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My therapist hurt my feelings

Posted by daisym on October 13, 2005, at 20:25:03

Things have been intensely dark for me, with tons of anxiety and fear and so much hopelessness. Yesterday that I felt this huge need to grab hold and hang on to my be comforted physically. I guess I pulled back and crossed my arms because he stopped and said, "what just happened?" So I told him and told him that my physical response (sitting back more) was due to my surprise at wanting something that wasn't safe (touch) or allowed. And as I stumbled over my words he said, "you can hang on to me emotionally. That will maintain the safety." It hit me so wrong -- it was said too quickly, I felt warded off somehow. I think I turned pink then red and tried to go to some other topic. He said, "did you hear me? I said you could hold on to me emotionally as hard and as long as you need to." I said that was good, because I was already doing that. He knew I was having a reaction to what he said, he asked and I tried to deflect him. I finally told him that I felt rejected and enormously stupid and I knew what the rules were and had no intention of breaking them. And then, thankfully, the session was over. But I couldn't just let it go, I was so upset, so I called and said I wasn't coming today because my feelings were hurt and I needed some space to sort them out.

He called kind of late last night (another thing for me to be sorry for, it was Yom Kippur) and said he really, really wanted to talk to me about what happened. He said he was sorry he hurt me and didn't want me to run away from him. Since I felt guilty that he was taking time away from his family to call me, I agreed to come and talk today instead of over the phone.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to talk again about an already embarrassing situation? I sort of railed at him that he had no idea how hard it was to be on this side of things and feel so needy and know that those needs could not (and should not) be met. He gently reminded me that he had been a client for years as part of his training, he had experienced an intense attachment, so he did know what it was like to be "over there" but that of course he couldn't know exactly what it was like for me. We went back and forth, about how therapy is a set up to getting your feelings stomped on, about not knowing how to get an *A* in therapy and still be honest about what (or whom) you want to kick...and mostly how intensely I want to feel cared for by him and how lonely I am most of the time. He gave me the speech about therapy being a unique kind of relationship, with special constraints and special freedoms too. And he said he does care about me and never thinks of me as just his "2 o'clock". He said he doesn't want me to pull away but he can totally see why I feel hurt, especially since I want something from him I can't have...just like I wanted things from my mother I couldn't have. He wanted me to know that he wasn't rejecting me in anyway, he was trying to allow me the safety of emotional holding.

I'm glad he said all that. But the truth remains that I still feel hugely needed, horribly suicidal and lonely and I want what I can't have. And it is very very painful to have all these feelings and no where to put them.




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Psycho-Babble Psychology | Framed

poster:daisym thread:566593