Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 781959

Shown: posts 1 to 15 of 15. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment

Posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 8:07:42

I posted this over on social last week
http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/social/20070827/msgs/781155.html

So, I had a terrible week last week, called my T for support, hoping that potentially he could fit me in, and he tells me to suck it up.

I've seen this guy for 7 years and frankly, I expected a little more from him. His response was just the nail in the coffin for the week.

Now, I'm kind of at a loss as to how to approach this in therapy. I thought we were done with the "how what he says affects me" part of my therapy, but I guess not.

I feel very rejected by him.

Now, on top of everything else, I have to deal with this in therapy. I tempted just to either (1) quit therapy (2) really let him have it (3) not even mention it at all.

Any ideas?

Seldom.

 

Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment seldomseen

Posted by Dinah on September 10, 2007, at 9:17:28

In reply to See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment, posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 8:07:42

I think I'd go for the really let him have it. But that's just me.

I'd love to hear what he has to say for himself.

Actually, I think I admire your restraint. I might have been too shocked to say anything at the time, but I'm sure he'd have gotten a call shortly after with "SUCK IT UP?!!!! YOU WANT ME TO SUCK IT UP?!!!!"

 

Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment seldomseen

Posted by Honore on September 10, 2007, at 10:05:07

In reply to See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment, posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 8:07:42

That comment seems so completely out of bounds for a T to say to a patient. I know my T sometimes gets mad at me for being self-undermining-- and will yell at me-- and sometimes isnt' comfortable on the phone when I'm hard to comfort. But that seems like such an extraordinarily heartless response.

Is there any precedent in your relationship for his feeling or words? I can't imagine how I would deal with it if a call for support were greeted that way.

I would hope you don't let it pass without discussion. But I also hope you can bring it up in a relatively calm way (I never could)-- because it seems much more effective a way at getting at what the person had in mind. I'm sure he must have either had something in mind (I hope) or been in some other way very disturbed-- and let you inappropriately get the brunt of it.

If you can possibly be non-accusatory, I find that works much better. Once they feel accused, people (my T anyway) can get defensive and then it takes time to work that through-- before you can get to a more productive discussion of what was going on. If your T does care about you-- perhaps he had a good impulse that he felt was frustrated, and he turned hurtful. If you can at least unearth the good impulse behind it, it could lead to the two of you beginning to handle that situation better in the future. And also to your forgiving him and feeling closer.

I hope your appointment goes or has gone well.

Honore

 

Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment Dinah

Posted by Honore on September 10, 2007, at 10:06:58

In reply to Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment seldomseen, posted by Dinah on September 10, 2007, at 9:17:28

On the other hand, if he doesn't have a bad temper-- I'd be tempted to go with Dinah's reaction. Sounds also warranted-- just wouldn't work at all with my T.

Honore

 

Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment Honore

Posted by Dinah on September 10, 2007, at 10:48:25

In reply to Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment Dinah, posted by Honore on September 10, 2007, at 10:06:58

To be honest, I don't come across as confrontational with him as I sound on the board. In fact he told me he doesn't remember me showing anger to him for a very long time, except that one time when he took that job when he hadn't given me any warning, when he knew it would affect my decision to leave or stay in New Orleans. I think that one was very warranted.

I manage to be direct, and let him know what I feel, without actually sounding angry or confrontational with him. And I guess he makes it easy for me by being very easygoing.

The phone call I said I'd made would have sounded hysterical, not angry. Although I'd likely *feel* both.

On the other hand, he says I punish him by never letting him forget things he's said that he shouldn't. *I* say that the remarks make me self conscious or worried about his reactions so I preface future remarks that I fear might get a similar response with "I know it could be said..."

 

Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment

Posted by Honore on September 10, 2007, at 13:54:18

In reply to Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment Honore, posted by Dinah on September 10, 2007, at 10:48:25

You're lucky, Dinah-- tone of voice determines a lot in difficult situations. You can say almost anything, if you can say it calmly and firmly, but without any undue pressure or emotion. That's what's hard for me-- even when I know it's important to speak up. My emotions get too intense and feel too hurtful. Then I clam up.

Maybe you could bottle essence of your temperament and sell it-- I know it would solve your economical problems in a flash. :!}

Thanks for clarifying-- cause it did sound pretty intimidating.

Honore

 

Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment

Posted by Racer on September 10, 2007, at 15:09:24

In reply to Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment seldomseen, posted by Dinah on September 10, 2007, at 9:17:28

That kinda of a response would shut me down for weeks. My T has made a few mis-judged remarks, and they've done some damage to the flow of therapy -- and that's with me knowing and her admitting that they were ill-judged! If they'd come from a T who didn't validate my reactions so well, or didn't admit when she made mistakes? It would have shut me down pretty completely.

> I might have been too shocked to say anything at the time, but I'm sure he'd have gotten a call shortly after with "SUCK IT UP?!!!! YOU WANT ME TO SUCK IT UP?!!!!"

I'd like to rephrase Dinah's message here: "SUCK IT UP??? I'm a human being, NOT a vacuum cleaner! What, exactly, do you want me to SUCK UP?"

Of course, MousyMe here would *think* that, not say it. But I'd think it really loud!

 

Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess.

Posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 16:02:27

In reply to See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment, posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 8:07:42

I didn't say anything directly. Although he knew something was wrong.

I re-expressed how acutely alone I felt, even after talking to him and he did respond with the tenderness that I had come to expect from him.

We usually meet every two weeks, but he wants to see me next week - so I said okay.

I was just too tired and too needy to be confrontational. So I sucked it up like a good little girl and just let as much out as I could.

I still can't believe my boyfriend of close to a year just dumped me.
I still can't believe how my mentors abandoned me on my grant.
I still can't believe the reviewers liked it anyway. My brain has never let me down though.

I'm kind of numb. Kind of sad and kind of just out of it.

Thanks for all of your support guys.

((((Babblefriends))))

 

Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess. seldomseen

Posted by Dinah on September 10, 2007, at 17:47:29

In reply to Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess., posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 16:02:27

I'm glad he responded as he usually does.

Maybe you could think of it not so much as sucking up, but prioritizing. It was more important today to work on other issues in your life, to receive support.

That's a perfectly reasonable decision.

I'm sorry things are so rough for you right now.

 

Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess.

Posted by annierose on September 10, 2007, at 18:23:22

In reply to Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess. seldomseen, posted by Dinah on September 10, 2007, at 17:47:29

I agree with Dinah - but Seldomseen - don't think that telling your t how you felt by his reaction must be confrontational. I think it is important at some point to let him know how you felt when he spoke to you the way he did.

Maybe you could say (in a gentle voice) something like, "I was so hurt when you told me to 'suck it up'." You are conveying your feelings simply. And then the hard part (at least for me), letting the sentence linger until he responds.

I am glad that you felt better after today's session.

 

Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess. Dinah

Posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 19:53:05

In reply to Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess. seldomseen, posted by Dinah on September 10, 2007, at 17:47:29

I think you are right. Today is was more important to reconnect with my T as I knew him to be than to be angry.

It did feel good to see the old T, although I'm a little mad at him. He picked right up on that and asked why I was sitting so far from him. I told him that I didn't know but that I have never felt so lonely in my life - even after calling him - and that I wanted to sit right where I was.

I told him, though, about everything else. The weariness, the stress and the hurting heart. It was the first time in a long time that I had been that sad in therapy. I felt like a session we would have had years ago.

He threw me a rope though - like he always does and reminded me that there is a solid relationship there between us. Which is true.

I just want to sleep in his office for a few days.

Seldom.

 

Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess. seldomseen

Posted by Dory on September 10, 2007, at 21:09:12

In reply to Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess. Dinah, posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 19:53:05

i am so glad that you got through the session... residual anger will get dealt with but you're right about doing what was more important now. i was so sad to read your original post about the sucking it up comment... i would have been devastated. Inexcusable as it may be, maybe he had a moment you know? i have things fly out of my mouth i wish i had a do-over for... and some i don't even notice until someone else blasts me for it. But no excuses.. maybe you could write down how you feel about the anger and seal it in an envelop... when you feel it's the right time, re-read it and see if you still want to bring it up.

just a thought

 

Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess. annierose

Posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 21:35:50

In reply to Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess., posted by annierose on September 10, 2007, at 18:23:22

I'm going to tell him, most likely next week. Today just wasn't the day I think.

Thanks for your post. You're right and he and I will talk about this.

Seldom.

 

Seems your handling it WELL!!! Good 4 U!! (nm) seldomseen

Posted by muffled on September 10, 2007, at 22:01:55

In reply to Re: Well, i sucked it up well enough I guess. annierose, posted by seldomseen on September 10, 2007, at 21:35:50

 

Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment Honore

Posted by Dinah on September 11, 2007, at 16:38:45

In reply to Re: See T today - after the 'suck it up' comment, posted by Honore on September 10, 2007, at 13:54:18

I think I'm not quite as balanced as that. :)

I *think* I'm outspoken by nature. And that I inadvertently received training from both parents in how to say things in ways that don't increase the level of tension.

But the main reason I can say the things I say without him becoming defensive or angry is that our dynamic in recent years has evolved to a young girl/daddy one.

To be fair to him, I'm sure he didn't plan it, and I'm pretty sure he gave a lot of thought to whether he should accept it. But he did decide to accept it for reasons I think I might understand.

I'd be surprised if that dynamic, now accepted, wasn't a comfortable and relaxed one to him. There might be power in the daughter role, but there's also an underlying deference. And he knows that while I'm fully aware of his flaws, I also love him dearly. And when someone is confident that they are loved in a totally nonthreatening way, it's easy enough for them to accept most anything. It may be all transference and countertransference, but it's just not a dynamic that is likely to lead to defensiveness on his part.

Or that's my suspicion anyway. It may be all in my mind.

And to give full credit to him, he's a phlegmatic and easygoing soul, not given to long term anger. He's best friends with the pdoc from h*ll, and that pretty much guarantees he's unflappable. (Although it does call into question his taste.)


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