Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 697494

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I'm such an idiot

Posted by mair on October 24, 2006, at 22:08:56

I have one more session before my T breaks for 2 weeks while she has a second round of breast cancer surgery. And assuming everything goes well, we'll have another 3 weeks or so of sessions before she starts taking periodic breaks for chemo. Before I met with her today I had been thinking about her situation alot (it's hard not to) and the one thing I was clear on, in my own mind, was that I didn't want to be a person who had to process any of this with her or the person who had to ask her alot of questions about what was happening. The last time we talked about her cancer, I got the sense that she was really sick of talking about it. I've also been feeling like I owe it to her to hold myself together while she's going through all this. (you know, the low impact, low maintenance patient) A huge fear is that I'm going to start deteriorating for any number of reasons and not only will I not have her to turn to, but I'm going to feel incredibly guilty/ashamed about getting depressed while she's away.

So today she started out the session by wanting to know how I was feeling about so many impending breaks in our therapy schedule. And I sort of hemmed and hawed and said I really didn't want to talk about it, and she pointed out to me that generally before she goes away on vacation, for instance, we always talk about how I think I'll do while she's gone. I started to realize that she wasn't necessarily issuing permission to start processing why she was going to be absent and that I probably could answer her without working the conversation into a discussion about her cancer. But as is so typical with me, I just kept backing myself in a corner and told her I didn't want to process any of this with her. It seems that when I make these sorts of pronouncements (about not wanting to talk about something), I'm never able to get beyond it at least in that session. I get like a stubborn child and the longer I hold onto that position, the harder it becomes to open up. When all is said and done, I've probably made a much bigger deal out of nothing all because I tried to avoid answering one question.

We eventually moved onto a safe topic which could be discussed in a very surface way, but after I left her office, I felt horrible. I've made something more difficult when I want everything for her to be easy (at least the things I control).

Mair

 

Re: I'm such an idiot

Posted by SatinDoll on October 24, 2006, at 22:38:30

In reply to I'm such an idiot, posted by mair on October 24, 2006, at 22:08:56

((((mair)))) I can't imagine what it would like to be in your shoes. If it was me, I would be feeling like my crappy issues aren't anything compaired to hers. But that is just me.

She sounds like such a strong T, even when she is going through her stuggles. I am glad she is talking about it and not trying to pretend the issue doesn't matter. But then in a way, the session should be more about you. Do you think you might be holding back so you don't upset her thinking it will make her worse? I do think you are handling it way better than I could if my T was going through the same thing. Take care of yourself too, okay.

 

Re: I'm such an idiot

Posted by Jost on October 24, 2006, at 22:57:05

In reply to I'm such an idiot, posted by mair on October 24, 2006, at 22:08:56

Yeah, maybe you are-- maybe we all are-- I mean not idiots but groping human beings who often feel like one-- and aren't sure what to do or say-- how to make it better for ourselves and the people we care about-

but I'm pretty sure that you did okay-- she probably understands and accepts and maybe worries, but also hopes-- the she and you will be much better soon-- that you'll both survive this--

and it will be important and something to work on-- after you've both made it.

It's possibly the best you can do to accept feeling as if you screwed up-- and just let that feeling flow through you-- and also let in the feeling that maybe it's okay to screw up--- it's not forever, or the only thing

You're doing great-- in a bad bad situation-- where getting through it in one piece is what you need to do.

sorry though that you have to.

Jost

 

You're not an idiot at all mair

Posted by Dinah on October 25, 2006, at 9:17:47

In reply to I'm such an idiot, posted by mair on October 24, 2006, at 22:08:56

You're doing your best to cope with a difficult situation. And a situation, moreover, that no one has been trained from childhood to cope with. Because in all areas of the therapeutic relationship, the rules our parents tought us really don't quite fit.

You're doing your best and she's doing her best, but overall there are going to be times where everyone's best doesn't feel like enough. But feelings aren't facts. It is enough in these circumstances.

I can empathize, as we've gone through this to a lesser extent, and unless I'm very fortunate, we'll go through it to the same extent some day. It's scary, it's icky, and it makes clear the oddness of this relationship where the caring is so intense (at least on our side) but so artificially constrained.

It hurts on all sorts of levels.

But you can get through this. You will get through this. Through all the awkwardness and what are bound to be attacks of all sorts of emotions, even the most unwelcome and uncomfortable ones, you do care for her, and she does care for you. And the goal on both sides is to continue that caring. That commitment will see you through.

 

Re: I'm such an idiot

Posted by pegasus on October 25, 2006, at 9:37:00

In reply to I'm such an idiot, posted by mair on October 24, 2006, at 22:08:56

Oh, I can completely see how a session could unfold as you've described. You had a beautiful intention, and she probably had other beautiful intentions, and so it all went in an unexpected direction and you both had to wing it. And now you wish it could have gone differently. But, so much of therapy is winging it. And, you know, that's the way it should be. If we had time to prepare properly for everything, it'd be something quite different than it is.

You're in uncharted therapy territory, both of you. You will probably take some unhelpful turns. But hopefully you'll eventually find your way to a helpful place. I think the thing that's important is that you care about her, and you're trying to figure out the best way to proceed for you and for her. That intention is worth a lot, whatever ends up actually happening in sessions.

Is there a way that you could start seeing another T occasionally? Someone that feels safer for exploring your feelings about your main T's illness? It seems like a big thing to avoid dealing with at all, although I understand why you might not want to take it on in your current therapy.

Try to take care of yourself. I know it's hard for her, but it's hard for you too. That's totally valid.

p

 

you're not an idiot sweetie mair

Posted by zenhussy on October 25, 2006, at 10:05:09

In reply to I'm such an idiot, posted by mair on October 24, 2006, at 22:08:56

"I've also been feeling like I owe it to her to hold myself together while she's going through all this. (you know, the low impact, low maintenance patient) A huge fear is that I'm going to start deteriorating for any number of reasons and not only will I not have her to turn to, but I'm going to feel incredibly guilty/ashamed about getting depressed while she's away."

well...hate to break it to you but there isn't a trophy or medal for lowest impact patient or low maintenance client either ya know ;)

any time you're beginning to feel guilt show up here to this board and you'll get a good dose of reality about depression and its distortions.

"When all is said and done, I've probably made a much bigger deal out of nothing all because I tried to avoid answering one question."

almost everyone does something similar to that at one time or another. yeah that might sound trite but sometimes there is comfort in the truth that we're not alone in being human....messes, emotions, confusion and all.

much love to you mair.

 

Re: I'm such an idiot-NOT pegasus

Posted by muffled on October 25, 2006, at 15:14:56

In reply to Re: I'm such an idiot, posted by pegasus on October 25, 2006, at 9:37:00

I don't know your T.
Thank God I am not in your situatio :-(
But if it were my T.
Well, I know she has good support. Good hubby, church family, her own T, the T's in the practice, etc.
When she has had bad stuff happen, i want to save her, but i know I can't. Cuz therapy is to help me cope, not her. She got her own supports. She is my support.
She tells me stuff from her life cuz its real and I can learn from it.
She also knows if she says nothing, I will know something is going on, and then I'll proly blame myself.
So, IMO, honesty is proly best. I think its proly just fine to discuss your fears of the cancer as if affects YOU.
There's no point tippy toeing around the subject, cuz it is now HUGE in your T's life, and its going to affect her work. And I think the kindest thing you could do for her is to be open and honest.
But thats if it was my T.
I don't know your T.
Hope thiongs go ok.
Its terrible.
Muffled

 

A quick Note

Posted by mair on October 25, 2006, at 21:55:32

In reply to Re: I'm such an idiot-NOT pegasus, posted by muffled on October 25, 2006, at 15:14:56

Thanks everyone - I want to respond but please bear with me until tomorrow. This is the first chance I've had to even visit the babbles since I posted last night, and I'm just so spent/drained/depleted. I need to go to bed.

fondly,

mair


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