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Re: An Update - long, mild triggers antigua3

Posted by Daisym on September 1, 2008, at 22:19:32

In reply to Re: An Update - long, mild triggers Daisym, posted by antigua3 on September 1, 2008, at 9:00:14

First of all, I can't tell you happy I am to hear that you're interested in someone. That is a huge step forward.

****You'll like this - he is an English lit professor and a writer. We met at the Journal conference. :) Too bad he doesn't live close but that actually works better for me in some ways.

Part of me thinks that your T was following your lead on the present day subjects because IRL they really are important to you, and he was trying to help you make those small moves he has been talking about. And you have made some moves, in your own way and in your own time. Extra chocolate chip cookies for you! (or muffins, ice cream, whatever you would like).

*****I'm on a diet so I'll have sorbet instead, thank you. I think you are right, my therapist was focused on IRL stuff because it is important. And it has been hard for me to talk about this new stuff in therapy but I really don't know why yet. The flip side is, once started, I'll talk for days about it. I feel like a silly teenager - "and then he said, and then I said..." My therapist must be laughing inside.

That said, I can understand why he would have disassociated about the memory and was in collusion with you to hold back from discussing it. Each time we bring a memory forth and deal with it, we get a little stronger, and we don't have to go all the way back to the beginning with defining our feelings, etc., which is good, but it doesn't mean they don't hurt. I almost see it as a positive that your T was helping you focus on the present. I can't explain why, exactly, but it feels good, it feels like progress.

**********I'm glad I don't have to go back to the beginning. But the feeling that dominates here is rage and that is the most scary feeling for me. And I think knowing that rage always brings along its twin - despair - makes it that much harder to be here again. At some point there can be no more "new" to remember and process. I think he was focused on the present as a way to remind me that there is hope and there are things to live for. As upset as I was, it was probably a good strategy in some ways, even if it was unintentional.

But each time you have a memory, you are going to test him and yourself, and the fear that he will have had enough of you is ever present until you get, achieve, or whatever, the strength to deal with these things.

********I always feel bad that this fear pops up. Hasn't the man proven himself over and over again? But you are right - I'm testing him. And the fact that we are so close and have worked together for so long allows him more directness and honesty, which can be painful too. It is hard to hear that my stuff is painful for him. It is hard to know that he has rage for me - not at me but for me. This is going to sound weird - but I think he likes being tested in some ways. He always calls me on it and usually asks, "did I pass the test?" And he gets more and more creative with ways to help me feel safe.

I recognize that fear that when things are going better, we look for the bad, and expect it to happen because in our minds it seems to always happen to us. And it does and it doesn't.

*****I hate the whole unconscious reenactment stuff. My whole marriage was a reenactment. This new relationship is so different because I'm different. But I think the wariness is justified and we are entitled to our fear. Somehow the stuff that happens is never little for us.

I was given this example the other day. At night when we can't sleep we hear creaks in our house and we think there's a burglar and we build it up in our mind. 99 times out of a 100 it's just the house settling or something like that, but people who have grown up with the constant expectation of bad things happening work themselves up 100 times to believe something bad is happening inside the house. Our adrenaline system gets going and our fight or flight mechanism goes into overdrive. We're always believing that the 1% is going to be true, rather than relaxing and accepting that MOST times bad things don't happen.

*********I really like thinking about it this way. I'm working on the relaxing part. I've started to say, "it is what it is" as a way of accepting those things I can't change. And I'm working on mindfulness - noticing the fear that comes in and using my connection to my therapist as a way to combat the fear. I'm less worried about getting in trouble for using him this way than I use to be.

That said, too, when we are off guard, memories do come up, and they come up again and again until we've exhausted them. That's just our way.

*****I haven't given up looking for a short cut or a different way. Being guarded is exhausting. I know so many people who are struggling to fill in the details of their abuse. I wish I couldn't. I'm haunted by the "why?" and "how could you do this?" that comes with the memories.

I don't want to sound Pollyannish, but you know that the memory has come up, maybe in part, because you are stronger to handle it.

******As true as this is, it really stinks. You start getting things back together and then wham - something else to deal with. I know nothing happens in isolation, but there ought to be a better system, don't you think?

And your T is there with you every step of the way, and always will be. But I think maybe he got caught up with the changes in your life and was helping you w/present day stuff. It's a parallel track running in our lives--dealing with our stuff and creating a new life. They will intersect at some point; I have to believe they will.

**********I hope you are right. He must be tired of these stories and of my tears. It is seems hugely unfair to be angry with him for something that is my responsibility. He pokes at the anger sometimes and wants me to express the irrational side of it - I'm mad at him for not being there when I was a little girl. He seems to think that if I can begin to share my past with someone who cares about me (beside him) then it will begin to create this intersection you write about. I won't have to keep so much hidden.

Take a deep breath and remember that he is, and always has been, there for you. He cares like few therapists I've ever heard about, so just trust.

************Thank you for saying this. He is extraordinary about stretching himself for me and yet maintaining the boundaries that work for us. We work off and on with the protector in the rocking chair metaphor and he never seems frightened that I will misinterpret what he is offering me. He told me recently, "your feelings don't make me nervous. This is a safe place - for both of us."

yes, I wrote a book. Sorry, but I don't want you to minimize the positive changes in your life. And yes, you can talk about sex and how to make it better. He will help you with that too, I am sure.

*****I guess I wrote a book back. Thank you for reminding me not to minimize the positive changes going on. I'm trying hard not to let the dark side take over again. I should post more about our discussions about sex, some of them are very funny. Like, he asked, "well, what do you like?" Me: "Like? As in, I like it to be over quick?" Him: "Well, I was sort of going for what feels good - what turns you on?" Me: "I can't tell you that." Him: "Why not? Is it a secret? If you can't tell me, how are you going to tell X?" Me: "You mean I have to TELL him? Can't you tell him?" Him: "OK, what's his number?" :)




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