Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 363828

Shown: posts 1 to 16 of 16. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

More group

Posted by tabitha on July 7, 2004, at 19:36:27

So I totally bottomed out this week, all the way to hopeless/verging on suicidal, all seemingly triggered by the group and conflicts with my therapist. I went to heroic effort to find a way to reframe it all so I could continue. Then I went to the group session, and ended up pushing the mean woman's buttons so much she blasted me with anger again. I don't think I was trying to push her buttons, but I had decided OK, if you're going to speak freely without worrying about my feelings, then I need to do the same or else I'll end up feeling like a dumping ground. Plus we're told that all this wonderful honesty is going to bring us closer, and although I doubt it, I'm willing to play along. Maybe the outcome will be different than I expect.

To withstand the anger onslaught, I repeat to self the protective thought, I'm not responsible for her feelings, they're just her feelings, it's all her stuff. I have to admit, it felt kinda good to see her getting all upset instead of me.

Yet I didn't sleep all night due to being worked up about it, finally took an OTC sleep pill, then today feel hungover and cr*ppy from the pill, plus still obsessing and angry over the session.

It's really hard for me to believe this is good for me, or for anyone. I'm having these thoughts that seem pretty rational to me:

- if this is what we're supposed to do, I don't want to do it. This isn't making me feel closer to anyone.
- do I really need 5 amateur therapists pointing out my issues to me?
- what's the point of staying in a relationship that doesn't feel good
- I've given it 6 months and it still isn't working. Isn't it time to stop?
- maybe this type of group would work for some people, but it doesn't seem to be working for me.
- I'm doing the same thing here I've done in the past-- going to heroic effort to avoid losing the relationship. Giving up too much of myself.
- therapy is just a belief system, like any other. It isn't truth. If this flavor of therapy doesn't fit me, it doesn't mean I've failed.

So does this sound twisted or distorted? I can't see that. Yet I know I'll go into my individual session, and she'll try to convince me of something totally different, and I'll feel like it's a choice between giving up my own perception, or failing at therapy and losing my main support in life. What an awful choice.

 

Re: More group

Posted by Racer on July 7, 2004, at 20:34:58

In reply to More group, posted by tabitha on July 7, 2004, at 19:36:27

I've avoided responding to your posts about your issues with group and individual therapy, Tabitha, because I've been afraid that you'd be influenced by my story and make a decision that wasn't based on what would work for you. This time, though, I'm responding because you just sound so much more fragile than you have in the past, and yet also so much more -- I dunno, more centered in yourself, maybe? It sounds as if you really *do* know what you need, and so I'm less worried about influencing you.

Anyway, I finally dropped the "DBT group" that my Therapist Nightmare ran. It was devastating, I won't downplay it, and it was devastating for me for a lot of the same reasons it's so difficult for you: feeling as if I'd failed, feeling as if I *should* finish what I started, what's wrong with me that I can't respond "appropriately" to this wonderful treatment option, etc. At the time, I was still in therapy with Nightmare #3, so it took a while for the benefits of quitting the group to show up for me -- largely because she never understood *why* I'd be bothered by not finishing something, not seeing it through, not fulfilling an obligation. In fact, her only response was to tell me that she had decided not to do something that she had agreed to do because when it came time to do it, she "didn't feel like it." She said there were repercussions that were unpleasant, but she didn't want to do it and that was more important to her. Um... Dunno... Nope, not *me* if you know what I mean. Maybe her psychological makeup is a little -- humor me here, 'K? -- *different* from mine? You know, like "different" as in "not the same as?"

I did quit the group, though. And shortly afterwards, I quit therapy at that agency all together -- which was also devastating for me. No question about it -- I felt as if *I* had failed utterly and totally AGAIN, as if it was all my fault, as if there was just no hope whatsoever for me. Suicidal? Hopeless? Feeling helpless and beating myself up for feeling helpless when of course there was help for me -- I was just rejecting it? Oh, man -- you wouldn't have wanted to be in my head then.

Now, I didn't leave without another option: our marriage counselor, at another agency, set me up with a new individual therapist at her agency who would be able to start with me a few weeks after I quit. I arranged to have a "break" of a couple of extra weeks, because I was afraid that this trifecta of Therapist Nightmare Sisters would create so much distrust on my part that I wouldn't be able to start working with anyone at all anymore. (Remember: I was *very* depressed, and self-loathing, and UNMEDICATED.)

Guess what? Once I made the decision, and called to cancel therapy entirely, and got through the "Um, what part of 'I quit' didn't you understand?" conversation with Nightmare3 -- I started to feel better. I had *finally* done what I really did know I needed to do for myself, rather than buying into the message that "we know what you need much better than you do, because we're The Professionals." Turned out, I didn't need the extra recess time, because by the time the new therapist was ready to see me, I was ready to see her.

And you know what? I'm still depressed, still feeling pretty hopeless, etc, and I'm still unmedicated -- BUT I'm working with a therapist I'm beginning to feel some cautious trust for, and much more importantly: after feeling for months that I was allowing myself to be abused, and even cooperating with the abusive situation (a pattern for my life, by the way, which is why I'm using those terms), I made an active move to end the abuse. Guess what else? That last part feels very, very good. Instead of trying to force myself into compliance with something that was just *wrong* for me, I did what I needed to do *for me* and it was even worth the discomfort it caused me. (Although, at the time, I can't emphasize enough that it was absolutely devastating.)

It only took a couple of weeks -- maybe two -- for the relief to outweigh the distress, by the way. If you do choose to end the group, I'd strongly recommend finding a new therapist first. Make sure you don't have to go through any of that kind of distress without knowing that something new is opening up, you know?

Tabitha, I think that -- while I'm very impressed that you were able to step back and see that someone else's feelings were not your problem -- from what you've written here over the past few months, you know that it isn't working for you and you just don't quite trust *yourself* enough to make the decision based on that knowledge. If it helps, I give you my permission and approval for the decision you make -- whatever it may be. And I also give you permission to be very, very proud of yourself for *knowing* whether or not something is meeting your needs, despite what other people may be telling you.

Best luck, and hope for a sunnier time soon for you.

 

Re: More group Racer

Posted by tabitha on July 8, 2004, at 4:33:38

In reply to Re: More group, posted by Racer on July 7, 2004, at 20:34:58

Thanks for your thoughts. Don't worry about inadvertently causing me to make a wrong decision. If I made any decision at all it would be a miracle. I've been stuck on this issue for months.

It's not just that I don't trust myself to make the decision, although that's a big factor. The main thing is I'm so dependent on her, that when I decide to leave, I plunge into the worst pain and hopelessness I've ever experienced. Worse than any childhood experience, worse than anything. Just an utter h*ll.

At least I found some comic relief. Check out this article

http://www.therapy-abuse.net/information/articles/dangerous_liaison.htm

I laughed the whole way through it, and I'm not actually sure it was intended to be funny.

 

Re: More group tabitha

Posted by Dinah on July 8, 2004, at 8:38:13

In reply to Re: More group Racer, posted by tabitha on July 8, 2004, at 4:33:38

> Thanks for your thoughts. Don't worry about inadvertently causing me to make a wrong decision. If I made any decision at all it would be a miracle. I've been stuck on this issue for months.
>
> It's not just that I don't trust myself to make the decision, although that's a big factor. The main thing is I'm so dependent on her, that when I decide to leave, I plunge into the worst pain and hopelessness I've ever experienced. Worse than any childhood experience, worse than anything. Just an utter h*ll.

Is just dropping group an option, Tabitha? At least for now? And you thought you didn't experience that intensity of feeling with her. (sympathetic smile and a big hug). I'm not sure you aren't right about group. We get these expectations that you can learn real life skills in therapy and in process groups and I'm just not sure that idea holds water. I don't think real life relationships can tolerate that level of scrutiny and revelation. Perhaps it's helpful to learn patterns we replay over and over again, in front of the therapist instead of hearing it secondhand and filtered, but I'm not sure. I was looking at my relationship with my husband the other day, and realizing that my relationship with him, and with anyone I know of, works best with a bit of tongue biting and superficiality.

What really really concerns me, Tabitha, and has from the start, is the fact that you appear to be constantly coming away from these encounters feeling like you've been gaslighted. That your view of reality has been invalidated and your views aren't valid. While you also show instances where your views of reality prove more valid than your therapist's. I find that a bit disturbing.

Yet I also understand completely your dependence on your therapist, and your feeling that leaving her would be worse than death. Despite the fact that the intensity of my feelings for my therapist has lessened appreciably over time, and he no longer feels magic, and often feels ineffectual, I still have my old plan in place. :( So I do understand, and it's quite a conundrum.

All I can say is what my therapist told me. Nothing in therapy is an irrevocable decision. We can try something out, and if it doesn't work we can go back to where we were before. Does your therapist have the same rules? Would she be able to take a few steps back to where you were before? Can she understand that the changes came faster than you can tolerate? Could you grow to trust her again?
>
> At least I found some comic relief. Check out this article
>
> http://www.therapy-abuse.net/information/articles/dangerous_liaison.htm
>
> I laughed the whole way through it, and I'm not actually sure it was intended to be funny.

I actually bought her book. The whole thing was a bit more extreme than comes across in that article. But I do think that therapists tend to think that pain is equivalent to gain a bit too often. Sometimes pain is just pain.

 

Re: More group tabitha

Posted by Racer on July 8, 2004, at 11:27:15

In reply to Re: More group Racer, posted by tabitha on July 8, 2004, at 4:33:38

Hm... This is only a question, not a suggestion:

Do you think that, if *you* made the decision to leave this therapist, it might not be as devastating as earlier 'breakups' for you simply because it was *your* decision?

Way back, years ago, I broke up with someone. Now, since I have usually been the one to leave my longer term relationships, that wasn't the surprising part. The surprising part was that I do have a very intense fear of abandonment -- I could only leave someone who's smothering me, and only after trying very hard to work things out -- and this guy was triggering all of those fears involved in that. He wouldn't leave me, and he wouldn't let me leave him, but he also wouldn't *be* with me, if that makes any sense. He spent a lot of time telling me how awful I was, how hopeless, totally without any redeeming qualities. (He also used to tell me how fat I was, feeding into that whole body image thing.) When I made the decision to leave, we had one of those incidents that get to be funny later -- but are scary as hell at the time. He got home from work early, and found me still packing up to leave. After arguing about it, he hit me first with my pillow -- which knocked me down -- and then with his hands. (I think that was the first time he'd ever hit me, although he may have once or twice before and then convinced me that it wasn't "really" hitting me.) Having made up my mind, I basically said something about physical abuse not being a very good inducement to stay, and picked up my bags to go. He threw himself on the ground, grabbing my ankles and crying. I just ignored him and started walking. He held on. I walked through our bedroom, and he held on, dragging behind me. I walked through the dressing room and kitchen. He held on. I walked down the hallway, to the top of the stairs. He was still holding on. At the top of the stairs, I thought about it and realized that I'd break my neck trying to get down the stairs with him hanging on my ankles and it just wasn't worth it. So, I took my bags back to our bedroom, and didn't say a word.

The next morning, my very best ever friend showed up bright and early -- shortly after he left for work -- and threw my still-packed bags into her car. I'm sure our roommates called him at work, to tell him I was leaving, but he couldn't get home in time to stop me.

I'd stayed with him far too long -- like you couldn't have figured that one out from the story so far, right? -- and had been terrified that the relationship would end because I was so dependant on it. The thought of leaving was too frightening even to consider -- until I made the decision and did it. Being the one to decide and to act was so liberating for me. It didn't take long for me to recover -- much less time than it had taken to get over any of his infidelities or other abusive behaviors while we were together -- and I never regretted that decision. My only regret once I had done it, was that I hadn't done it when I first realized I needed out of that relationship.

Had he been the one to initiate the break up, though, I think it would have sent me over the edge.

So, that's why I'm asking: do you think that it would make a difference to you if you made the decision yourself, whether it was just to leave the group or to leave the group and find another therapist? Do you think that being the Active Party in the decision might be more liberating than devastating?

Tabitha, honey, Dinah had some very, very wise words for you in her post, and I hope that you can step back enough to draw ease and comfort from them. And I hope that you feel better soon -- having been through so many months of horrors myself lately, I know how draining it can be to try to keep going and going through it all. Take best care, dear, and try to find the same affection and concern for yourself that we all feel for you. I know you know that there is a lot of support for you here, but I'll tell you again anyway: there are a lot of people here who are really pulling for you and really want to see you find relief from this pain.

 

Re: More group

Posted by pegasus on July 8, 2004, at 12:29:45

In reply to More group, posted by tabitha on July 7, 2004, at 19:36:27

Tabitha,

Your post sounds so *extremely* reasonable and balanced, and not skewed at all, to me. This is one of those posts that I read and just practially wanted to jump into the computer and talk to you in person. What I wanted to say was "You sounds so *good*! Do you think it might help if you showed that post to your T?" From the outside it seems like it would have a good chance of showing her how you're experiencing her therapy. Which normally be helpful in therapy.

But either way, I want you to know that *I* think you sound very strong and healthy in your post.

pegasus

 

Re: More group Dinah

Posted by tabitha on July 8, 2004, at 15:00:26

In reply to Re: More group tabitha, posted by Dinah on July 8, 2004, at 8:38:13

> Is just dropping group an option, Tabitha? At least for now? And you thought you didn't experience that intensity of feeling with her. (sympathetic smile and a big hug). I'm not sure you aren't right about group. We get these expectations that you can learn real life skills in therapy and in process groups and I'm just not sure that idea holds water. I don't think real life relationships can tolerate that level of scrutiny and revelation. Perhaps it's helpful to learn patterns we replay over and over again, in front of the therapist instead of hearing it secondhand and filtered, but I'm not sure. I was looking at my relationship with my husband the other day, and realizing that my relationship with him, and with anyone I know of, works best with a bit of tongue biting and superficiality.


Yes, I seriously doubt I'm learning useful relationships skills there, unless I end up in a relationship with another therapy junkie. I still thought it might be good for me somehow, give me insight into my own dynamics or something.

I think about dropping just group, but I've asked her why she quit supporting me since I started group. I used to feel like she was on my side when I talked about relationships. I used to get validation. I asked why she had stopped, and she said that she can't validate me anymore since now she sees with her own eyes what's happening. So now that she's decided I just see things wrong, how is she ever going to validate me again, and even if she could, how could I ever believe her?

>
> What really really concerns me, Tabitha, and has from the start, is the fact that you appear to be constantly coming away from these encounters feeling like you've been gaslighted. That your view of reality has been invalidated and your views aren't valid. While you also show instances where your views of reality prove more valid than your therapist's. I find that a bit disturbing.


I appreciate you pointing that out to me when I first started talking about this. That's the main problem, and it's driving me nuts. But it seems like that's built into CBT, right, you're going to get told your thoughts are distorted. And I'd bet in most groups like this, you're going to get told you're projecting.

There's just so much of it, I feel like I'm getting beat up, and coached to see things in ways that aren't me, and coached to say things that don't even feel true, and I feel like I'm in a nuthouse, because the other group members are getting the same coaching, so this stuff comes out of their mouths that seems to validate what she says, but I know it's her coaching, and I can't tell if they really believe it or not, or if we're all just parroting what we've been taught to say. And I look at them, and how they talk and act, and I think whoa, is that what I'll become? Is that the goal? I don't even want to be like that.

She told me how it wasn't me she was fighting, it was my critical parent, and the problem was that I was too identified with my critical parent. So I say things that to me are natural caution or gut instinct warnings, and she says 'that's your critical parent'. But who gets to decide what's my critical parent and what isn't? Clearly not me.


>
> Yet I also understand completely your dependence on your therapist, and your feeling that leaving her would be worse than death. Despite the fact that the intensity of my feelings for my therapist has lessened appreciably over time, and he no longer feels magic, and often feels ineffectual, I still have my old plan in place. :( So I do understand, and it's quite a conundrum.
>
> All I can say is what my therapist told me. Nothing in therapy is an irrevocable decision.

Yeah, except if I quit, I'll lose my time slot. No that's not really the thing, I'm just afraid of the suffering involved.

> I actually bought her book. The whole thing was a bit more extreme than comes across in that article.

I know it's extreme, but I found it refreshing.


>But I do think that therapists tend to think that pain is equivalent to gain a bit too often. Sometimes pain is just pain.

Yeah, and what really p*sses me off is, I told the group I'd gotten suicidal over the stress of therapy and group, and that I hadn't been suicidal in years, and it just kinda got glossed over. So what, it's OK if I kill myself, as long as I'm working my issues? Maybe they could put on my tombstone 'she needed better boundaries'. Alright I'm being a big martyr now, but jeez. Something's not right. Therapy should not be driving me into hopelessness and despair.

 

Re: More group pegasus

Posted by tabitha on July 8, 2004, at 15:07:51

In reply to Re: More group, posted by pegasus on July 8, 2004, at 12:29:45

Reading that gave me this image of taking my posts into my session, and her being so impressed by my insight and clarity and finally understanding my point of view, and us making up. Wouldn't that be sweet?

 

Re: More group Racer

Posted by tabitha on July 8, 2004, at 15:12:42

In reply to Re: More group tabitha, posted by Racer on July 8, 2004, at 11:27:15

> Hm... This is only a question, not a suggestion:
>
> Do you think that, if *you* made the decision to leave this therapist, it might not be as devastating as earlier 'breakups' for you simply because it was *your* decision?

Hmmm.... Well... I've been plenty devastated by breakups I've initiated. To me it can almost seem worse, because there's the loss, plus the self-doubt of the decision, plus having to fight off their arguments about how wrong I am for leaving them, plus the guilt of hurting them, but in this case I don't think I'd feel I'd hurt her. It seems like it's going to be devastating, just because I keep sorta practicing it by deciding to leave, then the pain starts up.

And thanks for saying that stuff about how people are pulling for me. That cheers me up to hear.

 

((((Tabitha))))

Posted by Dinah on July 8, 2004, at 16:45:51

In reply to Re: More group Dinah, posted by tabitha on July 8, 2004, at 15:00:26

I do understand how difficult it is. Just being in the situation of trying to change your dysfunctional thought patterns while trying to hang on to who you are and your functional thought patterns is like balancing on a knife blade. How do you know whether any given thought pattern is dysfunctional or not. How do you know if your therapist is right on this particular situation or not. How much is personal growth and how much is group-thought impinging on our individuality. All horrendously difficult questions.

All too often we see people falling on one side of the blade and spout group thought and give up their critical thinking skills. Yet on the other side is stubborn adherence to ways of thinking that are clearly not rational or helpful (my mother being a prime example).

I don't know how to tell one from the other. I really don't. :(

And like I said, I understand why you don't want to give up your therapist or your time slot. My therapist was willing to step back and go back to a more supportive stance for as long as he thought that was all I could tolerate. I was just wondering if your therapist could do the same.

I agree with you that therapy shouldn't be causing you *that* much pain. :( Maybe there are some coping skills you can concentrate on for a while. I'm sorry your therapist isn't placing more emphasis on propping up those coping skills while you're feeling so bad.

 

Re: More group

Posted by pegasus on July 8, 2004, at 18:02:37

In reply to Re: More group pegasus, posted by tabitha on July 8, 2004, at 15:07:51

Yeah, it would be sweet. It's the kind of thing that seems to happen in sessions that some other babblers talk about. If this seems totally far fetched to you, then maybe that's one more piece of evidence that it might be time to find a way to move on. Especially if she has actually told you that she can't validate you anymore because she's seen you in relationships in group. Ouch! I would think a really great therapist would be able to validate at least aspects of your experience, no matter what. Unless she thinks you're just totally making stuff up. Failing to find the valid parts of your experience seems like a lack of imagination, not to mention compassion, to me.

If you do show the post to her, and she twists it around into some totally different view, then I'd be really interested to hear her interpretation. Because I think your post sounded very reasonable, strong and level-headed. Maybe she's the one who's living in some made-up therapist fantasy land. (I don't mean to be disrespectful of your therapist and the strong bond you have with her. Just concerned for you.)

pegasus

 

Re: sheepish

Posted by tabitha on July 9, 2004, at 1:20:39

In reply to Re: More group, posted by pegasus on July 8, 2004, at 18:02:37

Oh here I am feeling like an idiot. I get people hooked into my drama, like I'm going to go in there and do battle with her, and come out victorious somehow. Although, what victory would be, I don't know. Me bravely terminating?

I told her what all I've been going through, pretty much like I've told you guys, and she did seem to understand. She didn't give me the freaky alternate universe explanation again. That was a relief. I think she finally gets how that's coming across to me. She said she's sorry she's given me the wrong message about some stuff, she said she takes responsibility for sending the wrong message, which I didn't expect, I figured it would be my fault for hearing it wrong. I told her I wanted her to actually feel remorse for being wrong, and she expressed remorse for my suffering and for not helping me, and I told her that wasn't quite what I wanted, that I wanted her to actually admit that my perspective might be right. She said nope, not going there. I had to kinda respect that, after all, I don't want her making me give up my perspective, so it makes sense she won't give up her own.

She talked about me leaving group, and managed to put a spin on it that wasn't too unflattering. She said there's a lot of conflict in the group, that she even encourages it, but that I don't seem to handle it well, and no wonder, I haven't had much experience with it, and the experience I've had has been terrible, so I don't have faith it will solve anything. And some people just aren't wired for conflict, and they might make some improvements in their tolerance, but it might be an issue that just doesn't change much over their lives. So it kinda sounds like I'm a delicate flower, which isn't the best thing, but at least it's not 'I've failed therapy'.

It clears something up-- I really thought she encouraged us to get into conflict the one session when I got really hurt, and I didn't get that, it seemed sadistic to me, like stirring up trouble between us, but apparently she believes conflict can actually help relationships, or some people benefit from it, or something.

So we talked about a bunch more stuff, and about my suicidal thoughts this past week. I had actually thought she wasn't going to ask about that, which I guess is pretty twisted of me to think, but naturally she did the usual questions about whether I had a plan and so forth, and somehow it ended with me agreeing to call a new pdoc and get a med update, and not make any decisions about the group or therapy just yet.

I keep saying it's the group that's making my mood plummet, so I shouldn't have to take extra meds to cope with it, but she said that interpersonal stuff shouldn't be so upsetting that it makes me quit functioning. She had me there.

I feel bad 'cause a whole bunch of people have suggested I get a med check and I didn't want to do it, now she says to do it and I finally agree. But whatever, I guess I need a med check.

And she told me to shrink mean woman down, I'm making her too big. And she didn't punish me for pushing mean woman's buttons, in fact she said I was brave and did fine. But I suspect I may get some flak for one comment that mean woman said was snotty. Whatever, mean woman, I'm not going to say I was snotty.

So thanks again everyone for supporting me through this episode. It really helped me get through the day, and go in there and feel I could tell my real story. Now if I change my meds and it all gets better I'm gonna feel like I was a pain in the b*tt for no good reason. Oh wait, there's a good reason-- I hate meds! and side effects and psychiatrists who don't listen. But I guess that's a rant for a different board.

 

Re: sheepish tabitha

Posted by fallsfall on July 9, 2004, at 6:49:44

In reply to Re: sheepish, posted by tabitha on July 9, 2004, at 1:20:39

You are doing a really good job. I'm so glad you can have these really candid talks with her.

I'm glad things are looking up (well, not as down??) now.

 

Re: Sweet Tabitha tabitha

Posted by Dinah on July 9, 2004, at 8:23:17

In reply to Re: sheepish, posted by tabitha on July 9, 2004, at 1:20:39

No need to feel that way, Tabitha. :) Therapy is a process of ups and down and loops, ao naturally talking about it is too.

I like that she gave you an "out" concerning group, so that if you really decide it isn't a useful modality for you, you won't feel like you'll lose her or that it will harm your relationship.

And I also like that she admits that she encourages conflict in group, or stirs the pot or whatever. I'm guessing you know my opinion of pot stirring (wink), and if *my* therapist had told me that straight out I wouldn't have gotten within fifty feet of the group. I think it's great that you ventured into it and are still willing to give it another chance. (Did she lead the group you were in a few years ago? With the same style? That might make you feel better about the old experience.)

I share your opinion of pdocs and medications and side effects, and effects for that matter. Perhaps you can find one like mine that readily admits that there are side effects to taking medications and side effects to not taking them, and it's up to me which side effects I want. I'm on very few long term medications, at very low doses, but I have some medications on hand for acute crises. This seems to be a nice balance for me, and I hope you can come to a plan that feels right for you.

And drat!!! Just when I'm totally fed up with mine he goes and acts wonderfully. Sounds like yours does the same. :) I think it's a pretty nice quality.

 

Re: sheepish tabitha

Posted by gardenergirl on July 9, 2004, at 10:08:24

In reply to Re: sheepish, posted by tabitha on July 9, 2004, at 1:20:39

> And some people just aren't wired for conflict, and they might make some improvements in their tolerance, but it might be an issue that just doesn't change much over their lives. So it kinda sounds like I'm a delicate flower, which isn't the best thing, but at least it's not 'I've failed therapy'.

Tabitha, delicate flowers are beautiful too. They just need a bit of extra loving care and protection. And it's neither good or bad if you are delicate or sensitive. It just is. Please don't feel bad about it. It's not a flaw, something to try to "fix" or a failure. But I think it does mean that groups such as yours are especially difficult for you compared to others. I'm glad you were able to communicate this to your therapist and gain her understanding.
>
> It clears something up-- I really thought she encouraged us to get into conflict the one session when I got really hurt, and I didn't get that, it seemed sadistic to me, like stirring up trouble between us, but apparently she believes conflict can actually help relationships, or some people benefit from it, or something.

Yikes, sounds a bit sadistic to me, too. I think I would rather rehash conflicts IRL with my T rather than have conflicts stirred up in order to experience them in group. Yuck. But at least she was honest about it, and you don't have to second guess things now.
>
> I feel bad 'cause a whole bunch of people have suggested I get a med check and I didn't want to do it, now she says to do it and I finally agree. But whatever, I guess I need a med check.

Please don't feel bad about this. Sometimes it just takes repetition or hearing it at just the right time or from just the right person for you to feel comfortable with advice.

Take care. I'm glad you had such a productive session with your T.

gg

 

Re: sheepish

Posted by pegasus on July 9, 2004, at 20:09:02

In reply to Re: sheepish, posted by tabitha on July 9, 2004, at 1:20:39

Oh, yay, tabitha. I'm glad she could see your side, and how her approach was affecting you. Good for you for telling her about it, and good for her for finally hearing you. It sounds like she was able to validate you to some extent, even if she couldn't admit that your perspective might be right. Which sounds like it might be difficult for her in general, so maybe that's a really big step for both of you.

I totally agree with others about the delicate flower thing. I think I'm a delicate flower too, and I'm ok with that (or getting there). What you said that your T said about your reaction to conflict in group and your experience in life makes so much sense. Some people are just constitutionally good at conflict and some aren't, and then some people are taught skills for it and some aren't. And some of us get the short end of both sticks. But oh well, that's what therapy is for, right?

It sounds like checking meds before making any decisions is probably a good idea. You're so brave, and you're still sounding strong and level-headed.

pegasus


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