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Thursday, October 28, 2010

It seems, after digging for four years, we have reached the dregs.

Therapist: So--you don't believe the problem is a control issue.
me: Nope.
Therapist: Well, it seems likely, to me that it is.
me: I know. But it's not.
Therapist: Why do you think it's not?
me: I don't try to control my relationships--any of them. Ask Darrin. Ask my kids. I state what I think is correct. I tell people if I believe there is a problem. But ultimately, I acknowledge from the beginning that people belong to themselves, not to me. Sometimes they do things that make me unhappy, but that's a risk everyone who has relationships takes. 
Therapist: So, what do you feel, exactly, that's making you want to pull away from people.
me: I told you--I feel that I'm harmful. Me. Something about me will hurt them. I'm not good for people. That's the core feeling I can't seem to squash away anymore.
Therapist: What does your head tell you?
me: That I'm crazy.
Therapist: What else?
me: know, once there was a person who trusted me to spend time with her children. They were lovely--I adored them. They spent time in my home. We went shopping and on trips and made dinner and talked and went on walks. Their mother told me she loved letting her kids be with me. She said I "build them." Those were her words. I can't tell you how much it meant to hear that from someone. I am a person who builds--not one who tears down or harms in any way--that's what I'd like to think of myself. 
Therapist: So now you know what at least one person thinks of you.
me: Yes. But then she ruined it.
Therapist: How?
me: She wrote me a note. She listed all the things she admires about me. Then she said in her mind, I'm almost perfect. I knew then that she doesn't know me. She doesn't see me--and she doesn't want to. I'm not a real person to her. I don't trust people who fabricate things they wish to see in others.
Therapist: She went over the top?
me: A bit. 
Therapist: Do you still spend time with the family?
me: No.
Therapist: Why not?
me: I don't want to.
Therapist: Because you no longer believe you "build"? You're afraid of harming them?
me: Probably.
Therapist: Sam, this is old stuff you're feeling.
me: I know.
Therapist: When was the last time you purposely hurt someone?
me: I'm not sure. It was probably Darrin. Sometimes I'm not careful because I assume he has to forgive me when I behave badly. I'm certain I've said things calculated to hurt him when we've had disagreements.
Therapist: Does that happen often?
me: Not really.
Therapist: Do you remember the last time you did that?
me: No.
Therapist: Probably because it's a very rare occurrence. 
me: Well, maybe. I don't like hurting people. It's ugly.
Therapist: Sam, here's what I think--feel free to disagree with me (I said that because I know you'll let me know if you think I'm wrong):  I think these feelings are a) stemming from a long time ago when you didn't receive feedback from your parents letting you know you were amazing and worthwhile and they loved you unconditionally, and b) defensiveness/insecurity within your relationships. 
me: The first I agree with. The second...well...I'm not seeing the correlation.
Therapist: It's a form of subconscious sabotage. If you allow yourself to feel those feelings that you're "bad" for people, if the relationship goes south, you have a built in reason for that happening. You place the responsibility for the failure on your shortcomings and absolve the other person of all guilt.
me: Okay.
Therapist: But you're forgetting that relationships are the responsibility of both parties. You can't just decide that a relationship will fail because, ultimately, you're not healthy for another person. That person might disagree with you. In the other person's mind, you might be someone who brings joy and unconditional love they rely on. They might need you when they're feeling down, or want to spend time with you just because it's fun. No matter what you believe about yourself, there's another person who is building his or her own beliefs about you and about being with you.
me: I know this. I just don't know how to make the feelings go away, resolve them, understand them.
Therapist: Well then, I guess it's time for a therapy assignment.
me: I hate therapy assignments.
Therapist: I know. You're very good at them, though.
me: You're hilarious.

I'm not going to say what the assignment is. I've spoken to one person about it--Ambrosia. She gave me some amazing feedback and food for thought, and taught me a new perspective that's much less self-centered than my original one. But the assignment makes me want to throw up. I don't like it at all, and I'm even more upset that Therapist named names and gave me specific tasks linked to specific people. He's always allowed me latitude to choose the person I'll work with, if that's required by the assignment, and let me decide how I'll go about eliciting the help I need. Not this time.

When I protested, Therapist just grinned and said, "I think you'll do just fine." NOT HELPFUL!

Sigh...but I know I need to do this.

I think I'll go to bed now.


  1. I'm glad you were comfortable discussing it with me, and I hope it's going well. I know I'd have a hard time with it.

    Also, I miss you.

  2. I'm glad, too--and it isn't because I'm not good at this kind of thing--but maybe sometimes in the next decade I'll develop Alzheimer's and forget about it. :-P

    Also, I miss you, too.