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Re: time to quit? (long reply) LostPirate

Posted by Daisym on August 20, 2008, at 0:26:20

In reply to time to quit?, posted by LostPirate on August 18, 2008, at 12:25:28

I'm sorry I didn't respond to your post right away. I felt like I could have written it. I've struggled with these same thoughts on and off for the 5 years I've been in therapy - especially the part about needing to quit because it feels so terrible to just be a "number" and wondering if he cares at all.

When I feel this way, I have learned to bring it up with my therapist. I want to be special and to have his attention. I want to be held in his mind. We agree that these are old needs that were never met. He knows how I feel about him - all the different kinds of love and fear and attachment. He tells me that he can really understand what a double-edge sword this relationship is - it feels good to be connected but it is frustrating. Winnicott described good therapy as "optimally frustrating."

We have spent two sessions this week on this exact topic. I asked him if he was mad at me because I want this deep connection to him so much but I fear it so much too. He said no - if he was mad about wanting the connection, he'd have to be mad at himself too because he wants it too. And he thinks it makes sense to be afraid of it, given my history. He told me that this is probably one of the first times I've given into the needs of my heart - that feeling dependent is risky because my heart is involved. My therapist believes I promised myself I'd never be dependent again and because I've become very attached to him and he's let me - I'm also angry with him. (He uses the word dependent in a very non-judgemental/nonpegorative way.)

I've used the description of being "addicted" as well. He tells me that it feels this way because I've surpressed these needs for so long that they feel HUGE! I have no idea what "normal" needs are. Normal for me is not needing anything. Here is something that kind-of helped me. He had me imagine a small child who has been neglected. He asked me to imagine meeting her needs for security - what would that look like? I responded with things like being available and consistent and kind, etc. He asked me what I would expect after 5 years? I responded that if I'd done my job with her, she would be less fearful and more able to believe that she was going to get her needs met - physically and emotionally. And, he asked, would you expect her to have no needs? Should she stop coming to you for what she needs? I said, well no, but she is still a child. He pointed out that my oldest, who no longer lives at home, still calls me when he is upset, etc. And besides, emotionally, I'm still very much in the infant stage - a novice to a lot of this.

I think if you believe you are spending too much mind-time on therapy and your therapist, you should talk with her about it. It helps me a lot to put it in perspective and to see why it might be occupying so much of my time right now. She might have suggestions for you to begin to build a "real" world - and lessen the fantasy. I think most therapists really do care and want us to have good, full lives. They want to be part of those lives, just not all of it. I doubt very much you would have stayed with someone who treated you like a number for six years.

Good luck with this. I know what a struggle it is.




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