Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 441332

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Managing Age States

Posted by daisym on January 12, 2005, at 19:47:48

I'm curious how others manage a raging, non-primary, age state. If one of the younger parts is up and out, and upset or angry or whatever, how do you get this part to calm down enough to leave a therapy session? Or not interfere with your work?

Typically I haven't found this difficult. But today little daisy was so strong, and upset, "she" (us, we, da*n, I hate that...) walked out on a case conference this morning. It was about a shaken baby, they don't know who did it, the family situation is bad: mom was raped by her father, etc. The worse part for me was that the social workers talked about mom needing to "get over it" and be a better parent, and they were so impersonal, like she was a number or something. And then I went to therapy and little daisy stayed out...way out...like hysterically out. All the way up to the end. I couldn't get her to go back in or push her down. In fact when I got in my car, for a minute I thought, "I don't know how to drive." After a few more sobs and few deep breaths I did get myself home. This worries me.

Any suggestions?

(My therapist just kept saying, "take your time. I'll be here tomorrow. There's no rush to leave. It's OK." Which of course made her want to stay!)

 

Re: Managing Age States daisym

Posted by Dinah on January 12, 2005, at 20:21:35

In reply to Managing Age States, posted by daisym on January 12, 2005, at 19:47:48

I've been incapacitated from time to time. A forgetting sleep is good, I used to curl up in the back of my van on the floor between the seats and nap. When I got up, I was ok. But I have no idea how to bring one on.

Math? Multiplication tables? Formulas? They help me during sex. Math and emotional me don't go so well together.

 

Re: Managing Age States__MATH?

Posted by Gabbix2 on January 13, 2005, at 15:59:29

In reply to Re: Managing Age States daisym, posted by Dinah on January 12, 2005, at 20:21:35

That's one of the most absurd, but likely to work for me suggestions I've ever heard.
I will try that next time and see how it goes..

Thanks. Sorry I don't have any suggestions to offer Daisy, I've not found anything that's been able to work quickly when I've had to snap out of it.

 

Re: Managing Age States__MATH? Gabbix2

Posted by Dinah on January 16, 2005, at 19:36:02

In reply to Re: Managing Age States__MATH?, posted by Gabbix2 on January 13, 2005, at 15:59:29

Math is astonishingly effective. Once I figured out a new to me theorem (or forgotten, something like that), and attempted to do a proof. Unfortunately I didn't write it down. :)

Did I mention I'm not really good in bed?

 

Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite...

Posted by daisym on January 16, 2005, at 23:09:50

In reply to Managing Age States, posted by daisym on January 12, 2005, at 19:47:48

...and anyone else who has experience with this.

I need your help with this. I have to go to therapy tomorrow and I find myself getting worried that I will need to keep things so superficial so I don't touch off another episode.

Thank you to those who emailed about this. I wish this wasn't such a "secret" topic but I totally understand why it is.

*sigh* What do I do now?

 

Re: Managing Age States daisym

Posted by littleone on January 17, 2005, at 0:24:46

In reply to Managing Age States, posted by daisym on January 12, 2005, at 19:47:48

> I'm curious how others manage a raging, non-primary, age state. If one of the younger parts is up and out, and upset or angry or whatever, how do you get this part to calm down enough to leave a therapy session? Or not interfere with your work?

Hi daisy,

I thought you and your T had already worked out a method of leaving the session as adult daisy, although I could be mistaken. I guess he could start asking you adult questions for a few minutes before the end of the session, eg what are you doing at work tomorrow, what are you cooking for dinner, etc. I'm guessing that would either put little daisy away ... or make her throw a fit.

I guess it's all part of reparenting her. She needs to learn that she can't always get her way RIGHT NOW. Although I don't have a clue how to reparent her. Probably why I have no urges to become a parent myself.

Re the specific example you gave, I don't know how you could have prevented your reaction to that. It would have been a pretty strong trigger for you no matter what.

I hope you're feeling a bit better today.

 

Re: Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite... daisym

Posted by littleone on January 17, 2005, at 0:31:33

In reply to Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite..., posted by daisym on January 16, 2005, at 23:09:50

Sorry daisy, your second post came up while I was composing mine.

I think you should still be opening up in your sessions and giving little daisy her outlet there. It's what you're going to therapy for.

Do you find that in the rest of your life little daisy is louder or quieter if she is allowed to talk or silenced during your sessions?

Does it quieten her down at all or make her louder when you call in with your T between sessions?

 

Re: Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite...

Posted by Dinah on January 17, 2005, at 6:23:09

In reply to Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite..., posted by daisym on January 16, 2005, at 23:09:50

Daisy,

I'm sorry about the secretiveness too. :((

I solved the problem differently than you would want to, I think. Since rational me has no particular desire for therapy, emotional me goes instead every session, two times a week on average. The "deal" part of that is that emotional me tries to let rational me work the rest of the time, so that I can pay for therapy.

My therapist has backed me up a LOT on this. And in general the acting out has reduced a significant amount.

I know you wouldn't want to share your therapist to this extent. That's the main difference, adult you likes to see your therapist. But perhaps you and your therapist could work out an agreement for regular time with him in exchange for allowing you to work to pay for sessions in between.

Or you can put the whole thing up to "Little Daisy", perhaps with your therapist's help. You might be surprised that given the chance to make a responsible decision, with the expectation that as little as she might like it, you know she will, that she actually will. Perhaps sulk a bit, but I've found compromise isn't impossible.

 

Re: Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite... daisym

Posted by Aphrodite on January 17, 2005, at 7:56:11

In reply to Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite..., posted by daisym on January 16, 2005, at 23:09:50

Once when I was needed to stay outwardly composed but one of the younger parts desparately needed to share, I decided to write it all out. I gave it to him with the request that he just react to it and discuss it with me. After he read it, he said, "Don't you want to say all of this with affect?" I said no, that was the whole point! Anyway, I was able to sit and listen to his calming voice and have the problems addressed without totally being "out" or breaking down. I did cry a little as he hit on some sensitive points, but overall it worked out as a fairly benign compromise.

I just hate those internal, conflicting agendas. Good luck.

 

Re: Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite... Aphrodite

Posted by Pfinstegg on January 17, 2005, at 19:54:07

In reply to Re: Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite... daisym, posted by Aphrodite on January 17, 2005, at 7:56:11

I'm finding that when the therapy becomes more intense- with more powerful feelings accompanying the abuse memories- that it really IS hard to turn those very uncomfortable feelings *off*, just because the time is up. Sometimes my analyst points out gently that we will be continuing the next day (that helps), and other times, he does say that we have five or ten minutes left, and he helps me in comforting the younger part, and in gradually helping the more adult me be more dominant.
At tough times, like today, he will often say, "this is very painful; I'm sorry you are hurting so much, but I do think we are doing just what we need to do, even though it's very hard". I do lean pretty heavily on him for comfort and reassurances like this, but, even so, there are many days when the pain and distress continues for hours- or the whole day. When I get home, I can often feel better by remembering what he has said, thinking about what occurred in the session, writing things out in my journal, exercising or meditating. It's a real struggle, though.

 

Re: Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite...

Posted by antigua on January 17, 2005, at 20:08:31

In reply to Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite..., posted by daisym on January 16, 2005, at 23:09:50

That's what I do. I keep things so superficial. Today I found that my thoughts and behaviors were really the angry 9-year old, but I don't know what to do w/her.

My T doesn't seem to show an interest in talking to the girls, she always brings it back to the adult me since she is the one who is mostly in control.

I don't know, I feel that bad girl really wanting to have her say. I'm so mad at my T but I can't seem to let it out.
sorry I'm not much help,
antigua

 

I'm hopeless

Posted by daisym on January 18, 2005, at 0:19:49

In reply to Re: Pfinstegg, Antigua, Aphrodite..., posted by antigua on January 17, 2005, at 20:08:31

Thanks for all the suggestions. What I'm hearing is that sometimes there is not much you can do but let it pass. I'll try some of the other things though, they couldn't hurt!

I went today and floundered around. I was honest and told him I was worried about what had happened. We talked about my hubby a lot today, he had surgery again, and that may have been why I felt a strong need to pull back. I have things to take care of! This evolved into him asking what the different parts thought of pulling back and if little daisy was feeling stiffled or abandoned by him, since we haven't heard much from her since the pdoc appointment. Some how we ended up with me telling him that when I manage to get shut down, I think I should run from the inevitable hurt that is coming -- how do you ever detach from this relationship you are building? He was surprised, said he didn't think we even needed to be talking about termination right now. I sort of dumped out there again that he had no idea how much I struggle with all of this, "this" being my need for contact with him but we were out of time. He says he needs to hear about it, wants to know what I'm thinking. But I can't help but think that this internal struggle between age states must be getting old for him. I'm resisting the post-therapy panic urge to call. I don't know what I'd say anyway.

God, I hate this!

 

Re: Not hopeless at all daisym

Posted by littleone on January 18, 2005, at 15:25:27

In reply to I'm hopeless, posted by daisym on January 18, 2005, at 0:19:49

Daisy, sorry you're having such a rough time. All I can say is that if it is hard, you must be really *doing* therapy, not just attending therapy. If that makes sense.

I actually had a dream about you last night (that I can't remember), but I woke up wondering something. I know that adult daisy would be loathe to shirk her responsibilities at work, but would it be at all possible to talk to your boss/coworkers and say that you don't want to be involved in any case conferences involving child abuse?

In the grand scheme of things, it isn't a lot to ask, and it would be something you could do to really help little daisy.

Just a thought.

 

Re: Not hopeless at all littleone

Posted by daisym on January 18, 2005, at 15:39:29

In reply to Re: Not hopeless at all daisym, posted by littleone on January 18, 2005, at 15:25:27

It is a sweet thought. This is one of those times that I wish I had a boss to stand in front of me, or yell at me to get with it. *sigh* I am the Director so sometimes I have no choice but to represent my agency. Usually I can separate stuff. But perhaps I can have an internal planning meeting before I go to these things and close things down.

I hope your dream was a good one.

 

Re: I'm hopeless...NOT! daisym

Posted by gardenergirl on January 18, 2005, at 18:29:19

In reply to I'm hopeless, posted by daisym on January 18, 2005, at 0:19:49

> I went today and floundered around. I was honest and told him I was worried about what had happened. We talked about my hubby a lot today, he had surgery again, and that may have been why I felt a strong need to pull back. I have things to take care of!

This seems very reasonable to me. You only have so much energy to go around. His asking about your other parts' response to this makes sense, too, but I can see how it doesn't really give you a break. And I wonder if a bit of a break from the hard work is perhaps needed? Although now that I think of it, it would have to be negotiated between all of your parts, otherwise, it might not feel all that relieving.

>But I can't help but think that this internal struggle between age states must be getting old for him. I'm resisting the post-therapy panic urge to call. I don't know what I'd say anyway.

Daisy, I wonder how much of this worry about him getting tired of it is projection. Has it happened before that someone who was a support to you pulled back eventually? You are such a caretaker. That's a lovely quality, but can you let that go and resolve not to take care of him?

Thinking of you and wishing you calm and peace.

Take care,
gg

 

Re: I'm hopeless...NOT! gardenergirl

Posted by daisym on January 19, 2005, at 0:12:48

In reply to Re: I'm hopeless...NOT! daisym, posted by gardenergirl on January 18, 2005, at 18:29:19

OH GG --- I think I just can't do this anymore. I get so twisted up in my feelings about the right amount of contact, the right amount to share and how intense my feelings are. I elected to not go today but we talked on the phone this evening. He said he can see why I'm describing it as an addiction -- such powerful feelings about something that makes me feel good that I think I'm not supposed to have. He wanted to explore what I'm afraid of. I said I'm not afraid of this, it just feels wrong, like I'm not supposed to have it, or want it. He pointed out that on Monday I told him that I knew when he terminated me I was going to be terribly hurt. So he isn't convinced that I'm not afraid of something. He's letting me struggle with this but he tells me that he doesn't want me to struggle alone. He also said he thinks this is totally part of the regression. These are old attachment needs that have been reawakened by the work we are doing. I'm a classic case of insecure attachment.

He tells me I can come and just sit. Or talk about whatever. I push me, he doesn't. I feel like I'm wasting his time if i don't. We've talked about the fact that I seem to accept my attachment more easily when I'm really sad or really overwhelmed. It is when I'm half-strong that I find myself questioning the intensity of my feelings and what it means to want so much contact. I can't even answer the question of "what I want from him."

Isn't this pathological in and of itself? I disintegrated into tears but I'm not sure why. How does one either develop security within the attachment or lessen the intensity of the need?

 

Re: I'm hopeless...NOT! daisym

Posted by Dinah on January 19, 2005, at 16:07:49

In reply to Re: I'm hopeless...NOT! gardenergirl, posted by daisym on January 19, 2005, at 0:12:48

Time, I suspect. And going over the same ground over and over and over again. In fact, over time, both things have happened to me. I've developed security within the attachment, and the intensity of the need, if not the intensity of the attachment, has lessened. They're not the same thing, somehow. It has something to do with acceptance on both our parts, and acceptance of each others acceptance as well as our own.

Although I still like to review the same ground from time to time.

Weird. It's definitely a weird relationship.

 

Re: I'm hopeless...NOT! daisym

Posted by Pfinstegg on January 20, 2005, at 15:59:31

In reply to Re: I'm hopeless...NOT! gardenergirl, posted by daisym on January 19, 2005, at 0:12:48

Remember when someone here said that in really good therapy we get "bowled over"? It sounds like you're getting bowled over all the time! It would be so much easier if these tremendously powerful feelings didn't keep getting stirred up, but every time they do, I think we are a little different afterwards- a little more self-accepting of our internal storms, and of our different feeling-states, and a little closer to being more securely attached. Every time you write about your therapy, I think what a great job you are doing, and how really terrific your T's responses are. My T would say that you are doing "just what you need to do". They all know how extremely hard it is to work in this way with different ego states. If they just worked with one, it would shore that one up, and the therapy would be a lot easier to endure, but it wouldn't address the basic difficulty. (I'm speaking from the experience of having had that type of therapy before- it was more "feel-good", but this one is helping much more) Honestly, I lose hope sometimes, too, as it is so hard, and the feelings are so extreme and painful. But then we move ahead a bit, and I feel so glad I'm doing it.

PS I think it was healthy to get angry in that meeting situation- it sounded as though they were very dismissive about an abusive situation. i guess eventually you'll feel more of that natural anger (not have to be so *good* all the time), but will have more options as to how you express it.

 

It is slowly getting better

Posted by daisym on January 20, 2005, at 19:49:50

In reply to Re: I'm hopeless...NOT! daisym, posted by Pfinstegg on January 20, 2005, at 15:59:31

Slowly...I think what Dinah said is true, the relationship is just so weird. And so intense!

And Pfinstegg, you always make me feel better. I wish I had the rule book. I think I'm really struggling right now with the intense battle for time with my therapist. There are so many issues that I want to talk about, but that means that little daisy has to wait her turn. Yesterday I sort of wailed at him that the time between sessions was sooo long and the time with him was too short and there were too many voices clammering for his attention. He just calmly said, "that is why you need to come and see me a lot." I think we are both getting better at realizing which age state isn't getting their turn but needs one. I'm definitely catching him dropping things in that are intended to be protective of the younger parts of me...like bringing his bat to scare away the night monsters or joking about giving my hubby the sleeping pills so he could sleep (not cough) instead of me. This last one is important for lots of reasons but he stopped himself and looked at me and said, "You need to sleep. Little Daisy needs to let you sleep. Can she do that? I need her to hear me that I'm not sending her away, but you must sleep."

We were talking yesterday about the gate keeper part of me being out strong as a reaction to last weeks "hostile take over" by little daisy. He said that it was obvious to him that she was so freaked out and afraid of the pdoc appointment she needed direct reassurance. And the adult part of me was totally in the "I'm an adult, I can handle this" mode. He said he saw a bright yellow Hummer with the license plate "Daisy" and he decided that was what she needed to get through the gate keeper to see him. It was very sweet.

So, I've stopped struggling against my attachment. Now I just have to deal with how alone and lost I feel without him. I don't know which is worse.

 

Re: It is slowly getting better daisym

Posted by Pfinstegg on January 20, 2005, at 20:48:51

In reply to It is slowly getting better, posted by daisym on January 20, 2005, at 19:49:50

I'm so glad to hear that. Things are getting better for me. too, but I have to admit that, like you, the operative word is "slowly"! My analyst seems to be very interested in getting the different parts of me to stop struggling for attention and time, and start co=operating and understanding one another. Somehow, I'm not very interested in doing that, but I do notice more progress and peace of mind when I actually make myself do it. I can see that, in this area, he knows a lot more than I do! I feel like such a slow , balky learner!


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