Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 781609

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 32. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

'moments of meeting'

Posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 12:03:07

My new T loves these! He also loves "implicit relational knowing" (Boston Process of Change Study Group phrase- very familiar to Daisy). So we go from as honest talking as possible to silent times, and then back. I find that in the silent times, my feelings can change very rapidly- from fear to sorrow to joy in seconds. He is so good at just being with me in those times, and when we do put the experience we've just had together into some kind of words, if we do that, the words are fragmentary, and often we both end up laughing. I can't imagine how one learns to do this with a patient, because it's essentially non-verbal; you never know when it's going to happen, or WHAT is happening, really. All I can know is that I feel so much better afterwards. HE always looks happy, too! Our right hemispheres at work together?

 

Re: 'moments of meeting'

Posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 13:00:24

In reply to 'moments of meeting', posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 12:03:07

Oh, I see that Daisy covered the exact same thing in a terrific thread, above, about "Magic Moments". Hers was a bit more verbal than what has been happening in my therapy, but the connection and feelings are the same. (I've been away and not reading recently).

I also disagree with Daisy's friend. These special moments are times when our younger selves are able to draw close to our therapists; their feelings, fears and unmet needs become much more real to us than they usually are, and having a therapist understand so deeply, and also offer a new emotional response is so liberating. I don't think these experiences make us more dependent; I think they are vital for growth. We are doing now what we should have been able to do then in order to grow- and we are doing the growing now because of these magical moments- I think, anyway.

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' twinleaf

Posted by RealMe on September 8, 2007, at 13:10:01

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 13:00:24

Very well said, and I agree.

RealMe

 

Re: 'moments of meeting'

Posted by DAisym on September 8, 2007, at 14:51:36

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 13:00:24

What do you think of discussing these moments, particularly when they have been the non-verbal kinds of meeting? I'm still struggling with that a bit. I know that all things converted to words are thus revised, but in making meaning from the moment, I think there is such a strong pull to capture them - and I do this with words.

I'm finding that giving myself up to the feelings results in surprises during sessions. Last Thursday I was clearly feeling young and my therapist asked if he could just talk to this part. I said yes, and no. And then let go and we had an intense discussion from that part about how scary it was to come off the ceiling (not dissociate) and feel what was happening in order to try to gain power over it. It is easier to remain dissociated away from the body memories, but impossible to take action in that state. Ug- it was very hard. But it wouldn't have happened without some merging, borrowing his strength and him feeling what I was feeling (the fear)in the moment.

I think we were both exhausted at the end. But he looked pleased. Do you ask your therapist if he feels good or is pleased?

 

Re: 'moments of meeting'

Posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 16:01:43

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by DAisym on September 8, 2007, at 14:51:36

About putting things into words- we really both have to, I guess- in order for us each to know what's going on. But it feels like the real, important thing happened just before that- mostly in feeling close, understood, in me bursting into tears suddenly- things like that. Like you, I feel like I'm giving myself up to a torrent of feelings; I don't want to, and I don't know where it's going, but I know it will be better for me if I do it. Lots of times, it just doesn't happen; I think it requires me feeling that he is REALLY close and understanding for it to happen. So it's not exactly intentional- more often spontaneous and unexpected, and often triggered by an especialy empathic. tuned-in comment from him.

I haven't known this one as long as you've known yours- it's six months now, and this is just starting to happen. It hasn't occurred to me to ask him if he's pleased- he has quite an expressive face, and when he is pleased with what we've done, I feel I know it. And, as you say, it is very hard work for both of us, so I sometimes also sense from him, and feel myself thinking something like, "whew, that was very scary and hard, but it feels like just what we should be doing with one another"

I wish these moments woud happen more often. Having had such a horrible, unexpected termination with my previous T, building up enough trust has been very hard to do, but it's getting better steadily. I do feel lucky to have somehow landed with someone who feels it's important to work the way our therapists do, and I know you feel just the same. Mine, who is an analyst, told me he wasn't trained this way, but had gradually moved over into becoming much more relational and interactive as he saw what worked best- and of course went to conferences where all these ideas were being discussed.

 

Re: 'moments of meeting'

Posted by muffled on September 8, 2007, at 19:08:59

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 16:01:43

ok so these warm fuzzies goto feel good...but how does it translate to IRL?
Have you ever had moments like that before in life before with T ever?
Or is this a new thing?
Do you think you will be able to feel this feeling with others now that you know it *can* be safe?
Sorry if this is comming out wrong somehow.
It just sounds so cool.
I doubt I will ever get there.
But WTF , who knows I suppose.
M

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' muffled

Posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 19:34:44

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by muffled on September 8, 2007, at 19:08:59

Such good questions- and not too easy to answer! I had several of those moments- maybe three or four only, when I least expected it, with my previous T., and it's happened only twice with the new one.
I think it has a LOT to do with allowing younger, damaged parts to trust and feel close, as Daisy explained so well. It really does result in increased confidence and well-being in daily life. If it's not happening for you, ever, maybe you could enlist your T- tell her you would like to have those experiences, no matter how scared you may be. I think both Daisy's therapist and mine work very hard to tune into the younger, terrified parts of us and give us the best chance for a "moment".

As to it translating into daily life, I think it definitely does make relationships fuller, better, and less fearful. But in the kind of therapy we are talking about, it seems to me that it is the pain-filled younger parts which are connecting up to the therapist. There is an intensity about it that happens only rarely in adult life- and it doesn't happen that often in therapy either. It's so wonderful when it does. though. Do you really feel it couldn't happen for you? I do hope you can find a way for it to happen- you do need a T. who understands the importance of it, and will work with you towards allowing it to happen. Hope it does!

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' twinleaf

Posted by DAisym on September 8, 2007, at 20:11:56

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 16:01:43

I wonder if face-to-face brings on more of these moments or if it is "just" the connection that happens, whether you are laying down or not. Sometimes I feel like I'm searching his face for the slightest hesitation or deception, particularly when he is telling me it wasn't my fault. He always holds my gaze in these moments and I'm always aware that he is.

I guess what I mean by putting the moment into words is talking about just this, like we are now. Not only what was felt or said, but the fact that it was indeed a moment. For both of us. Daniel Stern would argue that it diminishes it to call it out as such. I think I disagree.

The other thing that I'm thinking is that most of these moments are not "ah ha" moments. They are deep feeling moments of being known - and sometimes there is insight. But usually, for me at least, there is relief. And then there is healing.

I'm glad you are experiencing these moments with your new therapist. And as much as we might wish it, I don't think they come often nor can they be forced. Which is why they are so special.

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' muffled

Posted by DAisym on September 8, 2007, at 20:30:07

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by muffled on September 8, 2007, at 19:08:59

I think I've felt this type of connection to my children when they were infants. There are moments when they look at you in that solemn, wise way that babies have and you want to look back forever. I remember thinking, "I wish I could freeze time."

And recently I had one in reverse with a good friend. She has been going through a really hard time and as I listened to her I could feel her pain and her desperation, even though she wasn't talking overtly about that. I simply said, "it is hard to feel suicidal and even harder to admit it. It might surprise you to know I've been where you are now." She burst into tears and it all poured out. But it was the moment before the tears in which I could feel her feelings and she knew I could. It was powerful.

I can't say that I've ever felt completely seen or felt by anyone except in therapy. But I'm a pro at shielding. I hope I find someone to have these moments with, IRL. In my fantasies, I imagine loving sex to hold some of the same powerful elements of feeling connected to another person. At least I hope it does. But that is a whole different level of trust and openness. (And please don't read this as I want to have sex with my therapist.)

I think in time you will find yourself more and more able to trust another person and make a deep connection. I'll hold that hope for you.

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' DAisym

Posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 20:36:03

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting' twinleaf, posted by DAisym on September 8, 2007, at 20:11:56

I heard Stern a few months ago at a conference in which a psychoanalyst in training presented a five-year analysis which was very successful. She went into enormous amounts of detail about individual sessions for 45 minutes. At the end, she asked Stern why the analysis had been so successful, saying she really didn't know herself. He said, "I have no idea either- you just did the right thing!" Everyone in the auditorium laughed. Afterwards, there was a general discussion about whether these things are knowable; as you say, Stern maintained that they weren't. but others in general felt that the transmuting moments could be identified and put into words.

I had perhaps four of those moments lying down on the couch, but I was intently focussed on what I could tell about my analyst- his tone of voice, how his body posture was (I could see a leg and a hand). It's happened twice with the new one- sitting up, so I don't think being on the couch hampers it happening. It might have been important that his chair was alongside the head of the couch, rather than in back of it, but I don't know for sure. Maybe other people llying on the couch would be willing to tell us their experiences.

I agree completely- it's not an "ah-ha" moment, which would involve verbal understanding. It's being known- especially a younger part of us which has been cut off from being known previously. I never knew any of this until fairly recently, but it's really so promising and exciting. I bet all the training you are taking is wonderfully exciting.

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' DAisym

Posted by RealMe on September 8, 2007, at 22:58:43

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting' twinleaf, posted by DAisym on September 8, 2007, at 20:11:56

I am tired right now, but I just wanted to say that with my current therapist this happened one time when I started talking about the beginnings of the csa. I had never had this happen before, but to be in touch with the little girl and to sense that she has been back there waiting and waiting for me, well it was freaky in a way, but my analyst is there and feels it too and all the pain, and I felt it again last Friday. We were in sync, and I could feel he knew how I felt. I had never had this before, and it is a little disconcerting for me right now. But there is a part of it that feels good and gives me hope.

Thanks for sharing twinleaf and Daisy. I really feel fortunate to have the therapist I now have as he is there with me which is different from being there for me as you know.

RealMe
(Oz)

 

Re: 'moments of meeting'

Posted by annierose on September 8, 2007, at 23:04:08

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting' DAisym, posted by twinleaf on September 8, 2007, at 20:36:03

I think the amount of attention Dasiy may pay to facial expressions, I pay to the quality of her voice while lying down. Besides the tone, inflection, softness ... the spacing between words (faster, slower) all become important when I can't see her face. Even though I don't see her at all, I can tell when she is smiling, laughing, nodding her head, surprised, disappointed, etc. Sometimes I'll ask directly, "Are you smiling?" "Are you surprised?"

And I always know when she asks a question out of curiosity more than anything else.

Back to "knowing". Yes, I have experienced some of those precious moments while lying down. Mine are much more verbal but I do appreciate non-verbal communication too. I find silence comforting - sometimes. Just to be in her office with zero expectations to say anything. (My t is becoming slightly more comfortable during my silent moods.) When those moments of knowing are happening for me, it feels like we are in total sync with each other emotionally - she could probably finish my sentence/thought as I could hers. It's a deep layer of understanding at one's core.

I'm a little jealous Twinleaf when I hear about a successful five year analysis. What makes an analysis successful? Is there specific criteria that psychologist use to gage results? I ask this as I am approaching 4 years in January with my therapy.

And I smile reading your posts about your new t. When your first t disappointed you so gravely, who would have ever imagined finding another therapist on the first try to not only mend your heart, but move you forward with such strength and love. He seems amazing! Has your husband noticed a change about how you think about therapy and your therapist? You seem to have a fresh outlook on all areas of your life. A door has opened for you and although hesitant, you walked in and are learning to trust again.

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' annierose

Posted by DAisym on September 9, 2007, at 0:01:41

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by annierose on September 8, 2007, at 23:04:08

You asked, "what makes an analysis successful?"

That is the 64 million dollar question. The Boston Change group studies this and has been asking the question, "what is it about therapy that creates change?" The broad answer is "the relationship" -- but they dig further and ask, "what about the relationship?" Louis Cozolino is a neurobiologist and he thinks that the relationship provides the safety and scaffolding so that the patient can tolerate the stress required for neural reorganization. He talks about therapy as creating a "safe emergency" for creating the right psychological structure and biological stimulus for rebuilding the brain. Simplified a great deal - certain chemicals are released under certain circumstances and these enhance the plasticity of the brain, allowing us to learn or change. Hopefully, a therapist will be stimulating the right mixture of brain chemicals with empathy, consistency and yes - a bit of challenge.

Freud would say a successful analysis is when a person realizes their primitive urges and stops repressing them. They could then go on to lead lives of "typical" suffering.

I guess I want to believe that therapy is successful if you can make the needed changes that help you with your life, which is not to say you won't need help again in the future. Since we are always changing and new challenges find their way to us, I think perhaps an analysis is never quite finished. Is it?

 

Re: 'moments of meeting'

Posted by Dinah on September 9, 2007, at 0:26:18

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting' muffled, posted by DAisym on September 8, 2007, at 20:30:07

I'm not sure if I have this or not... We've been together so long that it feels as comfy as an old shoe.

There have been times, and still are sometimes, when I feel held in therapy, and it's the most wonderful feeling in the world. Is that what it is?

Most sessions I feel connected with him from the moment I get in the room. His every reaction, his moods, his level of engagement, all are as tangible as if I could reach out and feel each slight change in texture or see every microscopic ripple. But that's on my side. On his side, he usually is there, engaged, and what we create from our combined energies is an almost sacred therapeutic space. Sort of like when the wands met in Harry Potter 4 but without the fight part of it. If he isn't putting himself fully into the engagement, I'll usually try to coax, then pull him in, and if that doesn't work I get a bit frantic. But that is the everyday level of therapeutic engagement. Not anything out of the ordinary.

I'm not sure if I've had what you two are talking about. I feel restless when I read it, which tends to make me think I haven't.

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' annierose

Posted by twinleaf on September 9, 2007, at 0:27:55

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by annierose on September 8, 2007, at 23:04:08

Thank you so much for your lovely and encouraging thoughts about me and the new T., Annie. I was so lucky to find him, although I didn't really feel that until the last month or so. I was just a basket case of trauma when I first came to him- the awful behavior of the first T having added to the problems I originally came to him for four years ago. Everything is so much better now, and it is true that my husband and sons have noticed that I'm more my old lively self. I feel so grateful. This new T. really "contains" people extremely well, and, as a result, there is less pain, and more exploration.

As to the analysis being finished and successful: that was a training analysis for the candidate, and so had to be tied up at some point. Daisy has such a good point; in a way they are never finished, and since this was a case presentation, we didn't get to hear how the patient felt- he might have felt it wasn't so successful, or that the termination was premature.

Your T. sounds wonderful, too, and you seem to be describing the same close, wonderful moments. Even though you don't see her, you use all your other senses to feel and know her. My T. has a couch, and says I may want to use it later, but that's optional. Would you say that you are in analysis, or analytic therapy?

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' Dinah

Posted by twinleaf on September 9, 2007, at 1:03:37

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting', posted by Dinah on September 9, 2007, at 0:26:18

You are certainly describing something very similiar. The only difference seems to be that you are describing a wonderful degree of connnectedness which you are able to find every time you see him, whereas we were (I think) describing kind of rare and unusual moments when traumatized younger, non-verbal aspects of ourselves make it into the therapy space and are able to feel known by the therapist. For me, at least, these moments (about six in four years, only) involve huge amounts of fear, longing, tears, followed by a joyful and peaceful being together, I never forget them, and I feel better- a permanent sort of better- after they are over. I never know when one of these moments will happen, but I can see that both I and my T. are constantly working towards them, and preparing the ground so that they can happen. For me, they are non-verbal- and then talked about after they occur.

Would it be accurate to say that these moments are kind of rare because they involve split-off, early parts of ourselves becoming able to have a relationship with our therapists, while you are talking about a more main, principal part of you being able to feel connected? It's hard to say, though, as the way you describe how you feel when you try to have that connecton does sound as though a quite young part of you is there. Another question to ask: do you have powerful moments of feeling known by him in a new way?

 

Younger parts/selves

Posted by Wittgenstein on September 9, 2007, at 5:39:46

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting' Dinah, posted by twinleaf on September 9, 2007, at 1:03:37

I find this an interesting topic - but what I wish I understood was what exactly people mean when they write about their 'younger selves/parts' or 'inner child'. Is this the distinction between ourselves now remembering and rationalising our past experiences and how these experiences actually felt and were rationalised at the time we experienced them as children? Or is it referring to a greater dissociation?

I find I can hold my earlier memories in mind but can only bear to be in touch with how it really felt or parts of how it really felt at the various points of my childhood for short intense periods - normally these memories are distanced or buffered. Being in touch in this way causes a great deal of pain and consumes such an amount of energy.

I see the analogy of a spaceman walking on the moon - most of the time is spent in the air but every now and again he touches back down to the surface briefly before propelling himself away again. Is this the dichotomy that people describe or am I missing something bigger (I realise I'm being simplistic here - hope this doesn't seem a stupid question or offensive). I.e. suppressing these feelings or allowing oneself to 'be' and 'feel' how that younger self felt.

Witti

 

Re: Younger parts/selves Wittgenstein

Posted by twinleaf on September 9, 2007, at 9:42:23

In reply to Younger parts/selves, posted by Wittgenstein on September 9, 2007, at 5:39:46

No, it's a wonderful question. I think we all mean slightly different things when we are speaking about younger selves. Daisy (I hope you'll speak for yourself, because I may not have understood it correctly) spoke about feeling that a younger, traumatized part of herself was on the ceiling, and then came down and was more unified with her, and able to speak- through Daisy's voice, of course- about some very painful topics.

I am more like you, I think. I can describe traumas that I endured as a child, without re-experiencing the tremendous pain I felt as they were happening. In the present, I feel a lot of anxiety, instead. So, my task is to become more in touch with what the REAL feelings were. The "moments of meeting" seem to occur when I am able to feel those feelings again, while I am also feeling understood by my therapist. He describes his part in this as "bearing witness", with his mind and his heart.

I think these things are all different forms of dissociation- the mildest forms of them. The worse the traumas have been, the more one tends to dissociate. More intense forms of it involve feeling that you really do have separate parts, even to the point of naming them. It's a wonderful survival system for traumatized people, but you are left with a lot of pain, and an unintegrated self which isn't able to meet all the challenges of being an adult
as well as you would if you hadn't had to form some degree of dissociation. So the work of therapy is to sort of get everything back together. I don't think any of us could do it ourselves, but we can in the presence of a caring therapist who gets to know about these dissociated parts of ourselves, and who treats them in a caring and accepting way. Then we can do it, too.

 

Re: Younger parts/selves twinleaf

Posted by Wittgenstein on September 9, 2007, at 11:40:07

In reply to Re: Younger parts/selves Wittgenstein, posted by twinleaf on September 9, 2007, at 9:42:23

Twinleaf,

Thank you for the explanation. This makes a lot of sense and is really important for me to understand. I hadn't really thought of myself as dissociating. In T I mostly describe my earlier traumas without feeling them - as if I am talking about someone else, not me - rather as if I am an on-looker. A few memories are blurred and vague but most are accessible. I tend to experience feelings of guilt and betrayal after such sessions (although I would be the one betraying myself, an earlier self by 'telling' or 'trivializing' these experiences) - at times I doubt myself - doubt anything actually happened as they feel so removed and they were denied and concealed at the time.

The experience you write of between you and your T sounds so powerful and healing. I haven't experienced this (although have only been in therapy for a matter of months) - I wish I could experience this though. The few times in session that I have been acutely aware of childhood traumas (experiencing/feeling them through my own eyes as a child) I tend to retreat into myself and into silence - perhaps a couple of times I've felt his presence in those moments (rather than my completely leaving that space altogether and feeling in 'free fall' which is what usually happens) but I don't think there is the trust there yet to feel the 'moments of meeting'. I can't stop assuming that he is thinking negative thoughts behind his empathetic exterior and thinking I am lying - although he insists this isn't the case. I suppose a real/complete sense of trust and safety is something that one has to work very hard for.

Witti

 

Re: Younger parts/selves twinleaf

Posted by RealMe on September 9, 2007, at 11:54:01

In reply to Re: Younger parts/selves Wittgenstein, posted by twinleaf on September 9, 2007, at 9:42:23

I used to have separate parts that did not even know about each other, and my work some 20 years ago was to put those parts together and know about each other. I did this, but then I stopped and did not work on accessing all of the pain. I had looked at some of it, but I mostly got to the point where I could talk about csa and cpa without too much emotion.

I am not working on the abuse isses and have mostly been working on trust as my T is new to me, and I had a very bad experience with the one just previous to him. So, I have had a couple of sessions where I accessed the pain and emotion of the time. I had found a picture of my self at age 8, and I brought a copy of it in for my T to see. He kept it to my surprise and said something about how sweet I looked.

Anyway, accessing the pain and emotion of things that happened, the various events, is extremely draining and powerful and very sad. I remember the first time, I felt so sad and recognized I had left a part of me behind waiting for me to come and take her by the hand out of the hell hole she was still in. This maybe does not make sense. I almost felt worse because at least 20 years ago I wasn't so aware of her.

But no excuse since now. I feel like I just locked her in a closet and left her, thinking it would be okay. It isn't, and it wasn't. What worries me about therapy and really getting into those momements in time as that child, that I will not have the strength to go to work afterwards. My T says things will spill over for awhile. He works very hard to keep me contained by making links and offering himself during the last 10 minutes of the session. So, I don't leave with it all hanging out. He is like what some talk about. My T is feeling right along side me, and I am aware of it. Sometimes I wish he did not have to feel the pain too, but he says this is how he can help me, and if it is ever too much for him in a session, we will look at why that is. He says he will never quit on me. I don't think I can ask for anymore.

RealMe
(OzLand)

 

Re: 'moments of meeting' twinleaf

Posted by Dinah on September 9, 2007, at 13:06:34

In reply to Re: 'moments of meeting' Dinah, posted by twinleaf on September 9, 2007, at 1:03:37

I don't tend to associate my experience with different age states. And no, I don't really. I'm not sure after all this time there is a new way to know me, and I don't know that it ever involved what you're describing. It was always my explaining things to him and to myself I guess over and over until something I said clicked with him and he understood. I don't think I felt magic at those moments. More like achievement.

When I lose my words, he doesn't understand what I'm trying to convey at all. He doesn't experience things in the same way I do.

I do remember when I realized he could tell who he was talking to (for want of a better phrase). That felt... I don't have the words but I'm sure it was not what you describe.

I think I am a bit jealous, although I guess my own therapy has its own ways of being special.

 

Feeling triggered RealMe

Posted by Wittgenstein on September 9, 2007, at 13:18:59

In reply to Re: Younger parts/selves twinleaf, posted by RealMe on September 9, 2007, at 11:54:01

RealMe

I suddenly feel ever so triggered :(

" Anyway, accessing the pain and emotion of things that happened, the various events, is extremely draining and powerful and very sad... "

This part of your post reminds me of a very intense few weeks I had some months ago - at the time when I first allowed myself to feel any of this (it followed my first meeting with a psychiatrist and where I first talked about my past) - I'd felt increasingly unwell for a long time (anxiety and depression) but this was the first time all of those things from the past felt vivid and present - before that I'd pushed them away, buried them. It was so painful and choking - a pain I could never have understood without having experienced it. I couldn't tolerate noise, light, movement... everything was unbearable - all I could think was to end it all. I still get these episodes at times when I am overwhelmed by what's happening in therapy. I'm terrified of them.

At one point, not long after I started seeing my therapist, I brought in some old things from my past - photos, a diary and some other things. He looked through my childhood photos so delicately. I haven't been able to look at them since - not sure why.

 

Re: Feeling triggered Wittgenstein

Posted by RealMe on September 9, 2007, at 13:53:00

In reply to Feeling triggered RealMe, posted by Wittgenstein on September 9, 2007, at 13:18:59

I am truely sorry if what I said triggered you. I certainly did not mean to cause anyone any pain. I have the same trouble you are talking about, and though I know it is necessary to access the pain, I strongly resist it. So, my therapist and I are actually looking at some of the events in my early adult life that are related but not quite so painful. I am not sure what to do as I start crying at the drop of a pin when I even start thinking about anything. Sounds like you have a good therapist too.

RealM
(OzLand)

I am so sorry; I probably should not say stuff as you are not the first person who said they were triggered by something I said. I am really sorry,

 

Re: Feeling triggered RealMe

Posted by DAisym on September 9, 2007, at 14:56:05

In reply to Re: Feeling triggered Wittgenstein, posted by RealMe on September 9, 2007, at 13:53:00

I don't think anyone is upset with you - some things are inherently triggering. (I hope I'm not speaking out of turn here Witti.) Don't feel bad. All this stuff is really hard. And it has been my experience that knowing other people are "allowed" to really feel the depth of the pain makes me feel mine a bit more. That isn't their fault - or yours - it is part of the process.

And reading and writing about this stuff brings it to the surface - right brain/left brain integration. No worries, really. This is a GREAT discussion and why I love Babble.

 

Re: Feeling triggered Wittgenstein

Posted by DAisym on September 9, 2007, at 15:09:09

In reply to Feeling triggered RealMe, posted by Wittgenstein on September 9, 2007, at 13:18:59

"but this was the first time all of those things from the past felt vivid and present - before that I'd pushed them away, buried them."
***Having a safe place to feel these things will do this. We might "know" what happened but I think when the timing and setting is right, we begin to feel things again.

"It was so painful and choking - a pain I could never have understood without having experienced it. I couldn't tolerate noise, light, movement... everything was unbearable - "
****Yes - this happened to me too. The first time I told about the csa (after months in therapy and I only told a tiny bit) I left and threw up in the parking lot. And then I went to bed for the whole weekend. I didn't bring it up again for weeks.

"all I could think was to end it all. I still get these episodes at times when I am overwhelmed by what's happening in therapy. I'm terrified of them."
****There is a shaded box in "Courage to Heal" that is titled: "Don't kill yourself" and talks about the emergency stage of telling. Usually it is at the beginning but for me it is a cycle. I try to remember that these feelings are old and I'm not trapped anymore. But the pain is very real and I just want it to stop sometimes.

Unpacking your feelings needs to be done slowly and cautiously. It is so tempting to try and push through it -- to just tell it and feel it and rage against it. But this usually just results in flooding and fragmentation and retraumatization. This really is a slow process - cleaning a wound, putting on a bandage, changing the bandage and then cleaning the wound again. It won't last forever (my therapist promises) but it takes a while.

And truthfully, getting in touch with all these old feelings isn't the right approach for everyone. If they are pushing through and creating problems in your life - you really have no choice. But if things are pretty OK, stirring around just because there is some old notion that everything has to be processed can be more harmful than helpful. This isn't avoiding or denial, it is acknowledging without revisiting.

I hope this makes sense.


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[dr. bob] Dr. Bob is Robert Hsiung, MD, bob@dr-bob.org

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