Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 566604

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Confused by therapy session

Posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 20:56:48

Saw my T tonight, and I don't really know what happened, but now I have very confused feelings.
I just started therapy with this T 8 weeks ago, maybe 9. Anyway in writing I've told him a lot about how things were growing up, and we've talked about it some, but I didn't think that much.

Tonight he asked if I felt better with all of it, if I'd been able to forgive my parents, esp my father, and if I thought I was able to move on. ??? I don't get it. I'm supposed to be able to move on just like that? I told him no I don't feel better, no I hadn't forgiven him, and no I wasn't ready to move on. He asked me how I could do that. What would make it better, so that I could move on. I don't get it. How am I supposed to move on? How am I supposed to feel better about it? I thought that's what he was there for. Anyway, he said that my dad was a very mentally sick man, and I felt like he was excusing his behavior, and that because he was sick and acted out toward me because of that, I should get over it.

I almost want to quit again. I'm confused and upset, and feel like I'm not entitled to my feelings. Like he was telling me to get over it. Of course I'll talk to him about it next week if I go, and the rest of this week I'll just be upset because I'm so freaking brain dead that I should have been able to put this behind me by now - obviously.

He told me "his story", and it paralleled mine a lot. He got over it, he put it behind him, he knows his dad was the way he was for a reason, and being upset about it isn't going to change things. So what's wrong with me? And that's what I felt like he was saying, even though I know it's not, and I don't know now what in the h*ll he was saying to me!

Then I came home and tried to talk to my dh, and he was reading while I was trying to talk to him, so I feel slapped down twice. Oh F maybe I should just forget it! I'm not worth listening to anyway. Yes, this is a freaking pity party, and I don't give a F if it is.
fw


 

Re: Confused by therapy session Ľ fairywings

Posted by sleepygirl on October 13, 2005, at 23:15:02

In reply to Confused by therapy session, posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 20:56:48

this ain't no pity party fairywings...

You've got some real serious hurt.
I'm not sure what your T's intention was. The course of our lives can be seriously negatively determined by relationships in the past that were seriously lacking or abusive.

You know a child doesn't know that 'well, daddy's quite a sick man and his behavior doesn't reflect upon my own self worth' - C'mon now!! You don't "move on" - you try and get through with what you know now and grieve for your losses (IMO of course)

Knowing my mother and father were/are very ill doesn't do diddly for me emotionally. That's work - taking all of what I've got to change what I've internalized from it, and HOLY CRAP it's a lot of....well, CRAP!! I don't do it justice here!


Anyway, the point of this....please, please don't beat yourself up! I hope you can bring this up with your T and work it through - I think we can have a serious lack of patience with ourselves, and I'd hate to think that was reinforced by your T.
Take wonderful care of yourself - you deserve it.
-sleepygirl

 

Re: Confused by therapy session Ľ sleepygirl

Posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 23:52:20

In reply to Re: Confused by therapy session Ľ fairywings, posted by sleepygirl on October 13, 2005, at 23:15:02

>
>
> Anyway, the point of this....please, please don't beat yourself up! I hope you can bring this up with your T and work it through - I think we can have a serious lack of patience with ourselves, and I'd hate to think that was reinforced by your T.

Thanks sleepy. The more I think about it, the more depressed I am about it. My ex T, told me in one of our last appts., "At some point you have to quit whining about what a bad job your parents did, and get on with being a strong adult." I had seen him for 8 weeks too. I guess I've hit my 8 weeks.

Maybe I just rub ppl the wrong way, maybe they got so sick of me they try to get rid of me this way. Maybe they just see me as a whiny brat. Right now I'm thinking I won't go back. What's the point anyway.

> Take wonderful care of yourself - you deserve it.

Thanks sleepy, I appreciate that.
fw

 

Re: Confused by therapy session

Posted by daisym on October 13, 2005, at 23:54:19

In reply to Confused by therapy session, posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 20:56:48

I'm sorry you feel so bad. Each individual person has their own timeline for this stuff. I think your therapist may be trying to get you to think about what you need, not telling you to get over it. There are definately different styles of therapy and so many people don't believe that going over the past is useful. I worry all the time that I'm taking to long to sort through all of this.

I know for me, I do want to try to understand why things happened the way they did. But I agree, if it sounds like he is excusing their behavior instead of trying to understand it, I would be hurt too. It is a process, I guess.

I wouldn't sit with this for a week. I'd call and ask to talk to him about how you feel.

 

Re: Confused by therapy session

Posted by B2chica on October 14, 2005, at 9:29:03

In reply to Re: Confused by therapy session Ľ sleepygirl, posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 23:52:20

fw
sounds to me like you should do some self-soothing things right about now. you sound pretty down on yourself.
quite frankly i think its terrible your exT said quit whining.
you've never rubbed me the wrong way, infact you've been very supportive and kind. and i don't think you're whiny at all. you got delt a crappy hand and have every right to be mad, sad whatever about it. AND the right/need to talk about it as much as you have to to put it behind you. (that's kinda the POINT of therapists right???)
anyway, why don't you pamper yourself this weekend. do something you wouldn't normally do for yourself, take a bubble bath, go shopping and buy some pretty underwear or cutsie jeans, maybe go to a park?

please take care and you can talk all you want to here.
b2c.

 

Re: Confused by therapy session

Posted by ClearSkies on October 14, 2005, at 10:10:34

In reply to Re: Confused by therapy session, posted by daisym on October 13, 2005, at 23:54:19

> I wouldn't sit with this for a week. I'd call and ask to talk to him about how you feel.

Aaak!! I would call him too. This would be weighing heavily on my mind - whether your T intended something different from what you heard, or not. It is important to get the message cleared up. I would be worrying about it until the next appointment.

I think that the past is something that we process and incorporate into our lives daily; not something to Get Over. I yam who I yam because of who I've been.

Fairywings - you have helped me greatly here at Babble. I don't think you are a whiner at all!

take care fw
ClearSkies

 

Re: Confused by therapy session Ľ fairywings

Posted by Tamar on October 14, 2005, at 11:21:25

In reply to Confused by therapy session, posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 20:56:48

Sorry youíre hurting.

I agree with you: eight weeks isnít enough time to feel better about it. But I wonder whether your therapist was being a little challenging, rather than saying you should be over it already.

I think itís an interesting question: what would make it better so that you can move on? Perhaps after a few weeks of therapy you have a few thoughts about particular ways itís affected you: things you might want to work on in a specific way. But perhaps you need more time to explore all your feelings about the events of your childhood.

Either way, I think a useful question might be whether you feel that talking about it is helping. And if itís helping, how is it helping? And are there ways to make it help more? I donít know whether you feel you can answer questions like that on your own or whether you need input from your therapist.

I can understand that you felt that the description of your father as a mentally sick man was like an excuse for his behaviour. I would probably have heard it like that too. But Iím not so sure your therapist really meant that you should just get over it. Perhaps he was inviting you to see things from a new perspectiveÖ and maybe itís not one that you feel is helpful right now, but sometimes looking at things from a variety of perspectives can be a helpful way of processing feelings.

Perhaps telling you his story was supposed to be reassuring: one day you will be able to handle your feelings about your childhood with less anger and less pain. But I can understand that you might feel under pressure hearing his story if you donít feel you can imagine being in his position Ė yet. Is there any way you can think of his story as a story of hope, to give you a sense that all this therapy is worthwhile and eventually you will come to a similar point with your own story?

I think it might be a good idea to call your therapist, because if sounds as if you are quite distressed about this. And with good reason!

I hope youíre feeling better soon.

Tamar

 

Re: Confused by therapy session Ľ fairywings

Posted by cricket on October 14, 2005, at 15:52:05

In reply to Confused by therapy session, posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 20:56:48

Hi Fairywings,

I can understand how confused you feel.

It is so hard when a therapist says something that we're not sure how to interpret. Everytime that happens to me I want to quit too. I am definitely the queen of quitting therapy.

But I try to post here. Get some support. Some different interpretations. Loosen up that solid block of hurt.

So here's one way of looking at it -

Many people with bad childhoods (and I definitely include myself in this group) think oh geez I should definitely be over this already. What is wrong with me? Why can't I move on? And a lot of therapy is spent dealing with the fact that I think I should be over this rather than with any part of my past.

As a therapist, he must know this. So maybe his questions/statements were more probing. Is Fairywings at the stage where she still thinks this should be just behind her or does she realize that there is still much work to do?

I don't really know enough about your therapist to know if this is a likely tactic of his. But I guess I do know that feeling of let me get the heck out of therapy should not be acted on.

Let us know how it goes.

 

Re: Confused by therapy session

Posted by happyflower on October 14, 2005, at 21:50:21

In reply to Re: Confused by therapy session Ľ fairywings, posted by cricket on October 14, 2005, at 15:52:05

(((((Fairywings)))))) I am so sorry you are having such a tough time right now. I kinda agree with Daisy that maybe your T was asking what would make it better? Maybe he thought you might have an idea on what you could do or he could do to make it better.
I agree with the others that maybe you should try to call your T, maybe he can clarify what he meant better. I am sure he doesn't think you are wineing or anything. This is where EMDR came into my therapy to desensatize the memories to make them have a less of a hold on me. I hope you can talk to your T about this, please don't quit therapy and tell that DH of yours to get his nose out of his book and give you a hug. Because I said so! :) Okay?

 

How are you doing FW?

Posted by happyflower on October 15, 2005, at 20:49:46

In reply to Re: Confused by therapy session, posted by happyflower on October 14, 2005, at 21:50:21

I hope all is well, and you called your T instead of sitting with all those feeling that you have. Check in, Okay? :)

 

Re: How are you doing FW? Ľ happyflower

Posted by fairywings on October 16, 2005, at 18:57:54

In reply to How are you doing FW?, posted by happyflower on October 15, 2005, at 20:49:46

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your thoughts. I've spent the weekend trying to sort through some things. I've come to some conclusions and I am going to go to my appt next week, but I do feel very pushed away by him. I wrote things out because I just don't think I can talk to him, I'm too mad.

He told me that because my dad was sick he couldn't help what he did, that he didn't choose to be a bad parent, or choose to treat me badly. Even though he knows he treated my older siblings just fine. He said that my dad could have just chosen to disappear, but he didn't. He said that I need to focus on the good times in order to move on, and that at some point I needed to accept things. He's already taken my mom out of the equation because he says she was abused by my dad, so I guess he thinks it was okay for her to take things out on me too.

Now I feel like I'm not entitled to my feelings. I had to deny them for the first part of my life, and I have to do it again? I'm sorry I ever got into this. I was better off before I tried to fix things in therapy.

My husband says I need to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I'm just too angry right now.

fw

 

Re: How are you doing FW? Ľ fairywings

Posted by happyflower on October 16, 2005, at 20:18:03

In reply to Re: How are you doing FW? Ľ happyflower, posted by fairywings on October 16, 2005, at 18:57:54

(((((((Fairy Wings))))))) I am so sorry you are having a tough weekend. I am sure writing is helping you sort things out. Is there anyway you can write him or call him before your appointment? I hate for you to sit with these feelings for so long, they are poison for your body.
I do agree with you that it is your parents responsiblity for what they have done to you. It is their fault, period, not yours ever. I sure wish you could find a EMDR specialist for this. I hope with what your T said, is a huge misunderstanding because I don't think he should go down the road he is if that is what he thinks.

I hope you take care of yourself Jazzy, you mean a lot to me and are a great pal. I want my happy Jazzy back, I miss her! :( Keep that chin up! :)

 

Re: Confused by therapy session Ľ fairywings

Posted by JenStar on October 16, 2005, at 21:22:59

In reply to Confused by therapy session, posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 20:56:48

hi fairywings,
I'm sorry that your T didn't seem to get your pain, and I'm sorry that your hubby wasn't doing a good job of listening.

About your T -- since you've been with him a relatively short while, is it possible that he's just trying to help, but may be pushing too hard too soon? I'm sure he only wants you to feel better and lay down the guilt and suffering that you don't deserve to be carrying. Maybe he's wondering if you have any secret ideas or hopes or thoughts on ways you could make the pain go away? Sometimes people have ideas but are afraid to talk about them.

I suppose it's not bad to start talking about it. Even if you can't put it behind you NOW, maybe you can think about a future where that DOES happen, and what that future would look like for you. Would you be happier, more carefree, etc. Maybe that would slowly over time help you get there, just to think about the goal?

Is it possible to move on without forgiving? (I don't know...I'm just asking.)

I hope things get clearer as you go on. Take care.
JenStar

 

Re: How are you doing FW?

Posted by fairywings on October 17, 2005, at 11:20:53

In reply to Re: How are you doing FW? Ľ fairywings, posted by happyflower on October 16, 2005, at 20:18:03

Thanks happy and Jen,

No, I can't call him. I don't have any idea what the policy is on calls. I'm too mad to talk to him anyway.

I don't know what he was trying to accomplish, but this is what I heard:
I need to focus on the good things, accept whatís happened, deal with my feelings, forgive my parents, and move on.
If that's the message, then I think therapy was a huge waste of time and money.

I'm not attached to him, at least I have that.
fw

 

Your therapist

Posted by Pfinstegg on October 17, 2005, at 14:57:13

In reply to Re: How are you doing FW?, posted by fairywings on October 17, 2005, at 11:20:53

I don't think he is actually doing therapy - he's just telling you to accept everything that's happened and move on. This can feel very invalidating and dismissive, even when a friend or family member says it. I'd be mad, too!

I know you haven't gone to him very long, but I would think that he would be trying to help you feel more deeply, and validate your feelings, himself, at this point. Attachment is important in healing, too. If what you've described is his style, every time, what about another T? Some sessions of EMDR at the same time might help a lot, too.

 

Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ Pfinstegg

Posted by fairywings on October 18, 2005, at 9:07:07

In reply to Your therapist, posted by Pfinstegg on October 17, 2005, at 14:57:13

> I don't think he is actually doing therapy - he's just telling you to accept everything that's happened and move on. This can feel very invalidating and dismissive, >

Thanks pfinstegg,

I did feel very invalidated. I see him this week, and I've written him a note. If he doesn't respond the way I think he should, or satisfactorily, then I will tell him I don't see any point in continuing. I don't understand why he was the way he was with me. I hope he'll explain to me. I just don't understand how you can just move on after over 18 years of abuse. But the anger toward my parents and the fear from the rape are what is constantly with me. I could quit doing therapy about it, but that wouldn't make it better.

> I know you haven't gone to him very long, but I would think that he would be trying to help you feel more deeply, and validate your feelings, himself, at this point. Attachment is important in healing, too.

Up until this last appt. he did validate me, that's why I was so thrown by his response, BUT he'd already let my mom off the hook because he said she was abused by my dad, but often her abuse was worse than my dad's. He did tell me that somehow I need to get in touch with the feelings, but didn't tell me how to do that, or say we were going to work on it. So I"m incredibly confused.

>>If what you've described is his style, every time, what about another T? Some sessions of EMDR at the same time might help a lot, too.

I'll see what he says this week, and see if it's time to move on. It's odd that I haven't attached to him a bit.
Thanks,
fw

 

Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ fairywings

Posted by Emily Elizabeth on October 18, 2005, at 9:50:10

In reply to Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ Pfinstegg, posted by fairywings on October 18, 2005, at 9:07:07

Okay, this is jumping the gun, I know, but I just wanted to share a thought while it is still on my mind...

IF you DO decide to find a new t, you might consider a woman. Not that there aren't some bad female t's out there, but I wonder if a woman might have some sensitivity about absue-related issues, particularly if they involve sexual abuse. I also think that a female t might be able to view your mom's behavior in a more balanced way that your t did. Yes, she too suffered a lot, which partly explains why she did what she did. But she was still an adult who had a duty to you as a child. There is no excuse for not protecting you.

That said, I'll admit to a female t bias in general. Yeah, I'm sure it relates to my issues... ;) But also, I think I know a lot of women who are interested in/skilled with trauma work.

Hope you are taking care of yourself. I was really shocked by the incident that you described w/ your T. If it helps, I'm really angry at him on your behalf!

Best,
EE

 

Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ Emily Elizabeth

Posted by fairywings on October 18, 2005, at 10:06:41

In reply to Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ fairywings, posted by Emily Elizabeth on October 18, 2005, at 9:50:10


> IF you DO decide to find a new t, you might consider a woman. Not that there aren't some bad female t's out there, but I wonder if a woman might have some sensitivity about absue-related issues, particularly if they involve sexual abuse. I also think that a female t might be able to view your mom's behavior in a more balanced way that your t did. Yes, she too suffered a lot, which partly explains why she did what she did. But she was still an adult who had a duty to you as a child. There is no excuse for not protecting you.


Thanks EE, I might just have to give a female T another chance. I've never been able to attach.
Maybe I just haven't found the right one.

My guess is that my Ts story is so parallel to mine that he has trouble separating the two? And his mom was abused by his dad, so maybe she wasn't abusive toward him, and maybe he has troubling seeing my mom as abusive? That doesn't make it right, but might explain his feelings. I guess it's up to me to set him straight if we continue. Maybe he doesn't want me as a patient, and that would hurt too.

> Hope you are taking care of yourself. I was really shocked by the incident that you described w/ your T. If it helps, I'm really angry at him on your behalf!

I'm fine, thanks for caring, it means a lot to me. and thanks for being mad. It did really hurt me.
fw

 

Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ fairywings

Posted by Tamar on October 19, 2005, at 17:23:24

In reply to Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ Emily Elizabeth, posted by fairywings on October 18, 2005, at 10:06:41

This is so hard... Youíve already changed therapists once recently. It would seem so cosmically unjust if things didnít work out with this one. And yet, if itís not working itís not working. But I agree that you really do need to do therapy if youíre still working with childhood abuse and fear from being raped. It shouldnít be so hard to find the right therapist!

I have to say, I disagree completely with the idea that your mother is off the hook because she was being abused by your dad. If you had come to that conclusion yourself (as some people do, including your therapist, apparently) then that would be fine. But itís not the only way to look at things, and to be frank, if youíre still angry with her then youíre justifiably angry; the circumstances of your motherís life are probably irrelevant to your feelings.

It sounds to me as if you have a lot of anger to unload, and it would probably be to your advantage if your therapist would listen to it for a few weeks, or months, or as long as it takes. If youíre angry, I think thatís probably a good thing, because so many people canít even feel angry about what has happened to them. It looks to me as if you have already made a lot of progress with things. I know that dealing with anger is particularly difficult. Becoming angry with your therapist is probably a step in the right direction, if he can handle it.

I really hope things work out with himÖ if he handles this situation well, then perhaps heís the therapist for you. But if he doesnít, perhaps it would be helpful for you to look for someone who specialises in child abuse and sexual assault issuesÖ

I really hope things work out OK for you.

Tamar

 

Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ Tamar

Posted by fairywings on October 19, 2005, at 20:38:55

In reply to Re: Your therapist **trigger** Ľ fairywings, posted by Tamar on October 19, 2005, at 17:23:24

> This is so hard... Youíve already changed therapists once recently. It would seem so cosmically unjust if things didnít work out with this one. And yet, if itís not working itís not working.

Thanks Tamar,
Yeah, if it wasn't so exasperating it might even be funny.
>
> I have to say, I disagree completely with the idea that your mother is off the hook because she was being abused by your dad. the circumstances of your motherís life are probably irrelevant to your feelings.

That's what I thought about my mom and my dad - their lives had nothing to do with my feelings. After last week I felt guilty for even thinking of how I felt. I felt like I was being self absorbed.

>
> It sounds to me as if you have a lot of anger to unload, and it would probably be to your advantage if your therapist would listen to it for a few weeks, or months, or as long as it takes.

Now I"m afraid to say anything more, so I want to hear what he has to say at my appt.

>If youíre angry, I think thatís probably a good thing, because so many people canít even feel angry about what has happened to them. Becoming angry with your therapist is probably a step in the right direction, if he can handle it.

Unfortunately anger is one of the only things I really feel. I hate that. I've tempered my anger toward him a lot in the past week, but now I'm willing to give up on therapy with him if he thinks I need to just put it behind me. I don't think that's fair because I DO have so much anger left in me. Where's it going to go if I don't talk about it?

> I really hope things work out with himÖ if he handles this situation well, then perhaps heís the therapist for you.

I agree with you and I hope it works out too because I don't want to start over again! Thanks Tamar,
fw


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