Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 975058

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overattachment is painful and scary

Posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 17:16:40

Being away from my therapist for 4 weeks is hard. We had one phone session last week and if I am not wrong, am supposed to have another one on Thursday. I appreciate phone sessions, but it is different than meeting in person. It is easier to say some things, I think. But there is a presence and type of communion that is lacking.

Being so attached is so hard. Most people-- I would say everyone I know except for maybe two people-- have no idea about this. I hope I am not crazy or bad for this tearing me apart so much.

Would you say that what I feel is transference? I have read about quite a bit about transference in psychotherapy. Sometimes it seems as though therapists seek to use transference as a mode of healing. Other times, there is not intended transference-based therapy but it just happens, sometimes against the therapist's desires.

I wonder what is happening to me. I probably should stop hiding this from my therapist and talk about it openly. It is scary and embarrassing. I am afraid it will make him withdraw. This is a lonely and scary feeling. The attachment is so real yet seems fake and not normal, maybe even somehow inappropriate. But there's no reason it should be. I am not doing anything wrong-- just trying to get better, feel again, and not be empty.

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary Annabelle Smith

Posted by mystickangaroo on December 28, 2010, at 18:56:40

In reply to overattachment is painful and scary, posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 17:16:40

Annabelle listen to what you are saying. You know the Truth.

Your T is on holidays yet he still has phone sessions. From where I sit it looks like he is maintaining a sense of connection.

I too struggle with attachment and transference. My T said to me..."Mystic you can't analyse a transference. You need to live it"

I too have a sense of other worldness about it. Wonder if I am crazy. Think Is this a good idea...???

You are the one saying overattachment. Your T is saying talk to me.... You are quietly saying it to. Trust that sense of yourself. IT IS NOT EASY.
But it is worth it.

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary

Posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 19:11:29

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary Annabelle Smith, posted by mystickangaroo on December 28, 2010, at 18:56:40

Thank you, mystickangaroo. but I feel like my therapist doesn't know the depth of what I feel for him and how dependent I am. We have only *briefly talked about it a few times. He has *never used the word transference. In fact, he never uses psychoanalytic/technical terms with me at all. I wonder if he is thinking in these specific categories or not. I just worry that we are on completely different pages. He doesn't know what is really going on inside because I hide it from him, even concsciously falling into a role in session in which he is only privy to half of what is in my head.

But yes, he is maintaining a sense of connection, and for that I am sooooo grateful. He does care, I think. Maybe he doesn't want to use these *technical words, because they take away from the reality that is occuring. But I want to latch on to something that I can conceptualize and analyze and research and figure out...

it is really hard. and lonely

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary

Posted by emilyp on December 28, 2010, at 19:42:55

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary, posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 19:11:29

Maybe this is just me - but I think many, many people who suffer from mental illness think that their therapists don't understand the pain that is felt. And I suspect, unless that therapist also suffers(ed) from mental illness, it is hard for another person to truly "get it". Even with depression, I am sure I don't understand schizophrenia - it seems foreign to me. Another example: my mother had lung cancer and I could tell it was a horrible disease. But I could never feel the pain she felt.

I am single and would like to get married and have children. It is unlikely to happen based on my age. I will probably be alone my whole life. I used to tell my doctor that he just did not get it - how could he being a married man with three beautiful children. He said that perhaps the only type of therapist that may (and I emphasize may) get it is a lesbian woman therapist, without a partner or kids. He was willing to help me find one but I realized how silly I sounded.

I also think that in several ways, pain is universal - whether it is mental pain or physical pain. That is dealing with pain is hard. It is perhaps a bit harder with mental illness because of the stigma and the lack of being able to identify someone who is sick (i.e. Styron's walking wounded). Previously, I had pinched nerve in my neck. I was in so much pain; it literally hurt to wash my hair or put my hand on the top of the steering wheel. But if you simply looked at me, you would not know. There was no cast or sling or any other sign to the outside world. So, mental illness is not totally unique in that way.

I don't know if my therapist gets it either. Sometimes I think he does and other times I think he misses the mark. I came to the conclusion that I cannot determine or change whether he gets it. I can only decide if he is helping me get through the depression and encouraging me to find ways to improve my life.

Maybe that is the question you be should ask yourself - is he helping?

And whether he uses psychoanalytic terms or not seems unimportant in the scheme of what you are dealing with. Why do you care so much? Again, ask yourself, is he helping when he communicates with me?

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary Annabelle Smith

Posted by obsidian on December 28, 2010, at 19:47:53

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary, posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 19:11:29

Hey, I have experienced an intense attachment to my t, so I will try to say something about what has helped me for whatever that is worth. I am struck a bit by the way you are categorizing yourself. Attachment is after all a very human experience however overwhelming it might be.
For my part I was born to two limited people into a chaotic and sometimes violent household. I do not recall my parents relating to me as a person. I do recall emotionally abusive experiences, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism, violence. I couldn't trust the ground under my feet. Imagine then what it is to find someone who listened to me, really heard me, something other than an echo in my head. Imagine what it is to have something needed so much. I could not trust that. So, ask yourself what your experiences have been, and then why this one is so important.
I think the writing thing is a good idea, to your t and maybe between the parts of yourself that are battling this out. I would also try to connect to other parts of your life and the people in it. This sounds like this is really difficult for you, but I believe you can get through it. Take good care of yourself, no matter what.

 

sorry... obsidian

Posted by obsidian on December 28, 2010, at 20:29:46

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary Annabelle Smith, posted by obsidian on December 28, 2010, at 19:47:53

> Hey, I have experienced an intense attachment to my t, so I will try to say something about what has helped me for whatever that is worth. I am struck a bit by the way you are categorizing yourself. Attachment is after all a very human experience however overwhelming it might be.
> For my part I was born to two limited people into a chaotic and sometimes violent household. I do not recall my parents relating to me as a person. I do recall emotionally abusive experiences, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism, violence. I couldn't trust the ground under my feet. Imagine then what it is to find someone who listened to me, really heard me, something other than an echo in my head. Imagine what it is to have something needed so much. I could not trust that. So, ask yourself what your experiences have been, and then why this one is so important.
> I think the writing thing is a good idea, to your t and maybe between the parts of yourself that are battling this out. I would also try to connect to other parts of your life and the people in it. This sounds like this is really difficult for you, but I believe you can get through it. Take good care of yourself, no matter what.

What I wrote sounds a bit self indulgent to me. This is after all about you, not me.
I sound a bit obvious to myself too. I guess there is a part of me that wants you to have some compassion for yourself. I have hated myself for needing my T as much as I have and as much as I do.
I am going through some stuff.
I guess what I said only related to the "why" maybe and not the how to deal with it part.It is truly a good question. You probably know the "why"? It is hard to think yourself out of this one though.
I'll go read the other posts again.
take good care of yourself though really...it might not take away the pain, but perhaps ease it?

 

Re: sorry...

Posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 21:34:00

In reply to sorry... obsidian, posted by obsidian on December 28, 2010, at 20:29:46

Thanks, Obsidian. You don't have to apologize. I appreciate your relating your experiences to me. I like that you separate it into "why" and "how." I can definitely see the "why" in your case. Knowing that, intense attachment makes sense.

And you are right, I also know the "why" in my own life too. When I am gentle with myself, I also tell myself that my attachment makes sense too and is not bad. Part of the "why" is that I have always felt "wrong"-- like I was different from the other kids even in elementary school and didn't fit in. It was a kind of suffocating loneliness and pain that as I grew into middle and high school turned into a humiliating feeling of alienation of a constant feeling of embarrassment to exist. How often I would long for someone to compassionately understand and to share all of the secrets with-- like anorexia and binge eating and just to share in this feeling of suffering.

And here is my therapist. And here I am longing. And borderline personality disorder or not-- whatever label we use-- it makes sense.

The "how" is so hard. I don't even like to say this, but sometimes I worry that I am worse off in therapy than not-- I am even in a kind of bondage it seems to my own hunger and needs, an addictive obsession.

I bet what would help me most is just to really share this with my therapist.

But you know how sessions are-- I can say just what I want on my own alone in the car, but when I get on the phone or in the room with him, I feel different afraid and tongue-tied. Writing and sharing on here helps me get through some of the time in between too. So thanks for corresponding with me. It helps to not be alone.

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary

Posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 21:48:39

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary, posted by emilyp on December 28, 2010, at 19:42:55

Thanks, emily. Yes, maybe no one can ever fully understand our experiences. That is what I want so much-- to be understood fully. And so it hurts to acknowledge that it probably can't happen. But I really do feel a conscious holding back-- like I feel split in our sessions, like 2 people at once-- one talking a playing a role and the other holding back so many secrets (not always even content, although certainly that too, but even a way of being that is true)

>> Maybe that is the question you be should ask yourself - is he helping?

>>And whether he uses psychoanalytic terms or not seems unimportant in the scheme of what you are dealing with. Why do you care so much? Again, ask yourself, is he helping when he communicates with me?

Thanks for adding this. I think I am approaching all of this through a very rationalizing way. When I am obsessing about all of this, and he is so far away for so long, the way that I feel like I can help myself is by trying to figure it all out. More specifically, I took a course on psychoanalytic theory this past fall to figure this out. As I read the theorists, I analyzed myself from every possible perspective. Sometimes I would be so upset and emotionally aroused by the readings that I could hardly do the assigned readings for the next day. I was apart from my therapist during this time (horrible move and long story) and all I could do was long for my therapist as I read about all of this. I wanted to share it all with him and wanted him to help me sort the confusion. I began to imagine what perspective he holds and what he thinks is wrong with me. I think that is why I care about psychoanalytic terms so much.

In a way, after all of this, in my mind, I feel dismissed not heard if he doesn't talk this way with me, because it is how I have been thinking for all of this time.

Actually, emily, I don't even know what it would mean to be helped by him. I think I have been wanting him to give me an "answer"-- which he will not readily do, and I should appreciate that. I don't even know what kind of goal I should want, what it means to be helped. To feel better, but I am not exactly sure what that would be like. I don't know what it is supposed to feel like to feel better. It feels like a mess.

 

therapy is hard

Posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 23:22:54

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary, posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 21:48:39

I think therapy for me is so hard because while it is about sharing, words are only a part of communication. The question becomes that of how to communicate

Every facial expression, gesture, sound, hesitation, and tone of voice say something. Often, I feel like communication comes via a mood or affective atmosphere that is evoked in the room. When I refer to being true and false, it is often not as much the words as all of these other kinds of communication. I begin to feel so confused and don't know how to be.

It is also hard because during the week, and even each day, there is bad and good. It is up and down, and that is hard to communicate in a session. I want him to know about the really bad things and about the good or indifferent things too. Partly, on a meta-level, this up and down flux creates a meta-chaos that is bad. It is so confusing to hold it together and be understood and taken seriously.

So I then feel helpless and hopeless to ever communicate and then feel subsumed in the chaos.

There are 45 golden minutes a week to get real work done and to communicate, and that is what I blow. That's how it seems. I feel like I have wasted so much precious time. To help myself feel better I say what my therapist would say is his perspective on the issue-- that this time that has felt wasted is part of the process and has given us valuable info and was even a kind of communication. But I want to get beyond it into what feels real and true.

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary

Posted by emilyp on December 29, 2010, at 10:37:04

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary, posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 21:48:39

I don't have guidance or advice on everything you have written, but I will say two things:

1. He is treating you, the person, not you the student. I understand your interest in the subject. But he is trying to help you with feelings and other issues that are not logical or spelled out in any textbook. I would think that would be what you want. Also, there are so many different interpretations as it relates to analytic theory. Having a discussion in those terms could take far longer than you may think and take away from the time you have to deal with your pain (I know you already feel short on time.)

2. As for your readings, think about this: some of the people that are the worst at managing their money are those who work in the financial sector. And there are plenty of stories of residents or medical students who think they have every disease they study. I don't know if that is true for psychotherapy. But to the degree you can, I would try to separate what you learn in the classroom from what you are trying to learn in therapy.

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary

Posted by sigismund on December 30, 2010, at 17:18:59

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary, posted by emilyp on December 29, 2010, at 10:37:04

I was discouraged from too much interest in analytic theory.

Humans are creatures that fall in love and wish to be known.

I don't know...there are all these things about love in our culture, like Jesus's first commandment about loving God with all our everything....so, why not just love your therapist, even or especially when he is not with you?

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary Annabelle Smith

Posted by sassyfrancesca on January 5, 2011, at 15:23:06

In reply to overattachment is painful and scary, posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 17:16:40

I don't believe in "transference"---unless it is the technical Freudian kind, and we ALL meet people who remind us of people in our past, and may react to them in that way.

Feelings are simply....feelings, not right or wrong.

I fell in love with my t 6 years ago (went to him for a business dispute)....I told him bout it and we have discussed it at length. I don't think there is any subject we haven't delved into....We are the same age, and I am working on my degree in counseling.

I think it is important to talk about whatever you are feeling and dealing with; that is why you have your t....trust me, they aren't shocked, don't withdraw, et .......unless you have a t who isn't competent. They have heard it all before.

you may want to write some things down if you find it difficult to voice it to your t. yes attachment is painful and scary...but so much better than no attachment. Life itself, is scary, but we continue with hope, I believe.

Feelings/attachment isn't inappropriate or wrong; we all have feelings for others

Hugs, Sassy

 

Re: overattachment is painful and scary Annabelle Smith

Posted by sassyfrancesca on January 5, 2011, at 15:32:51

In reply to overattachment is painful and scary, posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 17:16:40

P.S. As scary and risk-taking as it is, if you aren't honest with him, he cannot help you. i know that is obvious....LOL

Feelings aren't right or wrong....they just are, and should be honored and talked about......


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