I’m going to start a new blog series for Tuesdays. Basically going over some of the stuff I work on in therapy. Touch on the issues, how I react, interact, approach things, techniques to cope and adjust, manifestations, ‘homework,’ what I learn, use, utilize, and things I work on in therapy in general. I’m still pulling this idea together so I imagine it will alter a bit from week to week. I don’t plan on having a specific format anyways, so I suppose it doesn’t matter much.
I have therapy Monday evening so writing about it for Tuesday will help me remember and better enable me to put it to practice. Maybe it will provide some insight and provide a different perspective on how therapy is presented.
My therapist relies heavily on Schematherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She also recently brought up that we’ll be incorporating aspects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is one of the more widely recognized therapeutic techniques for Borderline Personality Disorder. Eventually I’ll break these things down and talk about them in depth, but not on Tuesdays. This will be more a look at how we utilize these things, not necessarily what they and each component of them are.
**I also don't know what to call this series, we'll see.
So take a seat on the couch (there’s always a couch).
We talked about how as a child (how cliché right? No, it’s necessary) attention was often all critical, or all loving, with little to no intermediary. As a result it’s “difficult” for me to internalize a middle ground. This is part of my Splitting. Maybe the origins as I know this started very young for me. She explains to me that sometimes people to hurtful things, sometimes caring things, and a multitude of variations in between, but people encompass all of these things at one time. One action doesn’t replace another, doesn’t replace another and that’s who they are now. All parts are incorporated to form a whole. It’s the same with interactions. Just because something is hurtful or distressing at one time, doesn’t mean that person no longer cares, doesn’t erase the prior good or isn’t dealing with their own things at the same time or whatever. I know this. My problem is I can’t internalize this. I see people as good, or bad. Reliable or untrustworthy. When I detach from people it’s often because I have this split thinking occurring. I can only hold onto the hurt, not anything else for long. A positive next interaction will make that one easier but I always slip back to how things have hurt. Detach from the positive, expect the bad to keep occurring. Waiting somewhere just outside of sight.
We focused a lot on how I detach around certain people. It’s clearly a coping mechanism that my mind employs because I can’t process my emotions in other ways. It’s one way I protect myself from untrustworthy people. I learned a long time ago not to trust people. I don’t trust almost anyone. Rejection and Abandonment are the two of the biggest fears people have. For someone like me, it’s out of proportion, magnified and exacerbated beyond reason.
This is in part how I react to people, but also, how others function as well.
Often people are unaware of how they handle hurt/rejection be it overtly, passive-aggressively, etc. When people are unaware of how they deal with their own issues, they often project it back onto others (regardless of where these issues stem from). I’m hypersensitive to the projections of others, therefore more receptive to being hurt by them. Being hyperaware makes these people more influencing on my negative emotional states. Therapist thinks that my detachment isn’t only caused by my own inability to connect. I may be some picking up on how others interact with me, consciously or unconsciously on their part. She wants me to take someone I can trust, with healthier coping strategies, and see how they handle their own hurt. Understand the ways that they deal with rejections to help see how they differ from my own. Not necessarily adopt them, but gain a different perspective. She also wants me to learn more about how my friends deal in order to understand how they project so I can learn to recognize these responses and mediate their reactions so as to not internalize them as more than they are.
I write a ridiculous amount. Between this blog, others and my journaling I have a lot of writing I do on a daily basis. Really the only part of my day that I’m not actively engaging my brain is the hour or two that I spend at the gym. Even then I sometimes have reading material. As soon as I get home I’m back on the net reading & researching, writing, collecting thoughts and ideas, or picking up one of the millions of books I own and delving into something else. My therapist says I think too much. Between my job and everything else. I don’t give myself much down time. My brain never gets a break. Therapist wants me to take up some less analytical hobbies. Which I do have. I have a lot of these, cooking/baking, drawing, costuming/sewing, etc, but they’re not primary. She wants me to get out more, lose myself in nature, be more mindful of the world around me and less lost in my mind.
Fire helps. No, not arson, though I can’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind on occasion. Sitting in front of the fire pit last night, watching the flames jump and crackle. Friend literally poked me a couple times because I was so intent on the fire and nothing/no one else around me. Staring into the flames is meditative. Constantly changing, chaotic, and warm. Calming. Peaceful.
Homework: She likes to encourage creativity. This week she wants me to Create a Safe Space. Draw, paint, write about a place that’s a healing place. Something I imagine and envision. A place I can surround myself with in my mind, to think, find solace, in times of stress/distress that is completely of my own creation. This makes it a place no one else can go, so it’s completely protected from outside influence. . It should be a place that incorporates things that I find comforting, people that I feel safe with, images and ideas that hold meaning to me. Include it all and bring it to life on paper. She wants me to draw because I do this often. She also wants me to get colors into the picture. I primarily drawing with art pencils and micron pens, no color, but I’ve been meaning to for a while so I like the suggestion. The more detail, the more color, the more vibrant it will be in my mind and easier to access when I need it.
Therapist talks A LOT. I can’t always process everything she says. There will be times she asks me to repeat things back to her that she’s just said and I can’t. I know I heard the things she said, but I can’t stay in the moment. I float away and it’s like listening to a television from the next room. It registers but doesn’t absorb. Some days I really don’t think an hour is a long enough session. I recently ‘graduated’ back down to one session a week, but there are definitely days I wish I had another.
At the end of every session she tells me that she likes me, I’m a wonderful person, that she enjoys working with me. I see her looking at me, I know she’s talking to me, but she might as well be talking to someone else. I’m not the one standing in front of her.