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Re: Mixed emotions(long) Bent

Posted by 10derHeart on July 11, 2004, at 15:42:07

In reply to Mixed emotions, posted by Bent on July 7, 2004, at 13:50:57

<I am now beating myself up over something I did the other day. I drove by her house on purpose. I dont know why. I know shes not around. I have done this only a few times and she doesnt know that I know where she lives. I feel like such a freak for doing that....>

Oh, Bent, trust me, you are no freak. I did this same "drive by" thing with my T., even when he was definitely around. Talk about scary! Possibly being "caught", I mean. In the past 8 months, I'm sure I drove by either home or office over 50 times, maybe a lot more. For me, it became a ritual and a frequent need. So a few weeks ago, I finally wrote him a long letter admitting this, explaining I didn't want anything, would never stop, wait, follow (NOT a stalker) but trying to honestly name the feelings that compelled me to do it. He was wonderful about it-even called me from home on his day off to assure me he was okay with it, not wanting me to agonize that he hated me, was repulsed, etc., and then scheduled an extra session to process it the next day. For me, and I'd guess most people,it's just a variation on the same theme, a normal, little-child (maybe age 1 1/2 or 2) need to reassure myself that the loved, caretaker (usually mom) is still there, and to connect to them by seeing an object or place when they're not. Rapprochement is the child psychology term my T. liked to use time and time again. Meaning, to move away from him, leave and be okay soothing myself and regulating my own emotional states, followed by that urgent need to run back and "touch" him (i.e., see his car, see lights on in the house) again for comfort, to be sure he's not gone away permanently. About feeling "freakish", as my T. said, "Your adult self may be asking - wow, what's up with this? My peers aren't doing this behavior...but the little child in you absolutely knows it's alright and you need it." (Lost my Mom to cancer kind of early on in life-it was also a confusing, messed up family thing-and NEVER grieved or even talked about it until I met this awesome T., so for me it's easy to see how I've attached so deeply)

I get a sense your T. would also handle it great and help you talk about it. It is always a risk, and of course I can't know how each T. might react. But wow, the relief of knowing he knew was just huge for me. I do know that you and I are both fine for doing this. We are acting out a deep longing that maybe wasn't ever met enough, or has resurfaced after later traumatic events.

<...not only will I be uncomfortable but also I risk making her uncomfortable (now I am looking out for my Ts feelings!! Thats backwards.)>

Yup, but also so normal. Try to remember she's responsible for her own feelings, and if she's skilled, she'll know what to do about that. It's so hard, I know, because we care so much, it's only natural to behave like friends or lovers, or parents, or children, and try to edit our comments to shield them. My T. reminded me a few times to try hard not to "spare him" anything. It gets easier with practice, I think. Your T. can work with her own feelings outside the therapy room, but she can't help with yours if you don't share them. Easier said than done :)

< Not everyone understands how complicated the therapy relationship can be and I feel safe expressing myself here, with other who understand or have been there before.>

How true. I'm finding in the last 2 weeks, that even the 2 friends I hoped maybe could hear some of my anguish over(the end of) my therapy relationship, really can't do it. They just have very little frame of reference. And frankly, it's too frustrating to try to frame it differently or find analogies so they can relate. For me, since I just ended therapy w/my T. <giant sigh> 10 days ago (he's moving away),I can only discuss these things w/another T. and a little bit with my grown daughter, who has never been in therapy but is an amazingingly insightful person. And then there's Babble, I've discovered the BEST place of all, 'cause so many do understand all of this.
Keep posting, if you can. Hope some of my rambling struck a chord with you. Your questions,fears and worries help me forget my own stuff for a while, too. I hope something I've said helps you feel you are so like the rest of us - a searching, caring human being navigating something wonderful and often heartbreaking at the same time-therapy. No freaks here, Bent. Take care - 10derHeart




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