Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 701903

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Stupid about vacations

Posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 1:08:51

I think I made a fool out of myself in group tonight. When it was my turn to check in, I was doing fine until I said that my therapist was going on vacation next week. And then the tears came and I cried and felt stupid. No one else in my group struggles with their attachment to a therapist, and half of the group isn't even in individual therapy. One of the women said it sounded like I was letting my little girl rule the roost. Another said she thought a break would do me good. They just didn't get it. And it was too late, I couldn't stuff the words or the tears back in.

The group therapist asked me if there was something I could do to comfort myself, to reassure myself that he was indeed coming back. I confessed that I gave him something of mine to hold, something that means a lot to me, so he would have to come back and give it back to me. She thought that was interesting because usually I want to hold on to something of his. She asked me what I gave him and I was so embarrassed to tell her. I gave him a tiny charm on a chain that looks like my special stuffed animal -- symbolic of Daisy in so many ways. He understood instantly when I asked him to keep it today. He held it the whole session.

My group thought I was nuts. I thought of you guys and told myself "they won't think I'm nuts." Right? I wish I could just accept vacations the way most clients do. I'm sad. Please don't tell me I shouldn't be.

 

Re: Stupid about vacations

Posted by vwoolf on November 9, 2006, at 5:06:30

In reply to Stupid about vacations, posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 1:08:51

Daisy I understand that so well. My t agreed to borrow something of mine for a holiday she was going on, something she would need and couldn't find here. I felt so secure while she away, because I knew she would come back and bring me my object. Also I knew that it meant she would think of me, and I couldn't be as poisonous and awful as I usually feel if she was prepared to think of me in her time off. In a sense it was as if she was taking part of me with her.

 

Re: Stupid about vacations Daisym

Posted by annierose on November 9, 2006, at 6:20:36

In reply to Stupid about vacations, posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 1:08:51

I think it's a splendid idea. I wanted to give my t something of mine to hold onto last summer when we had an almost 3 week break. But I couldn't bring myself to give it to her.

So, no, it's no stupid at all. And the group leader didn't think so either.

And part of the difference of giving them something of ours to hold onto to vs. having something of theirs, we want our ts to hold us in their minds and hearts while we are apart too.

"Don't forget about me." Your t wouldn't. He probably worries and/or thinks about you everyday. "I wonder how Daisy is doing today."

Vacations are hard. Keeping busy and distracted works well for me. Doing something special for myself, like a hot stone massage, works too. Take one of those therapy hours and start Christmas shopping.

I'll be around too.

 

Re: Stupid about vacations

Posted by wishingstar on November 9, 2006, at 7:08:41

In reply to Stupid about vacations, posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 1:08:51

Oh Daisy, that isnt stupid at all. And neither are you for feeling that way.

I have certainly felt what you are feeling before. I have a very time when my Ts go away. Once Anne went away for 2 weeks and I counted the days and sometimes even hours until she got back.

I think it's just a hard concept for someone to understand who hasnt experienced attachment like that, or especially those who have never even been in individual therapy. Therapy and the therapeutic relationship can bring out feelings like no other, at least for me. But just because they dont understand or havent been there doesnt mean youre crazy. I'd be at least one of them would develop the same kind of attachment we're talking about if put in with the right individual therapist. And I agree with annierose, I bet the group leader didnt think what you were saying was crazy.

I think that's a great idea about giving him the little charm to hold on to. A great way to feel close to him while he's gone. Next time my T is gone, I'm going to try to ask her to do that myself.

Hang in there. I wish I could make him come back sooner, but for now, just know that youre not crazy. You can always come talk about it here.. we understand. :)

 

Re: Stupid about vacations Daisym

Posted by TherapyGirl on November 9, 2006, at 7:11:09

In reply to Stupid about vacations, posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 1:08:51

Of course you're sad. And of course, we get it here. It's one of the reasons I love this place so much. It's the first time I've ever gotten to interact with people who feel the same attachment I do.

I'm surprised and disappointed that the other group members don't get it. I'll be thinking about you in the next week.

(((((((((Daisy)))))))))

 

Re: Stupid about vacations

Posted by SatinDoll on November 9, 2006, at 7:19:06

In reply to Re: Stupid about vacations Daisym, posted by annierose on November 9, 2006, at 6:20:36

Daisy,

You are not stupid at all. If I saw my T on a regular basis like you, I would totally freak out! I do become down when he is on vacation, even if he is gone the week I don't have an appointment anyways. I know I won't see him in the gym and it makes me sad to know he is having fun without me.

When is his vacation?

 

Re: Stupid about vacations Daisym

Posted by toojane on November 9, 2006, at 7:56:30

In reply to Stupid about vacations, posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 1:08:51


> My group thought I was nuts. I thought of you guys and told myself "they won't think I'm nuts." Right? I wish I could just accept vacations the way most clients do. I'm sad. Please don't tell me I shouldn't be.

I guess I'm confused by your group's reaction because instead of wanting to tell you you "shouldn't be" sad that he is going away, I want to know how you possibly couldn't be. How is it "nuts" to miss someone who you see four times a day; someone who is supporting you through a very difficult time in your life; someone you have a very deep and profound connection to?

It's all backwards. Wouldn't there be something wrong with you if you were completely nonchalant about his absence?

It's like the trauma studies on PTSD I've been reading where they look at people who come through horrific experiences unfazed. They are considered "normal" while the people who develop PTSD are studied to see what hormones or chemicals they lack in comparison to the "normal" group. I want to know why living through a tragedy and being untouched by it is "normal"

Can I tell you one thing that has helped me tremendously? Let yourself miss your therapist. When you are feeling sad that he is gone, say exactly that - I miss him - without censoring or judging yourself. It is absolutely okay to miss him. Of course you miss him. I think that is perfectly normal.

 

Re: Stupid about vacations

Posted by Dinah on November 9, 2006, at 9:11:09

In reply to Re: Stupid about vacations Daisym, posted by toojane on November 9, 2006, at 7:56:30

I think toojane has a very good point. It would be odd indeed if you weren't going to miss a supportive presence in your life who you see so often.

If they don't understand it, perhaps they either don't grasp the sort of relationship you've built, or they might not grasp individual therapy at all, or at least not long term individual therapy.

Plus, and this is a point I argue more with my therapist when I'm angry with him about his other jobs than when he's going on vacation, if he and you didn't think it was important and healthy for you to see him four times a week, you wouldn't be seeing him four times a week. So how can it be suddenly ok for you to only see him in two weeks just because he's away? It's ok for him to go on vacation, but it's also ok to say it's less than an ideal situation for you, since you do best with four times a week therapy.

It would be like being on a daily medication and suddenly deciding to go off it for two weeks and thinking it won't hurt to do so. Sometimes it might be necessary for one reason or another. But it's useless to pretend it doesn't matter, or that it's good for you.

 

Re: Stupid about vacations Daisym

Posted by sunnydays on November 9, 2006, at 9:16:33

In reply to Stupid about vacations, posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 1:08:51

((((((((((Daisy))))))))))))))))

No, you're not nuts at all. If you haven't felt an attachment like this, you can't possibly understand. Last time my T went on vacation I was so so sad, and I couldn't sleep, and he made sure to tell me in advance the next time he went away. And schedule check-in calls and things like that. But vacations are incredibly hard when it's someone that's really important and that you really on as part of your support base. Not nuts at all. And there's nothing wrong with letting the little girl's feelings come out. I can sooo identify with how scared you must be that he won't come back. But he will - he has to right, so he can give you back your charm?

You are absolutely fine Daisy. And I'm sure your therapist would say the same thing. Everyone's different. And personally, I think if your group hasn't felt the kind of intense attachment you have, they're missing out. It's a special feeling, although it can be so so painful at times.

(((((((((((Daisy)))))))))))

sunnydays

 

Re: Stupid about vacations Dinah

Posted by toojane on November 9, 2006, at 10:34:26

In reply to Re: Stupid about vacations, posted by Dinah on November 9, 2006, at 9:11:09

> It would be like being on a daily medication and suddenly deciding to go off it for two weeks and thinking it won't hurt to do so. Sometimes it might be necessary for one reason or another. But it's useless to pretend it doesn't matter, or that it's good for you.

What a perfect way of putting it, Dinah.

Another point is that in therapy what happens is supposed to be in the best interests of the patient, to aid in their recovery but when it is vacation time, regardless of what the patient is struggling with or what crisis they may be facing, the therapist's need for a holiday supersedes any need the patient may have to continue treatment uninterrupted. The therapist comes first.

Of course therapists must take vacations but ignoring or minimizing or invalidating a patient's distress about that holiday is damaging. Their absence causes pain because they are gone but also because they knew it would be painful and they went anyway.

 

Re: Stupid about vacations

Posted by Jost on November 9, 2006, at 11:06:43

In reply to Re: Stupid about vacations Dinah, posted by toojane on November 9, 2006, at 10:34:26

I agree with what everyone has said.

I do the same thing. My T goes away for five and a half weeks (rounding up, six) and I always put together a lot of things to show him before he goes away, or a bunch of things for him to have.

One vacation, I got a set of cigarette cards about a favorite avocation of his, and sorted them and put them into several envelops for hiim to open at different times. That way, I'd think he was opening them and remembering that I know how much he loves this-- and that's a special thing. We spent part of the last appointment looking at them together.

I've also given him small objects, to hold or look at-- so I can be with him. He gives a small thing also, which I keep on my desk.

I'm especially sorry that your group wouldn't be more supportive. Even if they didnt' understand, I wonder why they weren't more interested in understanding, rather than being somewhat dubious? This is partly me, I guess-- because I'm not that persuaded by the idea of inner child-- or because my inner child is pretty much in control and thinks it's not a child-- but emotionality isn't childish, or childlike-- it's what adults feel when they have intense feelings. Maybe it made them so sad that you were sad-- and they didn't quite know what to do.

It is interesting that the group T noticed that you were giving him something to look at-- which is great. It has particular meaning that my T will think of me, intermittantly, in a way that I can identify.

Being sad when someone leaves--- means that the relationship has value-- as my T likes to point out-- it can be "good sadness"-- not bad sadness. If it's too much, it's not good-- but if it's bearable-- and points to how much difference the relationship makes-- and that's so great, in the long run.

I'm really grateful that I found Babble too- I've gotten so much out of reading and talking to people here. It is the one place that I can tell anyone so many things about myself-- including and esp. about my T.

And your T will be back-- and you'll be able to continue on, and strengthen and deepen what's already there.

Jost

 

(Daisy) I agree w/the other babblers (nm) Daisym

Posted by muffled on November 9, 2006, at 11:18:47

In reply to Stupid about vacations, posted by Daisym on November 9, 2006, at 1:08:51

 

Re: Stupid about vacations toojane

Posted by Dinah on November 9, 2006, at 13:42:45

In reply to Re: Stupid about vacations Dinah, posted by toojane on November 9, 2006, at 10:34:26

Precisely!

It's not that I want to stop him from going, or that I don't understand that he has needs that may conflict with mine, but are equally valid.

I just don't want him to cover it up by saying it's ok for me, or worse yet helpful to me. As long as he says, yes, I know I'm hurting you, and yes, I know this isn't the best thing for you, I'm relatively ok. Sad, but not nearly as mad.

 

Re: Stupid about vacations - All

Posted by Daisym on November 10, 2006, at 0:39:05

In reply to Re: Stupid about vacations toojane, posted by Dinah on November 9, 2006, at 13:42:45

Thank you all for the support. I felt so much better after reading all of this. I told my therapist today that I feel stupid last night and he was sad too that I didn't find more support from the group. But he said they probably just didn't understand the relationship and that was actually sad for them. And I told him I brought my grief here and found the support I needed. He asked me to please promise to write here often since he trusts "you guys" to keep me together for him while he is gone.

We worked out a few other coping strategies too, in between the tears. I told him I didn't want to cry, that I had promised myself I wouldn't, but sh*t, here they were anyway. He said it was fine, it touched him that we had such a deep connection. And he asked me if I wanted to keep his talisman while he was gone, he said he brought it, even though I hadn't asked for it. He actually had put my charm in it, he said he was "charging it up with Daisy power" but he was happy to keep the charm in another safe place and leave the talisman with me. I hesitated for about a nano-second and then nodded my head, took it and cried for another 10 minutes.

He promised he would come back because now he has to retrieve his talisman as well as give me back my charm. So it is a double promise. How young does that sound?

I don't care. At this moment, I truly love my therapist and his way of caring and showing me he cares. But I still hate vacations.

Thanks again for all the support. I love you guys too.

 

:) thanks for sharing :) Daisym

Posted by SatinDoll on November 10, 2006, at 6:38:08

In reply to Re: Stupid about vacations - All, posted by Daisym on November 10, 2006, at 0:39:05

Your story touched me too. Daisy you are an amazing women.


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