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Re: Consider the possibility... Angela2

Posted by fallsfall on January 12, 2005, at 14:26:19

In reply to Re: Consider the possibility..., posted by Angela2 on January 12, 2005, at 10:29:23

I find it easier to believe some aspects of the unconscious than others.

I do accept that dreams (often) have meaning, that they speak to deep feelings and beliefs.

I accept Freudian slips as a message from the unconscious (sometimes they are just typos, but there are enough times when it really is what you *wanted* to say/type but didn't have the nerve to or didn't quite understand).

Accepting these things helps me to believe that the unconscious *does* exist (though my therapist says that *it* is a metaphor, and that no one really knows what it is - that this is one way of explaining it).

From there I take baby steps into seeing that perhaps my unexplainable actions have some common basis, that perhaps I have some control when it feels like I have none. But this is where it gets really weird. How can I be "responsible" for something I'm not aware of? And even more important (to me, the control freak) - how can I *change* what I'm doing if I'm not aware that I'm doing it on purpose??

My therapist said "You want to be depressed". Indignantly I said "Of course I don't want to be depressed. Why would anyone want to be depressed? Why would I work so hard at therapy if I wanted to be depressed?" Because I *don't* consciously want to be depressed. And it seems like such an accusation! What kind of slime would want to be depressed, to be a burden on other people, to shirk their duties as a parent, to accept disability money?

But when I was able to start considering the possibility... Then I could see that there *were* advantages to being depressed, and I could see that being *not* depressed included some really terrifying things (i.e. stuff I learned as a child). It seems that, just being able to think about these things, to consider their truth, *has* helped. I am not aware of consciously "working" on being less depressed - how does one "work" on being less depressed?? But talking about some of the fears has given me the ability to understand the reality (i.e. what parts of the fears are real, and what parts are exaggerated) of these issues. And in talking about these *other* issues (like whether I would lose therapy - which seems critical to me), - a by-product of those discussions is that I am now less depressed. Working on those issues (which are the *cause*) has generated a reduction in my depression (which is a *symptom*).

So, your life was pretty good before this relationship came along. That sounds like you lost some "good" aspects of your life - this relationship has *cost* you those good aspects of your life. Yet you "know" that being in a relationship is "good" for you. There are all sorts of benefits that you can name (and all of your friends will also tell you what they are). So, of course, it only makes "sense" to try to make the relationship work. But this "sense" is a conscious "sense". What about those other issues (which may not be things you really want to talk about - like needing to spend *your* money on Him instead of you (aka being "selfish"), or like needing to keep your apartment cleaner (needing to keep up appearances, when *you* don't really care), or having less time for other friends). If you can see that some of these (embarrasing) things have some basis in fact, then you can start to decide which is more important to you. As long as half of the motivation is outside of your consciousness, it is really hard to see how the "keep the relationship" side balances with the "dump the relationship" side. But if you can be aware of the unconscious motivations, then you can decide if you can modify them (i.e. maybe he really doesn't care if you live like a slob - you won't know until you ask him), or you can decide how much weight to give them. This way you can *decide* what to do because you are aware of all of the issues involved. Rather than being pushed by some invisible force and not knowing how to push back because you don't understand the force.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to expound on this subject. When I try to explain it, it gets clearer to me. I don't know if my explanation will help you at all, but writing it down has helped me. It is also easier to see how the theory could work on someone else's situation than it is to see how it could work on one's own situation. Our own situation has too much emotional baggage attached!




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