Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 847879

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Re: Identity disturbance Quintal

Posted by llurpsienoodle on August 23, 2008, at 19:22:59

In reply to Identity disturbance, posted by Quintal on August 23, 2008, at 17:22:46

Hi Q,
Maybe (????) you are a chameleon, adapting and changing in response to your immediate environment. Sometimes it works out to your advantage, and other times your reaction to your environment is not so advantageous.

I don't think of identity as a static entity, but something that is in a process of becoming. Hmmm, lemme consult my philosophy of science notes here... Okay, we've got Aristotle, who differentiates between potentiality (all change and no form) and actuality (no change, all form = something like perfection). This is (I believe-- but I am a neophyte) the origins of the phrase "self-actualization".

It is a comfort to fit neatly into a category. We know what is expected of us, and how we should behave (or rebel). Then we've got the tug between convention vs. human nature. ugh.

I like Sid's suggestion to use adjectives. You might even want to add qualifiers.

When I am scared, I do ______
When I'm in love, I act like _________
I'm ______ when I hate something

?

sorry it's so hard,
-Ll

 

Re: Identity disturbance

Posted by Quintal on August 23, 2008, at 20:06:05

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Quintal, posted by obsidian on August 23, 2008, at 19:11:32

Thank you both. I will bear those sugestions in mind.

Q

 

Re: Identity disturbance Quintal

Posted by Phillipa on August 23, 2008, at 23:49:27

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance, posted by Quintal on August 23, 2008, at 20:06:05

Hi Q I know you've had a hard time throughout life and that could help to explain lack of identity. What do you feel your problems are? Love Phillipa

 

Re: Identity disturbance Quintal

Posted by rskontos on August 24, 2008, at 12:42:19

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance, posted by Quintal on August 23, 2008, at 20:06:05

Quintal,

This is hard one for me too. I have been the one to tell my t, who is also my p-doc that I feel I have no identity, that I don't know the real me. He doesn't get so worked up over it. Instead he just focuses on me trying to get connected to relationships with people and to let the rest sort itself out. I tend to agree with Lurspie. I think identity changes. I feel I was robbed of my identity in my childhood justing trying to survive. Isn't identity formed when you feel safe. So now as an adult I think it is much harder to form one because of an awareness we need one. As a child growing up safe and secure it happens because it is what developmentally is suppose to and it changes as experiences changes the person. I think for us here at Babble our experiences molded us differently and affected that identity and now we want to have a different one we can be happy with and it is much harder due to awareness that identity is defining. As a child you don't much care do you.

I like obsidian's idea of adjectives and Ll's idea of then saying I do this when or I feel this when.

And for me, I just say I am still a work in progress. I wonder about why your T thinks an identity is so important for her to see. Oh well, therapy sure is hard sometimes. Isn't it.

Take care friend,

rsk

 

Re: Identity disturbance

Posted by Sigismund on August 25, 2008, at 15:57:59

In reply to Identity disturbance, posted by Quintal on August 23, 2008, at 17:22:46

When Brecht was dying he heard some blackbirds outside the window of his Berlin hospital and wrote

'For nothing can be wrong with me if I myself am nothing. Now I managed to enjoy the song of every blackbird after me too.'

If it is true that our sense of self is a fiction, having a disturbed sense of self might (just sometimes) turn out to be an advantage.

I got a diagnosis of lack of a sense of identity (an idea from Erickson?) 35 years ago, and have been disturbed ever since (of course), but I do think the sense of self you have is something you work with and something which changes over time. It's not just given. My father wasn't impressed with this no sense of identity business. He could see I wasn't him.

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by susan47 on August 25, 2008, at 18:22:24

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance, posted by Sigismund on August 25, 2008, at 15:57:59

Too funny. Did that only matter to your father, that you weren't him?

 

Re: Identity disturbance Quintal

Posted by susan47 on August 25, 2008, at 18:26:46

In reply to Identity disturbance, posted by Quintal on August 23, 2008, at 17:22:46

How old are you?
I've had that sense most of my life but especially so in the last ten years. I'm 51 ... It's been getting worse as I get older, perhaps. Discouraging, as personalities are supposed to set somewhere long before now aren't they? Or is that just habits and traits, is personality the same thing as identity? Do you have steady work? Is your identity involved in what you do to a satisfying degree? Do you have family? Is your identity in your family somewhat? What if all your family disappeared, would you still have an identity? What if your work was gone, what would your identity be then, who would you be?
These questions can plague one so much that one becomes more and more form-less, more ethereal while still in the skin.
It's scary.
Is this what it means to be borderline? If so, how did I get to sign up on this shift, lucky me?

 

Re: Identity disturbance susan47

Posted by Sigismund on August 25, 2008, at 22:49:53

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund, posted by susan47 on August 25, 2008, at 18:22:24

>Did that only matter to your father, that you weren't him?

At least he noticed it; that and how rude I was to him.

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by susan47 on August 26, 2008, at 11:29:39

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance susan47, posted by Sigismund on August 25, 2008, at 22:49:53

Did you dislike or hate him?
I hated my father.
Still do.
How can you love someone you hate?

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by susan47 on August 26, 2008, at 13:03:51

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance, posted by Sigismund on August 25, 2008, at 15:57:59

> When Brecht was dying he heard some blackbirds outside the window of his Berlin hospital and wrote
>
> 'For nothing can be wrong with me if I myself am nothing. Now I managed to enjoy the song of every blackbird after me too.'
>
Dear Sigismund,
I don't know what this means, in addition to the first sentence, how does this reflect the first thought? "No I managed to enjoy the song of every blackbird after me too" What is Brecht talking about? Is he the "I"? does this mean after he dies, he's still enjoying the sound of every blackbird? And is he also the blackbird, then?
Your next thought is going too fast for me. I don't understand it.
Help! I want to understand.
> If it is true that our sense of self is a fiction, having a disturbed sense of self might (just sometimes) turn out to be an advantage.
>
> I got a diagnosis of lack of a sense of identity (an idea from Erickson?) 35 years ago, and have been disturbed ever since (of course), but I do think the sense of self you have is something you work with and something which changes over time. It's not just given. My father wasn't impressed with this no sense of identity business. He could see I wasn't him.

 

Re: Identity disturbance susan47

Posted by Sigismund on August 26, 2008, at 15:00:46

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund, posted by susan47 on August 26, 2008, at 13:03:51

Hello Susan

That was shamelessly cribbed from "Swimming in a Sea of Death" by David Rieff, the memoir relating to Susan Sontag's difficult death.

I think the point of the anecdote is that Brecht accepted death, or at least pretended to. This has something to do with giving up a sense of identity. It reminded me of things I have read in Taoism or Zen.

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by Quintal on August 26, 2008, at 16:51:22

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance, posted by Sigismund on August 25, 2008, at 15:57:59

>'For nothing can be wrong with me if I myself am nothing. Now I managed to enjoy the song of every blackbird after me too.'

I think I understand what he was saying.

>If it is true that our sense of self is a fiction, having a disturbed sense of self might (just sometimes) turn out to be an advantage.

Yes, I was thinking of way to explain my T this, but I can't think of one that she won't (at least privately) dismiss as denial. I've been reading more of "The Universe In a Single Atom" and as usual it helped me feel more at peace.

>I got a diagnosis of lack of a sense of identity (an idea from Erickson?) 35 years ago, and have been disturbed ever since (of course), but I do think the sense of self you have is something you work with and something which changes over time. It's not just given. My father wasn't impressed with this no sense of identity business. He could see I wasn't him.

You might share my cynicsm then that 10 sessions of CBT(!) will endow me with a fully functioning human personality.

Q

 

Re: Identity disturbance

Posted by Sigismund on August 26, 2008, at 17:01:41

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund, posted by Quintal on August 26, 2008, at 16:51:22

>You might share my cynicsm then that 10 sessions of CBT(!) will endow me with a fully functioning human personality.

Well yes, of course.

I did like med-empowered's idea of waking up out of mental illness.

Hermitian was talking here about taking ownership, and that can take a long time too.

I think there's a Radiohead song that has
'Women and children first
This is really happening.'
in it.

I've lived most of my life as if it was a dream.

 

Re: Identity disturbance susan47

Posted by Quintal on August 26, 2008, at 17:13:51

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Quintal, posted by susan47 on August 25, 2008, at 18:26:46

Hi Susan,

I like to view the problem from a spiritual point of view. From that perspective a lack of identity or individual personality isn't a problem. In Buddhism for example the self is said to be an illusion - more or less a pattern of habitual/conditioned behaviours and ways of perceiving the world. The goal of spiritual practice is to reveal the true self that 'ego' obscures. So people that have little sense of self or fixed identity might be at an advantage here. I don't really know what ego is. I'm a very egoistic person yet have no sense of self. So still some work to be done there. This is one the conflicts in therapy - she wants to build up what I think should be broken down even further. Maybe the monastery is the best place for me.

To answer your other questions: I'm 26, have't worked for two years. I get a disability allowance for bipolar disorder, and as I T says, that is what makes up my identity at the moment. Yes, I would still be me if my family disappeared... Before I had the bipolar label and the benfits I had even less sense of identity than I do now. I have felt much better since then. I would be very depressed if they were taken away from me. Borderlines do complain about chronic feelings of emptiness. Human contact is supposed to fill the void, at least for a while.

Q

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by Quintal on August 26, 2008, at 17:23:27

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance, posted by Sigismund on August 26, 2008, at 17:01:41

>I did like med-empowered's idea of waking up out of mental illness. Hermitian was talking here about taking ownership, and that can take a long time too.

You seem to have the opposite way of maintaing your boundaries to me. If indeed we are seperate people looking at it the other way.

>I think there's a Radiohead song that has
'Women and children first
This is really happening.'
in it.

I'll have to search it out! I've just been listening to Radio Nowhere. I love using music to explain the way I feel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmLt6kcZ72Q

Q

 

Re: Identity disturbance rskontos

Posted by Quintal on August 26, 2008, at 17:38:59

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Quintal, posted by rskontos on August 24, 2008, at 12:42:19

Hi rsk,

Thanks for the great post!

>I feel I was robbed of my identity in my childhood justing trying to survive.

Yup, do you think you were allowed to develop as a seperate peron? My mother said she viewed me as an extension of herself. I was in the supermarket a while ago listening to a mother asking her child which sweets it wanted "What would you like? How much do you want?" She was role playing, encouraging her child to make descisions for herself, learning to be an independent person. I was impressed because I don't think my mother really did that with me. I thought 'Wow, that's what was missing from my childhood. I didn't know parents were supposed to do that!'. I didn't have a choice of what I ate or what clothes I wore until I was 16. Children need that type of encouragement to grow into healthy people, and for whatever reasons I don't think we got what we needed.

>I wonder about why your T thinks an identity is so important for her to see.

I don't know. I think she was just probing for weaknesses, but maybe she thinks having a stronger sense of self would help me interact with other people more easily? One of the things she has been able to pin down is my social anxiety and social avoidance, so she's probably looking for solutions to that.

Thank you again.

Q

 

Re: Identity disturbance Quintal

Posted by Sigismund on August 26, 2008, at 17:45:18

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund, posted by Quintal on August 26, 2008, at 17:23:27

Well that's interesting.

'The video is not available in your country' is what it said.

here is Idiotech

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5CxmXo95Mg

I read once about this autistic or possibly schizophrenic boy who had therapy and after he got better he was asked
'What was the turning point?'
and he replied
'When I realised it was me that was doing it.'

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by Quintal on August 26, 2008, at 18:15:43

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Quintal, posted by Sigismund on August 26, 2008, at 17:45:18

>here is Idiotech http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5CxmXo95Mg

I understand. It sent shivers down my spine.

Q

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by susan47 on August 27, 2008, at 13:52:27

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance susan47, posted by Sigismund on August 26, 2008, at 15:00:46

I have a question pertaining to your answer. Which is, Does Brecht have a reputation for pretending?
Why would anyone, in their dying hours, pretend anything?
Do you think, and I wonder if I do too (because my mind isn't made up on this yet) whether we pretend to be what we really wish to be, and that helps make it become a reality? So maybe he did pretend, but then learned he really felt that way. But it does seem as though he is saying that by being nothing, he also is everything. Which is a weird concept but I think it's also a Zen thing.

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by susan47 on August 27, 2008, at 13:54:48

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance susan47, posted by Sigismund on August 26, 2008, at 15:00:46

I have requested "Swimming in a Sea of Death" from my local library. I'll bet it was good. Although I haven't read Sontag. I think I am going to take a writing class this fall. Finally. An education. An Education. My mind itself has been an education. (I want to swear here, but I won't, as it is extremely bad manners and rude etiquette)

 

Re: Identity disturbance

Posted by susan47 on August 27, 2008, at 14:00:11

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance, posted by Sigismund on August 26, 2008, at 17:01:41

> >You might share my cynicsm then that 10 sessions of CBT(!) will endow me with a fully functioning human personality.
>
> Well yes, of course.
>
> I did like med-empowered's idea of waking up out of mental illness.
>
> Hermitian was talking here about taking ownership, and that can take a long time too.
>
> I think there's a Radiohead song that has
> 'Women and children first
> This is really happening.'
> in it.
>
> I've lived most of my life as if it was a dream.

I understand about waking out of mentall illness, but the waking TO it is the most horrifying trip of all. I haven't fully recovered from the angst of Knowing. It still sometimes side-swipes me, blind-sides me with fear .. and regret, and so much f*ck*ng Grief I feel like I'm drowning.
My kids and my ex-Dear-H. whom I rent a room from, are used to the sound of me crying into the night, at times.
I f*ck*ng hate that part of it. Why I need to release, Release so much and where is the well it comes from?
And I get auditory hallucinations sometimes, but only the sound of a dear one's voice, and usually only calling my name once or some such sound, and I've gotten used to it and it doesn't spook me, only when I think about the grotesque-ness of my life, then it spooks me.
Own, I want to own my life.
And it is not a dream, it is a f*ck*ng nightmare so much of the time and I don't know Why it has to be that way. If only I could go back in time and be Whole from the beginning.
Does anyone know a good Shaman? They say soul-retrieval has some merit. I'm serious. This is a serious question. Anybody out there?

 

Re: Identity disturbance Quintal

Posted by susan47 on August 27, 2008, at 14:11:11

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance susan47, posted by Quintal on August 26, 2008, at 17:13:51

You may be a certain personality type that's suited to the monastic life, actually. You may have certain spiritual tendencies and ascetic values that make it difficult to live "successfully" in the world as it is.
I like to go camping and be in touch with the natural world, but I can't do that for much of the year around here, as it's rain forest and cold .. and I am really susceptible to the cold and the wet. I have been thinking of going away somewhere warm this winter, but don't want to go alone and don't want to go with anyone I don't know either, and even if I do, I am so Susceptible to mood changes that it can be Challenging to be around me.
I was seeing a therapist a few years ago, therapy went sideways on me really fast, and I suspect he learned a few things, and I suspect he's not a very good therapist in some cases, and I suspect I'm not the only "patient" hurt by him, but maybe I am. In which case I am thankful. (I'm rambling, I know)
I have huge abandonment issues, I need to be with but away from people, I have this huge comfort need, it's absolutely overwhelming at times, I don't trust people and I'm also very good at reading them, and unfortunately it turns out there really aren't a lot of nice people in the world and sometimes there are, and you can't always tell but usually I can and sometimes it's just too much, even when people are nice they can be extremely hurtful, not even knowing it. The worst is when people aren't forthcoming, when they withhold, no matter if it's good or bad, withholding and dishonesty are rampant and they hurt. And I'm human too so I'm totally aware of my own issues with all these things as well.
It sucks.
Babble is comforting, because I can pretend I'm understood. And maybe sometimes I am.
Everyone needs to be understood, understanding is hugely important.

 

Re: Identity disturbance susan47

Posted by Sigismund on August 27, 2008, at 22:44:17

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund, posted by susan47 on August 27, 2008, at 13:52:27

I don't know if Brecht had a reputation for pretending.
He did have a reputation for being egotistical.

People when they are dieing might pretend to spare their own feelings or those of loved ones.

>Do you think, and I wonder if I do too (because my mind isn't made up on this yet) whether we pretend to be what we really wish to be, and that helps make it become a reality?

I think if you were to be aware of the pretense, then it would not be an effective one.

 

Re: Identity disturbance

Posted by Sigismund on August 27, 2008, at 22:49:45

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund, posted by susan47 on August 27, 2008, at 13:54:48

A long time ago I saw a shrink and took a little acid before the session, just enough to establish the feel of gravity and sigificance.

I can't remember how it came up from this distance, but at one point we agreed that it was like I was playing tennis from the wrong end of the court.

If I was asked to explain what that meant, I'd say that I was so concerned with control of, identification with and second-guessing of the other person that I lost myself in them.

But that doesn't feel quite right. It was like a mystery revealed, just for a bit, before I forgot what it meant.

 

Re: Identity disturbance Sigismund

Posted by susan47 on August 28, 2008, at 11:31:57

In reply to Re: Identity disturbance, posted by Sigismund on August 27, 2008, at 22:49:45

The thing I find about doing mj is that the mystery isn't completely revealed until I've done the drug and I'm in an altered state, then in the unaltered state it's a mystery again. I keep trying to reveal the mysteries; what felt good before now feels awful. I am in a cycle that endlessly repeats itself.
Susan, get off the f*ck*ng ferris wheel. The party is over. It is time to Go Home.


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