Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 397675

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the trouble with honesty

Posted by crazymaisie on September 30, 2004, at 23:15:42

argh

i hope i'll be able to make this make sense.
this kind of comes out of a number of threads above but i didn't want to hijack any of them.

i have a good relationship with my T, at least i though i had. we both pretty sensitive types and i had been able to pick up on plenty of stuff she wasn't saying so it started to really bug me and i have been pushing her to be as honest as possible with me hoping it would make for a better relationship.

a few weeks ago she told me that she had been hurt by me being manipulative and i admitted that i had been testing her somewhat, though not consciously. she said it had made her angry with me and i apologised and said that i'd try to do better. then last week i had asked her something about her phone policy (sparked by a thread here, though i didn't tell her that, of course, i hope she never reads this) and this week she said that really i was only supposed to call in case of emergency. i got panicked by this (i had been calling in a casual kind of way over the last few weeks to clarify this point or that) so i asked if i was calling too much. she didn't say i had been in so many words but when i said that i was having an overreaction and i didn't want to talk about it any more this week, that maybe we could discuss it further next week she burst into tears and said that she hates hurting me and that she is sometimes afraid to say things to me in case she hurts me. i reassured her that i didn't think she was being unfair and she came up with a limit of one phone call per week. but then she said that if i stopped calling it would be hurtful. in part i'm feeling that i have brought this on myself and otherwise i'm just hurt and confused.

i have been asking myself, though, if this therapy is really going anywhere, other than create a relationship of its own. i had a dream i posted about recently and with all the openness and whatnot going on between us, i haven't been able to tell her (also she dealt badly with something the week before last which made me more cautious about telling her) i don't want to lose her as a person in my life, but i'm beginning to wonder if that's the only reason i'm showing up.

also i'm a bit annoyed because she has been urging me to rely on her and be less independent and just when i was coming to terms with some of that, i feel that she is saying that i'm needy and irritating - i'm pretty stubborn and independent by nature so it would be so easy to go back to indifferent and selfcontained.

i'm kind of confused. any advice very welcome.
thanks

maisie

 

Re: the trouble with honesty crazymaisie

Posted by Dinah on September 30, 2004, at 23:38:22

In reply to the trouble with honesty, posted by crazymaisie on September 30, 2004, at 23:15:42

I'm not sure what to say. My therapist's disclosures that evening were a very rare event. While there is a certain level of honesty and real-ness to our relationship, it stays firmly planted in the therapeutic area. That is it remains entirely for my benefit, except for the cash I give him.

That enables me to be myself in therapy. It's ok if I'm angry with him, or disappointed. I don't have to worry about hurting him. Since my feelings for him are generally positive, that's not a huge issue, but it's nice to know.

I can't imagine what I would do if he were to break down in tears or expose his own weaknesses to quite that extent. It's hard to see the therapeutic value in it for you, if you had to comfort her.

Is she newish as a therapist?

I am hesitant to criticize someone's therapist (or husband or very important person) though, since I realize that all relationships are multidimensional. What strengths does she bring to the table?

 

Re: the trouble with honesty

Posted by Susan47 on September 30, 2004, at 23:51:07

In reply to Re: the trouble with honesty crazymaisie, posted by Dinah on September 30, 2004, at 23:38:22

Crazy Maisie, I just read your post and I really want to say I support how you're feeling and I'm also sad for your therapist, it sounds like she's having a really rough time with caring so much about you. Have been known to be wrong but it's just what I'm understanding.

 

Re: the trouble with honesty Dinah

Posted by crazymaisie on September 30, 2004, at 23:52:26

In reply to Re: the trouble with honesty crazymaisie, posted by Dinah on September 30, 2004, at 23:38:22

thanks for answering, Dinah.

i should stress that i have pushed hard for this level of honesty so i'm getting what i wished for in one sense. i certainly have benefited from being in therapy with her and she's helping me to accept some parts of my self (the oversensitive, overcritical of myself parts) but i'm wondering if there's really anything more she can do for me at this stage. she's really a lovely person, but that's not enough for this relationship, is it? i am feeling caught in a bind, though, because i feel like i can't express the hurt i'm still feeling over her saying that a. i can call once and only once a week and b. i must call that once a week. i did call this week and she said that she was feeling much better for talking to me. i didn't dare tell her how much worse i felt. hmmmmm.

i know that what i would like is to have a normal relationship with her, we're very much alike and get on well. we're each very very sensitive, though. i did say last week that i didn't think we should be left alone in a room together. maybe i should consider that statement more thoroughly.

thanks for the input

maisie

oh yeah, and she has been a therapist for about 20 years

 

Re: the trouble with honesty Susan47

Posted by crazymaisie on September 30, 2004, at 23:55:07

In reply to Re: the trouble with honesty, posted by Susan47 on September 30, 2004, at 23:51:07

thanks, Susan, for your kind thoughts. it's all very confusing to me right now

maisie

 

Re: the trouble with honesty crazymaisie

Posted by JenStar on October 1, 2004, at 11:46:27

In reply to the trouble with honesty, posted by crazymaisie on September 30, 2004, at 23:15:42

Wow! What a convoluted, strange experience. It's hard to know what advice might work here...
on the whole, do you find that you feel better / stronger / more self-aware / happier after sessions? Is she doing some good for you in the big picture?

If the answer is yes, it might be worth working thru all of this.

I suppose you know now that she IS human, she CAN respond to manipulation, and she DOES have feelings. If you can work within the boundaries of this new revelation and still get good therapy, it might be a great new vista for you!

Anyway, good luck and keep us updated on what happens.

take care!
JenStar

 

Re: the trouble with honesty JenStar

Posted by crazymaisie on October 1, 2004, at 23:04:59

In reply to Re: the trouble with honesty crazymaisie, posted by JenStar on October 1, 2004, at 11:46:27

thanks, JenStar

i suppose the questions you're posing are the ones i'm asking myself. i care alot about her and i'm not going to make any sudden decisions because i know from reading other people's posts that things can sometimes happen gradually, but i'm going to bear all that in mind over the next few weeks.

as i said, i have asked for her to be open and honest so i owe it to both of us to see if we can find a way to keep working now that i've got what i (thought i) wanted.

maisie

 

Re: the trouble with honesty crazymaisie

Posted by Daisym on October 2, 2004, at 12:51:34

In reply to Re: the trouble with honesty JenStar, posted by crazymaisie on October 1, 2004, at 23:04:59

I don't know if I agree with you maisie. Not that I want to criticize anyone's therapist, but she IS the therapist. You calling shouldn't make her feel better, or at least that shouldn't be the reason to call. And it shouldn't, for sure, be the primary outcome of the call.

And her bursting into tears because she didn't want to upset you...hmmmm...the tears might be OK, admitting she didn't want to upset you might be OK, but the way it felt when I read it is that she is struggling with her own feelings about you, and you are taking-care of her. This isn't how it is suppose to go.

Even you saying "i've got what i (thought i) wanted" tells me you think you need to stick with this, for her. I think you need to bring it up and tell her how you feel. Not that it is too much honesty, but that a role reversal has taken place, at least in your mind, and see where that discussion leads. It might be you care taking where you don't need to. But it might also be some counter-transference on her part. This is your therapy, remember that.

But i totally agree that you shouldn't just suddenly shift and make a change. I think you try to work it out and see where it came from.

 

Re: the trouble with honesty Daisym

Posted by crazymaisie on October 2, 2004, at 15:19:59

In reply to Re: the trouble with honesty crazymaisie, posted by Daisym on October 2, 2004, at 12:51:34

thanks, Daisy.

i think you're right about the role reversal. and now, of course, i'm wondering if i have manipulated the situation where i can now take care of her, which would be so much more the way i 'do' relationships. it was difficult to watch her cry and not be able to offer comfort. also, i think the phone call rule comes from a call i made last week where i didn't leave enough details and she said she got really stressed about it, thinking i might think she doesn't care enough because she wasn't sure what i was talking about. (god i hope she never reads this site)

i'll so my best to organise my thoughts and talk to her about it next week. thanks for replying

maisie


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