Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy - 2


Oh therapy.
Yesterday in therapy we talked a lot about my summer vacation and how the impending changes are causing me a lot of anxiety. I don’t deal with upheaval well, and while most of the changes aren’t huge, they feel huge. I feel like my stable unit is being split and broken up.
We also discussed, surprise, my trip to the psych ER. How I am easily capable of switching from one mode to another. Moreso, that I can recognize when I’m doing this, in  hindsight anyways. On a cognitive level I generally know what is going on. My problem being that what I think and what I feel are often completely at odds and I have no way to resolve this.
This was another week when I think she’s just too positive. Sometimes I think she wants to believe that I’m not so messed up. That she downplays my issues, associations, and shifts. I’m not sure I should keep seeing her or find someone new. I know this is an impulsive thought. If I dropped her and found a new therapist I’d have to reset all my progress. But I need her to see me, and not just want the best for me. I get so bloody frustrated and angry. Lately she’s been focusing almost exclusively on my dissociation too. Yes, I have problems here, but that’s NOT the extent of it. I have other problems I need to work through. I need her to listen but I can’t always express it. I’m floundering between showing my anger and holding back because I don’t know how to do it in a way that isn’t destructive. I’m also worried that if I flip out she’ll get scared. It’s part of the reason I switched the conversation to my trip to the ER. She needs to understand what goes on with me when I’m more turbulent.
Note: Make sure your therapist has a more rounded perspective of who you are is just as important as having a therapist that is compatible with you.
 Homework: Think about the things I want for my future. Meditate on these things. Plant the seed in my conscious mind. In planting that seed it will be able to grow, and in time, manifest. This strikes me as ‘the power of positive thinking’. There is some truth to it. You can’t reach a goal without first setting one.
My therapist often brings up, buying a house, finding a healthy partner, getting married, having  children. I don’t know if I want any of these things. I can’t fathom the idea of having a house. I’ve never had a stable home. Ever. I’ve never lived in a place for longer than a year since high school.  Since graduating University I moved, in 4 months, in 6 months and then ever year since. My home life before college was incredibly unstable. At one point I ran away. I have no concept of a stable home. Living with my current roommate has been wonderful. We’re reaching the one year mark now. I can’t internalize it though. I’m just waiting for it to change or fall apart. A healthy relationship? What the hell is that? Marriage? I can’t even fathom someone wanting to put up with my brain crazy for any amount of time, let alone want to spend their life with me. Children are right out. I refuse to even consider the concept. I have no clue what I want, what direction I want my life to go. Granted, I suppose that doesn’t mean it’s not a good thing to think about.
Finding a healthy relationship always makes me laugh whenever she brings it up. I wouldn’t know what one of these looked like if attached to my head like a Facehugger from Aliens. She wants me to reassure her that I won’t make the same mistakes that I’ve made before. Since I know that my choices have been unhealthy that I won’t make them again. Except I don’t know they’re unhealthy until they are. My history shows that no matter how much I know about something, I’m attracted to what I’m attracted to and that’s rarely a good choice. The only time I get worked up over someone and don’t want to lose them is when we’re in conflict. When we’ve fought or one of use pushes away (usually me). Otherwise I just feel smothered and bored.
I can barely see a few weeks down the road. I’m not even sure I see a future for myself at all. I have a job, a very good job. I’m getting by, taking care of myself. I have no evidence that there will be more. Thinking about it makes me angry, frustrated and depressed. Why hope for something that I may never have? I’ll just be even more depressed in the end.
 For whatever reason this homework just makes me angry and I don’t want to do it.
Homework Extension:  She wants me to think of things I need to resolve as I’m falling asleep so they may take root in my dreams. Try and remember my dreams.  In my dreams I work out a lot. The symbolism and interpretation of what my subconscious shows me is incredibly insightful and accurate. I love to dream. Of course, in order to do this I need to stay asleep first. This waking up at 2am and not falling back to sleep, at all, and having to get up for work at 6:30am is just not cool.
Cripes, she’s going to have a field day with what I was dreaming about last night.

8 comments:

  1. Your note about the therapist is spot on. I never showed my therapists the full side of me either and so never got the help I truly needed. I definitely think this is something therapists should pay more attention to. Because almost all PD patients do this so it is almost impossible to treat them properly when you don't know what is truly going on. I can't entirely blame the therapist and I can't entirely blame the patient for this one. Not quite sure what the fix is.

    I have also moved more times than I can count. After a certain amount of time passes I start to feel like I am being suffocated and if I don't "move" literally move to someplace else then I feel like I am being buried alive. Fortunately for me I met someone who was healthy for me. It wasn't because I made the right choices. It was just fate that made our paths cross and made him reach out to help me. I don't know what I would do if I hadn't met him. I do know my life would be very different.

    Your therapist knows best I am not a professional but I have been there. I think the best thing you can do is to tell your therapist how you feel about having such "big" long term goals and maybe she can help you in setting some smaller more attainable short term goals. I know this works best for me. If I take the big goal and break it down into smaller more manageable sections and then slower put the pieces together like a puzzle.

    I can't do big goals and healthy choices all at once. This is the only way I can manage the daily life of being married, work etc in the most healthy way possible. I still screw up but when I do it's just one little part that is much easier to fix than if I had been trying to do the whole thing at once. I hope this makes at least a little bit of sense.

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  2. I can't imaging having a therapist or p-doc who didn't know everything. I suppose that's why it's been so hard for me to find a doctor. None of 'em want to deal with that damn stash of barbiturates.

    I'm moving in a month and a half and I'm pretty sure it'll be #50 (I'll have to check the list). I wonder how common that is. It quite literally started the day I was born and hasn't really stopped. I actually live in two places now, so I'm forced to "move" every year.

    Can't imagine getting married or having kids. Can't imagine what it must be like to be part of a family. Maasiat, you indeed are lucky.

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  3. @Maasiyat… You’re so right. I think the best thing for it is to be as open as you can be, but I guess that’s the problem, figuring out how to be as open as you can be.

    I don’t feel suffocated if I don’t move. I would love nothing more than to feel like I have roots someplace. I just feel like I’m in constant transition so I can’t find any stability and that makes it even harder for me to feel like I have a place I belong. You’re so lucky you found someone that is so good for you. I have very little hope for this, but who knows maybe it’ll just happen.

    I really like your suggestion about setting smaller more manageable goals. I’m going to bring that up with her. I can’t set big long term goals when I don’t even see a long term option for myself. Trying to figure out the whole picture before I even know where to start is kind of useless for me. What you’re saying definitely makes sense. One thing at a time I think is best. I tend to feel like if I fuck up one thing than everything else is screwed too. Working on small things as manageable parts maybe will help me to stop thinking like that. Thanks.

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  4. @Anon… I’ve only been with therapist for about 6 months so she can’t know everything about me. I fall into a common borderline trap of trying to get my therapist to like me and not want me to leave so I started off being on my best behavior to make her happy but that doesn’t really allow her to see me for who I am.

    Yeah, I wonder how common that is now too. Maybe having an unstable image of Self translates into a need to make the environment fit the feeling = transient and changeable. Like, if we move around a lot at least there is some tangible explanation for why we always feel upheaved and uprooted and not so much like it’s just a crazy internal problem. Idk.

    Fortunately my nuclear family as pulled together much more since I left for college, but it wasn’t until I knew I’d be leaving that things really started to get better. Being around my family for too long does make me feel suffocated and I need to run. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to have a family of my own b/c I’m afraid I’ll just feel this way with them as well.

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  5. From reading your posts, I see a lot of similarities between how we react to certain things. I know for me having smaller goals that are achievable short term is the only way I can survive. I can't think much past tomorrow sometimes not even that far in the future. So it is definitely something worth giving a shot.

    For me focusing more on the here and now and less on the "future" is really all I can manage. I don't set long term goals. I don't know that I ever will. For now I just try to get by and take each day as they come. Get done what I have to and just say to hell with the rest. I know it sounds like a horrible life but in reality it is much better than the one I had before and when I do something stupid it also is less detrimental to my over all health and physical well being. I also have that thinking of "if I mess up over here in this corner, then it means I fucked up over there and it's the end of the world and all is lost. I am the most evil horrible person in existence" mentality. This helps with that as well because I still have some things that are actually still working when something does mess up because they are broken down into smaller parts and not really all tied together and it helps to remind me that maybe all is not lost.

    The smaller the explosion the fewer casualties.

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  6. @Maasiyat... I can definitely see our parallels. idk, I can set longer term goals for institutionalized things. School, work, finances. As soon as I start to consider personal goals, interpersonal goals, I begin to panic.

    Part of it too I think is my complete lack of Object Constancy. I can't hold on to human connections if they're not in my immediate vicinity, I can't hold onto any connections if I'm not right there with them. And I've lived through these experiences. How am I supposed to make a connection to things that haven't happened? That may never happen? It just doesn't make sense to me.

    When it comes to myself and other people all I can do is take it each day, like you said. Because outside of the immediate interaction these things almost cease to exist for me.

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  7. Dude. That post about object constancy (or "object permanency", as I learned it in college) was SPOT ON. I bookmarked it and intend to read it out loud to my p-doc.

    About five years ago, I wrote this. I didn't think anyone else got it until I read your post. Is this lack of object permanency a BPD thing?

    --

    In my dreams, my suitcases are bottomless, like the cups of coffee at Denny's. In my mind, there is always room for one more book, shoe, card, skirt.

    In reality, there is always one more box to haul to the post office, at which you've sworn, during the last three consecutive visits, that this was, in fact, "the last box."

    In reality, there is always too much of everything. The story always overspills the teller.

    Every move, almost all forty-one of them, an unconscious abandonment recreation. Every story, every last one of them, a conscious attempt to rewrite the ending.

    My father left while I still had gills. My mother left as soon as she could expel me from her body. Those assigned my care (like homework) over the next eighteen years left and left and left again, returning me to the service desk like an unwanted holiday gift for which they had lost the receipt. ("Sorry, it just didn't go with the drapes.") Every man I have ever loved has left nevertoreturn. Lost at sea. M.I.A. Disappeared. And I, without words, without stories. Just a cliff beyond which there be dragons.

    The stage at which a child discovers that perception does not equate existence is called object permanence. A natural progression of experience since, in most lives, things are still there when you return. But what if the reverse was true? What if every time you left the room, your beloved had gone to buy socks in Thailand, or your house had become a hovel, or your profession fallen to disrepute? What if your life was always changing, and you, amnesic, every time you closed the door and turned around?

    How could one possibly make a life out of breathing only in little snippets of time? Where every moment to moment to moment to moment was a new existence? Where it wasn't that you no longer believed the earth would turn and the sun would rise, but that you never knew such a certainty to begin with?

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  8. ::smile:: I’m glad you liked the post. I have SUCH a hard time with object constancy it’s really upsetting.

    Lack of object constancy is VERY common for those of us with BPD. I doubt it’s limited to BPD though. Trauma, moving around a lot, constant life changes, etc. could probably bring about this problem.

    That very last sentiment hits it spot on, “…but that you never knew such a certainty to begin with.” That uncertainty, that inability to hold onto the sense that you’ve participated in something before, it’s unnerving. To have memories of a place, of people, of things, but FEEL like you’ve never seen them before.
    It really is difficult to live with only little snippets of time, pieced together, like disjointed puzzle pieces that never leave the box to create a whole puzzle.

    Thank you for sharing what you’d written.

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