Greetings Gentle Readers,
Yes, I am still alive! This break stretched a bit longer than I expected. I was working very long hours right up until we left for vacation on October 23. We had a wonderful vacation, including a family reunion cruise that went incredibly well. So much so that everyone insisted on booking another one in March of 2017. This was a quite pleasant surprise, as we were not at all certain going in that everyone would enjoy it. And I had to laugh at myself because by the end of the trip, I realized that I was feeling much closer to everyone and much more up on what is going on in their lives, when it ruefully dawned on me, that IS the point of family reunions. Continue Reading
Greetings gentle readers,
I know my posting has been rather scant lately. I have been doing some really intense work in therapy and sometimes when I am in the midst of deep work, it can be hard to speak of it. I also think unconsciously, I may be attempting to “contain” the energy so that it stays in therapy. Writing about it can almost spring a leak in the therapeutic vessel. But tonight I feel so drained and bereft that I need to make some connection. I am hoping that talking about my session today will help. Continue Reading
OK, I’ve officially had enough of BN being gone. I’ve got 10 days left to go (so 25 down, you would think that, at least, would feel like an accomplishment) and it stretches before me as an impassable eternity (no hyperbole there, nope! 🙂 ). The last seven or eight months we’ve been doing so much work around shame, and I did not realize just how important it has been to be able to go see BN and be in a safe place where I could, however painfully and hesitatingly, speak about the shame I was feeling. It provided a regular pressure ‘bleed off” so that things did not hit critical mass. Continue Reading
AG, if you don’t mind sharing, what exactly helped you recognize that BN was totally comfortable with your relationship with him?
Instead of answering in the comments, I thought I’d write a post about my last session instead. So my thanks to Ann for providing inspiration. 🙂
I know I have been speaking about my work with shame recently, but in some ways my work has always been about shame. BN and I have recognized a pattern, often discussed, since the beginning of my work with him. I was worried I had manipulated my way into working with him (which is actually pretty funny in retrospect as manipulating BN would take someone a lot smarter than me 🙂 ), that I had no right to be there, that I had been there too long, that I was too much and too demanding, that I was too dependent and too needy. I’m sure you’re catching a theme here. I found reason after reason why I shouldn’t be seeing BN. Continue Reading
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
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?
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
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