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Re: The Other Side of the Relationship Daisym

Posted by sunnydays on August 7, 2009, at 20:07:18

In reply to The Other Side of the Relationship, posted by Daisym on August 7, 2009, at 1:25:33

Hi Daisy,
I haven't talked about this with my T specifically, but we've talked close to it sometimes. I know that he does worry about me sometimes and that he does wish that he could take the sadness away from me. One time when I was feeling particularly low he called my dorm room when I was asleep and I didn't get up to answer the phone. He left me a message to call him back. He then called me back and said that if I hadn't called back when I did, he would have called Security to come check on me because he was worried about me. I felt really bad about that (although I never told him), because I don't think I was in quite as bad a place as he was imagining.

I struggle with this. On the one hand, sometimes I really like it to know that my therapist is concerned about me, because it means he cares and it's easy for me to tell that and there's no question in my mind then. On the other hand, I carry around all these messages that tell me it's wrong to 'make' another person worry about you and that I really am not important enough for anyone to be concerned about and that my needs and wants don't matter.

At our last session my T challenged one of my thoughts by saying, "Well, I disagree with you, but if you want to think that way, then ok." (I will admit I can be a little stubborn at times...) I immediately felt rejected and pushed away, and I told him that I felt like he said, "Fine, think that way, I don't care, go away". He was surprised that disagreeing with me felt like such a strong rejection to me. After that, I was kind of spiraling into this state where nothing he could say that was remotely challenging was right and I felt like every single thing I did was wrong, even when I think he was trying to comfort me a little and bring me out of it. I remember at one point he said, "It seems like when you hear something that doesn't exactly fit what you are feeling in the moment or that challenges the way you think, it feels like a huge rejection or abandonment." I interpreted that as "There's something very wrong with you, you're supposed to be able to handle me saying those things, you're not doing this right."

I told him this, and he said, "Says who?" in this very gentle voice and reminded me that there's no 'supposed to's' in therapy and that there wasn't a right way to think or feel. I still struggle with this -- if my feelings need to be 'challenged', then doesn't that obviously mean that they are not the 'correct' feelings/thoughts to be having in that situation?

I curled up in a ball and started crying and I had a blanket around me, which I almost never do, and he said, "I bet you really want to be taken care of after having been through what you have lately, is that part of the want you have been talking about?" I nodded and then I said, "I really want a hug." And then I started crying and I said, "I miss my dad," and he said, "Would he give you a hug?" And I said yes, and he encouraged me to talk to him that night. And eventually he said, "You asked for a hug, and I'm not going to do that for you. It's nothing at all at all to do with you, it's about what I believe about how to be a therapist." And he paused and then he said, "That must be really hard to hear" and I nodded and I was crying. And after I left I left him a message and sent him two emails, and he ended up calling me back without me specifically asking, which was so nice of him. And he talked to me for ten whole minutes and was very nice and like I kind of wish he'd been in session.

I have no idea where I am going with this post. I think I'm still really trying to process this session with my T and somehow your post reminded me of it and I got to rambling. Sorry... hopefully there's something useful in there maybe? I'm struggling right now - I got a call for an interview, which should be a good thing, but I just don't even want to do it, it seems like so much effort, and I just want to hide from the world.

Hang in there. We can sit together and eat ice cream, if you want.





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poster:sunnydays thread:910727