In Session Today: Part V - Page 46 - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 12-09-2018, 04:51 PM #451
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cara8tz View Post
How long does a normal therapist try to pound a "technique" into his client? 3 months or longer would you say? How about 10 years? mmm....that doesn't sound normal to me.
Sadly, there are therapists who are that stubborn and lacking in imagination.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:12 PM #452
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Angry Re: In Session Today: Part V

I have been USED and EMOTIONALLY ABUSED by some hifalutin egomaniacs.


At a loss as to why no one warned me or tried to intercede.
 
Old 12-11-2018, 09:53 AM #453
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

t is calling me in 8 minutes.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:01 PM #454
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

LT:

I have no way of knowing if this is true for you, but it's something I'd be feeling, so I'm going to throw it out there in case it resonates with you at all, and if not feel free to totally disregard it.
My twin brother is on the spectrum. Because there's already a lot of stigma and misconceptions out there, I struggle to talk about it with people who don't get it. I worry about reinforcing their biases. I feel like I have to defend his behavior. I got so used to having to stand to for him and defend him with people who didn't understand that it's hard for me to acknowledge the ways in which it made things more difficult for me or to hold him accountable for his abusive behavior. I feel like I'm supposed to be more empathetic and supportive. It feels like people who don't have those experiences don't have the "right" to judge it in the way that people who "get it" do, and so I'm going to talk to them about it differently and interpret their opinions differently. Someone who "gets it" is "allowed" to say things that others aren't.
It's the same with ethnicity/cultural background. I feel a lot more defensive talking about how my father's ethic/cultural background and upbringing contributed to his worldview abusive behavior if I'm talking to a white person from a "Western" background."

If I'm talking to someone who "gets it" I don't feel as defensive.
If I later found out that the person might not "get it" I'd feel betrayed. I'd be upset and feel that I'd been misled into, for lack of a better word, thinking an outsider was an insider. I'd feel like I'd disclosed things under false pretenses.

Whether or not this applies at all, your feelings that you've described are understandable and the way you've addressed it is admirable. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this situation, and I hope eventually there can be a more satisfying resolution.

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Old 12-11-2018, 12:20 PM #455
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by LabRat27 View Post
LT:

I have no way of knowing if this is true for you, but it's something I'd be feeling, so I'm going to throw it out there in case it resonates with you at all, and if not feel free to totally disregard it.
My twin brother is on the spectrum. Because there's already a lot of stigma and misconceptions out there, I struggle to talk about it with people who don't get it. I worry about reinforcing their biases. I feel like I have to defend his behavior. I got so used to having to stand to for him and defend him with people who didn't understand that it's hard for me to acknowledge the ways in which it made things more difficult for me or to hold him accountable for his abusive behavior. I feel like I'm supposed to be more empathetic and supportive. It feels like people who don't have those experiences don't have the "right" to judge it in the way that people who "get it" do, and so I'm going to talk to them about it differently and interpret their opinions differently. Someone who "gets it" is "allowed" to say things that others aren't.
It's the same with ethnicity/cultural background. I feel a lot more defensive talking about how my father's ethic/cultural background and upbringing contributed to his worldview abusive behavior if I'm talking to a white person from a "Western" background."

If I'm talking to someone who "gets it" I don't feel as defensive.
If I later found out that the person might not "get it" I'd feel betrayed. I'd be upset and feel that I'd been misled into, for lack of a better word, thinking an outsider was an insider. I'd feel like I'd disclosed things under false pretenses.

Whether or not this applies at all, your feelings that you've described are understandable and the way you've addressed it is admirable. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this situation, and I hope eventually there can be a more satisfying resolution.


Thanks for sharing this. It resonated a bit with me when I read it. I think you're right that, when I believed his son was on the spectrum, it made me feel safer talking about certain things, certain challenges. Because I figured he'd really "get it." There aren't too many people that I feel fully safe with in talking about certain issues with my D (like, her biting herself in frustration). So even though, yes, he probably has some professional knowledge about autism and how it can affect children, it still felt very different talking to him thinking he has personal experience with it (and I still suspect that he does...or at the very least with some sort of developmental delay or learning disability, like perhaps his son was initially misdiagnosed, or why would ex-T have thought was she did?).

I think there's also an element of...I felt connected with him when talking about this topic. I sensed something different from him. So now it's like I'm questioning that connection...which in turn is making me question any feelings of connection with him. And making me question my ability to trust him. Which I think is something I need to bring up today. I think I just need him to understand why this is affecting me so much. I'm not sure he fully got that on Friday--it's not just curiosity about his son or wanting to pry into his life or something. it's more than that.

It actually ties in some with the ex-MC stuff. In terms of the therapeutic relationship, boundaries, ability to trust, what's real vs. an act, etc. This may seem an odd comparison, but it makes me think a bit of when ex-MC said he wasn't planning on telling us that his wife had passed away (we already knew she was sick--I wondered about a sudden cancellation and something ex-T said when I mentioned it, so I looked up her name online and found her obituary). Especially with him being someone who disclosed so many things, it was like, he wouldn't have even told us about that? A major change in his life? Yes, I know, it's none of my business, and he was likely trying to keep his stuff out of our therapy...but it left me really questioning the relationship.

So, lots to think about. Thanks. And sounds like you're a great sister
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Old 12-11-2018, 02:32 PM #456
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

I had an okay session on the phone with t but I think I was rambling
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:43 AM #457
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

T apologised for not talking to me about the Christmas break before (because I had emailed asking) I said it's okay I wasn't worried because he basically does the same thing every year. T said what I had said in the email about how many years we have worked together prompted him to look at his notes from our very first session. (I am really touched by the fact he did that).
He said he had written in the notes "It's as if Echos is searching to be held in the way she never was as an infant". He said he doesn't know how he got that from the first session but it's interesting considering we didn't name that for about 18 months (possibly more actually).
I said "I swear sometimes I think you really are a wizard.". I certainly never said anything like that in the first session but it has turned out to be such a big part of what was going on for me at an unconscious level I am amazed he spotted that in the first session. I also think I might ask to see the notes from that session in full because I don't remember it at all, and all I wrote on PC was "He was nice, and attentive".

I gave T the tree I made for him using pyrography. He really liked it and he hung it on a statue in his room.

I told him someone I had googled relating to a past trauma and I talked about feeling nothing about it. He asked if I knew why I felt nothing about it. I said because it's just one of many things that happened to me in that period of my life, but because this particular one was illegal it somehow has more validity than the others. Maybe the whole period was traumatic for me.

We talked about how looking the person up and even considering reporting them showed that I am ready to show my younger self compassion now, and to advocate for myself. I talked about how my teenage part only really feels self worth when I am with my T and can feel my T believes I have worth, and that's part of why I miss him so much between sessions, because he holds my worth. But how maybe now I am developing that for myself just a tiny bit.

He pointed out that I didn't have as much control as I thought I had at the time, and a lot of the time I didn't have choice. I said yes and that knowledge will hopefully help me to develop self-compassion.

We were coming to the end of session. We stood up and hugged and he said "well done". I said "You make it safe".
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:55 AM #458
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

T yesterday--moved a day earlier to deal with ex-MC rupture anniversary stuff--I'd emailed to say I was struggling, he offered earlier session and sent brief note of support (no charge!). Went back and sat down.

T: "So how are you doing?" Me: "Better than I expected to be. I actually got a fair amount of sleep last night. Your email helped some." T: "Good." T: "I'm guessing you haven't heard back from ex-MC?" (I'd emailed him Sunday evening about the rupture still affecting me). Me: "No. I figure he'll of course respond right after this session when I'm not seeing you til Monday..." (Note: he hasn't yet replied). T: "Do you hope he responds?" Me: "I think so...but I also feel like he won't give me what I want. So maybe it's better if he doesn't? I don't know..."

T: "Do you feel like you want to share what you wrote?" I pulled the printout from my purse and handed it to him. He got his reading glasses and read through it as I glanced awkwardly around the room. He said, "OK," and handed it back to me.

T asked what I expected from a reply. Me: "Like what do I want? Or what do I think I'll actually get?" T: "Sounds like those are different things." Me: "Yes. I mean...I want him to say something like 'I'm sorry I hurt you.' Not like, 'Sorry if this hurt you' or something conditional like that." T: "You want him to take responsibility for it. That can go a long way toward getting forgiveness." Me: "Yes. But I don't think he'll do that." T said it wasn't totally clear from my email what I wanted from him. And that I didn't give specifics as to what I felt he did wrong. I said I'd discussed those with him in person and over email more at the time. That I didn't feel I needed to reiterate them. T said OK, he didn't realize I'd been so specific at the time.

I said how before, I thought what I needed was for ex-MC to answer the question of whether it was my saying "I love you so much" that led to the phone call/boundary shift. But that he'd basically answered that question in the affirmative. And now it seems like I'm looking for something else.

I said he'd admitted before that he should have been more consistent with boundaries. T asked what boundaries I thought he meant. I said I assumed with outside individual contact, particularly since he said at end of that call that I needed to reduce contact. And because for the phone call a month later, he insisted that H be on it. T said that could be it or maybe he meant other boundaries, we have no way of knowing. I said true.

T: "I almost wonder if, because of that (I love you so much) email, he was doing like a 'Sixth Sense' or 'The Unusual Suspects' thing with your relationship, where that email was the twist." Me: "You mean 'The Usual Suspects?'" T: "Yes. Where he'd maybe assumed all along that your feelings for him were paternal, and he was responding to you in that way. And then you send that email, and he's thinking romantic love. And now he's looking back on the relationship thinking about things you said and that he said differently." Me: "Hm...though I feel at times it was just paternal." T: "Right, but if he's thinking in terms of that email... I'm just saying where his mind could have been going." Me: "Yeah...like thinking about comments he'd made to me, how I could have read them." T: "Yes."

T said maybe the reason things happened as they did was partly because of the place ex-MC was in at the time. Me: "With his wife being sick then dying?" T: "Yes." I said maybe he wasn't being as effective as he could be. T: "But even if he was on his B game, that could still be much better than many T's A games." Me: "I guess?"

Me: "It may have just been the combination of circumstances, like who I was then, who he was, what he was dealing with." T: "Yes, that could be." Me: "It makes me think of...this is probably a weird thing, but it makes me think of this Built to Spill lyric: 'Two trains that crash before you ever thought crashing could happen to you.' I know maybe that doesn't seem to make sense in this case, but it kinda makes me think of two people crashing together, just the way they are and how they interact. I don't know..."

We had 10-15 minutes left. I said I wanted to briefly talk about some stuff with him, like from Thursday/Friday. T looked puzzled and said: "You saw me both Thursday and Friday, two days in a row?" Me: "Uh, yes? To talk about the stuff with your son" (thinking "It was only 4 days ago, FFS!")

I said I knew we'd talked about it Friday, and maybe it seemed OK, but I'd been thinking about it more since then. And how I need to discuss it more. T said OK. I started crying and said how someone on PC had said something to me that resonated, that she has a sibling on the spectrum and often feels more comfortable talking about him with others who have family members on the spectrum, because they "get it," and it feels safer. Me: "I think that's what I was feeling with you, that when I thought your son was on the spectrum, you 'got it' in a way that many other people wouldn't. Even more than just anyone in a therapist role. Because I thought you had the personal connection. So it felt safer. And now...maybe it doesn't feel as safe."

T said something about it being safe to talk to him as a therapist. I said yes, but still less safe than when I felt he understood from a personal level. This led to him asking if I felt I needed to see a therapist who had similar issues to mine. T: "For example, I don't experience anxiety issues the way you do." Me: "Yeah, I figured that. But ex-MC does have anxiety--he told us in an early session that he'd been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and not sure if that helped me ultimately." T: "Wow, he really does disclose a lot." Me: "Yeah, and he talked about issues he had with his father, too. But I don't know that I need a therapist who has the same issues. I mean, I doubt I'd be able to find anyone with the same exact pathologies anyway. Or that manifested themselves in the same way." T: "Good point. So then why does this with autism seem more important to you?" Me: "I guess...I mean, with anxiety and depression, I feel that most people can sort of figure out what that feels like. I mean, everyone has felt a bit anxious or sad at some point. So, it's like just multiply that out. I don't know..."

Me (crying): "I think...when we were talking about topics related to that, like with my D...I just felt particularly connected to you. Like you seemed...different during those interactions, I'm not sure how to explain it. And now it's like I don't know if I can trust that connection was real, or that other times I've felt particularly connected to you were real." T: "I can understand it might feel like you've been lied to." Me: "Yes, OK, I'm glad you understand that. I mean, it's not the same as if you had outright told me a lie, because I heard it elsewhere...But I mean, I think it's logical to assume, because you didn't dispute it then, how I just assumed it was true and informed my understanding of you based on that." T: "I can understand that."

Me: "Hm, OK, I recall you saying, kinda early on in seeing you, that it felt like in trying to figure out, I was looking for pieces to the puzzle of who you are. Well, this, it feels like I had part of the puzzle put together, then someone came along and ripped that section out. And now it's like I don't know if any of the pieces are put together right anymore, I don't know if my image of who you are is just totally wrong." T seemed to get it when I put it that way. And he remembered the puzzle comparison.

Me: "I think also...I get the sense we're very different people. But this was something we had in common, a connection. And now it's like this is gone, so...maybe what holds us together? I don't know." T: "What do you mean by us being different?" Me: "Well, for example, you're an athlete, I'm not, I'm really into music, you're not." T: "So, interests. I was wondering what you were going to come up with there." Me: "And also I just feel like your general way of looking at the world is very different from mine." T didn't disagree.

We'd been talking for 59 minutes. I said I knew we had to stop, that talking about both ex-MC and T's son had helped, I thought he understood more now, why the stuff with his son was affecting me so much. He said he did, too. Confirmed Mon. and Wed. I asked out of curiosity if he had any availability this Friday, just in case (since I'm not due to see him anymore this week). He said he has a few early afternoon sessions available. I said not to schedule me now, I'd see how I was doing. He said that was fine.

I went over to pay, saying I was trying to remember which credit card to use, as we were using certain ones for Christmas shopping. T (smiling): "You don't have to explain." Me: "Yeah, I mean, they should all have space on them, unless H went crazy and bought me a car, like in those annoying commercials." T: "Ugh, yeah." Now, I feel I most likely misheard what he said next, but I swear it sounded like he said, "If my ex-wife had bought me a car, I'd have killed her." I'm sure he just said "If my own wife" or something like that (or maybe this is his second marriage?), but it was still like, wait, what? (especially combined with his often not wearing his ring). But I'm just going with the assumption I'd misheard.

Shook hands, he said have a good rest of the week. Me: "Right...it's only Tuesday." T: "Yes, you still have a lot of days to go!" Me: "Yeah..." T: "Take care." Me: "You too."
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:06 AM #459
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Forgot to include an amusing moment--when T was asking about if I felt I should see someone with similar issues, he said that's often the case with addictions treatment. Me: "Yeah, a peer counselor--maybe I could be one of those someday." (attempting to reference my efforts to cut back on drinking) T: "An anxiety peer counselor?" Me: "Maybe..." T: "Oh, or a transference peer counselor, a TPC--you could start a new field!" Me (laughing): "There I go, that's my new career path!"
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:34 AM #460
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Originally Posted by LonesomeTonight View Post
T: "Ugh, yeah." Now, I feel I most likely misheard what he said next, but I swear it sounded like he said, "If my ex-wife had bought me a car, I'd have killed her." I'm sure he just said "If my own wife" or something like that (or maybe this is his second marriage?), but it was still like, wait, what? (especially combined with his often not wearing his ring). But I'm just going with the assumption I'd misheard.
This may not be a useful inquiry for you, but I find it curious you didn't ask him to repeat himself, as in just a simple "sorry, I didn't catch what you just said. Can you repeat it?" No need to tell him what you'd heard possibly mistakenly or react to the correct information.

I guess the curious part for me is why you wouldn't want to know what he actually said, rather than an assumption, particularly in the context of the session topic related to autism. It was an assumption in the first place by you, in the sense that you assumed your former T gave you accurate information. In some ways it is perfectly reasonable to rely on what someone tells you about another person, especially when it would seem she received that information first hand because they once worked together, but in other ways you can't, just like any other "gossip" about somebody else.

I guess I just wander if there is something there in your communication style that may bear examining, given how much being clear about what you're saying and being clear about what the other person is saying is so central to human relationships, including T. And whether being less clear in speaking and understanding others could be connected to feeling anxious about the relationship or other kinds of issues.
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