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Re: When he's good he's very very good. floatingbridge

Posted by Dinah on September 15, 2011, at 8:38:47

In reply to Re: When he's good he's very very good. Dinah, posted by floatingbridge on September 15, 2011, at 0:18:05

I suppose I'm not always good for his self esteem. Though I often am good for his self esteem. I may have been, over the last sixteen years, the most consistent and stable relationship in his life. I consider the relationship worth fighting for. He knows I love him (not romantic love, but love), even when I'm angry or disappointed with him. I told him the other day that I didn't think I idealized him, but I think I do idealize *this*, with a sweeping movement to the space between us. And that idealization might me angrier than I otherwise would be when I perceive flaws in it. But to be frank, it's probably good for his ego to have someone know him and still love him and see him as a good therapist mommy. I think that overall it's a relationship that makes him feel good about himself. If it wasn't, I doubt it would have lasted as long as it has. People tend to prefer relationships that make them feel good about themselves.

I think there are times when we get in a loop of my criticizing him, and him reacting badly (for example, falling asleep) to my criticism. I think both of us try to break that loop. I'm a big believer in changing the steps of the dance when necessary.

He confesses that I'm correct when I get angry with him. Not at the time, of course, but in retrospect. He said once that there are times he wishes he was a construction worker. That if he were a construction worker, he could show up and do his job no matter what was going on in his life, or how upset he was. But that since he's a therapist, *he* is his main tool in his work. And when he's upset he isn't a very useful tool, and not as good a therapist as he'd like to be. For his more sensitive clients at least.

There are times when he is not a very good therapist. I don't think that's my assessment alone. I think Babble would agree with me. I think he would agree with me. Falling asleep nearly every week does not a good therapist make. One of the times wasn't that long ago. I quit seeing him for over a month in the spring. Since then, he's stayed awake, he's been mostly present. And aside from a few bad sessions or ideas that you could likely expect in any long term relationship, he's been pretty effective. But it takes time for me to come to trust him again. Clearly I'm not there yet.

Why do I stick it out through the bad times? I think partly that's who I am. And partly because at the top of his game, or even at the middle of his game, he really is the best therapist for me. Even those stable characteristics that are less than ideal seem to work for me. He forces me to think and to work for my own insights. He radiates (most of the time) a calm that is largely missing in my life. My family all tends to be a bit excitable. And his stable flaws tend to be flip sides of that calm steadiness. Plus, I think I find something admirable in someone who will admit that he's not always the therapist he'd like to be. He usually owns up, perhaps not right away, and rarely tries to pass it off as my pathology.

He's willing to work on a continual basis to maintain and nurture the relationship. So, maybe sometimes I do bring out the best in him.




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