Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 996814

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I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...?

Posted by floatingbridge on September 15, 2011, at 0:09:46

As I continue separating from a harmful 'therapeutic' relationship, the obvious realization just occurred today.

'We' had recreated my dad.

I had not seen how irrational a thinker my ex-doc/T could be. However, I think that's why I picked him.

While the details are ugly, the gloss is that my ex proved incapable of remaining a steady rational source for me.

When I flailed, he became hysterical. When I gathered independence, he became controlling, judgemental, and disapproving. Was he threatened? I didn't mean to. There is little joy in that idea for me. His very last control seemed to be the withholding of medication, communication, and now my records.

Somehow, my father and I grew beyond this immature relationship. (Well, yes, it took a few decades.)

When I go to my new pdoc's office, I pass the freeway exit for my old pdoc/T. Today, I found myself quietly extending my middle finger at his exit, down low below the dashboard. It was the enervated gesture of a bored, irritated teenager.

Oh well. What can I say? It's like, that old joke, a funny thing happened to me along the way in therapy.....

 

Re: I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...? floatingbridge

Posted by Dinah on September 15, 2011, at 8:57:47

In reply to I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...?, posted by floatingbridge on September 15, 2011, at 0:09:46

They often say that we try to recreate relationships in our life. Try again to work them out in a way we weren't able to work out the original. But since the working out isn't entirely in our control, we are doomed to fail - even if we make better choices in the recreated relationship. Which is by no means certain.

I think I go to the opposite extreme, and choose people who are nothing at all like my parents or my other failed relationships. I think I succeed in that. But then I open up a whole new and different can of worms, and a whole new and different dysfunctional dance. Perhaps the moral of the story is that I clash with all sorts of people. :)

Maybe you could see your ex-doctor as a step along the path to self awareness and change, and not a dead end. You might have gone through life trying to recreate your relationship with your father, while hoping for a different outcome. Now you're aware of the tendency and the futility, and you have a better chance to avoid making the same mistakes. That's something that could take years of therapy to achieve even with the best therapist. It might have been a more pleasant experience with the best therapist of course.

Hold firm on the medical records. It is illegal for him to withhold them. You should go to the state licensing authority if he is a sole practitioner and has no superior to speak to.

I have been reading "Creative Breakthroughs in Therapy: Tales of Transformation and Astonishment" on my Kindle in bits and pieces. Clearly I must have gotten it on sale. I think there's a story in it where a therapist told a client "Give me a million dollars." Then kept insisting that the client give it to him. The client eventually understood that the therapist was pointing out that he was hoping for something from his father that his father was unable to give. And that nothing he could do would cause his father to give him the love and care he wanted, because it wasn't in him to give.

Therapy is good at pointing out those things that are in our control and those things that aren't. You've learned that lesson. Your ex-doctor's behavior is not in your control. Whether you choose to find someone better is. Congratulations!

 

Re: I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...? Dinah

Posted by floatingbridge on September 17, 2011, at 0:50:49

In reply to Re: I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...? floatingbridge, posted by Dinah on September 15, 2011, at 8:57:47

Dinah, I did discuss this in therapy this week, and I think my therapist gave me similar counsel, which really hit home.

She told me, painful as it was, to squeeze all the value I could out of this experience because it was valuable, and not just because I suffered.

In therapy I took the next step which was, if we recreated my father, we recreated my teenage self. That was even more sobering. It was incredibly sad because I had to be the
rational one, I had to talk my way out of everything, his and my problems both. I don't want to be over 50 and feel so back to scratch and bereft. Let down. I told her I wanted my father to be like Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird to which she laughed and said, I think most of us wish he was our father.

Eh. Just to have the accusations and distrust recreated when I was being so damn good and taking responsibility for everything. I know that isn't right, but it's how it was. Both times. I'm working on it.

She congratulated me to, and I was so quick to deflect her validation. But I told her so, how painful it was for me to really accept her validation. That's when the cloud of yeah, but I didn't want to have to be the one who finally survived by her wits again when what I really wanted was a bridge of trust reallyndescended. Well, yes it takes two. Maybe going forward I will be more aware that my desire for trust and connection outweighs my desire to avoid it. Sigh.

She thinks (I think) I need to get my records soon. I have contacted an advocacy group to work with me. In her manner of not eliciting alarm when she herself seems disturbed, she thinks the records are important and only mentioned once, trying with a light touch, that maybe he wants to avoid a lawsuit. (I am not interested in a lawsuit.)

I think it upsets dedicated, ethical practioners when they hear of ethical breaches that are then covered up rather than admitted to as perhaps a series of missteps.

Anyways she says it is very good for me to be discussing this even though I am (or was) reluctant. Now that I see the value in my discussions (as opposed to bitching) my reluctance is fading. I am also placing getting my records higher on my to-do list.

 

Re: I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...?

Posted by Raisinb on September 17, 2011, at 1:09:10

In reply to Re: I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...? Dinah, posted by floatingbridge on September 17, 2011, at 0:50:49

I don't know your whole story, but I wanted to post some empathy. I did the same thing...for six years!! I struggle with finding value in the experience too, and forgiving myself for spending so much time with it. I guess it's difficult to understand that you can only be where you are, and that even painful repetitions are learning experiences in one way or another. It doesn't sound like yours ended well. Mine didn't end horribly, but there was no closure--I just got tired of the drama and never went back.

One of my ex-students posted on Facebook today: "there are
no bad relationships, because you learn from every one, what you want, and what you don't want." Cliched, but good to keep in mind, even when it's tough.

 

Re: I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...? Raisinb

Posted by floatingbridge on September 17, 2011, at 13:08:04

In reply to Re: I couldn't pick my parents, but my therapists...?, posted by Raisinb on September 17, 2011, at 1:09:10

Thanks Raisin. Encouragement always welcome :-) as is empathy.

I am glad your hopsital stay was a positive experience, and you are gaining stregnth again. I didn't comment because I usually don't know what to say in general, and because I didn't know you. So thank you for posting here. I feel like we've now met.

I'm glad you are back to posting.

Welcome back

:-)


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