Friday, January 25, 2013

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy: All of it


I'm late posting but I posted!  

Some nights in therapy are just not fun.

I walked in and I was just drained. I’d been feeling a little better since last weekend but I talked to Therapist about it. How I’ve been sleeping excessively, drinking more than I feel I should be, binging and purging again… Of all of it, it was my bulimia that sparked her concerned face. She definitely wasn’t happy about that.

I’ve just felt empty. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just a hyper-awareness to my own existence.

Therapist thinks sometimes my awareness of my connectivity issues is just more pronounced. I’ve been hanging out with more friends lately. And with the exception of one of my close friends, they’re all very paired off. And I’m very single. For the first time in years and years and years. Evil-Ex, Boring-Ex/GF, K/Twiggy/Riot, Friend/ShopGirl, Lady Friend, then finally Tech Boy… I haven’t been single in a long time. I’m lonely. I don’t feel ready to date yet, but I miss having that comfort and closeness. I’m hanging out with all these friends, but at times, like when they’re gone, it sort of compounds my loneliness. Everyone leaves with someone, everyone goes away with someone… not me. It makes me sad, but at other times I still feel a sense of relief.

She asked me if I feel any kind of competiveness or jealousy hanging out with more girls? No, not really. That’s not really how my jealousy works. I don’t feel a need to compete for attention amongst friends. She was worried that since xRoommate is my “best friend”, that I might be experiencing sadness with having these other friends of ours more closely involved, like it would take attention away from our friendship and they might take her away from me? But, they’ve always been friends, that’s not changing now that they’re also friends with me again. I just feel like I have more friends. I do feel a bit more distance from xRoommate… I mean, we don’t live together anymore, we’re not constantly in each other’s space… but we hang out every week, we talk all the time, I still have an internalized sense that we have a connection, even if it’s not SO STRONG as it was before. I know she cares about me. She is probably the only person in the world that has seen me crumpled up in a bleeding mess of my worst… and she wasn’t afraid, she didn’t leave, she didn’t run away. She was there for me. I definitely feel like if I really need something she’ll be there because she cares about me. And I would be for her too. I feel like our friendship is solid, no matter who else is around. < --------- Check it out. Healthy relationship!

She brought up what I might want to have in a relationship. I don’t even know. She brought up Tech Boy. Last time I had to tell him that I didn’t want to get back together with him. He didn’t take it super well, but things have been pretty good at work. I’m completely sure I made the right decision though. When I see him in person, when I talk to him, I miss him, and I want to drag him off somewhere… but when I think back on our relationship all the problems, all the badness, are just so glaring, and I can’t imagine that any of that will have changed. As soon as I remember those things, it’s right back to being done. Just done.

Therapist kind of fluxuates on whether this is a good quality or not. In the past she’s said this was good. When I’m done, I know it, and I don’t look back. Now though, she’s saying I should be aware that I do this…. Which trust me, I know. I can go up and down and up and down… idealize, devalue, idealize, devalue… but once I hit that point where I’ve been through too much, it’s just too much, and I can’t anymore. It’s like a guillotine blade dropping and I can’t come back from it anymore. Therapist worries that all relationships have problems, problems never really completely stop, new things always crop up, and she worries that this might be a little strong…. But that’s not where this happens. The everyday relationship issues aren’t really what get me though. My problems with him were always very justified, and usually after a pretty major event: the casino trip, hitting me, tripping my body image triggers, picking fights with me when I wasn’t in the mood for sex when he was drunk beyond drunk and I was in an incredibly uncomfortable place, not noticing me at all when I’m absolutely miserable because he’d rather leave me alone and get wasted…. Our emotional maturity levels are just vastly, vastly different.

And the way our relationship developed, the one thing that I was never able to fully develop with him, was trust. I’ve never felt I could trust him with my emotional world. I can’t trust him with my mental health. I just, don’t trust him to be there for me if I really need it, because time and time and time again, he wasn’t. Anytime I asked for help, he said he would be there, and then he wasn’t. And then when it was important stuff between us, he just wanted to avoid.

There was nothing functional about this.

I just don’t think I want to be with men right now. I’ve been very involved in political stuff lately, and especially with all my women’s rights and GLBTQ equality activism, men have just been making me ANGRY. Working with only men all day every day doesn’t really help either. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are funny, well meaning guys, but I just don’t have the patience for the bullshit lately. Everything gets under my skin.

We started talking about the Schema Therapy lists of emotional trauma: Mistrust/Abuse, Abandonment/Instability, Emotional Deprivation, Defectiveness/Shame, Social Isolation/Alienation.

We already know just how deep my Abandonment issues are and those are a clear problem that I continue to work on. I definitely have defectiveness/shame issues and all of that, but in terms of men, my problems definitely fall into the Mistrust/Abuse category.

It wasn’t so much anything in childhood (as far as I can remember). I feel like it definitely started in early adolescence for me.

We talked a lot about the abuse I’ve dealt with involving the men in my life, betrayal of friendships, friends/acquaintances wanting to use me for sex, my best friend The One and all he did to me, how he was the one person I trusted then, the one person that I was able to talk to about everything that was going on with me, he used me, cheated on me, would convince me to get back with him, tell me he loved me, use me for sex, split, come back, drag me on and on this way until it finally ended the way that it did. I’m sure the majority of my issues stem from that relationship, but they’ve only been compounded more and more from most of the other men in my life. I don’t need to mention all the atrocities that were the verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuse that I dealt with dating Evil-Ex. If I was broken before, he shattered me for a while. It’s taken me a long time to pick the pieces of that up and put myself back together. Then there was Boring-Ex (fail), and especially Friend. Friend I really thought I had found someone that was caring and loving and was interested in my well-being… but he was only interested in it when it was convenient and when he really didn’t have to do anything. It’s just so much. Too much. And I have dated some good guys, but they were men I didn’t connect with at all in any real way.

I’m just not sure I’ll ever be able to really develop a fully trusting relationship with a man. At this point in time I’m just not sure. It’s something I need to work on quite a lot.

Therapist asked if I have these issues with women. The answer to that is simple. No. I’ve never had these kind of issues with the women I’ve dated. I don’t feel the automatic suspicion of motives. I don’t have that sense of violation.  It’s funny too… because if you ask any of my close friends they’ll all tell you I should stop dating men. I have no idea where to meet women these days. I’m always at work or my meat head filled gym. Or with a group of paired off friends hanging out in my condo. I don’t even see where I could go right now. I just don’t know. I feel like I’ll just be single forever and it would be easier if I just accepted that. I don’t even feel adequate enough to be with anyone right now anyways.

My bulimia has become more of a problem lately. Well “problem”. Idk, I know it’s unhealthy, but it doesn’t bother me. It bothers Therapist though.

Bulimia itself isn’t so much the problem so much as it is the expression of the real underlying problem.

She asked me what’s been going on and what comes to mind when I think about. Have you ever had word association experiences? Someone says something and a word or feeling just flashes into your mind? For me, when I think about my own bulimia, the word that hits me is “Rejection”.  Well that and, “Control”. But last night it was mostly rejection.

Idk, I’m just lonely right now. I’m worried that if I don’t have everything together I won’t be good enough, maybe? It doesn’t even feel right to say that, because ultimately I like who I am as a person, especially with all the work I’ve done on myself. Therapist tells me that I have such a strong need for perfectionism in my Self and the things that I do that it makes me incredibly, exceptionally, extremely hard on myself. She says I’m one of the most capable, beautiful, accomplished women she knows, and yet, completely incapable of seeing it in myself. Which is funny because she does appreciate that I always appear to be modest and that I’m not self-involved? Well true, but it’s really just because I don’t see myself that way. Isn’t it nice how my psychological scars make me seem more personable? ::head desk::

I think I nearly made Therapist cry.  She seemed to feel so sad on my behalf. I have body image issues. We know this. Sometimes I think she forgets just how bad they are though. I’ve been extra self-conscious lately. Hanging out with a slightly larger group of friends I’ve been feel more exposed and aware of my body lately. I just feel disgusting. Therapist was surprised because sometimes I walk into therapy and I seem so confident and unperturbed…. Which is true, I do seem that way… I’m very good at not harping on it. I’m very good at hiding my insecurities. Even, apparently, to the women who knows pretty much all of them. Admittedly when I’m happier, and at a weight I’m comfortable with, I am /actually/ comfortable with my body, but when I’m not, I might as well just hide under a blanket until I wither away, I just don’t want anyone to look at me.

It doesn’t help that I work out in a construction zone half the day and am surrounded by men that aren’t exactly subtle with the eyeing, gawking, and head turning. Even my less observant male coworkers are starting to notice just how often this happens. It makes me really uncomfortable. People tell me I should take this as a compliment. Look. I get it. For me? When people stare at me, I become hyper aware of what I perceive as flaws. It doesn’t feel good. It’s not flattering. It’s distracting. 

Bleh, she tried to make the session end on a happier note. She honestly believes that when I’m ready I’ll definitely be able to connect with someone have a healthy relationship. I was exhausted and dissociating by the end so I wasn’t really in the mood to pretend to agree with her. She said a lot more pleasant, uplifting, positive things about me that made me feel slightly embarrassed. And I left. And now I’m tired.

I’m so excited for the weekend. I’m going to finish up my Neo-Victorian Boba Fett costume. And sleep. 

10 comments:

  1. You're having what I think of as a "doorway day." You're just in-between stuff and not really in one place or the other. It's tedious. I like to think there's work going on inside when this happens, that the brain's in a kind of shutdown mode or a mental holding pattern consciously while it's cycling in the background. Maybe that's wishful thinking. Still feels crappy, though. I have no advice. I just want to say that I love this blog.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I am glad you posted this. We are both less alone for sharing and feeling understood. xxJxx

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  3. Awww big hugs!! I can completely relate to what you say about liking who you are - but at the same time having those perfectionist tendencies - and then just being so hard on yourself. it's awful. I fell out with a friend a few weeks ago (something that hasn't really happened to me for a few years - at least not outwardly), I've been soooo hard on myself ever since. Thinking how awful I am etc. I'm amazed how easily my self image crumbled when I thought I'd been going so well. This is such a complicated awful thing - but I honestly believe that someone as bright, talented, insightful, and strong as you will get better and better at managing this. Men might suck right now, but hey, maybe it will be good for you to be single a little longer - and you're next relationship much more healthy for you. Take good care. EO

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  4. Hi - today I made myself read Tammi Green's website - and a few other positive sites that talk about BPD being a 'good news diagnosis'. Some days you just need to hold on to HOPE...

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  5. Hang in there Haven! <3

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  6. Haven - sorry to ask a question on here - but seem so well-versed in this stuff. Does DBT help with close relationships/abandonment issues etc?

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    1. It's okay. Ask questions where ever you feel the need.

      Yes, it certainly can. Like with any therapy you get out what you put in. It's pretty imperative to work on all issues across the board, not just relationship/abandonment issues. When you rebuild a better foundation, everything gets better from the ground up.

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  7. Thank you :-) Such a great answer x

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  8. Love your post, interesting and filled with emotions. This makes me feel like I am not alone, that there are people like me xoxo

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  9. In regard to your conclusion on "Techboy" in your post you are absolutely right that it could never have worked - You guys are on the opposite ends of the attachment spectrum.

    It is incredible and never seizes to boggle my mind the remarkable accuracy with which attachment theory predicts the pattern of behavior/thought/response/reaction of people in the context of intimate relationships. I had read your break up post in which you described the dynamics of your relationship with him in some details. He has the same Avoidant/dismissive attachment style as I do. We might be entirely different people in many aspects of personality and character but in relationships we follow the same exact script dictated by our common insecure attachment style (down to the knitty gritty). We can rationalize our behavior, completely unaware of their reflexive nature. This is especially true for the avoidant/dismissive people who are simply detached from their emotions and oblivious of their pain – nothing gets to them, nothing rattles them enough to alarm them that something is severely wrong, so they will never seek therapy – believing they are their own therapist. They are the anti-borderline. They live the rest of their lives never realizing their core wounds and their severe emotional disconnect – unless at some point they hit psychological bottom. So yea, it would have never worked out for you – it would only have prolonged your frustration.

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