Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How Do I Stay the Course?

I need to figure out a way to bring myself back from the dark-side when I stop trusting and stop believing L.  I need to stop myself from spinning out of control.  It's hard, but it has to be doable.  So, while I'm in a pretty good place I figure this would be a good time to come up with a plan, right? 

I know she'd be ok with me texting or calling her, but it's a double-edged sword.  The only way I would feel safe about contacting her is when I'm not all caught up in thinking she can't be trusted. 

So how do I get off this roller coaster, this push-pull? 

I also think that some of this is self-inflicted.  There is something that draws me in.  Maybe it's just what I'm used to, so that's naturally what I gravitate too?

A side question...for the most part I think people are in our lives for a reason.  So, with L I truly believe she's in my life for a reason.  But, am I in her life for a reason?


  1. Do you want answers to your questions? I’m not quite sure….

    Hi, in case you’ve been looking at your stats and wondering, I’m your Australian reader, of course there might be others too. I’ve been really enjoying following your therapy experiences. You write very clearly about the confusion of your feelings. Of course I have only a very shallow understanding of you from the blog though and I’m not any kind of psych expert... So, before I say anything, I want to qualify my opinions in the extreme!

    First, your side question: Yes, you are in her life for a reason, but you will never ever know what that reason is. And this is lucky in a way because it frees you from trying to be ‘good’ for her. You don’t have to be a good patient or a good conversation partner or a good successful treatment case, you just have to be you and the only reason to be you is for you to know who you are, what you need, and how you work, and how to love this life that you have.

    I don’t quite know what you mean when you write about the thought that she can’t be trusted? Maybe, that she will abandon you? There is a basic sense in which you never know when the therapy relationship will end, because life throws curve balls and things do end abruptly sometimes. Yeah, that’s awful to think about, and I don’t suggest you really do. But it seems, from what you write that she is very generous with giving herself to you and being available to you. She is allowing you to set the boundaries in the relationship. You feel the boundaries within yourself as the push-pull… Because time flies and you don't know what is around the corner, take and do what you need right now, and receive her generosity gratefully. She has not limited contact which means you must become aware of how much is healthy for you. That means finding (perhaps by trial and error as you have been) the balance between what you need, what makes you feel good, what you feel entitled to, how you want to treat the people who you care about, and how much attention you want to give to each of the relationships in your life. You will have chances in your life to pay her generosity forward to someone else.

    I hope I have not offended you or overstepped myself. Please say so if I have! Thank you for your blog and all the best.


  2. Hi Cate, thank you for your response! I really appreciate your insights, and you definitely did not overstep anything!

    You have given me so much to think about. For the most part I write this blog for myself so I'm never quite sure how other people perceive it. But I think your comments are spot on.

    Thanks again!

  3. Hey Cate, it's me again! You wrote so much for me to digest, and I keep reading and rereading your response and each time I hear, and absorb something new!
    How did you get to be so wise?
    I'm glad, in a strange way, that my confusion comes accross clearly, because clearly I'm confused most of the time! But your comments have helped, and I'm hoping I can hold on to them.

    It's amazing how someone who lives half-way around the world from me can have such an impact.


  4. oh phew! so pleased to hear that it was ok to talk back... Yes, I often think about how small the internet makes the world and how totally cool it is that ordinary people living their lives can cross paths when they never would have even 10 years ago... we are lucky. Thanks for your writing, it always gives me food for thought too. I hope you can continue to write for yourself. All the best.

  5. I think there's always a push-pull with people we care about. You get close, then you need distance also. I go through this in therapy also, though my T is not as responsive as yours is. She sounds great. Mine will respond eventually to an email, but sometimes it just kills me waiting a day to hear back. And he doesn't expect to hear from me all the time - more if I'm not doing well...

    Anyway, I don't think you can get off the push/pull, but maybe you can learn to tolerate it better? That's what I want to do.

  6. He Ellen, I agree about the push-pull, but for me, with L the push-pull is huge in comparison to how I push-pull with others. Maybe that's the dreaded transference at work? I read somewhere that if my reaction is bigger/larger than what is to be expected, then it's my friend transference at work.

    As for your t responding to email, does he know how hard it is for you too wait? And I guess for me that's why texting has helped. She can respond faster to texts, although it's certainly not immediate, and at times it's taken her over 24 hours to respond. But for me/us it's been a good way to deal with the inbetween session angst.

  7. HI NWNMG - I know what you mean, as I have the same outsized feelings in interacting with my T. I suppose it is the transference. It's a feeling that makes me feel helpless and pathetic for sure so I know where you might be coming from. I've told my T waiting for a response from him makes me anxious. But I need to be able to wait at least 12 hours, I think that's reasonable....cheers