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Archive for the ‘dependence’ Category

So, how am I doing?

December 20, 2013 41 comments

Cat’s Meow (of Living while Healing. If you haven’t read her yet, do so. She writes with incredible honesty and insight.) asked how I was doing in a comment. I started to answer her but it got so long, I decided to turn it into a post. 🙂 Thanks for asking, Cat!

I’m hanging in. 🙂 It’s been a bit tough going lately, but I am essentially sound. The situation with my family has improved, but is ongoing, and some aspects are very triggering, feeding into the deep work on shame I have been doing with BN. It’s difficult to speak of, both because shame tends to make me want to isolate, and I do not feel free to speak about the situation because of other people’s privacy concerns. Continue Reading

The Repair Part II

August 18, 2013 19 comments

This is the second part of a two-part series, for the first part see The Repair Part I.

I ended the last post having just done a bang up job of expressing my anger at BN. I told him that it had felt good to just let rip with that, but it also felt very wrong. He told me that it was really ok I was angry at him, that my anger was real and it was safe to express it, that it was important for me to learn that being angry didn’t mean that I couldn’t appreciate and value the relationship nor would I destroy it. When he said that I became conscious of a very deep fear. I sucked in some air and told BN that I needed to ask him something. Would he be able to hang onto that for me? He asked me what I wanted him to hang on to. I told him I needed him to remember that all of the gratitude and respect I had expressed for him weren’t gone even though I was so angry. In one of the most powerful moments in the session (which is saying a lot, trust me), he looked straight at me and said “AG, it never even crossed my mind to think that. “ Cue waterfalls. I seriously started sobbing in relief. I told him I had been so scared that I had lost him. He told me that I could not lose him, he was right there.

Continue Reading

Disruption and Rage Part II

August 9, 2013 30 comments

TW*** CSA, rage and really bad language

For the first part, see Disruption and Rage Part I.

NOTE: I have really appreciated everyone reading and all the supportive comments. I am planning on replying but putting this out there has evoked an enormous amount of shame about my neediness so it may take me a bit. Truly sorry, I am at a loss as to where all the intensity is coming from.

I really dreaded going to the session. As I told a friend, the memory of giving him the heart box was a very special one; one that I returned to in times of stress. I was terrified it would be destroyed and I would lose something very precious to me; a dynamic that echoed the abuse by my father that we had discussed many times. At this point, that dread is feeling like it was a foreshadowing. It’s taken me so long to actually write about, that the session is a bit blurry. It wasn’t all that clear to begin with since I was pretty activated throughout. There were times when BN was speaking to me that what was rising up internally all but drowned him out. So I have these powerful vignettes that stand out but am not sure I have them in the right order, so forgive me if this seems a bit confusing. On the other hand, if it is confusing, it’s doing a good job of conveying my internal states. Continue Reading

Time to Run: The Power of the Amygdala

August 5, 2013 31 comments

A member on the psychcafe forum, Closed Doors (CD), started a discussion about what dependency on your therapist means. In the course of the discussion, I ended up writing a formula for what happens when we want to run from our wish to move closer. With CD’s kind permission, I am going to reproduce it here.

She asked for examples of how other people have been dependent on their therapists. In discussing what dependence looks like, the conversation turned to the shame that can arise around recognizing that we have needs and how terribly vulnerable it is to express them. CD is returning to therapy after a long break, which she took because the feelings and need for her therapist were feeling too intense (Raise your hands if you have ever experienced this. Yes, yes, I see those hands. You can put ’em down now. :D)

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What’s a therapist to do?

Alex asked the question below over on the Ask AG page and I am going to offer my take on it.

I am wondering if you have any insight on a psychotherapist’s role when a patient is demonstrating persistent, self-destructive behaviors? I’m referring to damaging, non-suicidal behaviors that artificially regulate emotions– such as self-injury, eating disordered behaviors (restricting, purging, etc.), reckless impulsivity, or drug/alcohol abuse (though this last one might be slightly different, I guess, since it compromises your mental capacity more extremely).

This is a really excellent question and in some ways goes to the heart of what therapy is about. I do want to be upfront though in that I am still working through my own behaviors with food so I approach this topic with fear and trembling. I would recommend approaching this post with some skepticism, dear readers, as I may be speaking out of the wrong orifice. 🙂 Continue Reading

Why keep going back?

February 14, 2013 43 comments

***Trigger warning: Religious content, I talk about my Christian faith in pretty specific terms late in the post.

A reader emailed to ask me a question whose answer I thought would make a good topic for a post. So with their kind permission, the question is below, followed by my answer.

I would like to ask how you got through it.  I mean when the feelings became so intense with your therapist, how were you able to keep going back?  What stopped you leaving?

This is a really good question. There were so many times I threatened to quit, or told BN I wanted to quit. I lost track of how many times I said (often out loud) “I cannot do this anymore, I can’t take it.” Sometimes on the way to therapy. I wish there were a simple answer to this question, but it was, as usual, a complex interplay of a number of factors. Experience, fear, attraction, desire, longing, faith, hope, determination and belief. One at a time, all at once, or some subset were what kept me going. Continue Reading

Sorting the Past

January 18, 2013 28 comments

In the comments after my last post, It’s still no, but still helpful, a number of questions were asked that I felt needed a longer answer than I would want to put in a comment and since they were all related, I decided to address them in a new post. They appear below:

Greeneyes: … how did on earth have you gotten through the struggle of accepting there’s so much we can’t get that we want? And how have you gotten through how painful the therapy boundaries are?

MetaMantraMe: How can we tell if we really are being denied something in the current time that we should be receiving? Or if it is, indeed, a projection of the unmet, and old, need from before onto today?

Liese: … when will we know that we’ve grieved all the losses from the past and that what is happening to us in the present is from the present? In other words, when will our feelings simply be about what is going on now?

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