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Re: letting go alexandra_k

Posted by Dinah on August 8, 2009, at 23:26:11

In reply to letting go, posted by alexandra_k on August 8, 2009, at 8:12:03

I think I'm a bit concerned. Not about whether you continue to see this therapist or not. He seemed to be a good match for you before you left, but I have no real way of knowing whether he is right for you right now.

But I'm wondering if you're generalizing this experience not only to your whole relationship with your therapist, but to your relationship with the world as a whole. You aren't a rock, and you aren't an island. You do need others. We all do, no matter how much we dislike the idea.

Your therapist let you down. He hurt you, and his actions seemed to indicate to you that the relationship you had with him was not what you had thought it was, or what you wanted it to be.

He didn't mean to hurt you but he did. You have one therapist while he has many clients. He didn't keep you in mind during the months you were away (or at least not enough), any more than my therapist is going to miss seeing me this week, or give me a moment's thought while he's on vacation. These things hurt. Like the dickens. But they are true.

If you're in a long term relationship with anyone they are going to hurt you. A therapeutic relationship leads to more hurt in some ways, although less in others. They are never ever going to care about us in the same way we care about them.

It's lopsided. That hurts.

But....

If you don't put yourself in a position to be hurt, you won't be in a position to be loved either, or to love. The people you love will hurt you. They will let you down. And human nature being what it is, they will hurt you over and over again in the exact same way. Because they are who they are and you are who you are.

Your father hurt you so much, and he kept hurting you over and over again. Parents tend to be that way. We keep hoping that *this* time it will be different. And it opens us to hope, and it opens us to hurt.

No one wants to be put in that position again.

Yet....

All relationships are flawed.

At the one end, it's not a good idea to recreate the circumstances we had with our parents. Where we hope and hope and get hurt and get hurt.

On the other hand, it's also not a good idea to react to other people letting us down in such a way that we can't sustain a relationship.

There has to be something in the middle.

For me, I think the middle is acceptance. Any therapist you care about is going to hurt you. Any friend you care about is going to hurt you. Yet your therapist can offer you good things as well, not just hurt. Your friends, your family, any person in your life, can offer you good things as well as hurt. You will find comfort and joy and companionship and and wisdom and pain and anger in every long term relationship you have.

I think one function of therapy is to figure out how to separate in any relationship the pain others cause us, and the pain our expectations and perceptions about the relationship cause us. It seems like such a perfect opportunity to work through these things with a therapist, instead of friends or family who may not have the skill or patience to work on them with us.

But on the other hand in any relationship, there is a tipping point, where the benefits outweigh the costs, or vice versa.

 

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