Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 978502

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

 

A Follow-up

Posted by Daisym on February 1, 2011, at 19:27:42


After an extended period of impasse, we seem to be finally being thawing the ice a bit. It has been hard (really, really hard) because the person I would normally talk about all this with is my therapist. And yet I haven't been able to talk to him much and the parts I do get out reduce me to wordless tears.

We started to make some headway...and then he was sick.
And then we tried again...and I ran away to Florida for a few days.

I finally went and got a consultation around the whole thing with my old group therapist. I thought maybe rejoining group was what I needed (which is why I called her) but really, I just needed her to listen. She was great - she didn't try to tell me it would ever be the same or that it wasn't my fault or even that it was. She listened and then normalized it all for me - said it is her experience with survivors that we tend to react this way to these kinds of ruptures. And she used this great metaphor - "think about your favorite bowl - the one you love and use all the time. And think about what would happen if you found a crack in the bowl. You might repair it, you might use it differently or you might throw it away and get a new one. But no matter what you choose, the bowl is cracked and changed forever. But only you can decide how to react to that change." And she said I can't use group to avoid dealing with this. She also said that based on all she knew about my therapy relationship, she was confident that the love was strong enough to endure this rupture - on both sides. And then she said, "it is totally OK to love your therapist and be really mad at them. And yet even if you're mad at them, to want them to still love you, anger and all. And I'm sure he still loves you, how could he not?" Which made me cry - a lot. But later I thought how cool it was that she wasn't afraid to label it "love" - not just "caring" and all the usual words we put on this relationship.

I also felt relief because I think I knew my therapy relationship couldn't simply go back to the way it was but the consultation helped me think about building a new normal in the relationship with my therapist. The other thing she brought up during the consultation was that perhaps this was an entry into a different, deeper part of the work I needed to do. Maybe it has been such a huge deal because there is fear and upset about showing the less-than-perfect, shadow-side of me and I'm terrified of hurting my therapist. What if there is a sexually-aggressive side to me - one that could potentially turn abusive? (With words, never with deeds.) It is hard not to wonder if telling the stories to him is hurtful or even abusive.

So yesterday I asked him that exact question - if he ever felt abused by me. And he was careful not to just jump in and say "no." We talked about what I was thinking and how we might look at the stories and dreams, etc. And he did, in the end, say an emphatic no. But he agreed that we need to look at the shadow side and said perhaps this rupture was necessary to bring that out. And then he said he was feeling extreme relief that we'd been able to talk deeply and he felt that finally we were making some real movement to repair. He told me that over the weekend he'd been thinking that perhaps we just needed to "begin again" and sort of "hatch" together - and just take it slow. I told him that I could feel that he felt calmer and he said he felt more secure that I wasn't going to just quit, which had been his fear. And he also said that I seem to keep forgetting that this was upsetting for him too - and it feels terrible for him too. Today we talked more about the rupture and trust and how we are relating to each other, instead of the dark side, but it feels like we are building a plan to go into some of that - just carefully. And he told me again how glad he is that I'm beginning to open up to him again.

I think it will be a two steps forward and one back process. But I finally feel hopeful and not quite so alone. Thank you all for being here for me as I've written long, long posts about all of this. (as is this one.)

 

Re: A Follow-up Daisym

Posted by 10derheart on February 2, 2011, at 15:35:49

In reply to A Follow-up, posted by Daisym on February 1, 2011, at 19:27:42

I think that's all wonderful, Daisy, and thanks for telling us.

I'd say more but I don't know what to say and honestly, it's a bit too hard for me to do more that a cursory scan of this board at this point. Too much for me and all that..:-(

But I just wanted to say I read this, it was not too long and I smiled.

 

Re: A Follow-up

Posted by annierose on February 2, 2011, at 17:31:13

In reply to A Follow-up, posted by Daisym on February 1, 2011, at 19:27:42

Repairing a rupture is perhaps the hardest part of the work we do with our therapists. They stay with us in the struggle and help us work towards a new place - - - may feel different, may feel better or awkward, but I feel in the end, it's a place that growth has occurred and thrives.

It's sometimes a jolt to our system when we hear that our therapists are worried for us, or fearful that we might quit, but I do love how honest he is and always has been with you. It is a real relationship so of course he was worried and concerned and experiencing his own loss.

Your posts are never too long and always appreciated.

I'm so happy that you dug deep within yourself to continue to keep poking at the rupture, kept reminding him that something was off ... it was a long time ... until you got to this new place. The consultation was just the thing you needed to do.

 

Re: A Follow-up Daisym

Posted by Dinah on February 2, 2011, at 20:15:38

In reply to A Follow-up, posted by Daisym on February 1, 2011, at 19:27:42

:)

What a smart group therapist you have! It must be nice to have another mental health professional who gets it.

I have a vague memory that at some point in one of our more serious ruptures I told my therapist that things would never be the same. He agreed and said that things rarely remain the same. But that there's no way to know, in the long run, whether the change will end up being for the better or not. He's got this whole long story about that. About a farmer and his son, who is hurt in an accident, and the imperial army who doesn't impress the young man because of the accident, and so on and so on. I don't think he's ever finished the whole story.

I hate that darn story. But he's right I suppose.

I have faith in the two of you to make the best of those changes. And to preserve the things that are most important.

 

Here it is!

Posted by Dinah on February 2, 2011, at 20:50:50

In reply to Re: A Follow-up Daisym, posted by Dinah on February 2, 2011, at 20:15:38

A farmer in northern China, near the Mongolian border, realized one day that his horse was missing. He had no idea if the horse was stolen, or if it just got loose and ran away. It was a great inconvenience, in any event, because the farmer needed his horse for the farm work. The farmers neighbors all came to console him for his great loss, grieving at his great loss. But the farmer told the neighbors not to grieve, pointing out that what had happened was not necessarily so bad, and it didnt warrant grief.

A few days later, the horse returned by itself, and it was accompanied by a magnificent Mongolian stallion. The stallion had apparently strayed from its herd, and simply following the farmers horse back to the farm. This turn of events not only relieved the farmer but now also increased his wealth. The neighbors returned, this time to rejoice the farmers good fortune, and even to envy his fine new animal. But once again, the farmer would not rejoice with the neighbors, and told them that what had happened was not necessarily so good.

A little time later, the farmers son was out riding the Mongolian stallion, and since his riding experience had been limited to riding a slow farm horse, the frisky stallion threw the farmers son. The sons thigh was badly injured in the fall, and meant the son was unable to do some of the farm work. This again inconvenienced the farmer, but he still refused to regard it as a misfortune and did not grieve.

In a few months, the barbarian armies of the Mongolian chiefs swept through the farmers district of China, and they conscripted every able-bodied man into the army to help defend the empire. It was well-known that the mortality rate in the Mongolian army was very high, as they engaged in many savage battles. Yet, due to the sons bad leg, he was exempt from this military service.

http://www.dirttimeforum.com/index.php?topic=1173.0

And some more...

The sons of neighboring farmers were recruited into the army, receiving clothes and shoes, and when the war was over they received a pension. When the farmer's neighbor said that the son was unfortunate not to have served in the army, the farmer replied with his usual "Well, ... maybe."

When feuds erupted between the neighbors with their new wealth, hatred and competition replaced friendship and cooperation. How fortunate not to receive the money?" The farmer replied with his usual, "Well, . . . maybe!"

http://www.newage-directory.com/freewill.htm

 

Re: Here it is! Dinah

Posted by annierose on February 3, 2011, at 7:06:57

In reply to Here it is!, posted by Dinah on February 2, 2011, at 20:50:50

I like this story.

 

Re: Here it is! annierose

Posted by Dinah on February 3, 2011, at 7:39:00

In reply to Re: Here it is! Dinah, posted by annierose on February 3, 2011, at 7:06:57

I think I'd like the story better if it weren't for the usual context with my therapist. He generally uses it with regard to our relationship.

But I think there's some truth in it. Change happens and it's not always apparent whether it's for the good or the bad.

Even the worst ruptures in therapy *can*, with commitment and a therapist's skill, lead to a deeper and richer therapeutic relationship. But as I always tell my therapist, changes generally involve a loss. I think that I often mourn the loss more than I enjoy the change. For me, to an extraordinary degree, I prefer the uncomplicated relationship of young child having trust in and security from the invulnerable parent, even when that involves pain.

 

Re: Here it is!

Posted by annierose on February 3, 2011, at 14:46:53

In reply to Re: Here it is! annierose, posted by Dinah on February 3, 2011, at 7:39:00

I have more to say (even initially) when I replied to your post. I happened to look at the clock and realized that I was going to be late for my therapy appointment.

Now I'm at work and cannot think. I'll reply later.

 

Re: A Follow-up Daisym

Posted by annierose on February 3, 2011, at 17:31:22

In reply to A Follow-up, posted by Daisym on February 1, 2011, at 19:27:42

Sorry for side-tracking your post. I will reply to Dinah via babblemail.

Your post is heartfelt and speaks to the wonderful truth of the human heart. It wants to connect deeply and safely.

 

Re: Here it is! Dinah

Posted by emmanuel98 on February 3, 2011, at 19:56:00

In reply to Re: Here it is! annierose, posted by Dinah on February 3, 2011, at 7:39:00

For me, to an extraordinary degree, I prefer the uncomplicated relationship of young child having trust in and security from the invulnerable parent, even when that involves pain.

I don't think even that relationship is so uncomplicated and secure. My daughter, who I felt I gave endless love and security, now sees now mentions flaws in the relationship, weaknesses in me she was aware of from a very young age. We don't remain innocent very long. Not nearly as long as we think we do.

 

Re: Here it is! emmanuel98

Posted by Dinah on February 3, 2011, at 20:27:13

In reply to Re: Here it is! Dinah, posted by emmanuel98 on February 3, 2011, at 19:56:00

I think, in part, I mean that as a stance rather than a lack of knowledge. Something to do with the arrangement of the people involved. But that's probably one of those odd things that I can't explain.

 

(((Tender))) 10derheart

Posted by Daisym on February 4, 2011, at 13:40:50

In reply to Re: A Follow-up Daisym, posted by 10derheart on February 2, 2011, at 15:35:49

I wish I could speed up time for you. Have faith that there is a reason for this painful path. The Hero's journey is never easy.

 

Re: A Follow-up annierose

Posted by Daisym on February 4, 2011, at 13:48:21

In reply to Re: A Follow-up, posted by annierose on February 2, 2011, at 17:31:13

I keep saying that this is a dumb system - why must growth come from pain? But there is no denying that it gets your attention and sort of forces you to do something differently.

There is a new anxiety attached to my sessions right now - wondering when or if the door will slam shut again. Anxiety about potential anxiety...what a terrible current to be caught in. But each time it is a little easier. Thanks for your support.

 

Re: Here it is! Dinah

Posted by Daisym on February 4, 2011, at 13:52:40

In reply to Here it is!, posted by Dinah on February 2, 2011, at 20:50:50

Love the story. But I tend to be more Pollyanna and look at the positive sides of things - always hoping for the best outcome. I think that is why when it all goes south, I'm so shocked and it takes me such a long time to recover.

But the message of never knowing what will lead to what is an important one. One of my big issues is being alone stinks but risking relationships is very scary because people leave. So I need to learn to not anticipate the end - such a hard thing for me.

And I'm not big on change either, truth be told. If only I ruled the world!

 

Re: Here it is! Dinah

Posted by Daisym on February 4, 2011, at 13:56:41

In reply to Re: Here it is! emmanuel98, posted by Dinah on February 3, 2011, at 20:27:13

Reminds me of what I said to my therapist yesterday when we were talking about needs versus neediness, etc.

"I want someone to tell me what I need and then give it to me. That way I'll not only know it is OK to need that but I'll actually get to have the feeling of having the need met. Like an infant with her mother."


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