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Re: I guess it comes down to responsibility... Racer

Posted by daisym on October 19, 2005, at 15:07:52

In reply to I guess it comes down to responsibility..., posted by Racer on October 19, 2005, at 14:33:40


Let me try to channel my therapist because I have said everything you wrote a bunch of times.

He has said, "You don't think you are entitled to have needs. Having needs is dangerous, it means that someone else might have power over you, if they have what you need. The flip side is that if they can't give you what you need, they might turn this inability around to make you feel bad about indicating the need in the first place. You learned early that your needs are too big, too intrusive and very dangerous. It is better to be needed than to need. You can control situations this way." (How am I doing?)

I usually argue here that there is value in being a strong independent woman who can meet her own needs. He has two speeches here: the one about human beings needing to be interdependent, we are, after all, pack animals and the one about it internal resources and refueling. That one has the "it must be awfully lonely to be that independent" side bar.

I think moderation is probably the goal, as in most things. And I think in order to move towards the middle we first have to be allowed to need more than just the minimum life sustaining amounts. And I think we have to learn somehow, someway, to apply concepts we believe in to ourselves. For example: this idea of needing human touch and love...I KNOW that premature babies do better when we allow their parents to gently touch, cuddle and talk to them. So why do I beat myself up for having wanted, as a young child, to snuggle close to my dad? (Long, involved answer, it is a rhetorical question.) OR we know that teens do better, are more grounded when we just listen to them and let them know we care. They don't want us to solve their problems. So can't we see that therapy does just exactly that for us?

*sigh* I know the struggle, Racer. I do. I know the questions and the answers. I just don't know how to titrate the needs so that they aren't too much and aren't too little. I have a hugely hard time asking anyone for help with emotional issues. And I believe, in my secret heart of hearts, that I'm not worth people expending energy on to meet my needs, unless they get way more out of it.

Do you remember way back, when my therapist proposed an experiment? He wanted me to call him if I was hurting, or missing him or just needed to check in with him. He said if the thought crossed my mind and hung around at all, he wanted to hear from me. We even developed a code, because I didn't ever know what to say without sounding stupid. I was really worried that I would call ALL the time -- but it turned out that knowing I could, made it easier to wait. And I figured out that if I did reach out, I didn't spend hours doing that "I should call, no I shouldn't" stuff. I think the therapist you were working with missed a huge opportunity to help you balance self-reliance and partnerships. (but I think he missed a lot anyway.)

Geez, this got long. I guess you can tell it is one of the major reconstructions project that I'm working on for myself. I think the next trick is to learn who to ask for help from and how. I hope this helps, at least a little.




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