Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 810610

Shown: posts 1 to 24 of 24. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Definition of Dependent Relationship long

Posted by rskontos on February 3, 2008, at 18:54:37

DAisym,

Well, to answer your question of what my vision of a dependent relationship would be in the context of a therapist relationship, I will have to answer in terms of what I think my p-doc wants. He wants me to replace the abusive relationship of my parents with him. I think I will find this next to impossible. To even think about it as dependent will be hard. I had to survive on my own as a young child in a household with a very scary psycho mother and distant father. The things I witnessed must have been so bad that I dissociated to the point I have zero recollection. I have many 5 total memories and they are fragments. What is coming back in my flashbacks are not pretty and very frightening. I had no grandparents, they were around, but distant as well on both sides, so as children my sisters and I did not have anyone. I did not turn to teachers or church members I turn in my head. And no one IRL ever knew. I hid what went on at home well. It was imperative. So to be dependent on anyone is hard. I don't know how....I don't know relationships much either. This weekend was my bday and that went well but sometimes I even am uncomfortable with my family. So for me to be dependent on him, it is so hard .As I told him my way of just shutting down everything and going internal inside my head is so much more natural. That the concept of dependent, reliant, or any other term is so alien it is hard to understand outside of knowing the word in the dictionary. I resist being dependent on my husband. Is this what you were asking?
rsk


 

Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long

Posted by muffled on February 3, 2008, at 19:20:36

In reply to Definition of Dependent Relationship long, posted by rskontos on February 3, 2008, at 18:54:37

I am queen of it too.
But I am getting better at letting T in some.
With writing anyhow.
Face to face, the walls are still high.
I want to try it out and see what it is like.
But it goes against all I know to show any weakness.
To expose my flank.
I would like to try though.
My T is trying SO hard.
I must try too.
Its hard.
Hope you can get there RSK.
Me too.
M

 

Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long

Posted by Daisym on February 3, 2008, at 22:06:59

In reply to Definition of Dependent Relationship long, posted by rskontos on February 3, 2008, at 18:54:37

You just told me again why it is hard to be dependent, not really what you think being dependent would look like. From what you wrote, I can see why it would be. We had similiar needs to be independent -- In my house, it was important to take care of everything to avoid blow ups and to appear to the outside world as "perfect" so that no one would look too close.

But what I was asking is what you imagined being dependent would look like? Would you call your pdoc and cry everyday? Would you not be able to make a decision without him? Would you need to see him every day - or have some kind of contact every day? Is that what you are afraid of?

I need my therapist to provide a container for all these old feelings - and all the memories and the flashbacks. There have been times when I literally felt like I was coming apart (fragmenting) and I needed him to help me titrate all of this. I'm dependent on him for this support. And I admit to calling him up and crying, asking him if I'm going to ever be OK. I needed him to say yes, with his help.

Some people see dependency as giving themself away and allowing someone power over them. This is one of the things I've struggled with a ton. If I'm really dependent on my therapist, what would I be willing to do to not lose him? This makes dependency really scary.

I think if we can figure out what our picture of dependency looks like - both a good picture and our "bad" picture, then we can begin to work on a realistic picture. The roughest part about allowing trust and dependency is that this seems to unlock so much of our stored pain and it comes up and out. It is easier for me to struggle against the dependency than to confront the pain. And I have this whole pride thing that gets played out too.

I hope this isn't too pushy. It's just that I've been there and I had several good people here help me feel safe(safer?) with all my feelings of dependency. And so far - its been hard but worth it.

 

Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long Daisym

Posted by rskontos on February 3, 2008, at 22:49:56

In reply to Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long, posted by Daisym on February 3, 2008, at 22:06:59

You know Dasiym, I guess, I have no real picture of it. I have not even thought of it in terms of that. And this is a very good exercise. I have begun, in terms, of therapy, thought about what I want out of. At first, I wanted my memories back. Now I have add to that, or maybe, replaced it with I want peace from the pain, I know that recovering them will bring. I new friend of mine told me recently that it seemed I wanted to be just a soul without a body. I thought long and hard on that and I decided that while yes that had a lot of appeal, I ultimately want to feel peace with my mind. I want to be able to look inside my head and feel at peace with what is there. If I need to become dependent on someone to do this, I guess I need to examine what dependent is. I have really no idea what it means. No real definition. I have never been program to understand it as everyone including my DH is dependent on me. Maybe, deep down inside, I long for it, but I am unable to do it because I don't have an idea of what it looks like. I have told my t I think I am crazy because of my voices in my head, the way I just go away in terms of consciousness and someone else takes over and lately that is happening a lot, sometimes I stay but I am not in control, and when asked to describe it, it sounds crazy to me. I have cried with him more than I ever have in my life. All these things seem so unsettling that more seems impossible. All my therapists says is we have more work..

The part of dependency as power over or giving themself away is terrifying...that seems like it already happened and it was not pretty so I can't see it happening like that. yes I agree about the part it is easier to struggle against the dependency than to confront the pain. I have the pride thing to, I would rather run and hide.


No you are not being pushy. And if this helps me grow and confront something I have not thought about then it is go. It will be worth it too. Thanks for the question and suggestion for a new thread...rsk

 

Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long muffled

Posted by rskontos on February 3, 2008, at 22:51:17

In reply to Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long, posted by muffled on February 3, 2008, at 19:20:36

Yes Muffled it is so hard, I am hanging, I don't know how I am hanging but I am there...

I hope you get there too...I think maybe we will eventually,
you have a good t,
did you get that consult with the other p-doc?
if so how did it go

rsk

 

Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long

Posted by Phillipa on February 3, 2008, at 23:45:20

In reply to Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long muffled, posted by rskontos on February 3, 2008, at 22:51:17

Funny I'm totally dependant on my husband and used to be so independant. I'd like that back again. Not dependant on a therapist wonder why? Phillipa

 

Re: New Question for anyone

Posted by rskontos on February 4, 2008, at 8:17:18

In reply to Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long, posted by Phillipa on February 3, 2008, at 23:45:20

I am not sure Phillipa, I don't know how you give up your power if that is what it is. It is gradual I guess so we don't recognize it.

So my new question is this?

Can you be dependent without giving up your power?

rsk

 

Re: New Question for anyone rskontos

Posted by DAisym on February 4, 2008, at 12:39:08

In reply to Re: New Question for anyone, posted by rskontos on February 4, 2008, at 8:17:18

I know this is going to sound weird but I actually regained some of my power by allowing myself to feel connected and emotionally-dependent on my therapist. His strength allowed me to leave an abusive marriage - it took a couple of years but I did it. I didn't realize how much accommodating I was doing in so many areas of my life until I shed the tough act and really looked at it in therapy. No wonder I was exhausted and suicidal! That doesn't mean changing this behavior is easy. I still fall back into taking care of things as a way to avoid confronting things. We can tell ourselves all kinds of things - my mantra was that I was keeping the peace.

I don't think you have to trade your personal power in order to allow a deep, sustaining connection. But because the fear of abandonment might get big, you do need to make yourself talk about the fears - even if you feel foolish and ratinally know that your therapist isn't going anywhere.

I think this is a great question to bring to therapy, btw. I bet the discussion will be fruitful.

 

Re: New Question for anyone DAisym

Posted by rskontos on February 4, 2008, at 12:52:25

In reply to Re: New Question for anyone rskontos, posted by DAisym on February 4, 2008, at 12:39:08

Daisym, I will take this to therapy. I think it is important for me to know I will still have what little power I think i have. Sometimes I feel I have none and I must work at getting it back from everyone, my husband, my children, and my past. I have allowed so many people to take it away, and I thought by hiding I was keeping it. Ha! what a joke and what denial.

Now one other question, boy I am full of them. I believe you have flashbacks, if I have mistaken that I am sorry. If you do, or if you have thoughts on this, my question is do you think the mind can make them up. My flashbacks I struggle with believing them myself. At the time, I do. It is only later, I try to tell myself well maybe this isn't true or it is distorted by your mind.....it is like my mother or someone else is inside my mind. Why can't I even believe me. So I ask everyone here what do you think about it and maybe I am opening pandora's box? But I ask this of my therapist and I don't recall him answering or I dissociated that part. In any case, he did not answer or I missed it. I will re-visit this with him too along with this discussion.

rsk

 

Re: New Question for anyone

Posted by B2chica on February 4, 2008, at 15:26:26

In reply to Re: New Question for anyone, posted by rskontos on February 4, 2008, at 8:17:18

i'm dependant on my therapist for help, and by doing that she's giving me the power to learn to trust women....VERY SLOWLY mind you...but nonetheless. i'm noticing it.
therapy is also giving me more power over my memories, lessening flashbacks. lessening panic attacks/fears, obsessive behaviors...etc.
ANy T that is Taking more than giving is not the right match.
IMHO
b2c


> I am not sure Phillipa, I don't know how you give up your power if that is what it is. It is gradual I guess so we don't recognize it.
>
> So my new question is this?
>
> Can you be dependent without giving up your power?
>
> rsk

 

Re: New Question for anyone B2chica

Posted by rskontos on February 4, 2008, at 16:09:09

In reply to Re: New Question for anyone, posted by B2chica on February 4, 2008, at 15:26:26

B2c,

That is great you are learning to trust women...slowly is still learning. I feel encouraged to know that it is helping with power over the memories and flashbacks. rsk

 

Re: New Question for anyone - trigger rskontos

Posted by Daisym on February 4, 2008, at 22:17:39

In reply to Re: New Question for anyone B2chica, posted by rskontos on February 4, 2008, at 16:09:09

I do have flashbacks - although not as bad now. I usually have nightmares instead. I use small amounts of seroquel when they get overwhelming. It flattens me out but helps me sleep.

I felt sad when I read what you wrote about allowing yourself to believe. I actually said that today in therapy. We were revisiting an old memory - the first thing I ever told him and the thing I've always known. It wasn't the worse, or even close to the worse, thing that happened. But for some reason it stuck. I was wondering why that was today, and we talked about the weird way stuff has come up and come together for me. I found myself crying, it is all disjointed and what if I'm wrong and none of this happened? My therapist tried to reassure me that this is how many people remember things - they get jumbled up because of the emotions and young age - you are trying to make sense out of stuff that makes no sense. And he said that the overwhelming sense of confusion is old and part of the memories. It is one of the emotions that was strong at the time - fear, confusion, pain and pleasure get all mixed up. And being told things that conflict with your own internal messages really makes you doubt yourself - "you like this, you made me, I won't tell on you" -- all these things are in direct conflict with the part of the brain that is screaming, "I hate this, I don't want you to, Please tell."

And then add in the adult side that struggles with the incomprehensibility of it -- "how could he? How did it even fit? Where was my mother?" -- these questions make me doubt too. It is an agonizing process.

Once I said, "maybe none of this is true. Maybe it is all just a bad dream - someone else's bad dream." My therapist looked at me and said, "I've witnessed all your pain when you relive some of these events. It is horrific and I wish it wasn't true. But we both know it is. No one would make this stuff up - the retelling has almost killed you. Why would anyone put themselves through this? I'm sorry but you need to know that I can see it is true and I believe you." That was hard to hear but important.

So doubts are normal. Wanting to take it back and put chains on pandora's box is normal. But think about how much you've already done. Do you really want to start over again at some later date? Better to finish what you started now. As hard as this is.

 

Re: New Question for anyone - trigger

Posted by B2chica on February 5, 2008, at 7:57:53

In reply to Re: New Question for anyone - trigger rskontos, posted by Daisym on February 4, 2008, at 22:17:39

>>>So doubts are normal. Wanting to take it back and put chains on pandora's box is normal. But think about how much you've already done. Do you really want to start over again at some later date? Better to finish what you started now. As hard as this is.


What a Great way of putting things Daisy.
boy isn't that the truth. many MANY times i've felt like just stopping and back treading. then i think of exactly that. starting all over. it makes me sick thinking about it. so might as well finish.

 

Re: New Question for anyone - trigger

Posted by rskontos on February 5, 2008, at 12:24:13

In reply to Re: New Question for anyone - trigger rskontos, posted by Daisym on February 4, 2008, at 22:17:39

Oh Daisym, thank you. you just explained it in a way I could not have begun to even think about yet. Last night another one came to me during a really bad time. I have them it seems all the night. Even sitting here typing on the computer. THe other thought I had is my mother took us kids with her to her affairs. And I am thinking now what did she do to us to make us not tell our father or anyone. She had to make us have a secret to terrible to tell to. Why else would kids not tell something. And it makes me mad. So today I sat down and tried to explore my mind to see this secret and I got close. But it is not ready to come out yet. I could feel most of the bad feelings and emotions, the fear. It is deep. To deep for me to reach just yet. But I saw the opening of the hurt in my mind. I think your T is right. Why would I put myself throught this. I have heard and seen memories that make me know sort of what has happened. I know or remember one of her men hurt us. Or at least me. I remember him beating me for seeing them when I should not have been looking. That is all I saw because the rest was too blurry. I see him coming at me twice in two different flashbacks.

I had a nightmare last night I woke my H up screaming but I dont remember the nightmare. I think it was the conclusion to a flashback that started during the night that my H interrupted and after I feel asleep it must have continued.

I am worthless today.

Thanks for the response and reply. I am printing all this off to take to T along with the dependence issue too. I will let you know how it goes.

rsk

 

Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long Daisym

Posted by RealMe on February 5, 2008, at 22:49:21

In reply to Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long, posted by Daisym on February 3, 2008, at 22:06:59

My therapist or should I say ex therapist said that rather than use the word depenent, he thought of it more like I rely on him to help me. That feels a lot better than "dependent" which seems scary for people, in my opinion, like me who have been abused.

RealMe

 

Re: Daisym, did not get to definition with T

Posted by rskontos on February 6, 2008, at 16:34:40

In reply to Re: Definition of Dependent Relationship long Daisym, posted by RealMe on February 5, 2008, at 22:49:21

Somehow I lost control of therapy today, and did not get to discuss this with him. I wanted to, and instead told him about a flashback, ran out of time, left too raw and hurt to be of anygood. Now I just feel disillusioned about therapy. I am wondering if I can do this and can he help and if he is the right fit. I don't know. Other people's therapist seem much better. I am not sure I can put my trust in him not after today. I am not sure I even will go back. rsk

 

Re: Daisym, did not get to definition with T rskontos

Posted by Daisym on February 7, 2008, at 0:16:42

In reply to Re: Daisym, did not get to definition with T, posted by rskontos on February 6, 2008, at 16:34:40

It happens to all of us. A few weeks ago I got really upset with my therapist because he asked me a really triggering question with only a few minutes left in the session. *I* had to say "I don't think we have enough time for this" and I had to take care of myself - which pissed me off! So I yelled at him (OK, I never yell, but...) that *he* needed to take better care around that - and he agreed. I think it is particularly hard when we have something to say and we don't get to it.

It really helps me to write stuff down and take it in. I read him what I write - which is hard for some people - but I read it and then we discuss it. My therapist doesn't do email, so this works. I asked him once if he thought I was hiding behind the words - reading is such a left-brain activity. He said perhaps I need to start with that side but because he lends some safety, I can then work my way over to feeling it with my right brain. I liked this - it frees me up from thinking i'm doing it wrong again.

I hope you don't quit. Once therapy hang-over eases off some, you'll see that you really did some hard work today. Talking about that stuff is always so draining.

 

Re: Daisym, did not get to definition with T Daisym

Posted by rskontos on February 7, 2008, at 9:31:35

In reply to Re: Daisym, did not get to definition with T rskontos, posted by Daisym on February 7, 2008, at 0:16:42

Well I sent him an email about how I felt regarding this session. I will see if he answers. I wasn't going back and forth about this. I decided if I didn't I would just let it go as I would deal with it on my own. I am getting to the point that I feel I am doing alot of this on my own and I told him so.

I did hard work I am not sure he was present...I mean mentally and I said that too. rsk

 

Re: Daisym, did not get to definition with T Daisym

Posted by RealMe on February 7, 2008, at 23:45:26

In reply to Re: Daisym, did not get to definition with T rskontos, posted by Daisym on February 7, 2008, at 0:16:42

DaisyM You are absolutely right. I have left before a total disaster, and he knows it, and once he gave me the conference room to sit in until I was feeling okay to leave. I told him I can't do that. Yep the feeling side leaves me an emotional wreck. I hate it, but in the long run it helps. I have told my T that (sort of got mad at him and said) it helps if he sort of summarizes things and comments about it all at the end. It helps give me some closure to the session and I don't feel like a basket case, and so he has done this, but I have also had to remind him to do it. Guess they are learning wiht us what works for each of us as everyone is different. I see my T tomorrow morning. He responded to one of my emails finally when I said his silence speaks volumes. He said what i was saying was powerful stuff that needed to be addressed in person. So, I wonder about it all. Will it be ending? Will he be able to work something out with me? Can we meet less frequently and still accomplish what I need to accomplish? I will see what he says. He may well say I should see someone else as in his opinion due to my trust issues, I need more not less, and this is why he said three times per week would be better for me than 2 times per week--He thinks it is too much time between sessions, and I seal over between times. He is right.

The disaster part is gut wrenching, and I have told him I can't go to work and get anything done unless we work on putting me back together so to speak. I just want to go home and sleep afterwards and yes have an awful headache too lots of times but not always. So rsk, you need to got back.

RealMe

 

Re: T called back and apologized rskontos

Posted by rskontos on February 8, 2008, at 10:58:37

In reply to Re: Daisym, did not get to definition with T Daisym, posted by rskontos on February 7, 2008, at 9:31:35

Well he called and apologized. he said he needed to watch the clock better and to make sure this did not happen again. I think he asked if I could come in that same day but I got my son's driving class mixed and said no. It was today, friday but I thought it was on Thurs. And when I tried to call back I got a busy signal. He had already told me he was having some phone issues. No matter. He asked if he could read my journal entry on this event and what happened but I am resistive. Mainly because I write my entries thinking no one will ever read them. When I write now I am thinking in the back of my mind about them being read. No good. So I am not sure I will let him read them. I am going to ask why he wants to read them. I re-read it and it sounds so disjointed. I wrote it so soon afterwards and it sounds very fragmented like i feel alot of times. So I am unsure. I tried to re-write it. I am so confused now. I felt a little better after talking to him but before we go any further, I am taking your advice Daisym and we are talking about dependent vs trust vs rely vs all this. Then we will talk about flashbacks etc. And he still has to read my email. He had not before he called me.

Oh the joys of therapy.

 

About the disjointed journal entry... rskontos

Posted by Racer on February 10, 2008, at 15:30:52

In reply to Re: T called back and apologized rskontos, posted by rskontos on February 8, 2008, at 10:58:37

I'm certainly not going to suggest that you read to him what you wrote, because whether or not you do *should be* (<< something I very rarely say on these boards, because of the whole "should" maelstrom) entirely up to you. If you don't feel comfortable with doing that, you don't have to.

What I will suggest, though, is that you don't edit it to make it sound more "jointed" -- the one thing that might help him most in learning to help you best is to see the disjointedness. The specifics of how the entry is disjointed might be very helpful, might help a lot in seeing where your trigger points are, etc. That's one of the benefits of journals -- the content isn't always nearly as important as the "voice" that writes it, and the disjointedness is a reflection of the emotional content involved.

As for the rest of this thread, it's very interesting to me. I'm getting a lot of my own reactions to it all, and while those reactions are pretty disjointed, I know I'm seeing a number of things I do. One of them has to do with dependency, submissiveness, and having others dependent on me. I don't think I can put it all into words -- Daisy is pretty phenomenal when it comes to that, but I'm just not -- but here's a try at it:

I have a lot of issues about dependency. (I'd actually say that it's not so much issues as an extended subscription, you know?) I'm a heck of a lot more comfortable with others being dependent on me, than being dependent on others -- and you know what I know about that? It's because by allowing others to be dependent on me, by *encouraging* others to depend on me, I can maintain a power differential which feels like protection to me. It's a distancing technique, which interferes with true intimacy.

Does that make sense?

Also, about depending on therapists -- it took a very long time for me to become open enough to my therapist to depend on her at all. There was always a huge gap between us, and I was always critical of her -- not in the judgmental sense, just in the sense of critiquing her, being aware of what she was doing, that sort of "critical." I had an intellectual understanding of transference, and we talked about it in therapy as a sort of intellectual concept, but I certainly didn't have any sort of emotional understanding, I couldn't *feel* it. Then, something happened, and all of a sudden it hit me -- ran into me like a freight train, and frightened me so much I could barely stand it. We spent an entire session talking about nothing else, mostly with me crying my sodden eyes out and hardly able to speak. That was very painful, but also very healing. I would like to say that it was a Major Breakthrough, and that I'm nearly cured as a result, but the reality is that I'm still struggling with it, still resistant to it. But it's certainly helped the process along, and it's improved my functioning as far as relationships go. My marriage has improved as a result, and I do feel more powerful in my life.

I guess that's meant to be another vote supporting what Daisy had to say. It's frightening to come to depend on a therapist, but it's not giving up power, and for me, it's led to feeling my power far deeper within me than ever before.

I hope that helps.

 

Re: About the disjointed journal entry... Racer

Posted by rskontos on February 10, 2008, at 16:52:15

In reply to About the disjointed journal entry... rskontos, posted by Racer on February 10, 2008, at 15:30:52

Racer, you don't give your self enough credit. Yes Daisym does put things into words well but this is well written and does help:)

Especially after a REALLY tough day.

I think now I will give more thought about him reading it. And maybe the second version too if he wants. I really want to have the dependent/rely/trust/etc. discussion with him too. I think it is crucial at this point.

I really related to your extended subscription. It does feel like protection because if they depend on you then you won't depend on them. My mother was very scary lady. And I, in later years, told myself she needed me not that I needed her. I think I was putting her in the extended subscription role so that I took her power or some of it away. After she died, I realized that was not true but it was something I did to try and protect myself further than just dissociating.

I would say that I have always had true intimacy issues. It just plain makes me nervous. And yet I have learned I total surpress my own feelings to please others and continue to do this IRL situations. (IE think IL situations.)

I have continued to try and look at my definition of dependency and still find it hard to define. But I am trying. Boundaries I have problems with still. My own boundaries. I always wait until they have been crossed too often before I say stop.

I see now through this thread, I do really need therapy. It was denial in my mind when in any other threads I said i would maybe quit as I can not do that. I need to work on intimacy, boundaries, how to trust for myself, and so many more things.

Whew, i never knew I was a work so badly in need of progress that maybe a community is needed or a few thousand years.

Thanks again, Racer for the reply.. It most certainly helped.

rsk

 

Re: About the disjointed journal entry... rskontos

Posted by Daisym on February 10, 2008, at 19:34:10

In reply to Re: About the disjointed journal entry... Racer, posted by rskontos on February 10, 2008, at 16:52:15

I agree with what Racer said about the journal entry. There are times when my therapist is shocked at what I wrote - because I just can't come apart as much in front of him. But at 2am, when I'm banging on those keys...it all pours out. Making sense of it is what you do together - something I'm still learning. It is really very hard to bring something less than perfect to therapy.

I hope you have the conversations you need to this week. And about realizing you need therapy - remember it takes a fairly strong person in the first place to work this deep. So you might feel really messed up, but as far as regular, day-to-day things go, you aren't. I think that is why unraveling all of this is so scary - we actually do worse than we have done before. At least for awhile.

I'm sorry you had a tough day. I hope tomorrow's better.

 

Re: About the disjointed journal entry... Daisym

Posted by rskontos on February 10, 2008, at 22:28:39

In reply to Re: About the disjointed journal entry... rskontos, posted by Daisym on February 10, 2008, at 19:34:10

Thanks Daisym, Tomorrow is therapy. I will let you know. There were some bright moments today. Thanks for the reply.


This is the end of the thread.


Show another thread

URL of post in thread:


Psycho-Babble Psychology | Extras | FAQ


[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

Script revised: February 4, 2008
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/cgi-bin/pb/mget.pl
Copyright 2006-17 Robert Hsiung.
Owned and operated by Dr. Bob LLC and not the University of Chicago.