Distrust

The weekend was a wash. I had therapy Saturday morning, and couldn’t get it together the rest of the weekend. Nothing got done – laundry, cooking, cleaning – nothing. Not at all sure what happened to make this so intense. I discussed bits of work and bits of family stuff. I did not get wildly upset in session.

I did feel extremely lonely and disconnected all weekend. I emailed Ron twice – the first to say how I felt, to which he didn’t reply. Not that I blame him, after how I responded to his reply of last week. Then Sunday evening, to say the weekend had been overwhelmingly awful, and I needed to keep things in bounds more, because I must work, I must function enough to do the basics. To which he replied that he has some kind of idea about what happens for me, and we can discuss at the beginning of my next session.

I am full of distrust for Ron. I’m not functioning very well in the first place. Then when I go for a session, I fall apart completely. It’s not hard for me to feel bad. It’s more of a process for me to feel capable and in some kind of control.

I went in feeling OK. I realize I was shutting off a bunch of upsetting emotions, however, after feeling terrible all week, I would take that. At least I could cope.

I suppose somewhere in our discussion a bunch of really crappy feelings were set loose. I didn’t even notice at the time – typical dissociater. It didn’t seem that rough. Then at home, wham, I am not longer a functional adult.

I know I was criticized a lot as a child. My father is a perfectionist and he criticizes. I suppose children were seen as an extension of the parents, and not so much as separate beings with feelings and needs that should be taken into account. I’ve never not known this – it’s not news. So mentioning it in the context of why all the work reviews are bothering me didn’t seem epic in any way.

So bottom line, I don’t know what happened. I have no confidence that Ron has any kind of explanation that fits. I completely distrust him at this point.

I’ve taken today off so I will at least do some laundry and maybe even vacuum. Maybe I’ll get my missing sense of humour back also. I know Ron has helped in the past, I just can’t remember that feeling.

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8 comments
  1. Ashana M said:

    I don’t really think children in your family were seen as extension of your parents. Your dad couldn’t tolerate criticism, but he relentlessly criticized you. If you were an extension, he would not have criticized you. He would have taken criticism of children as criticism of himself. Instead, I think he saw everyone as a threat. Children with needs who can’t manage their own behaviour would be particularly threatening. I think he criticized you to maintain his sense of superiority, which gave him a feeling of safety (I’m better than you, so you can’t hurt me) and also because it worked to control you and keep you in line: everyone became afraid of stepping outside of the bounds of his control for fear of criticism. What he didn’t see you as having was the right to autonomy or to needs. People who can’t connect to others live in very dangerous worlds: people who cope by trying to control others (and violate others’ rights) can’t connect. It’s self-reinforcing.

    I’m sorry your weekend was such a wash. That’s rough. Then you face a stressful work week with laundry and cooking on top of it, and that makes it seem more stressful.

    I think the distrust is a symptom of feeling afraid. Be nice to yourself. Being nice helps you calm down again, I have found. Rooting around for a reason does nothing (at least for me) until I am calm. But it might be you started to approach pointing out your dad’s faults. Even at a distance, with no dad on the horizon, this might be scary. You were so well-trained not to, and he punished you so cruelly for anything that looked like it.

    • Ellen said:

      Well…my father is controlling, that’s true. And he didn’t see me as a being with needs worth meeting. I think though he is able to connect with people on some level at least, much more so than my mother is.

      I really resonated to your comment about my being afraid. I honestly hadn’t thought of it that way, but it makes a lot of sense. I focused on not living in such a hostile dangerous world and it helped a bit. Maybe I get so angry because underneath I am afraid somehow.

      I have always been critical of my father actually. That’s what I meant by this is nothing new, so why am I upset. But I think I was maybe dissociating how it felt to be criticized like that, by a father whom I deeply loved and depended upon. That may have been it.

      Thanks Ash for all your thoughts on this.

      • Ashana M said:

        What you say makes a lot of sense.

  2. I think we all go through times where we distrust our therapists. I’m sure it will come right again. I hpe so. X

  3. Rachel said:

    I hope your day off was soothing for you, in whatever way possible. Even if just to have a little more time away from your stressful work environment. What Ashana said about mistrust and fear really resonates with me too. It could be fear there won’t be an end to your struggles, it could be fear he isn’t competent, could be fear he doesn’t care, could be many fears. I know when I am afraid, I lash out too. And feel those urges. To lash out and/or shut down.
    Sorry the weekend was a wash, it is so hard to get a positive start to a week when the last week is waiting to be caught up. Sending positive thoughts.

    • Ellen said:

      I wonder if it’s fear that there is no one who is trustworthy out there. That everyone is as out to lunch as my parents were. That is a scary situation for a child – maybe that’s my fear.

      I am better again, thanks Rachel. Coming back feels like getting better after an illness, it’s that stark. Thanks for the comment.

      • Rachel said:

        That fear would make sense to me, especially given how utterly out to lunch your parents were. You are welcome, glad you’re feeling better.

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