Home > boundaries, break, hiatus > Yet another hiatus

Yet another hiatus


Greetings Gentle Readers,

Sorry to disappear again; just popped in to make it official! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am working very long days and at this point will probably not have another day off until Labor Day. We have a major release going out which is rather documentation intensive, so I am really having to focus on work to meet my deadline. I can tell I’m the critical path because my boss is answering my emails in two minutes or less no matter what the time of day. ๐Ÿ™‚ So until early September there will more than likely not be any new posts. I also will not be answering any correspondence. I know several of you are already waiting on answers from me, and I appreciate your patience. If you do write, you’ll be in the queue and once I have the time and energy, I will start responding in the order I received the emails. So if you have written, or do write, and do not hear back right now, please be assured that you have not done anything wrong, nor am I in any way upset, I just don’t have the resources to respond right now. I miss you all, and am looking forward to being available again! Take care.

Categories: boundaries, break, hiatus
  1. August 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    No worries! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have success these next few weeks and thanks again for all your work on this blog!!

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  2. Ann
    August 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Get plenty of sleep and don’t skip meals!!! I hope you get plenty of kudos from your boss for your hard work! Maybe you will get a big bonus and can take us all out to dinner! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good. Luck! Xoxo

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  3. liz
    August 20, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Where I live, Labor Day is the first of May, I was already panicking! Then I checked on Wikipedia ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Ann
    August 27, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Hey AG! You are missed! Even my T asked about you today. Hope your work is going well. Xoxo

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    • daring greatly
      August 28, 2014 at 6:21 am

      Hey all… hope your break ia going well AG… I dont know where else to write this. I had two people in my life who I trusted and cared about, my T and a friend. On Monday my friend asked for space because she was afraid I was becoming attached. I am devastated. I feel lost and abandoned. I think I was in shock as I was saying ok if thats what you need but last night I broke down and cried… I just need to share with people who understand me… heart broken.

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  5. DpBluSee
    August 28, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Hi Daring Greatly,

    This is quite devastating to have a friend that you really trust say something like this to you. Truthfully, and I’m sure you realize this, this is not about you, this is about your friend. I can’t imagine someone saying something like this. That is what deep friendship and caring relationships are about — being attached and needing each other. This probably doesn’t help because the pain of being hurt by her is real. I have been there where I feel alone and unseen and uncared for. Knowing that it isn’t you and that you need to find people who care about you doesn’t change that it feels incredibly painful and lonely. It IS like having a broken heart. Good for you to reach out to get support. Hugs to you.

    DBS

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    • daring greatly
      August 28, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Hey DBS, thank you for responding. I have so much shame attached to this. Plus my head is not the friendliest place at the moment want to hide. I have to keep telling myself I’m worthy of love.. I hope the intense feelings pass soon. DG

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  6. happylou
    September 6, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Had a horribly painful session with my T today. We revisited the issue of hugging (among other things)–am I the only one who doesn’t get hugs from her T? I am not allowed to reach out to him between sessions, no hugs, no nothin…lol. Feeling deprived as I read about others who seemingly have their T’s at their beck and call. Just as I thought I was coming to accept these boundaries, I feel all mixed up about them again. I understand and hate them all at once!!

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    • September 6, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Hey happylou, I had to respone… I do not get hugs from my T never have… Sometimes I wish I did but at the same time I am glad I don’t as it would be another thing I would obsess about.. I sometimes feel deprived as well as I cannot contact him between sessions either. I think it’s good for me though as well. Kind of a love hate situation (love is a strong word accept maybe better if you know what I mean). Hang in there and well done on reaching out and connecting on here…

      DG

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  7. Ann
    September 6, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Happylou, every T has their own boundary rules. I think it is very difficult to ask you T for something and hear a “no”. I assume your T has strong boundaries and uses them with all clients/patients. Of course we all carry the fantasy that we can be the one exception!!! My T does not hug and I don’t usually contact him unless I need an extra session. (And then I only talk to his secretary). I have been seeing him for 3 years and as much as I hate rules and love to be in control, I am learning how to deal with this frustration. What I do like is how somehow the situation is helping me learn more about myself. This in turn helps me with my “real” relationships. If you trust your T and if he/she doesn’t shame you, I encourage you to keep it up!!! Best wishes! Ann

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  8. Pop
    September 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I’m never getting back what I’ve lost, what I was owed.

    I’ve been in so much pain recently that I’m surprised by how pain free and liberated I feel right now. It truly is the repeated attempts to get that which we lost that repeats the pain. I’m sure I’ll go back again but for now I feel like I dropped my shackles.

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  9. happylou
    September 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Daring Greatly – thanks for sharing. You are probably right on the money–I would obsess about the hugging if it actually happened. Thanks for reminding me of that. I do feel like I am being punished in some way when I can’t reach out between sessions, but in reality, he is trying to push me to be self-reliant. He is fully confident I can do this on my own, while I feel completely unable to sometimes.

    Ann – yes, my T has many boundaries and I believe most of them are held with all clients ( I know he doesn’t hug any of his patients/clients and never has, but unsure if others can reach out for support between sessions). I can even admit that I would likely be the same way if I I occupied his chair. I have to say that I fully understand why he has them and they are always held in my best interest (to protect me and not confuse me about the therapeutic relationship). You’re right though, I so want to be the exception. What do you find you are learning from the experience? So far, I only feel the frustration and shame (self inflicted shame). He is wonderful about reassuring me that these feelings and frustrations are normal, natural and okay. I just struggle to really believe that. I trust him so very much and want to to continue, but am so afraid to keep trusting and opening up…

    Thanks to you both for responding. It is so nice to find others who can genuinely relate to these issues.

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  10. Ann
    September 9, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Happylou, Sounds like our Ts are very similar. I think the male-female thing can confuse things on both sides if you are of similar ages. Initially, I think my T misinterpreted some of my motives which made me pull away more. I would never contact him between sessions. But, as time goes by, he is more nurturing and I finally broke down during a hard time and called to get an extra session. It didn’t work out, but I realized that if I really need to talk to him, I can call. I believe him now and that is big. So you might ask his policy on phone contact. I personally think if you have an opposite sex T, the boundaries have to be very strong. I would have never chosen a male, but when I moved 4 years ago, he came highly recommended. BTW, I totally get the shame part. It takes time and trust (on both sides) to erode some of the shame. How long have you had your T?

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  11. Happylou
    September 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Ann – I have been working with my T for a solid year and a half now. I worked with him several years ago for a short time and then wrapped up. In our first stint of therapy, I kept things very superficial and definitely didn’t trust him. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I liked him because he always asked me to do things I didn’t want to do…lol. How I moved from borderline dislike to loving him is beyond me!
    The opposite sex dynamic has definitely contributed to my confusion. We are close in age and have an excellent connection. I find him attractive and he has told me he thinks I am beautiful (I am not giving the full context of the conversation leading up to this remark, so try not to judge him…others if have told about this remark think it was completely inappropriate).
    What do you mean by “your T misinterpreting your motives”? I have often wondered the same about mine if I understand you correctly.
    I have called for extra sessions in the past and always feel I have to justify why I need one. Sometimes he grants them and sometimes he strongly encourages me to push through on my own.
    How do you tackle the shame piece? We have had many painfully candid conversations about all my feelings for him and the associated shame, but I have trouble really believing him that they are natural and acceptable.

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  12. September 10, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Hey Happylou and Ann I really identify with what you are both writing about.. I am really confused with the whole opposite sex thing.. I am female and I have had female counsellors before and it was ok nothing really came up. Now that I have been working with my new T male I totally think I love him, I think about him all the time, I want to contact him between session and when I leave the session I feel like my heart is being ripped out… The thing that is weird is that he is a lot older than me plus I am gay so he is not really my cup of tea lol… You may think this is crazy but soon after I started working with him I imagined him in my bed.. It is never sexually more about comfort not sure if you get that…

    I have a lot of shame attached to this and I believe the only way to defeat shame is to shine the light on it, talk about it openly. I think shame likes to secretly make us feel less than,dirty you can add you own words but when I talk about it, the shame feelings start to dissipate..

    Have a great day..

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  13. Ann
    September 10, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Happylou and DaringGreat: I wish I knew the answers. What I do know is your feelings are normal in therapy. Sometimes it feels to me like a homesickness for something I never had. I wish I could better understand how and why the dynamics in opposite sex therapists are different. I think initially my T thought I idealized him and wanted “something” from him. He told me that, but never explained what that something was!?? I do know I tried to control the therapy or derail it by asking about him. We have moved through a lot of mini-crises which when resolved, strengthen our bond. The key recognize what is your fantasy around your T and try to figure out what need you are trying to fill with this fantasy. I think fantasy, confused feelings, great love and tremendous anger towards you T is almost mandatory to work through strong emotions. However, it is unhealthy to cross the line into unhealthy behavior. If your actions become alienating, self-distructive or you start confusing fantasy with reality, then you need to let your T be aware! Good ones are trained to help you through and you may find hold at the end of your journey. I hope AG comes back soon-she always has good insight into these issues. (And first had experience!) xoAnn

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  14. happylou
    September 12, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    DG – Shining the light on shame–I like it! It is true that when I talk about my feelings, although humiliating in the moment, I am usually able to contextualize them better. I hope I can find the courage to continue doing that with my T.

    Ann – Oh, I wish I had the answers too. I also try to ask about my therapist on a personal level–never thought of that as controlling or derailing therapy, but that makes perfect sense. I always thought I was doing it because I truly want to know him as a person.

    We too have moved through moments of crisis together and as it is happening, I feel it damages our relationship, but in the long run it has strengthened my trust that he is keeping me safe and helping me heal. Where I get totally stuck is on figuring out what void I am trying to fill with my feelings for him? Is it me? My marriage? I am stumped.

    Thanks to both of you for sharing your experience–it helps so much to not feel alone in this journey. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!

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  15. Ann
    September 12, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Happylou, you are doing some very deep thinking and that is good. You aren’t projecting or blaming others, which tells me you are really doing the hard work. I am sure your T recognizes that and he probably appreciates that. My T says some people come to therapy to just maintain and get support, but others, I am sure the minority, want to do the hard work. The work that can help them develop insight and skills to make life richer. These are the type of clients/patients I suspect Ts like to work with and receive personal satisfaction. Many patients run away when there is a disruption in the relationship. I am sure you are tenacious and will keep it up. (Though it can suck!) Happy Weekend back at you! Xoxo
    We miss you, AG.

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  16. happylou
    September 19, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Back to therapy tomorrow and feeling apprehensive. Terrified the re-ignite feelings that seem to have settled down since my last session. Wish me luck!

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  17. Ann
    September 20, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Happylou! Hope everything went smoothly at you therapy session! Let us know how it went! Xo

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  18. Happylou
    September 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Can I start by saying again how grateful I am to have this forum to connect with people who are also on the therapy journey?. It can feel so darn isolating when trying to relate my experience with those who have never sat in this chair.
    That being said, my session went okay. We focused more on the issues that landed me in therapy than the issues that have come up in our relationship. While it was a relief to have some reprieve from the shame and humiliation that come up with that topic, it did leave me feeling disconnected and distant from him. Is it weird to miss the very closeness that was actually causing dependence and heartbreak? He was helpful and clear, but felt more clinical than usual. This leaves me feeling that he is growing tired of working with me.
    So, today, I am feeling the familiar urge to end therapy and bolt from this relationship before I damage things further. I told him that I had toyed with saying goodbye again (he chuckled as he has heard this many times before). I explained that I am afraid I keep coming in hopes for something I can never have and that I am scared to say goodbye. Is this some other deep therapy lesson…learning how to say goodbye?
    Okay…so much rattling around in this over active brain of mine and now I am rambling, sorry. Thanks for listening all. Xoxo

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  19. happylou
    September 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    This morning, I terminated treatment with my therapist. I am beyond sad and fearful I have made the wrong decision. However, I just couldn’t tolerate the confusion any longer–I just don’t have what it takes, I guess. All the best to everyone else on their journey.

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  20. September 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Hey Happylou so sorry to hear that.. I totally identify with the confusing feelings and the frustration that brings. Please don’t give yourself a hard time. My heart goes out to you.. If you feel that you would like to go back can you rescheduled another appointment?

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  21. happylou
    September 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I don’t know if he would see me in future. He only sees a few patients at a time around his full time hospital job, so I don’t know if he would be willing or able to schedule me again (to be honest I imagine him jumping for joy to be rid of me when he gets the message). I am in tears as I write this as I am so pained about this decision. I wasn’t ready to cut the cord and lose him altogether, but was really at a loss as to how to continue after damaging our relationship with all my feelings of love and dependence. Chalk it up to another failure on my part; I couldn’t even do therapy right…kind of pathetic, really. Sorry for the self-pity–feeling pretty raw right now. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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    • September 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      I do not see it as a failure at all neither are you so don’t listen to the lies your head is telling you. As for your T I doubt he would be jumping for joy try not to project. Be gentle with yourself… So much I want to say but find it difficult to write down.. :-(… Did your T give you clear indication you had damaged the relationship?

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  22. happylou
    September 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Daring Greatly – Thank you for your kindness and support.

    No, he assured me my feelings were okay, normal, beautiful even (albeit confusing for me). He always assured me I was so brave for sharing them with him. I am the one who feels the relationship is damaged. I cannot believe him when he tells me I am okay, good even…that he genuinely cares about me and only holds the boundaries with rigidity because it is what’s best for me and he doesn’t ever want to confuse me. I cannot seem to internalize this message. My brain tells me that he must not reciprocate my feelings because I am not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, etc. Yes, I am projecting my own negative self image onto him. Funny you should use the words “be gentle with yourself”–he has said those exact words to me so many times.

    My decisions to quit was prompted by a few things.
    1) the need to end the intensity of total embarrassment I have felt in sharing my romantic feelings with him.
    2) I am beyond tired of fighting this illness–my hope to ever beat it is wearing very thin
    3) I feel the need to recede into a little cocoon of self-reliance. I am awful for depending on others to help me heal and to carry me through my burdens. I read somewhere recently that part of going to therapy is learning to become your own therapist…felt like cutting the therapeutic relationship out of my life might help me start that process.

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  23. Ann
    September 22, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Happylou, I am so sorry you are struggling. I just don’t want you to feel you are running out of options. Believe me, I am sure your T is use to hearing his clients declare love for him. Even straight people can develop erotic feelings for their same sex T. I know it is confusing, because as adults, often former unmet needs can come out as sexual feelings. I suspect your T would only find it inappropriate if you tried to physically act your feelings out on him. I also believe he would have no problem with you coming back.
    However, if it is intolerable, you may want to look for a female therapist. There would probably be less sexual tension. A female wouldn’t be better or worse, just different. If you can, get a recommendation from someone you trust.
    Time away from therapy is not wasted. It gives you some space to recoup from the hard work and reassess where you are emotionally. Try to be patient with yourself and realize this is a lifelong process, with good times and bad. Hope you have a good week. Xo Ann

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  24. happylou
    September 26, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you so much for your reply, Ann. Sorry it took a few days to respond. I have been doing some deep thinking and weighing out my options over the past several days. I have also been able to discuss my terminating therapy with a few good friends/family members (so much for the self-reliant stint). They, like everyone here, have been wonderful. While they appreciate my wanting to be self-reliant, they all reminded me that we all need to lean on others sometimes and that my needing to talk in order to process things is just how I am wired…and that that it is okay. I am extrovert at heart and readily re-energize by surrounding myself with people.

    In part, I was under the ridiculous notion that quitting therapy would make all my issues magically disappear. :/ Silly, I know.

    I am still trying to determine what my unmet needs might be. Gotta get to the bottom of that one. Do you mean emotional needs can manifest sexually?

    I also considered switching therapists as suggested, but the thought of re-telling my whole story and hoping for the connection needed to do so, scares me off a bit.

    Wasn’t sure how my T would respond to my quitting since I did it via email. Ultimately, while I sensed he disagreed with my decision, he respected that it was mine to make. He did suggest we say goodbye in person or by phone instead of email though. After much consideration and deliberation with my sweet husband, I have decided to return to see him in person and go from there. We are taking a few weeks off before meeting though, so I will have the time to settle and reflect.

    Thanks again all for your kindness and support. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, AG – been thinking of and missing you and your insight. Hope you are faring okay with all that has been happening for you.

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    • September 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Happylou,
      I’m really glad that you can use this space to work through this. And getting to our needs can be a really difficult process when we’ve had to push them away for so long. I am really glad that you are going to meet with your T again, but also think the break is a good idea. Therapy is really difficult and demanding and sometimes we just need a breather to regather our strength. And it really is ok to need someone, it just feels threatening to those of us who had a more problematic childhood because it didn’t work out so well the first time we needed someone. If you haven’t read them, there are two posts I think you might find helpful. On needs, Identifying and Expressing Needs and on emotional needs being expressed sexually: Erotic Transference

      And thanks for asking (I appreciate everyone’s messages!! I struggle with feeling like I will disappear and no longer be wanted if I am not “functioning.” So it’s reassuring to hear people care despite my being absent). The release date keeps stretching out and I am still working a lot of OT. I did my normal thing of just shutting down everything but work and BN called me on it in what was a painful, disconnected session. I ended up calling BN that evening to apologize because I was really struggling with feeling like I had been cowardly and avoidant and dishonest. He didn’t quite see it that way; told me I needed to work on self-acceptance. ๐Ÿ˜€ Who me? But it helped in that I am trying to get back into my body and my feelings and restore some balance. I have also been having some insights and jotted some quick notes. I am looking forward to being able to blog again, I miss it. Actually, I miss my life. ๐Ÿ™‚ It makes me very happy to see the interaction going on here even when I am away! love, AG

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  25. happylou
    September 26, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    AG – I was delighted to hear from you! Thank you for lending me this forum and your adoring fans to help me work through this. Thanks for the reassurance that going back to see me T seems sensible. May I ask how often you see BN? I see my T every two+ weeks and am curious what the frequency looks like for others. Therapy is difficult and demanding–and sometimes oh so helpful. Strange phenomenon that that which is most difficult is often most rewarding in terms of our growth.

    Thanks for the links to the posts. I will definitely review them. I know I have read the one on Erotic Transference. In fact, I believe it was the very post that brought me to your blog in the first place (I might have uttered hallejulah! when I found you–someone who really “got it”). Truth be told, I have read that post a few times when bogged down by confusing feelings for my T. I am curious to read the other post as well. I have likely read it (as I have dug through the archives on here to get me through many ups and downs), but perhaps I will pick up something new when re-visiting them both again.

    On to you, my dear! You are definitely missed and wanted here. It seems we all just worry about and miss you in your absence–don’t even think about disappearing on us! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope the OT situation resolves itself so you can find the much deserved time for self-care and rest. Work can be such a beast sometimes! Good for BN on calling you out–sorry to defend him. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Just glad that he knows you well enough and cares enough to do so (it is a remarkable therapist that can both soothe us and call us out). I am sorry it was a painful session for you. (I can’t tell you how many times I have called to apologize to my therapist and he has reassured me no apology was needed and then encouraged me to work on acceptance as well–if I didn’t know differently, I would think I too was seeing your BN). Glad you are getting back into yourself–it’s a good place to be!

    So looking forward to your next post and your new insights! Please know how treasured you are in this place and how much goodness and strength you have given to me (and I suspect many, many others on this fascinating journey). Much fondness….

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