Therapy today: Stubborn stuckness

Analogies start to wear thin after you’ve been in therapy for a while. My therapist does Transactional Analysis. So she talks a lot about the parts of me; child, adult and parent.

I’ve started to resent it. Particularly the child stuff. It dawned on me just now that when I say something and J reflects that it sounds like it came from ‘a child place’, I feel criticised. I feel as though she is calling me childish and that in turn leads to me feeling stupid.

I’ve written a few times in recent weeks about how withdrawn I have been in therapy. J brought it up again today, right at the start of our session. She seems to think I am angry with her. I’m too co-dependent to tell someone I am fond of that I am angry with them. But I didn’t feel angry, not with her anyway.

I know people often idolise their therapists. I have wondered in the past whether I do this, and that’s why I don’t see problems in my relationship with J, but I don’t think I do. She has done some things in the past that I didn’t like. It took me a while to tell her that, but I feel like we moved past it. I am hugely grateful to her for everything she’s done for me in the past year. She has regularly gone beyond what is expected of her and I am appreciative.

Today, it seemed like she wanted me to be angry with her. It’s obviously bugging her that I keep withdrawing in our sessions. She’s right, something has changed between us and we do need to figure it out. I never used to sit in silence with a hundred thoughts racing through my head and not vocalise any of them.

Maybe I felt annoyed today that she had drawn attention to it again. I wonder if I took her enquiries about it on board as more criticism. I depend on her quite heavily. And I do worry that if I am too challenging for too long she will suggest I go to someone else. Like all of us, I don’t want to be rejected by someone I need. And I do get scared that she will give up on me.

The situation is a catch-22 then. I hold back because I don’t want to sound stupid. At the same time, if I don’t say anything, I feel like I’m being a challenging client. That meant today I tried to fill any silence by talking about everyone else. J knows my tactics too well, so I didn’t get away with it.

A few weeks ago when we spoke about the silence problem, we came to the solution of me reading from my journal when I felt stuck. What I’ve just noticed is that in our last two sessions I took my journal with me, but didn’t take it out of my bag. I’m even witholding that now.

I’m so bloody stubborn, I’m even managing to be pig-headed subconsciously.

Photo credit: Alexandre Normand, Creative Commons

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. audreeee says:

    Wow. I understand this reaction in therapy. I definitely do that too. It’s such a hard emotional space to maintain because on the one hand you trust your therapist and don’t want her to go away and then on the other something isn’t quite right and jiving for you so you retreat. Or at least that’s how its been for me at times. I hope you can be gentle with yourself as you move through the challenging withdrawal/hiding period it sounds like you’re in. It doesn’t sound fun. Hang in there! Sending positive thoughts your way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It is good to hear that other people experience this. No it isn’t fun, but therapy isn’t meant to be all that fun really I guess! I do have a very strong attachment to my therapist and I am fairly confident she will stick with me through this. There’s just that small voice still urging me to perform, to be a good client, or risk losing her. It’s a conflicted place to be. Thanks for the positive vibes! Laura

      Liked by 2 people

  2. noimnotok says:

    It’s not easy building up trust with a therapist. The more you reveal about yourself, the more you need to trust them. But they are there for you, not the other way around. You can use them to offload, unload, whinge, moan, and generally get things off your chest. And it’s important to tell your therapist if you don’t like something they say or do, that can help build trust. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are not alone in this. I have this same issue and same fears of abandonment right now. I sit in silence and I am worried I am getting too challenging…or worse yet…annoying. I wonder what causes this to happen in us. Is it a protective stance? I have often wondered if I am doing it now because I began to feel too safe. Relationships are very scary to me. Once I am safe…the end result is getting hurt. So I wonder if I am putting up walls of protection to make sure my therapist can’t hurt me. Or is it self sabotage? I don’t know. I just know it’s a real challenge to be in this place. My next hurdle is to actually talk to my therapist about this…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Sorry you’re struggling with this too. My therapist and I continue to talk about what happens between us that makes me withdraw. It’s a real work in progress as it keeps happening, but I feel like we’re starting to understand and overcome it the more we discuss it. I hope you manage to bring it up with your therapist too. Laura

      Liked by 1 person

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