Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 998463

Shown: posts 1 to 20 of 20. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

I'm jealous

Posted by Dinah on October 1, 2011, at 12:33:56

Ok, I finally came to terms with my therapist having a daughter. After all, being a client/daughter has its advantages over being a real one. He'll never yell at me about leaving my clothes all over or demand from me what a parent demands from a child.

But an infant granddaughter? Sigh.

He's trying to be sensitive about it. But I'm not sure he gets it. He says "It's not the same relationship at all." and I want to yell "That's the point!!!"

I do have a sense of humor about it. But the humor contains a grain of truth in it.

 

Re: I'm jealous Dinah

Posted by annierose on October 1, 2011, at 13:59:29

In reply to I'm jealous, posted by Dinah on October 1, 2011, at 12:33:56

I think the hardest part of this relationship is the fact we aren't quite sure how/what they feel about "us". We spill our guts week after week. We hold them in our hearts - always. But what are they feeling, thinking ... especially when we are apart.

I laughed when I read your reply "that's the whole point" ... because you are right. It is. It isn't the same relationship but the question for me, what "is" the relationship, what does it mean to them?

 

Re: I'm jealous

Posted by emmanuel98 on October 1, 2011, at 20:29:15

In reply to Re: I'm jealous Dinah, posted by annierose on October 1, 2011, at 13:59:29

My p-doc has no children and he once told me this is something that he deeply regrets. I asked him why, since he would be such a wonderful father, and he said, it just never happened.

But there is a level on which I am happy I don't have his actual children to compete with for his love. I do have his actual other patients. Sometimes I feel guilty for this, since he would have wanted to have children. I hate feeling so selfish.

 

Re: I'm jealous Dinah

Posted by floatingbridge on October 1, 2011, at 21:37:39

In reply to I'm jealous, posted by Dinah on October 1, 2011, at 12:33:56

Sometimes humor has a tooth.

I try to tell my husband about therapy. How it gets or can get. He hasn't had that sort of relationship, so he doesn't really get it.

Was your coming to terms during his daughter's pregnancy?

And another girl to boot.

 

Re: I'm jealous annierose

Posted by Dinah on October 2, 2011, at 0:59:52

In reply to Re: I'm jealous Dinah, posted by annierose on October 1, 2011, at 13:59:29

I think I have problems thinking he has me in mind at all when it's not my two fifty minute sessions per week. He really is reassuring. He tells me he cares about me, and that two hours a week for all these years is a lot of time to get to know and care about someone.

But even if it were logistically possible, I'm never going to be physically held or smiled at in that delighted way. I'm never going to sit at his knee. Or hold my arms up to be picked up and held. (Which is actually an image that comes to me when I am upset about something in my life, and contemplating an upcoming therapy session.)

Even if he does care for me, which I don't always believe, it's a very limited and rule bound sort of caring. A caring between 10:10 and 11:00 Tuesdays and Fridays.

I hate unbalanced caring.

A new baby and a doting grandfather just sort of drive that point home.

 

Re: I'm jealous emmanuel98

Posted by Dinah on October 2, 2011, at 1:03:05

In reply to Re: I'm jealous, posted by emmanuel98 on October 1, 2011, at 20:29:15

I know the feeling. When my therapist got married, I was worried for years that they would have a baby, and I felt a bit guilty about that worry.

But of course our feelings can't really affect whether or not they have a baby, so I guess there's really nothing to feel guilty about. Not even of feeling a bit jealous of a perfectly adorable infant.

And least it's a grandbaby, so I don't have to consider the possibility that he might have had sex. Eeewwwww.

 

Re: I'm jealous floatingbridge

Posted by Dinah on October 2, 2011, at 1:08:47

In reply to Re: I'm jealous Dinah, posted by floatingbridge on October 1, 2011, at 21:37:39

I don't think I considered it during the pregnancy. Or even when I first heard she was born, and laughingly said I was jealous. But when he asked me if I wanted to see the baby pictures... Well, he saw my face and immediately apologized, but I told him he just as well show me the pictures once he mentioned it.

She is adorable, lucky kid.

There's something to be said for the blank slate approach. To be fair to him, I only knew about the baby because of the possibility of scheduling difficulties. He wasn't just sharing when he first told me of the upcoming happy event.

 

Re: I'm jealous

Posted by Solstice on October 2, 2011, at 10:22:46

In reply to Re: I'm jealous annierose, posted by Dinah on October 2, 2011, at 0:59:52

> I think I have problems thinking he has me in mind at all when it's not my two fifty minute sessions per week.

I think this is something I have had trouble with too.. but only realized it when you framed it here. And what alerted me to it even being a problem for me.. is how it made me feel when my therapist has - reminded me of something I've said that I hadn't remembered until T said it (T is 'holding' a memory of something I said) - and especially when T says something like: "The other day when I was_______ I thought about how you____________" or something of the like. There have even been a few times that T has said things like: "I've been thinking about what we need to do to prevent you from falling through that hole.." which told me that I was on T's mind, when I didn't even know it!" Every time it's happened, I've been filled with an exquisite sense of 'mattering'... of being 'worth it.' That stuff certainly doesn't happen every session... but it does happen often enough that I have my on spot in my T's heart and mind.

Is it possible that your T does say or do things that demonstrate you are in his mind out of session - but maybe it's been outstripped by him doing things in session that have left you feeling like he can't even keep you in his mind during the 50 minutes you paid for? Now that he's being more attentive in-session, maybe over time you'll be able to believe you're in his mind out-of-session.

As an aside, I'll tell you that I was a tough nut to crack with respect to believing in my relationship with my T. My T had to endure endless challenges like "The care you give is paid for - which means it's not *real*" I think all that was really hurtful to my T, because there was no way to actually resolve it. T could Not convince me that the care was *real* - which exacerbated my attachment issues and made me really difficult to be therapeutic with. I think T probably felt, for a long time, that T was walking in a minefield during my sessions. I think the magic of my hearing descriptions of me being thought about out-of-session played a big role in me finally succumbing to a solid belief that this relationship is real, and T's care for me is real, and I Can trust it to be there. On T's free and unpaid time, concerns about me, even random thoughts about me "When I saw ____ on TV, I thought about your experience with ____".. all of that made it more *real* to me - that the care T has for me really is based on Me.. on my value... as opposed to being bought and paid for.

Dinah... there is a powerfully healing agent in a client being able to believe that the care they need to feel from their therapist is beyond the bought-and-paid-for time. Based on the gazillion posts I've read over the last ten years about your evolving relationship with your therapist.. I feel confident that you are in his mind throughout the week between sessions. And I say this despite my knowledge of his incidents of abominable behavior that has incited passionate anger in me :-). The only important thing, though, is that YOU feel you are in his mind and heart outside of session. It's probably a component of what you so eloquently call "fighting to relationship." My wish for you is that he does or says things that sparks a belief in you that he holds you in his heart and mind outside of session. I have a feeling that in truth, you are not only held in his mind between sessions, but you are part of who he has become. His relationship with you has no doubt influenced his therapy with other clients, and probably even his personal relationships outside of therapy... made him a better person all around. I think you probably have that effect on others in general. Heck.. I only know you through this forum.. through the words you type... and I dare say you have had a decent-sized effect on me!

You are much more than you think you are, Dinah. Really.

Solstice

 

Re: I'm jealous Solstice

Posted by Dinah on October 2, 2011, at 14:29:01

In reply to Re: I'm jealous, posted by Solstice on October 2, 2011, at 10:22:46

Thank you, Solstice.

I know on some level that he thinks about me between sessions. He's said before that when he's going out of town he specifically thinks about how it will affect my sessions, because he knows that in the past I hated it when he goes out of town. Yesterday he barely waited until he sat down before he asked me about the Kindle Fire. (He did ask me if it was ok first.) He knows I'm a gadget lover, and a Kindle gadget lover in particular. I'm sure he thought immediately "I'll ask Dinah what this is all about."

I know that he quoted me to a colleague. "Therapists aren't like washing machines." And sometimes he'll mention something that comes up in his life that makes him think of me. Usually something I have unusual or strong opinions about. For example, he once said that he was talking to someone about Paul (the Biblical Paul) and thought of me and something I'd said.

And when his own therapist killed himself, he said his first impulse was to pick up the phone and call "Dinah" (the Babble Dinah), because he couldn't think of anyone else who would understand as well. He said he knew it wouldn't be appropriate. But we did talk about it the next session. I didn't mind. Well, maybe it scared me at the time, but in retrospect I don't mind. Hopefully that's a once in a lifetime event, and I think "Dinah" was able to be helpful to him. I don't mind putting on the Babble Dinah hat once in our therapeutic life. I rather think, though, that he ought to have refused my payment for that session. Unless there's something therapeutic about helping your therapist? Actually, there may well have been, since he pulled himself together and hasn't really mentioned it much since and then only in a way that indicates he's handling it. Had it been an ongoing thing, I think it would lose it's therapeutic value. What an awful thing for a therapist to do... I still feel really bad for him. He's promised to never do that to me.

If he thinks about what to do with me as a therapist, he doesn't tell me. He knows how I hate it when he goes to a meeting or reads something and comes up with some brilliant technique to try with me. For a long time I'd tell him before he left for a conference to make sure he didn't get any crazy ideas.

So I know he does think of me in some contexts. I even know that he cares about me in some way. He doesn't forget me entirely between sessions. But I know he'd be worried, for example, if a family member (say... the granddaughter) had a ten percent chance of something being cancer. While he's not worried at all about me, because it's such a low probability. He's way more important to me than I am to him. He acknowledges that, although he generally disputes the "way".

It's a different relationship all right.

But oh to be small enough to be safely held in the arms of a safe adult again. Particularly in the arms of my therapist/mommy who has held me safe emotionally so many times.

 

Re: I'm jealous Dinah

Posted by annierose on October 2, 2011, at 17:21:30

In reply to Re: I'm jealous annierose, posted by Dinah on October 2, 2011, at 0:59:52

My therapist would disagree that you can only care about someone in time slots. I have had this conversation.

"Do you think caring is something you can turn on and off? I am not a machine. Of course I think of you between sessions ...." along those lines.

I think our therapists do smile with us in a delighted way when we sprout our wings and fly solo. And I love when I make her laugh ... which has been a lot as of late. I have created some drama in my life (mostly harmless fun) and I think she is delighting in these stories while keeping me focused on my goals.

But you are right. It is unbalanced caring. Us "lifers" probably get more than our share of some balanced caring on some level. We are not in and out of their lives ... we are a constant visit 2,3 or 4 times a week ... year after year. That builds relationships on both sides. I hope.

When my daughter's school was in the news (for bad news) I never mentioned it in session for the first few sessions. I knew she was safe and this was much to do about nothing. Finally one morning my t mentioned, "Isn't that xxx's school? I have been thinking of her and wondering how she is doing" (knowing she is an anxious child). That's when I have a private smile.

 

Re: I'm jealous annierose

Posted by Solstice on October 2, 2011, at 17:40:15

In reply to Re: I'm jealous Dinah, posted by annierose on October 2, 2011, at 17:21:30

This is beautiful, Annierose. I love it!

My therapist has, in the past, talked a lot about internalizing the therapist. At this point, I think mine somehow 'lives' in me.. is part of me.. but I can't imagine that I don't somehow also 'live' in my therapist.

Sol


> My therapist would disagree that you can only care about someone in time slots. I have had this conversation.
>
> "Do you think caring is something you can turn on and off? I am not a machine. Of course I think of you between sessions ...." along those lines.
>
> I think our therapists do smile with us in a delighted way when we sprout our wings and fly solo. And I love when I make her laugh ... which has been a lot as of late. I have created some drama in my life (mostly harmless fun) and I think she is delighting in these stories while keeping me focused on my goals.
>
> But you are right. It is unbalanced caring. Us "lifers" probably get more than our share of some balanced caring on some level. We are not in and out of their lives ... we are a constant visit 2,3 or 4 times a week ... year after year. That builds relationships on both sides. I hope.
>
> When my daughter's school was in the news (for bad news) I never mentioned it in session for the first few sessions. I knew she was safe and this was much to do about nothing. Finally one morning my t mentioned, "Isn't that xxx's school? I have been thinking of her and wondering how she is doing" (knowing she is an anxious child). That's when I have a private smile.

 

Re: I'm jealous

Posted by emmanuel98 on October 2, 2011, at 20:24:02

In reply to Re: I'm jealous, posted by Solstice on October 2, 2011, at 10:22:46

Once my p-doc said to me (in the context of my wanting to be his friend) that he had friends he saw less than me. That he probably spent more time thinking about me than many of his friends. It made me realize he thinks about me. Once I gave him a novel to read and told him it was my favorite novel, I had read it several times. He came back from a vacation a couple of weeks later and talked to me about the novel. Not only had he read it, but he had thought about why I responded to it so strongly. It made me feel so happy. That I was on his mind while he was on vacation.

 

Re: I'm jealous annierose

Posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 0:13:06

In reply to Re: I'm jealous Dinah, posted by annierose on October 2, 2011, at 17:21:30

That *is* nice. It sounds as if you're in a good phase of therapy. I'm not sure if I've made my therapist laugh recently.

We've been through so much together that I think it's inevitable that the relationship is two sided. Not equal by any means, but two sided.

As with many things, I think I'm very divided on the issue. Part of me does trust that he cares. Not as much as a real parent would, but more than your typical 16 session therapy would allow. But there's also an insidious voice saying (among other things) that he doesn't care. That he cares as long as I pay. That he cares when he has nothing better to do. That he laughs at me. That I'm laughable. The problem is that the insidious voice isn't really *wrong*. It just may not be really right.

 

Re: I'm jealous emmanuel98

Posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 0:18:58

In reply to Re: I'm jealous, posted by emmanuel98 on October 2, 2011, at 20:24:02

> Once my p-doc said to me (in the context of my wanting to be his friend) that he had friends he saw less than me.

My therapist has said the same. He's also said that I probably get the best part of him. That's likely true. I know I've told my husband once or twice that I wish I were a coworker, and he's not even in the business of being caring.

I have to say the timing is pretty good. I'm less attached and dependent than I used to be, so the feelings of sibling rivalry is less than it would have been at one time.

And I suppose it isn't bad to evoke in therapy the feelings I had when my brother first came. That may be a big part of it.

 

It's nice to have someplace

Posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 0:49:06

In reply to Re: I'm jealous emmanuel98, posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 0:18:58

where I can say all the silly and petty things that are really in my heart. Without being judged. Babble's nice that way.

I made huge steps forward in that I was able to share some of my thoughts with my therapist in pretty much real time. I'm not sure if that's permanent improvement, or if I'll go back to acting out or hoping he'll address my unspoken concerns and being angry when he doesn't.

 

Re: I'm jealous Dinah

Posted by pegasus on October 4, 2011, at 10:41:12

In reply to Re: I'm jealous annierose, posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 0:13:06

>> The problem is that the insidious voice isn't really *wrong*. It just may not be really right.

Oh, you have a way of getting it just right, Dinah. This is exactly what goes on for me. I have the insidious voice, saying similar things. And while I know it's just some nattering nabob of negativism, I also *know* that it's not exactly wrong.

- P

 

He didn't remember pegasus

Posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 11:44:28

In reply to Re: I'm jealous Dinah, posted by pegasus on October 4, 2011, at 10:41:12

The voice definitely isn't wrong.

We chatted throughout the session on matters of faith and my church attendance, which he's been encouraging for reasons of community. In the last ten minutes or so I casually mentioned that the doctor hadn't called. He idly asked "Oh, what doctor?" and when I didn't respond "You're trying to find a new doctor, right?" I advised him to look at last week's notes, which he did and then he remembered. I told him that my hair stylist generally spoke as if she remembered our last conversation, while I realize that of course she writes a note somewhere on my records. But that I appreciated the effort. And she's paid to do my *hair*.

He was put out because he thinks I'm angry with him for not remembering. He insists he didn't remember because he wasn't really worried. I pointed out that if it was someone he cared about, his granddaughter for example, he'd have at least remembered. He groaned and said there is nothing he can say to fix this. I laughed (in a friendly way, I think) that unless he has a rewind button on life, that there was nothing he could say that would change that he didn't remember. He thinks I'm angry with him. I've searched deep within to see if I can find any traces of anger.

I'm not angry.

I already understand. I'm a bit nicer about it than the pernicious voice, but I understand.

 

I think I am growing up

Posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 13:20:38

In reply to He didn't remember pegasus, posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 11:44:28

I still think that s*cks.

 

Re: I think I am growing up Dinah

Posted by Solstice on October 4, 2011, at 14:16:36

In reply to I think I am growing up, posted by Dinah on October 4, 2011, at 13:20:38

> I still think that s*cks.


(((((Dinah)))))

 

Re: I think I am growing up

Posted by Dinah on October 8, 2011, at 9:50:09

In reply to Re: I think I am growing up Dinah, posted by Solstice on October 4, 2011, at 14:16:36

My therapist acknowledges the s*cky part of growing up, though I think he also sees some benefits I don't quite grasp.

He also said he hoped that if I could only save one person from a fire, I'd save my son before I saved him. I never really liked that analogy - not least because my tall broadshouldered and healthy son is now more likely to have to save me from a fire. But I daresay that if I have only one kidney to give, I'd give it to my son, or my husband, before my therapist. I think the point being that there are people more important than him in my life, just as there are people more important than me in his life.


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