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Re: telling t how you feel (long!) movingforward

Posted by 10derHeart on January 19, 2009, at 19:43:40

In reply to Do you tell your t how you feel about him or her?, posted by movingforward on January 19, 2009, at 18:57:31

Yes. I've written it in a card, and I do say it now, sometimes. Like I will be explaining something, and say, "well, considering how deeply I feel about you, and you know what I mean......when you love someone you...." Like that. I used to only use euphemisms - "care" "so important to me" "you mean so much to me," but finally I grew exhausted from dancing around the word love. As if it were something awful and unspeakable.....when it doesn't need to be.

He takes it well. He accepts it and is careful around it. He doesn't say it back in any way, except that he cares, and that this relationship is, "very important to both of us," but his actions speak FAR louder. I understand how he feels toward me and I am fine with it. He has done dozens of things above and beyond over 4+ years that are loving - so I don't need to hear it. One of the most amazing is probably giving me free phone therapy and unlimited emails for over seven months after I moved - just because he felt it was the best and most healing thing to do *for me,* no matter the strain on him to stay in that much contact. He just always said, "Knowing you and your feelings as I think I do, not communicating seems destructive to me, and I won't do anything that harms you or this relationship, no matter where you live. It's just not me."

I think it's awfully hard for some trained Ts to 'go there' as it has been conditioned into them how careful they must be with stating feelings toward a client, or making therapy about them in any way. So I cut him many breaks on demanding: "how DO you feel about ME?!"

It took a long time, and it was a struggle of fear. Fear of being misunderstood, of him being disgusted, repulsed, disappointed - or something (all fodder for therapy, obviously, as the worries say a lot about issues I have with how I "see" me and the idea of someone accepting love from me!) Eventually, we'd had enough conversations about how I felt toward him as sometimes a trusted friend, sometimes a child to a parent, sometimes maybe a wise older sibling - and that my love was not romantic or sexual [not that I haven't had these feelings in therapy with him and others - I have] so it felt safe enough. I had finally explained enough. I felt compelled to write it in an email not too long ago, too - just in case. Though there's no specific reason to worry - I kept thinking if anything serious - illness, injury, death - happened to either of us, and I'd never said something this important, to someone who had been huge in stabilizing my life - I couldn't stand the thought. That helped overcome the discomfort.

It's not perfect. Still I'll blurt out things and have to say, "But I don't mean it like *that."" just to make sure. Again, not because if I were in the throes of sexual or romantic feelings toward him that wouldn't be fine - it would, it happens, and is perfectly expected in this sort of therapy. No doubt I'd find a way to talk about that painful and embarrassing stuff too - eventually..... But I don't like being misunderstood - in fact, I hate it. So since that's not the love I feel, or how I "want" him in my life, I'm often still explaining. I'd guess he thinks it's funny, though he won't admit it.

THAT was kinda the short version - for me - sorry if it was ridiculously long and rambling - that's me! Can anyone tell this is a favorite topic for me? lol.

Glad you mentioned it.... and now I am so curious if you want to tell....are you trying to work up to saying it? Most t's take it well, I think, from reading here, though rarely one will lapse into auto-T. mode and respond with what sounds like a lecture on how this relationship will never be outside the T. room, and that would be unethical, blah, blah, to a client who does NOT need to hear it. Those scenarios seem pretty uncommon, though.

 

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poster:10derHeart thread:875017
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/psycho/20090109/msgs/875034.html