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Unread 11-10-2016, 03:02 PM   #1
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Default Can Anybody Relate?

I'm just curious if anybody can relate to this email I sent to my t today...

Dear T,

I'm coming for my session today. If I tell you how I'm feeling, it might help us know where to focus our work.

I still struggle with feeling tense in my sessions. The Protector is still active in keeping a distance between you and the parts of me that feel longing, pain, and need. There does not seem to be a way to convince the Protector that allowing little parts to participate in therapy work will turn out well for them, rather than hurt them.

The Protector has seen how letting those parts interact with you brings up their painful needs and longings to have the kind of relationship with you that they couldn't have with mom. But the Protector has also seen how our therapy relationship has not been able to give them the amount of contact, comfort, time, affection, etc., that they need, and how much disappointment and pain it causes them. It triggers all of the same feelings they had in the past because mom couldn't provide it either.

The Protector serves a big purpose in therapy. It keeps me in my adult mind, and keeps hurt parts at enough distance from you, so that the painful cycle of having needs that can't be met doesn't keep hurting me again and again. I'm sorry that it also keeps me feeling tense in my sessions, and sometimes unable to connect with my hurt parts. But I don't know what else to do right now. Staying distant keeps me from doing the work we need to do, but getting closer seems like it is almost sure to keep causing longings for things that can't be.

I know none of this is new to you. You know it already. I seem to need to say it over and over again. I don't know why. I guess it just always forefront in my mind.

I hope that the resetting emotions thing we are doing will help. I have to admit it doesn't make much sense how picturing an emotion as a visual thing until the picture changes is going to achieve anything. But I haven't felt a lot of shame this past week, so that's good. I'm willing to keep doing it.

Peaches
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Unread 11-11-2016, 04:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Can Anybody Relate?

Hey Peaches, taking a break, sent you a PM
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Unread 11-21-2016, 02:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Can Anybody Relate?

hi peaches

i definilty relate to the email you sent to your T and have had many similar conversations with my own T. how did your T react to your email and how did your session afterwards go?
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Unread 11-27-2016, 06:35 PM   #4
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Oh, yeah. I can relate.
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Unread 11-28-2016, 01:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Can Anybody Relate?

Question is, can the therapist relate.
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Unread 11-30-2016, 09:23 AM   #6
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i sure hope the therapist can relate too, it was a good letter and i'd bet the therapist knows what you're talking about. I hope they are a good therapist. Sometimes under our system and insurances it's hard to find a good one so you are or seem lucky.good luck!!
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Unread 03-10-2017, 09:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Can Anybody Relate?

I feel that I am struggling with the same thing. My T , however seems to respond with the same question to anything I say. No matter how I try to explain. Her response is Does every cell in your body from the tip of your toes to the top of your head know that what happened to you in the past is no longer happening now?? If I tell her specifically that I feel attached to her she will ask that question. If I say I know old stuff is coming up and I know it's old stuff how can I move forward? Still she will ask the same question.
I am in a constant struggle with how I feel about her. Her question is getting so old and irritating. I even tried explaining to her I feel so borderline..(I do have BPD) but still same response. I hit a wall with this. This consumes so much energy when not in session. I can't sleep, I cry easily and I feel angry. I think self harm A Lot. Sometimes engage in it. I am trying to now convince my self to block all feelings and thoughts I have about her and stuff the hurt and pain that I just can't talk to her. I have tried email and text but she doesn't respond and doesn't bring it up in session. I feel what's the point. Get angry. And my cycle of self hatred starts.
Please don't say anything about leaving therapy. Just looking for possible alternative ways to say what I feel is current that I am attached to you, needy, clingy, need reassurance, need you, need comfort, need to feel your there, need to feel okay with you. Yuck the old !
Sorry I am just struggling and have no one to talk to.
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Unread 03-10-2017, 03:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can Anybody Relate?

Some therapists are not well trained nor effective. Sounds like both of you have found an ineffective not good at their profession T. Run don't walk to get away from them. What you feel is real and you need a better T. The new T will help you get over the attachment. This is not healthy for you.
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Unread 03-19-2017, 01:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Can Anybody Relate?

Just like any relationship in our lives, we aren't compatible with everyone we come in contact with, and even in the case of a client therapist relationship, there may be differences that don't allow for each other to mesh. If you feel you are not meshing with your therapist in a way that is helping you, I suggest you request for a transfer. Good health professionals want nothing but the best for their clients and what is best for you should be all that matters.
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Unread 03-21-2017, 08:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Can Anybody Relate?

***GOOD EXPERIENCE, BUT BRIEF MENTION of PAST ABUSE***MAY TRIGGER***

Thanks for the responses, everyone!

I wanted to update everybody about what happened after I sent that email to my t. She continued to show kindness and very gently tried to get the Protector's approval to work with the small part of me that had been hurt in the past. Soon after that, I drew a picture of something that happened to me when I was 4. It was a childish looking picture, so I was embarrassed - not to mention ashamed because of the subject matter. But it felt like that small part of me was ready to share with my t about what happened.

She told me she would be happy to see the picture and talk about it with me. She also said she might need to ask me some questions about it (about what happened), and would I be OK answering any questions (not in too much detail). I told her yes, as I handed her the picture. She looked at it and immediately said, "Oh, OK. I know what you're referring to."

So we talked about what had happened back when I was 4. I was in my adult frame of mind and was answering the questions without feeling much emotion. My intention was not to have that small, hurt part of me show up in the room, but just to tell my t what happened. But after a few minutes, I could feel that part of me showing up. I tried to fight the tears, but I couldn't. My t was telling me that what happened was not in any way, shape, or form my fault.

Then my t asked me, "What would you have needed back then to feel safe and not afraid?" I told her I would have needed someone to protect me from that person. Somebody who cared enough to notice what was going on and do something to help me. So she had me close my eyes and imagine myself back there, while she, with a very strong, protective voice reassured me that she was there with me, I was not alone anymore.

She talked to the bad person and told him that he had no right to hurt a little girl, that she was going to take me away from there, away from him, and she would not let him do anything to hurt me anymore. She also said she was going to report him to the authorities and he would never again be able to do what he did to any other little girl.

Well, these things she was saying felt so good inside, even though I knew we were only visualizing going back to that day. Still, I felt a sense of being cared about, somebody wanting to help me. By then, I was crying hard.

Then I did something that I feel so embarrassed to say...She asked me what else she could do to help me feel safe, and I replied, "I just want to sit by your shoes." She said that was just fine, so I moved to the floor next to her. "Can I hang onto your shoes? "If I hang onto your shoes, he won't be able to drag me away!" My t then encouraged me to hang onto her shoes. She told me she was pulling me away from that bad man, pulling me to safety.

When it was over, I felt kind of spacy, but the pain I had felt had receded. For the next 2-3 days, I was totally exhausted! I wasn't depressed or anything, but I had trouble getting through my workday. I felt like I could not keep my eyes open! I was so tired! I ended up going home early from work, so I could sleep. I also had sore muscles all over for a day or so. It felt like I had been through something very physically strenuous that had taken every bit of energy I had to give, and I was recuperating. After a few days, I went back to feeling like my normal self.

Since then, I feel somewhat more peaceful. The little part of me seems less anxious and desperate to have somebody love and protect her. I'm still having some bad dreams, and there are other traumas we will need to process also. But having gone through processing this one thing with my t, and having it turn out OK, has given me courage to keep going in my work with her. I have also felt like I have some strength built up inside to help somebody else, so I have been reaching out a little bit to help a friend I know who is having a hard time...just being a listening ear for her.

Usually, I am so consumed with my own anxiety, pain, and grief that I have nothing left to give to others. But just being able to get a little comfort for myself allowed me to give some to somebody else.

It's pretty amazing to me that I ever got to the point where I could process this with my t, without being too afraid of the outcome, being too ashamed, or fearing something bad happening as a result. I'd tried before, several times, to process traumatic events with my t, but I was never ready...never trusting enough...too afraid. Whenever we started to process something, I would get too overwhelmed, or I'd end up distancing from my t afterwards, because of feeling embarrassed and being too afraid because I had let myself feel soothed by her. This is the first time I can remember actually processing something with her all the way through without the Protective part of me stepping in to try to sabotage things. I have been in therapy with my t for well over a decade. It has taken this long to build up enough trust to actually "do the work."

I have to admit that the idea of doing visualizations like this sounded kind of hokey to me. I didn't think it would help much because it felt like pretending. After all, I couldn't really go back and change things, be protected from what happened in the past. Plus, I was terrified to even imagine my t keeping me safe and protected because I was scared to death to get too attached to her since I know she can't ever be like a mom to me or stay in my life forever. This fear kept me from being able to process any traumas with my to a resolution. Many, many times I got discouraged and wanted to quit therapy, feeling like I would never be able to take the necessary steps, never get better. But my t would always encourage me to keep going.

Now, having gone through this visualization with my t, and processing that traumatic even that happened when I was little...and allowing myself to feel comforted and protected by my t...allowing the feeling to flow inside me, that feeling that I needed back then and didn't have... it has helped!

No matter how desperate I felt for my t to love me and to feel her care inside, I always tried to stay distant enough not to get too attached. I feared that letting her soothe me might make me want more and more. I thought it would make it even harder for me down the road at termination. But instead of making me feel more needy, allowing myself some of her comfort has brought me some peace. I feel like that painful empty hole has been filled a little bit, and I am less needy, not more.

So overall, I'm feeling good about the work my t and I are doing. I realize that the goal is not to forever rely on her to fill me up. But she is teaching me how to accept the feeling of soothing and care from her without feeling undeserving or guilty.

I do not think that I need TONS of caring from her. It just has FELT like TONS because of how long I lived without it. I believe that as long as I allow myself to have what my t offers, within reason of course, it will go a long way to helping me heal and become more able to provide comfort for myself internally and have more left over to give to the people I love and care about.

So, yeah, I'm feeling hopeful today. That's not to say there won't still be hard and painful work ahead, but I'm hopeful.
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