Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 850096

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Re: Spoke to therapist

Posted by lucie lu on September 3, 2008, at 15:55:08

In reply to Spoke to therapist, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 14:44:30

Hi Dinah,

Is your T still planning on being away for a couple of weeks soon? If so, I imagine that may be preying on your mind even if subconsciously. He is your anchor, outside of family etc, and he didnt even anchor you during the storm he was relocated too, somewhere else. Plus, the overall stress factor of something like a major hurricane, need for evacuation, uncertainty, instability and so on. I think weve agreed on other threads that this can be a recipe for extra neediness (and deservedly so). Maybe youd like to cut yourself free from all of these obligations, hassles, etc (in the fantasy) and just be free to take care of only your own needs! What we could do with that the possibilities!

Dinah, remember to be *extra* good to yourself right now. Pamper yourself in every way you can think of, and cut yourself loads of slack emotionally. Youve been through a lot, and I suspect that some of the daydreaming may partly reflect a desire to feel good, and safe, and balanced again.

And then maybe theres a little Dinah inside who would like to skip school and play hookey. I like that image too. :)

Yours, Lucie

 

Re: Spoke to therapist

Posted by Phillipa on September 3, 2008, at 17:10:06

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist, posted by lucie lu on September 3, 2008, at 15:55:08

Always wanted to go to an airport pick a destination and go. Yup run away from Home. Love Phillipa

 

Re: Spoke to therapist

Posted by Racer on September 3, 2008, at 17:18:46

In reply to Spoke to therapist, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 14:44:30

>>
> Is this a desire to run away from home?

I don't know. I've been looking for a circus, but so far I haven't found one I want to join, so...

In other words, I am familiar with a very similar feeling. I know it's a stew of dissatisfaction, feeling overwhelmed, and REALLY needing a vacation. My guess is we're not the only ones to feel something like this. As I folded laundry today, I found myself thinking I'd just go through and throw away EVERYTHING which wasn't in pristine condition. (Marital issues that come up whenever I have to deal with spousal garments.) And I want to throw away ALL the yarn and fabric in the house which doesn't have an IMMEDIATE idea associated with it. And get rid of all the books on the back shelves and many of those on the front.

What I really want, today at least, is to escape from all the stessors I can't tame. I want to move into our guest room, back to my little bed, where I felt safe, secure, and loved by it. (My grandmother's bed.) I want to clean up after me, if I clean up. I want to be alone -- or I want a real marriage, but that's another story...

Anyway, I feel for you, Darling Dinah, and hope this feeling passes without residue.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 21:26:51

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist, posted by Racer on September 3, 2008, at 17:18:46

I can certainly understand why I don't want to return to work. But darned if I can understand my sudden aversion to all my stuff. I'm a collector, and while I don't hoard like my mom, it is true that my house is designed to maximize space use, including vertical space.

It seems repulsive to me now for some reason. I almost want to stay here where I have nothing, except maybe for the urns of my dogs that I left at home.

I'm not sure the circus is where I want to run. :) I think I might want to run away to the testing booth at my audiologist's. It's so quiet in there that my heartbeat sounded like thunder.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Phillipa

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 21:27:48

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist, posted by Phillipa on September 3, 2008, at 17:10:06

:)

Someplace north. I'm tired of being hot.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist lucie lu

Posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 21:34:35

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist, posted by lucie lu on September 3, 2008, at 15:55:08

There's definitely the playing hooky aspect. :)

My husband made a few comments about that, since he's having to work.

I think maybe my emotional self is too cut off right now to feel any strong desire to see my therapist. He may be one more stuff to me in this mood. All those ties that make up the web trapping me and keeping me from changing in any significant degree.

I think to some extent, I'd like to reinvent myself.

Maybe evacuating, deciding what in your life is valuable enough that you just can't lose, and fitting all that in the back of a car, is sort of like mulling over ones life when death approaches. Maybe it bothers me that I really can fit everything that really matters to me in the back of a car. Or maybe it has to do with realizing priorities.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah

Posted by Daisym on September 3, 2008, at 23:13:12

In reply to Spoke to therapist, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 14:44:30

I think you are in the bubble. That place we go when the rest of the world just has to go on hold. It is hard to give up that safe place where everyone pretty much leaves you alone. I like being in the bubble too.

Sometimes I think I like stuff less and less as I get older. This does not include shoes though. :)

I'm glad you are safe.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah

Posted by seldomseen on September 4, 2008, at 6:01:25

In reply to Spoke to therapist, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 14:44:30

I may be way off base, but it sounds as though you are yearning for simplicity. Perhaps the hurricane brought into clear view what is really important - your family, your dogs, your safety, your therapist perhaps.

The rest of the stuff - the add ons - maybe now just seem tiring. There is a lot to be said for living as simply as one can. Maybe that's what you want.

Alternatively, after having such a clear and emergent goal of getting up and out, I think it is natural to experience some kind of let down afterwards. It's also a very simple and natural thing - fundamental to our survival - to be able mobilize resources and get out of danger. Maybe you are very attuned to that evolutionary programming.

Finally, how safe does your home feel to you now? Frankly, if I lived in a place that had been destroyed once, then threatened and damaged again, I don't know how safe I would feel there. You can write once off as a fluke, but twice?

Maybe it is a combination of all of these (or none). Nonetheless, I'm so grateful that, despite the power outages, NO seemed to have come through Gustav okay.

Seldom

 

Re: Spoke to therapist

Posted by fleeting flutterby on September 4, 2008, at 10:31:21

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist lucie lu, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 21:34:35

> I think maybe my emotional self is too cut off right now to feel any strong desire to see my therapist. He may be one more stuff to me in this mood. All those ties that make up the web trapping me and keeping me from changing in any significant degree.<

---First I'd like to say I'm glad you are safe from the storm.

---Going to try and put this into words........
when I connect to a thing or things or people and that connection is threatened, then I tend to want to push it/them away.... I guess I fear I won't be able to deal with the emotional feelings if I lose them.... I think in my mind it somehow seems safer to "blank" them out-- not care about them, act like they don't matter.

My mom just moved 1600 miles away(to Florida and she lives in a mobile home there, I worry for her safety in the event of a hurricane), though she was an abuser in my life and her presence kept me stuck, I feel I failed in getting her to love me and now that chance is gone. With so many potential emotions, I find I just "shut-off".... become numb..... I'm scared to FEEL and would rather things just not even exist..... then I won't have a loss or feel like a failure. I think most feelings are way more than I can cope with..... :o(


> Maybe evacuating, deciding what in your life is valuable enough that you just can't lose, and fitting all that in the back of a car, is sort of like mulling over ones life when death approaches. Maybe it bothers me that I really can fit everything that really matters to me in the back of a car. Or maybe it has to do with realizing priorities.<<

---I volunteer at a homeless shelter and an elderly couple that also used to volunteer there told me how they happened upon this place. They sold their house and took only what would fit in the trunk of their car with them. Driving all around the country. They have 5 grown children-- who all thought they were crazy. But they did it and said it was a growing experience for them and they are content with so little now. They live in a small studio apartment with minimal furnishings. They said they've never been happier. Isn't that something?..... Seems a bit risky to me-- but.... "what ever floats your boat"! :o)

I wonder if it's that you too shy away from emotions and connections? could that be part of it maybe?....

flutterby-mandy

 

Re: Spoke to therapist seldomseen

Posted by Dinah on September 4, 2008, at 10:53:13

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah, posted by seldomseen on September 4, 2008, at 6:01:25

> I may be way off base, but it sounds as though you are yearning for simplicity. Perhaps the hurricane brought into clear view what is really important - your family, your dogs, your safety, your therapist perhaps.
>
> The rest of the stuff - the add ons - maybe now just seem tiring. There is a lot to be said for living as simply as one can. Maybe that's what you want.

I really do think that's it. Like I said, my house isn't full of stacks of things. But it's a rare wall that doesn't have shelves full of dolls, or memorabilia, or frames of important things in my life. I don't regret the library really, because that's a separate room, and we do love books. The idea of coming back to that, to things I know aren't that important to me because I didn't fret about them when I left, is unpleasant. Even more unpleasant is the knowledge that once I come home they will be important to me again. I'll fall back into their seductive web. And I do yearn for simplicity.
>
> Alternatively, after having such a clear and emergent goal of getting up and out, I think it is natural to experience some kind of let down afterwards. It's also a very simple and natural thing - fundamental to our survival - to be able mobilize resources and get out of danger. Maybe you are very attuned to that evolutionary programming.

Definitely that's true for everyone, I think.

> Finally, how safe does your home feel to you now? Frankly, if I lived in a place that had been destroyed once, then threatened and damaged again, I don't know how safe I would feel there. You can write once off as a fluke, but twice?
>
> Maybe it is a combination of all of these (or none). Nonetheless, I'm so grateful that, despite the power outages, NO seemed to have come through Gustav okay.

Well....

It's hard to say. Part of living in New Orleans is regular evacuations. When I was little, we were rarely gone overnight. My parents would watch the storm, and sometime in the middle of the night, we'd throw a few clothes in a bag and head off, then when it didn't hit, we'd circle around and go home. My parents were actually in the minority. My husband says that until he met me, he'd never heard of evacuating for a hurricane. My parents never brought my dogs with us, and every car I've purchased myself has been purchased with the idea of evacuating my dogs with me. I must be one of the few people whose first car was a station wagon.

Georges was the first hurricane where there was a widespread evacuation. That was in 1998. Then Ivan in 2004. And Katrina of course in 2005. Now Gustav in 2008. In general, I don't think evacuations bother me, because we expect that every few years we need to pack up and evacuate.

However, Katrine taught us that we just might pack up and evacuate and come back to no home at all. We very well may lose whatever we don't take with us. It isn't just a pro forma exercise. It's a real decision. I learned from Katrina, and this time I just brought those things that I obsessed about while we were gone and didn't know if our house was ok. This time taught me that I need to bring *all* my dead dogs.

But...

That doesn't mean that I'm still as matter of fact about it as I used to be. Katrina made everything different. Under the surface, this might be causing me a lot of stress that I'm not allowing myself to notice.

Even before this I have been a bit sorry we didn't go through with moving elsewhere. But there's no point in worrying about it now. We made a commitment to our son not to move before he graduates high school, unless there is absolutely no choice.

I'm still trying to work this all out in my mind. Posting about it does help with that, since my therapist is only partially available.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist fleeting flutterby

Posted by Dinah on September 4, 2008, at 11:14:09

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist, posted by fleeting flutterby on September 4, 2008, at 10:31:21

> > I think maybe my emotional self is too cut off right now to feel any strong desire to see my therapist. He may be one more stuff to me in this mood. All those ties that make up the web trapping me and keeping me from changing in any significant degree.<
>
> ---First I'd like to say I'm glad you are safe from the storm.
>
> ---Going to try and put this into words........
> when I connect to a thing or things or people and that connection is threatened, then I tend to want to push it/them away.... I guess I fear I won't be able to deal with the emotional feelings if I lose them.... I think in my mind it somehow seems safer to "blank" them out-- not care about them, act like they don't matter.
>
> My mom just moved 1600 miles away(to Florida and she lives in a mobile home there, I worry for her safety in the event of a hurricane), though she was an abuser in my life and her presence kept me stuck, I feel I failed in getting her to love me and now that chance is gone. With so many potential emotions, I find I just "shut-off".... become numb..... I'm scared to FEEL and would rather things just not even exist..... then I won't have a loss or feel like a failure. I think most feelings are way more than I can cope with..... :o(

> I wonder if it's that you too shy away from emotions and connections? could that be part of it maybe?....

I think that's entirely possible. Dissociation is my first line defense, so blanking out is entirely possible. I won't know until I feel safe, I guess.

> > Maybe evacuating, deciding what in your life is valuable enough that you just can't lose, and fitting all that in the back of a car, is sort of like mulling over ones life when death approaches. Maybe it bothers me that I really can fit everything that really matters to me in the back of a car. Or maybe it has to do with realizing priorities.<<
>
> ---I volunteer at a homeless shelter and an elderly couple that also used to volunteer there told me how they happened upon this place. They sold their house and took only what would fit in the trunk of their car with them. Driving all around the country. They have 5 grown children-- who all thought they were crazy. But they did it and said it was a growing experience for them and they are content with so little now. They live in a small studio apartment with minimal furnishings. They said they've never been happier. Isn't that something?..... Seems a bit risky to me-- but.... "what ever floats your boat"! :o)

It sounds awful doesn't it? But evacuations are sort of forced trials of that, and it is surprisingly not bad. Mind you, we're fortunate. We're in a pleasant hotel, can afford to eat, etc. If we couldn't do that, I'm sure it wouldn't seem so pleasant.

Dinah

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Daisym

Posted by Dinah on September 4, 2008, at 11:16:39

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah, posted by Daisym on September 3, 2008, at 23:13:12

The bubble *is* nice. It's not that my work can't reach me, but they're all preoccupied with their own lives and aren't bothering me. My mother and brother are safe so I can safely forget them. I would like to live here forever. :)

 

Re: Spoke to therapist

Posted by lemonaide on September 4, 2008, at 12:15:59

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Daisym, posted by Dinah on September 4, 2008, at 11:16:39

I often wished a tornado would come and take away my house and stuff so I wouldn't have to clean the house or organize stuff. Like a new fresh start or something. But no, I don't really wish for this, it would horrible, but sometimes clutter just brings a person down. Why do I buy stuff I don't need?

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah

Posted by Tamar on September 4, 2008, at 15:38:58

In reply to Spoke to therapist, posted by Dinah on September 3, 2008, at 14:44:30

I'm glad you've spoken to your therapist and that things are all set for Thursday.

I know I want to run away from home. It's one of my recurring fantasies. I imagine myself living alone, reading books and listening to music all day, and hardly ever going out. And I imagine not having to work...

Yeah, stuff - it's a hassle sometimes. Doesn't everyone have too much stuff? I don't know about you, but I have far too much emotional attachment to my stuff and sometimes that's exhausting because I don't have much emotional energy.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Tamar

Posted by Annierose on September 4, 2008, at 15:51:05

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah, posted by Tamar on September 4, 2008, at 15:38:58

I'm not sure which is worse ... I have no emotional attachment to stuff. I hate stuff. It overwhelms me. Something more to take care of. My fantasy is that someone will come to my house, box up all my stuff and leave only what is essential (and what clothes fit me ... not what I hope will fit me if I lose weight) then take it all away.

I have talked a little about this in therapy but it's still not resolved.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Annierose

Posted by Tamar on September 4, 2008, at 16:21:20

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Tamar, posted by Annierose on September 4, 2008, at 15:51:05

> I'm not sure which is worse ... I have no emotional attachment to stuff. I hate stuff. It overwhelms me.

Oh gosh! Yeah, it can be overwhelming. Isn't that still some kind of emotional attachment, even if it's not a good kind of attachment?

> Something more to take care of. My fantasy is that someone will come to my house, box up all my stuff and leave only what is essential (and what clothes fit me ... not what I hope will fit me if I lose weight) then take it all away.

Right there with you on the clothes that might fit if only a few pounds would spontaneously disappear!

In my fantasy I sometimes think about what I would take with me if I left home - what would really be essential. And I end up listing the most boring and tedious stuff: bank statements, insurance documents, a chair, a pillow... stuff like that, stuff that doesn't provide pleasure.

I think the hard thing would be having to make decisions about the non-essentials - like which books to keep and which CDs to keep.

Occasionally I've seen TV programs where people get strangers to come and get rid of their stuff. It's usually people who are terrible hoarders and have an emotional attachment to everything. Wouldn't it be great if someone would provide that service - ideally for free?

> I have talked a little about this in therapy but it's still not resolved.

Well, it's very hard to resolve something that's overwhelming! Maybe there's something symbolic going on, and perhaps you need to find out what the stuff represents in order to be able to deal with it?

 

Re: Spoke to therapist

Posted by Phillipa on September 4, 2008, at 18:55:00

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Annierose, posted by Tamar on September 4, 2008, at 16:21:20

Opposite for me I hate things. When I moved from CT I rented a huge dumster and threw everything out. Only things important to me are my pups and the urns with my baby pups. Don't care about things. They just mess up your life in my opinion. But that is me. Love Phillipa

 

Re: Spoke to therapist lemonaide

Posted by Dinah on September 5, 2008, at 10:23:15

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist, posted by lemonaide on September 4, 2008, at 12:15:59

I'm a teensy bit worried that I'm tempting the fates.

Sigh. I've been considering how to turn my conviction into change, and of course run into all sorts of roadblocks.

And of course once I get home I'll be too busy with work again to worry about simplifying my life.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Tamar

Posted by Dinah on September 5, 2008, at 10:26:41

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah, posted by Tamar on September 4, 2008, at 15:38:58

I suppose it's all a pipe dream. I do like stuff, for the most part. Thinking about being without it might appeal, but actually doing something about it would hurt.

I guess also it may be like my regrets that we didn't move. I somehow see moving to another city as breaking all the unpleasant family and work ties here. But the sad fact is that ties aren't that easily broken.

Maybe it's like little girls dreams of a fancy wedding. Planning all that time to have one day where you feel like a princess, only to discover that you feel like you - just in a fancy dress.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Phillipa

Posted by Dinah on September 5, 2008, at 10:28:54

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist, posted by Phillipa on September 4, 2008, at 18:55:00

In theory... But when it actually comes to throwing stuff out, I'll be faced with the stuffed turtle who got me through my childhood, the stuffed rabbit that Daddy gave me, the little plastic doll that came from that great vacation we took to the Canadian Rockies.

It would be hard to actually throw away memories.

 

Re: Spoke to therapist

Posted by Dinah on September 5, 2008, at 10:32:14

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Phillipa, posted by Dinah on September 5, 2008, at 10:28:54

And my therapist...

Would he be a stuffed turtle that I don't really need anymore but can't throw away?

Or is he something that still plays an important and necessary part in my life?

How do I know?

 

Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah

Posted by Phillipa on September 5, 2008, at 19:22:53

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist, posted by Dinah on September 5, 2008, at 10:32:14

I don't know only you know the answer to that question. Love Phillipa

 

My therapist made me cry

Posted by Dinah on September 9, 2008, at 13:56:17

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah, posted by Phillipa on September 5, 2008, at 19:22:53

At the end of a session in which we debriefed each other on storm experiences, and discussed some of what was in this thread, he reminded me that he wasn't going to be here Friday and asked if I wanted an appointment Thursday.

I told him no, that was too soon, and that I'd see him Tuesday. He looked at me and saw that I looked sad. So he suggested that maybe I wasn't so sure. I told him that I was sad because I *was* sure.

He gently told me that the hurrication was over, and that it was time to start feeling engaged again.

Which made me cry, and made a rush of nasty feelings flood me. I wish he'd have said that at the beginning of the session. Oh well, at least I see him Thursday.

 

Re: My therapist made me cry Dinah

Posted by lucie lu on September 9, 2008, at 15:07:54

In reply to My therapist made me cry, posted by Dinah on September 9, 2008, at 13:56:17


Dinah - I'm confused. After talking about some of what you've raised in this thread, why did he suggest that it is time for you to re-engage? Is he viewing this somehow as some avoidance of intimacy post-storm? Do you think he really understood what you were saying?

And what were the nasty feelings? Maybe I'm being super dense. Just trying to understand.

Lucie

 

Re: My therapist made me cry lucie lu

Posted by Dinah on September 9, 2008, at 16:51:26

In reply to Re: My therapist made me cry Dinah, posted by lucie lu on September 9, 2008, at 15:07:54

He heard what I was saying, but he saw more clearly than I did that I was protecting myself from my feelings by shutting them off. By getting all weirdly detached. That I wasn't really as fine as I felt, but that I didn't feel safe enough to feel bad.

Or as was discussed on this thread (or maybe the last one), I was in a bubble. A nice protective bubble that I needed to be in, but that I couldn't maintain indefinitely.

I'd told him about the word a friend's son had coined for enjoyable evacuations that combined fun and evacuations and didn't lead to anything awful - "hurrication". I think he used the word deliberately at the end.

The problem is that he was right. As soon as he gave me permission to step outside the bubble and engage with the world again, all the feelings I hadn't been feeling bubbled up. Anger at the disruption as well as with all the things at home I was happy to escape, the intense anxiety of not knowing, the stress of trying to keep the peace and be the calm center of the family.

I knew I felt detached and weird, and maybe I liked it. But now I feel like me again.

He really does know me, better than I know myself sometimes. He also really knows me enough to know how much push I need, without pushing me too far. He *saw* the weirdness I was feeling. He called me out of it.

I dunno. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit.


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