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Old 03-03-2019, 10:19 AM #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne2.0 View Post
While I think he does a good job with a lot of things, I think he really shines in this issue. He sounds like he doesn't get his back up or is defensive about a lot of things other people might be. He has a nice balance of being very true to what he believes, willing to clarify when asked, and being okay with what you say and do.

I agree. Ex-MC, for example, tended to be very defensive if I criticized or questioned him. Which was a problem. Ex-T wasn't so good with it either. I think T is very secure in who he is as a person and as a T and is sort of "take it or leave it" about it. He will adapt some, and he has. But I also feel more free to say whatever I want to him.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:21 AM #72
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That's great!

Baby T uses CBT, we've only done a little but it seems helpful so far. I like how he takes one step each session and has me dissect things, then I get homework and we go from there.

Journalling is good and I need to get back into it myself. I haven't much since T left. He used to always ask me "Is it still important NOW" because even though it was in the moment, days later it may not have been. It annoyed me at first but I started to see how it was important because we only spent time on the important things.....

Just keep reminding yourself current T is NOT Ex T or Ex MC... he's different and he keeps proving that. I feel like you are quite close with him already, it comes off that way, so maybe that's why it scares you, you wait for the other shoe to drop... and maybe it will? No one knows the future but that's why living for right now, with your T is the best. Just enjoy what you have with him today.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:22 AM #73
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The email I sent early Friday morning:
"Dear Dr. T,
I've had some breakthroughs since session. You're telling me you're not going anywhere, we'll work through any conflicts. And I have so much trouble accepting that. It terrifies me. So I keep doubting or questioning you, debating leaving, etc. It's like I think, obviously there must be something wrong with you if you can accept me like that. I'm certainly not an easy client. I keep thinking, even though I'm paying you, why the hell would you want to deal with me? (Why would *anyone* want to deal with me?)

So I leave session and I go to the [local taphouse] and have a couple beers because your care and acceptance and validation feels good, but I don't feel worthy of it. I try to push away the feelings. I've realized that I often seem to drink more after what I'd consider a good session because I don't know how to process/handle those positive feelings. And because they often seem followed by negative ones. Like, why can't I just sit with and accept and feel the positive feelings? What keeps me from doing that? Why do they scare me so much?

So how do I become less afraid? How do I feel more worthy? Not just of your care (or that of others), but of my own self-care and self-value and self-love? I want to stop running away. I want to stop the pushing and pulling and testing and questioning (of you, of others, of myself) and just...be. I want to stop self-medicating away or otherwise running away from both good and bad feelings. But how do I do that when I'm so afraid? Help?

Charge accepted if you opt for longer reply (or if I'm at red).
--LT"
T, a few minutes later (apparently I sent it when he happened to be looking at email):
"Hi LT,
Goodness, that's quite a lot of deep thinking and some great insights! I really don't think it's something I could effectively reply to via email even with charging for the time. If you wanted to, I could see you this afternoon or we can start with this straight away at our meeting Monday. Trust is difficult, particularly when it's been something that's eluded a person for a long time (or forever). But there is most certainly hope and growth possible, and I'm confident you can make progress.

Thanks for sharing, and you're not in the red. I'd give you a yellow. Let me know if you'd like to meet (it would be at 1pm) or wait until Monday.
Sincerely,
T"
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:26 AM #74
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Originally Posted by DP_2017 View Post
That's great!

Baby T uses CBT, we've only done a little but it seems helpful so far. I like how he takes one step each session and has me dissect things, then I get homework and we go from there.

Journalling is good and I need to get back into it myself. I haven't much since T left. He used to always ask me "Is it still important NOW" because even though it was in the moment, days later it may not have been. It annoyed me at first but I started to see how it was important because we only spent time on the important things.....

Just keep reminding yourself current T is NOT Ex T or Ex MC... he's different and he keeps proving that. I feel like you are quite close with him already, it comes off that way, so maybe that's why it scares you, you wait for the other shoe to drop... and maybe it will? No one knows the future but that's why living for right now, with your T is the best. Just enjoy what you have with him today.

Funny, T actually used the phrase "waiting for the other shoe to drop" in regard to how I am with any relationship in session Friday (I didn't include that in writeup that I'm about to post).
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:27 AM #75
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Extra session Friday. T got me 5 minutes late again. He apologized and said he keeps doing this to me. I said was OK but was starting to get nervous. Sat down. I said how I was having my usual doubts about an extra session. But it was like I felt that I was on the precipice of something--not like a cliff, but more a breakthrough. Like I just needed to keep pushing through with talking about the insights I'd had the day before.

I started in with how I seem to have trouble dealing with the good feelings I get from sessions. How do I get better at processing and accepting those? That it had been an issue with ex-MC, too, where I'd leave a session where he was very validating, then just cry the whole way home in the car. At the time I'd thought maybe it was about transference, but now I wonder if it was more that I'm not used to those feelings from people, so I don't know what to do with them. And maybe there's also an element of, I had those feelings in the office, but now I'm back out in the world. How do I hold onto them?

T said that with relationships, it seems I tend to be focusing on on the future or past rather than the present. That I'm worried about whether the relationship will last or thinking of times in the past when they didn't last. I agreed with that. T: "I wanted to discuss this part in the beginning so it wasn't what you were leaving on." Me: "Uh OK." T: "The thing is, all relationships eventually end. Even with marriage, it's right in the vows, 'till death do us part.' Unless you just happen to die at the same time." (I managed to resist the urge to quote the Smiths' "There Is a Light that Never Goes Out" there.) Me: "Yeah." T: "Your parents will eventually die. Friendships don't last forever. But when they end, you'll get through that."

I gave example of thinking before that I wouldn't get through losing ex-MC. T: "That's a perfect example." Me: "Before the rupture, I used to start crying just at the thought of eventually separating from him, even by choice. I couldn't bear the thought of it. But then I did get through it, even though it hurt." T: "Yes you did. I do feel like you have trouble working through the grieving process. Because ideally, you would get to a point where you could hold onto more of the good memories of someone. Where you seem to have trouble doing that." I brought up my grandmother (who passed 5 years ago). That she'd been so vibrant, yet the last couple years, she was bed-bound. And when she shows up in my dreams now, she's generally more in that state, rather than thinking of her as she was. T said how for most of my life, she wasn't stuck in a bed. So it would make sense for, say, 90% of my thoughts to be about that time, the positive memories, just 10% about the end.

I said I do think of her whenever the Golden Girls come up, because we used to watch it together. T smiled at that. I asked if he thought writing down some of the memories might help. T: "Maybe? I was going to suggest something with pictures, maybe scanning some old photos, making a Snapfish book. You could add a few stories in there." He said I could go over them with D, that she'd probably like that. I said maybe I'd try that.

T went back to the relationships ending. T: "Just because relationships will all end, it doesn't make them not worth having. A good example is dogs. People get dogs knowing that the dog will most likely die before them, that they'll have to deal with that loss. But it's still worth it to them, to have a dog in their life." I said I hadn't had a dog (well, for 2 days!) but guinea pigs. T: "That's an ever better example, because they have shorter life spans." Me: "Yeah."

T: "And I want you to realize that if something happens to me, you'll be OK. Or if you were to decide to leave, say, if I'm an asshole." Me: "Do you have plans for that? Do you have a day circled on the calendar when you're going to be an asshole?" T kinda laughed: "No." Me: "Though I could see that happening with you..." T: "How's that hole you're digging?" Me: "I'm just going to slip back into the bushes now..." T: "But if that were to happen, I'd hope you could still hold onto and value the work we did together." Me: "yeah, that's something I'm still trying to work on with ex-MC."

Back to the relationship thing, he said how being in the moment with people could help me. I said that's something I had to work on, because, for example, I was meeting a new friend for the first time recently, and I spent much of the time worrying I'd mess up and they wouldn't want to hang out again. But they still did. T: "I get the sense that making friends comes easily to you." Me: "I guess?"

T: "I think something else you can do is accept that you have anxiety and that it has both positive and negative effects on you." Me: "There's a positive? I mean, I guess I might avoid dangerous situations..." T: "I think it makes you a good friend. Because you're perceptive and attentive. You want to make a good impression and have the other person like you. While many people don't think about those things." Me: "Hm, I hadn't thought of it that way. I guess being anxious also makes me a good copy editor." T: "Exactly, it helps you with work, too."

We talked about how mindfulness can help me, doing some meditation. I said how I want to go back to doing more yoga, but the thing with that is, I can feel very mindful and at peace in the class, but then when I leave, it's like that feeling goes away. The same with going for a walk outside, when I come back inside, the mindfulness is gone. T: "One way to do that is to try to recreate the setting of the yoga class, say, at home. Wear the same clothes, do similar things. Then you gradually take away different elements until you can just go back to that feeling on your own. Like if you're out with a friend, maybe you can just say, 'I need a minute,' then take a few seconds to breathe deeply (he demonstrated) and calm yourself." He said it's a technique they use with athletes, so that they can be in the middle of a game, and they find a few seconds where they can pause and calm themselves.

I realized we only had maybe 10 minutes left, and I started crying again. I sort of rambled, said I knew I wasn't making any sense and the sobbing likely wasn't helping. He said was OK. Me: "I feel like lately I've sort of had one foot out the door in here. I'm not sure if you sensed that, too." T: "I do have that sense." Me: "Like questioning things, seeing the consulting T, the backup T. And I wonder if in some ways that's me being afraid, like afraid to really face myself and change. The term I keep thinking of is 'I want to be all in.' I know that's a gambling term, but it's like I need that. I feel I should just sort of commit to doing this with you and really do it, instead of running."

T: "Maybe instead you should just accept that you're feeling ambivalent about things right now." Me: "Hm, OK." T: "For me, I have to conduct therapy with the assumption that a client is going to stay and proceed like that. If I keep thinking they'll leave, then maybe I wouldn't try as hard or something. So I just assume they'll keep coming back. But for you, it might help you to accept that you're unsure right now, and that's OK." Me: "OK. I guess 'acceptance' is kind of a theme today." T: "Yes."

I started sobbing again, saying, "I just want to get better." T gave me a caring look. Me: "It's like I'm tired of feeling this way. I feel like I'm ready to change. Instead of starting and then slipping back." T: "Change what?" Me: "Just...everything. Taking better care of myself, the drinking thing. Just doing the work to really get better, to be able to handle life better, to just deal with my issues." I said I was thinking of this song by the band Typhoon. Me: "One of the lyrics is, 'Oh what am I waiting for? A spell to be cast or for it to be broken.' And in a way I feel like that, what am I waiting for?" T: "OK. What kind of band is that, thrash metal?" Me (joking): "Yes." Me: "And another line is, 'When am I gonna feel better? I have been patient for a long time now.' I said it then switched to 'I've been a patient for a long time now,' mainly referring to the singer's Lyme disease as a kid. T: "That's a nice play on the phrase." Me: "Yeah. Part of me wanted to play the song for you, but I feel weird doing that right now."

T: "I'm sorry that you've had so much therapy and are still struggling so much." I thanked him. I said maybe it just wasn't the right therapist before? T: "Or maybe you just weren't ready then." Me: "Yeah. I feel like I'm ready now." T: "Good." I said I knew we had to stop. And that I probably was going to keep my Monday session. T: "Well, you know where to find me if you change your mind."

Threw my giant pile of tissues into the trash, then paid. T shook my hand, saying, "Have a good weekend, OK? Doctor's orders!" I said I'd do my best.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:29 AM #76
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LT

I can relate SOOOOO much to that, especially AFTER T has left, I am 100% doubting the care ever existed and it's ruining me. I allowed myself to get close to him after expressing similar views and having our rupture, we were the closest ever, after the rupture....I was confident and content with us, I accepted his care and I figured, whatever he sees about me, it's good for both of us, I need to not question it.... but then he left and blah.

Not to try and scare you, you likely wont experience what I did. It's not common T's abandon clients, esp for a whole new career, but ya life happens and no one knows the future but thats why if you can get to a point where you just accept it, it will be great. Even if you realize it's only temporary... but it doesn't mean it isn't real and it doesn't mean that everyone else's care is only temporary. Good luck to you! We both have sessions tomorrow
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:38 AM #77
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Ok I just read your write up, a few extra things

One, yes make a photo book, the single most healing thing I did with losing my dog was make those. It was hard and emotional but it's so so so wonderful to have. I recommend collage.com instead though, much better prices and you can make it way more your own rather than set themes

Second.. I'm SO glad he brought up and was honest with you about all relationships end, they do. It's **** but they do. It's probably why at a young age, I started keeping distance with people. Anyway....he is right, there is value in it, even though I am struggling with losing my T, sometimes I think, where would i be without him? I'd probably be dead, because the first thing I always talked about doing with my dog died, was dying with him.

Lastly, I'll agree with him on the dogs. Getting dogs is not for everyone but for some, it's everything. My dog saved my life. He gave me a purpose. Every single day I spent with him, I consider blessed. Yes I knew he would die but I spent every day doing the most with him that I could, loving him with my all.... and even though I miss him every day, that is one relationship I don't regret at all. How amazing it was to spend 15 years with that incriedble soul, he taught so much about life and love. I'd probably never have made my 21st birthday without him. I wanted to die that bad before I got him. He was my world. He changed my world.

Now I have my other dog, I know he's getting close, he's almost 16. I am aware of it but T was able to get me to learn to focus on the here and now with them and not fret about the death, as I was when I first saw him.... so this yea instead of "oh dang, he's 16, he isn't gonna last much longer" I am like 'Wow, our first pet to have a 16th birthday! I've done a great job with him"

I hope you can get to a place where you are happy and content, your really do deserve it
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:59 PM #78
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Thanks for the comments, DP. I just feel so vulnerable right now, because I was so open and raw in Friday's session. This feels like such a silly thing, but on Friday afternoon, I emailed T a link to the song I was referencing, saying "In case you're curious." He typically says something within 24 hours, though less so on weekends if not urgent. So rationally, I'm saying to myself "Whatever, it was just a throwaway email, I shouldn't worry about it at all." But there's also the super vulnerable part. And I realize that the email wasn't just about "here's this song," but maybe more of a checking in after an intense session. But I also didn't say that, so I'm sure he's taking it at face value and will maybe just say something in session or possibly tomorrow morning? (he did that once before with a nonurgent Sunday email)

Assuming we have session, as we're getting rain, but part of our county is getting snow, and I'm worried school could be closed. And he normally comes in when it is (despite having a school-aged son), but recently he had to reschedule me to a different time because he didn't realize his son had a half-day. And Friday's session was partly contingent on schools staying with a delay rather than closing. So maybe whatever plan he had in place that let him always come in even if schools were closed, unless it was a blizzard, isn't there anymore? (whether his wife, a neighbor, family member, etc.). So if schools close, unsure if we'd necessarily have session. (I hate the not knowing, also regarding my D--my H will work from home, so it's not a problem on my end, but I just want my D to know what's going on.) And I know rationally/intellectually that everything is fine. But my more emotional/young part just wants to reconnect with him.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:03 PM #79
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He also isn't big into music from what you said, so it probably isn't a priority to him. I honestly wouldn't even bring it up, it would feel kinda pressure like to him possibly. Just let him say something if he has gotten around to it, if no, then that's ok. Share the lyrics out loud or whatever.

And part of therapy is being vulernable so while it's a **** feeling, it's good when you feel it, it means something is working.

People share songs with people all the time, so for most people it's not gonna be a big deal. I probably wouldn't even have gotten around to it myself yet, mostly because I'm super lazy about music LOL....

I'm sure he will be there, he seems to go often, and if no, there's always Tuesday. Just breathe.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:59 PM #80
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He also isn't big into music from what you said, so it probably isn't a priority to him. I honestly wouldn't even bring it up, it would feel kinda pressure like to him possibly. Just let him say something if he has gotten around to it, if no, then that's ok. Share the lyrics out loud or whatever.

And part of therapy is being vulernable so while it's a **** feeling, it's good when you feel it, it means something is working.

People share songs with people all the time, so for most people it's not gonna be a big deal. I probably wouldn't even have gotten around to it myself yet, mostly because I'm super lazy about music LOL....

I'm sure he will be there, he seems to go often, and if no, there's always Tuesday. Just breathe.

Oh I know. I wasn't expecting some big response from him. Just "Thanks" would have honestly sufficed. I wasn't expecting him to give me some analysis of the song meaning. I guess maybe it also felt sort of exposing to share the song with him? Plus we had a brief discussion about how once I shared a song over email with ex-MC and he just never acknowledged it at all. And T was like, "He never even said anything about it?" So that makes me think he'd acknowledge it in some way. Trying my best to breathe, I know if tomorrow doesn't work out, there will be another day. Just figure that Thursday will be mainly about my D's annual IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting that's happening Friday. So I'd rather process this stuff in a separate session.
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