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How to oblige my mouth to talk???


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I know this is a typical problem and anybody hasn't a universal answer, so... it seems stupid to ask... Moreover, I repeat myself here as I ask more or less the same as I did in the "How to open a can of worms?" thread :o... I just... feel a bit desperate about my ability to talk in therapy. Almost 2 years already, I've already told him so many "unspeakable" things, ... but I still have such a big problem to speak sometimes - even that I come with detailed notes and all the last week I was feeling absolutely decided to tell him "this and that"!!! Then I come there and... it takes me 30 minutes to even start, then I have a feeling that my mouth doesn't cooperate with my brain - that I want to talk, but I'm not. Even my brain refuses to cooperate; refuses to even remember what I wanted to say, sometimes also to understand my own notes (!!!). So frustrating!!! :mad: I know I need this frustration to become more motivated to overcome this inhibition next time, but... it's all so very very slow and I don't have much time now :-(...

You know what's silly? Yesterday, I told my T more than before (but not all, of course - I would have, if I was there for maybe 3-4 hrs, not "only" for 90 minutes (-he gave me two sessions at once as I was so desperate about time...)) and in the end, during a short farewell-hug, he told me twice: "You're a very brave woman..." It was his way to acknowledge my effort to talk about something I "can't" talk about, and also he wanted to oppose to the fact which I often repeat - that I'm an awful coward. It was so kind :)... but it's not true. I want to be brave, but... "my brain and my mouth oppose to me" :-(...

I know this post is nothing but a vent and it would be maybe better to post in on my blog only, but... I think that these feelings are so 'universal' - so many patients struggle with them - that... it's maybe fine to... share them.

Hey all, let's not to give up and make our mouths and our brains cooperate!!! :)

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LaLa,

If we humans were logical, of course past performance would match future capabilities (isn't repeatability a foundation of the scientific method?)

Sadly (or joyfully as one's attitude dictates), we're in fact only a tiny bit logical. Instead, we're complex organic analog machines conditioned by millions of years, not to be logical, but to survive. Logic is needed sometimes, intuition is needed sometimes, feeling is needed sometimes, just stopping and using our senses is needed sometimes. That's why we have all those options.

What you're calling "my brain" is really your conscious, thinking mind. There's more than just that in the much larger thing that is your entire mind, though. It appears that there's something, some part of you that you're not entirely conscious of, that's not ready to say the particular things you're trying to say. Rather than devalue that part as a coward, maybe it would help to honor whatever its need is, and try to find out why it's not ready yet? It's not "your mouth", it's another part of your mind; insulting it is just insulting you. What if it knows something you don't?

I'm all for talking in therapy. But you also have to listen to your (whole) self.

{Sorry, sometimes I get carried away in the words and end up lecturing. I remember my dad spending weary hours trying to convince me that intellect was not humanity's reason for existing. I didn't get it until much later ...}

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Malign,

that's exactly why I posted this here: To provoke your "lecturing ;)" because I appreciate it so much on my blog, which is private so those who don't have access "are off luck"... :o

But yes, I admit that I posed it also because of myself; I needed this kind of words again... :)

Thanks... ;-)

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Sorry, I forgot to mention: The main question of my T two weeks before was: "What prevents you from talking about it? Why it's so very hard to tell?" So I think it's the kind of question as yours "try to find out why it's not ready yet". I analyzed this for more than a week, but came only to fantasies about "what bad could hypothetically happen if I told him..." - and all the ideas were very absurd and I was unable to understand why so absurd reasons can prevent me from talking. Yes, because I'm not logical wink.png. But... I give you an example: One of the ideas that appeared was: "I might suffer as I did so many times in past when being exposed to this "issue" and I don't want to suffer and moreover, or even mainly (!),, I fear that if I would suffer in his presence, my mind would possibly consider him to be the source of the suffering and that's something that I can't allow / that I have to prevent, because he is "axiomatically" the person who never causes suffering to me, so I don't want my mind to come to such, even that only temporary!, absurd conclusions." Any idea about that? ohmy.png

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I wish I practiced as well as I preach. ;-)

:)

I wish you to succeed soon :)...

Force is harmful, harsh words are harmful, even if we're just using them on ourselves.

Sorry, I'm not sure if I understand what you're referring to here. It seems to me that you might misunderstood this:

I needed this kind of words again...

so you referred to my words. But me, in this sentence, I meant YOUR words; that I posed that because I needed to read such a reply :o. (Sorry if you had understood that and I explain it here needlessly...)

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It's okay, LaLa: if it's worth me saying it, it's worth me saying it well enough to be understood. :-)

The "force" I meant was that you wanted to "oblige" your mouth to talk, and the harsh words are things like "coward" that you say to yourself to try to make it happen. It's often harder to be nice to ourselves than to others.

Well, it's clear that the "suffering" from before was important to you. It makes sense that some part of you (even an illogical one) might be trying to protect you from having it happen again. It might be helpful to ask yourself (you might not be willing to explain to us; that's okay) who made you suffer before, and why might that get transferred to your therapist?

It's interesting how determined you are not to contaminate his image in your mind. You do know that no one's perfect, not even him. But for some reason, it's necessary that he appear that way ...

I don't know, my friend; I'm just throwing out ideas for you to try on.

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Thanks again :-)

I have to add something positive, but not only because it's positive ;-), but also because it explains why I want to force myself to talk and why I don't care so much about being kind to myself in this regard - to be kind to that part of me that still thinks that "it's impossible to talk about it" and that "it could make me suffer again".

It's because of my experiences with all these hard sessions, with all these few cases when I told him something "unspeakable": It has always been a breakthrough; it changed me, my life, my feelings, my problems with some particular issues! The evening and some days after such a session, I always felt like "he set me free!!!" Then, after some time, I've always find out that "no, there is still too much stuff stuck in me, there is still a lot I have to say"... But I can't only wait for the feeling that "I'm prepared now!"; it's too passive! To precise; I wait until I feel prepared - feel prepared when I'm alone (= not with my T). Then I make the decision: "Next time, I'll tell him this and this." (I spend many hours in my fantasies about HOW I could tell it - these fantasies take very much time :-(, but are very important as they allow me to discover, what exactly I feel the need to say and also to understand WHY and WHAT I EXPECT from telling him this particular thing.) But the problems come when I'm with him, sitting there and he's looking at me. I always begin to feel so... "inappropriate", so embarrassed, ... He's really great in making it all easier for me, he's really trying to help me to overcome these feelings and we succeed, it just takes an awful lot of time. He told me "It's your time, it's OK, ..." Yes, it's my time, but... it's really frustrating to waist it this way!!! I have my head full of things to share, but the head becomes closed, inaccessible when the time to speak comes. The only way I know that works for me, at least a bit, is to force myself talking even when I feel all the constrains and I feel, in that moments, "it's useless and stupid and awkward, ...". I have to be a bit "cruel" to myself, I don't see any other way. Maybe that's also why I'm writing here about it: To ask if somebody has "a trick"/a hint how to do it better :). I need to force myself "to get to the target" as I know how good it can be for me and also how dear and scarce and expensive the time of the therapy is.

who made you suffer before, and why might that get transferred to your therapist?

Yes, I've been thinking about this a lot, too. It has always be me - the setup/configuration of my brain/mind - that used to make me suffer. I have an analogy which can illustrate it a bit: Imagine me having a phobia of spiders [that I really have, but it's not important at all here :P]. And now: The world is full of spiders, so I'm quite anxious "all the time", or better; I'm prone to get anxious frequently. When I'm confronted with a spider, it makes me suffer and it takes me some time to "recover". But who's the source of the suffering? My mind, my phobia, not the spider!!! That's my conviction/theory - I'm absolutely sure it's true; it's the best theoretical explanation/answer I know! But in that fear attack, I have the tendency to attribute the guilt/fault to the spider! (And that's absurd, but I understand it as I know we're not logical beings, mostly when emotions are involved.) That's why I think I could transfer it to my T if too strong emotions would overwhelm me. I know it would be OK, as he wouldn't take it personally ;-), I know we would be able to "go through it" together; I know, but my emotions or "that refusing part of me" don't want to experience it.

It's interesting how determined you are not to contaminate his image in your mind. You do know that no one's perfect, not even him. But for some reason, it's necessary that he appear that way ...

[added later Sorry, I wrote this text as if you had written something else - my reaction doesn't fit at all to what your words are about!!! I'm sorry. But I won't delete it, I just want to add this comment: I understood your message, but then my mind somehow modified it and... I was replying as if you said: "You think he's perfect and for some reason, it's necessary that he appear that way" :(. So here is the text:]

This makes me smile... I know I sound like that and I know that knowing something about my transference even increases this kind of ideas in "the readers". But I want to explain: I don't think he's perfect/ideal. I know that I am very very focused on all his positive attributes I have the possibility to see/perceive. I know that I always try to find a rational explanation of everything what he does and I don't like it or don't understand it - to find a way to understand him and his "behaviour". He says I'm idealising him to a big extend. (BTW, I asked him some weeks ago: "Please, describe me the image of you that you'd like me to have! I need to know how I should see you to be able to get there, to be able to idealize you less than now!" He smiled at me and explained me that this is exactly what we have to achieve together in course of therapy - me building a realistic image of him; he can't tell me how it "should" look like, I have to find out myself. So I asked sadly: "So you will not help me with it?" And he said: "Sure I will help you! :-)" Oh... But how??? How can I know what he means by "realistic" here??? I wrote to him after that session: "I think that what you want from me is only to replace my illusion about you by another illusion, but this time the one you would consider as "more appropriate"! Because you told me that "I cannot really know you, only a small part of you is there with me during therapy" - so how can you tell me that our aim is your realistic image???" [You see; he has it very difficult with me :o :-( ...]) But back to the topic: I don't think he's ideal or he doesn't make any mistakes or he's perfect in every way! (I have one strong objection towards him, BTW; he's a smoker and... I have to say that several of my letters were quite intensively focused on my feelings and thoughts about this - that I don't understand how he (/anybody who's not in such troubles that make him prone to addictions) can smoke... - I'm looking forward to discuss this with him in person once [-he knows it...]!!!) But what's very important for me and my therapy is the fundamental belief that he would never do me harm in any way. So in this way, I really don't want to, as you say, "contaminate his image in my mind" ...

It seems another period of very long posts of mine is here... *sigh*

Edited by LaLa3
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm just back from my session... It was bad... Not as much as it could be, of course, but...

I don't know what I want to. Two weeks, I didn't do anything but fantasising about what (and how, and why, ...) I would tell him and then I come there and... babble just some stupid crap around it, around "the issue", ... And in the end, when the time was over, my frustration culminated and I've done what I hate the most: I started "a rage" - a cry, a moaning and repeating "I'm bad, I'm so bad, I don't want to do this, kick me out!!!" and so on... The worse was that my therapist had to go - he had told me even before the session, for other reason (in another context) that he had to leave just after our session. So... by telling "I'm bad" I was telling that "I'm bad as I'm criying to keep you here with me"... ohmy.png Oh gosh, why do I have to do this??? Have I???

And he hadn't any other option than be there with me, he offered me to hold my hand, I refused for a moment, then I gave him my hand, he was holding it and also caressing my hair (he was sitiing next to me in that moments), then he stood up and told me "Come to me" and I didn't want as I felt unworthy of his hug, but then I gave up and it was a good hug and I was wishing so much to tell him "the thing I had been unable to tell him before" during the hug, but... I was unable to do it as before, but then, just in the end, I wispered it very silently so he (very probably) couldn't hear it and that was the end of the hug - I started to search for money in my bag (to pay for the session) and told him: "So I've done it like in the fairy tale: the pricess came dressed up and nude at the same time - and I told you it and didn't tell - as you didn't hear it."

But I'm glad that the very end was very nice - as he said something about the sesion (that I haven't done/said anything bad/inordinate and so on) and then he added: "I'm just sorry that I have such a stupid pullover today..." - and it was funny because... I asked surprised: "Why stupid?" And he said - oh, sorry, I don't know how to translate this in English!!! biggrin.png It was about... that some very little pieces of the cloth were "shreding" [??? Sorry, I'm struggling with the dictionary, but... :o] from it, so he supposed I could be somehow "smudged" [?]/"polluted" [?] because of the hug [oh, sorry - this is so awkward when I can't write it in normal English...]... So I told him, smiling: "Oh no, it's OK! Actually, I was thinking that today you have "a hugging pullover" as it's very enjoyable to touch[ing?]!" So... these were my "final words" and... so it was nice in the end (as he smiled) and so I'm not in a "devastating" mood, but... maybe I should be - maybe I deserve to be frustrated and hurting because of my inability to communicate... But... I'm so good to myself that I don't even blame myself! How strange... This is how I am supposed to be? Forgiving and understanding? Also in a situation like this one??????

Edited by LaLa
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Yes, I do. Not only "tend to". I over-think almost everything, except for the things I should think of more. :( I know it, I know it for several years, during therapy I realized it's always been much worse than I thought. I know it's my big, big problem. (My T also told me several times about some things that I should "take some distance" or so...) But I have no clue what to do with it.

If somebody wants to comment on this, it would be fine. But... I'd rather like to stay more focused on the "subject" here. Not necessarly. Just... my feeling... :o

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"I over-think almost everything, except for the things I should think of more."

Um, that would make you 100% wrong, LaLa, and you're not that.

I bet it's just a few of each, if you're honest with yourself.

The subject here is how to get yourself to talk, and it just might be that Luna's still on that subject. One idea might be not to turn it over and over in your mind until it's such a big deal that you can't say it.

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Um, that would make you 100% wrong, LaLa, and you're not that.I bet it's just a few of each, if you're honest with yourself.

OK :o But not "a few of each". It's too much of... "the wrong" and a bit of "the right" - that's the way I really see it. :(

The subject here is how to get yourself to talk, and it just might be that Luna's still on that subject.

Sorry, Luna, I didn't want to be somehow "offending" by supposing it was not on subject :o.

One idea might be not to turn it over and over in your mind until it's such a big deal that you can't say it.

Maybe. Just that... I feel it in the opposite way: By turning it over and over in your mind, it becomes "acceptable" to me - I'm more and more prone to talk about it - I feel it that way. Just... when it takes too long (this time because he canceled the session last week), then... I start to feel that "it's no more important, I told him in my head/mind, it's not essential to tell him in reality"... and then, in reality, I have a feeling that "he will consider it as totally banal, unimportant, ..." - when I tell him this, he says that I should not "anticipate" what he will think. OK. But how? How can I stop to "anticipate"?

And how can I stop to "turn something over and over in my mind" until it becomes not only "acceptable", but also "banal"?...

Sorry, I know I'm annoying now... But at least you can see how annoying I can be (and this is not the maximum, of course!) :o...

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You're not annoying, LaLa. You're just suffering, like the rest of us.

The more you tell yourself that it'll go on forever, the more it will. ;-)

Maybe it's not meant to be banal (it's pretty intimate stuff, I assume.) Maybe the goal is to be allowed to speak about stuff that's important, to people who matter.

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Now I'm in such a mood that I'd like to send a hug to all of you who posted here and thank you for being so patient/tolerant with me... ohmy.png

(((hugs)))

The more you tell yourself that it'll go on forever, the more it will.

OK. I hope I'll keep it in mind... (I mean 'practically', not only 'theoretically')

Maybe it's not meant to be banal (it's pretty intimate stuff, I assume.)

You're right. But you can imagine (or maybe even not as my "contemplations" in English (-here) are so much less complicated as in my mother tongue...) how my mind can "think over" this in an extremely intricate way... Sometimes (like now, it seems) I'm in a mood that I can rapidly come to a conclusion that 'satisfies me' for a moment and it's fine. Sometimes I come to a frustrating conclusion - as, in this case: For him, talking/listening about any intimate stuff is 'banal' because he's habituated to it and doesn't feel it as something 'problematic', so... when I'm trying to express myself in this very hard/troublesome way, I look like an idiot in his eyes. I know I don't, he tells me so, but... I should say... I look like an idiot in my eyes... (This is a good example of the principle that I've 'discovered' in therapy: When I think he's 'judgmental' towards me, it always only means that me, I am 'judgmental' towards myself.)

Well, I'm out of topic again and didn't say much rolleyes.gif...

Maybe the goal is to be allowed to speak about stuff that's important, to people who matter.

Hey, Mark, you were there with me or read my letters??? tongue.png That's what I told and wrote him - that's my goal! No, I didn't say it by the same words, but... it was the same in principle. And also... "to prove to myself (and to him) that I'm already able to cross the barrier that used to be all my life in my mind and never allowed me to talk about that stuff". Because... what (in principle) happened on/at [?] the last few sessions, was that... he crossed that barrier (actually, I used to call it - the obstacle between us, in our communication - a depth/gulf/abyss [oh, E. synonyms again!] with a bridge that only my T can see and use and I need to learn to see it, too, and then to be able to cross the abyss) by saying some sentences that would be very painful to me before, but I realized that... thanks to everything that had happened in my therapy, I didn't feel hurt by his words, on the contrary - I felt is as a 'liberation', ... So he 'showed me how to use the bridge', thus I was fantasizing a lot about crossing the abyss, too - I felt I was already able to talk, not only to listen, but... then... it became all so... 'banal' - that "Oh, but this is how every 'normal' person feels and so it's not anything special that I should show him that I'm able to do, for him, it would not be 'special', I will look like an idiot by doing it with 'an aura of success and special occasion' ... so it's sufficient to know I would be able to talk about it but I don't have to really do it" - and also this was in my mind when I tried to talk about it... Several parts on me were fighting together in my mind, 'me' being... just... confused and feeling awkward... (I'm sorry that every attempt to describe these moments is so different that it might seem that I'm not writing about only one session, but... it's because it was complicated and each of these texts is too short to be complex.)

Cultivating inner silence in order to listen in simplicity

This should be my 'motto'! :-)

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"When I think he's 'judgmental' towards me, it always only means that me, I am 'judgmental' towards myself. Well, I'm out of topic again and didn't say much"

On the contrary, I think this is pretty important.

You can look at it as a bridge across the abyss. It might still be scary to cross it ... You could also look at it as filling up the abyss, so that you can't fall in. Or, closing the gap until the abyss isn't there any more, or is only a foot wide ...

The cool thing about imagery is that you get to change it at will.

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"When I think he's 'judgmental' towards me, it always only means that me, I am 'judgmental' towards myself. Well, I'm out of topic again and didn't say much"

On the contrary, I think this is pretty important.

:D Yeah, this sentence was/is important, I agree. (Just not new to me...)

You could also look at it as filling up the abyss, so that you can't fall in.

This also was in one of my letters: That when I think about hugging, I see it, in this context, as if during hugging, we are both 'in the air', the abyss being deeply under us, not important anymore... It was a nice image, but false: The hug didn't really help in that particular case.

It seems to me that this becomes too personal for a thread and would be more suitable for my blog... But... I suppose that these problems are in general common to many of the patients in therapy (only in different 'colors'/ways), so... I'd like them, as well, to see what you (= you all) are writing to me as it could be useful and helpful for somebody else (without access to my blog), too...

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So today, I came there with zero expectations and without any plans. I only told him in the beginning: "For today, I have no 'scenario', so I hope you're glad. And also; we will not hug today." (Quite defensive/offensive? :-( ohmy.png...)

And it was very good to have no plans and expectations. It was an... average (/ordinary) session - not great, but not horrible at all and I was going home with a very pleasant feeling, so... it was good as a whole smile.png. Funny that... in the end, I told him: "I know I told you 'no hugs today', but... finally, I'd like one, just very short, I promise you... :o" Yeah, it sounds funny, but... it was important - not to deprive myself of it as I used to (and then felt very badly)...

But I'm writing mainly to share one of the ideas that my T suggested today: that the PhD. thesis [that I'm unable to finish and that I gave up lately] might be a whip that I made to punish myself. I can't see it this way yet, but... I think it's a very interesting point of view. I said "OK, let's assume that it's true. So what should I do? How it helps me in practice knowing that it's so, that it's only about my punishment? I just tell myself that I don't want to punish myself - fine, but... how to oblige myself to do what I have to???" [-I have to finish the text, it's out of any debate, I just won't make it to the form of a thesis, it will be only a summary of my work that my supervisor needs to have. The problem is that I'm also unable to work on that text :-( ohmy.png.]

So... a lot to think about - and this is only one of the ideas ;-).

If there wasn't the hug, I would be... very sad and frustrated (as the few days before, BTW). But... the power of that hug and of his smile... 'makes me going on' ;-)...

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An open mind lets in more light. ;-)

It's interesting that you have things you have to do, and that you refuse to do. Your conscious mind knows the reasons for doing it, and it thinks it has to force the rest of you. That means that there are at least two points of view; not multiple personalities, we all have ambivalences. But it means there's another side to all this, and it has reasons against doing your work. Would it be possible to explore what those reasons are, without judgments from the conscious side like "laziness"?

They may not be "rational" reasons, but that doesn't mean they don't have value. For instance, I stopped writing essays for English class in my senior year in high school. I almost had to repeat the year. Looking back, I realized I was paralyzed with fear, because I had no idea how to function in the adult world, only the academic one. If I could have uncovered that "reason" at the time, I could have worked on the skills I was missing, instead of just trying to force myself to write the papers.

Anyway, your answer will undoubtedly be different. But, I believe, it could be worth looking for.

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For the sake of heck, I will share more Toltec wisdom via Castaneda.

One's will is not accessed through the rational center, and not accessed directly through language. That's why we can talk and talk and never do anything.

Feeling and sensation can directly reach the will.

{so really, a hug is more motivating than a bunch of talking :o}

There are many directions to go from this premise. A particularly effective one is to cultivate inner silence when it comes to accessing the will. You also have to have a care with feelings and sensations, shaking them free from "crappy thoughts" (term from these C. books), and encouraging the experience of feeling and sensations first, before language. And as language and reason gets sorted out, it can function much better, calling up words (and writing papers) as the person needs.

I'm just sharing, LaLa. Hope you are able to find a way that works for you in this difficult time :o.

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Thank you, my friends, it's so very nice to 'hear' you again; with your understanding and wise points of view... ohmy.png I really appreciate your words...

I'll come back to them / here tomorrow (now I'm going to sleep) and will think about them more.

P.S.: BTW, today he told me again, and this-time it was even more 'pronounced' [?] than before, that I really 'behave' (- feel, struggle, respond, ...) like having a trauma hidden inside. He said that it's only a proposal that I don't have to 'accept', he just wanted me to try if I have any related ideas/associations and that there might be no trauma at all or there is one that happened when I was between 0-2 years old and thus it will remain inaccessible to my memory. It's so strange not to know 'what had traumatized me'. And I even don't know if I should accept this possibility as 'reality' or not. Yes, we did discuss this with Mark already; he also said that recognizing the concrete trauma is not essential for healing (I should find out that 'dialogue', I don't remember much! ohmy.png). Hm. My T almost always lets me only with questions... (What else could I expect? rolleyes.gif ) This particular topic led me (during the session) to questions like: "But what would that mean to me? What if I say to myself "OK, so I was somehow traumatized and that's the reason why I'm 'so strange' now" - but what this brings to my every-day life? How could knowing me this help me?" You know... when there is something concrete in your past, you at least 'know your enemy', so to say. I don't. I see only myself as my enemy. Yes; as every victim of a trauma - everyone (at least before help/healing) feels (s)he's 'an enemy to him/her-self' as the trauma somehow 'builds' the enemy in their mind. So... can I say we really are similar? I don't have flashbacks and nightmares and so on; I can't compare myself to those who suffer so much. I don't suffer much, I'm just confused and sometimes scared by my inabilities (-to do what I have to) and mostly by the future.

I should go to bed now, really. This doesn't seem to lead somewhere...

Edited by LaLa
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  • 1 month later...

It seems I finally learned to talk "in a better way". One key problem in a part of the situations (where I was unable to talk) was the huge pressure I was putting on myself, mostly when he asked me something and I felt "I have to reply, but I have no idea what/how". (He always used to tell me things like "Maybe you could tell something more about it, it would be fine, but maybe not, it would be fine, too," but I used to understand it only as his gentle effort to prevent me from remorses in case I wouldn't say anything - I didn't believe - even didn't think about the possibility!! - that he meant it seriously, literally! :o)

And it's known that when somebody is forced to think, to talk, he says nothing at all or says something that he quickly "gathered up" somewhere in his mind, but it doesn't need to be relevant. When we want to say relevant and important things, we have to feel free (-with free mind) and not under pressure. My therapist never used to put any pressure on me, but me... I used to do it too much, too often - and the effect was the opposite of what I wanted.

As Mark wrote:

An open mind lets in more light. ;-)

:o

I felt quite sorry that I learned (not only realized, but was able to apply it!) this essential thing/skill after 2 years (!) of therapy just before the end, so I'll have (almost) no time to apply it and to profit from it in therapy :). But... this sadness is over (at least now); my therapist explained me very nicely how we can look at the facts of this kind: "If I only used to be different, everything would be better" :)

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