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My very first blog


Athena

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Random thoughts for today:

I think I'm finally getting this psychotherapy thing. Particularly my difficulty with transference. I had to be told a few times that Psychoanalysis actively uses transference to experience and work through repressed emotions. I keep asking, "what am I supposed to be talking about - past, present, future?" The answer keeps coming back, "whatever is on your mind at this moment". So it could be any one of the three. Then the most powerful part of the therapy is when you touch on an emotion and experience it right there with the therapist. Powerful stuff. But confusing as hell.

What do you do with feelings of love and attraction? My first reaction - keep it to myself. But he got it out of me. Sure didn't see that coming. Then he says to openly discuss these feelings when they arise. Ok, I obediently obliged next session. Woops, too much information. Don't feel good about that session. OK, next I just try to kill off the feelings, at least the disturbing ones. OK, that was easy. Totally buried them. Well, that's no good either, I'm just totally withdrawing now.

Finally, I think I've got the answer. Experience whatever part of the feelings you find helpful. But keep your fantasies to yourself because that's NOT what this is about. Just talk about feelings toward your therapist, recognizing him as your "ideal", don't forget he's not really "real". Your emotions are real but they are toward an "ideal". Don't try to make your therapist into a real person by asking him all sorts of personal questions. Especially, don't ask him any questions to which you may get an answer you don't like. Right - now I finally remember what motivated me to make this blog entry. Last week my therapist told me he's going on a three week holiday over Christmas. First thought - I'm going to miss him terribly. Then comes the weekend and two days to mull this over. Ouch - he has a life, a family, presumably a wife. He's not MINE. His holiday is a painful reminder of that.

So, I'm not ready to ask him if he has a wife. I'm pretty darn sure he does, but that's pretty darn irrelevant, and I'd really rather not know 100% for sure. Because he's supposed to give me everything that on an emotional level I didn't get from my parents. How can he do that if I start getting jealous and feeling like I'm second fiddle, and not wanted, and not worthy and so on and so forth? So I will leave him to his privacy, other than stuff that's truly going to be helpful, stuff that will help me trust him more, or relate to him better, or allow me to express my feelings better. My "ideal" is now free to give me unconditional love, listen to all my "stuff", offer wise guidance where necessary, offer gentle, kind compassion, seek a deeper understanding of ME, relieve me of my loneliness and self-doubt, and help me to trust and love again. And he is perfect, because I need him to be, not because he is.

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That's a wondeful description, Athena :). You know, I can relate to most of this very much... :)

The probably biggest difference: I'm not jealous at all. I wish he has a good wife, a happy marriage, nice kids. I wish him to be happy. (-I wrote him all this some time ago.) I also suppose that when he's happy in his personal life, he can do much more for his patients. He also can "bear" all the transferance issues much better, as if he was lonely, he would be easily hurt by the fact that "my patients, who don't know me at all, love me, but I can't "take" this love, I only have to analyze it, but the people in my personal life, who know how I am, don't love me"...

So... my conclusion is, that it would be very wise to talk about everything you've mentioned here with your therapist someday (it doesn't mean that he will tell you if he has a wife! :(. He probably won't.). Because it also contains important info about you! Look: we both are in a similar situation with our therapists, but we see it very differently in some points. It means that your jealeousy is something specific. Moreover, I'm sure that even when you don't know if he's married, you still feel bad about the fact that he probably is, althought you try to deny it in your post. So... why let yourself to remain in this unpleasant state? I'm sure when you'd have discussed and understood it (in therapy), then this "hidden jealousy" would disappear, so you'd feel better.

What do you think?

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I agree Athena, the therapy process can be confusing. It took me about 2 years before I could speak freely and openly about what was on my mind because I spent too much time trying to focus on what I should be saying instead of how I was feeling in the moment.

Transference...it's interesting and I find, a bit scary....to have these very strong feelings towards someone you barely know. I can sympathise with your jealousy issues...I used to feel the same about my therapist when I thought of him possibly having children he loves and pays attention to when, here's me, neglected emotionally by my parents, and i'm craving his attention as a father figure and i can only get that once a week. But now I find more and more I really hope he has a great life with people he loves and who love him...I have developed a deep respect for him and actually, the distance he keeps for my own good between us. Yes I want to know him more, but I get why I can't. He's protecting me, not pushing me away.

I don't think he would reveal his marital status. Mine always says if I want to know some things about him I can ask, however if he feels it's innapropriate for me to know, then he will tell me he can't answer the question. He said that it is better for the patient to know less about the therapist. My thinking is this is because we may "subconciously" want/expect a certain answer and we may not get what we want. The idea of therapy, at least in this case (I'm guessing from what you have described that our therapists use a similar format) is to get what you need from your therapist (love, attention, comfort, etc.) until you've worked through everything you've repressed and you no longer need them (I know, the thought of not going to see my therapist makes me so sad, but apparently I'll be ok with it when the time is right!).

How long have you been seeing your therapist, if you don't mind me asking?

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Hi Lala3,

Interesting you brought the jealousy thing up now because I just discussed it with my therapist today. I lost the emotional connection with my therapist over the past few weeks. I still have a lot of respect for him and have an infinite amount of faith in his abilities, but we are currently exploring why I have lost the connection, which I am determined to get back because I experienced such transformational change in all areas of my life when it was present.

So I decided to get absolutely anything that might remotely bother me about the relationship out into the open. One of the things was that I perceived he was giving more time to his other patients. Anyway it turns out he was not, it was an incorrect assumption about his scheduling that I had. It seemed quite obvious to both of us that it is similar to how I felt around my sister, who got showered with all the love, attention and praise from my parents. Unfortunately it was lifelong, not just in childhood, and I felt like she was loved and I was not, or at best, I was loved a whole lot less. So once again, right in the therapeutic relationship, I felt like second fiddle again.

There are a whole lot of other issues that have also come up such as guilt and feeling judged by him. Plus I went on an antidepressent/antianxiety med plus mild tranquilizers to help me sleep, and seem to be drinking alcohol every night these days. That could be flattening out my emotions. Plus I'm finally getting a response out of my ex which will move the divorce forward again. So that probably factors into it too, as I am now in a headspace of "Here we go, I lose again". Mediation has just been an exercise in taking what two intelligent adults agreed on up-front and then lawyers chipping away at that agreement over and over again like Chinese water torture until we get to a point where my ex thinks he's got the most out of me before I jump off a 10 story building. (I think he feels it would be too inconvenient for him to be a single parent). It just seems like an exercise in persecution, and it all happened due to timing. My ex didn't happen to have a "real job" at the time of the separation, and the fact that he has the same professional qualifications as myself and made a lot more than I did for several years during our marriage is completely disregarded as irrelevant and so the poor lazyass is entitled to support from me.

Anyway, looking at the amount of space I’ve wasted here talking about my ex, it appears he is colouring my thoughts to the downside again, which always make me insane so I’ll stop there.

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Hi Buttons,

Yes, I do think our therapists sound very similar in their approach. And if I ever do ask him if he's married, I already know he will ask me what prompted me to ask. So I'd have to have a very relevant answer. However, if he did say "yes", it really doesn't tell me anything. It doesn't say whether it's a good relationship, it doesn't tell me if it's his 5th wife, or if he's going through a nasty separation. And because he's a man, it's not particularly relevant as he won't understand on an emotional level what I've gone through as a wife.

I think I've been seeing him for a little over two months now. Things progressed extremely quickly. The first week I was so skeptical I was only prepared to give it a week or two, then I would decide if I stayed or left. By the second week I trusted him completely, and the strong attachment probably started around that time. When he asked me to disclose how I felt about him, I think I was not quite ready to fully disclose my feelings, but didn't know that until after the fact. Anyway, it sure got a ton of issues out on the table pretty quickly so perhaps it worked out for the best. Some lyrics from a Johnny Reid song just started to come into my head, "You know me, better than I know myself. You see me differently than everybody else". Kind of reminds me of my therapist.

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Hi, Athena,

Thanks for yor explanations. I see it as you're on a good way :). I suppose it's disappointing to you to "loose the connection", but it's another important issue to deal with - and you did! I'm pretty sure your connection will be back soon... :)

Best wishes!

L.

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Just wanted to quickly add...I've felt that I've lost the connection with mine too for a bit at certain points. I've been seeing him for 2.5 years now. But it always comes back. And you'd be surprised how much they remember about you and re-call about conversations you've had. Even if you lose the connection temporarily, they will never lose the connection with you :) I find that very comforting.

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Thank you both for your reassurances that I will get the connection back. I have faith that it will, but I have warned my therapist that I am so self destructive (unconsciously until after the fact when I see how I just sabotaged myself) that I will probably be very good at "messing up" the therapeutic process too. But I've also seen how skilled he is, and he has several times taken the words right out of my mouth. So he is probably equally skilled, I hope more so, at making sure I don't "mess things up".

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I know this feeling that "I'm completely messing up my therapy"! :( However, it seems that my therapist still thinks that anything isn't "messing up" - that anything a patient do/says is an adequate part of the therapy. I'm pretty sure your has a similar opinion on this ;)...

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