Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 502109

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Right now, I have.....

Posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 1:21:56

this incredibly strong impulse to keep "bringing things in" to my analyst- photos of me when I was a child, handwritten copies of poems that I love, photos I've taken, with maps, of rare wildflowers in the mountains near us (which I am SURE he is going to want to go and see for himself!)- well, on and on. He never asks WHY I do this: he just reaches out his hand and accepts everything, saying a warm "thank you"- as if he was expecting me to do it. Then he stays very quiet and attentive.

I'm the one who tries to explain why. One time, I said, " I feel that I am bringing such bad parts of me in here all the time now, that I need to find something good to bring in, too- something that isn't ugly"". He said, "yes, I know you feel bad about these parts, but you know I don't. I'm so glad you are able to bring everything in now- it's very hard and it takes courage, but it's what we need to do together. We are doing it".(Well, that's not quite verbatim- he said it as part of a dialogue).

I felt so understood, and so warm inside (and I know I've got a terrific analyst, who is also a total sweetheart), but the impulse continues! (like that other one, which involves buying a chocolate-almond-covered Haagen-Daz Good Humor after nearly every session- me, who used to eat about one a year!) I hope I'll get, sometime, to where *just me* feels like it's good enough, and can perhaps again eat a healthy diet like I used to- when I was sicker.....

 

Re: Right now, I have..... Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 1:36:25

In reply to Right now, I have....., posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 1:21:56

I wonder...

I had assumed that my desire to take care of my therapist was just trying to force him into my father's role.

But I wonder if it's related to what you're saying. Some sort of desire to give back. Some sort of maturing that whispers of reciprocity.

I mean, of course I know that the reciprocity is in cash, but you know? Maybe it's a sign of growth of some sort.

 

Re: Right now, I have..... Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 2:16:52

In reply to Re: Right now, I have..... Pfinstegg, posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 1:36:25

Well, one of the big things about analysis- going so often, and lying down if you want to- is that you really do regress back to younger parts of yourself. Their feelings and needs get expressed much more.

Right now, those young feelings are very powerful (I do have to deal with all the very painful aspects of csa), so I count on him to take care of himself- there's no way I can even think about doing that. He's so good that he always conducts himself in such a way that I can just feel and think about young me- in his very caring presence.

I'm sure that bringing all this *good* stuff (Japanese medieval love poems!) in is trying to balance all the terrible stuff from my childhood. Even though, of course, none of it was my choice, or my fault, I do feel extremely guilty about all of it, and I have, consciously, but even more, unconsciously, hated myself for all of it.. That's what we are working hard on- remembering as much as possible, but also experiencing his kindness, love and acceptance of young me, and of all I went through, so that I don't go on wrecking myself over it.

I guess everyone's experience of therapy is unique- yours is fascinating to me, but it's nothing like mine. I guess our therapists never get to step into the same river twice.

 

Re: Oh, I meant to add

Posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 2:27:00

In reply to Re: Right now, I have..... Dinah, posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 2:16:52

that I think we are in really different places. I am more regressed, but I think you really ARE maturing, and are probably experiencing genuine reciprocity in a way you may not have before. I would love to hear what you think when you have gathered all of your posts- i hope they are all still in the archives!

And I would love to ask you something, though I'm a bit hesitant: do you look at him, now?

 

Re: Right now, I have..... Pfinstegg

Posted by Daisym on May 24, 2005, at 10:17:40

In reply to Right now, I have....., posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 1:21:56

I think you are right about your need to bring in "good" things but perhaps you are also trying to connect your therapy in a more real world way, the way kids do when they bring stuff from their room to show and tell. It connects home and school. I think sometimes we test out what we like to see if it is acceptable to other people. This sounds so much like what a 5 year old would do. It is very sweet that you trust him and want to show him your special things.

I think hearing and feeling that he accepts all parts of you helps you believe you aren't bad. But I also think that there are times (like now) that we have to test that some -- we keep presenting different parts of ourselves for inspection, good and bad things.

And don't over look the fact that you recently wrote that you felt sort of sad that your adult-to-adult relationship that was so easy and relaxed had become strained somewhat by the distrust of your younger self. Connecting around pictures and poetry and flowers sounds like a nice way to have shared moments.

Please keep writing about your sessions. They make me feel hopeful.

 

Re: Right now, I have..... Dinah

Posted by Daisym on May 24, 2005, at 10:21:14

In reply to Re: Right now, I have..... Pfinstegg, posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 1:36:25

Isn't it interesting how our needs change during this process? I always have a need to take care of people. It is my way knowing what my role is in any situation. I'm the one picking up cups and putting out food. When I try to do it in therapy, it gets pointed out and I'm told I don't need to do that.

Maturing for me is letting go of the control that care taking gives me. I guess we are all different, aren't we?

 

Re: Oh, I meant to add Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 10:47:24

In reply to Re: Oh, I meant to add, posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 2:27:00

Actually, it was just a guess. I only know the outcomes of my behaviors. I haven't yet divined their purpose.

I know that I have a greater need to take care of him now, as opposed to my old feelings that he was there solely to take care of me.

I know that before Daddy got really sick and died, I was genuinely ready to go to once a week support therapy. But that since Daddy's death something has happened either in me or in the therapeutic relationship, or more likely both, that makes me feel secure enough that I'm willing to really work for the first time in the ten years I've been seeing him. (Other than technical CBT stuff.) And that willingness to work has made the twice a week therapy that was just right for support seem choppy and disconnected for actual work so that I want to go up to three times a week. Except that I'm not sure it's not healthier to live with the anxiety and impatience and stay at twice a week.

I only know the result.

Our therapies are very different, in no small part because our issues are different. I had no CSA, and I dissociate in no lesser degree, but in a different way, I think. Same with Daisy.

One of my goals now in therapy is to look at him more often. And I can now usually do it without the eye rolling and blinking that probably looked as bizarre as they felt. But I'm experimenting to see if looking at him more often decreases my ability to fully access my emotional self. I think it does.

 

Re: Right now, I have..... Daisym

Posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 10:50:38

In reply to Re: Right now, I have..... Dinah, posted by Daisym on May 24, 2005, at 10:21:14

I'm sure that would also be true for me. As far as actual behavior.

What I think might be a bit more mature in me is the increased awareness that he is a separate person not solely there for me. And yes, yes, I know theory. And that he is solely there for me. I'm talking about something else that I can't quite articulate.

Ah well. That's why I go to therapy.

 

Re: Oh, I meant to add Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 19:41:43

In reply to Re: Oh, I meant to add Pfinstegg, posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 10:47:24

That's fascinating, Dinah! I mean, first, that you feel really able to work hard in therapy now, after ten years and your father's death, and second, that there's a part of you that wants to look at him.

Thinking back to Allen Schore, he talked a lot about how much of our right hemispheres are used for gaze-and about the centrality of its role in evaluating our sense of safety with other people from one millisecond to the next. We (analyst and I) changed our way of being with one another after learning this. We always allow sitting-up time now; sometimes looking at him is easy and natural, but often it's very frightening. Exploring the fear is our way into most sessions. I don't lie down unless I am connected and comfortable. But then I might feel I need to sit up again right away- or I might stay lying down, very connected and be able to explore my thoughts and feelings deeply and safely. It can all change in an instant.

New things seem to be happening for you! You know what my vote would be- three times a week when you can.

 

Re: Oh, I meant to add Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on May 24, 2005, at 20:56:49

In reply to Re: Oh, I meant to add Dinah, posted by Pfinstegg on May 24, 2005, at 19:41:43

I think all of it, the open eyes, the being ready to work, the greater feeling of security - different than the feeling of safety I felt before, are all related somehow. I don't know if my father's death made me vulnerable or if my therapist's caring deepened the relationship.

Does that make sense? That I've had a feeling of safety since the beginning. That I started to trust him at five years. And that now, at ten years I feel truly secure.

I used to have definite boundaries in therapy, and now it feels like there are all sorts of things that want to come flooding out. I'm not just going for my weekly fix of tranquilizers or mood stabilizers. Because he's good for that as well. But even though the pressure isn't as great as it was a few weeks ago, it's still there. Pressure to work. He's definitely noticed the difference and is giving me appropriate feedback.

I think I probably will go to three times a week for a month or so, and see what happens. If it goes back to being maintenance, I'll go back down on frequency.

But there is a small part of me that says one thing I could be working on is containment of those feelings of pressure...


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