Forum Replies Created
May 5, 2021 at 5:48 pm #379250
I’m so sorry for the delay in responding. These past few days ended up being a lot busier than I anticipated! So glad you were able to be outdoors, without a mask, enjoying the scenery. I bet that felt very freeing! I am fully vaccinated now too and am finding that being unmasked with other vaccinated people very refreshing too.
Wow, it sounds like you had a pretty incredible therapist. I have only ever met with two therapists…. the first was really bad, and my current one seems worlds better but also gives some disappointing advice, as you have pointed out. Is it just me, or is it really difficult to find a quality therapist like you had? I am also wondering how you felt when you were stopping therapy? Were you nervous about stopping? I am worried that I will be afraid to stop the professional relationship and will continue even when I am not getting much more out of it.
Thank you, as always, Anita. So sorry again about the delay. Hope you have a great night!
CharlotteMay 2, 2021 at 5:50 pm #379083
Hi again, Anita!
I hope this post finds you well. I just wanted to pop in to update you on something we discussed in this thread. I mentioned to you that I do not have unlimited funds right now and that therapy is pretty expensive, and I asked how to approach phasing out therapy eventually to you. You suggested that I ask my therapist what I should focus on in the next 3-6 months, if I was to end therapy sometime within that time frame. I asked her this on Friday and she essentially didn’t answer; she said this is a question for me to answer, not her. She said only I can know what I need to work on and how many sessions I need. I wasn’t sure what to make of that? I was kind of hoping she could give me some food for thought. Thanks so much for your insight!
CharlotteApril 24, 2021 at 9:52 am #378631
Thank you so much, Anita. I certainly will! Your wisdom and insight is so appreciated. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!April 23, 2021 at 10:53 am #378563
Dang, wow, thank you so much Anita. This really hit the nail on the spot. You also made me chuckle a little when you said little Charlotte wants to get a giant violin and hit them on the head with it! Haha, this is very true! I also really like what you said about how rationalizations will not make things ok. That’s always what I seem to be doing in my head – rationalizing things – and it only ends up making me feel guilty, pathetic, or like something is wrong with me in the end. I don’t even know how to begin talking to little Charlotte and actually hearing what she has to say…. it’s hard to hear when there is all the other noise in my head if that makes sense. But I’m definitely going to read about how to get in touch with ones inner child and really try to work on listening to her.
I don’t think I have any other follow up questions right now, but I’m going to ponder this more and also will gather my thoughts about the other issue and will be posting again soon. I always really value your insight. Thank you so much, Anita!April 22, 2021 at 5:35 pm #378538
Thank you, Anita, for this insight! It is incredibly helpful, as always. Sorry for the delay in responding – it’s been a busy day chasing my son around. You are very right that I pretty much only have small talk with my parents. They’ve never been able to have a deep conversation with me, and they continue to show no interest. It’s all very superficial conversations, and yes it does make me angry. They have never once apologized for anything, and it hurts. But I still can’t fathom cutting them off completely. They are seem to be (so far) very different with my son and love him a lot. He is their only grandchild. And when I am with them, they do help out with him. Even though I will probably never have a warm and fuzzy relationship with them, I don’t really have any other close family. My sister has her life, and my in laws are thousands of miles away. Is there any other way? Or do I just need to work on being at peace with who my parents are and be compassionate with little Charlotte?April 21, 2021 at 3:34 pm #378284
Thank you, Anita! Really looking forward to it. Have a happy and relaxing night 🙂April 21, 2021 at 1:35 pm #378268
I really appreciate your insight, as always. I think you are right again. My parents, I think, essentially must believe that money and things bring happiness. They don’t say that in words, but like you said, they obviously thought that giving me *stuff* should make me keep my mouth shut and do whatever they want me to do, like go to law school for instance. They have also become more and more materialistic since they’ve gotten older. For instance, they now have nothing but mean things to say about the city of Philadelphia. Back when I was a kid, they were very proud of where they lived. I guess money can really change people then? I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the last paragraph too, but yes, you summarized that advise from my therapist very well! Thank you, Anita! I hope you are having a nice day 🙂April 21, 2021 at 9:51 am #378233
Thank you so much for your insight, Anita, on how to end therapy! I will ask her about this (i.e. what I need to focus on now if I want to end therapy in 3-6 months) next time I talk to her, but it won’t be until next week at the earliest, because my therapist just told me she has covid and needs to take time off to recover. I will certainly circle back to you with her response. I really appreciate your help.
Regarding my parents and #2 and #4…. my therapist advised me to change my thinking by reminding myself that their problems are not my problem, that I am safe, I don’t need to depend on their love anymore and certainly don’t need their approval, I am enough as I am. She also tells me that I can focus on caring for my son Raphael the way I wish I was cared for, it it will be like me going through childhood again and caring for myself in a way. So when I feel triggered, I try to remind myself of these things. I can’t say it always helps, though. When I feel badly, reminding myself of these things doesn’t always pull me out of my funk, but I try.
Regarding #4, My therapist noted to me once that I seem to feel guilty about simply being born. My parents (who both grew up poor but did very well in their careers) always told me I was a privileged brat, that I had it so much easier than they did, that I never have any reason to cry, etc. If I ever cried about anything as a child, they would tell me to stop and would mock me with something like “oh boo-hoo you, let me go get my tiny violin.” So I think that is where my permanent state of guilt stems from. I feel bad for being born more privileged than many, for being a stay-at-home-mom right now, for spending money on myself, etc…. all kinds of things. But I’ve been trying to hear that critical voice in my head (which my therapist said sounds like my mother and father’s voices) and redirect it.April 21, 2021 at 4:19 am #378213
Thank you, Anita. I will talk to my therapist after another session or two about ways to continue my healing without her help. If I have unlimited resources, I would stay with her, but it’s just not sustainable to continue indefinitely. Do therapists get offended when people a client stops seeing them? I am a bit of a people pleaser, so cutting cords can be uncomfortable for me.
Regarding my parents, usually I just try to go someone alone when I am feeling overwhelmed by them, or try to change my thinking. And if I’m ruminating over something they said or did in bed at night, unable to fall asleep, I take CBD. It’s doesn’t always work, though. I’ve also spoken to my therapist about accepting myself and who I am and being aware of my parents’ critical voices that have gotten into my head over the years. I’ve recently started painting and drawing a bit every day as being creative always seems to help. If there is anything else to keep in mind or try, I would so appreciate any insight you have. Thank you!April 20, 2021 at 5:49 pm #378198
Thank you, and thank you also for noting the positive news we received about the verdict today. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do to make our country safer, but things are looking up today 🙂
That is really valuable advice to hear about therapy. It has been helping me the past 6 months (since I ditched the wacky previous therapist and got a better one), but I definitely don’t have unlimited means and wonder how much more she could realistically do for me. Perhaps when I think I’m nearly ready to stop, I can talk to her about ways to maintain my healing?
The only other big reason why I would find it really hard to cut off my parents is because they do help a lot with my son when I am with them. They never come visit us themselves, but it’s almost worth the drive and the risk of increased anxiety for me to just have a few extra hands with my son every once in a while. He has a lot of energy, and otherwise we wouldn’t ever have any help (my in-laws being in England of course). Do you think it is possible for someone like me to eventually stop becoming so upset by their issues and continue to still be in their presence at times?
Thank you so much, Anita! And sorry that I digressed so much from my original post 🙂April 20, 2021 at 2:52 pm #378187
Thank you again, Anita! I do think you are right. I don’t remember my parents being agitated so much by other *people* growing up, but that being said, they were always incredibly stressed out by their high-powered lawyer jobs. They very frequently took it out on me. I do think I absorbed a lot of their agitation, which is probably why I often feel triggered or agitated. I work very hard to not repeat these patterns with my son though.
What you said about my anxiety being pushed down while I am with them only to come to the surface makes a lot of sense too. I suppose I should spend less time with them? I usually only see them one or two weekends a month.
Also, I’m wondering when you think a person can finish therapy? Therapy is really expensive for me as it is not covered by insurance, and I am taking a break from the working world. Is it something I should expect to continue for a really long time? Or is their hope for someone like me (with general anxiety) to realistically stop therapy after a little while?April 19, 2021 at 5:48 pm #378125
Thank you, Anita! Hope you have a restful night.April 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm #378112
Yes, I believe I do feel that way. My parents actually don’t put pressure on me to visit, though. I do generally like visiting them because, aside from the fact that they are my parents, almost all of my life-long friends live near them, and it gives me a change of scenery and a few more people around to help entertain my son. But sometimes the heaviness that surrounds them gets to me. I worry about their mental and physical health – my Dad has gotten himself so worked up about my sister’s boyfriend that he’s landed himself in the hospital a few times thinking he was having a heart attack. I still do yearn to live closer to them a lot of the time (and thus, move back closer to Philly), even though I know they are dysfunctional. But I also don’t want to spend my life wishing I were living somewhere else and always looking at job postings for my husband near there. I want to be happy living in the present and with my present circumstances, no matter what is happening with other family members or in the world, but I don’t exactly know how to get there…..April 19, 2021 at 11:41 am #378073
Thank you so much for your thoughts. They were incredibly enlightening as always. I never actually thought of questioning my therapist or asking her why she gives the advice she gives, as silly as that sounds. Next time she says something that I don’t necessarily think fits me, I will ask her why she suggests this. I also really appreciate your suggestion of abandoning the idea of intuition altogether. I hear so much about how people should be “intuitive” these days, and I’ve tried so hard to be so, but I think my anxiety is really what I’m feeling. I only ever seem to feel “intuitive” about fears afterall…..
My parents were good parents in the scheme of things. They gave me food, shelter, sent me to good schools, etc., but they are not at all emotionally supportive and can be very critical. For example, when I was struggling postpartum with my newborn son (in hindsight I believe I had postpartum depression/anxiety), my mom’s response was always that I should stop crying, get over it and count my blessings. Aside from this, there is an issue between my sister and my parents (basically my parents do not like my sister’s boyfriend for really stupid reasons and have made it known that he’s not welcome), and it looks like my sister might eventually become estranged from them. Even though it’s not my issue directly, it saddens me to see my family so dysfunctional and to see my parents so upset when I am visiting them over the issue (even though my parents are being the ridiculous ones). Why do I emotionally care so much about my parents when, logically, I know they are flawed and in many cases, very wrong? Oi vey!
I will post soon about the 2nd child issue. Just want to get my thoughts all together 🙂April 18, 2021 at 5:52 pm #378009
Thank you, Anita! Very much looking forward to your thoughts as always.