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Struggling with the concept of Need

Posted by DAisym on June 26, 2007, at 19:34:31

I sort of turned the thread above into this but since I suspect this is something I will revisit again and again, I wanted to be able to find it when I'm in this spot again next year. *sigh*

In my session today, we talk about my wanting to figure out what exactly my need for my therapist is. I told him I can use all the right words - I need him for security and safety and containment -- but those weren't really IT. The need is something undefinable and it feels so huge and very bad. He asked me to stick my judgements in the corner and really try to stay with just defining it. What do I need from him? We started with what do I get from therapy? That was a bit easier - a place and permission to "tell" as well as a place to express anger where it won't hurt anyone. He wanted me to just list things and then he moved to having me list (no thinking, just saying) some of my feelings about therapy - how did I feel in this room? So we did that for a little while. And then it got much harder.

"What do you get from me and our relationship? Why is it important to you?" I really had to think and gather my courage, even though we've talked about the variety of feelings before. I told him that I got to feel special and heard and cared for. And that I really believed he didn't want me to die, not because I do anything important for him but simply because he would miss me. I admitted to thinking every once in awhile that some of what he did was cya or because he had to - but mostly I knew he felt bad when I felt bad. I told him he also let me love him without demanding anything back for this privilege. And that I'd never had that before, ever.

We took all these good things and put them up against my fears - and talked about why I have really good reasons to be afraid of needing him. He said I restrict myself into a tight little space but I see myself encroaching on everyone and everything. He likened it to an anorexic who has a distorted body image - I have a distorted need image. So we've diagnosed me with PTSN - Post Traumatic Stress Need disorder - because having needs is very traumatic for me.

At the very end, I asked him how I would ever get over the fear of losing someone I cared about so much. He said you don't - you learn to live with it. You don't make it front and center, and if you give yourself completely and then lose that someone, it does hurt. But it is worth the risk to be that known.

It was a good session, he even said so! Ironically he started with, "I'm fighting off a cold, so don't get too close." I left feeling very close to him. And like I still have an enormous amount of work to do.




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poster:DAisym thread:766025