Archive for the ‘dependence’ Category

Hmm, knowing it was love didn’t have quite the effect I expected.

March 10, 2012 10 comments

For the beginning of this story, you might want to read The “L” word Part I and II, if you haven’t already done so.

Gentle readers, I am not in a good place. My reaction to not being in a good place is usually to go find a deep dark cave and hole up in there until I get the pain and hurt under control, but it’s an impulse I’ve been working on changing for a long time. So despite being in the midst of a Category-5 shame storm, I’d thought I’d talk about how I’m feeling instead. So if you’re reading this, thank you for listening. Continue Reading

The “L” word Part I

February 14, 2012 15 comments

So far all of the writing I have been doing here  has concerned my healing history so to speak. Stories of work I have already done and lessons learned. I’m going to deviate from that and actually talk about what’s going on with me right now. Partially because I think it would be helpful for others to hear about it, but also because I am working through this and struggling to understand what it means and how it fits in my understanding of who I am. When I talk about the past, a past about which I have had a chance to reflect, the stories can come out in such an orderly fashion, like little perfectly wrapped packages with a gift bow when the reality was actually an experience of raw confusion. I thought it might be helpful to see the raw confusion as it was happening.

I’m going to talk about the “L” word. Yes, that four letter word we avoid like the black plague in therapy: Love. Have you ever noticed that the shorter the word in English, the more confusing talking about it’s meaning is? I mean the long words like antidisestablishmentarianism  have very specific meanings. But say “God” or “love” or “happy” and suddenly you have a very long, complex conversation on your hands.  So one thing I do want to note is that throughout this post when I discuss BN loving me, I very much mean it as a parental kind of love, a love which seeks my good, not in any romantic or erotic sense. I don’t believe that there is an erotic or romantic component to his love for me. But if there was, I’d be the last person on the planet to ever know about it anyway. But I’ve never picked up on anything along those lines. Continue Reading

i carry your heart

January 25, 2012 10 comments

Sorry it has been so long since my last post, life has thrown a few wrenches my way (if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!) and I’ve been a bit off balance (ok, try triggered as all get out) which tends to interfere with my writing abilities. I also had an ear infection and as my dear husband has to remind me EVERY time, antibiotics tend to depress me. I never, ever remember that when I’m in the middle of it. I just become convinced I’ve derailed, made up all my progress and throw in a few “I’m failing everyone and everyone thinks I’m a big selfish maw of need’ just for good measure. Cleaning out our old tape libraries can be a slow business at times. 🙂 But I am feeling better (gosh, do you think that has anything to do with finishing your course of antibiotics?) and slowly finding my balance. I also saw the Boundary Ninja and was able to deal with a chunk of what’s bothering me. We hit some stuff late in the session ( unusual for me but I needed to bring up something that scared me so badly, it took over half the session to finally go there) so I’m going back in two weeks to finish that particular topic. So thank you all for your patience.

We had a lovely interchange at one point during the session that I wanted to share, but before I tell you that story, I need to tell you this one (which also allows me to shamelessly steal from one of my posts on Psychcafe for blog content. Remember if your stealing your own stuff, it’s not cheating, it’s efficiency! :)) Continue Reading

What I’ve Learned in Therapy: The Complete List

January 11, 2012 22 comments

Someone once posed the question on the forum, what are the most important things you’ve learned in therapy? I’ve actually written expanded posts on some of my answers, but thought it might be useful to post my whole list here. I’ve put links a the end for the previous expanded posts.

The most difficult thing to explain about healing in therapy is that it isn’t about “knowing” it’s about experiencing being with another person. So much of what I talk about below totally gonzo confused me when I first learned it. I used to tell BN that he was talking in Russian. But staying with my feelings and continuing to express them through the confusion is how I learned it. And I must give credit again to BN, who is really an incredibly gifted, compassionate man doing exactly what he should be. So much of my “wisdom” is actually my ability to accurately quote him. 🙂

So the full list is below. If there’s a particular item in the list you would want me to expand upon, please feel free to leave a note in the comments. Continue Reading

What I learned in therapy Lesson 5 – The relationship of love and pain

December 8, 2011 22 comments

This is lesson five of what I learned in therapy: Pain is not a part of love, love is the answer to pain.

This lesson actually came later in my healing and my work with the Boundary Ninja. I’m writing about it now as it’s been a subject that has been both coming up in a lot of conversations I’ve had lately and because I am learning to experience it as a lived truth. If forced to choose, I think I would pick this understanding as the most powerful that I learned in therapy. It is also extremely difficult to explain because at its heart is a mystery that lives at the heart of our existence. It’s not so much a truth that you understand, as much as you learn to accept. Continue Reading

But therapy can take us a long way: Learning Developmental Skills Part 1

November 23, 2011 4 comments

This was going to be the second part of a discussion on how therapy is not enough. I talked about how therapy isn’t enough to make up for the loss of the unmet needs of childhood which are impossible to meet now because we are no longer children and unable to take in the kind of love and care on a deep enough level to completely wipe out the loss. Even if someone was willing to re-parent us, the behavior a parent exhibits towards their child is not appropriate for an adult. But the second half of the equation, that I wanted to address here is the developmental steps that were skipped or distorted by not having our needs met or being taught certain skills because our parents did not know them either. This is also a big part of why therapy can be so painful even though no one is doing anything wrong this time around. I had been planning on covering all of the developmental learning in the rest of this post but as I outlined what I wanted to say, it became evident that the post would become a twee long even for me. So instead, this is the beginning of a series. 🙂 Continue Reading

Therapy isn’t enough

November 21, 2011 27 comments

Therapy isn’t enough. Never has been, never will be. The Boundary Ninja would often say that to me when I would bring up my pain about his boundaries. I had all the classic complaints. How could I work through what I needed to in only 50 minutes a week? How do I open up when I need to and then pull it back together to walk out? Why couldn’t he hold me and comfort me when I was in pain? Why couldn’t I see him outside of therapy and know more about him? Why couldn’t I live under his desk? 🙂

Now the first time he ever told me therapy wasn’t enough, I must confess gentle reader, that what went through my head was “What the f***?!?! If you know that, then why in hell am I here?! I have no f***ing idea what you’re talking about?!?” Took me a long time to express that (I do believe I cleaned up my language when I asked. But maybe not, I could sometimes really rip loose in the BN’s office. Mainly because the first time I ever used the “F” word in front of him, when I calmed down I apologized for my language. He informed me, in no uncertain terms, that I was never to apologize for that, adults talk that way when they’re angry, we sanitize things too much and I should express myself however I needed to. I have often wondered if he ever regretted saying that. :)) He said many times to me (he had to repeat most things to me about 13563 times as I am slow to catch on) that therapy isn’t enough, and honestly, I thought it was extremely puzzling for a long time. I mean, I heard the words, but had no idea what he meant by them. But I eventually learned their truth. Continue Reading

Why won’t my therapist just tell me how this works?!?

November 16, 2011 13 comments

I don’t know about anyone else, but one of the most frustrating things about therapy for me was the fact that I was working so hard to get it “right” but the Boundary Ninja refused to cooperate. In any way. He’s a very stubborn man. Or perhaps determined might be a better word.

When I started really working with the Boundary Ninja on an individual basis, I was consumed with the worry that I was being a nightmare of a patient, way too needy and that he was just sitting across from me keenly anticipating the day that I would finally leave. I was consumed with worry about how I was doing in therapy. Was I getting it right? Was I being a good patient? Was I working hard enough? Did he actually like me or was he just tolerating me for pay? I’m sure most of you could come up with a long list of your own. Continue Reading

Another Poem

November 10, 2011 4 comments

I just saw the Boundary Ninja on Monday. I have been running into some significant transference and triggering in some relationships right now and wanted to sort through it. I am planning on writing about it at some point when it’s clearer than it is now. 🙂 I stopped going regularly to therapy in September of 2010, but have been back for single sessions every couple of months when I’ve needed to work through something that came up. This was the first time that I have seen him that I made another appointment before leaving. Usually I leave without an appointment and just email him to ask for one when I need it. Continue Reading

Disorganized Attachment or Why You Think You’re Crazy But Really Aren’t

October 14, 2011 176 comments

People with insecure attachment: avoidant, anxious or disorganized, tend to have a much more interesting time in therapy than people who formed secure attachments in childhood. I want to talk about insecure attachment and its affect on therapy, with an emphasis on disorganized attachment since that was with what I struggled. Human beings are born unable to care for themselves in any way; they are totally dependent literally as a matter of life and death on their caregiver, usually their mother, but whomever it is that is responsible for caring for them as a child. (That’s so our heads are small enough so that a baby can be delivered. Can you imagine delivering a child with an adult sized head? Time out for all the readers who have delivered babies to wince and say “OUCH!” Okay, everyone back?) There is a biological imperative for the child to stay close and there is a corresponding biological imperative on the part of the caregiver to respond to the needs of the infant. Thus the two humans, infant and caregiver, form an attachment bond. Humans form attachments throughout their life, but none as profound or far-reaching as the one they experience with their parents. That bond, formed while we are developing, has the power to shape both how we see ourselves and the nature of the universe in which we live. Continue Reading