Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 507765

Shown: posts 1 to 12 of 12. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Books as comfort

Posted by littleone on June 4, 2005, at 20:04:51

Borders is my safe haven. When I'm feeling bad, the very best comfort available for me is to buy a psych book. I *never* go to Borders without looking through the psych section.

Needless to say, I have a *lot* of psych books. Sometimes I spend far too much money on books. And it was during one of those times that my T asked why I was buying all these books. What questions I wanted answered.

And that's been perculating away inside of me for a while. And it's true. Every time I buy a book, it's because I want a question answered. Sometimes the book helps and sometimes it doesn't. But even if it's helped, it's never fixed things. It just helps a bit with understanding.

And it usually has generalised answers. Not answers specific to me. What I really want is the book on "How to make littleone all better". (Dr Bob, your double quotes aren't working).

And I think that for a little while now, I've started to think that maybe possibly perhaps my T has better answers for me than any book available. That my T can help me in a way that no book can.

But with that realisation has come a dropping off in my faith in books. They no longer bring me the comfort they once did. Instead I'll look at one and wonder how disappointing it will be. And I wouldn't mind that so much if I could that comfort from my T instead.

But I can't. I can't really call him between sessions. And I certainly can't contact him on weekends which is when I need the most comforting. And sometimes it's stuff he's said/done that I need comforting over.

So I've lost my comfort in books and I don't have anything to replace it. It makes me sad. I miss my books. I miss my source of comfort.

I find that reading babble is a comfort. Even when I can't post. But I live over an hour away from my computer. I can't just jump on anytime I like. I used to carry my books with me *everywhere*. They were *always* with me. I could turn to them anytime I wanted.

I feel alone without my books.

 

Re: Books as comfort littleone

Posted by Tamar on June 4, 2005, at 20:16:06

In reply to Books as comfort, posted by littleone on June 4, 2005, at 20:04:51

> And it usually has generalised answers. Not answers specific to me. What I really want is the book on "How to make littleone all better". (Dr Bob, your double quotes aren't working).

I laughed so hard, and cried at the same time! I wish we could get all get together and write "How to make littleone all better."

> But with that realisation has come a dropping off in my faith in books. They no longer bring me the comfort they once did. Instead I'll look at one and wonder how disappointing it will be. And I wouldn't mind that so much if I could that comfort from my T instead.

Yes. Getting that comfort from your T does seem to be the ideal situation.

> But I can't. I can't really call him between sessions. And I certainly can't contact him on weekends which is when I need the most comforting. And sometimes it's stuff he's said/done that I need comforting over.

If you really feel you can't call him, can you talk to him about why you need him at weekends? I understand what you mean about needing to be comforted after things he's said and done. Argh!

> I find that reading babble is a comfort. Even when I can't post. But I live over an hour away from my computer. I can't just jump on anytime I like. I used to carry my books with me *everywhere*. They were *always* with me. I could turn to them anytime I wanted.

Gosh, that's hard.

Can you persuade your T to write something down for you that you could read when the going gets tough? Would that help?

> I feel alone without my books.

(((((littleone)))))

Sending you big hugs. It's horrible to feel you're losing an area of support. Can you talk to your T about finding an alternative means of support?

Tamar

 

Re: Books as comfort

Posted by sleepygirl on June 4, 2005, at 23:35:46

In reply to Re: Books as comfort littleone, posted by Tamar on June 4, 2005, at 20:16:06

Can you persuade your T to write something down for you that you could read when the going gets tough? Would that help?

I like that idea because:

My T gave me an envelope on which he wrote "open in case of emergency"-you see everytime I felt angry at him I'd feel really insecure. I'd feel like I really had to make contact because I was scared, but I didn't really know why. Inside he wrote a note telling me he wouldn't leave me even if I was angry at him. I know it might seem peculiar, but I love the real concrete reminder. The BEST part was that he understood my need to be reassured. That meant a lot.

 

Books as comfort littleone

Posted by Shortelise on June 5, 2005, at 13:13:54

In reply to Books as comfort, posted by littleone on June 4, 2005, at 20:04:51

I have some favourite books that bring me more comfort than my T ever could.

"The Borrowers" by Mary Norton
"Watership Down" (sudden blank!)
"The Greengae Summer" by Rumer Godden
"Harriet the Spy" by Louise Fitzhughes
"My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell
"A Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I can get into these books on any page, at any time, and go away, take a little vacation from the world I normally inhabit. They make me laugh or cry, they just take me away. I love that, need it and think I am a saner human being for it.

Hm. I also read for information, of course, and have learned some things that have helped with therapy, have had some insights in therapy, thanks to books, that I'm not sure I would have had otherwise.

Littleone, I'm afraid you're going to have to write the book on how to make you better. I can tell you are feeling discouraged, and I am so sorry for that. I send you courage. I wish I could send more.

ShortE

 

Re: Books as comfort Shortelise

Posted by Shortelise on June 5, 2005, at 13:14:31

In reply to Books as comfort littleone, posted by Shortelise on June 5, 2005, at 13:13:54

"The Greengage Summer"

 

Re: Books as comfort littleone

Posted by Daisym on June 5, 2005, at 18:55:39

In reply to Books as comfort, posted by littleone on June 4, 2005, at 20:04:51

I can really identify with your post. I tell my therapist when I'm researching. At first I read everything about the process - I think I was afraid to make a mistake or I wanted to make sure he was doing therapy right. Then I read tons on csa, to see what other people were doing with their pain and how they were coping. Then I started to read on attachment in therapy. I would buy books, go to the University library graduate section and surf the net.

Now it ebbs and flows. When I'm looking for answers I begin to research again. It is my nature to believe that the answer is in a book. I've always gotten an A when there was a book involved. I said often and vehemently, "I need THE rule book for therapy" so I can get that A! Sometimes I think the case study books help me feel closer to my therapist when I'm missing him. Mostly I think I'm trying to validate my personal experience, trying to find someone who's journey mirrors mine. I don't know, maybe I'm also looking for a short cut?

I have books stacked all over my house. I find that I'm losing myself in different kinds of books now, not therapy books. I guess instead of researching, I'm escaping. But I'm sure it will cycle around again.

Maybe try reading something you loved as a kid. I've gotten a few good suggestions from the books board. I would be lost without reading too...I hope you find it joyful again soon.

 

Re: Books as comfort Tamar

Posted by littleone on June 5, 2005, at 22:04:21

In reply to Re: Books as comfort littleone, posted by Tamar on June 4, 2005, at 20:16:06

> Yes. Getting that comfort from your T does seem to be the ideal situation.
>
> If you really feel you can't call him, can you talk to him about why you need him at weekends? I understand what you mean about needing to be comforted after things he's said and done. Argh!
>
> Sending you big hugs. It's horrible to feel you're losing an area of support. Can you talk to your T about finding an alternative means of support?

I might try. But I find "him" stuff or "us" stuff so hard to bring up. Even in writing. It's very threatening for me. A lot of my drawings feature him and ... I haven't even been able to finish this sentence. I was trying to say how bad it was to give them to him, but I can't even describe how bad it is.

Finding comfort in things is such a personal experience. What you find comforting, I may not. I kind of think it's something you need to experiment with and find for yourself.

I also find I don't really get any comfort from myself. I've tried nurturing myself by alternating writing with my dominant and non-dominant hands, but my child side closes up and tells me to go away. My adult side gets too easily distracted and hurts me more by not staying engaged.

I know I should try it some more, but *sigh*, nurturing really doesn't come to me very easily at all.

 

Re: Books as comfort littleone

Posted by fallsfall on June 7, 2005, at 10:28:09

In reply to Re: Books as comfort Tamar, posted by littleone on June 5, 2005, at 22:04:21

I have done the read everything on the planet thing, too. I live near a university, and I used to have 10 psych books out at a time - always.

Over time I have come to believe that I felt the need to read these books because I didn't trust that my therapist was skilled enough to help me. I felt like I needed to read so that I would be able to know what additional things he might need in order to help me. After a while, though, it became clear to me that I wasn't going to be able to be my own therapist - that no amount of reading and studying (and I was reading the texts that were written for therapists - not the selfhelp kind) was going to allow me to tease apart the confusion that I had. At some point I decided that doing my own therapy wasn't something that I could do - no matter how much I read.

At that point, I started to trust my therapist to do my therapy. I stopped trying to figure out what I "should" tell him, and started just being honest. I stopped trying to figure out what he was trying to do, how he was thinking about me. I stopped trying to manipulate him into seeing what I wanted him to see - and this helped me to let down defenses which actually allows him to see the truth more easily.

I even stopped going over every little detail from therapy here on Babble, I accepted that he would figure it out and that he would do what was needed to help me. When I stopped trying so hard to be the perfect patient and figure it out all myself, then things started working better for me in therapy.

But the books did comfort me. They made me feel like I was in control. They gave me something to "do" (I was "doing something constructive" if I was researching psych stuff). Even though much of the time I was just watching the words go by without really understanding what they were saying. When I travel I (still) bring "In Session" with me. So if I miss my therapist I can have some Psych comfort. I didn't bring it to Chicago for the birthday party - I was afraid I was going to have to carry all of my stuff on my back on Sunday afternoon, so I wanted to reduce the weight, and I figured that meeting Babblers might bring me emough comfort.

Some of the comfort things I use now include: I hear my therapist in my head. I carry a rabbit's foot (very soft and inconspicuous). I carry a picture of my therapist (sometimes I like to look at it, sometimes I like to hold it). I play computer games when I need to be "busy" - instead of reading. I also have started to do a little yoga and meditation and find those helpful.

There is a great book, "The Woman's comfort book" that talks about ways to nurture ourselves. You might find it helpful, too.

Comfort is a very individual thing, what works for me won't necessarily work for you. But I bet that you will be able to find other ways to comfort yourself as you move forward towards healthier living.

 

self-comfort littleone

Posted by Shortelise on June 7, 2005, at 13:28:05

In reply to Re: Books as comfort Tamar, posted by littleone on June 5, 2005, at 22:04:21

Littleone, five or so years ago in therapy, my therapist suggested that I could love myself, in fact said I should "give myself a hug".

It was as though he'd said I should dance with a cockroach. I reacted vehemently that I would not, could not do any such thing.

These days, lo and behold, I am finding that when I start on the awful self-loathing inner dialogue that I can stop myself, and say I love myself. Littleone, five years ago, it was the tritest, stupidest thing I'd ever heard, undo-able, unthinkable. Today, it saves me sometimes. I stop the tape, stop the destruction, with it.

It happened, oddly enough, when I watched "What the Bleep Do We Know". I know there is controversy about that film, but what struck me was Marlie Maitlan's character - the bout of self-loathing she goes through, and then how she draws hearts on herself. It was the right idea at the right time for me.

I pat myself on the arm, comfort myself with love for myself. I do for myself what I need, almost as if I was talking to someone else. I step out of the self-hatred role I fall into so easily, and tell myself I'm love myself.

You are so right that what works for one person may not work for another. We're all acutely aware of that, I think - those of us who are thinking, that is. However, sifting through the ideas I find here, trying this, and trying that, I have found thing that have been so useful. I care a lot, Littleone. Learning to be one's own support is one of the Big Lessons to be hoped for from therapy. I am grateful to that silly movie for affirming it for me at just the right moment in just the right way.

In the meantime, I hope you feel some support form us here. We're all big marble pillars, warm marble! Some of us are just a little more crumbly than others, sometimes.

Hugs

ShortE

 

Re: self-comfort

Posted by littleone on June 8, 2005, at 16:14:03

In reply to self-comfort littleone, posted by Shortelise on June 7, 2005, at 13:28:05

Please know that all your messages have meant so much to me. They really helped me a lot.

I gave my original post to my T (along with a heap of other stuff) at my last session. I don't think I really realised it at the time, but I was really hoping for a few kind words from him. Just a little bit of comfort.

Not only did he not provide that, but he proceeded to try to tear down whatever comfort I do get from books - or anywhere else for that matter. We'd already talked about some upsetting stuff for me, so when he did this I was just heartbroken.

He was saying how I use books to avoid feelings. That I'm afraid of feelings. That I need to just stay in the feeling and feel it and try to understand it. And I can see some truth in what he says, but I also see a lot of holes. And it upsets me that he wants me to do this stuff without any comfort from anywhere.

So I was just a wreck and I'd decided to start seeing someone else (yes, running away, again) and I guess I managed to talk myself out of that one, but I certainly wasn't going back to him anytime soon. Nah ah, no way, not a chance.

And then I saw your posts and they all meant so much to me.

ShortE, I went to the book store and checked out the books you mentioned. I remembered that I loved "Watership Down" as a kid, but that it made me very sad. I read a bit of it at the bookstore and it really is so well written. I think I'll get it next time I'm there.

Your list and Daisy's post also reminded me of a book I used to have as a kid "The Muddle-headed Wombat" by Ruth Park and Noela Young. So I've been reading a bit of that. It's such a giggly book, but the best part are the pictures. They feel like such old friends. Every single one of them are familiar from my childhood. I did find it very comforting.

Also, I've been trying to get that movie you mentioned, but I don't think it's out here yet. I've been looking for a while now 'cause some other babblers mentioned it too (falls maybe?).

And I have felt a lot of support from you guys. I loved the crumbly marble pillar metaphor.

Falls, you are so brave going to the uni library. I've never done that. I always thought they would only lend out to students. Did you used to do a course there, or do they lend out to anyone?

Thank you for sharing your comfort things. I had a look at "The Woman's Comfort Book" on Amazon and I really liked the look of it. I've ordered a copy in.

So much for my T's instruction to ditch the books :)

Without your posts, I really don't think I would have been able to keep my next T appointment. I'm due to go later this arvo. Thank you for being my marble pillars.

 

Re: self-comfort littleone

Posted by fallsfall on June 9, 2005, at 9:18:42

In reply to Re: self-comfort, posted by littleone on June 8, 2005, at 16:14:03

The university happens to be located in my town, and the town and the university have an agreement that town residents can get borrower's cards from the university library.

Are you outside the US? (I ask because "What the bleep do we know" is available in video rental stores in my state) In the US you can do InterLibrary Loan (ILL), where your local library essentially borrows a book from another library (i.e. a university library). This allows you to borrow books from the university library without being a student or having a card. It takes a little time - your library requests the book and then the university library needs to send it. In my state there is a van that drives between the libraries, and my library gets ILL books in on Wednesdays. So it can take a couple of weeks to get the books, but at least you can get them (at no cost). I find that walking through the stacks helps me decide which books I want to take home. So if I didn't have a university card, I could then take the list of books back to my library and ask them to ILL them. Depending on the size and friendliness of your local and university libraries, you might get chummy enough with the players so that they would let you "transport" the books from the university to your library (in essence taking the books out of the university library on your local library's "card"). This would be essential if you are impatient like I am.

That said, it would probably be helpful for you to try to figure out *why* books give you comfort. I know that figuring that out was a turning point for me.

 

Re: self-comfort littleone

Posted by Shortelise on June 10, 2005, at 12:03:20

In reply to Re: self-comfort, posted by littleone on June 8, 2005, at 16:14:03

Those darned T's and their ideas ... !! :-)

Littleone, I'm glad you are perservering with your T. I don't know why I'm glad, really, except maybe because it seems that when we get to the tender stuff, the stuff that will really help us make changes, we all want to bolt.

The only way I can get to the meat of the matter is to tell my T the stuff that's getting to me. If I were in your shoes, I'd be saying, Hey! You there buddy! Yeah, you with the PhD! You're asking a lot of me here, and this really hurts and I want to run - or smack you (I think I may have a somewhat violent nature as one of the thoughts that always occur to me is to do minor violence to my T. I NEVER, EVER actually would, but it always crosses my mind.)

Dear Littleone, I hope you'll take this last post of yours to your T, too. I wonder if you two need to get some things straight? Like, why does he not comfort you when you need it? Why don't you ask for comfort from him? DOes he think you don't deserve it? Do you think he thinks you don't deserve or need it? Etc.

It makes me feel great that my post, among others, might have helped you. Thanks.

((littleone))

ShortE


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