Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 828305

Shown: posts 7 to 31 of 37. Go back in thread:

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym

Posted by Racer on May 11, 2008, at 9:39:28

In reply to Talking about weight in therapy, posted by Daisym on May 10, 2008, at 1:16:05

I haven't had the energy to read the boards lately, but this one jumped out at me -- I wonder why, huh? I also haven't read all the replies here, but I'll try to do that later. I didn't want to lose the chance to respond.

Warning: I'm feeling a bit challenging right now, so forgive me if that's not what you want...

You and I have spent time together face to face, so I might have some insight that comes from that. As you know, I am both taller and thinner than you are -- I can say that, but I'm shaking about it: "will her feelings be hurt that I say I'm thinner? Will she think I'm calling her the 'F' word?" Guess I'm nuts, huh? Do you find that makes you uncomfortable? That I am thinner? (And I do mean that to include 'that I am thinner because of my eating disorder,' not some artificial construct to make a point.) My reaction to my own history also tends to leave me wanting attention, and often drawing attention to myself, putting out "look at me" vibes, flirting when the opportunity arises, etc. (Although I probably haven't done much of that in your company, so that might not be something I want to admit...)

Anyway, what I'm asking is whether being around me is uncomfortable for you, because of the difference in body shape/size? What do you think that might mean, whatever your answer -- does it mean that your body image shifts according to environment (which mine does in a big way); or that you can separate head from heart and just meet my mind; or something else altogether? I just somehow got this wave off the post that is probably me, but I wanted to throw that question out there -- how does it feel to be around someone who doesn't shut those things off?

Mind you, of course I feel lumpy, deformed, don't feel thin, etc. And I feel pathetic that I want attention from me -- although, that's my reaction to my history, so an equally valid form of social psychopathology...

Now, here's a little insight into how others might see you -- you were shocked when I thanked you for lending me your fashion sense, remember? You think maybe you have a little distortion going on about how you might appear to others? Yes -- you are heavier than I am. It's not only that I've got my own issue there, and I won't try to pretend. I am crazy when it comes to weight issues, which I admit to. You are not fat -- I see what used to be called "pleasingly plump," and I would bet your therapist is right about you protecting yourself from attention that way. You are a very attractive woman -- yes, physically as well as intellectually. Sorry, but it's true -- you are very attractive. I think you'd have to gain about a hundred pounds or so to lose that -- and probably be conked over the head, too.

You're absolutely right, though -- you do not put out any sort of attraction signals, which is probably the real reason you don't get more attention from men. It almost feels like you put out anti-attraction signals -- a smoke screen so that no one will approach. I think that's the reason you don't get much positive reinforcement about your looks -- meaning even things like being looked at a little too long, not necessarily being approached.

I'm terribly sorry you feel this way, my little PetalPuss -- I have a hard time believing you can't look in the mirror and see that lovely face of yours. Of course, my mirror is my enemy, so I know that it's not about what's really there.

I'm sending you affection and a "distorted body/self image" hat. You can join the club, and I'll teach you the secret handshake when you get to the clubhouse...

 

Scheduled chat! Dinah

Posted by Racer on May 11, 2008, at 9:47:58

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy, posted by Dinah on May 10, 2008, at 14:33:52

> It's such an enormously layered and complex topic, and I think it deserves a layered and complex and lengthy look.
>
> It occurs to me that this would be one of those perfect opportunities for a scheduled chat on a particular topic. It seems like a lot of us struggle with this issue. And while I don't minimize the chance of actual insight being gained in discussing it candidly and in the relative privacy of chat, at the very least, wouldn't it help desensitize us to the topic so we could more easily talk about it in therapy?

I don't know anything about how you/we set those up, but if you do, I hope you'll let me know so I can be there. When typing my reply to Daisy, I realized some of my issues with it that I hadn't really seen before -- well, I'd seen in peripheral vision, but not straight on, and I want to see if anyone can "get" it, too. Or help me clarify...

So, can we set one? For sometime this week when I can be here? I hope?

Thanks.

 

Re: Scheduled chat!

Posted by llurpsienoodle on May 11, 2008, at 12:16:08

In reply to Scheduled chat! Dinah, posted by Racer on May 11, 2008, at 9:47:58

Can I come?

 

Anytime after Tuesday is ok with me. (nm)

Posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 9:28:26

In reply to Scheduled chat! Dinah, posted by Racer on May 11, 2008, at 9:47:58

 

Re: Wow this topic timely

Posted by rskontos on May 12, 2008, at 11:30:14

In reply to Anytime after Tuesday is ok with me. (nm), posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 9:28:26

I think so many of us suffer this in silence. I have no really had much of a weight problem until I took AD's and many now that i am approaching menopause. For me, it was an always has been a lack of confidence, self esteem, whatever you want to call it. It was not tied to my looks because my family made damn sure of that. My mother used hers according to her family to get what she wanted and they made sure her daughters did not. So we grew up not thinking we looked one way or the other. I could not flirt because i was afraid of being like my mother. And I watched her from way too young. One lover after another. She took her when she went out of town with them. Did my father know hell if I know. So my own self of self is so wacked I think nothing about myself . And now I think I am a waste of nothingness and it is getting worse. Do I share this with sleepy man (T) hell no.

And now I feel fat to boot. Hell of a place to be in. So let me know when the chat is too. Not that I think I can be saved as this point but it would be nice to chat with everyone I think. I will try not be a downer.

rsk

 

Well, how about I put a date out there

Posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 11:49:48

In reply to Scheduled chat! Dinah, posted by Racer on May 11, 2008, at 9:47:58

Because I'm sure that will stimulate discussion of what time/date would be better. :)

So how about a proposed date of this Wednesday at 6 central.

Then we can adjust to time schedules as needed. I'm very very flexible.

Dinah

 

Whoops, sorry Daisy.

Posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 11:50:29

In reply to Well, how about I put a date out there, posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 11:49:48

I can move to a new thread for all this.

 

Re: so sorry my post is rambly, I am rambly today (nm)

Posted by rskontos on May 12, 2008, at 12:32:29

In reply to Re: Wow this topic timely, posted by rskontos on May 12, 2008, at 11:30:14

 

Not rambly :) Complex topic rskontos

Posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 12:35:31

In reply to Re: so sorry my post is rambly, I am rambly today (nm), posted by rskontos on May 12, 2008, at 12:32:29

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/psycho/20080508/msgs/828677.html

I started a new thread for the arranging of chat.

 

Re: Wow this topic timely

Posted by ClearSkies on May 12, 2008, at 14:54:28

In reply to Re: Wow this topic timely, posted by rskontos on May 12, 2008, at 11:30:14

I have been wanting to post to this thread and have tried to write many times, only to change my mind at the last minute and not do it.

Big subject for me.

I am feeling very invisible these days. I can't even see my own reflection in the mirror except for specific parts of my body - the entirety of me just hasn't been there for a long time now - years, perhaps. Photos taken of me in recent years I find just appalling, except for the occasional head shot. But that body is not one I know, nor is it one that I love. I can't even talk of it as my own.

I brought it up, briefly, in therapy on Friday. T was visibly disturbed by the upset in my voice. I am seeing her again this week - usually I would be seeing every other week but am feeling fragile at the moment because of stressed boundaries with DH and his family.

This invisibility seems to be part of the depression that I've been laboring under these last few years.

If I can I will try to be there for chat. I don't know yet.
CS

 

Re: Wow this topic timely ClearSkies

Posted by rskontos on May 12, 2008, at 15:01:48

In reply to Re: Wow this topic timely, posted by ClearSkies on May 12, 2008, at 14:54:28

CS, sigh, I know how you feel sweetie, I too like to just ignore the mirror. It would seem to be an enemy now. :(

I am so sorry you feel that way too. For all of us:(

You know that invisibility cloak Harry Potter had in the series I sure would like to have one.

rsk

 

Re: Wow this topic timely rskontos

Posted by ClearSkies on May 12, 2008, at 16:58:46

In reply to Re: Wow this topic timely ClearSkies, posted by rskontos on May 12, 2008, at 15:01:48


> You know that invisibility cloak Harry Potter had in the series I sure would like to have one.
>
> rsk

That's the thing - I feel that I have been wearing one for a long time now. I feel without any image or reflection at all on my worst days. No, I take that back - on my worst days, I hate what I see. On the better days, I just don't see anything. I am invisible. Even my cat's devotion to me seems shallow. Which, er, it most definitely is!
CS

 

Re: Wow this topic timely ClearSkies

Posted by llurpsienoodle on May 12, 2008, at 17:42:00

In reply to Re: Wow this topic timely rskontos, posted by ClearSkies on May 12, 2008, at 16:58:46

your cat's devotion may be shallow, but mine isn't.

T and I have talked about body image, attractiveness, etc. It is very hard to hear him say nice things to me, and especially about my body, when I am feeling insecure (which is always). I feel like he is so fit and I am so flab. When i start complaining about meds he recommends exercise as a natural AD. he's not smug about it, but still...

An interesting study showed that women were more likely to dress provocatively around the time of ovulation. Might be interesting to chart this...

So many layers of biology and culture. Attractiveness etc.

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy LlurpsieNoodle

Posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 20:20:42

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym, posted by LlurpsieNoodle on May 10, 2008, at 9:04:43

It is good to hear that it *is* possible to talk about all of this during sessions. Today I spent a lot of time on it but the previous two sessions I did a "drive by" - mentioned it at the end of the session, talked for about 5 minute and fled.

My therapist has never complimented me on my looks - even as we talk about attractiveness now. I'm not sure how I'd take it. It makes me wonder if a client really is attractive if it is more OK to say? I don't know, I'm so sensitive right now.

The gaining and losing and gaining again cycle stinks. And yes, we all know we should exercise. Do you make faces at him for that? I would.

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy TherapyGirl

Posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 20:25:10

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym, posted by TherapyGirl on May 10, 2008, at 10:06:02

I hope you heal from your surgery quickly. It sounds a lot worse than what I'm dealing with.

But being hurt has opened up this really old wound and I'm shocked an the enormous tidal wave of emotions I'm feeling. High school magnified 10xs.

I don't think this is a male/female difficult thing. It just is one of those things that you never want to say out loud for so many reasons, including, "what if I'm right and I really am repulsive?"

My therapist said today, "all this time and you've kept so much of this hidden" - he sounds a little confused and shocked at how upset I am and why. But we are trying to dump it all out and then sort through it. What a pile of junk this is!

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy Phillipa

Posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 20:26:11

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy, posted by Phillipa on May 10, 2008, at 12:36:34

Age isn't easy either - but I think the difference is the judgement part. People don't judge you for aging, but they sure do for weight.

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym

Posted by llurpsienoodle on May 12, 2008, at 20:26:17

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy LlurpsieNoodle, posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 20:20:42

> It is good to hear that it *is* possible to talk about all of this during sessions. Today I spent a lot of time on it but the previous two sessions I did a "drive by" - mentioned it at the end of the session, talked for about 5 minute and fled.

Well, it's important to get an appetizer before you commit to a whole discussion. Don't be so hard on yourself!

>
> My therapist has never complimented me on my looks - even as we talk about attractiveness now. I'm not sure how I'd take it. It makes me wonder if a client really is attractive if it is more OK to say? I don't know, I'm so sensitive right now.
>

I remember my 2nd session with currenT well. We were going over a list of my maladies and I said I had low self-esteem and poor body image and he looked at me and said "you don't think you're pretty?" OMG. I just about died. How the hell is one supposed to answer that question? Um, you brand-newT, I DON'T think I'm pretty. thank you for making this very very awkward.

> The gaining and losing and gaining again cycle stinks. And yes, we all know we should exercise. Do you make faces at him for that? I would.
>

oh HELL yes! I even groan. I tell him it's really easy to exercise when one isn't depressed.

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy

Posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 20:29:43

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy, posted by Dinah on May 10, 2008, at 14:33:52

I hope we can find a time when most of us can be there. A chat would be great.

I would imagine that if one's therapist was over or under-weight, it would be touchy to bring up. My therapist is relatively fit so it didn't occur to me to think about if he was sensitive to the subject - how self involved is that?

The layers keep growing too - we talked about flirting today. I feels so inept. You know how there is CBT and DBT? Maybe we need FBT - Flirting behavior therapy...

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym

Posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 21:20:05

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy, posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 20:29:43

:)

I don't think I'd be able to flirt at all. That'd be up there with acting, or doing voices. :)

My therapist has more or less said I dress in a less than attractive way, and that I'm overweight. Or at least he's said I shouldn't be hard on myself about my weight, because it was caused by medications.

But he also often expresses surprised compliments when I bring in pictures of me at different ages. Young adult me got "handsome", older teenage me got "va va voom", and little girl me got "just like a young Meg Ryan". Sigh. Like when my friend's wife saw a picture of me when I was younger and said "Hey, you used to be pretty!!!"

And that was *before* I gained weight.

Appearance issues, me? How could this be?

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy Dinah

Posted by Phillipa on May 12, 2008, at 22:41:23

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym, posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 21:20:05

Dinah I'm so sorry what a horrible comment to make to someone. Meg Ryan love her. But also love you anyway you are. Is it okay to say that it's non-sexual. Love Phillipa

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy raisinb

Posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 22:50:46

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym, posted by raisinb on May 10, 2008, at 16:32:26

I'm sure it must be equally hard on your side and I'll have to watch myself around it. It feels, from where I sit, that being thin, no matter how thin or why you got that way, is more socially acceptable. I guess because it seems easier to gain it back instead of having to lose it. But I can see how that thinking is very one-sided.

And for sure, no one wants to hear that they look old or worse or sick or whatever. That is just insensitive. I remember a friend who had cancer and someone said to her "at least there is an upside to this - the weight loss." People don't think.

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy

Posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 23:25:35

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym, posted by Racer on May 11, 2008, at 9:39:28

You and I have spent time together face to face, so I might have some insight that comes from that. As you know, I am both taller and thinner than you are -- I can say that, but I'm shaking about it: "will her feelings be hurt that I say I'm thinner? Will she think I'm calling her the 'F' word?" Guess I'm nuts, huh? Do you find that makes you uncomfortable? That I am thinner? (And I do mean that to include 'that I am thinner because of my eating disorder,' not some artificial construct to make a point.) My reaction to my own history also tends to leave me wanting attention, and often drawing attention to myself, putting out "look at me" vibes, flirting when the opportunity arises, etc. (Although I probably haven't done much of that in your company, so that might not be something I want to admit...)

***You know - you being thinner has never made me uncomfortable. BUT - knowing what a big deal weight is to you, I've wondered if my size was uncomfortable for you. I guess we all look at through our own lenses. And I can see how our histories cause us to either want attention or want to hide from it. My therapist said, "but you put yourself in front of crowds all the time - speaking at conferences, etc." I told him that is so different - I control it and people want to hear what I say and what I think - they don't decide if I'm worthwhile or not based on how I look. Because I always DRESS the part - the body is hidden inside the costume.

Anyway, what I'm asking is whether being around me is uncomfortable for you, because of the difference in body shape/size? What do you think that might mean, whatever your answer -- does it mean that your body image shifts according to environment (which mine does in a big way); or that you can separate head from heart and just meet my mind; or something else altogether? I just somehow got this wave off the post that is probably me, but I wanted to throw that question out there -- how does it feel to be around someone who doesn't shut those things off?

****It is an interesting question to ponder. I think I separate head from heart and just meet your mind, most of the time. There are environments where that isn't possible and I'm more aware of my size - and I guess yours, but mine in a negative way. Again - I think being thin, no matter how one gets there, is a lot more socially acceptable. And admired.

Mind you, of course I feel lumpy, deformed, don't feel thin, etc. And I feel pathetic that I want attention from me -- although, that's my reaction to my history, so an equally valid form of social psychopathology...

**** OK, I know you've heard this before - but how you see yourself IS a distortion. And you know that. The evidence is in the scale and in the clothing size. But I have evidence to prove that I see myself way too realistically - the same scale and those same clothing labels. I'm not discounting how you feel about yourself and you shouldn't be so hard on yourself for wanting attention - it is a normal human thing to want others to reciprocate love and approval. It is less normal to want to hide yourself all the time.

Now, here's a little insight into how others might see you -- you were shocked when I thanked you for lending me your fashion sense, remember? You think maybe you have a little distortion going on about how you might appear to others? Yes -- you are heavier than I am. It's not only that I've got my own issue there, and I won't try to pretend. I am crazy when it comes to weight issues, which I admit to. You are not fat -- I see what used to be called "pleasingly plump," and I would bet your therapist is right about you protecting yourself from attention that way. You are a very attractive woman -- yes, physically as well as intellectually. Sorry, but it's true -- you are very attractive. I think you'd have to gain about a hundred pounds or so to lose that -- and probably be conked over the head, too.

****Thank you. Nice things to say and I appreciate your carefully worded honesty. It is important in this discussion I think - because talking about it is not about wanting someone to tell me I'm not this or that -- it is about why I feel so ugly and why it matters. And why if it is so troublesome, I'm not doing anything about it. And maybe, when we peel it all back, it is about how we look naked. I can put the outfit together and the shoes and do my hair, keep my roots colored and wear the right make up and jewelry. I try to stay fairly fashionable (though I still favor the preppy look, which went out years ago) because these things help me blend it - I'm appropriate - nothing too flashy, nothing low cut, nothing to old, dirty or torn. Talk about a walking wall-flower... The idea of having sex with someone who will see my body - not hidden, not covered up, is terrifying. I imagine this complete rejection in that moment that all my flaws show. And I'm well aware that the flaws that color this are internal and the self-esteem that plummets is a very old reaction.

You're absolutely right, though -- you do not put out any sort of attraction signals, which is probably the real reason you don't get more attention from men. It almost feels like you put out anti-attraction signals -- a smoke screen so that no one will approach. I think that's the reason you don't get much positive reinforcement about your looks -- meaning even things like being looked at a little too long, not necessarily being approached.

****I will agree with you here. But I don't know how to do it differently. I'm kind of a serious personality unless I'm drinking a lot, which I rarely do anymore. And the more social the situation, the more I'm aware that there are other, more attractive, more fun women in the room. Even when I get compliments, I rarely believe them - how stupid is that? I think I have nice eyes, good nails and cute feet. Just so you know that I'm not completely down on myself.

I'm terribly sorry you feel this way, my little PetalPuss -- I have a hard time believing you can't look in the mirror and see that lovely face of yours. Of course, my mirror is my enemy, so I know that it's not about what's really there.

I'm sending you affection and a "distorted body/self image" hat. You can join the club, and I'll teach you the secret handshake when you get to the clubhouse...

****Thanks for the input and the club key. But I'll say again - I don't think my body image is distorted but certainly my self image is. I keep telling myself that how I look isn't nearly as important as who I am. But since I'm struggling with knowing myself, it is kind of hard to keep up that self-talk. The feminist in me hates all of this but the little kid in me is remembering every taunt and every "new kid/first day of school" scrutiny with fresh tears and a sick stomach. It will pass, I'm sure.

Thanks for the long and thoughtful post. I hope we figure out a chat time that works for everyone.

 

Re: Wow this topic timely rskontos

Posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 23:30:28

In reply to Re: Wow this topic timely, posted by rskontos on May 12, 2008, at 11:30:14

It used to be that women, as they aged, were expected to take on some weight, it was a status thing - you were maturing and looked up to. Now we beat ourselves up for it. And I can see how you'd want to be the opposite of your mom. Amazing how our families influence our opinions of our appearance, isn't it?

I wish your therapist was more on the ball. These issues are hard enough without you having to do all the work yourself and try and keep them awake too boot. sheesh.

 

Re: Wow this topic timely ClearSkies

Posted by Daisym on May 12, 2008, at 23:39:05

In reply to Re: Wow this topic timely, posted by ClearSkies on May 12, 2008, at 14:54:28

It is really painful to feel invisible, like no one sees your pain and you don't matter. I wish you didn't feel this way.

I often talk about my body as a different person. The pictures are shocking - who is that woman sitting next to my children? I'm not photogenic, which is not related to I hate how I look, I'm really not - so it is even worse for me.

I think it is one of the topics we all mostly have strong feelings about yet don't bring up very often. Is this because we already know the answers? Eat less, move more, be healthy. Or is this because we are afraid they will agree with us? (another one of my issues) Have you talked about this before?

I hope things ease up at home soon. Be gentle with yourself.

 

Re: Talking about weight in therapy Dinah

Posted by MidnightBlue on May 13, 2008, at 0:23:33

In reply to Re: Talking about weight in therapy Daisym, posted by Dinah on May 12, 2008, at 21:20:05

I used to be pretty, too.

MB


Go forward in 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.