In Session Today: Part V - Page 40 - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 11-28-2018, 03:26 PM #391
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

I set up an appointment for next Thursday. She didn’t sound all that happy to hear from me. I’m sure she won’t be rude and nasty like my doctor was right before I switched. I really don’t have another option at this point though.
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:58 PM #392
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Pure and utter hell. I can't believe I am another "abandonment" story now. therapy is such a mess.

Spent the whole session in tears and silence
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Old 11-29-2018, 05:45 AM #393
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

I’m not even sure how to explain what happened today, but I left feeling relieved and uplifted which is not usual for me. I’m aware that it takes a while for things to sink in with me, so maybe I’ll feel differently in a day or a week. For today, he seemed genuine and like he really cared about how I feel and I couldn’t help but be touched by that.

I had sent him an email saying I was still bothered by how he abruptly and unilaterally decided to stop email replies and I went into detail about how it felt for me and why it still stings sometimes. I wasn’t fishing for an apology but I appreciate that he took ownership of how the email fiasco went down and he seemed sincere when he said he F’ed up (I’ve never heard him swear before) and that he did not want for me to have the experience of feeling like the rug was pulled out from under me which we both know has been a common experience for me in the past. He said I can’t feel safe if I’m waiting for that to happen.

I believe that his intention for stopping replies was good even if his method was not ideal. He said he felt like his replies were enabling something that felt unhealthy. I do strangely feel better and more present in our sessions since he stopped replies, but I may still need to process the black & white way of looking at email responses as good or bad. He compared email responses to hugs which I thought was interesting because I’ve never asked for one, but know from this forum that that can be a huge deal for some people. I’m assuming he wouldn’t give hugs and I wish I could remember what his reasoning was, but I can’t. I guess I can accept that he’s human and has flaws and in a way that might be better for our relationship. Today he showed me that he is willing to be patient, allow me to express criticism and not get defensive. He took me seriously.

It felt genuine when he said that he reads my emails multiple times and believes that what I have to say is insightful and thoughtful and important. He always remembers even small details of what I’ve written many weeks ago and that always catches me off guard and I’m touched by that. Although I’m still a bit sad about not having email responses, this is much more meaningful to me than an email response.

I asked him if it bothers him that I’m always so skeptical and doubtful of therapy and always tell him how hard it is to come to sessions and occasionally talk about quitting or finding a new T. I said that in the rest of my life I’m actually upbeat and positive so this was weird for me. He said yes, he is affected by that and is not used to having that response from clients, but is glad that I’m honest and transparent with him and that we should continue to explore why therapy often feels so hard for me. After I left I felt relief which was a nice feeling to have for a change. I hope it lasts.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:53 AM #394
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Today’s session is hard to put into words. Before she arrived, I was thinking about how work is the only place I currently feel safe. R knocked on the door, and I took a deep breath to steady myself before answering.

As we sat down, she asked whether I was OK, and I burst into tears. ‘I feel like I want to be close to you today, so I can’t lose you again.’ She moved quickly to sit on the floor next to me, and took hold of my hands.

‘Do you want a hug?’

I could not speak, but must have made a noise that sounded affirmative.

‘It’s OK, Lost. Let it out…you’re safe.’

I cried for what felt like a long time, and then said ‘Things came to a head this week’, before talking about my friend leaving, Mum’s back and everything happening at once.

‘I just want to feel safe in my own mind, and that doesn’t seem to be possible!’

‘Do you want a tissue?’ R asked whether I wanted to do some deep breathing, and then offered to do it with me. ‘Just take some nice little deep breaths….’

R asked a number of questions about Mum’s back, and I said that I appreciated Mum being transparent with me.

‘But there’s nothing I can do to make this go away!’

‘This all happened this week?’

‘Monday. I got a message on social media from somebody I’ve considered a dear friend for the last five years…Background. At last year’s Christmas gathering with friends, I reconnected with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. I don’t want to do the maths, because when I think about how long it has been since I attended the music sessions, it’s frightening. I didn’t tell him that I was going to the party, because I wanted it to be a surprise. He said it made his evening, and then dropped it into the conversation that he and his family might be leaving the county next year. I didn’t hear from him for a while, and then got that message on Monday where he apologised for not seeing me before he went, ‘but in the scheme of things all good relationships we form are as valuable as they ever were at any given point.’ I think he was trying to get himself off the hook.’

‘That doesn’t sound like it was done in the kindest of ways.’
‘No. I had hoped that when I felt strong enough, or well enough…”Yes” to return to the music events that there would be that extra support.’

‘He represents safety.’
‘I hadn’t thought about it that way, but yes.’
‘The word abandonment comes up for me.’

R asked how I was feeling at that moment.

‘Frustrated, fragile and defeated.’
‘I get that from you.’
‘I don’t want to be this fragile creature.’
‘And yet you showed fragility today.’

We talked about some of the complications regarding Open Studios and how I don’t really want to be there at the moment, but feel like I have to.

‘Is that for you, or for someone else?’
‘For Mum.’

It became very difficult to talk after that, as I was fighting another wave.

‘I’m fighting another wave of whatever just happened.’
‘Let it out if you need to.’
R asked how I was feeling, and I offered ‘ashamed’ and ‘guilty’.

‘Ashamed? Because you cried?’
‘Yes. My shoulders are burning. The thing is, it never feels finished.’
‘It sounds as though you expect some kind of release…”Right, I’ve cried, so I’m going to feel better now.”’
‘Exactly. During the break, the thought came to me clearly several times…”I want to be with my emotions, and I simultaneously want to climb out of my own skin.”’


‘I didn’t bring my resource, but we talked last time about the head, or however you want to put it, being full, and it is good to turn on the tap and let some out. You sound as though you have exhausted all of your coping mechanisms…and I feel like I’m holding on to you pretty tight at the moment.’
We talked about how I spend so much energy trying to deal with things in the past that there is little to spare for anything that might go wrong in the present. The critic was chewing me out at this point, but I did my damnedest to ignore it.

I looked for a pen as I wanted to draw something. She offered me hers, and I drew a basic image.

‘Freehand circle, not bad.’

We discussed the connotations of what I had drawn, and R suggested that rather than keeping emotion on the outside, I might allow it to come a little closer.

‘I understand why I cannot allow myself to feel the full extent of it, but I won’t even allow myself to touch the emotion of it.’
I was silent for a little while, and then said ‘I’m sorry.’

‘You are sorry to me?’
‘Yes. I was not expecting to have an outburst today.’
‘If you break it down, when somebody says they are sorry, it implies that they have done something wrong or hurt somebody. All you have done is trust me and feel safe.’

‘Yes.’

‘I am not saying that I don’t accept your apology. Apology accepted, but I actually take it as a compliment that you felt safe enough to cry with me. During all the time we have been working together, and despite the amount we have talked about it, I never thought that you would. As a counsellor, I have chosen this line of work, and if everyone apologised every time they got angry or cried, or expressed emotion…’

She said that she sensed regret, and although she obviously cannot control my emotional responses, she hopes that I will not beat myself up for crying.
She checked that I felt OK to end the session there, and invited me to email if I needed to check in. I said that I would probably go and have a lie down.

‘It felt strange sitting on the floor, but it felt right. You could have told me to sit properly.’
‘I appreciated the closeness.’
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:48 AM #395
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Luc: (talking about a cat, and crying a bit) ...I really miss her.
M: I can see you're really sad.

(a pause, whilst I look at his lovely concerned face)

Luc: it's hard for me to say this when you're looking at me like that...
M: (smiling) I don't know what to do about that!
Luc: ...sometimes I want to take the piss out of you. Like just then, I wanted to say "WOW, well done, how did you work that one out?" ...but that's so mean - you're so nice!
M: well, I disagree with both those statements...
Luc: oh, okay... I guess I will take the piss out of you then!

It's just really cute that he thinks he isn't nice. He's nice as f**k.
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:30 PM #396
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucozader View Post
Luc: (talking about a cat, and crying a bit) ...I really miss her.
M: I can see you're really sad.

(a pause, whilst I look at his lovely concerned face)

Luc: it's hard for me to say this when you're looking at me like that...
M: (smiling) I don't know what to do about that!
Luc: ...sometimes I want to take the piss out of you. Like just then, I wanted to say "WOW, well done, how did you work that one out?" ...but that's so mean - you're so nice!
M: well, I disagree with both those statements...
Luc: oh, okay... I guess I will take the piss out of you then!

It's just really cute that he thinks he isn't nice. He's nice as f**k.
I've told mine that he gets one stupid shrink comment (e.g. "I can see that you're sad," "if you did know the answer to my question, what would it be?") per week.

He's getting better--makes more empathetic noises and fewer inane comments (though maybe that was more about this paper than about my feedback; unclear). And he's at least learned to precede his super-shrinky statements with an admission that he's about to say something corny (e.g. "I realize this is going to sound shrink-like, but did that interaction with that patient remind you at all of your dynamic with your parents?"), which somehow ameliorates my annoyance.

Also I'm sorry about your cat, luc
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Old 11-29-2018, 03:36 PM #397
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Originally Posted by chihirochild View Post
I've told mine that he gets one stupid shrink comment (e.g. "I can see that you're sad," "if you did know the answer to my question, what would it be?") per week.
I think this keeps things real.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:50 AM #398
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

T yesterday. He said "hey" quietly as I walked past him, and I said "Hi." Went back and sat down. Me: "I brought a list of things to discuss. I'm not sure where to start. I guess I could start with last session/the email. Or I could just update you on other stuff first."

I mentioned pelvic ultrasound I'd had Tuesday (as ovarian cancer screen--my mom had it) and how the radiologist had been very open with what she was seeing, so I wasn't as concerned as last time, so would just wait for results. (He seemed confused about my having one, even though we'd discussed it a week ago, but seemed to remember when I referenced something from that discussion). I said how also, H had heard this morning that there wouldn't be layoffs on his team. T said that was good, must be a relief, I said yes.

I mentioned last session. T: "I got that sense that was a conversation you wanted to continue." Me: "Yes." I said I'd thought more about his comment that maybe it wasn't so much ex-MC himself I missed, but the feeling I got from him. And how that seemed accurate. I said something about him abandoning me, then corrected myself: "I mean, I guess he didn't technically abandon me. He was still willing to keep seeing us, it's just that some of the boundaries had changed." T: "That suggests even more that it was the feeling rather than the person. If it was just about ex-MC, then you would have been content to just keep seeing him." Me: "That's a good point...After the phone call a year ago, it was like I didn't have the same feeling from him anymore. I kept trying for a few months to get it back, but it was just gone...So I didn't feel I could continue." T: "And I imagine if you were to pick up seeing him again, it wouldn't feel the same to you because of what happened." Me: "No, it probably wouldn't."

I said I'd kind of wanted to talk to H about the session Monday, but I got the sense that he didn't want to and explained why. I said maybe he felt weird talking about stuff with ex-MC, especially where it involved love. T: "So maybe you needed to talk to someone else about it then. Were you able to?" I said I'd talked to a couple friends that night, and it had helped some. Though the next night, a friend was in crisis and I wanted to help them through that and didn't want to talk about my stuff. I said how H was like "You're not responsible for them." But I said how they'd helped me with stuff and I wanted to be there for them, too. T: "You're a very caring person. It seems like you and H differ in how you feel about those sorts of things." Me: "Yeah...I want to help if someone needs it. And I have a history with some friends where I'd maybe be there for them in the middle of the night, and they'd be there for me. I think it's different for H."

I said how some friends' T's had really let them down this week and described what happened. Me: "So I know you say that you aren't going anywhere because I'm too much or something else related to me. But I guess I worry that something would happen unrelated to me, that you would move or decide that you want a more regular 40-hour-a-week job or that you want to just focus on sport psychology instead." T: "Any of those things could happen. Or I could get hit by a car." Me: "I understand that." (Thinking, way to reassure me there, T...)

Back to ex-MC. I said how part of what was difficult about the ending was that, before the rupture happened, I'd had this belief that I could have eventually just walked away from ex-MC, feeling I'd gotten what I'd needed. T: "Do you really think you could have just walked away?" Me: "I think? I mean, I guess he put the thing in my head about working through transference, where if I worked through it then it's like I'd be healed or whatever. So I felt like I wanted to do that. To reach a point where I just felt on my own like I could leave." T: "I don't know that you'd have been able to do that." Me: "Yeah...I mean, that's part of why I started seeing you, because I felt stuck. When ex-MC had canceled at the last minute that one week, and I'd thought I'd be able to wait till next week to see him but then got really upset. I mean, that was just a week, I'd be seeing him the next week. And like if I couldn't deal with that..."

Me: "And I thought a few times, maybe I just needed him to get mad at me, to act like a jerk to me, that would help me be able to step away. Though I didn't really want that. Then I guess it eventually happened, and it felt like sh**. But...I guess it did get me away from him, right?" T: "Yes. But I do wonder if you'd ever have left on your own otherwise." Me: "I don't know." T: "Because if you were still getting that feeling from him, wouldn't you have continued to want that feeling?" Me: "Yeah...I guess I just thought at one point, I'd be like, 'OK, my cup is full,' or whatever. But I guess... maybe not. Maybe I would have just kept wanting that feeling as long as I could have it." T: "Yes, I think so." Me: "But then...I know it wasn't a sustainable relationship."

T: "All relationships ultimately end, whether you die or the other person dies, or you drift apart or something else happens." Me: "...I guess that's true." T: "But that doesn't mean they're not worth having." Me: "Yeah. I mean I guess I could choose to just avoid getting in relationships to avoid getting hurt." T: "I don't think you'd be able to avoid them. Because of who you are." Me: "I think you're right. I'd still feel the need to pursue them." T: "Yes, I think you would. And I've worked with people who've chosen to just avoid relationships to keep from getting hurt. And they end up being very lonely. They may just end up with a few superficial relationships, but then something would happen where they need to rely on someone, like what happened with one of my clients, and they realize that they're alone." Me: "Yeah..."

Me: "So how do I deal with the fear of losing relationships? Is it about becoming strong enough in myself?" T: "Partly. I was thinking more that you have the knowledge that they're not going to last, but to have confidence that you'll be able to get through it when they do end. That you might feel sad and grieve, but know you'll get through it." Me: "I guess...I mean, I didn't think I'd survive leaving ex-MC. While I was seeing him, anytime I thought about leaving him, I'd start crying. But I guess I have survived that, though it's been hard. It's helping to process it with you, though."

T: "It seems difficult for you to mourn the relationships you've lost." Me: "Yes...actually, that makes me wonder...I think maybe sometimes I avoid mourning them. I just try to push them aside and move forward and don't really process it. Like my grandmother. Or my former best friend. I never really dealt with them. So then they come back and affect me at random times. Though I guess that's normal with grief in general." T: "Yes." Me: "But I guess I wonder...if I avoid grieving them, then maybe I feel like I can't handle a loss? Because I haven't been through the grieving process?" T: "That could be." Me: "So maybe it's why it's so hard for me to grieve ex-MC...but it's also really important for me to work through it. To understand that I *can* work through losses in the future."

Talked more about why ex-MC had such a strong effect on me. T: "He sensed this need in you and tried to do what he could to meet it." Me: "Yes...it's like he hit on all the receptors. Like maybe H can hit on a few of them or friends can, but he could hit all of them." I said how it could feel almost intoxicating. T: "That makes sense, it's why people say they use drugs, to get that perfect high." Me: "Yeah, and I mean...I would feel an actual physical reaction to sessions with him. Like a warm, fuzzy feeling that could last until the evening or the next morning. I'm not sure what it's from, like a hormone, like oxytocin maybe? The one that bonds parents and kids? It's not sexual, I know what that feels like. But...I also feel it sometimes with you, and that kind of scares me." (I stared at the floor for that last line.)

T: "Is it maybe optimism?" Me: "The feeling? I'm not sure it's that, like I said it's a physical feeling, too." T: "Or hopefulness?" Me: "Maybe? Again, it's also physical. Though hope fits more than optimism, because I think of optimism like 'Yay, everything will be OK.'" T said he thought optimism and hope meant the same thing. Me: "Yeah, this is the problem with working with an English major and copy editor..." Discussed a bit more, then I said, "Maybe it's feeling a connection?" T said that could be it, saying, as he's said before, how the relationship is considered the most important part of therapy and the best predictor of success. That it doesn't even have to be a particularly emotional connection, just a connection. Me: "Yeah, maybe the feeling is about the connection. Because I get something like that feeling with friends sometimes, too."

Talked about what I wanted and got from ex-MC. T: "I wonder if your mom would even be capable of giving that to you now." Me: "I don't know." T: "It would be something to give some thought to." Me: "And also, even if she could give it to me now, if I needed it when I was 6...would it be enough? Or could what ex-MC have given me ever have been enough?" T: "I don't know, but if you got it now with your mom, it could probably go a long way toward healing." Me: "Yes. Though I think with ex-MC, some healing happened. And a bit with you, too. I just don't think it's the same as if it happened when I was a kid." T wasn't sure about that. Was time to stop.

Confirmed schedule for next week. Me: "So...you're not planning on moving in the next few weeks, right?" T: "The next few weeks? Definitely not! Really I don't plan on ever moving at all." Me: "OK, good." T: "Just to let you know, I don't plan on taking any other time off next month. Like not around the holidays or anything." Me: "OK, good, thanks for letting me know that."

Went over to pay. T: "Are you feeling better?" Me: "You mean about the ex-MC stuff?" T: "No, your cold." Me: "Oh it was really my D who had one, I was just being careful in case I was a carrier." Shook hands as he said "Have a good weekend." Me: "You, too." T: "It's supposed to be 65 degrees on Sunday." Me: "Really? Wow." T: "Yes. Take care." Me: "You too."
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:59 AM #399
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Talked more about why ex-MC had such a strong effect on me. T: "He sensed this need in you and tried to do what he could to meet it." Me: "Yes...it's like he hit on all the receptors. Like maybe H can hit on a few of them or friends can, but he could hit all of them." I said how it could feel almost intoxicating. T: "That makes sense, it's why people say they use drugs, to get that perfect high." Me: "Yeah, and I mean...I would feel an actual physical reaction to sessions with him. Like a warm, fuzzy feeling that could last until the evening or the next morning. I'm not sure what it's from, like a hormone, like oxytocin maybe? The one that bonds parents and kids? It's not sexual, I know what that feels like. But...I also feel it sometimes with you, and that kind of scares me." (I stared at the floor for that last line.)
It seemed like this session was very deeply, holistically, about the way you experience relationships and their endings. I think there is a lot of rich material there to mine for future relationships.

For me grief and loss has been very central to my therapy and healing in the past years. Sometimes it feels like my own task on this earth is to grieve.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:17 PM #400
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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It seemed like this session was very deeply, holistically, about the way you experience relationships and their endings. I think there is a lot of rich material there to mine for future relationships.

For me grief and loss has been very central to my therapy and healing in the past years. Sometimes it feels like my own task on this earth is to grieve.

Yes, I think it was a really important session (along with Monday's). My T can be rather blunt and make me face harsh truths, but I think they're also things I need to hear and understand. My natural inclination is to want to believe in the fairy-tale "happily ever after" with relationships (not just romance), but I know that's also not realistic. And I think I could deal with relationships ending more easily if I don't expect them to last forever. And maybe then I could appreciate the here-and-now of them instead of worrying so much about losing them/abandonment.

I think I also needed to hear what he said on how I probably never would have left ex-MC on my own had things continued going well with him. Because I think he's right.
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