Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 423649

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Relationship ReBuilding (very long)

Posted by daisym on December 3, 2004, at 0:19:35

I was reminded today how lucky I am to have the therapist I do.

If you've been reading my posts you know I've been struggling -- with him, with therapy, with feeling connected and then disconnected. It sort of all came together last Wednesday and exploded with a misread by me of his intentions and a semi-complete meltdown.

Intellectually, I accepted rather quickly that I had misread the situation. But inside I was so hurt and angry with myself. And really embarrassed about how childish I felt. I kept looking in the mirror to remind myself that yes, I am a grown up woman, and yes, I am still in one piece and should be able to just move foreword. So I resolved that the adult would retake charge, and while I wouldn't quit therapy, I would no longer allow it to interfere with the rest of my life and I would think about it only during sessions. And this dependency stuff, well, it just had to stop. Good plan, right?

I suffered throughout the long weekend (I canceled a phone session) and tried to cancel Monday with a lame excuse. He moved my time so I could make it. And of course, he wanted to talk about what happened last week and how I was feeling about things. So I told him my resolve and my plan and he said, "Wow, I really hurt you." He kept saying that it didn't matter if it was a misread on my part, I DID get hurt and he felt really bad about that. I said I was being ridiculous and overreacting but the episode had served to shake me out of the severe dependency feelings I had been dealing with. He said he didn't want my youngerself to go back into hiding, we had worked so hard to let her have a voice. I softened some but kept my guard up. The next day I lost my voice, not completely but it was pretty raspy. (Any Freudians out there?)

Yesterday I was completely in adult mode. We talked about a really important topic but it was a "safe" topic. The session was completely unemotional but there was a quiet tension, like he wasn't going to push and I knew I was avoiding any conversations about feelings. But after I came home, I just fell apart. I wrote a journal page and what kept coming out was that the little kid parts of me missed him -- that not allowing feelings into sessions was horrible and to pretend like the dependency didn't exist was like ignoring an open wound. I was so mad at myself because how can I simultaneously want both things? And my pride kept saying that I needed to keep pretending that everything was OK. It was a long, bad night and I knew I needed to talk to him about it. I just couldn't keep going if it was going to feel like this.

Today my voice was still fragile so I took in the journal page and asked him to read it and not make me so I could save my voice to talk about it with him. After he read it, I told him I felt like a pinball machine with the flippers broken and ball bouncing wildly around. I also told him that I wasn't playing games or punishing him, that I really did know that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. I just couldn't get past the hurt to open up but I desperately wanted to because otherwise I felt completely empty. And that I needed him to help me. I burst into tears and said I didn't want to stop coming, that I wasn't done but I couldn't keep going feeling so conflicted either.

So he helped. First he said he knew I wasn't playing games, that I have been struggling for weeks with some really intense negative feelings. He talked about how therapy had widened the bandwidth of my feelings and now I was flooded with them and not used to sorting them out. So of course I felt overwhelmed and confused. And he said that these really old dependency feelings had never been met, except in therapy, and the prohibition against being dependent was so strong that when I really let my guard down, my internal smoke alarm eventually goes off. He said dependency doesn't just magically go away, not that he would want it to. So he knew it was lurking still, he just wanted to give me space to bring it back up myself. And that it was totally OK with him, like he has said a million times. He reminded me that he doesn't really like the word "dependent" because it implies so many negative things. What he prefers is "connected or attached" and that is what he wants me to feel with him -- safe and connected, so I can let my guard down and we can just talk about whatever comes up. He said he usually feels very connected to me, did I think this was a bad thing? And since I didn't, why did I get so upset with myself for feeling connected to him? So we talked (again) about needs, frozen age states and how much therapy was too much therapy?

Before I left he said he thought it would be really important for us to process those feelings that came up last Wednesday, as much as I wanted to avoid revisiting them. He said something important was hiding there and he really wanted to know what I was feeling in the three hours between the time I left his office and the time he was able to call back. As we talked about it, it became clearer and clearer that the feelings were very similar to what I felt when my dad left home. The absolute devastation yet relief mixed in. My therapist said essentially I felt abandoned by him for those hours, or at least little daisy did. And that caused this huge flashback of feelings that were just too huge for her to handle so she went into hiding, but this time alone. But being alone doesn't work anymore, now that she has experienced this connection to him. So no wonder the push/pull was tremendous. He sort of leaned back with a sigh and said, "I know she thinks I abandoned her, but I'm still here. And I have no intention of letting you quit therapy. Or of letting little daisy hide from either of us." He said he knew today was hard, but he thought it felt so much better than yesterday. I said I was hard. He laughed. And I did admit that it felt SO MUCH BETTER.

I know by now that this probably won't be even close to the last time I go through this. I just wish someone could tell me how to trust completely and securely that he won't get sick of this...or me...


Re: Relationship ReBuilding (very long) daisym

Posted by Fallen4MyT on December 3, 2004, at 0:46:15

In reply to Relationship ReBuilding (very long), posted by daisym on December 3, 2004, at 0:19:35

Daisy I wish I coud give you that magic way to trust your T the way you want to...I do know from all I have read on you and your T that he IS worthy of trust and he is never going to give up on you or get sick of you as you said you fear. I think your T is the best I have ever read on better than mine even ...he is so kind and will see that and come to KNOW AND TRUST when the time cannot make it happen it will as you heal is starting to really



Re: Relationship ReBuilding (very long) daisym

Posted by Aphrodite on December 3, 2004, at 11:42:47

In reply to Relationship ReBuilding (very long), posted by daisym on December 3, 2004, at 0:19:35

I think the most remarkable thing about this time in your therapy is your ability to hang in there and keep plugging away even when things are chaotic and confusing. I think it shows that you do have an enormous amount of trust and connection with him even though sometimes events cause it to go a little dormant. And his connection to you that he mentioned shows that you have opened up enough to him that he knows how to soothe little Daisy without making big Daisy retreat into old ways of coping.

I'm glad the two of you have a strong enough relationship to weather these times. You are gaining a lot of insight by "staying" with those feelings instead of beating them down. Thanks for sharing the story, complete with its happy ending of feeling better for now. I hope it lasts for you -- you deserve it.


Re: Relationship ReBuilding (very long) daisym

Posted by fallsfall on December 3, 2004, at 12:50:41

In reply to Relationship ReBuilding (very long), posted by daisym on December 3, 2004, at 0:19:35

You are learning so much. It is so hard, but you are doing it.

He won't get sick of you. I wish you could know that. Do you think that your dad left because he was sick of you?

Your therapist isn't going anywhere, and the falls keep falling.


Re: Relationship ReBuilding (very long) daisym

Posted by crushedout on December 3, 2004, at 14:01:34

In reply to Relationship ReBuilding (very long), posted by daisym on December 3, 2004, at 0:19:35

Wow, Daisy, that was an amazing post.

It makes me really miss my T. :( The part about connections makes me think of her.

Ouch. But thank you, anyway.


Re: Relationship ReBuilding (very long) daisym

Posted by Poet on December 3, 2004, at 14:14:24

In reply to Relationship ReBuilding (very long), posted by daisym on December 3, 2004, at 0:19:35

Hi Daisy,

I definitely have no answer as I think my trust level is about 52 percent. I do know one thing and that's your therapist won't get sick of you.

He really seems to understand that you are fighting being close to him. My therapist understand that about me, too. She told me that she thinks that she is closer to me than anyone else has ever been in my life. She understands why I fear feeling dependent or letting anyone in, and your T seems to understand your feelings,too.

You are really lucky to have a therapist who understands all the different Daisys. He is a keeper. Don't worry about being afraid of the connection to him, just try to continue to let that connection exist. Even if you feel it as a thin thread, it's there. And it's a strong thread.



Re: Relationship ReBuilding (very long)

Posted by multitask on December 4, 2004, at 13:47:40

In reply to Relationship ReBuilding (very long), posted by daisym on December 3, 2004, at 0:19:35

I don't know if it's possible to completely trust anyone and if that would really resolve anything. I think there has to be a balance though I couldn't begin to tell you how to achieve the balance as I haven't achieved it myself. Your therapist sounds pretty patient. I think you communicate well with him. I say keep up the good work, even though it's frustrating.


Trust Spirals

Posted by daisym on December 4, 2004, at 20:10:15

In reply to Re: Relationship ReBuilding (very long), posted by multitask on December 4, 2004, at 13:47:40

Thank guys. I keep rereading everyone's encouragement and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with trust. I never thought of myself as having trust issues or as being damaged before therapy opened all these parts of me.

I told my therapist about my dream of picketing with a sign that said, "I hate my inner child." In the same dream, I go to a session and there is a child of about seven sitting at his desk coloring quietly. She sits behind him, and I sit in front of him. It takes me awhile to realize that she is me and I can't figure out what she is doing there. That's when i flipped to picketing.

His take on this dream was that little daisy was feeling content with being reconnected to him but the adult still wasn't sure. He said he thought he'd just keep her with him for the weekend. To which I responded, "fine by me!" He did like the picketing part. :)


Leaving (trigger) fallsfall

Posted by daisym on December 4, 2004, at 20:35:19

In reply to Re: Relationship ReBuilding (very long) daisym, posted by fallsfall on December 3, 2004, at 12:50:41

>>>Do you think that your dad left because he was sick of you?

<<<<<My initial response when I read this was, "yes, I'm sure he did." But I held off because I wanted to think about it some more. But it still feels true. The abuse was escalating, at same time the problems between my parents were getting worse and worse, and my mom was home less and less. So he moved out for a while, but not away, so we visited on weekends. And of course, the abuse continued. Then I got sick and was actually quarantined for a few weeks and during that time, he moved across the country. And I didn't see him for 4 years. To my 12 year old brain, he finally saw how bad I was to let him do these things to me and/or I made him feel so bad about himself for doing them, that he had to get away from me.

The adult me sees the rational possibility of parents getting divorced due to marital problems and a job change that took him away.

So in therapy, the 12 year is terrified that her therapist is going to hear one too many graphic stories and finally come to see how bad she is and "leave." (Leaving could be him telling me not to come anymore, referring me to someone else, you name it.)

The other thing is that my very first memory of the sa was when I was 7 and my mom was really sick and in the hospital. I didn't know where she was and in the middle of the night I got out of my bed (a big no no) and went into my parent's room (another no no) and ended up in bed with my dad. I was really scared of the dark and felt very secure to be with him.(How confusing sa is for small children is a different topic.) My mother would never have allowed this. But then she didn't come home for 2 months (she was still in the hospital) and right then and there I knew that being bad made people go away.

My therapist is aware of these conclusions I've drawn and he nudges them gently. But mostly he just repeats "the rules in here are different. It is OK to cry and I'm not going to leave you."

As I write all this, I shake my head yet again and think, "This happened 30 years ago or more. I should be able to untangle these irrational old fears from my present day relationships." Even thought I can see it, I just can't do it yet.

So it is very, very important to me that the falls keep falling.


Re: Leaving (trigger) daisym

Posted by gardenergirl on December 4, 2004, at 21:39:54

In reply to Leaving (trigger) fallsfall, posted by daisym on December 4, 2004, at 20:35:19

It sounds like you have put together good and useful insights. It's so hard, isn't it, when you can figure something out intellecutally, but can't convince your heart? Or gut? Or wherever the pain is. I've talked with my T about this, and how I get to the "insight schminsight" phase, and he reminds me that for me at least, it takes repetition and seeing the pattern several times before it gets to my gut. It's good when it does.

I wish you peace and calm as always.
Take care,


Re: Leaving (trigger) daisym

Posted by fallsfall on December 5, 2004, at 9:09:32

In reply to Leaving (trigger) fallsfall, posted by daisym on December 4, 2004, at 20:35:19

The falls keep falling


Re: Leaving (trigger) daisym

Posted by antigua on December 6, 2004, at 9:46:04

In reply to Leaving (trigger) fallsfall, posted by daisym on December 4, 2004, at 20:35:19

Here we go again, Daisy, on a similar path. I just had to write.

I was never allowed to leave my room at night either, and I never, never would have gone into my parents' room uninvited. Nobody was allowed to leave their room, probably so that my father could roam unobserved.

My mother never went on trips when I was young, unless she went to the hospital to have a new baby. Once, my father allowed her a weekend away w/his mother. I know that abuse took place that weekend and I remember longing and waiting for her return so he would stop--I thought she'd never come home. I can still remember that it felt like months before she came home.

When my father left for good, my mother fell apart completely (she was unable to even get out of bed and would slide money under the door for me to buy groceries) and I had to care for my two younger brothers. I thought my father was punishing me by leaving me--that I hadn't done what he wanted (I wasn't good enough) and he had left me. Of course, he had left my mother really. And, of course, it was my fault he had left, so it was my also my fault that my mother was in such bad shape.

So, I came to believe that abuse was better than abandonment.

Geez, what a mess. I have been dealing w/these feelings most of my life.


Re: Leaving (trigger) antigua

Posted by daisym on December 6, 2004, at 13:00:28

In reply to Re: Leaving (trigger) daisym, posted by antigua on December 6, 2004, at 9:46:04

Isn't it amazing how we learned to weigh the physical assaults against the mental ones and to essentially sacrifice ourselves for what we believed was better for everyone else? Amazing and oh-so sad. I wish we didn't have similar stories. But these days, I wish a lot of things...

Are you afraid of the dark now? And, what are the nighttime rules for your kids about coming in your room? I've never made my kids sleep without a light if they needed one and they know to knock on a closed door but that it is not only OK, but encouraged that they wake me up if they get up in the night.

I keep telling myself that at least I'm doing things differently than my mom did, so I did learn something from my experience.

Thank you for sharing. So many people say, "it is never the child's fault" like saying it is going to make you believe it. I *know* this is true, but I *feel* like a bad know?


Re: Leaving (trigger) daisym

Posted by annierose on December 6, 2004, at 16:15:03

In reply to Re: Leaving (trigger) antigua, posted by daisym on December 6, 2004, at 13:00:28

Both of your stories demostrate how brave and strong you were, even as little girls! You have come through so much already. I'm not dealing with 1/4 the trauma, so I can only imagine how difficult the therapy process must be, but also how liberating it will be at the other end. Like you Daisy, I have no restrictions with nightlights (even my 11 year old still wants one on) and they may come into our room at night if they are scared or otherwise. We lock the door when we need privacy :)


Re: Leaving (trigger) daisym

Posted by antigua on December 6, 2004, at 16:40:34

In reply to Re: Leaving (trigger) antigua, posted by daisym on December 6, 2004, at 13:00:28

I like lots of lights on!! Throughout the house. My husband is always turning lights off to save electricity and I get so mad at him because I don't like walking into a dark room.

My kids are free to come and go at night.I encourage them, especially if something is bothering them because I remember how agonizing the night could be. If my husband and I want privacy, we lock the door. My children are taught to knock before entering, and I respect their privacy the same way. Actually, our room is the only in the house, besides outside doors, with a lock, an ancient big-key lock, so we all have to rely on knocking.

A couple of times (in the past six months or so), I have felt the presence of someone next to my bed, touching me through the covers. I actually felt their hand. I've always thought it was one of the kids, so you can imagine my surprise when I looked up and nobody was there!

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