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So today, I am feeling very much like my Old T did the very best that he could for me, and that he cared and *was* the kind and good T that I knew him to be. But that there was just something that wasn't connecting...or..and that the way he handled my terming him, was probably in my best interests.

I was hoping it wouldn't be too presumptuous of me to ask for some input on what my next step should be, since I'm really kind of at a loss as to how to move on from him, but keep playing and replaying it, different scenarios of what he meant, why he ignored me at the last, etc. I can't seem to find closure. I just read something really enlightening by UV about "separation and individuation," and was thinking that maybe this is what old T did with me, and that it just hurt like hell, but I had to go through it. Now that I have officially termed my T, I would like to find some closure and be able to hold onto him as a positive image in my life, but...that he has ignored my last emails to him, both the one just before I took an extended break, bringing the idea up and my issues with his inconsistent availability and varying responses to me- (which he promised to answer) and the one I sent recently to officially term with him, is making this impossible. He even went so far as to send the last bill to my H instead of me, something that he had never done before since I was his client and my H only came for two or three sessions.
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Hey BB,

Just came on and saw this and felt compelled to respond.

I would choose the first choice, except I don't think it's self-harm. If you classify it like that, then it means that every desire and action we take to move closer to an unhealthy AF is self-harm, and I just don't think that's the right term for it. I'm not sure how exactly I think of it, but I just don't think of it as self-harm at all. You want to move toward him with the hopes that it will give you closure - so you're not *completely* knowingly committing self-harm, since there's still the possibility that it may not be harmful. I guess that's how I think of it...?

I also think that if you were going to get a response from him, you would have already gotten it. Not that I know your T at all, and I could be blatantly wrong here, but that's just my opinion.

You can hold on to some of the good you've gotten out of your relationship with old T, but in trying to remember him as a completely positive figure, you risk unintentionally glossing over the bad which, while completely understandable, is also part of the journey that's gotten you to where you are now. One thing my T suggested to me once was to kind of think as this one person in my life as two different people so that I could have the good and the bad and not let one taint the other, if that makes sense. It's hard to do, but it may be worth a try.

Anyway, gotta run - love and hugs to you, Beebs.
Hi Beebs... I voted no because I do not think that getting an email from him will give you any real closure in this situation. Not yet at least. It may be too soon. I'd also like to know what YOU would want to hear from him? What do you wish he could say to give you the closure you need?

Please understand that I'm asking these very hard questions from the place of someone who has been through this for more than a year now. You know how hard I struggled to get that last session with my oldT. It did not really give me what I needed. Yes, I was able to say things to him that I held inside for over a year (mostly because I was prohibited from any contact with him). But in the end it did not help me that much. I really didn't get anything back from him except maybe that he was angry at me and totally clueless as to the horrific pain, trauma and grief he caused me. He had NO idea what he did to me or what he meant to me. And I understood how easy it was for him to just dismiss me from his mind and life. I was no one to him and that hurt so much.

So you want to know what helped? My T. Talking endlessly with him... for a year... almost the entire year twice a week about my pain and my grief and my anger and my frustrations over being abandoned. Every session. Crying with him, feeling his care, feeling his consistency, hearing his soothing voice, being able to contact him out of session, having him be dependable and allowing me to be totally dependent on him for awhile. This and just plain ole time was what helped me. I still carry this ball of pain inside of me but it's not as big as it used to be. Sometimes the grief hits me out of the blue but I am managing it and I know my steady, consistent, caring, smart T is there as my back-up. I also have you guys here on the Board and a few close friends I can talk to.

So... I suggest that when you feel you can that you talk to "your" T about all of this. Keep talking to him about old geezerT and how what happened makes you feel and think. Tell him about the email and what you would like to do. Tell him how not getting a response hurts you. And keep talking about what HE thinks really happened in that relationship.

Beebs, the worse thing is that there is no quick fix to this pain and grief. And I know it's agony while you are mired in it.

Sending you lotsa hugs and kind thoughts.
TN
(((((Beebs)))))

When things ended badly with my former T, I felt exactly as you described here, for at least a year after the termination. After our last session, I went back three more times to that clinic, hoping for closure...but never got it. I only got more hurt and confused.

Like TN, I talked about everything with my last T, over and over again. She never seemed to get frustrated or exasperated with me - she was always very patient. And in time, slowly, that feeling of "needing" closure has faded. It was a little over two years ago, and I can honestly say I've completely let go of it now. But it hurt like hell when I was going through it. I actually don't think I've ever been through worse pain than that. It's horrible.

Ironically, if my former T would have been capable of giving me the kind of closure I needed, he would have been capable of giving me the therapy I needed, too. I can look back and say, he's probably been a really good T for some folks. But he definitely did not have what I needed.

Like you, I went through a time when I thought maybe my former T had "engineered" what had happened...but I don't think that anymore. But I do think there was no way to avoid it happening. Because I think what happened is that my needs triggered his unconscious stuff. Which then triggered my stuff in some really painful ways...and we just kept trying to make it work, when it just wasn't. There's no way to end that kind of dynamic "well" other than to just end it and walk away, Beebs.

I spent an awful lot of time and energy trying to make sense of what happened, going back and forth from his being an awful T who deliberately hurt me, to his being a great T and I must have failed horribly. That really sounds to me like where you are caught right now, and I'm so, so sorry, Beebs. It hurts so much, I know. But I really believe, over time working with Cowboy T, as you grow in the therapy with him, you will eventually come to see that your former T just didn't happen to have what you needed. And you weren't wrong to ask for what you needed. And eventually you will be able to let it go as an attempt at a therapy relationship that just didn't work out.

And the reason I believe this is because that is what eventually happened for me. Cowboy T sounds SO much like my last T, Beebs. There are so many parallels in our stories, it's kind of eerie. Maybe you can't see it right now, but you are making tons of progress. I hope this gives you some encouragement. I know you've had some scheduling problems with Cowboy T lately, but I hope you're able to find a way to see him again real soon. You're doing such good therapy with him, Beebs. Go easy on yourself, okay?

Much love,
SG
Thank you SG...what you wrote really helps.

quote:
I spent an awful lot of time and energy trying to make sense of what happened, going back and forth from his being an awful T who deliberately hurt me, to his being a great T and I must have failed horribly.


Yeah, that is where I'm caught right now. When I think of him as a great T, I miss him so much and Ican barely stand it. I can manage the permanent nature of the separation only when I think of him as a terrible T- which I know for a fact that he is not.

I think this homework assignment that I have, to think about what it is that I miss the most, is really bringing out all these old longings for T that I put away. I found a picture of him online that just took my breath away, because there he looked so kind and fatherly, just like I remember him, and I miss that sense of being cared about by him, rather than cut off and non-existent in his world. Thank you for understanding, and letting me talk it out on here, you guys.

hugs,

BB
quote:
Ironically, if my former T would have been capable of giving me the kind of closure I needed, he would have been capable of giving me the therapy I needed, too. I can look back and say, he's probably been a really good T for some folks. But he definitely did not have what I needed.


(((BB))) I agree with what SG wrote above and also with everything said so far. I know this is so painful for you, but I really think the closure will come from the continued work that you do and through the progress that you are making and not from your old T. I really don't think he can give you what you are looking for and if he could I think he would have already done it as SG said.

You are making progress and I think these growing pains will prove to be really important. Cowboy T is there in a way that can really help you sort through all of this. It will get better.

Every post I am reading here tonight is so triggering for me. The universe is making me deal with stuff whether I want to or not...

I am going through this right now. Right this second and all day today.

I did fight for and received a final explanation session with my youngT. It was nice and on the day we planned for my future, I said some nice things about her and vice versa. I walked out of there less upset and felt a little better and understood things better. The actual last session when she termed me - I sad and cried and begged. I begged - and feel humiliated at how much I begged for her to keep me.

But - every single day it comes up again. I have to visit that same practice twice a month - mostly I have to run into her. It is pure, pure agony. Over that termination week I emailed her many submissions trying to win her back. Desperate BPD behaviour. But "she didn't want me". I was too much for her, the conflict of interest with the friends was too much, T was way too inexperienced for my issues etc etc. I sent her 2 emails after we finished and said I wanted her to tell her something, she said she didn't want to know but I said stuff it I am going to tell you - and told her 2 things she should have seen, asked about or at least to suspect in future clients. She never emailed back to "thank" me. But I am sure she will benefit from my advice........

Having another session again, wouldn't have helped me because I have waivered from love, hate, sadness, disappointment and every other emotion I could think of. I just cycle through them depending on the day. Her talking to me again isn't going to help that.

Every time I see T - i cry about it or I bring it up a lot. It doesn't leave me alone. I was saddened to hear what TN and Strummer wrote - that is has taken them both a year of basically constant processing, sadness, talking and tears with new T's to process and resolve. Shit, I have a long way ahead of me.....

I don't think it would help to contact him. I think the future for you and I is to do the TN and Strummer thing and talk about it for the next 12 months and process it until we reach our own resolution. I think it is part of our personal growth.
Thank you STRMS and Somedays and DF!!!...I reset the title of the thread to have the trigger, I am so sorry that I triggered you Somedays. I know how hard it is! I'm not sure what to do. I'm longing for T just everyday, it's like I'm right back where I was in therapy with him, he is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep. And I keep compulsively googling him, hoping to find a more recent picture. He has absolutely *no* private presence online, but he has a lot of articles, interviews, and so on, that are public knowledge, so I don't feel too guilty since it is out there for public use anyway-...but I have to get google translate to translate a lot of it, so I don't get the full meaning of the owrds. Why do I miss him *so* much, all of a sudden like this? It's like it just hit me, so hard. I want so badly to write to him, beg him to respond to me...anything. I feel like I have a parent who used to love me, that has completely disowned me!
quote:
Why do I miss him *so* much, all of a sudden like this? It's like it just hit me, so hard. I want so badly to write to him, beg him to respond to me...anything. I feel like I have a parent who used to love me, that has completely disowned me!

(((((((((((((Beebs))))))))))))) This is EXACTLY how I felt about my former T, and even more so about my ex-BF. I am so sorry you are feeling this. It is such an awfully sad and painful place to be. I wish I could tell you I've worked through it completely. I haven't. BUT. I do know that the answers do NOT lie with my former T, or my ex-BF. I've been told that those feelings most likely have to do with the losses I experienced as a child. I can only continue to believe that until I make the connection for myself. And I'm willing to believe it for now, because I KNOW I can't get any help from the other two, and any attempts would only hurt me (and possibly others) further.

Gotta run for now - biggest hugs to you sweetie

Love,
SG
Beebs do you realize that by editing your post to put the trigger warning in, you've wiped out the results of your poll so far?

It's heartbreaking to hear you going through so much pain and agony about guruT. Have you discussed with CowboyT at all the idea of your getting back in touch with guruT? That might actually be helpful for you to work through some of the conflicts going on in you about it and maybe you'll be better able to come to some sort of decision about what to do.

I haven't voted but still incline to putting myself in your place and imagining that I personally would have to make some sort of contact, ask some point blank questions just to feel like I'm doing SOMETHING to get badly needed information. For me uncertainty is the worst thing and even if I knew it could be making things more painful for me in the long run, I'd still go ahead. I figure that I could deal with future pain better than I can live with ground shifting uncertainty in the present. If you were going to get in touch with guruT again, I'd suggest that you be very very clear in the sorts of things you want him to tell you - get your questions really clear so that if he does respond, it won't keep on leaving you hanging in this awful state.

But this is me and I really don't know what would work for you. I just hope you can find a way out of these terrible feelings soon.

((((( Beebs )))))

LL
((((SG and LL)))) thanks you two...SG, I'm sorry those old feelings are still problematic, and painful. I hope that you will find means to work through it so that you can let that grief inside go in peace. You deserve to heal and while you will always love the old BF, I still hope that you will be able to love without it hurting you inside so much anymore. ((((((SG))))) Keep talking about it, like others keep telling me to do.

LLthanks you- yeah I realized that I wiped the poll results out but I figured I would just add whatever new ones may come along to what was there before. I thought I'd better put the trigger warning, I had forgotten how badly it can trigger people to hear about endings. The general consensus seems to be that I don't re-contact, and it's just helpful to have the perspectives being offered here, on it. LL, I actually did send him a very long closure email just before my break, with tons of questions and my perspectives and feelings on things he had done/not done that were confusing to me. He sent me a very nice response that was reassuring me that he was not going to try to get rid of me, and that he was sad that I continually misread his statements to mean that is what he is trying to do.

He said there were many other things in the email that he needed to respond to, but that he would not have time to do that for three weeks since he was "tightly booked" and responding would take one to two hours. Since I had told him that I require a response, and said I would like to pay for his time- I assumed that means he wouldn't be available for our newly established weekly sessions, which I had made very clear that I needed, and which he agreed to, but then...in two months time, failed to provide that consistently for me. So when he said "tightly booked for three weeks" it confirmed my decision to take a break, since clearly, he had filled in his time slots with all his other clients, but failed to keep a spot consistently available for me- even though he had promised to do so. Does that make sense? So, in some sense, I am still waiting for a more detailed response to that email from months ago, that went through all of my issues with him...the other thing is that, he immediately removed me from his Skype list ( I know because I used to be able to see his light come on, but from that day forward it was permanently off) and sent his final bill to my H. It was like a really clear message, even though- his last email said just exactly the opposite. Frowner

I'm talking and I can't shut up.

I miss him...because it was just left so open-ended, I can't stop thinking about it, or wondering just, if something terrible happened to him.
Beebs, just stopping in to say that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing at this point in time... talking about it... a lot. You need to say it and hear it and have others hear it too and by doing that manyt times over it will eventually lose some of it's power over you.

I really do understand the need to look at what happened over and over and from different angles and perspectives. I know you would like some definitive answers... I would too from my oldT. I never got them. Not from his mouth anyway, but with my T we pretty much figured out what was going on with him and why he abandoned me.

Yet... I also understand the intense feelings of missing someone. Someone that is still alive but it feels like they died, or you died when you separated from them. I still have very strong urges to contact oldT and I have to fight with myself not to email him. I still cry when I think of things we shared or how much I miss Tdog or his lovely old farmhouse and office. I miss that warmth that he was able to exude (not sure if it was ever genuine) but it was quite addictive to me. I miss those feelings that I would get while sitting with him and having him look at me in his unique way and smile at me. I would sit there looking at him thinking he hung the moon. I never dreamed how it all would end. Never in a million years did I ever envision leaving his office for the last time in police custody. I talked about this today (again) with my T. How scary that he put me in a position where I lost all power and choice. That I was at the mercy of others. It's a nightmare that still is not gone from my mind.

And yes, like you I would wake up and think of him first thing every morning and the last thing at night. I would shake with anxiety in the morning and when trying to sleep. I would remember that I lost him and would never see him again and that feeling would just cripple me. Even after I started to see my T, I still struggled with this. I even got mad at my T when he suggested I should think of HIM in the morning when I woke up. I angrily told him that there was no room for him in my head! But eventually I found there was room for him. A teeny space where I could fit in a fleeting thought of what he said the day before or how he made me smile when I was so sad and how he really understood what I was going through. Little by little there was more room for him in my head and I started to "reach" for him in the morning when I was scared and anxious. Now he is mostly there all the time and oldT just pops in sometimes. When that happens I'm usually blindsided by the grief and end up in tears but I can handle it better now.

I do hope you will take all of these feelings to Cowboy T and allow him to validate the feelings and that you will find it safe and comforting to tell him everything.

It WILL get better Beebs. It just takes time.
Hugs
TN
Hi BB,
I hope you are doing okay. I know your pain well and I agreeing that trying to contact him again would only hurt you. The pain that your having although stemming from him is much older and much deeper.And he has already shown that he is not equipped to let you "use" him to heal an old wound. I dealt with a terrible situation like this and even more like TN's and it 2.5 years to get to where I am now, which is- seeing his picture doesn't even stir me. Be patient with yourself and let Cowboy help you heal. Love ND
Sorry Beebs for saying it triggered me and causing you to lose your poll results. Look - at the moment a lot of things are triggering me - and you know what someone somewhere is probably triggered by each post on the forum here. I take responsibility for knowing how much i can take and if it is too much, I won't write on a thread.

I am in this too - as your story is my experience at the moment. Hearing your story is painful for me - but all the advice you are getting from people here is helping me too.

I am reassured when i read TN's message that you need to keep talking - that is how I feel also. I kept thinking 'it has been x days, x weeks - i should be coping' - now i know that it will take a year or so. Termination is trauma to already traumatised people - doesn't matter how the term is done.

Unbelievably - I haven't had an urge to email youngT back after our final session. I have cut her from my life! It helped that I had already seen T before the final session - so I had already hooked in to help.

Now I see youngT each month when i visit the practice (to see childT) - and it is very difficult for me. To know that she just keeps seeing other people and I used to be someone she saw. I actually never want to say anything to her at that time - I am always in shock - I never come away from that thinking "oh, i should have asked this or that' - I am left with a black sadness in the pit of my soul where I don't have words. A burden of grief that causes tears to flow. youngT explained really well to me the reasons for our termination - I agree with it - but it is the leftover grief, trauma, rejection, attachment injury - that is left as a wound. Her words or any extra explanation won't heal that.

I am wondering whether - even if you got the explanation to your questions - that you would still have all the grief as I do. I thought me accepting the rational reasons for the termination would help me heal quicker - but it hasn't seemed to have helped. I have to heal myself.

I am sorry beebs. Hope my words helped in some way.
((BB))).....(((Somedays)))....other people who have been hurt by their Ts....
I am sorry that this is so hard. We have an expectation that we should feel better and get over it in a time liited period. But grief is not like that and has no finite end point, it will be different for everybody depending on so many things - and each is normal. And like other wise folk here have said too, it's good to keep talking about it, every time you talk, maybe a tiny little piece falls into place for you. There has been so much hurt caused by what has happened.

BB I wouldn't contact him again. If he wanted to reply or had any sense of responsibility or compassion , he would have done so last time Frowner. Don't put yourself through any more unecessary hurt dearest BB



starfishy
(((((((((LL, TN, ND, SD and Starfish))))))

((((((and everyone else who responded before, or read on this thread))))

Thank you for the support and understanding...it really helps, and thanks for the unfailing patience as I keep "revving my tires" trying to get out of the mud.

My biggest problem right now seems to be trying to reconcile the "goodT/badT" split. I need to keep an image of his as a good T and a kind T, if I want to be in touch with my emotional self...but I need to keep an image of his as a bad T and a manipulative even "evil" T in order to not completely fall apart. I seem to keep hovering on the precipice of this dichotomy, madly attempting to find some kind of balance... so I'm mad at T one day, and googling him to find pictures and missing him like crazy the next. Roll Eyes It's getting tiring. Maybe my increased med doage will balance me out, and I'll be able to go back to living my life. yarg.

Much love, wishing all of you peace,

BB
Oh, BB, I was just complaining to my therapist about the emotional complexity of life and relationships. I've tended to see everyone else as all good and me as bad. (I think that is a slightly different spin on the splitting that borderlines do.)

I dismiss the bad (well, you know what I mean, the stuff that doesn't necessarily meet my needs or is abusive) in people. In fact, I overlook it completely and attribute the negative stuff to myself. Part of what I've been doing in therapy is trying to reconstruct a more accurate picture of these various figures in my life. Mostly I've seen them as all-good but lately I've had to see them as all-bad to protect myself. It's very hard now to let some of the good stuff back in because I'm afraid I won't be able to balance the the overall picture and slant the picture one way.

On an emotional level, it's very difficult because as you noted, if you look at GuruT as good and kind, you are able to keep in touch with your emotional self. But it also sounds like that you need to see him as being evil, in order to prevent yourself from falling apart. And it's so hard to come to some kind of middle ground. Intellectually, maybe. But emotionally is a different story.

Are you saying then, in order to keep yourself from falling apart, that you are basically numbing out? And that's why you are not in touch with your emotions? I'm wondering, though, what, if any, emotions are involved in protecting yourself from falling apart? Maybe anger?

And which emotions are you able to access when you see him being good and kind? Guilt about the failed relationship?

((((BB))))

Sorry this is all so grueling for you. Hope you get to see cowboy T soon.

xoxo

Liese
Har, you ask hard questions, Liese! Big Grin You may have a future as a therapist lined up!

idk...I'm in touch with tender, childlike, trusting, but very painful emotions when I think of him as "good T." But when I think of him as "bad T" I am able to numb out and just avoid having any feelings at all about him...except, probably some kind of disowned anger that doesn't feel at all justified since he "really is" good T. Roll Eyes

and I know exactly what he would say about that, if I were still a paying client: that I am avoiding my feelings by refusing to believe in his care for me.

Confused Confused Confused

Thanks, Liese...I wish I could figure out *what the heck* is the deal with my "thingy." Maybe I really am borderline, not dysthymic. If I am, I am...but...I'd like to at least know about it.
Hello everyone...I just wanted to let you all know that I heard from my old T this morning. He wrote to acknowledge my letter of "official" termination. His letter has permanently confirmed him in my mind and emotions as "good T." His letter was very kind, almost loving. He wrote that he had badly wanted to be able to help me, but that the electronic limitations of the counseling were likely what were preventing it. He said that he thinks he could have helped me if it had been possible to meet in person. He told me that I am not a bad person, and that he had especially wanted me to believe that. He hoped he had gotten through to my H on some issues, and said that it was painful for him to watch. Frowner He agreed with me that for the electronic medium, we have gone as far a we can, and affirmed my choice to go to a local counselor, said it was "very good." And He said that he hopes that I will stick with my faith, and that it seemed to him I had met some of my goal in that area, to some extent. He said that he would never forget me, and that he would pray for me. His care and concern came right through just as I remembered it from long ago, and it is both relieving, and also very painful.

I am in trouble now because I cannot stop the crying that had been trapped inside for these long months now, I'm alone with my kids, and they want to know what the heck is wrong. It's like the dam broke. I can't believe how much it hurts me that he remembers and cares about me. It is agony, and I can't possibly dismiss my feelings. I am hoping to be able to find some way of getting through this day. Strangely, it is not bad pain...just a very ouchy pain, but it is really good to be able to feel something, though I have avoided it like the plague.

I'm very grateful to him for writing back to me. I do have the closure I needed now. I feel only, very sorry that I ever thought of him as "bad T." I'm really glad and deeply happy that he is "good T" after all. I feel like I can breathe for the first time in forever.

Thank you for the support during this awful time of waiting, dear forum friends.

Much love, and wishing all of you peace-

Beebs
((((Beebs))))) I am glad that you heard back from him and that he was clearly so affirming. I understand that pain, not all tears are bitter nor is all sadness. It's a real loss and you are entitled to your grief. I am sorry you are in pain but glad that you can feel. Try and take in both his care and the understanding that you did nothing wrong. Wish I could be there to hold you while you cry, dear one. Take good care of yourself and be gentle while you grieve. I will pray for peace and comfort.

love, Aglet
BB, I am glad your old T responded and affirmed the goodness in you and showed you his caring from afar. You deserve that. I hope you can start to feel what you could only know before, which is that neither of you has to be "bad" for it to have not worked out. I know it hurts, but I am glad you are able to hold onto the good stuff about your previous T and hope you can do so especially with his feelings in regards to you, and to know that there is goodness inside of you too.
Hey that’s great news Beebs. Better late than never as they say. And it’s wonderful that T’s email to you was so positive and, to use AG’s very apposite word, affirming. You’ve struggled and struggled with this back and forth dichotomy, good T/bad T and all the time obviously felt that he wasn’t a bad T at all, now you have something concrete and tangible to support your own feelings.

I’m sorry you’re feeling all the pain of loss now – but again, as AG has already beautifully said, not all pain is bitter, and it sounds like you’ve now been freed to just let go. The whole notion of it’s all being something wrong with you (or with him) has plugged your grief and now the stopper’s out. This is a BIG step forward for you ((((((( Beebs ))))))

Oh lol, I expect you might find yourself plunged back into wondering whether you can’t pick up again with him. But that’s to think about for another day maybe. I am really so pleased for you Smiler Smiler Smiler

LL
Dear Feathers,

I am so glad that he wrote back Beebers, you really needed to hear that affirmation from him. I hope that you might be able to hear what he said, understand it and realise that the words are true - you are not bad in any way shape or form. I think he is right, you need to someone in the flesh, face to face, a real person that can be alongside you, like dear CowboyT.

I am so glad you got that all important closure Beebers, well done for writing to gain that in the first place Smiler

starfishy
(((BB)))

I am so glad that you received such a warm email from your old T, but I'm sorry that you are in so much pain. AG is right, tears have many meanings and there is real grief there (probably many layers) to process through. You will come through the other side, I promise! I think it is a great sign that you are allowing yourself to feel and process this and I hope that you will be able to take that to Cowboy T and let him be with you in this process.

Beebs, that was a very touching response. I'm glad for you that he finally responded, and that you can have some closure. Of course you would be feeling some pain in it, but I can see how its a good pain in a way. I hope his message helps you to treasure the good that came from your relationship and the areas in which you have grown because of it. (((Hugs))) to you during this emotional time.
Wonderful news Beebs, I really thought he would never email.... I am so glad he did and you have some more resolution.

That flood of tears - I know it very well. Just let the tears roll - if they were like mine, there is little you can do to stop them. The tears can cleanse the grief from your soul.

Hugs to you Beebs
I'm so sorry I haven't checked back to say thank you to everyone for all your amazing and supportive replies...I appreciate every one of you, and I've read every response with gratitude.

The tears have dried up, for now, but I am carrying now a constant warm feeling for my old T and when I remember his kind and supportive words to me, that peaceful/painful feeling comes back again. I don't know how it will pan out as time goes on, I know I can't go back to him...but for now I'm so much better with it than I have been for so very long, that all I can feel is relief and joy when I think of T. He really said some very, very kind things to me in those emails, that he did not have to say. It felt so good to know that he cares.

It feels so good to know that I'm ok with him...that he really doesn't have bitter feelings about me, and that he understands. He also told me that he will never forget me. It means so much to me...just to feel that he remembers me and that I am a person that mattered enough to him to write back, without any compensation to get from it, too.

Lamps thanks for checking in and reminding me...I kept meaning to reply but my house is literally a disater zone as I am trying desperately to finish this kitchen remodel I started so many months ago, and which I've had to do most of the work on myself. So it was hard to post yesterday because I was sanding drywall all day long, and then I had choir, and then I just dropped into bed.

Sending love to each and every one of you!

Beebs
haha, you too, huh? Yeah can't afford to hire anyone, desperately needs doing, and...H is so busy/tired that I have no options left but to make this happen myself so that I can have my tiny little house back, that is currently full of construction materials and boxes!

I hate sanding drywall...or, more accurately plaster...I had to repair the whole ceiling the other day, because I am not strong enough to lift drywall up there!

I LOVE zoloft. It is my favorite new friend. I just feel sorry for my kids because the only way they can get through the house is by picking their way around boxes and such. Their rooms are livable, though!

Hugs Liese, my fellow drywall sander...

Beebs

Edited to add:

I miss Dr. ***** so much. It hurts all the time. I can't connect with the hurt often, but when I do, OMG it knocks me over. I think Cowboy is getting annoyed with me. I know I'm resistant avoidant and hugely ambivalent and all the rest of it, and he is starting to make the point all the time that I just do that on purpose to avoid taking responsibility for stuff in my life that needs changing. And that is most likely the truth of it. It sounds mean, but he doesn't say it meanly. He just says it. And I do not think he would ever accept an attachment from me to him, not that I have *any* desire or plan to allow that to happen. I have to ask him that, anyway, though...just for the sake of having the info on what his take on dependency is.....what would he do if I were to develop that kind of dependency on him? I have a feeling the answer would be to deflect.

He is really nice though. He says it's his job to say painful things, and ask painful questions. Maybe I just can't do therapy the right way for some reason. I'm just not there for the right reasons. I'm not there to learn to take responsibility for making changes in my life...I'm just there to feel a little bit of interest, to matter a bit to someone. I'm pretty sure after our session lat night, that Cowboy does not think that is a good reason to be in therapy. I need to try to care about changing and becoming a better person, a grown up who takes responsibility for things instead of waiting for my emotions to change so that change can spontaneously happen. I don't know, though...I already *know* how to *act* like I care. What I really want from therapy is to...actually *care.* Without 200mg of zoloft every morning. I guess that can only come from inside me. Unfortunately, I do not know how to *make* that change happen from within. It's the same old problem. Cowboy asked if, I could love myself, what would that mean? And the answer is that I would have love to give to others. So I guess the point he was trying to make is that, I don't want to love others, and that is why I resist finding ways to love myself. Frowner It made me feel like a really bad person. I do tend to think that Cowboy thinks I'm a bad person. It hurts, but I also really kind of don't care what he thinks of me, since...he doesn't care about me in any kind of personal way. He's just nice, when I'm there, and available for sessions and so on. I'm beginning to really question my need to be in therapy. Or is that more avoidance of the painful truth?

I hate therapy.
Wow Beebs, I just read your post and thought gosh you’re sounding pretty chipper, and then came back and saw the edit

Here’s a few off the top of my head comments to throw at you:

How about, the reason for being in therapy being to feel better? However that is achieved, it’s not a bad goal, or reason. It sounds like you’ve got a zillion and one shoulds all clamouring in your head – you’re ‘supposed’ to want to take responsibility for yourself – you’re ‘supposed’ to want to effect change for the sake of it – you’re ‘supposed’ to become a ‘better’ person and the most twisted one – you’re ‘supposed’ to be doing this to be able to give to others.

There’s a real chop logic in that bit about your apparently not wanting to love others and that’s why you resist loving yourself. For what it’s worth, I don’t see Cowboy as having said that, he just asked what would it mean if you loved yourself. YOU supplied the interpretation!

Wow if someone said to me, the reason you have to love yourself is so you can love others I’d instantly dig my little heels in and go Like Hell!!!! The reason I want to love myself is so I can get myself out of this neediness trap of being dependent on others for emotional reflection of me as lovable, likeable etc (which doesn’t happen anyway.) Actually, I’d just be happy with feeling ok about being me, never mind the loving and liking bit…

I think I can see why you’re starting to think that Cowboy thinks you’re a bad person (again though, that’s you interpreting, and not what he’s actually saying or showing!) – the way you are describing some of the things he’s saying, albeit out of context, could come across pretty negatively and seemingly uncaringly. Why are you so sure though that he would actively discourage any attachment feelings on your part? Is that really him, or your fears and internal decision never to become attached to a T again?

Do you think you would be able to say to him the things you’ve just said in this post? In the WAY you’ve said them? Might be better to get all these fears and thoughts out in the open where he can at least respond directly to you, rather than you going away and deciding that he doesn’t like you or is getting fed up with you…

*Sigh* this is LL doing the telling Beebs what to do thing again. Sorry.

I guess there is no surprise though that after getting oldT’s positive email, you’d be inevitably feeling the difference between your feelings for oldT and for Cowboy. I hope you can weather this and really open up to Cowboy about what’s going on in you. What have you got to lose?

(((((( Beebs ))))))

LL
LL, Thank you SO much. I have nothing to lose by bringing these thoughts up to Cowboy. And, I will...in some weird way I am able to do therapy with him simply because he doesn't really care about me...except as a client of course...I think I could really *feel* old T's care- his care felt *real* not therapisty- and it undid me, it made me speechless, and for some reason it plunged me into the deepest despair I have ever been in.

The thing is, LL, is that that I told Cowboy that I had this idea in my head that if I could just get Old T to love me, I could heal because I can't love myself, so if he loved me, then I would be able to love myself, and then, by extension, sincerely love others. (Remember this is Christian therapy, which I do want) That's when Cowboy asked the question "But, if you *could* somehow find a way to love yourself, what would that mean?" There was clearly a right and wrong answer here...I can't remember what I answered, or if I didn't answer...but I do remember him saying "because then you would have the ability to love others.." And the extension of that was that- clearly, I avoid loving myself in order to avoid having to give love to others, or...take responsibility for changing anything in my life. In other words, I hold onto the notion that I am just a bad person and unlovable out of pure laziness and some kind of chosen malaise.. and if that is true (which I think it is- which is actually proof of my badness anyway-)) my big problem is that I do not know how to change that basic setup in me.

Whereas old T would say...you are not a bad person, you are a deeply wounded person. Hm. but did interpretation then make me powerless to change myself and lead me into the dependency on winning his unconditional "love?" idk...it is a confusing issue.

Yeah, I will try to remember to bring this up to Cowboy, next time. I'm just so afraid to get into this issue. Cause it literally goes nowhere.

yarg.

Thanks, LL, xo,

Beebs
Ahhh of course, I was getting on my internal soap box and completely overlooked the fact that you are in Christian therapy and a totally committed Christian and therefore the whole concept of loving others is really important, as well of course, as the whole concept of loving yourself WITHOUT it being in the context of loving others would be anathemic to your moral principles. Sorry Smiler

I’m just a bit sad that Cowboy asked you a loaded question like that, with a predetermined ‘right’ answer that actually stopped you from looking into what it really would be like to love yourself. From my own experience, I think it’s impossible to truly love anyone else UNTIL you love yourself, the cup has to be overflowing to share of it, if it’s dry then no amount of shoulds and oughts and wants and moral imperatives are going to fill it up.

I dunno Beebs, it just strikes me that there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with having wanted, even needed, Ts love in order to experience what it’s like to love yourself. This is basically at the heart of attachment based stuff anyway – that the ability to love oneself is utterly dependent in the first place on someone else loving you – whether that be unconditional acceptance of who you are, all of you, or getting lots of emotional validation and encouragement…

If you think you might be holding onto the notion of yourself as a ‘bad’ person out of laziness or some other reason, well the obvious thing to do would be to look at why that’s so important to you, what’s going on underneath that you’re keeping out of awareness (out of fear, at least) – rather than trying to consciously change your set up. What’s in it for you to maintain a sense of being a ‘bad’ person (as in, what is that covering up, what even worse thing is lurking underneath that makes being a bad person a preferred state?) Questions like that I’d assume would come up in therapy, at least I’d hope so. Understanding is the key to change, not pulling yourself up by the boot straps…

Yeah I’ve just told you what to do all over again Roll Eyes

Have fun with the sanding – hope you’re wearing a face mask and ear defenders!

((((( Beebs )))))

LL

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