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I will check your account and see what is listed. I'll be back in a minute.
Our last chat has dropped out of your account and I was not paid. I am not sure why that happened. I will try talking to the moderator about this, but I don't think I have any ability to address this because the entire chat is gone from your account.
I can still access your old account. But I imagine it will disappear in March as the calendar turns to the new month.
I'm waiting on JA to close my account, so I thought I'd give you an update here. I saw Dr. A today. I think I was more honest in the conversation with him than I have been with anyone in a really long time. The first words out of my mouth were "I have no intentions of coming back after today". It really opened the door for all the issues I have had thus far, how frustrated I am with the lack of progress and how I'm not sure exactly what I want from this process.
I was surprised because he did not see this in the same way I did. He said that he felt that I've made quite a bit of progress, that he doesn't think this is going no where, and that he even enjoys working with me. He said that he was vague on purpose when he wrote my email because he wanted to discuss it in person saying "let's call a spade a spade, six weeks isn't a break. It's a termination and then a resumption". I asked about his tone in regards XXXXX XXXXX me back if I did quit and he said "I'd welcome the chance to work with you again. But this is how I do therapy. This is what you get. I can't be anyone else". While I accept that, I'm just uncertain if his style is what works for me. He did say that he believes that he can help me, that he believes he's helping me right now, and doesn't want to lead the session because that wouldn't be putting me in the driverseat of discussing what's on my mind. It's a tricky situation. I have fundamental trust issues which he says are directly related to my past and contribute to the PTSD symptoms that I have today. I hate labels, whenever he says I have depression or PTSD, I always roll my eyes. I can't accept a diagnoses as an excuse for inappropriate behavoir. I'm very cut and dry--I'm a realist, I am a skeptic, I always weigh my options when Im making a tough deicision--I look at the risk-benefit ratio, I'm a "need to know" kind of person, If there is a goal, I check out the quickest, most effective route to get there. With therapy, I cant do that. I have no idea what the benefit will be, if there will even be a benefit. I dont know how long it will take or what my goal is. That TERRIFIES me! I feel so lost, so uncertain.
I have to really ask myself if I'm ready for this. If I'm commited. What am I running from? What do I need and want. Right now, I'm trying to just trust a little bit. I'm finding what most people take for granted, a near impossible task. Im trying to get in touch with feelings that I have walled off for protection nearly my entire life. How I'm not addicted to drugs, alcohol, prosituting, stealing, etc--is beyond me. Instead of waging war on my body, I've just waged war on my emotions instead. I feel so hollow. I need therapy and I loathe therapy. What do I do?
I just found the above. I will read through this and respond.
This question was closed and I did not get paid for it.
It seems to me that you and Dr. A had a very honest discussion. Hurrah for that!
You have many questions....and not many answers. I encourage you to go slow here...to take the time you need to consider the questions that are now sitting on your heart.
I am so sorry you did not get paid for my last question. I see that JA refunded my balance but that balance was suppose to be paid to you. Is there any way for me to recitify this with you? It seems unfair that you spent so much time with me, and now you wont get paid for it. Please let me know if there is something I can do on my end!
Thank you for your concern. The only thing would be to talk to JA by writing to customer service.
I will do that, right now!
Hi Tanya,Thank you for writing back.I do apologize for any inconvenience or confusion.Upon checking, I was able to verify that your other account has been closed since 5/9/2012 and you will not be able to use it since it's already closed. Moving forward, there is only one question posted in this account which costs $22 and as stated in the previous email, your deposit remains avaiable and there is no $38 amount that is showing on your account.You can rate the Experts answer in order for the Expert to receive payment.Should you need further assistance, please let us know.Regards,JamieCustomer Support
I'm going to just add the amount of my last question to the tip on this question, that was you get paid for both. Sorry this happened. It's my fault, I should have accepted the question before I requested my account be closed.
No problem Tanya. You tried to straighten this out and it just didn't work.
If you are available, can we chat?
Yes. I am here.
Sorry I missed you. Will you be available today?
I am here now.
I should be available for several hours.
I will look for you.
I'm here if you can chat?
I can chat now if you are available.
I wanted to give you a couple of updates...
1. I sought out a second opinion (consultation) on the treatment approach I was getting from Dr. A.
2. I decided to go back to Dr. A and not take the 6 weeks break that I wanted. I did this in part, because I felt forced to on some level and also because my husband was not supportive in me leaving as he was afraid I would not return.
The consultation that I received was from a psychologist (woman) that got good recommendations online. Not anyone that Dr. A knew.
Okay. So...are you feeling forced...or are you feeling that you are making a decision based on your own free will?
A little bot of both.
And...do you feel that you can go into his office and get done what you want to get done?
Or are you still feeling apprehensive about the whole process?
I'm insanely apprehensive!
I get the nervous shakes like crazy going to therapy!
I told you, I'm afraid of him.
I don't feel safe there.
Did you explain this to the person you consulted with? What did this person say that convinced you to go back? And did they give you any tips on trusting Dr. A?
Yes, I did! She said that it seemed his style was psychoanalytic in nature. She said that when she was going through her own therapy, her therapist would say "yup, uh huh, tell me more", and she would leave the session so angry that she would fanatize about how she hoped he's spontaneously explode between sessions. She was funny, actually. But she said that her style was very much the same as his and she felt that he was acting appropriately for me and my needs. She said that I was a "terrific" client because I was honest and it seemed to her that I knew exactly what I wanted and needed from therapy (Dr. A expressed this as well), despite the fact that I feel like I have no idea what I want.
She didn't say she wouldnt see me, but she suggested that I give him more time.
So you got some confirmation about his style and the need to continue to stick with him.
Does this change anything for you?
Well, I always knew that this was really about me and how I just hold back. I don't like his style, but that doesn't mean it's not good for me. I'm disillusioned by this process because I guess I just expected to feel better by now, and I don't. I hate this. I hate that I have to go through this. I feel like I'm losing control over the only power I have, and that is to keep a tight grip on my emotions and secrets. Its like I'm defined in my own mind this way. Giving that up is so entirely against my sensabilities that I believe it will shatter everything I've built for myself over the last 20 years. I'm just not sure if I can give that up...I really, really don't.
Okay...so let's take a look at that for a minute.
You've kept all of this inside for more than 20 years. Where has that gotten you?
If you were to share this with Dr. A (or someone else) in the confines of a private conversation - a conversation that will not be leaked outside the office - what harm will come to you?
Well, I know to you (and my husband) that I should just go in there and talk. My husband will often say to me "who gives a shit, just sit down and talk about this stuff that haunts you" and I completely agree! But good God, I sit there and I just can't do it! My mind just instantly goes into total freeze mode. I start feeling my heart beat faster, I feel cornered and the conversation feels confrontational. I start to panic in my head and in my body and its all so confusing and scary. I just cant bring myself to do it! I know it frustrates everyone involved. But damn, I'm just terrified!
Okay...so what is it about HIM that sets up these feelings?
I don't think its him.
Maybe it would work to walk in and imagine him as someone else...someone you DO trust...
I dont really trust anyone.
Maybe you could think about what an "ideal' therapist would be...and then try to imagine that is who is in front of you...
Except you...my stranger friend. :)
Well...I know you don't trust anyone...but let's look at it differently.
If you are going to get any benefit from therapy...then you need to spill your guts like your husband is proposing...
So...let's imagine an ideal therapist...would that be like an old wise grandmother...or what comes to your mind?
I don't think anyone is ideal. I think the one I have is just fine. I just have to take the leap of faith. But that's the things I guess, I don't really have any faith in this process. My mind is analytical in nature. I think I'm pretty smart and I often try to guess what he's thinking, I will try to intepret his facial expressions. But I think my "smartness" is way off base, and I think I probably have it all wrong. Can I tell you something?
I seriously lack emotion. I feel love and I can express love to my children, but it comes at a price of feeling so hollow. My husband was really upset recently at something that had happened to his brother and I couldnt even comfort him. I just sat there and the thought of giving him a hug to try and make him feel better just felt so incredibly uncomfortable to me, that I just secretly wished that he's shut up about it. Every fiber of my being wanted to yell out "get over it, would ya?" I mean, how horrible is that? How cold must I be? I can't give comfort without feeling like I'd really rather not, and I cant except comfort either. I sort of pride myself on not being "needy". I don't want to need anyone. That includes my therapist and my husband.
I think not putting myself in a postition to rely on anyone is a way to protect myself from the inevitable hurt I'll feel, or the vulnerability of intimacy that would come from this relationship or any other.
Make sense? How do I fix this?
So what do you make of this...
Do you feel that you are odd or different.
And yes...it all makes sense. And...I must admit that you are not alone in how you feel.
Odd or different? Ha! I feel like a total ice queen!
In fact...this is what many, many people do who - just as you - do not want to get hurt. They feel that they have had a lifetime of hurt and so this is how to protect oneself from that inevitable pain.
But you are not an ice queen...you are a normal individual who is going about life.
There is nothing new or shocking about your behavior...
It is how you have learned to navigate life.
It is your choice to continue to navigate life in this manner...or to change it. But again...it is up to you...and to you alone.
Going to therapy is something you must want to do because you want to change something...
If you can't buy into changing how you approach life...or how you manage life...then don't go.
If you accept that you are not the warm, gushy person that has heaps of compassion and feels everyone else's pain....then that's perfectly fine and perfectly normal.
You need to be YOU. And to be no one but YOU.
I totally agree with that "then don't go". This is up to me, I'm the only one who can change this. But I do have compassion! Just stick a crying kid in front of me and I go into total fix it mode. I have a soft spot for kids. For adults, I have none--ZERO, NADA! I don't want to hug you if your are in emotional pain and I don't want you to touch me either. But I hate that about me--that's not who I am. I'm sweet, caring, kind, and I really enjoy helping other people. Something happened to me. Over time, I just lost emotion. At first, I lost anger and sadness, and that was ok with me, but then I lost happiness and joy too...eventually everything felt distant and wrong, like I wasn't really living in the here and now.
I'm making a commitment to do this because I'm not happy living like this. I'll figure this out, I hope.
Maybe there is something here about grownups...
You are very good at attended to kids..that's because they are vulnerable and need protectors. Right?
But maybe when you look at adults you say...you don't need a defender, get a backbone, suck it up, or take care of yourself...
And really Tanya that's okay. Maybe you don't have a lot of sympathy for adults...and maybe you have had a lifetime of being around whiny adults...and maybe they sicken you to some degree because they are so dependent.
You are the opposite of that. Right? You work very hard to be independent...to clean up your own messes...and to not rely on others...
Yes...and I don't want to become one of them!
My mother was always so incredibly needy (and still is), and I just don't EVER want to be like her!
So maybe it's more about that...maybe it's not that you have lost yourself...maybe it's that you are just darn tired of these people and yes...you don't want to ever see yourself acting in that way.
Truly...it is okay to say...I don't want to be around people who act like XYZ...and I am much happier/more fulfilled/even joyful being around people that act like ABC.
You don't have to like everyone. You don't have to pour out the same energy towards everyone.
Being in therapy is totally against everything I ever thought I'd end up doing...because to me you go to therapy because you are "sick", and I just never wanted to be sick like that.
Nope..it's not about being sick...
I don't want to be anything like my mother, and this just feels like I'm headed there. Now granted, she had Borderline personality disorder and I know I don't have that. But we share some of the same symptoms, and I often wonder...is that what Im headed for?
It's really the opposite...
It's about health...wanting to be a healthy individual and living a healthy life.
Sick people would never be able to find their way to therapy...
Stop painting yourself with the same brush as your mother.
You are not her. You don't act like her. You are not going to wake up one morning and be her.
How do you know?
Whe share the same DNA...some of these things are genetic...WHAT IF?
I feel crazy, just like she was. As I sit in the chair across from Dr. A, I wonder...did he give me the right diagnosis? Am I going to be ok? Am I headed for a stay in an institution? If I start talking, will I make sense? Will I be ok?
I know because in 30 years I have never seen this happen and because this is my field of study.
Yes...some things are genetic...and in some cases we are pre-disposed to some health concerns. But...you are a mature woman...it's too late in the game for you to all of a sudden develop borderline personality disorder.
You are over analyzing Dr. A.
Ha! I over analyze EVERYONE!
Who cares about the diagnosis at this stage? It's a number on a piece of paper.
Yes, but its a way to understand what is happening to my mind and body.
It feels mysterious enough having a dianosis!
Yes...you will be okay. No you are not headed towards a stay in an institution. You seem to talk to me just fine and make perfect sense.
Stop over-analyzing everything.
That's because its you. You shoot me straight. You don't BS me. I trust you! I wish I could trust the people who are in my life to help me in this same way.
The diagnosis is for insurance billing...it's so the mental health professional can sort out what therapy to use...and yes...it does help some patients feel understood.
But...we could also diagnosis you this way...you are a wife, mother, friend...you live in a house...you have children...you have a driver's license....blah blah
A diagnosis is a description.
So let that go..
Accept some of the unique parts of you.
You love kids.
You are not so enthralled by adults who don't know how to stand on their own two feet.
You are afraid you will become your mother....
That's something you can talk to Dr. A about.
You worry about being in an institution...another Dr. A subject
You are concerned that talking about your life is going to land you in a rubber suit...another Dr. A subject...
Do you see where I am going here?
Yes, I do.
You do have legitimate things you can talk to Dr. A about...
Things that really are on your mind from time to time.
If he's the guy you want to work with...then bring these things to him.
And...for what it is worth...I have never found you to be incapable of talking...
I have never found you to talk "crazy"...
It's not bringing these things to him that I have issue with...it's the believing him part!
And...I do not see you all of a sudden waking up some morning incapable of holding a conversation with people in your life.
I'm so defensive that I just don't believe anyone!
If you don't believe he has the skills to listen, to understand, to offer supportive interventions...then stop seeing him.
And...are you throwing Dr. A in the same basket as everyone else?
If so...get him out of that basket!
He needs to be in the category of "supportive" people in my life.
That might include your husband...who only has your best interests in mind.
That's the thing! I don't know how to accept support!
Your best friend...who would also only have your best interests in mind.
And so forth...
I cant let my guard down long enough to let people be there for me.
Ah....I'm no so sure that is 100% acccurate.
If you child comes to you and says: Mommy I want to give you a hug because you look sad.
Do you reject that hug?
I don't think so.
That's a perfect example of receiving support!
I remember a time when you would go walking with one of your neighbors...you talked on those walks and you enjoyed the time together...that was accepting support.
Yes, you are right. I can accept that from them, because I know that it's genuine. WIth adults, it feels like...ok I was there for you...now you owe me.
And that might be true that you don't let your guard down for very long...but it's not always 100% up either.
And truly that's how alot of adult relationships go..there is a payback. But...that is not always true...there are genuine people in the world.
Can I suggest a movie to watch that would be a good example of this?
It might really inspire you...
Give me a minute to check it out...
Craig's List Joe
It's available on Netflix.
Great...I have netflix.
Let me know what you think about it...I think you will be a bit surprised.
ok, I will! I think that in the end, there really isn't anything that anyone can say to me to make this easier...I think it's just about the courage to sit down and just take that leap. I think we've talked about that leap before, but I guess it just always comes back to that. I have to help myself here and not only trust my therapist but also trust that nothing that I imagine is actually going to happen, and if it does, well, then I guess my fears came true and I'll run like hell and never go back. Until then, I think I should give this guy a fair shake, because I do think he deserves it. What do you think?
I agree wholeheartedly. This is about you...about your life and how you want to live it.
And yes...it's about having the courage to live the very best life you can.
I know that's what you want...and I also know that if anyone can do this..you can.
It's sweet that you have so much faith in me!
Does he deserve a fair shake? Yes..he does. But even more so...you deserve the very best therapy and he should want to give you 110% of his skills, time, attention.
Life is short...probably too short...and you have a life to live and I want you to live it.
I will say good-night now.
Take a look at that movie when you have a chance...it's not long...
I do too. Thank you! I'm going to accept your question and pay for the last one right now. Ok?
That would be very kind of you.
Not kind...the right thing to do. Good night, Dr. Levang!