Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 1049035

Shown: posts 1 to 21 of 21. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Needing extra support

Posted by littlegirllost on August 14, 2013, at 21:04:12

Hi Everyone,

Not sure if anyone remembers me, it's been a few years since I've posted here. I've been doing well, still seeing the same therapist, it will be 10 years in October.

Anyway, I could use a little support; I just got that dreaded phone call and didn't know where to turn. I meet with my T on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I didn't see her on Tuesday, I was going away for a few days, so it was prearranged. I'm home today, and was really looking forward to seeing her tomorrow. However, I just got a phone call. She needs to cancel due to a family emergency. That was all she said. She's always careful not to reveal too much, which I respect, but it has me so worried I have a knot in my stomach. It has to be serious. I know it has to be. First, she never cancels on me. Also, she knows I worry, and she usually tries to tell me things (within the realm of appropriateness) to alleviate some of my worry. That didn't happen this time. When I said that I hope everything is ok, she just said a trailing "well"... and kind of left it at that. She said that she hoped to be able to see me on Tuesday, but if she couldn't, she'd let me know.

I'm worried you guys!! And sad for her! I don't want her to be going through anything. I didn't know where to turn, and knew you'd understand. I don't have a lot of friends in real life, and they don't know I see a therapist anyway.

I'm worried.

LGL

 

Re: Needing extra support

Posted by alexandra_k on August 14, 2013, at 22:34:25

In reply to Needing extra support, posted by littlegirllost on August 14, 2013, at 21:04:12

Hey. I remember the pain / anxiety of missed sessions. My t vanished (as he told me he would) when his wife had a baby (I so wished he never told me that). He said he would email me... And then things got busy for him and he didn't... And of course I freaked out that things went bad and the baby died or his wife died or both. But it turned out that everything was just fine. Just busy. I think he had a tribe of kids already so would have been busy for him, yeah. I really wish... I knew less about him... But maybe it did help in a way. I don't know.

Most probably... Everything will be fine. I understand that it is hard, though.

 

Re: Needing extra support alexandra_k

Posted by littlegirllost on August 14, 2013, at 23:25:41

In reply to Re: Needing extra support, posted by alexandra_k on August 14, 2013, at 22:34:25

Thanks for your encouragement, Alexandra; and for understanding. Seems like you can relate... I knew people here would. This is so unlike her, I can't help but worry. I'm trying not to though, but of course it's hard.

This is the hard part of therapy... the realization that therapists are human too and stuff can happen to them and their families too. I don't want her to have any hardships or suffering (of course!), but selfishly, I don't want it to affect me either. I feel bad saying this, and I don't mean it in a bad way. Guess I'm just thinking of some people here who were abandoned by their therapists in one way or another. I don't want the ripple effect of an emergency, I really don't want her to be going through something. And I think that's the other hard part, being smacked by boundaries. As much as I don't want to know too much, I also want to. Part of me wishes she could/would share with me what's going on... Not just to know, but so that I can offer my support too.

I just hope everything's ok! I'm going to try to get to sleep.

 

Re: Needing extra support

Posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2013, at 2:41:59

In reply to Re: Needing extra support alexandra_k, posted by littlegirllost on August 14, 2013, at 23:25:41

I think realizing they are only human is part of what is hard... But I also think that it is what makes it possible. I mean... Either they would be there on demand in precisely the way we need - in which case we would never want to do without them. Or they would be being purposely withholding - in which case that would make them purposely cruel. Their humanity / fallibility is what makes it possible though, I guess.

At least... It was an important part of the journey for me. I grieved a lot that my therapists weren't more perfect... But I was able to come to accept less than perfection (after not too(ooo) many trantrums) eventually. After realizing that they were trying... And doing the best they could do.

It sounds like one of her family members is going through something so she needs to place her energy over there for a time. At least... That is what sprung to mind for me. I wonder... I wonder if there is a way that you can offer her your support that doesn't necessarily involve your asking for or finding out more information.

Are you creative at all? Some people draw or paint or something... Get some enjoyment from that. You could make her a card or something. To say that your thoughts are with her or something like that... I don't know. Don't know what she is like with gifts... But maybe there could be something that helps the both of you. Even though she might not get it until she returns. It would probably mean something then. And give you a way in to talk about some of this with her on her return.

I hope you get some rested sleep.

 

Re: Needing extra support littlegirllost

Posted by Poet on August 15, 2013, at 14:41:34

In reply to Needing extra support, posted by littlegirllost on August 14, 2013, at 21:04:12

Hi LGL,

I hate it when my T cancels on me at the last minute, I totally get your anxiety that something might be seriously wrong. I also agree that people who aren't in therapy don't understand.

Someone here once gave me good advice when my T went on a long vacation: rearrange kitchen cabinets, clean out closets, do something to take your mind off that you are missing your session.

I hope that you see her on Tuesday.

Poet

 

Re: Needing extra support

Posted by baseball55 on August 15, 2013, at 19:54:04

In reply to Re: Needing extra support littlegirllost, posted by Poet on August 15, 2013, at 14:41:34

Last year, my p-doc called to tell me he had fallen on the stairs and torn the tendons in both his knees. He had had surgery and was then in a rehab. He said he would let me know what was going on, but didn't know when he would be able to go to work again. I sent him a card and a book I thought he would enjoy. But really, I felt more sorry for myself than I did for him.

 

Re: Needing extra support alexandra_k

Posted by littlegirllost on August 15, 2013, at 22:04:08

In reply to Re: Needing extra support, posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2013, at 2:41:59

Thanks Alexandra... I know what you mean about realizing that they are human. It's interesting though because I saw another therapist before her for a few years, and I practically worshipped her. I thought she was perfect. Looking back, I can see that it was probably not such a healthy relationship for me, a little too loose with boundaries, maybe a tad unprofessional. Of course I liked it all at the time... but my therapist now is different. She's professional and pretty rigid with boundaries without being stuffy. She's appropriate. She's made mistakes, though never intentionally, but it's shown me that she's human... and I like that. I think she's great and I love her, but I don't "worship" her like I did the other one.

It's just that this "family emergency" is new to me. To be honest, I don't even mind missing the session (or sessions). I just want her and her family to be ok. Selfishly, I don't want this to affect my treatment, of course. And I also wonder if she will tell me after the fact. I doubt it, but I can't help but be curious about what's going on.

I had trouble sleeping last night and ended up sending her an email, not about me though. I told her not to respond, but said I wanted her to know that I was thinking about her, and that I hoped everything was ok, etc. I didn't tell her how I was feeling, didn't want to make it about me since she is going through her own stuff. However, she did respond this morning, thanking me for my good wishes and said that the best thing I could do for her was to have as good a life as possible, etc. (For some reason, that comment made me feel like someone died; which my gut already thinks. She never said anything like that before, sounds like someone's life was cut short.)

I don't know...

 

Re: Needing extra support Poet

Posted by littlegirllost on August 15, 2013, at 22:07:26

In reply to Re: Needing extra support littlegirllost, posted by Poet on August 15, 2013, at 14:41:34

Thanks Poet... Outsiders definitely don't understand. When I hung up with her, I panicked for a minute... I needed to tell someone; it's good to be able to come back here!

I like your idea of cleaning out closets and things to occupy my mind... I can definitely do that. (Stuff like that I've been putting off for a "rainy day". :))

Thanks,

 

Re: Needing extra support baseball55

Posted by littlegirllost on August 15, 2013, at 22:10:45

In reply to Re: Needing extra support, posted by baseball55 on August 15, 2013, at 19:54:04

Baseball, That was nice that you sent your therapist a card and a book. Sounds like he was out for quite a while with that injury... Certainly understandable that you would be feeling sorry for yourself! I hope you guys are back on track now.

That's one of the downsides of therapy, isn't it?

 

Re: Needing extra support

Posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2013, at 22:32:59

In reply to Re: Needing extra support alexandra_k, posted by littlegirllost on August 15, 2013, at 22:04:08

Idealization can indeed feel wonderful. It frightens me because, for me, it has a tendency to turn into disappointment and devaluation, which feels really awful.

I think you did a nice thing there, in emailing her. It sounds like she really does try very hard and be consistently there for you, as much as she is able. It probably was weighing heavily on her mind how you would be handling her absence...

Hopefully you can talk more when she gets back. Even if she doesn't tell you what happened... Talk about what different things would mean to you... Different losses in your life...

:-)

 

Re: Needing extra support baseball55

Posted by alexandra_k on August 16, 2013, at 18:47:53

In reply to Re: Needing extra support, posted by baseball55 on August 15, 2013, at 19:54:04

> I felt more sorry for myself than I did for him.

Haha, yeah, I understand that one. When I f*ck*d up my feet and they were saying I'd probably never walk without crutches one of the mental health nurses was all like 'your life is going to be really hard and painful now' and I just couldn't believe it. I was like... 'it was f*ck*ng hard and painful before'. She looked surprised.

I tell you... Physical pain is nothing. Well, no, that isn't quite true. It sucks. Pretty bad. But mental pain... Brings its own additional aspect of suffering. I don't feel sorry for myself about my feet (much). But I feel pretty f*ck*ng sorry for myself for the mental hell on earth much of my life has felt like being.

What you did was a nice thing... Did it help, in a way? To do something nice for him, I mean?

 

Re: Needing extra support

Posted by baseball55 on August 16, 2013, at 19:38:52

In reply to Re: Needing extra support baseball55, posted by littlegirllost on August 15, 2013, at 22:10:45

> Baseball, That was nice that you sent your therapist a card and a book. Sounds like he was out for quite a while with that injury... Certainly understandable that you would be feeling sorry for yourself! I hope you guys are back on track now.
>
> That's one of the downsides of therapy, isn't it?

Yeah. There's the neediness and selfishness of the relationship. But also, whenever I think of him becoming ill or something, I get sad that I can't help him. After he got back from knee surgery, he was on a walker and I asked him if I could do something for him -- fill his water bottle, get him some lunch. He thanked me but siad he had a friend bringing him lunch. I always feel kind of shut out after interchanges like this. I am not as important to him as he is to me.

 

Re: Needing extra support

Posted by baseball55 on August 16, 2013, at 19:44:40

In reply to Re: Needing extra support baseball55, posted by alexandra_k on August 16, 2013, at 18:47:53


> I tell you... Physical pain is nothing. Well, no, that isn't quite true. It sucks. Pretty bad. But mental pain... Brings its own additional aspect of suffering. I don't feel sorry for myself about my feet (much). But I feel pretty f*ck*ng sorry for myself for the mental hell on earth much of my life has felt like being.
>
> What you did was a nice thing... Did it help, in a way? To do something nice for him, I mean?

I suppressed my emotions for so long with drugs and alcohol and work and obsessive exercising. I didn't believe in mental suffering and thought of people with mental illness as whiners who should get a grip and stop complaining. When I got depressed in my late 40s, I realized that emotional pain can trump the worst physical pain. It's almost unendurable.
>

 

Re: Needing extra support

Posted by alexandra_k on August 17, 2013, at 1:44:39

In reply to Re: Needing extra support, posted by baseball55 on August 16, 2013, at 19:38:52

> I always feel kind of shut out after interchanges like this. I am not as important to him as he is to me.

Hmm...

I guess... His job is to look after you. Kind of. Not to get you to look after him.

Maybe he thinks of it more like that?

 

Re: Needing extra support

Posted by baseball55 on August 17, 2013, at 19:27:44

In reply to Re: Needing extra support, posted by alexandra_k on August 17, 2013, at 1:44:39

> I guess... His job is to look after you. Kind of. Not to get you to look after him.
>
> Maybe he thinks of it more like that?
>
>
That's definitely how he thinks about it. He doesn't want me to feel I have to take care of him. That's not what the relationship is for. Though he said something really beautiful once. I told him I'd like to give him something exquisite - something as beautiful as he had given me. He said I'd already given him the most meaningful and exquisite thing he could imagine - a relationship of mutual trust.

 

Re: Needing extra support baseball55

Posted by Twinleaf on August 17, 2013, at 20:33:15

In reply to Re: Needing extra support, posted by baseball55 on August 17, 2013, at 19:27:44

I remember that - it is really beautiful. You never forget, and it's truly spontaneous and from the heart

 

Re: Needing extra support... update (sorta)

Posted by littlegirllost on August 20, 2013, at 11:53:33

In reply to Needing extra support, posted by littlegirllost on August 14, 2013, at 21:04:12

So... I've been pretty busy since my T's emergency last week. Sure, I dwelled on it Thursday and Friday, but I had a really busy weekend, so that was good and took my mind off things. I haven't heard otherwise, so I assume I still have my appt tonight. I'm a little nervous... I still wonder what happened, and wonder if she will tell me. I guess I also wonder how it will be if she doesn't tell me (because not telling me won't stop me from wondering!)

It's like when she goes on vacation... When she comes back, I ask how her vacation was (obviously not expecting full details), and she politely says, "it was nice, thank you". I don't know, maybe somewhere I wish that just for a moment we'd be in a not-so therapeutic space, and we could just be two people talking about her vacation... or in this case, the emergency.

So, we'll see how tonight goes.

 

Re: Needing extra support... Update

Posted by littlegirllost on August 21, 2013, at 11:41:12

In reply to Re: Needing extra support... update (sorta), posted by littlegirllost on August 20, 2013, at 11:53:33

So I saw my T last night... all in all, it went well! Of course she didn't give me any details, but assured me that she was ok and that the emergency wasn't for herself. Most importantly, she seemed "herself". I felt like I needed a few minutes to feel her out... I think I was a little anxious about getting into my stuff if she had her own stuff going on, but I quickly realized that she was ok. Not that it's my job to take care of her, I know, but still. Of course I told her that I was glad to see her and hoped everything was ok. Once I "settled in", my curiosity didn't interfere into the session as I thought it would... though now that I see she's back and ok, I can't say it's not there now.

It's ok though... as long as she's ok.

 

Re: Needing extra support... Update

Posted by baseball55 on August 21, 2013, at 20:26:03

In reply to Re: Needing extra support... Update, posted by littlegirllost on August 21, 2013, at 11:41:12

Once my t told me he was going to be away the following week and I asked hime where he was going and he said I'm not telling you that. He has always told me when and where he's going on vacations. I started to cry and said why do you have to be like that. He apologized and said sometimes he needed to take time off for family problems or medical tests and he didn't want to share this with me, since he didn't want me to feel I needed to take care of him. Those are the boundaries. Painful but necessary.

 

Re: Needing extra support... Update littlegirllost

Posted by Dinah on August 21, 2013, at 21:48:49

In reply to Re: Needing extra support... Update, posted by littlegirllost on August 21, 2013, at 11:41:12

I remember going through something similar with my therapist, and telling him with exasperation that I wasn't asking him to tell me what was wrong. I wanted him to tell me that he was going to be ok and available in session. Or at least to tell me how it was going to affect his availability, in all senses of the word.

It sounds like she covered that important question, and that things will be ok in session. I'm glad it went well.

 

Re: Needing extra support... Update

Posted by Poet on August 22, 2013, at 15:10:22

In reply to Re: Needing extra support... Update, posted by littlegirllost on August 21, 2013, at 11:41:12

Hi LGL,

I'm glad her emergency was short. I'm afraid my T would give me details and I suspect I really wouldn't have wanted to know.

I hate it when my T cancels with little notice, but it happens and I accept it even though it bugs me.

Poet


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