Reliving the Shame


I just had a deep insight into shame (which I suspect is going to sound D’oh when I say it) that I want to write down before I forget. I have been doing some rather intense work in therapy lately, which I will eventually talk about when I can find words. It has centered around my feelings about my body, my hatred of my body, the deep shame that I try to make about my body but which is actually about me, all of me (ironically enough since part of the work is accepting that my body IS part of me). In looking at that, I have been talking about touch and sensuality and sexuality and, hardest to say, my deep desire to be loved. The shame I felt in just saying out loud to BN that I wanted to be loved was staggering.  BN keeps going back to the fact that this is the bind. The deep drive to go towards your attachment figure, who is also your abuser and so must be avoided. How do you possibly reconcile these two needs?

I have been feeling very confused since my session last Friday, finding the boundaries of my relationship with BN deeply painful which is always a sure sign I am hitting something unprocessed and not understood from my past. I have also been feeling an enormous amount of shame. I am feeling exposed and naked and vulnerable, none of which are real high on my list of favorite emotions. I talked to a close friend tonight who very patiently listened to me … grunt, because this is so early and pre-verbal that I literally keep stalling and groping, uncharacteristically at a loss for words. And then i dissociate and totally forget what I was talking about. I was thinking about what we said and tried to hold still and let the feelings come and it hit me. I am feeling what it felt like. The desperate need and desire for BN,  The horrid fear that finally he will see me for who I am and abandon me. The just as desperate desire to quit therapy and flee from him. This is how I felt about my father. This is what my emotional experience was like.

The drive and desire and NEED to go closer, the desire to be loved are so strong as to feel like a tidal pull. The only thing stronger is the absolute imperative to stay away, lest I be destroyed. But in terms of survival, in terms of biological necessity, in terms of safety, it was also absolutely imperative that I needed to see my father as safe. So what could possibly explain my need to stay away from my “good” father, despite my desperate (quite literally, I do not use that word lightly) longing and need to move closer and be loved?  The only thing that made sense was to believe that I was so wrong, so utterly repulsive or depraved, that to be seen would mean exile, rejection and death. My father could not be the problem, so I had to be. The lesson was well learned and buried deep. The excavation is slow, confusing, pain-staking and costly. Right now I am not sure I am going to make it. But writing this out, having this visceral grasp of what is at stake, tells me that the only solution is to continue to walk towards BN, exposing my shame and my vulnerability, asking to be loved and to see him not turn away. Only then will I know the shame is truly not mine. I only hope I am strong enough.

  1. September 24, 2013 at 2:22 am

    (((AG)))
    wow… this was SO powerful!!!! Truly insightful in a way I have trouble articulating… I will actually have to absorb this for a bit before the depth of it all sinks in, because it resonates on several levels for me. Please know how sincere I am when I say that in the short time I have gotten to know you, I have been beyond impressed with the level of commitment and bravery you have tackled this work with. It gives me a tremendous amount of hope in what is possible, and I have so much respect for you. In sharing your experience, it has given me and so many others courage to keep going. I believe without a doubt you are strong enough!! I so often feel I have no strength left to keep facing my T another day, and I always think of you and it motivates me to push forward. You have tremendous strength within you, and support from so many who really believe in you.

    AH

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      ((AH)) Thank you, I am glad it resonated so strongly with you. It was one of those weird experiences during which I didn’t so much have new knowledge, as I “got it” on a gut, visceral level. I felt myself feeling it if that makes any sense. I am very glad to hear that you can find motivation in what I write, as I know how difficult this work can be and we need all the help we can find. I so appreciate your belief in me. xx AG

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  2. Karel
    September 24, 2013 at 3:04 am

    I’m sorry you are going through all this pain. Hang in there. I guess the whole thing will resolve by having an attachment figure who is not an abuser. I wonder if transference problems are caused in part because we are compelled to bond with an attachment figure by the familiar mold of being enmeshed and boundaryless. (Then we know our role, sadly.) It’s actually harder to know how to operate in a relationship with a healthy person. Take care. You are working through this.

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Karel,
      Thank you for the thoughtful reply, I think your comment showed a lot of insight. I honestly feel like I am flailing around desperately trying to enter into a re-enactment so I would know how to handle it. I have emailed twice and called once since our last session and even wrote an email to tell BN I was quitting at one point (never sent it). One of the things we talked about at our last session was that I have no way to process safety. Thanks for saying you see me working through it, ’cause right now it feels like anything but.

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      • Karel
        September 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm

        AG,
        One thing that has helped me get “unstuck” some has been to take a break from my T to focus on working out transference issues with a new T, a “doctoral level psychotherapist,” (as recommended by my psychiatrist) , with the understanding that I’ll probably go back to my first T. Of course I’m very fond of my first T! But this move has alleviated much misery, as it turns out, even though I miss him. The new T is sympathetic and has good boundaries and a “therapeutic frame.” There is more structure and an actual treatment plan. I don’t have the same compulsion to make connection with him between appointments and am doing more of the “work” as I am not waiting for him to save me. I still inflict a few emails on my first T once in awhile though 😉 just to update him how my life is going. He encourages me to keep doing what I am doing. Will I go back to him? We’ll see.

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  3. September 24, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Oh you describe so well what I feel with my therapist. Despite everything we talk about in session, the hardest and most shameful, I want to disappear through the floor right into your arms feeling, is the desire to be loved and special to her. I can only image how hard it must be when the focus of your sessions. Thinking of you.

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      ((Godsgrace)) I must confess that running headlong into this shame is some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. It keeps feeling like it is literally intolerable to endure both the shame and ambiguity of the therapeutic relationship at the same time. Then I talk, and realize I can go a little further. The feeling that I am finally going to wear out even BN is also very strong. I’m truly sorry you understand this. 🙂

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  4. Marijke
    September 24, 2013 at 5:34 am

    You are strong enough, AG. Everything you’ve done so far, all the work, the writing, the living and healing show that you are strong enough. It is the shame and pain that tell you otherwise, that’s the paradox…
    FWIW, I ‘exposed’ myself recently to my T in a way that I’ve never done to anyone, touching on deeply hidden feeling of shame and repulsiveness and all the self-loathing that goes with that. It was an excruciating experience… and she was there on the other side. You know the routine :). Trust BN, trust yourself and trust the process.
    And one more thing. My T, for the first time ever, sent me an e-mail without me contacting her at all. It goes something along the lines of: “…when we are cleansed of our fears, pain, and anger, we get into that deepest self and… our deepest self is without fear and can tackle any challenge”.
    Bless you 🙂

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      (((Marijke))) Thanks for your belief in me, and the reminder to trust the process. This has been disconcerting and disorienting in a way I haven’t experienced for a long time. So trusting the process is good advice, to just keep going back and talking about the feelings even though it doesn’t feel good because I can remember times in the past where it felt this way and then knowing I came out the other side. But this is testing my fortitude in a way I haven’t felt before. I understand why this was buried so deeply. The depth of self-loathing and shame are really quite astounding. I am glad that you are experiencing your T as such a healing, steady presence. xx AG

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  5. Jen
    September 24, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I’m at a similar point in my therapy — the walking toward him and him not turning away. I’ve done many layers of this “walking toward” in therapy, but I think I am now in new territory. I have never, never asked this much of someone (other than my husband). And it feels as though this HAS to be it — this HAS to be the time he will shake his head sadly and say, “No. I can’t do this anymore.”

    But this is absolutely terrifying, because this is when I have to keep seeking him in order to heal more deeply than before, and I feel incapable of doing so. I am frozen. And I am sensitive to the slightest “rejection” from him — more so than ever.

    I sent him a text last night. He usually responds briefly with an “I hear you, I’m here” type of message. Last night he didn’t respond. Normally I’d be able to talk myself down — tell myself that there are times when he doesn’t get back to me but he eventually will and I will see him again in a few days, etc, etc. But this time it feels like it’s the beginning of the end. You know — “ohhhh boy, here it comes, I knew this couldn’t last.”

    I asked him in our last session how he can do it. How is he able to respond to such neediness with such consistency? How is that even manageable, much less tolerable? I really, truly don’t understand. It seems like he much be faking it. Or at least that he is acting professionally and ethically as is required by his job, but he himself has left the room.

    Thanks, AG, for your continued insights and openness. I would say your journey has been THE most helpful outside resource for my healing over the past few years. I look forward to hearing more of your process, and I’m so, so sorry that it hurts so damn much.

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    • September 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      I absolutely relate to what you’re saying about your therapist. I act ridiculously needy towards mine, and she continues to give (except in the instances when she can’t. Then all hell breaks loose!). Did your therapist respond with how he manages/tolerates your needs with consistency?
      Do you have a blog/do you write about your experience in therapy? I’d love to hear about it.
      Good luck with everything!

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      • Jen
        September 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm

        Thank you for your reply. It’s interesting — I don’t write a blog about my experiences but I’ve been thinking about doing so. In the past few days the option has come up several times, and your response to me here seems to be the tipping point. Writing about my experiences in therapy, which hasn’t been often, has been so unbelievably helpful to me. It didn’t occur to me that it could me helpful to others as well. Thanks for the push in that direction.

        As for how my T responds to my neediness … I listened to our session again today. He says that he doesn’t see my behaviors as intentional. He doesn’t think that when I’m depressed, or hopeless, or in danger of blowing my lid — he doesn’t see them as states of being that I WANT. And he offers himself as my emotional regulator. He knows I can’t do it myself and he would rather I call on him for that roll. And that is a HUGE departure from my ex-T, which is a whole ‘nother story.

        When I get my writing up and going I’ll find you and send you a link, okay? Thank you for sharing your experience as well. It helps so much to know that I’m not alone.

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        • September 25, 2013 at 8:51 am

          Wow, your therapist sounds so great! Very present and intuitive. I’m glad you’ve been able to find someone that you work well with.

          I’m very excited that you’re going to start writing! I’m sure you’ll be able to reach and help a lot of people. Please let me know when it’s up! 🙂

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      ((Jen))
      I can’t say thank you enough. Reading this actually made me feel so much less crazy. You described the feelings so perfectly . “But this time it feels like it’s the beginning of the end” On an intellectual level, I find it shocking that I could question being able to trust BN, but the truth is that my feelings are screaming that by truly revealing my core, I will finally drive him over the line I KNOW must be there somewhere. Thank you for describing this so eloquently, I truly felt less alone and less despairing when I read this. I also very much appreciate your openness and insights.

      And I think Nocivum’s suggestion is an excellent one, I think a lot of people could benefit from being able to share in your experience. xx AG

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      • Jen
        September 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

        Wow, thanks ((AG)). It’s usually YOU making ME feel less crazy. 🙂

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  6. September 24, 2013 at 10:43 am

    So sorry that this is such a painful time for you. Accepting who we are (physically and emotionally) and putting ourselves out there for someone else to see, to either accept or reject, is terrifying. It is more terrifying when we are ashamed of who we are, because we only expect abandonment.

    You are absolutely strong enough to do this now, because you were strong enough to do this when you were little. And this time, you have someone who loves you the way you should be loved. BN loves you (even if he refuses to say it) and he fully accepts you. Hang in there. You can absolutely do this. And you have a bunch of people cheering you on.

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    • September 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Nocivum,
      I so appreciate the understanding and even more the reminder that I already survived that (it’s funny how I always tell other people that but don’t remember it for myself. :)) Had to laugh when I read what you said about BN loving me, even if her refuses to say so. 🙂 I believe he does and he never shys away from my speaking of his loving me. But when the transference starts flying around, my view of him can become so distorted. But thank you for cheering me on, the support here can make the difference between my ability to continue on and desire to just sit down and melt into a puddle of tears. xx AG

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  7. September 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Also! Sorry, I just thought of something else.
    I was reading this morning Joe Burgo’s article on “Shame as Unrequited Love” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shame/201210/shame-unrequited-love) and how when we love someone and we do not feel that love returned, we feel shame. The accompanying video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0) shows a baby whose mother does not return a baby’s emotional response/love, and the baby’s subsequent feelings.

    The video made me tear up because I can see how hurt that baby is when, just for a minute, her mother does not “love” her. It made me think of my own childhood, where my mother did not make me feel loved, and now I am ashamed of who I am at the very core. And then I read your post, and it made me think of you, where your dad not only didn’t love you back in the way that he should, when you so desperately wanted and needed to be loved, but what he gave back to you was abuse and hurt. No wonder you feel such an intense, penetrating shame.

    I don’t know if this comment made any sense but I do still think that with BN, you will experience the “good enough” love that you need. I am so sorry about the pain you are in.

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    • September 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you for the link! I love Joseph Burgo’s writing, especially because despite being a professional, he is very open about his own struggles and I think he shows tremendous insight into the role of shame. BN keeps referring to the lack of attunement and feeling loved as the root of this shame, so this makes total sense.

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  8. Mrs. Sharkey
    September 24, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Ouch. That’s such a hard place to be. I’n stuck there too right now and it’s awful. It just feels terrible, and I want to run away and yet also run towards my therapist at the same time. And he is, as usual, being unbelievably kind and patient and understanding.

    I believe that I can and will get through this and I believe that you will too AG. I’ve got your back. *hugs*

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      (((Mrs. Sharkey))) Knowing you have my back truly helps me go forward, thanks for caring. And you’re right, its a really hard, painful place to be. Here’s hoping we both move on soon. xx AG

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  9. muff
    September 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Is there the repeated question of how angry (pained) we are about not feeling self love because of the parents influence?

    And if we show that anger to our T’s, there is an underlying fear of none existence if that anger is rejected?

    It is very difficult to ‘see’ when one is standing in it.

    Is it safer to turn that anger in on ourselves again, or is it time to risk expressing it to T?

    Shame on the parents, not us.

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    • September 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Muff,
      Good questions. in pushing through the shame, I am starting to access the anger about what I did not have and how deeply my father failed me. Turning it in on myself is a reflex at this point, and its slow going to learn to do differently. Lucky for me, I have a really patient therapist. And I couldn’t agree more, shame on the parents. I am beginning to truly understand I did nothing wrong, the shame is not mine. xx AG

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  10. FV
    September 26, 2013 at 1:02 am

    How are our T’s able to be there with us without getting annoyed and giving up, yet also without sharing the kind of unbridled love we desire with them? I am very new to transference and mystified how the therapeutic relationship can be genuine without crossing boundaries? Or is it just that people like us with attachment issues are so wounded we can’t really even envision a healthy relationship, therapeutic or otherwise?

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    • September 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      FV,
      Welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting! Sorry for being so slow to respond, I am working a lot of OT right now. The short answer to your question is boundaries. They’re contact with us is limited which is what saves them from getting so annoyed that they give up (because healing can be a long and arduous process). But boundaries are also what stop them from showing us unbridled love, because they are aware of the danger of re-traumatizing us by holding out a promise of something that is impossible to provide: erasing all the loss of an abused and/or neglected childhood. How do I fill the void? is a much expanded version of this explanation. As for it being genuine, it can be struggle to trust that, as there is a lot of ambiguity in the relationship because of the boundaries. But I do believe it is genuine and there is real care. See The “L” Word Part 1 and Part 2 and Unspoken by Martha Crawford. All that said, I know it can be confusing and painful, especially since our injuries do make it difficult to recognize what a healthy relationship looks like. Hope that helps. ~ AG

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  11. September 26, 2013 at 1:41 am

    ((AG))

    I wish I had something helpful to say. Unfortunately, I am going through similar feelings to what you are describing right now. I guess all I can do is validate how painful this process is. Even if it is eventually healing, at the time when the pain is being felt it is just pain. I thought I had hit the bottom of the barrel with feeling trapped and powerless as I recovered from my trauma but this shame thing is on a whole other level. It truly makes me want to quit therapy and do anything to stop feeling it. Only the fact that I “know better” and that I need to go back to therapy and keep talking about it is what is keeping me from acting on those impulses.

    Many hugs,
    DBS

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    • September 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      but this shame thing is on a whole other level.

      DBS,
      Couldn’t agree with you more! I also really want to quit; I quite literally wrote BN am email telling him I was quitting before my session on Friday (I managed not to send it and instead wrote a long, crazed email about how I was feeling). FWIW, going back and talking seems to be working, although it is stretching me to my limits. Thanks for understanding and I hope we both find relief soon. xx AG

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      • Karel
        September 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm

        Not sure if this helps, but I was feeling “therapy fatigue,” i. e., stuck and took a break (I know, may sound scary to some) which made me feel empowered, and it was not what I expected. I found In a weird way it freed me up to do more of the work. I miss my therapist, but not really as much as you’d think. I send him updates on how I’m doing, so I feel a little in touch. It’s a lesson in boundaries. At first I just wanted to cut off all communication with him, “rip the Bandaid off,” to be more independent, then I realized it wasn’t good to push helpful people like him away (I’m always more comfortable around people without boundaries) but I continue to send him occasional updates, as he has requested. He’s a good guy. Really–not just idealizing. I swear. I’ve had my raging transference moments, too (much to my husband’s dismay). I told this guy I wanted to kiss him (and about a dream I had of the two of us on the island of Antigua), so I scared the crap out of this therapist. But I’m distinguishing what’s real from what I hope to be and I will be eternally grateful for our therapy relationship and counseling sessions. I know i can always go back if I want. I probably, maybe will for “as-need” situations.
        It’s hard to make the break. Sometimes it’s good just to get another therapist’s perspective. Your first therapist may feel a little separation anxiety (but they don’t even have to know you consulted someone else), and so may you. I consulted a therapist with a different degree than my first therapist (of whom I am extremely fond!– it’s quite easy to be a little too fond, amirite?): as it turns out, this second person, with a doctorate, added a whole level of understanding. Maybe just because of being a different person. Not to discount #1 for whom I will always have a soft spot! And who will always have a soft spot for me. Therapists may be reluctant to admit it, but (as you may instinctively feel) the transference, whatever it may be, is co-created. Therapists are not perfect, either, and are likely not always in tune with their own countertransference. I think they intend to do good, of course, but I sympathize with anyone who is stuck. Good luck for future peace and health in your therapy situation.

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        • September 29, 2013 at 11:32 pm

          Hi Karel,
          Thanks so much for such a thoughtful reply. I totally get what you’re saying about therapy fatigue. I think I had hit that point with my first therapist. As upset as i was when she told me she was retiring, in the long run it was really good for me. I ended up taking a year off from individual work (my husband and I were i couples’ counseling at the time) and then I started to work with BN. I had been stuck for a long time with my first T, then when I started working with BN, things really took off (learning about attachment theory and disorganized attachment proved to be a very powerful tool for me in both believing I could heal and how to heal. I give you so much credit for the courage it must have taken to step away and look for someone else to work with, it truly takes a deep comittment to healing. I am very glad that it has worked so well for you.

          I saw BN on Friday and had a very intense, but very fruitful session (we actually went about an hour and ten minutes which NEVER happens, but the work was really intense and BN had no one after me. He actually told me at the end when I realized how late it was that the universe had cooperated and he got a cancellation. :)). I think my stuck, right now, has more to do with how very difficult it is to access these feelings. I keep insisting I can’t do it and BN keeps looking at me and telling me I am doing it. But I do appreciate hearing about your experience and want to be open to any and all possibilities for going forward. ~ AG

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  12. GreenEyes
    September 27, 2013 at 8:07 am

    AG I can hear the almost unbearable torment you are enduring and you have my deepest empathy and support while you navigate such difficult territory. The shame I am experiencing with my T atm is more to do with feeling like a failure for not being able to do things well enough myself and feeling utterly ashamed at the appalling lack of pragmatic support in my life, that if I was actually someone of worth, there would be people standing outside my front door to hold and support me in times of stress rather than exacerbating it. I guess that’s what happens when you have a 12k word thesis due in three weeks, two weeks of chronically disturbed sleep thanks to a sick child and then dealing with a sick, tantruming toddler during the day.

    But I saw something yesterday that made me think of this post in a lighter context (and i am no way downplaying the seriousness and challenge of what you’re doing). but there is an Australian fashion designer label called AG (!!) and some of their range is just beautiful. So it seemed appropriate given all the challenges you are going through with your body and appearance to mention this and help you to know your beauty is inside and out.

    Hugs xxx

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    • September 29, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      (((GE))) Dear Lord woman, you give new meaning to the phrase “you have a full plate.” You had me at sick toddler, let alone a thesis and therapy. I am sorry that you are feeling such a lack of support. I have been there and its a very tough place to be. But I do want to loudly say that a lack of support does not in any way reflect on your worth. I know as I have healed and learned to allow myself to move closer to people, and to ask for what I need, that has shifted. And, btw, we’re NOT supposed to be able to do everything ourselves. Human beings NEED connection and relationship, we are not meant to be alone. There is no shame in needing other people, that was a lie we were taught by people who did not want to or were not capable of meeting our legitimate needs. I hope you see some daylight soon.

      And that’s awesome about the designer label “AG.” LOL I’m not really a designer label kind of girl, but love that you made the connection with me. Thank you for taking the time to be so supportive in the midst of all that you are going through. Hang in there! Hugs, xx AG

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  13. Little Blond Girl
    September 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

    AG, I wish it wasn’t so hard, but know it is. I also believe you are strong enough and BN there enough to make it through what you’re experiencing. The desire to run towards and at the same time run away is so great that often I find myself stuck in “no man’s land” where I don’t know what to do, sometimes it feels like I’m running in both directions at the same time, avoiding what I know I need to deal with, what is just so hard to face. And my T reminds me that the way to healing is by moving closer, only by moving closer and being more vulnerable can I safely detach, so that I can move about in the world without the constant fear that I will lose him. Take care of yourself during this difficult time, trust the process, trust BN and ask for all the reassurance you need, because you’re worth it 🙂
    LBG

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    • September 29, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      LBG,
      Both you and your T are very wise. And you’re right, I am strong enough and BN there enough. We had a really intense session on Friday I am hoping to post about, and one thing that was abundantly clear was that he is there, with a great deal of compassion and commitment. I also seem to be walking through this thing I am insisting I cannot do. Thank you for understanding and the encouragement, I could have written everything you said. That bind of running in both directions at once is a killer. I am hitting the core of the shame which drives that and starting to understand how truly powerful and pervasive it is. It really helped to read this while waiting to get to my session. 🙂 xx AG

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      • Little Blond Girl
        October 2, 2013 at 11:06 am

        Thanks for saying I’m wise too! I feel anything but these days as I try to figure out how to have a relationship with my T, who’s like a parent, when I’m pretty angry and hurt by things that have happened recently, that I can’t seem to tease apart from the past. It kind of feels like I don’t know what I’m doing, which way is up and maybe that I’m floundering about, lost. And of course he remains consistent throughout the whole thing, which really just pisses me off. These days talking is the last thing I want to do, but also the thing that I feel like I most need to do…So yes, truly powerful and pervasive is a good descriptor!

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        • October 2, 2013 at 10:20 pm

          LBG,
          I think the worst part of this work is that it throws me into such a state of disorganization and confusion. Floundering about lost is a very apt description. BN has to keep telling me that I don’t have to know what is going on nor do I need to make sense of it alone. Which is usually when I get pissed off. 🙂 The trick is I think, to trust the process despite how we feel, there is a way past or through this and then things are usually much better. But getting there ain’t easy! Hang in there. xx AG

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  14. Hollow
    September 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    ((((ag))))
    I was struggling to get through my last session and the subject matter wasn’t that dramatic. One part was me attempting to admit to an R rated dream about T. I got ashamed and gave up, and T didn’t want to push though I think he understood what I was getting at.

    I felt ashamed, including shame for being stuck. T said I wasn’t really stuck, that it might feel like I am stuck in the same place but that’s because we keep pushing up against the limits of what I can talk about. It feels like being in the same spot but by pushing we are really expanding those limits every time.

    I don’t know if this makes sense or can help you see how much good work you do every day, not to mention how much your honesty helps all of us listening.

    I wish you all the best in this painful time

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    • September 29, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      (((Hollow))) I love what your T said about pushing the limits, he’s right. I do this every time I have to integrate another split off part of myself and my feelings. It throws me back into that terrible sense of disorganized confusion and I go straight to “see, I haven’t healed at all” ignoring all the changes in my life. This is scary stuff to talk about (especially the R-rated stuff about our therapists) so it’s really understandable that it takes some time to speak up. I just told BN something I have been thinking about telling him for five years! So what you said made total sense. Thank you so much for the encouragement, it’s amazing the difference it makes knowing I do not face this alone. xx AG PS It’s nice to see you over here. 🙂

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  15. November 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

    My Goodness AG. I too am dealing with the shame of needing to be loved…what!!! At the start of all of this therapy work I’m doing, I never would have guessed that I didn’t feel loved, that love was scary, that I am ashamed when I’m not loved. I thought that I was one of the most loved people. In actuality I have spent a lifetime collecting love to prove to myself that I am lovable. But there is never enough, right? Now I am realizing all of this and finding that when my Doc doesn’t love me (the way I think I am supposed to be loved which is far from healthy) it destroys me. Thank goodness he is not shocked by any of it and seems to understand it completely and is helping me see things for what they are. And he isn’t quitting me, which is a constant fear – the fear that I am so messed up or so difficult that he can’t stand working with me anymore. On the contrary he is just always happy to see me and shares in my joys when I discover something new about myself or when I learn to feel something I haven’t felt before. While sometimes I feel like life is so much harder since I started therapy – life is also so much more ALIVE and so much more meaningful since I started therapy. Learning to understanding ourselves is quite the extraordinary journey. So glad I got on this boat 🙂

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