helps a little to know that my suffering has not gone unnoticed. That I endured so long. Took as little drugs as possible. I'm worried I'd be stuck with a T who was no more involved and animated than a big fat psychology textbook.

I don't know. I'm sorry.
EL

 

Re: He's leaving ****triggers**** Ľ ElaineM

Posted by Dinah on July 26, 2006, at 16:10:39

In reply to He's leaving ****triggers****, posted by ElaineM on July 23, 2006, at 16:29:16

I haven't written much, although I really do wish I could help somehow.

I guess that although you've written many things about your therapist that have distressed people, and distress me as well in terms of therapeutic behavior, it also sounds as if he meets some of your needs in a way that a therapist who stuck to the rules might not.

I'm not condoning his behavior, but I guess I'm getting the sense that this is a very complicated relationship and he's acting as more than a therapist. Or perhaps just that I don't have a sense of the full nature of your relationship.

He's no longer charging you?

I can certainly see the benefit to getting a "real" therapist to act as a therapist with you, even if you find this relationship helpful in other ways. When lines are blurred to a really large degree, I'm not sure therapy as therapy can take place.

I can feel my therapist starting to act like a therapist now in ways that highlight that he wasn't acting precisely therapist-like before. And I find him soooo helpful as a therapist. Therapy is a valuable and unique relationship.

But I must confess that I'm not sure what it would take for him to do before I'd totally cut off ties with him. I'm not known for my low self esteem, but I think I'd forgive him anything, and I mean anything, to keep a relationship of some sort.

But I hope I would also seek out a truly therapeutic relationship even as I held on to a nontherapeutic one with him.

If that makes sense?

 

past/present Ľ Tamar

Posted by ElaineM on July 26, 2006, at 16:42:26

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ ElaineM, posted by Tamar on July 26, 2006, at 3:18:34

>>>>> But Iím pretty sure that some aspects of a present crisis can be found in the past.

Tamar: It's true that all my other issues stem from the past. Some more recent than others. We have talked a little (while I was healthy) about some of the past. It took a long time to get to that point -- there was alot of nothingness before then. But once I became ill (symptoms started manifesting last Nov/Dec) all my progress (if that's what it was) evaporated. My life had finally started to expand after coping with some family deaths, I had the anorexia under controll, and I even talked to someone in one of my classes. I was starting to live again, and then out of nowhere this happened. ANd within a month or so, my body started to collapse and it took the small life I had with it. I was okay before. Not great. Not even good. But I was functioning at the highest level I'd been at for years.

But quickly all that became important was how to move through each moment, each day, every action (How do I get up the stairs I used to run two at a time a few months ago? How do I shop when I don't have the strength to carry stuff?) I barely made it through school. The disability services and my TAs/profs helped so much. They felt so bad that I had worked back so hard from losing so much time to the AN, only to have it all slip away at the end.
I can't focus on living anymore, only existing. That's hard enough.

>>>>For example, it sounds to me as if your emotional pain manifests itself in your body....Also, it sounds to me as if you might have punished your body and made it somehow external to yourself.

Oh Tamar, that part is so hard to hear. I know how you were saying it -- that emotional trauma can exacerbate existing physical problems -- but I've had versions of that thrown at me by some horribly insensitive, pompous doctors. That I am "too young" to be ill. I've shed so many tears having my situation be invalidated. I would do anything to not be living with this. I would be stronger. I could focus more on the mental stuff. Infact, I have an entirely new perspective on life now. What is important. What is not. I could see myself becoming a different person -- a better one, a more alive one. All that matters is physical health. If only I had my body back. I have to stop wishing for it, cause it's not coming, but I want another chance. I want time to rewind. I want to bypass the eating disorder. I want to know everything I know now, then. I'm just not going to get that chance.

>>>> People who have been abused are often willing to put up with love that is mixed with danger, because they have learned that danger and pain are part of love.

This is embarrassingly true. I don't like talking about it though. But for me, I think I like violence. Sometimes being hurt feels like a hug to me. Better than a hug. I think that's part of the reason why I find it so disturbing to be touched gently. Maybe I'm a masochist. (oh god, I'm so humiliated saying all that. i'm a crazy, disgusting, perverted mess.) ....I was going to say more but it's too hard right now.

>>>> I find it impossible to imagine that youíd find it difficult to make friends or find a partner.

I don't really speak to people in person. Once I got sick with the ED, anything remotely social disappeared -- I was too medically unstable, too zombie-like. Now, I can't act, or talk, or relate, or even think like others my age. I'm a 12yr old child in an aging, breaking container. I can't get around well. Most days, it's too tiring to leave the house. It is hard enough getting to my sessions -- it drains me dry.

(((Tamar))), you are so caring. Your posts are so thoughtful and involved. I am trying to think of something I can do. I'm trying, but it's so hard. I'll let you know if I manage to do something nice.

take care of yourself too, EL


 

Re: past/present Ľ ElaineM

Posted by Tamar on July 26, 2006, at 18:29:37

In reply to past/present Ľ Tamar, posted by ElaineM on July 26, 2006, at 16:42:26

Hi Elaine,

> Tamar: It's true that all my other issues stem from the past. Some more recent than others. We have talked a little (while I was healthy) about some of the past. It took a long time to get to that point -- there was alot of nothingness before then. But once I became ill (symptoms started manifesting last Nov/Dec) all my progress (if that's what it was) evaporated. My life had finally started to expand after coping with some family deaths, I had the anorexia under controll, and I even talked to someone in one of my classes. I was starting to live again, and then out of nowhere this happened. ANd within a month or so, my body started to collapse and it took the small life I had with it. I was okay before. Not great. Not even good. But I was functioning at the highest level I'd been at for years.

Thatís so very sad. Really appalling. Illness is a terrible thing, and I think people who are entirely healthy just donít understand how hard it is just to make it through stuff other people think is Ďnormalí Ė like coping with stairs, as you said. Iím glad your profs were supportive.

> >>>>For example, it sounds to me as if your emotional pain manifests itself in your body....Also, it sounds to me as if you might have punished your body and made it somehow external to yourself.
>
> Oh Tamar, that part is so hard to hear. I know how you were saying it -- that emotional trauma can exacerbate existing physical problems

Sorry sorry sorry. I really didnít mean to make it hard for you. And I absolutely did not mean to invalidate your illness. Iím really sorry that what I said resonated in an invalidating way.

I agree that emotional trauma can exacerbate existing physical problems, but I was thinking about something else as well. Iím not sure if I know how to explain it. So maybe it would be better if I ask a question (which you donít have to answer, of course): do you sometimes feel as if your body doesnít really belong to you? Or maybe that your self and your body are two separate entities? I guess Iím only asking because what youíve said sounds like stuff Iíve felt, but of course your experience is your own, and itís unique.

> -- but I've had versions of that thrown at me by some horribly insensitive, pompous doctors. That I am "too young" to be ill.

B*stards. What does Ďtoo young to be illí mean? Even babies can get seriously ill. Even fetuses can get ill. What a ridiculous thing to say. Too young to be ill? I hope you told those doctors they were too insensitive to be allowed out in public!

> I've shed so many tears having my situation be invalidated. I would do anything to not be living with this. I would be stronger. I could focus more on the mental stuff. Infact, I have an entirely new perspective on life now. What is important. What is not. I could see myself becoming a different person -- a better one, a more alive one. All that matters is physical health. If only I had my body back. I have to stop wishing for it, cause it's not coming, but I want another chance. I want time to rewind. I want to bypass the eating disorder. I want to know everything I know now, then. I'm just not going to get that chance.

Itís hard to stop wishing for it. Accepting a serious illness isnít something you can do overnight. Is your condition one that goes into remission from time to time? Is that something to hope for?

> >>>> People who have been abused are often willing to put up with love that is mixed with danger, because they have learned that danger and pain are part of love.
>
> This is embarrassingly true. I don't like talking about it though. But for me, I think I like violence. Sometimes being hurt feels like a hug to me. Better than a hug. I think that's part of the reason why I find it so disturbing to be touched gently. Maybe I'm a masochist. (oh god, I'm so humiliated saying all that. i'm a crazy, disgusting, perverted mess.) ....I was going to say more but it's too hard right now.

Well, if you have learned that violence goes together with getting your needs met, then of course you might think you like it. And of course a gentler touch might make you feel uncomfortable if itís unfamiliar because anything unfamiliar is dangerous. You know about the familiar dangers and you found ways of coping with them somehow. But stuff thatís new and different must be terrifying.

I actually know some people who are sexual masochists. I donít think theyíre perverted or disgusting. Pain and pleasure can be closely related. Iíve also read that sexual masochism is fairly common in people who have been abused: they find it incredibly liberating and sexy to *choose* to submit to pain with someone they trust, in contrast to earlier experiences of having pain forced on them by someone who canít be trusted.

But even if you have masochistic fantasies, that doesnít make you a masochist. And even if it turns out youíre a masochist, that doesnít make you disgusting. Itís all part of the normal spectrum of human sexuality. As far as I can tell, the most important thing about sexual masochism is the intimacy people feel with their partner. The pain is a vehicle for the intimacy. Without intimacy and trust, masochist sexual practices arenít erotic at all.

> I don't really speak to people in person. Once I got sick with the ED, anything remotely social disappeared -- I was too medically unstable, too zombie-like. Now, I can't act, or talk, or relate, or even think like others my age. I'm a 12yr old child in an aging, breaking container. I can't get around well. Most days, it's too tiring to leave the house. It is hard enough getting to my sessions -- it drains me dry.

Iíve heard that EDs can result in people becoming less interested in social interaction. And obviously your current pain doesnít help. Iím sorry itís so hard. Itís just so unfair. But even if you canít get out much, please do keep posting here!

Tamar

 

Re: bizarre meeting(s) Ľ mswgradstudent

Posted by ElaineM on July 26, 2006, at 19:50:07

In reply to Re: bizarre meeting(s), posted by mswgradstudent on July 26, 2006, at 15:06:12

Gradstudent: Nice to meet you. Though I'm sorry that you can identify -- it is so hard to give up things you've been fantasizing about, and blowing up in your head since you were a little girl. At least for me.

Even in my teens I used to cry on my bed wishing that a man could even just accept me as a role-filler. He didn't even have to love me. Just let me take care of him, and him be around, and then be a good and loving father to a baby. I always knew that I could give up the idea of being loved myself. But I've lost even that wish now. No one could stand me no matter how well I cook or clean or take care of a home -- h*ll, i can't even do half of that stuff anymore now. (Sorry, I know that my responses seem very 1950's. This is only what is important to me. I never believed I was smart enough to have a career. I'm not an anti-feminist at all)

Are you going to be a T? I think it's interesting to hear different perspectives. I think what you said about needing to remember that T's are regular people too underneath their therapist cloaks, is very true. It must be hard to recognize when to hold back certain parts of yourself.

It sounds like you are having a hard time yourself. When everyone goes to sleep, sneak out to eat -- it's important. Thanks for your concern. I can't make promises, but I'm trying to cope the best I can.

Take care of yourself too.
EL

 

Re: He's leaving ****triggers**** Ľ Dinah

Posted by ElaineM on July 26, 2006, at 20:32:52

In reply to Re: He's leaving ****triggers**** Ľ ElaineM, posted by Dinah on July 26, 2006, at 16:10:39

> I haven't written much, although I really do wish I could help somehow.

Dinah: I appreciate even the gesture of someone writing, regardless of the contents -- I find that supportive too.

> I guess that although you've written many things about your therapist that have distressed people, and distress me as well in terms of therapeutic behavior, it also sounds as if he meets some of your needs in a way that a therapist who stuck to the rules might not.

I can't say how much it means to hear someone understand that. I know everyone is looking out for me, I know that he is not a normal T, I've started considering that some of the ways we are could be bad in the long run, but I always worry that I'm not properly expressing how short-term my mind works right now - how I have nothing and no one else, that I can't even rely on my own body for support. I realize you're not condoning his approach, but I appreciate you saying that you can recognize how he's the only crutch I have right now. If I weren't doing so poorly, maybe I'd be stronger, and react to all of this differently -- I don't know.

> ...he's acting as more than a therapist. Or perhaps just that I don't have a sense of the full nature of your relationship.

It is complicated. I know he's been hurt in life. I feel like he was a block of ice when we started, and now he's discovering that he feels (like all us other regular humans) -- he's thawing out. And I think that's good for him. He tends to leave people, and I think that he gets something from me that makes him want to stay. And I'm not talking about romantic stuff -- although I sense, I fear, it may snowball into that. I don't know when he will stop being satisfied by me. I don't know if, or when, the expectations he has will change. I don't know if/when he'll tire of me too (although I don't think he'd leave me now). He says that my nakedness is infectious -- he tells me I'm so un-ashamedly honest, and un-afraid of self-deprecation. He tells me that he wishes he could be like that -- that it is hard being disengaged all the time. THe thing he doesn't realize is that I'm like that becaue I have no pride left, I'm desperate. Especially infront of doctors -- in my head I think that if they think I'm pathetic enough they'll take pity on me a cure me. I know it is stupid, but I still believe it sometimes.

WHen things first started to change, he said that baring secrets in a room to another is like stripping, and he wanted to help me share the pressure of the spotlight. So he asked me what I think he should work on. And we take turns talking, and figuring out each others things. I don't think he has anyone else to be so open with.

> He's no longer charging you?

He was still getting paid up until a few weeks ago (i think, i can't remember dates). Now he gets nothing at all for seeing me at all three of my sessions. He said he never considered weekend stuff as therapy he would bill for (but I've only seen him a few times out of the work week)

> I can feel my therapist starting to act like a therapist now in ways that highlight that he wasn't acting precisely therapist-like before.

Does it bother you that you can recognize the difference now? Do you think you get more from how he is now? If you do, do you ever resent him for being different during earlier times? [please don't answer these if they are difficult questions. I'm not really sure of your story, but I sense that you find the T-relationship subject quite painful(?) So feel free to "pass" on them if it's too hard]

>...but I think I'd forgive him anything, and I mean anything, to keep a relationship of some sort.

Then you can understand. (((Dinah)))

> But I hope I would also seek out a truly therapeutic relationship even as I held on to a nontherapeutic one with him.
If that makes sense?

It makes sense. Do you mean if you held the wish for more in your heart, while only seeking out the professional relationship? Or do you mean for both to be possible simultaneously? I think both at the same time would be wonderful, ideal. But from what I've been reading from others, I don't think that it's possible. I don't know.

It's nice to hear from you - especially if it's a hard subject.

EL

 

Re: He's leaving ****triggers**** Ľ ElaineM

Posted by Dinah on July 27, 2006, at 0:19:52

In reply to Re: He's leaving ****triggers**** Ľ Dinah, posted by ElaineM on July 26, 2006, at 20:32:52

> > I can feel my therapist starting to act like a therapist now in ways that highlight that he wasn't acting precisely therapist-like before.
>
> Does it bother you that you can recognize the difference now? Do you think you get more from how he is now? If you do, do you ever resent him for being different during earlier times? [please don't answer these if they are difficult questions. I'm not really sure of your story, but I sense that you find the T-relationship subject quite painful(?) So feel free to "pass" on them if it's too hard]

We went through a rough patch after both our lives were uprooted by Hurricane Katrina. He'd be the first to admit he wasn't his best, but he'd also point out that it didn't affect most of his clients the way it affected me. I'd probably say that was true. I know him so well after all this time, and rely on him being the same. When he wasn't I got frantic. Plus he wasn't overly dependable or stable in that time period. His life is more settled now, and he can be a therapist to me again. I'm not sure everything will ever be the same, but it's better than it was the last many months. It's a huge difference, him being the more put together therapist keeping his needs out of the room, and what it was. I like it much better this way.

I guess it's not really his fault. None of us have been at our best for this past year.

>
> >...but I think I'd forgive him anything, and I mean anything, to keep a relationship of some sort.
>
> Then you can understand. (((Dinah)))
>
> > But I hope I would also seek out a truly therapeutic relationship even as I held on to a nontherapeutic one with him.
> If that makes sense?
>
> It makes sense. Do you mean if you held the wish for more in your heart, while only seeking out the professional relationship? Or do you mean for both to be possible simultaneously? I think both at the same time would be wonderful, ideal. But from what I've been reading from others, I don't think that it's possible. I don't know.

I mean that he fills a need for me that I'm not sure any other therapist could fill. At least I'm relatively sure most of them couldn't. We've discussed it some times. Why I met with rejection from the temporary therapists I saw when he was unavailable during this time, while I meet with acceptance from him. I guess I understand why they behaved the way they did. Somehow when he explains it, it doesn't sound so awful as when they explained it. Maybe because he's not seeing me as they did, he's just explaining it.

But if he had continued to be unavailable to me in a therapeutic capacity, I hope I would have found therapy elsewhere if I needed it. While still clinging with arms and legs and toes to what I still had with him, for as long as there was anything whatsoever, including hope, left in the relationship with him.

He's that important to me.

The really fortunate thing is that my husband understands this completely and isn't threatened at all by it. My husband realizes that they're not in the same sort of position in my life.

So... There's definitely more of a boundary now, and there's some loss in that. But overall it's a gain, since the boundary in therapy protects us as well as them.

And I never really wanted a relationship with him other than forever therapy, and maybe feeling like I'm special to him and that he cares for me as a person.

So yes, I understand.

 

violence, affection **triggers? Ľ Tamar

Posted by ElaineM on July 27, 2006, at 16:20:48

In reply to Re: past/present Ľ ElaineM, posted by Tamar on July 26, 2006, at 18:29:37

I think there may be death, and violence triggers in here.

***********
>>>>Sorry sorry sorry. I really didnít mean to make it hard for you. And I absolutely did not mean to invalidate your illness. Iím really sorry that what I said resonated in an invalidating way.

Tamar: Please don't say sorry - it's unnecessary. I don't think you were invalidating me at all. It just reminded me of others. You're just trying to help me figure this out, see it from as many sides as possible. When I said I "knew how you were saying it", I meant that I knew there was nothing cruel being implied. I hope it didn't sound accusatory, because I meant the complete opposite.

>>>>So maybe it would be better if I ask a question (which you donít have to answer, of course): do you sometimes feel as if your body doesnít really belong to you? Or maybe that your self and your body are two separate entities?

I may not understand the question, but I've always felt that my self could've been different if it had been put in a different container. Maybe that means that I think I am only a body. I don't think that answered the question though. Other than that, I know I've always always felt that I was not a regular human.

It was expected that I wouldn't survive when born, and I've had twin sisters die just after they were born, so I have always felt as though my life was a mistake. I'm so flawed and terrible that I probably took the "aliveness" that was meant for them. They probably would've been better at living than me. They probably would've enjoyed life. I know this all sounds dumb, but it's just one of those crazy things that a person convinces themself might be true. I sort of felt that since I wasn't supposed to exist that it was only a matter of time before the balance was corrected, and I died. I guess that's why I've always been expecting death since I was little.

I don't know if that "seperateness" is what you were talking about though. The question may have gone over my head.

>>>Well, if you have learned that violence goes together with getting your needs met, then of course you might think you like it. And of course a gentler touch might make you feel uncomfortable if itís unfamiliar because anything unfamiliar is dangerous.
...Iíve also read that sexual masochism is fairly common in people who have been abused: they find it incredibly liberating and sexy to *choose* to submit to pain with someone they trust, in contrast to earlier experiences of having pain forced on them by someone who canít be trusted.

My T has said something similar about love and violence getting mixed and confused for one another. But maybe I'm not a masochist (I don't really know anything about it) because I don't think violence is sexy. I think two things. One: That sometimes I think violence is loving. That it means someone cares about you, because it's better than being ignored. Two: I like it because, even if I can't be sure it's loving and is actually hateful, I find it comforting because it makes me feel less guilty for being - that I'm buying the right to subject others to me.

This subject is confusing to me. I've never talked about it before. I don't really even understand everything I'm saying so I better stop. The only time my T really talked about it was one of the first times he touched me and said that he cared about me. I started crying and asked if he would hit me instead. That it would make me feel better. It was so embarrassing cause it just fell out of my mouth. Stupid crazy!! Usually I don't talk much, and when I do I go over it in my head a million times to make sure that it's okay. I guess I let my guard slip for a moment -- it happens when I panic.

I may not have understood all the masochism stuff that you explained either, so forgive me if I've gone way off-base. Mainly I was just sad that you felt you had to say Sorry.

EL

 

Re: violence, affection **triggers? Ľ ElaineM

Posted by llrrrpp on July 27, 2006, at 17:23:34

In reply to violence, affection **triggers? Ľ Tamar, posted by ElaineM on July 27, 2006, at 16:20:48


>
> It was expected that I wouldn't survive when born, and I've had twin sisters die just after they were born, so I have always felt as though my life was a mistake. I'm so flawed and terrible that I probably took the "aliveness" that was meant for them. They probably would've been better at living than me. They probably would've enjoyed life. I know this all sounds dumb, but it's just one of those crazy things that a person convinces themself might be true. I sort of felt that since I wasn't supposed to exist that it was only a matter of time before the balance was corrected, and I died. I guess that's why I've always been expecting death since I was little.

Another thing you *may* believe, that's equally irrational, but more productive-- Perhaps your life was spared because you have a chance to achieve something positive by existing in this world. Perhaps your life is a gift to others, and you can spend your life exploring your opportunities, rather than wondering why you even exist. I think your presence on p-babble is a wonderful gift, because I feel like I learn something everytime you write about yourself.

> >>>Well, if you have learned that violence goes together with getting your needs met, then of course you might think you like it. And of course a gentler touch might make you feel uncomfortable if itís unfamiliar because anything unfamiliar is ced on them by someone who canít be trusted.

> This subject is confusing to me. I've never talked about it before. I don't really even understand everything I'm saying so I better stop. The only time my T really talked about it was one of the first times he touched me and said that he cared about me. I started crying and asked if he would hit me instead. That it would make me feel better. It was so embarrassing cause it just fell out of my mouth. Stupid crazy!! Usually I don't talk much, and when I do I go over it in my head a million times to make sure that it's okay.

It's okay to not know what things mean. It's okay not to have everything figured out. I think having a T you can trust saying these things to is priceless. You may worry about how awkward a particular confession is, but ultimately, T is supposed to make you feel good about being open with him. THEN the hard work comes with sorting out your thoughts and feelings.

Well, if your T can't do it, I will. Thank you for being open about this stuff. I think a lot of people have felt confused about pain and pleasure and love and abuse. I can't offer any specific insights to your situation, but having these feelings and sharing them on babble or with your T is not wrong. Awkward, perhaps, but not wrong. So don't stop talking just because you feel stupid or like you're not making a lot of sense. Maybe someone out there can help you make sense?

take care,
-ll

 

to kill time? Ľ llrrrpp

Posted by ElaineM on July 28, 2006, at 9:46:59

In reply to Re: violence, affection **triggers? Ľ ElaineM, posted by llrrrpp on July 27, 2006, at 17:23:34

>>>>Perhaps your life is a gift to others, and you can spend your life exploring your opportunities, rather than wondering why you even exist.

Thanks LL, I usually don't think about my other sisters anymore (moreso when I was younger), I was just trying to answer Tamar's question. I try not to think about if I should be here or not, especially since the ED. I try and only go one day at a time, and forget the past, as well as the future. Sometimes it is too much to consider a whole long line of tomorrows -- when even one day feels like too much, a bunch makes me give up right away. (You always find such a nice way to spin everything though.)

I miss my T so much. It'll be three days today. I never go more than that without him. And I'm not used to not having him talk to or email me a few times throughout the day. It used to help break up the hours so much. What do people do to make a day move faster? All I've been doing is researching something he told me last session, and that he was having problems with. I feel like I'll have a whole case study prepared by the time he is back. I want to help him -- maybe I just want a destraction. I want him to never feel like crying. All of those, I guess.

I'm supposed to spend some time writing about what I think of our relationship. It was one of his requests before he left. I have such a hard time speaking in person, and he does it so freely, so he says that it is hard to know what I feel for him. I'm just finding it really hard to do. I ramble on and on here, but when I try and think of writing about him, for him, my mind goes blank -- as though he were still here looking back at me.

What am going to do with all these days! It's terrible.

 

Re: violence, affection **triggers? Ľ ElaineM

Posted by Tamar on July 28, 2006, at 14:11:50

In reply to violence, affection **triggers? Ľ Tamar, posted by ElaineM on July 27, 2006, at 16:20:48

> Tamar: Please don't say sorry - it's unnecessary. I don't think you were invalidating me at all. It just reminded me of others. You're just trying to help me figure this out, see it from as many sides as possible. When I said I "knew how you were saying it", I meant that I knew there was nothing cruel being implied. I hope it didn't sound accusatory, because I meant the complete opposite.

No, I didnít think you were accusing me at all. Iím just very sorry I hurt you.

> I may not understand the question, but I've always felt that my self could've been different if it had been put in a different container. Maybe that means that I think I am only a body. I don't think that answered the question though. Other than that, I know I've always always felt that I was not a regular human.
>
> It was expected that I wouldn't survive when born, and I've had twin sisters die just after they were born, so I have always felt as though my life was a mistake. I'm so flawed and terrible that I probably took the "aliveness" that was meant for them. They probably would've been better at living than me. They probably would've enjoyed life. I know this all sounds dumb, but it's just one of those crazy things that a person convinces themself might be true. I sort of felt that since I wasn't supposed to exist that it was only a matter of time before the balance was corrected, and I died. I guess that's why I've always been expecting death since I was little.

I think itís very interesting that you say your self could have been different if it had been put in a different container. I think thatís probably true for most people; our bodies have a big role in shaping who we are. And Iím aware of the kind of Ďsurvivor guiltí that people feel when their siblings die. I donít know if you know this, but twins are at a greatly increased risk of perinatal death. Itís much more common for one or both twins to die in infancy than for the child of a single pregnancy to die. Itís because twins are often born early, and often one of them is breech, which means a more complicated delivery, and because of those factors their immune systems arenít always as strong as a single childís and theyíre much more vulnerable to disease. Itís very sad that your sisters died, but you are absolutely not responsible.

I think your life is anything but a mistake and that you are definitely supposed to exist. Look at all the peopleís lives you touch here, for one thing. If you didnít exist, you couldnít have replied to my posts about my therapist. Your responses help me a lot. And itís not just me; Iíve seen your replies to other people. Iíve felt your kindness and generosity. As far as I can tell, this world needs you. You belong here, in life, with the rest of us.

> I don't know if that "seperateness" is what you were talking about though. The question may have gone over my head.

If it didnít resonate with you, then I was probably just projecting. And I probably wasnít being very articulate. I mentioned it because sometimes I feel that I donít want to have a body; my body isnít really part of me and Iíd rather be a disembodied spirit or a tree or something. And so itís easy for me to say that my body is bad, and that all the bad things that have happened to me are my bodyís fault. I guess itís a kind of splitting. But probably you see it differently.

> My T has said something similar about love and violence getting mixed and confused for one another. But maybe I'm not a masochist (I don't really know anything about it) because I don't think violence is sexy. I think two things. One: That sometimes I think violence is loving. That it means someone cares about you, because it's better than being ignored.

Thatís very understandable. I donít know if you know any little kids, but if kids canít get attention by being good, theyíll try to get attention by behaving badly. Itís as if the attention itself matters most: theyíd rather get a hug than a telling off, of course, but even a telling off or a slap is better than being ignored. And I think if youíve grown up in a situation where you didnít get much praise or attention or affection then it could become quite easy to identify violence with love.

> Two: I like it because, even if I can't be sure it's loving and is actually hateful, I find it comforting because it makes me feel less guilty for being - that I'm buying the right to subject others to me.

Ah. Yeah. Self-loathing. (((((Elaine)))))
Can you imagine ifÖ people wanted to be with you because they enjoy your conversation, your ideas about things, your sense of humour, the stories you tell, your way of looking at the worldÖ and all the other things about you that make you unique? Can you imagine it?

You donít have to please everyone. And you donít have to be perfect. There will always be plenty of people who like you despite (and even because of) your imperfections.

> This subject is confusing to me. I've never talked about it before. I don't really even understand everything I'm saying so I better stop.

Hey, I rarely understand everything I sayÖ which reminds me of that proverb: ĎNever believe everything you think.í Good advice!

> The only time my T really talked about it was one of the first times he touched me and said that he cared about me. I started crying and asked if he would hit me instead. That it would make me feel better. It was so embarrassing cause it just fell out of my mouth. Stupid crazy!! Usually I don't talk much, and when I do I go over it in my head a million times to make sure that it's okay. I guess I let my guard slip for a moment -- it happens when I panic.

Sometimes we say things in therapy that reveal our ambivalence about ourselves and the world. Itís not crazy, itís just that itís possible to have conflicting feelings about things. I used to keep my guard up in therapy all the time, and it meant I didnít say what I wanted to say. Being able to let my guard down a bit has been incredibly useful, and when I say Ďcrazyí things I can usually laugh about it. But to be honest, I think itís been possible for me to let my guard down because my therapist is extremely professional. Sure, he makes mistakes, but he maintains a professional atmosphere at all times. Thatís not to say that he doesnít care about me; I know for sure that he cares about me very much. But he expresses his care by working hard to do good therapy with me. I understand that you love and need your therapist as a person, but I kind of wish you could have professional therapy as well.

> I may not have understood all the masochism stuff that you explained either, so forgive me if I've gone way off-base. Mainly I was just sad that you felt you had to say Sorry.

Well, the stuff I said about masochism was really just an attempt to reassure you that if you have masochistic feelings youíre totally normal. But if you donít have masochistic feelings youíre also totally normal!

I hope the coming days will be bearable for you. I know itís hard when your therapist is away!

Tamar



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