Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 945648

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I don't understand what I'm feeling

Posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

I feel so, so sad - heart-broken is the word that keeps coming to mind - and yet I truly don't know why. So here I am, asking for input...

I had a tough session yesterday and with 10 minutes to go, shut down. My therapist said, "Do you need to be done with this?" and I indicated yes. So he said, joking, "Do you want to talk about bowling?" I said, "sure." So he asked, again joking, "what was your last score?" I told him 122 - he said "that sucks" and then asked when that was. When I said a month or two ago, he was very surprised - asked a few more questions about bowling and then said, "I can't believe I don't know you bowl...after all this time." And he said more, we talked lightly and I left.

Today we talked at first about the feelings that shut me down yesterday and then he said that he'd found himself really thinking about the last few minutes after our session yesterday - about how much he really doesn't know about me, including the "in-between" things of my childhood. We've talked hours and hours about the "bad" stuff but not so much about the ordinary things - like tree climbing or what I did with my friends. He asked how that would be for me - and I told him that I wasn't sure I knew what to tell him but these were the kinds of things from the past I never thought about because when people share lightly - "I used to do this or that" it inevitably leads me to the secret I had to keep. But as an adult, I do share lots of stuff with people - the stuff that doesn't mean anything - like bowling. And people think you are easy to talk to and open and relaxed because you do this - because you never, ever share your secret or sadness. And we do talk about my work and my relationships now, etc. Besides I don't know what is stupid and not important - so how do I know what to tell him?

And then, somehow, I was telling him things - trying to figure it out as I went. I told him about my first job and about playing with my brothers most of the time. And about skating, etc. I told him that he probably didn't really know how much I love music and why -- and local radio, I love the radio in the morning. We talked about rock band and folk music. He smiled a lot and asked questions here and there, or made comments. I was in my "good girl" persona, doing what was expected, painting positive pictures for him. They were all true though - so I wasn't making things up to make him happy or anything.

But as the end of the session neared, I felt so sad. He asked about my plans for the weekend, like he always does. I did not tell him I felt sad, I just left as if nothing was wrong. I wanted to cry when I was finally alone in my car. And I still feel that way. I feel so alone, not connected...lost. I can't even begin to figure out why a conversation that was all about me, about good things and not triggering would make me feel this way. And worse, I can't tell him I feel this way because that makes me a drama queen.

Is it that I'm not OK being happy and normal and ordinary with him? How pathetic does that make me? But that doesn't feel like it - or at least, not all of it. But something has happened, somehow I'm hurt and I don't know how to make it better.

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym

Posted by TherapyGirl on April 29, 2010, at 21:04:14

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

I'm so sorry, Daisy. I hate being in that place myself and I hate reading that you're there, too. Ultimately, I suspect you will have to figure out exactly what's going on here -- the rest of us may have guesses, but that's all they are. So having said that, here are mine:

You are so used to feeling connected to him over the trauma that somehow you don't feel that same connection when you're talking about non-trauma things. That does NOT make you a drama queen. I think it just means that you are able to share your secrets with him in a way that you can't with others because of that connection. It seems normal to me that it would be difficult to feel connected if you're talking about lighter things.

The other thing I'm wondering is if you feel like he pulled away from you by going "lighter." I know you've worried before that the pain and trauma are too much for him. Perhaps in some corner of your mind this is "proof?"

Again, those are just guesses. I'll be interested in hearing what you figure out, or maybe what you figure out with your T. And I could feel the connection between you two in your post, even on the lighter subjects. I think it's wonderful that he wants to know ALL of you, not just one part of you.

(((((((((Daisy))))))))))

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym

Posted by onceupon on April 29, 2010, at 21:30:37

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

I think TG is right, that you'll come to an understanding about this on your own, over time, so whatever we have to add is just speculation, filtered through our own particular lenses. My first guess was that your sadness sounded like a particular form of grief - maybe about the juxtaposition of talking about such happy things in a space where you've gone so deep into such terrible things - as if it's sad that in all this time your therapist hasn't known the "real" you, because he's missed out on this part of you. I often find myself wanting to share others' favorable impressions of me with my therapist, because I'm convinced that she sees me in such a one-dimensional way, since all I seem to bring to her are details of the crap side of my life.

Maybe another way of saying it is that it could be sadness about the contrast between the happiness and the terror you experienced as a child. And the contradiction that lies therein.

What you said about playing the "good girl" also seems pertinent to the feeling. I can't see how that wouldn't elicit some sadness. Even if you weren't making anything up, you were still playing a role, to some extent. If I look, there's often at least of tinge of sadness whenever I find myself putting on a show, so to speak. Or bringing out my "false self" in order to fulfill what I perceive as others' needs.

I don't see any evidence, whatsoever, of drama queen. Sorry :) It just looks like straight up difficult feelings to me.

Daisy, I really feel for you on this one. My therapist and I have talked a lot about playing a role, and how I'm really good at it. I'm a professional, and I do my job well enough to not really get noticed by anyone, which is really what I'm looking for. I can talk the talk and walk the walk, and make jokes with my coworkers. And all the while I can (sometimes) feel like I'm losing my mind.

I'll be thinking about you tonight and this weekend. Be well.

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling TherapyGirl

Posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 23:11:51

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym, posted by TherapyGirl on April 29, 2010, at 21:04:14

This is my worry - that I can only feel connected over the trauma - and does that mean I need to keep it front and center? Am I "afraid" to be happy? We've been talking about which is harder for me, "being loved" or "loving someone." They are equally dangerous for different reasons. I think I believe him when he says we aren't done when I feel better. We are done when I'm ready to be done. But maybe deep down I don't?


Only telling him didn't feel happy. It felt like searching around for stuff that must have happened and been important but it didn't seem worth sharing. And maybe that is part of this - EVERYTHING gets kept inside -- good, bad --- I'm so self-contained and this really highlighted that.

And yes, yes, yes - I admit to having the thought that he is sick of my crap and is moving me along to really see the balance of life - positive and negative. He'll say that isn't true, we move at my readiness, not his. But what if he is getting worried that I'll never be ready?

Thanks for the guesses. They were all spot on.


 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling onceupon

Posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 23:23:29

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym, posted by onceupon on April 29, 2010, at 21:30:37

In my group, we just talked a little bit about false selves. I feel a growing intolerance with my own - like I can't stand being fake anymore. I worry that this will make me blurt things I shouldn't.

What you said about sharing favorable impressions with your therapist is something I say occasionally. I will tell him that he wouldn't recognize me out in the work setting. He says he sees the good things and he can see how competent I am. Last week, when I was going away to present at a conference he talked about my "gifts" and how great it was that I could share them with the world. It was nice to hear but embarrassing too.

And maybe you are right about the contrast. Feels like a tapastry woven with so many bad things but with bright spots and unusual colors in places. The more I talked, the more that bright "false-self" emerged. Maybe I'm sad because of his perceived need for me to have had positive and fun experiences. If he makes me concentrate on those, then he becomes like everyone else, right? And shouldn't I want to concentrate on the positives? Otherwise, I'm getting off on just wallowing.

I wish it was easier for both of us.


 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling

Posted by sassyfrancesca on April 30, 2010, at 8:12:51

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym, posted by TherapyGirl on April 29, 2010, at 21:04:14

((Daisy))): The best thing you can do for yourself, is to be authentic and real with your t; only then can you begin to heal. Secrets destroy us inside, once it (they) are out, you can take the journey with someone (your t) who cares about you and doesn't want you to suffer.

Being honest and real is never about being a "drama queen."

Love, Sassy

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling

Posted by Dinah on April 30, 2010, at 8:22:27

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym, posted by TherapyGirl on April 29, 2010, at 21:04:14

> The other thing I'm wondering is if you feel like he pulled away from you by going "lighter." I know you've worried before that the pain and trauma are too much for him. Perhaps in some corner of your mind this is "proof?"

This was my original thought, since you felt like you were being a good girl and doing what he wanted you to do. He asked you to bring a different side of yourself to therapy and seemed to enjoy it a lot. I'm sure it didn't at all mean that he finds you too difficult or doesn't care about the other sides of you. But I can understand feeling hurt. I think I've had similar experiences, and I did feel hurt. I felt like maybe that was the side of me he would prefer to see.

I think you ought to share those concerns with him, so that he can be clear about his intent. It always helped with me.

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling sassyfrancesca

Posted by Daisym on April 30, 2010, at 19:35:01

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by sassyfrancesca on April 30, 2010, at 8:12:51

I know that is how it is supposed to work - don't keep secrets, be authentic. But the flip side is the loss that is inevitable when you tell the secret. You lose people you love because they can't hear it, can't tolerate their own part in whatever happened or just don't know how to know this about you. I guess we must decide which is worse -- and each person has to make that decision for themselves as they take this journey.

Part of the worry about being a drama queen is admitting that I like my therapist's warmth and caring, even if it is around all the bad stuff - or maybe especially if it is. I need to look closer as to why this is. Thanks for your encouragement.

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Dinah

Posted by Daisym on April 30, 2010, at 19:44:48

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Dinah on April 30, 2010, at 8:22:27

I think you are right - is this the side of me he would prefer to see? Or - how can he see the normal happy stuff and believe the bad stuff too? I realize this is black/white thinking and he is mature enough to know that one doesn't negate the other...but wow - it is really causing a lot of anxiety. And the thought occurs - what if I didn't find enough things to be happy about or interested in - what if he thinks I was a boring kid and thus am a boring adult?! Does trauma make me special? What a horrible thought!

But what feels clearer today is that he felt like my mother use to: "tell me about your day - but only the good parts." "Don't just tell me what is wrong, tell me what you need me to do about it." Essentially, "I don't want to hear it unless we can take action to fix it." She was a very practical woman and this worked well in many settings.

Another, very scary thought crept in during the wee hours this morning. Maybe I'm afraid that this is the beginning of the end. That being able to focus on the positives and to talk to him like I talk to most people - and to bring this high functioning side into therapy - means that the trauma needs less room and less attention. Which is great - and scary.

I still don't want to talk to him about it - maybe I'll change my mind by Monday. So I'm going to bury myself in work instead.

Thanks for always being here.
Daisy

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling

Posted by rnny on April 30, 2010, at 21:50:07

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

It doesn't make you pathetic at all. And hearing you suggest you might think that of yourself, made *me* sad. I read your description of your feelings, sad and heartbroken..and can tell you that I sat in a T's office on Monday and told her that feeling sad and heartbroken is a predominant experience I carry around inside me. I can also tell you that this past week I had a crying spell at night when I hit the sheets and cried into my pillow so that my neighbor's wouldn't hear me. (((((daisym))))

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling

Posted by BayLeaf on May 1, 2010, at 17:38:39

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

I think we feel more connected to our T's when we talk trauma cuz the emotions are so intense, and we are so open and vulnerable. It's so dangerous, we're cautious, they're careful...it's friggin' intense. The room is energized and calm and boiling and motionless all at the same time. It's a mezmerizing exchange of tension, energy, release, etc.

How can all that compare to a bowling conversation? It's impossible. It's interesting tho to note in this difference how a day-to-day relationship would be with our T's. More like the bowling conversation, eh? Maybe that's disappointing? Eeep.

bay

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling BayLeaf

Posted by TherapyGirl on May 1, 2010, at 19:38:56

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by BayLeaf on May 1, 2010, at 17:38:39

I don't know if Daisy will agree, but you completely nailed what I was trying to say. That scene is very, very familiar to me.

Thanks, Bayleaf.

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym

Posted by twilight on May 2, 2010, at 14:54:46

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

I understand your feeling of hurt all too well Daisy. I think that sometimes it's scary to bring "all of us" into the room -.the good, the bad, the positive and the sad, as it represents (to me), the idea that yeah, maybe I am making a big deal out of "it", why not just think differently and focus on the positive and get on with my life. And then perhaps the thought that, maybe T thinks that too. Of course, that's my own irrational thinking, but I can't help it sometimes. All I want to say is, I do get it.

I think it's natural for our T's to react to "progress" in a way, right? Get a little excited about other aspects of our lives (like bowling chat) that may be, for us, just a cover up on the outside for what we are feeling inside.

And then I kick myself for not being able to really be that positive. It's all hard.

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling rnny

Posted by Daisym on May 2, 2010, at 21:26:35

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by rnny on April 30, 2010, at 21:50:07

I'm sorry you've been feeling so bad. Thanks for the post.

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling BayLeaf

Posted by Daisym on May 2, 2010, at 21:31:57

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by BayLeaf on May 1, 2010, at 17:38:39

I think that is part of the worry - that I've become "addicted" to the intensity - that I need the depth of conversation to feel connected. And this would not be a good thing because no relationship can sustain that - nor do I want the trauma to have that much power.

I sometimes think that therapy spoils you in general for "small talk" - we lose the ability to do it or to want to do it. Would this be the kind of thing I'd talk about with him outside of therapy? maybe - but i think for him it was more the surprise of not knowing something and not really the subject. And perhaps, as you said, he wasn't so careful, didn't think he needed to be.

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling twilight

Posted by Daisym on May 2, 2010, at 21:35:19

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym, posted by twilight on May 2, 2010, at 14:54:46

We've talked about this in therapy before - my inability to allow him to be happy for me, or be please about something. I want him to be but it rattles me too - like he is going to switch on a dime and suddenly be angry at my happiness. I think the emotional regulation we've been working on is in play here too - you couldn't be too sad or too happy when I was a kid, so I never learned. Anything outside my small, very reserved, very calm zone, feels scary.

And yes - I can't help but feel he is wishing and wishing for me positive conversations with me.

It *is* hard!

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym

Posted by muffled on May 2, 2010, at 22:51:07

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

Maybe parts of self felt left out or usurped?
Its all you.
The good girl, the one that is fake(I think thats what you called it?), the part that holds the pain, the fun one, etc etc. All facets of you. All are important. All need to be accepted for the job they do or did. There is a reason for all the facets. They all matter. They all need acceptance.
Just my thots.
TC
M

 

Re: How are things now? (nm) Daisym

Posted by TherapyGirl on May 6, 2010, at 15:45:53

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling

Posted by PrincessDi on May 11, 2010, at 13:29:46

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24

Daisy, I haven't posted for a couple of years but I remember we had a lot in common. I read your post and hope things are going better for you. I use to post under Bigspeech and would love to hear from you!

 

Re: How are things now? TherapyGirl

Posted by Daisym on May 11, 2010, at 22:17:30

In reply to Re: How are things now? (nm) Daisym, posted by TherapyGirl on May 6, 2010, at 15:45:53

Things are very, very busy so there is very little time for innerwork. But the fall out from this shift is that my tough organizing part is very much back in charge. "She" doesn't think therapy is necessary and when ever I begin to feel, she swoops in, wraps up the feelings and carries them away to the ceiling. So I'm numb a lot. But it has allowed me to get through all the craziness of the past week and half.

My group therapist says she thinks that "worlds collided" and that is never ever supposed to happen. It is just too scary to allow both sides of me together - because we can't make the bad stuff that real for the side that copes in the world. My therapist says that he somehow hurt the sensitive little girl part of me very badly and now she has gone underground again. I can't identify the hurt - there are no words for it - but he keeps talking about an unintended message that I'm reacting to, despite my best efforts to intellectualize it all. I think he feels bad because he is being very gentle and not pushing me to do more than sit with it.

So it is all very complicated and it is really hard to work on as dissociation seems a prominent symptom right now.

Isn't it odd how your attachment to your therapist grows, rages and then fades at different times?

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling PrincessDi

Posted by Daisym on May 11, 2010, at 22:25:59

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by PrincessDi on May 11, 2010, at 13:29:46

Glad to see you around. Sounds like things are tough in therapy right now. How cool, though, that you could talk to your husband about the gift. Sounds like you share alot.

Things with me are better and still hard. I'm working through it - but sometimes it still feels like it is working through me!

Take care,
Daisy

 

Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym

Posted by rskontos on May 14, 2010, at 23:23:56

In reply to I don't understand what I'm feeling, posted by Daisym on April 29, 2010, at 20:39:24


Daisym, I don't know if it makes you feel better, but I had to have an emergency session with my t this week due to me quite simply breaking down. I know some of the stressors and triggers but I too feel an overpowering sadness I can't explain. I cry all the time and feel down. Either i shut down or I cry.

I told my t wed. that I only feel right with him. he laughingly said well stay all the time here then. Of course that isn't possible and I still left feeling like I failed. Again,

maybe it is because we are trying to be too well for them and not being honest. Only I don't know what to be honest about. Too many blanks for me.

I am sorry for how you feel. take care and good to see you around. I haven't been here in ages.

i miss everyone

rsk

 

Re: How are things now? Daisym

Posted by TherapyGirl on May 23, 2010, at 19:41:39

In reply to Re: How are things now? TherapyGirl, posted by Daisym on May 11, 2010, at 22:17:30

I'm so sorry -- both that I missed this when you posted it and that things aren't better, although I understand completely being busy and letting the tough part be in charge for a while. I hope that your little girl will feel safe enough to come back out soon.

The therapist attachment certainly does wax and wane and is often like a mine field for our therapists and us (especially my T over the past 2 years).

I hope you are able to stay with this enough for now and that your relationship gets back on an even keel soon.

 

I miss you rskontos

Posted by antigua3 on May 24, 2010, at 10:26:50

In reply to Re: I don't understand what I'm feeling Daisym, posted by rskontos on May 14, 2010, at 23:23:56

I miss all of us, really. Sorry things are in a tough phase at the moment. Just remember--and you'll hate me for saying it--but this time will pass, I promise you. I'm not saying that things will get easier first; you know sometimes they have to get tougher before the breakthroughs.
Thinking of you and hoping things will get better.
antigua

 

Re: I miss you)) RSK + Antigua

Posted by TherapyGirl on May 24, 2010, at 18:52:47

In reply to I miss you rskontos, posted by antigua3 on May 24, 2010, at 10:26:50

I miss everybody, too. It's not quite the same around here.

RSK -- sorry I missed your post. I'm missing a lot of them. It's good to see you, although I hate that you're having a bad time. Maybe we need to open Camp back up. We haven't done that in a while.


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