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Re: technical questions JenStar

Posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 21:49:44

In reply to Re: technical questions, posted by JenStar on August 7, 2004, at 20:25:48

I've read Glasser, and enjoyed him. I also read the Gaylin book, but apparently brought away a completely different message. I remember it being about the importance of the therapeutic relationship? But maybe I'm wrong. I've got in in front of me, and should re-read it.

But Reality Therapy really is no nonsense, and as I said I enjoyed it, and enjoy Dr. Laura too. But I fired biofeedback guy in three or four sessions because I found him blunt and abrasive. So maybe I'd have fired Glasser too. :)

If you met me in real life, and I'm not sure it comes over well on the board, you'd probably see a no nonsense, totally unromantic, sensible soul who does what works. I spent years and years doing what worked until that approach quit working. :)

Sorry to those who have heard my story before, but here it is. From age 11-14, my world as I knew it fell apart. I became the picked on kid at school (that was the biggie I think), I went from being an only child to having a school aged brother (the son my parents always wanted), my best friend first separated herself from me, then moved away entirely. My alchoholic uncle whom I despised, and the feeling was mutual, moved in to live with us. My parents were their usual warring parties, maybe worse because of my uncle and because of me. I acted out big time, totally fell apart, although I somehow managed to do well enough at school. My absenteeism shot sky high as I pretended to be ill, I developed an obsessive phobia about vomit that severely limited my activities, and I was well on my way to becoming agoraphobic. I had temper tantrums, and generally caused scenes enough places that my parents dragged me to a rather ineffectual psychiatrist who put me on heavy duty drugs.

Somewhere about a year from the end of that time, I decided that how I was behaving wasn't getting me what I wanted. I was on horrible terms with my parents, and everything was being made worse by my behavior. So I just stopped. I stopped taking the drugs. I stopped acting crazy. I stopped refusing to go places. I hid the phobia, made socially acceptable excuses where necessary, did what I needed to do. And it worked! I still felt awful, but no one cared how I felt. All they could see was that I was back to being a good girl. I had never been exposed to Reality Therapy or CBT or anything else. But I had come up with a lot of the concepts on my own. Exposure and response prevention, breathing, visualization, a version of Reality Therapy, an enormous amount of doing what worked.

Yet I wasn't a success story. Something went horribly wrong in my self imposed therapy. On the surface I was high functioning, getting along with my family (or as well as anyone could). I thought I was fine myself.

So part of what gets me angry about the pull yourself up by the bootstraps theories is that I want to shout "I KNOW THAT!!!! I INDEPENDENTLY INVENTED THAT!!!! And I know that there are things it can't fix." I want to yell that those simple very rational sounding and lovely words didn't fix me. They just made me function better in society. They made everyone else perfectly happy. They allowed me to function in society as society wanted me to function. But the cost to myself was way too high.

So do I need to hear all the sensible ways of dealing with my vomit phobia? No. That wasn't at all healing for me. It was healing for others around me, true. :) It took a therapist doing mirroring and acceptance and all those nice touchy feely things to let me start to truly let go of the fear. I'm not a hundred percent yet. But the obsessiveness is so much less now.

To me all those sensible things are words, just pretty words. I like them as much as anyone. I nod in solemn agreement with their very self obviousness. Of COURSE, that's true. Yet I also know it's not true at all.

Am I making no sense? Probably. I am very capable of holding completely opposing viewpoints. :)




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