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Archive for the ‘feelings’ Category

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

Disruption and Rage Part I

August 9, 2013 23 comments

TW*** CSA, rage and really bad language

Well, I think I have hidden in my cave long enough and its time to poke my head out and talk about what is going on with me. I am most of the way through a four week break in therapy due to BN’s vacation. In what we both agreed was spectacularly bad timing, we had a really brutal session, including a difficult disruption, just before the break. It involved what I will readily concede was a re-enactment on my part and a lot of rage towards my parents. It also included my best effort to date of expressing anger at BN in the moment. I have been struggling to stay stable and try to understand all that is going on but to be very honest, I am feeling GONZO confused so part of why I am writing is to try and sort through what is going on and understand.

A disclaimer before I go on, which is that I am angry and in a way that doesn’t lend itself to being particularly fair to the other person. So I want to say up front, and center, that BN was very patient with me, very encouraging about me allowing myself to just express my anger and amazingly non-defensive. If I had been talking to me on the crisis line, I probably would have ended the call as being too abusive, but he thanked me (!) for my honesty. 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)

Continue Reading

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

Peeking out

Hi All,

I’m attempting to come back out and play, but its a bit harder (and more complicated) than I thought it would be. Of course, when isn’t it? 🙂

First, I want to say thank you so much to everyone who left such supportive comments. Your care and interest was the difference between me just bolting and coming back. I’ll be responding to comments over the next few days.

I am feeling much more rested and not nearly as fragile, but am struggling with just a boatload of shame. I continue to be affected by a number of events, including being cut off from my mother, and the online mess (although both of those are mild at this point) and other family stuff (about which I am being vague to protect other people’s privacy). But I have also been working in therapy on looking at my eating/body issues, which have tripped off a lot of realizations about beliefs about myself and my worth. Continue Reading

It’s not really about my mom

March 26, 2013 17 comments

Don’t want to leave everyone in suspense but between my schedule and the fact that I am in the midst of trying to understand what is going on inside of me, this will be brief (ok, admittedly, brief is a relative concept with me :)). While BN recognized that, of course, it hurt that my mother ignored my birthday, I was incredibly clear about the situation and completely understood what was going on. He pretty much nodded and uh-huhed his way through the beginning of the session. He told me later that he had not said a thing or offered any insight because I didn’t need any. That I was handling the hurt from my mom better now than in the past and that it would get better in the future. That maybe I was struggling to find compassion for her and maybe that would come easier in the future, maybe it wouldn’t but it was ok either way. 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?

Read more…

It’s still no, but still helpful

January 6, 2013 52 comments

I am back with the promised update on my last session with BN. (For background, see my previous post The Whole Story of the No.) It was an intense, difficult session but a very productive one and I left feeling better than I came in and with a much clearer understanding. And a lot of respect for everyone’s comments as they highlighted a lot of the material we ended up talking about. I do want to put up a language warning as both BN and I were indulging in order to convey the emotions.

It felt scary driving to BN’s office, but I realized something very important that also felt like a significant step forward. My fear was about how difficult and painful the feelings would be that were evoked by what we needed to talk about, not about the relationship. It hit me that through this whole thing I have not been worried about our relationship in terms of its ending or being damaged beyond repair. I trusted BN to handle any of my feelings that arose and any anger directed at him and I also knew whatever we decided, we could work through it. This level of security has been a long work in progress, and has been building very slowly, but it was satisfying to realize I had come this far. Continue Reading

The Whole Story of the No

January 2, 2013 58 comments

In my post I HATE hearing no, I talked about BN saying no to something I asked for but didn’t go into too many details. Some of it was lack of time, but I suspect, gentle readers, that some of it was embarrassment. So now I’m going to tell the whole story, mainly because I am working very hard to understand what is going on within me and where I want to go from here. I see BN on Friday and I am struggling to discern if I am just trying to avoid loss or if this is something I can have in the here and now. I strongly suspect from the intensity of my feelings that BN gave me the right answer, but I’m not sure whether I am ready to give up the fight yet. But I’m getting ahead of myself… Continue Reading