Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 794679

Shown: posts 1 to 23 of 23. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Sorting out my session today

Posted by annierose on November 12, 2007, at 17:01:31

After 4 years of therapy, I have noticed a sizable shift in my therapy. Referring back to Daisy's thread, I'm past the middle, but not near the end. The relationship is so fluid for me so it's hard for me to pinpoint my place in time. But I feel I'm in a different place now.

Anyway, back to my original thought/post. I feel myself pushing. Pushing for her to tell me how, why, what she thinks about me. And at the same time, I want to know more about her, who she is as a person, not as a therapist. Yes, she has strict boundaries, so I feel safe pushing and prodding. Session after session, I have a million questions.

Today I wanted her to tell me she liked me. Yes, she has told me in the past that she cares about me, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I wanted to hear that again. She paused and after some thought said, "I could tell you what you want to hear, but I don't think it's going to help you. What brought you to therapy are for those very same old feelings that keep cropping up. Yes, it may give you a temporary lift, but ultimately, what I want for you, is to believe in yourself, to know yourself, so others opinions on any given day will not rattle you." Then she talked about ego gratification and my ability to give myself ego-lifts on a short term basis and how I become addicted to these ego-lifts. Confused, I asked her what she meant.

She referred back to a black tie gala I went to over the weekend. As I described the event, she noted I mentioned getting my hair and make-up done professionally before the party. She said, (and I do forget her exact words - and I wish I could remember them because this is much more blunt than what she actually said) "I wish that you didn't feel that was necessary. You liked the compliments that people noticed you, etc. etc. Your feeling of worthiness was tied into how you looked that evening."

Although I get the bigger picture she is describing, I think it's unfair to attack a woman trying to look her best for a black tie event. I have never gone to an event like this before in our city, it was a big deal to me, and it wasn't like I went all out. After all, I wore a dress I had in my closet. On a scale of 1 to 10, most woman were in the 8 - 10 on a fanciness scale. I was at best a 4.

I am so tired of hearing, "why wouldn't I like you?" "why wouldn't I want to work with you?" "if I didn't like you, why would I work this closely with you?" I told her those type of negative questions drive me crazy. I was asking for something I needed from her. I don't think if I was on a date and the guy asked me, "Do you like me?" a proper response would be, "well if I didn't like you I wouldn't keep seeing you." She didn't even laugh.

Some days, as much as I adore my therapist, we are driving in opposite directions in two different cars. Finally near the end, I said, "How can I be vulnerable with you if I don't even know you are on my side." and she said, "Of course I'm on your side. I'm right here."

What do you think she meant by an "ego lift"?
There must be something she thinks I do that is addictive (i.e. maladaptive) - I'm afraid to ponder that thought further. The truth can be painful to hear. I'm already wincing and I haven't even asked the question yet.

Annierose

 

Re: Sorting out my session today annierose

Posted by Dinah on November 12, 2007, at 17:26:59

In reply to Sorting out my session today, posted by annierose on November 12, 2007, at 17:01:31

I think I can see what she's saying, although I *feel* more what you're saying.

My therapist and I were talking about the "Do you like me" question the other day. His tendency is to answer it outright. But we spoke of the tendency of some therapists to turn the question into one of why it's important to the client. I thought it was self evident that if you were going to make yourself that vulnerable to another person that it was natural to know that not only did they care about you and want the best for you, but they liked you as a person. My therapist does often say that if he didn't like me, I'd have picked up on it long ago and left.

On the other hand, since I ask it not infrequently, he usually makes me answer it myself.

As far as ego boosts, I'm thinking that there are two separate factors.

Most people do love ego boosts. What's not to love? What person wouldn't want to hear that (s)he looks special on a special evening? Or that a job is well done? I think the only people who really wouldn't like those things are the people who would think they were untrue because of low self esteem. It takes a certain amount of self esteem to take in positive remarks from others, doesn't it? I totally reject anything positive said about my looks for example, while I thoroughly enjoy ego boosts in other areas.

I guess the other factor would be what you feel like between ego boosts. If you live from ego boost to ego boost, and don't feel good about yourself if they're too far apart, that could be a problem to you. If you are cast into despair by a negative remark and into transports of delight by a positive one, you're giving way too much power to others. Power it would likely be safer to keep for yourself.

So would you say that the compliments you received made you feel good because they were outside acknowledgment of how nice you thought you looked? Did her reaction to your happiness make you feel awful? No wait. I think we should have a therapist exemption because they *do* have too much power over us, almost by definition. If someone had made a snide remark to you about your toilette, would you have been hiding for the rest of the evening?

It is nice to have an internal sense of your strengths and weaknesses, and an overall view that you're essentially worthwhile and loveable. Which you are. Period. It probably is also nice to listen enough to the input of others to be able to assess whether you think they might have a point and there are areas that you need to work on. Since we're all works in progress. Drat it.

But that's different from reveling in the occasional ego boost. Who doesn't like confirmation, in the words of Jerry Seinfeld, that they are as wonderful as their mother said they were.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today

Posted by Daisym on November 13, 2007, at 1:04:13

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today annierose, posted by Dinah on November 12, 2007, at 17:26:59

But I think the issue starts where Dinah stopped - your mom never told you you were wonderful. So you want your therapist to confirm it. Not only that, you want her to make it OK for you to think you are OK.

I think there is a certain amount of psychological health in knowing how to be yourself while at the same time meeting the social norms of certain occasions. People declare sometimes that they "don't care what other people think" - but I think they usually mean they don't want to care. And it sometimes means they don't know how to dress up, or dress down, or whatever.

I think your need for your therapist to like you comes from a different place than self-esteem. It is more about attachment needs and the need to be mirrored by a mother figure. We all need that.

I know you will keep talking about this. It sounds really important.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today Dinah

Posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 8:18:35

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today annierose, posted by Dinah on November 12, 2007, at 17:26:59

I definitely don't feel that I live for ego boasts --- I didn't even know that I got them! Since she pointed it out, yes, I can see her point but the piece doesn't fit into what I am feeling.

You're right. Who doesn't like the occasional compliment?

 

Re: Sorting out my session today Daisym

Posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 8:40:23

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today, posted by Daisym on November 13, 2007, at 1:04:13

This interpretation feels more like a fit. Could we set up a secret headpiece/earphone deal --- you listen to my session and then tell me what to say??

I don't know what the ego-boasts she is referring to? Do you?

THEN! I'm always surprised when she gets excited about something that has been there all along. I mentioned that my yoga class was sad yesterday. One of the secretaries died (age 49) --- losing her battle against anorexia. The teacher spoke throughout the class about her virtues of kindness and compassion. At the end of class he had us sit with palms open on our knees and conjure up someone we loss and think about their spirit. Well, having just lost my brother, my eyes began to water. After a few minutes of meditation he asked us to send them a message --- know that are spiritually with us --- etc. etc. He went on and spoke a bit about the circle of life ..... It was a touching class.

Well my T just about jumps out of her chair. "Do you believe this?"

me: Yes, I often speak about how I hold my grandma near.
t: so you are open to this type of thinking?
me: Yes, I have told you that I'm a spiritual person - just not tied into a specific religious organization
t: this eastern type of thinking believes the ego should not come into play
me: one yoga teacher often says, "everyone please leave your ego at the door before entering the class"

She went on and on. But I sat there confused. I have been going to this yoga studio for close to two years. I often talk about the class and the messages I leave with and how important my instructors are to me. Did she miss that?

Getting back to your post - attachment - it is so darn important and so hard to get to that core. For me it comes down to this - Can I believe she really cares? It is so scary to think that someone really holds me in mind.

 

Re: to Alex_K

Posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 8:44:24

In reply to Sorting out my session today, posted by annierose on November 12, 2007, at 17:01:31

I know I read a post from you this morning about my thread. I went to re-read it so I could reply and it was gone. But I wanted to let you know, that you did indeed interpret my therapist's thinking ... that is where she was coming from.

Thank you for giving me your insights. It was helpful.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today annierose

Posted by Dinah on November 13, 2007, at 8:57:57

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today Daisym, posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 8:40:23

I've had that experience as well. And my therapist also holds a few views of me that seem totally off the wall. On the other hand, he's gotten much much better at remembering what I say. Just to be sure, I often give a brief expository before I continue with what I wish to say.

But if caring means holding in mind, then my therapist hasn't got a prayer of caring about me. :)

It's disconcerting, isn't it? Like, "where have they been all these years?"

 

Re: Sorting out my session today Dinah

Posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 9:55:04

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today annierose, posted by Dinah on November 13, 2007, at 8:57:57

My t was interested in my comment about her holding me in her mind. And I believe her when she says she does. She felt like that comment was important. Just before I said that, I was saying, "I feel like I need more from you, that you are withholding." She felt like that was criticism. Not sure where she draws the line.

I know this juncture we are embarking upon is important. Simultaneously I want to run to my appointments and run far from them the very next thought. It's so confusing.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today --long reply annierose

Posted by gardenergirl on November 13, 2007, at 11:10:41

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today Dinah, posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 9:55:04

Wow, it sure sounds like you're onto something really meaningful. Maybe we should somehow "flag" those sessions when we leave thinking, "Humminah?" or feeling angry. It seems that I always wound up thinking more deeply and more productively after those.

Anywhoo, first I wanted to say this: It's perfectly appropriate, acceptable, and even nice self-care when a woman decides to get pampered and glammed up a bit for a special night or event. It's fun! I think that's different from someone who relies on grooming and appearance to get positive feedback, and thus who might feel like bring in the big hitters for a big night. ?? I still don't quite get her reaction, but then I think I'm firmly with you about this.

> My t was interested in my comment about her holding me in her mind. And I believe her when she says she does. She felt like that comment was important. Just before I said that, I was saying, "I feel like I need more from you, that you are withholding." She felt like that was criticism. Not sure where she draws the line.

That's interesting. You're telling her that you need more; that you're not feeling you're getting what you want/need from her, and she feels criticized. Isn't the apparent/perceived discrepancy as you experience it the issue?

> I know this juncture we are embarking upon is important. Simultaneously I want to run to my appointments and run far from them the very next thought. It's so confusing.

Ah yes. Approach/avoid conflicts. Aren't they fun? We usually don't have them about simple, mundane, low power stuff. So I think you're right, this is important. I know you'll work through this and come out the other side with new insights and so on. It's the getting there that's often tricky.

About ego boosts, or is it boasts? I've seen you use both, and I wondered if switching to "boast" was sort of a Freudian slip? Putting aside the eastern views of ego for now, if you think of the ego as the sort of executive who balances the needs of the id, sort of the primitive drives, and the superego, put roughly "societal norms and rules", then it makes sense that the ego might "want a little recognition" once in awhile for doing a difficult job. (Lord, I'm thinking of this as a little cartoon animation now...that's scary!) On the one hand, if the ego serves a highly demanding id, the ego might feel some gratification for meeting those urges that feel good to be met, but likely is feeling the weight of the superego's "displeasure", aka wagging the finger or worse. The ego might want to hear that it's okay to satisfy those id's urges, we're all human, etc. The ego might even believe that deep down, but maybe deflates and weakens under the critical eye of the superego. Or, a strong ego might be able to somehow counteract with self-talk or something, the superego's criticism, and is just fine with it all. But it's more likely that it would be wanting some kind of validation that the choices made are "okay". (I'm okay/you're okay stuff).

Now if it's the other way around...the ego is the slave to the superego, then it never feels like it's "good" enough. And you've got that hungry id back there not being satisfied either. This ego might seek out "gold stars" from society to validate the choices it makes in serving the superego, and yet a feeling of inadequacy or sort of a gut primitive human hunger, about which it might experience shame. What's a poor ego to do? Whatever it can to feel good in the world and in it's own "skin".

OMG, I have no idea why I'm rambling. I need to get out more. ;)

But back to ego-boosts. Have you ever known someone who brags a lot? Or sort of dresses or acts in a way that calls attention they way bragging would? What's the knee-jerk reaction--"Oh, that's nice" or something similar.

Whereas someone who's got a strong, confident, balanced ego (or back to eastern philosophy, one who has let go of the ego) doesn't need to call attention to appearance, accomplishments big and small, etc. First, they don't "need" this from external sources because it's well internalized already. And second, because they do have a strong ego, are balanced, etc., they probably naturally receive external validation from time to time because they are more freed up to be and grow and achieve.

If you stuck with this, thanks. I hope that whatever I meant to say is in here somewhere.

You're awesome, annierose, btw. I wanted to tell you that.

gg

 

Re: Sorting out my session today annierose

Posted by Dinah on November 13, 2007, at 13:44:56

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today Dinah, posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 9:55:04

Well, maybe her line is somewhere along Babble's? Statements about your needs wouldn't be criticism, comments about her behavior would be? Not that I particularly see her point, since therapists are supposed to be up to a bit of criticism.

I had the most utterly ridiculous session today where we basically had a fight about two dreams I had about him last week. I interpreted them in such a way as to lead to my oft repeated statement that I didn't like caring more about him than he cared about me. I think in the end he might *finally* have understood what I was saying. That I didn't mean it in the sense that I wanted to hang out with him outside of session, I didn't want him to be a friend, that I valued the therapy relationship for what it is, and wouldn't trade it for anything else. But that in the past it had been true and in the future it would be true that the difference would lead to him leaving me while I'd never willingly leave him. At first he kept focusing on why he wouldn't leave me instead of the fact that he had. Then he concentrated on why he'd left me. But in the end he realized that I realized that therapy couldn't work if he was as attached to me as I was to him because he wouldn't have the objectivity needed. (I rejected the term "appropriate emotional distance".) But that that didn't mean that there wasn't a risk in it for me, or that it didn't hurt sometimes. And he realized he was trying to solve it instead of just accepting that it hurt.

I think I included this story on your thread because what you said to her and her reaction reminded me of it. You were sharing that you were feeling that you wanted something you weren't getting. That you wanted more. She was focusing on her side, and trying to tell you that what she was doing was ok, or being defensive. While missing the point that it really doesn't matter if she's right or wrong as much as it matters that it hurts.

In some ways this felt like the stupidest session I've ever had. In one of my dreams, he had cancer and wasn't seeing clients anymore and while I felt upset about his being unwell, I was also incredibly annoyed with him because it meant that I wouldn't see him anymore and my genuine affection for him as a person would really mean nothing. In the other dream, I had to cancel at the last minute, he couldn't fit me in at another time, and was going to charge me anyway. So when I found that I did have time to go, but only in my robe and with greasy hair and unbathed, I went, crossed my arms, and said that if I was going to pay I was d*mn well going to be there.

Getting into a big fight complete with tears over those dreams seems unbelievably foolish.

Yet...

I do wonder about something else though. Isn't this a topic that comes up many times between you? Her belief that you are critical in this situation or that? And your feeling that she misunderstands you?

Ok, another silly story. My therapist and I were once in that position about something. I honestly don't recall what. I think it might have been schizotypal personality disorder. We agreed to work on the concept until we came up with a statement on it that we both agreed with. The session(s) that followed were an exercise in diplomacy as we very carefully worked on wordings and ironed out our areas of disagreement until we came up with a statement that we could both freely endorse. Neither of us compromised our beliefs. We just came to an agreement on a way to see them. It served him because I was willing to take in what he was trying to say, and it served me well because he quit irritating me.

Or maybe I'm remembering incorrectly. I do that sometimes.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today --long reply gardenergirl

Posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 16:21:09

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today --long reply annierose, posted by gardenergirl on November 13, 2007, at 11:10:41

Thank you so much for the clinical explanations - it was very helpful understanding the id, ego, and superego. Psychology 101 was a long time ago.

Funny about "boosts" vs "boasts" --- I wrote boasts this morning before I had my cup of coffee but I love the Freudian slip.

>>That's interesting. You're telling her that you need more; that you're not feeling you're getting what you want/need from her, and she feels criticized. Isn't the apparent/perceived discrepancy as you experience it the issue? <<

Yes, this is an on-going issue between my therapist and myself. And as much as want to say "it's her", I know it's mostly MY issue. I'm not saying she doesn't have a part in my reaction, but I know from my husband and children I say things that sound critical even though I don't think I am talking in that way. If that makes sense? In other words, what she is saying rings true to a point but it's not a perfect fit ... she's missing a component to the issue and I think Daisy is closer with an attachment issue vs. self esteem.

>>Whereas someone who's got a strong, confident, balanced ego (or back to eastern philosophy, one who has let go of the ego) doesn't need to call attention to appearance, accomplishments big and small, etc. <<<

I feel like my ego is more balanced as in this description. I don't think I necessarily call attention to my appearance or accomplishments. Of course, for the "gala" I did get dressed up - appropriately so. However, I do take some care in getting dressed - I want to look "nice" for work but no one would say I'm a clothes horse. You met me - how long did I take to get ready in the mornings ... 10 minutes top?

One more clincial question for you. I think my t was touching on what Daisy brought up about attachment, but dismissed it when she said something like, "A young child thinks the world is glorious. I think you had the feeling for a short while with your mother. She was good enough ... maybe until age 2. Then something happened to her. But you had to know that feeling of being special at one time or else you could not be the accomplished person you are today." I am not sure if I agree with that statement. I think a person can rise above their circumstances given enough encouragment from others (for me it was teachers and my grandmother).

By the way, I hold you in my thoughts. How are you doing? Are you okay? Are you happy with your decision or are you still processing it?

 

Re: Sorting out my session today Dinah

Posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 16:33:09

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today annierose, posted by Dinah on November 13, 2007, at 13:44:56

I think you insist that your t understands your point-of-view - it doesn't sound like you need him to accept it as the "truth" but you want him to understand where you are coming from. I get that.

>>I do wonder about something else though. Isn't this a topic that comes up many times between you? Her belief that you are critical in this situation or that? And your feeling that she misunderstands you?<<

Yes, I addressed this in my reply to GG. I do think it's an on-going issue but I think it speaks more about ME than HER. Sometimes the pink elephant in the room is really the pink elephant in the room (and it's me).

In your dreams, it sounds like you are working out some "what if" scenarios. If he did have cancer and needed to leave his practice, he would still care about you. He does hold you in mind as much as you do not believe it to be true. But the balance of the relationship is not the same. Our therapist matter so much to our emotional well being. We matter to them in a different way. They cannot rely on us for any type of emotional support. But as a teacher cares for his/her students, a therapist cares for the people they work with.

Thank you for your continued support. I value the insights you have given me.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today --long reply annierose

Posted by gardenergirl on November 17, 2007, at 0:02:15

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today --long reply gardenergirl, posted by annierose on November 13, 2007, at 16:21:09

> Thank you so much for the clinical explanations - it was very helpful understanding the id, ego, and superego. Psychology 101 was a long time ago.

Oy, I hope I didn't come across as pedantic. I wasn't thinking so much about the reader when I wrote that as I was trying to sort it out in my head.
>
> Funny about "boosts" vs "boasts" --- I wrote boasts this morning before I had my cup of coffee but I love the Freudian slip.

:)

> In other words, what she is saying rings true to a point but it's not a perfect fit ... she's missing a component to the issue and I think Daisy is closer with an attachment issue vs. self esteem.

That makes a lot of sense. Those issues are both tied up in how we perceive ourselves. A lot is.

> I feel like my ego is more balanced as in this description. I don't think I necessarily call attention to my appearance or accomplishments. Of course, for the "gala" I did get dressed up - appropriately so. However, I do take some care in getting dressed - I want to look "nice" for work but no one would say I'm a clothes horse. You met me - how long did I take to get ready in the mornings ... 10 minutes top?

LOL, way shorter than me, as you know! :) I hope you had a good time at the gala, btw.
>
> One more clincial question for you. I think my t was touching on what Daisy brought up about attachment, but dismissed it when she said something like, "A young child thinks the world is glorious. I think you had the feeling for a short while with your mother. She was good enough ... maybe until age 2. Then something happened to her. But you had to know that feeling of being special at one time or else you could not be the accomplished person you are today." I am not sure if I agree with that statement. I think a person can rise above their circumstances given enough encouragment from others (for me it was teachers and my grandmother).

Certainly others can contribute to filling the gap, and if they were around a lot, they can fill in a lot. My T always refers to it as a wish for the "gleam in their eye", which is about validation, love, pride, accomplishment, esteem, etc. If we don't know that gleam is there, we can try very hard to see it still. In my mom's case, it's going to a dry well trying to get that from her, unfortunately. I don't know just what your T was getting at, but I do think that self love and esteem, which supports drive and confidence and competence, seems like it has to have some sort of model at first. Child psych is not my thing, so I could be wrong, but I would think that self-love may not just come automatically. Perhaps in the absence of a child ever seeing any "gleam" in anyone's eyes, the child might not ever learn what love, admiration, etc. means.??? But you're right that others can give that.
>
> By the way, I hold you in my thoughts. How are you doing? Are you okay? Are you happy with your decision or are you still processing it?

Thanks. I've been processing a lot of stuff recently, and it's occupied a lot of my mental and emotional energy. And some med changes, along with termination, I think, have pushed me back down into depression. :( I don't regret my decision, but I do regret being too chicken to really talk about grief before I finished up. So much grief, old and new is coming up, and I don't have him to talk to about it now. :( I'm finding it hard.

Warmly,

gg

 

Re:(((((((((((((GG)))))))))))))))) gardenergirl

Posted by annierose on November 18, 2007, at 7:52:56

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today --long reply annierose, posted by gardenergirl on November 17, 2007, at 0:02:15

My heart sank when I read that you are clinically depressed again. What prompted the med change? Have you asked your p-doc about getting off the Claritin and swiching to Zyrtec? That's a simple change and for me --- A HUGE DIFFERENCE!! Claritin had me sinking into the black cloud deeper with each passing day. My allergy doctor said that depression was a side effect for maybe 3% of people ... but someone has be to the 3%. (I can't remember the actual percentage).

I'm finding out there are so many reasons for grief. It's just not about the dead. And grieving about things living are prehaps the most difficult because a small part of us still holds hope and wishes things could/would change.

Thank you for taking the time to explain some psych stuff to me. I was serious when I said that. I wasn't teasing you.

My therapist and I went over more of this "suff" on Friday. We both agreed that this is the crux for my reasons to being there. So we are chipping away at the pieces session by session. In a nutshell what she is trying to say (45 minutes into a sentence or two) - "I have continually told you that I care, that you matter, that I like you. But it only comforts you for a moment or two. The conflict is within your psyche. The push and pull of believing that you are likable for who you are right now vs the old messages that get played in your head from your mother."

There is a lot of STUFF in there and more that needs sorting. As I often say, therapy sucks! And it's hard for me because there is that little girl that says, "Don't trust her for a second!"

I hope you find the right combination of meds and activity to lift you out of the darkness. AND get some time under your lamp (for light) ... you need light and it's so dark so early now.

 

Re:(((((((((((((GG)))))))))))))))) annierose

Posted by Dinah on November 18, 2007, at 14:52:04

In reply to Re:(((((((((((((GG)))))))))))))))) gardenergirl, posted by annierose on November 18, 2007, at 7:52:56

> My therapist and I went over more of this "suff" on Friday. We both agreed that this is the crux for my reasons to being there. So we are chipping away at the pieces session by session. In a nutshell what she is trying to say (45 minutes into a sentence or two) - "I have continually told you that I care, that you matter, that I like you. But it only comforts you for a moment or two. The conflict is within your psyche. The push and pull of believing that you are likable for who you are right now vs the old messages that get played in your head from your mother."

That does sound like important stuff. Do you find it happens in other relations in your life?

My therapist says the same thing about me (with respect to his constantly reassuring me and my asking again and again). Yet I don't think I'm that way with anyone but him. I think in my case it has more to do with the artificial circumstances and the boundaries and the fact that he *doesn't* tell me every thought that enters his head so I sometimes *do* pick up on feelings toward me that he doesn't convey unless I specifically ask.

If it's a theme in your life in general it likely is an issue of self esteem and conflicting messages. If it feels right to you, that's what's important.

I never really thought in terms of how lucky I was. My husband and I used to laugh that we were disciplined with the tyranny of high expectations. Our parents thought we were terrific, could do anything we set our minds to (with the possible exception of sports), and were disappointed when we didn't live up to our potential. I sometimes concentrate a lot on the negative aspects of that in terms of knowing that I was terrified of failure (which consisted of, for example, not getting the highest grade in the class). But in the past I haven't given enough thought to the fact that they did both love me, showed their love even if they didn't say it, and thought I was wonderful. More and more I'm seeing the good parts of their parenting in addition to the bad.

My therapist has mostly stopped answering the question of how he feels about me. He takes advantage of the fact that I believe I read him very well to turn the question to me. He asks me if I can detect caring and liking towards me in him. And I always have to confess that I can. Maybe not as much as I'd like, but I can feel it. I guess that's a better answer than anything he could say since he must be pretty confident he's radiating liking and caring and even a smidge of fondness. I don't think he'd have done that at year four.

 

Re:(((((((((((((GG))))))))))))))))

Posted by Daisym on November 18, 2007, at 22:02:49

In reply to Re:(((((((((((((GG)))))))))))))))) annierose, posted by Dinah on November 18, 2007, at 14:52:04

I have a magnet on my fridge that says: "There is no heavier burden than a great potential." Linus.


I know this sounds like a self-esteem issue, but through it all I still hear threads of "I like me, but I don't know if it is OK to like me." And I hear, "I like you but I don't know how safe it is to like you. And I don't know what it will take for you to stop liking me and leave." It is safety that is missing and attachment that is scary.

But doesn't it all seem to come back to that? If your mother can't be there for you, what does that say about your worth? I think we all ask ourselves this over and over again.

You are doing good work, annierose. Keep it up.

 

Re: not much Daisym

Posted by annierose on November 19, 2007, at 22:20:20

In reply to Re:(((((((((((((GG)))))))))))))))), posted by Daisym on November 18, 2007, at 22:02:49

I needed to reread your thoughts over and over. Yes, I do believe safety and attachment are critical. And my therapist would agree as well. It's not that she is not addressing it, it's more like she is saying, well, I just can't put her thoughts into words tonight.

She said today that she wants to me remember and write it across my forehead, (quoting me/Annie) "It's easier to believe you do not like me that to believe you do." She wants me to remember that thought because it drives so many of my reactions/feelings to situations and people.

We talked about safety today in fact. I went to a yoga workshop and they "changed the rules". We had to sit in a circle instead of random places AND worse of all, we had to introduce ourselves and tell everyone a little about our "yoga" life (how long we have been practicing, what brought us to yoga, etc. etc.) I just about ran out of the studio. Instead, I layed down and choked down tears. My t talked about the similarities between my favorite yoga teacher trying to get to know me and the other students, that attention, and how uncomfortable that is for me ... just like therapy.

Anyway, we are making progress with baby steps and a few tumbles and bruises along the way.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today annierose

Posted by RealMe on November 19, 2007, at 23:15:08

In reply to Sorting out my session today, posted by annierose on November 12, 2007, at 17:01:31

My T did something similar. I asked if he liked me, and he would not say; he asked why it was important. I said because I don't want to work with someone who doesn't like me. We talked about this (this was early on after maybe one month in therapy with him). He would laugh at my faces, etc. And he would say things like he liked that about me or my Impish ways, etc. Still that did not answer my question. Finally he said in the session, do you think I like you? And, I said yes, and he nodded his head yes he does. Since then I have not worried about it. I know he likes me, but then I worry if all my crap is a drag for him. I never cry except in front of him, and I hate it and said so. He only said tha maybe I need to cry with him and alluded to it being okay. It is difficult, though, when someone is SO accepting. It can be scary, I think. I have said this, and we then go into what that is all about. Okay, I need to go to bed so I can get over my flu stuff. Take Care.

RealMe

 

Re: Sorting out my session today

Posted by Daisym on November 19, 2007, at 23:42:19

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today annierose, posted by RealMe on November 19, 2007, at 23:15:08

I know you tend to see your world through the filter of "I'm sure you don't like me" - even though you are very likeable. Which is why it is so important to really feel that our therapists both care about us as well as like us. I think those are different things. We feel caring and sometimes that is easier to give. I'm constantly bringing the part of my life I do well into therapy because I want my therapist to see more than the depressed person who presents with tears each day. And where else can we ask such a direct question?

I think what makes it really hard for me is that I know that I'm supposed to believe that I'm likeable. The right answer is "yes, people like me. I'm worth some time and attention and it is OK to want them to like me." So to admit I'm not sure or that I feel insecure about people liking me compounds the issue. I have to struggle with feelings that aren't even supposed to be there and I feel defensive for even having them! Sheesh.

Today I tried to find my way back to my therapist. I've been gone. I've been sick. We have Holidays coming up and I'm traveling again -- several weeks in a row I'll be missing sessions. Not all of them, but still... So tears showed up and I was frustrated over how powerful this feeling of being alone is again. He said I don't have to be, I could let him in again. I said I feel like I'm drowning in all these tears and I don't want to take him down with me. He said it sounds like I need him to bouy us both up. I shook my head and he said..."I trained as a life guard." I answered, "what are you going to do, throw me psychic-life preservers?" He said yes - chocolate, wine, sleep... At least it made me laugh.

Like I said, you are doing really good work. Keep talking about all of this.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today RealMe

Posted by annierose on November 20, 2007, at 17:36:44

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today annierose, posted by RealMe on November 19, 2007, at 23:15:08

That flu bug seems to be going around my kid's schools. I hope it flies by my house --- it's the last thing I need.

These worries of mine are quite old. It's hard to dig in deep but in order to put these old feelings in perspective, give them their proper place in my psyche, they definitely need sorting out.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today Daisym

Posted by annierose on November 20, 2007, at 17:44:47

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today, posted by Daisym on November 19, 2007, at 23:42:19

I love your t and how he holds onto you. He puts up a fight even when a part of you wants to surrender. And his lifesaver ideas are right up my alley!! In order ... wine, chocolate, pumpkin cheesecake and sleep (un-interrupted).

In my big family, with an alcoholic sibling, an emotionally empty mother, getting attention was non-existent. I learned to fend for myself and pretended to need nothing from nobody. This is the wall my therapist is trying to penetrate. She wants me to need her, to depend upon her. And I'm kicking and screaming, "Yes, no, come here, go away, back off, I hate you, I love you." I'm such a lovely client these days.

And then I come home to two young children that do need their mother. This is so hard.

 

Re: Oh .. and I just remembered ... Daisym

Posted by annierose on November 20, 2007, at 17:49:23

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today, posted by Daisym on November 19, 2007, at 23:42:19

Last Friday during my session, it dawned on me that my mother rarely hugged or kissed me. She didn't even tuck her children into bed at night. My dad did that. Putting my kids to bed is usually my favorite time of the day with them ... unless my 13 year old hormones are raging ... I just want her to GO TO BED.

 

Re: Sorting out my session today annierose

Posted by RealMe on November 20, 2007, at 23:55:20

In reply to Re: Sorting out my session today RealMe, posted by annierose on November 20, 2007, at 17:36:44

Don't feel bad. I went through this for years with my therapist at Menninger's. I came to understand he cared about me and liked me once I started liking and caring about myself, but I think for me old habits die hard. I just needed a reminder with this Therapist who I have been seeing only since this past May and after a really horrible experience with a therapist before him. You will get there; I am confident.

RealME


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