Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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So, what you're saying is...

Posted by Racer on July 6, 2004, at 20:06:26

In reply to Re: Ugh, thanks a lot, Pegasus et al, posted by shortelise on July 6, 2004, at 17:00:25

Cleaning doesn't count as creative? {sigh}

Man, I'm having a bad day here -- my only response to these suggestions is "Yes -- BUT" and I don't want that. Here's a little explanation, though, of my own, personal "yes-but" on creative expression right now. Maybe that might help show where I am right now, and generate some more good suggestions?

Normally, I do a lot of things that qualify as creative: sew, knit, spin, embroider, computer graphics, web pages, etc. For the past however long, though, every time I try to do any of that, I just can't get it right, and then use that as fuel for my self-criticism. I've gotten afraid of trying any of those things, because the outcome has been so negative for me. Our marriage counselor did promise to get me the information on an art therapy program that I might be able to join, and I might even be able to get there and see if I can make myself leave the house to go. (Remember, no matter how "normal" I may sound in writing, the thought of leaving the house right now is absolutely overwhelming -- although I can go to a few places consistently: I take my mother shopping in a different city every week, I go to Costco because my husband isn't comfortable going there, and I get to therapy. That's about it. Even if I could get over that enough to get to art therapy, as well, I'm not sure I could do it with other people around.) I actually think it might be a very good idea, even for me, but I'm not sure I can do it right now, you know? The other thing that stops me when I think about it is very, very personal: my mother is an artist. My life before the age of about 25, when I finally gave up entirely, was filled with a lot of ambivalence about art. On the one hand, my mother put a fair amount of pressure on me to "Be Artistic" and others around me *expected* me to reflect being the daughter of such a talented artist. I enjoyed a lot of the art classes Mother sent me to, and I enjoy making things, but the results always disappoint me a great deal -- because I *know* that I haven't done it well enough to meet my own standards. While I have identified this as an issue to work on in therapy -- the setting of unreasonable, unreachable standards and the self-criticism for failing to reach them -- those issues are there, and they do make it very hard for me to consider trying something that's got such a loaded history for me, you know?

Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm not doing anything creative. I have been working on a mood charting database that I hope will allow me to print out a pictorial representation of my moods over the course of, say, a month, so that I can *show* how I've been, rather than trying to tell it when I know that I'm not really seeing it clearly myself. That is creative, even if it's not the same sort of creativity that's involved in some sort of art. (heheheh -- yeah, I get into the same sorts of things with that as with the art. Expecting too much of myself, etc. At least I'm consistent that way, huh?) I'm also trying to write a lot of this in a journal, but that's hard right now: it's not that I'm withdrawing from someone else, so much as withdrawing from myself. Does that even make sense? Trying to write about it is virtually impossible, because it's so well locked away right now.

Urgh! Can's someone just send me a replacement key to my emotions? {sigh} Don't answer that. I already know. And I also know that my therapist can probably help me through this, too. I think part of the problem is my consistency: I feel the same sort of pressure to "do well" in therapy that I feel in everything else I do. The time between appointments has turned into a roller coaster for me: right after, I get a bit down from my "failure" and the couple of days before the next appointment I get a bit agitated from my *need* (probably perceived need) to "get it right this time." I'll try to bring all this up with the therapist, of course, but again -- it's so hard!

Of course, after three miserable experiences with therapists since December, trust issues are also in play here. Just gotta add to the mix, before the other ingredients get blended in. I don't know how much of this withdrawal is rooted in the trust section, and how much in anything else. The hell of it is that I *like* this new therapist, and really, really want us to work well together. I think we can, too -- but it's so hard to try right now, you know?

As I write all this, I realize I'm scared. I'm feeling pretty much paralysed with fear. Guess at least I have a better picture of what I"m hiding from, figuring that out. Guess that can be part of tomorrow's session? At any rate, thank you all for caring enough to respond. It did do some good, too, despite my "yes-but" beginning. I know I'm scared, now, and I'm not sure I quite got that before. I can also feel Fear's sibling, Shame, standing up to be counted. The Shame seems to be growing bigger than the Fear, too, so I'll consider that, as well, between now and tomorrow.

Thanks for getting me started on the road to finding this much of the puzzle. I'll let you know how it goes.




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