Therapy Friday 1

I’m feeling relieved at the moment. I went for a colonoscopy today, so I’m relieved that’s over with. It wasn’t really a problem at all, after all the worries. She did find one polyp so they’ll examine that, but most likely it’s OK. The hardest part was the day before, ‘cleansing’. There’s this solution you have to drink an awful lot of, and it tastes pretty bad. But other than that – no real problems at all.

So nice to deal with a health concern like a mature adult. My other concern was that I would switch into younger parts because of the stress of it. That happened the day before, but not in the hospital. Yay! I guess I dread embarrassment.

I haven’t detailed my therapy session from last week yet. Similar to the week before, we spent a lot of it discussing the group, then towards the end I switched into the kid. The kid had a lot to tell Ron about, and ended up crying again. So I spent the weekend recovering from that and couldn’t write.

Honestly, I spend most weekend time incapacitated because of therapy. It is frustrating. However, I do have time during the week, due to an ultra-lax work situation, so maybe I shouldn’t complain.

I get to Ron’s office in plenty of time.

E. It’s hard to know what to bring up in the group. I mean, I keep having these extreme experiences in therapy, and then moving to my parents’ brought up a lot, but I go to the group and don’t talk about that. They don’t really have anything to do with the other people there.

R. You can talk about that. If the group only focuses on interpersonal relationships, it wouldn’t have much to work with. It’s important to bring both types of experiences, your reactions to group members, and issues from your life. And there’s a lot of time to do that, there are a lot of silences.

E. OK, so I’ll try bringing in more stuff from my life. Because with therapy, feeling so devastated afterwards, I mean, I have no one to talk to about that at all.

R. Sure.

Ron says more theoretical stuff about the group, which as usual I hate. But I listen and continue once he’s finished. I know he wants me to respond to what he’s saying, but I don’t because I don’t feel I care. I want to express how I see it.

E. I feel like you’re singling me out for teaching or feedback. It feels like criticism to me, like how I’m saying things just isn’t right. And I don’t see you giving that kind of feedback to anyone else except me. It’s hard for me, because I feel like we had a connection, but we’ve struggled so much, now we’ve lost it, and I feel so bad about that.

R. Well, I don’t feel I’ve lost a connection with you, I feel we do have a strong connection.

E. Oh.

I think about this. I like hearing it actually. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem sometimes. Maybe Ron and I still do have a strong connection. This comment, plus the one about my working hard in the group, reassures me somehow.

E. And the other thing is, I don’t go deep like other people, because I’m in parts. It’s different for me. A lot of my emotions are bound up in parts. It seems like you’re trying to psychoanalyze one part of me, but mostly the problems are coming from these other parts. So in the group, I end up ‘translating’ for parts, and it’s not that great.

R. Would it be OK for me to bring in parts in the group? I haven’t done that because I didn’t think you wanted me to. In fact, I seem to remember you explicitly telling me not to.

E. Yeah? I don’t remember that. Maybe.

R. When I talk to you in the group, I’m always trying to talk to all of you, the whole group of you, not just to the more everyday self that is talking.

E. Well, I guess it would be OK. Maybe.

R. How about this? Why don’t we experiment with bringing in parts, and see how it goes.

E. OK, we can try it.

R. Because it’s important for you to be able to show up as who you really are. And if the real you is in parts, then that is how you need to show up in group. Otherwise group becomes a kind of torture.

Ron has quite a bit more to say on the group, and I’ve forgotten all of it. I wonder if stuff I forget still stays with me somehow, to be recalled some other time? Or is it gone forever? I’m mostly impatient for him to stop talking. Very bad of me, but that is the truth.


…to be continued

  1. I have to laugh a bit, because while I generally get into the theory and want to have a better understanding of how what I am doing in therapy is working, if I am at all dissociative, I can’t process the information at all. It’s like my T is going, “Blah, blah, blah.” I eventually told my T that it actually made me feel kind of overwhelmed when that happened and she started to pay careful attention to whether I was dissociating while she was talking theory. If she thinks that I am, she will stop herself and ask me if she has lost me and if so, we switch gears into something that the me who is present can get something out of.

    Have you talked with Ron about what is going on? If not, you might want to, because there might be some changes that are helpful for you.

    • Ellen said:

      Interesting that you have this experience. I actually am interested in the theory also, and will happily read about psychoanalysis or therapy, so it’s not that I hate theory. Maybe it is dissociation. We have discussed what’s going on a bit – it seems I am triggered to memories of my father lecturing at me. Or last time it seemed as if parts were waiting in the wings to talk and were impatient for Ron to finish going on about things.

      I might bring it up again. Thanks CM.

      • You’re welcome! I hope that you come up with a solution.

  2. glad the appointment went okay and the results were good. awesome news. as for therapy theory… i tend to tune it out, too. i listen along for a bit, then get distracted by my internal thoughts, or something out the window, or a photo on her wall. when she stops for a breath (ha ha) i just say, i didn’t get most of that, or i stopped paying attention, can you repeat? and then she says, at what point did you drift off and we explore that… and often it turns out that exploring the point at which i drift away is pretty useful.

    • Ellen said:

      Well, I don’t actually have the results yet, and I still have all my nausea issues, just it’s likely not colon cancer that is the trouble. But I am happy to have this behind me, thank you.

      Interesting you have similar troubles with theory. I can absorb it from a book, but not very much from Ron himself. I’ll have to pay attention as to when I drift off. I mostly feel annoyed with him for talking, so not sure if it’s the same? But I could be spacing also.

      Thanks C, take care

  3. Ruth said:

    Hugs about the lost weekends. I started putting my appointments on Thursdays because Friday to Monday I used to be almost brain dead and awash in mental chatter. It was like I rehashed everything in my head. A lot of stuff would disappear when theory came up. Sometimes I could stay with the information and could be interesting. However, other times “blah, blah, blah” was about it. One time I just tilted my head and watched him talk. He suddenly stopped and said, “You have no idea what I am talking about.” Not a clue. He would then back up and either break it down into much smaller pieces or accept the fact that he enjoys the theory a lot more than me. Later on after integration lost weekends didn’t happen as often and in the last two years I only had one session with New Counselor that wiped me out so bad I couldn’t leave his office until I slept for awhile. He had an extra room that he let me crash in before going home. Tearing down inner barriers is a lot of work. I will be interested in hearing how the experiment goes with talking to the group about parts. Might be that since Ron is accepting of your parts then the group will follow his lead. Your progress is just amazing.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, that’s why I have to have appts Fridays, because a lot of the time I can’t function enough to work in the days after. That must have been some session that wiped you out so much you had to sleep. I often sleep once I get home though, and sometimes throughout the weekend also. I guess it is hard work tearing down walls as you put it. I hope it gets better for me also. Ron says it will and I truly hope so.

      I actually get angry when Ron is talking. I can always follow, but it makes me mad he is talking to me for some reason. Even though I often sit with silence in his office also. Interesting that a lot of commenters have this experience about the therapist going on about theory. I wonder if there’s a lesson in here for T’s.

      Thanks for the encouragement. hugs.

  4. laura said:

    Congrats on getting the colonoscopy – er – behind you!
    it’s polite of you to suppress your true response to his “blah blah blah” on your dime. but, what would happen if you didn’t? would he be crushed to realize how much breath he’s wasting, doing something that isn’t useful to you? Howard no longer does this – but I remember my resentment as I listened to him talk at too much length – “hey buster, this is MY time.” Maybe you don’t want him to stop? Maybe it’s safe? Or maybe you think you SHOULD find it illuminating?

    does his singling you out for teaching/feedback only feel negative? I think it would make me feel pretty special.

    do you have a connection only if he says he feels one to you? Howard never says this to me – and if he said it one time, I think I’d embroider the words and frame them. I know that I don’t “get” what having a connection feels like.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks. 🙂

      Because the theorizing makes me angry, I have expressed anger before when this happens and gone with that. Just, I’m tired of fighting with Ron at this point. I know there’s a place for that, but I don’t want to do it right now. And I need some of the theory, actually, just it makes me mad.

      Yeah, the teaching could be a positive thing. Hey, I’m getting extra value for my money. 🙂

      Maybe I should embroider the words and frame them! It was nice to hear. Maybe he’s underlining that conflict doesn’t mean lack of connection, necessarily. I feel like in all the struggle, I’ve lost a lot of the comforting aspects of having someone on my side. I think you do ‘get’ what a connection feels like. Don’t you feel differently about different people – some you don’t want to be around, others you do….You want to be around Howard, so you have a connection to him. Is how I look at it anyhow.

      Thanks Laura

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