Professional Help Activity 1: Inventory of problem areas reviewed w/Therapist

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C.

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Reminder: In order to honor our group process we ask that only current members post and respond here please.  Thank you.

Note:  Your recovery is unique to you.  These topics and activities are suggestions.  Please feel free to do and respond to those that work for you at this time.

Professional Help

1.   Review your inventory of problem areas with your therapist and discuss how to best address these life issues as you continue to heal your inner wounds.  This will give you a sense of control over your recovery and will help you learn to speak up for what you want and negotiate an agreement about the direction of your therapy. While your therapist may have reasons for wanting you to address certain things first, it is your decision that counts the most.

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VeryFoggy

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My T and I have pretty much agreed and focused on boundary setting moving forward to be the A # 1 focus of my efforts. 

We had quite a good discussion about boundaries today, and I explained to her that I truly felt like I needed two sets of boundaries and the words to say for each. I had tried to cover some of these with her a couple of weeks ago, and she said they did not sound natural, and were too aggressive. 

So, today I explained I felt the need for 2 sets of boundaries.  One for Non PD's and one for PD's.  And today she totally got it, as I explained that PD's are in your face, and they are actively trying to take you down, and they do not understand anything else in return but aggression.

So for example with a PD who has criticized, put me down, mocked me , been sarcastic, or told me what I should do my response would be:

It's a good thing you are not in charge of that, so you don't need to even worry about it.  That is my problem, and if I decide it is a problem then I will take care of it.

OR

That's your opinion and you are entitled to it, but I don't agree so it sounds like that is your problem.

On the other hand if it was a Non-PD who simply overstepped? We agreed the following would probably work pretty well in most circumstances:

I don't deserve that. 

OR
 
That is not fair.

Though for the foreseeable future I will have very little contact with PD's outside of my son, as she recommends I keep up No Contact with my family, and LC with the ex-roommate.  But I am practicing on my PD son everyday, as he does not trigger me, but he crosses my boundaries constantly.  But it is kind of amazing how as I grow in boundary setting, my son is no longer infuriating me. I AM JUST NOT GOING TO LET IT IN ANYMORE.

I learned a new one just yesterday, and tried it out this evening and it worked! My son was pressuring me to go to dinner with him and I was resisting.  I know how this story goes - I end up with the check. Been there done that. No thank you.

I was working on my notes from therapy, as I always write everything down afterwards to have as a reference. And so I said, "I am sorry no, I don't want to go to dinner, it is more important to me to work on my therapy notes."  My son:  Then, you are just a weirdo.  Me:  I am not a weirdo, I am paying a lot of money for this help, and I want to remember what we discussed."  My Son:  You are just too sensitive!  You take everything too serious!  Me"  I am not too sensitive, you are being insensitive. You are trying to put me down, and blame me, and I am not going to listen to you. My son:  Being a weirdo is a compliment, I was not putting you down. You are too sensitive.  Me" And you are being insensitive. And I want it to stop.  My son:  Stop taking me seriously, I am kidding.  Me:  I can see you are not capable of understanding what is going on, and I am not going to try to convince you any longer, but I want it to stop.  And I turned my back on him.  And...  He shut up!  Yay!  And ordered himself a pizza that HE paid for.  Double yay!

He does this stuff constantly.  If you will not do what he wants to do?  He immediately starts criticizing and name calling. But I've got a secret weapon now.  DON'T LET IT IN.  If he calls me something that is untrue and unfair?  It's not coming in my house. Period.

I will no longer let unfair untrue accusations inside of me anymore!

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C.

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Congratulations on the success w/your son.  That is a great example.  You persistently and respectfully held your boundary.  He eventually had to stop pushing b/c he could tell it wouldn't work.  Also that you advocated for yourself and explained yourself w/your T, and how she provided support.  Sounds like you're both a great team for your recovery. :thumbup: :thumbup:

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VeryFoggy

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Thank you C.  Very much.  This was the session with my therapist that I was so nervous about, as it was at my home, the Inner Sanctum. But it went great and particularly in retrospect, it was great my PD son saw that I had a resource, and saw that somebody was on my side and who believed in me.  They met briefly before we started. Shook hands and all. It's definitely some kind of turning point for me. It was what I was begging my sister to do.  Come, see, talk to somebody who says I am not crazy, please? Please?  But they won't come, they won't see.  They can't see me.  That is why I am gone. I do, have had a crazy life.

But I don't have to. I am slowly starting to see this. If I say No? Then No means No. If I say no it is you who are acting crazy not me, then I don't have to be the crazy one anymore. I have always known I am not crazy.  But I have surrounded myself with crazy people as they were my family, and you are supposed to love your family no matter what right?  But as soon you break that rule? Life becomes clearer. Cleaner.  Smoother, better, calmer, no flashbacks.  Ah-h-h-h.  Awesome.

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Kizzie

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 Life becomes clearer. Cleaner.  Smoother, better, calmer, no flashbacks.  Ah-h-h-h.  Awesome.

 :hug:  So glad to hear this VF.  I've found that PD boundaries are vital to recovery.  It's so easy with non-PDs as they have some understanding and respect - it's a two way street. But with PDs? It's a one way ongoing trip down setting and maintaining boundaries lane  ;D

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C.

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The home visit sounds like quite a break through moment.  I hadn't thought about having a person in the sanctuary of your home.  It is a huge step in trust.

I sense that my T, like me, sees the issue of meaningful employment as an important issue for me.  On one hand I often feel like oh, that's work, I don't want to give it too much time outside of the paid hours.  But, even as I write this, I realize that is an old tape from my ex.  At this point in my life employment is a place where I would spend a lot of my time.  And I can be spending it in a profession that fills my cup at least a little, or a place that mostly drains me.  Finding a good match and setting for myself is important.

I have access to family funds for schooling and have been tempted to fake interest in another career just so I can go to school for a couple more years and get closer to retirement.  I've been working since I was 16 years old non-stop.  Kind of working since age 10 (regular babysitting responsibility).  Emotional care taking my parents since I can remember and I'm just tired of it all.  I kind of want to be done and just volunteer, be more active in my Faith community, take care of myself and home.

A trust issue I need to address w/my T.  I need to have some source of income in order to pay the fees, so is that topic self-serving for him?....It's a bit of a conundrum like I need to work to pay for therapy, but I don't need as much therapy when I don't work...

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Kizzie

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That is a tough trust issue C, but I'm not surprised it popped up in you given that the significant people in our lives were/ are very self-serving. 

What does your gut tell you about that?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 09:17:12 PM by Kizzie »

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anosognosia

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I will no longer let unfair untrue accusations inside of me anymore!

That's got to be a tough situation to navigate. I'm glad you worked out a strategy with your son. There is so much power in inaction, it's sometimes overwhelming to me.  (Versus re-action, which I have a tendency to do, almost like a programmed reflex.)

Thank you for sharing this!

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anosognosia

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A trust issue I need to address w/my T.  I need to have some source of income in order to pay the fees, so is that topic self-serving for him?....It's a bit of a conundrum like I need to work to pay for therapy, but I don't need as much therapy when I don't work...

You absolutely have a right to recharge your batteries and nourish your soul even if it means a change in temporal dynamics with your T.  Is there any way you could go to a sliding scale basis or see them less often with a greater emphasis on home-work and/or self-work?

I'm sometimes so overwhelmed at how much power our Ts have over us- they know our core, we've exposed our most raw ends to them. 

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anosognosia

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'kay so I haven't talked to my T in a week or so but I bet we both would agree that my issues are deep core issues of feeling illegitimate in this world.

I don't know if this would ever go away - this core feeling of not being allowed to have come to this world.  I wasn't supposed to have arrived (a girl). I still have this theme of redemption hanging over me, and it degrades away at my attempts of building self esteem.

I fight it everyday through mindfulness, taking deep breathes and trying to register my sense of groundedness in the world just by de facto existing and living. 


I'll break it down into more particular aspects of my life & interventions I've introduced:
Physical:
-teeth grinding - mouth guard
-insomnia - sleeping pill
-fatigue - exercise and stretching and yoga

Work:
-procrastination - mantras such as "step into the light", you deserve to thrive
-assertiveness (standing up for my needs and not being walked all over on) - working on time-outs when I'm feeling annoyed/angry, journalling, and talking to my colleagues about it after I've identified why I felt my boundaries violated

Personal relationships:
-feeling emotional pain when my partner doesn't agree to do exactly what I want to do - I take it personally, interpret it as abandonment. 
I identify this deep pain as something coming from my childhood rather than a current offense, and then I try to breathe through the pain and diffuse the misunderstanding or any sense of conflict I may be displaying.  This is a very core problem and I have to journal my way through it.

*overall I also want to work on a script to buy myself a time out when I feel emotions strongly - eg "I'm feeling some weird emotions but it's gonna take me some time to get to the bottom of it so I need a virtual cave."
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 06:30:08 PM by anosognosia »