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Re: My story - long

Posted by Daisym on January 11, 2011, at 20:06:25

In reply to Re: My story - long, posted by pegasus on January 11, 2011, at 10:24:04

Needs are a tricky thing. On the one hand, for other people, I would say that everyone has needs and wants and there is a full range of intensity when it comes to needs and wants. And I would tell anyone else that needing someone to fill certain needs for you is perfectly OK. Humans need other humans.

But when I try to apply this to myself, I immediately get all twisted up with shoulds and shouldn'ts. I shouldn't need anyone else to make me feel OK, etc. etc. I should be able to take care of myself. Feeling needy for someone feels awful, shameful and just really wrong. I understand why I feel this way and I know where these strong reactions come from but understanding has not necessarily lessened the shame of having needs. I feel like I don't know how to titrate need - it gets worrisome that it feels like meeting any part of a need is going to trigger it to get bigger - it all feels insatiable. And because of the insatiableness of my needs, the object of my neediness must react negatively. Either they give in and I destroy them with my need (my dad) or they react to the need by pushing back, punishing me or otherwise abandoning the relationship (my mom).

My therapist has consistently let me need him - to borrow his "core self" as I've worked to strengthen my own. But this need, I think, grew big enough and demanding enough that his core-self felt threatened - and he needed to push me back and anchor himself. We happened to be talking about sex - but we could have been talking about longer sessions, phone calls - anything that clients do to "possess" their therapist. Intellectually I totally understand that every human being has moments like this - mothers withdraw physically and emotionally from their infants to regain their equilibrium - and then reengage. But in this case, I feel like the infant who experienced this withdrawal as life threatening and can't risk ever feeling that way again, so shuts down. If I don't need too much (or nothing) from her, she won't leave me.

So my best guess about my reaction sort of goes like this - I was in high need mode (unconsciously) and for whatever reason, not monitoring myself as well as I usually do. I didn't pull back before he pushed back. And while I can intellectually understand that one event does not define a relationship or undo everything that has gone before, it felt so awful that I can't get it back into perspective. I am having a really hard time knowing that he has to think about the boundaries (ie control my needs) because I didn't take care of them well enough for both of us. This is very narcissistic thinking - I'm well aware. How powerful do I think I am? But it is a life long pattern of not trusting myself that is very hard to break.

Sorry for the long reply but I keep struggling to articulate and understand the painful feelings and this was another opportunity to sort through it. It probably still doesn't make a ton of sense.




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poster:Daisym thread:975869