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Embracing the pernicious inner voice

Posted by Dinah on October 8, 2011, at 9:45:34

That was the topic of therapy yesterday. That maybe all that effort denying the PIV only strengthens in in the end. Because it's not entirely wrong, and a niggling recognition of that fact undermines efforts to silence it.

So maybe it's best to agree with the pernicious inner voice, while maybe adding something onto the agreement.

"He doesn't care about you"
"It's true he doesn't care about me as much as I care about him. He's an integral part of my life, and I'm not an integral part of his. I remember every thing he's ever told me, while he certainly does not. He doesn't care about me the way I'd like him to care about me. He's my therapist/mommy in a very real way. I'm his client/daughter in only the most figurative of ways. He probably does care about me more than any other client he has ever had. He says that, and given what we've been through over the years it's likely true. It's not because of my captivating personal attributes. It's because we've suffered together and fought to relationship together. I am a Jessica to him. Isn't that what I wanted? He cares about me in a somewhat limited way. He probably does occasionally think about me outside therapy, and he probably gives some consideration to how his choices impact my therapy. I may not loom large in his life, but he does care. But you're right, he doesn't care in the way I'd like."

"He laughs at you."
"He does sometimes laugh at me, but not in a mean or nasty way. He finds some of my ways of expressing myself different and a bit odd. He tells me that oddness is part of my gifts, and that I can help him see things in different ways than he's used to seeing them. It's not a terrible thing to be laughed at by someone without malicious intent. Do you ever recall him being malicious, mean or nasty towards anyone? And really, when you think about it, some of the regression in therapy is a bit funny. Even to me."

"You're stupid."
"Boy, I do stupid things sometimes. I can be childish and stubborn and have an overconfidence in my intellectual abilities. It matters a lot to me when I do something stupid because being smart is important to me. Maybe this is what it means to say pride goes before a fall. Sometimes I don't think things through, or don't understand things I do think through. Sometimes I can look at something and not see it at all. Hopefully I learn from those times, and learning from stupidity isn't stupid. It really isn't shameful to sometimes be stupid." (I"m choosing my words in this one to echo the PIV and allow agreement. My nicer inner voice does not appreciate the use of the descriptor "stupid" towards anyone.)

I think the Pernicious Inner Voice would be somewhat taken aback by cheerful agreement.

I told my therapist that I didn't think it was in my best interests to assure me that he really does care and only his human frailties keep that caring from showing sometimes. I think maybe instead he should be empathetic to the pain that comes from loving more than one is loved.




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poster:Dinah thread:999082