Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dependency

In my previous post about how to know when I've had enough therapy, Kate commented that "there is a dependency" that is normal. I'm very afraid of becoming too dependent. I depend on him a great deal and if you have read my previous post, you will notice that I never mentioned dependency, yet it ribbons all through it. Sometimes, I am afraid of becoming addicted to his generosity, and his giving nature of helping me so much. I depend on him for a lot.

As I've mentioned before, I have no one to talk to about me. I have a few friends but they are pretty much superficial in that we don't hang out much and we don't get in each others business. They are good people, but they have no idea I dissociate, they just don't understand some of the things I do some times. Mr.S will answer his phone if I call when he is busy - just to give me that sense of attached and valued. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that - I depend on that to keep me centered and reality based.

But, I depend on him for so much more. I sometimes need to vent about work, or about a friend, or I need to just sit with someone who understands when I say I can't take one more day of missing minutes, or dissociating while I say things I don't want to say. Sometimes, I need to be angry at somebody, he's usually the target and he helps me process thru it.

I move from day to day knowing he is there and I can always reach him by phone or email. I depend so much on him that I even have discussed the pros and cons of buying the house I live in and whether to join a church. I'm afraid to admit I depend on him that much, but there it is. Is that too much?

And then there are the littles. They tease him, engage him, argue with him and need him. But couldn't they learn to live without him? I don't want to stop therapy. I am just concerned about being or becoming too dependent. I've given this some thought - lots of it. I know that if I stopped therapy, that would not create a situation in which I went out and found someone to tell my secrets to, to spill my heart to, to depend on. I am so confused about this.

18 comments:

fromthesamesky said...

Hmmm. Isn't it supposed to be a process? You might be this dependent now, but will you always be? I guess it is different for everyone, but the 'normal' pattern is to become dependent as you work through the past hurts and pain, but as you move through it you become less dependent. Perhaps it is just an idealised view, I don't know?

VICKI IN AZ said...

Sweet Ivory,
Sending you lots of Hugs.

This looks like a really good post to email to the therapist or copy and take to him.
I know he will be able to help you work through these difficult feelings.

Thinking of you with all my ♥

Just Be Real said...

I understand where you are coming from and it is natural to feel so dependent on your t. Afterall you are sharing your deep feelings with someone who is not judgmental but compassionate. Who would not want someone like that to be dependent on and as a friend. Hopefully, in time, maybe he will be able to share with you some tools to be less dependent on him, but trust yourself. I too am working on this area, so I know how it is dear one. Thank you for sharing!!

((((Ivory))))

Ivory said...

Thesamesky,
We actually discussed dependency years ago. He said he found himself wondering how to help me deal with the fact that both of the people we chose to help me, turned on me and because of it, I lost my whole family. He explained he had to be a "surrogate" everything for me until I could cope on my own. He was right. He is my surrogate friend, family, father, brother, and husband once a week for 2 hours. Maybe it's not time yet for me to push away, my life is still fill with uncertainty, pain and issues to be worked thru.

Vicki,
Reading your comment, my first thot was, "Sure! That's what I'll do!" Then immediately, my heart fell and I got a painful rush of adrenalin. It took me a couple of seconds to realize the reason is that if I took it to him and he said I should come only once a month, or twice a month, I think I would be devastated. I have to give this more thot. Thanks for your insight.

JBR,
All three of you are so insightful! I never got the chance to share any issues surrounding my abuse with my husband. The only person in the world who had heard them all is Mr.S. In the middle of a horrible session in which I cried like a baby, I looked up at him and stated, "You're never going to forget me, are you?" I will always remember the softness that spread across his face as he teared up and shook his head, "No".

Yes, tools. I need tools. Thank you so much for caring.

Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

I understand what you are saying about not having any face-ro-face riends that you can share with about dissociation and healing. Yes that is an issue. However you started your blog, with encouragement from your daughter, and you are well and truly proved that you are capable of a wide range of human emotions including loyalty, friendship, compassion, and empathy as well as a huge amount of honesty and self-disclosure in the furtherance of healing.

It sounds, from all that you have shared that you and your therapist have established boundaries and you are capable of following them. He perhaps gives more to you than he does to others clients and perhaps more than others get from their individual therapists. However this is a normal level for a multiple with a history of ritual abuse and/or sexual abuse history. This kind of client normally goes through decades of therapy, often with many therapists because they haven't found that one who knows about trauma therapy and trauma survivors and is not willing to give the extra amount necessary or is not healed enough to do so.

I think you are judging yourself much too harshly. Dependency is something that comes up in therapy, a huge amount and often it is a huge part of therapy and healing. Learning new skills in coping and life, finding new friends, as well as online healing work sound like good things to work for. Dependency is disturbing and difficult to feel, to acknowledge and to work on.

Good and healing thoughts to you.

Kate

Ivory said...

Kate,

Thank you so much. I cried - still crying - when I read this. I needed to hear this, I think. I am so full of self doubt that it runs me over some times. I have nothing to compare me and my situation to and most times, I feel as if I'm floating around in my life like a balloon about to pop.

Paul from Mind Parts said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Kate. The fact you are aware of this means you won't be "too" dependent (whatever that really means). Well, I think it means that boundaries get violated and it seems that is not the case. So, try not to judge yourself so much. You are working really hard.

Paul

Ivory said...

Paul,
No, we are both very aware of boundary jumping. We have some of the same friends - none of whom are aware I am his client. I feel comfortable telling him that something feels like boundary jumping, or asking him if it is boundary jumping. He will tell me if it is. Though I was raised w/o boundaries, I naturally have very high, rigid boundaries. Mr.S has recently told me I need to lower the walls a bit!

I am my own worst critic. I expect that I've had therapy, I should be okay now. It's just not that way, tho. I appreciate that you care and am grateful for your insight.

therapydoc said...

I always think hypothetically when I write on people's blogs, but in my practice I tell people that sometimes they need a coach, and then learn to play the game so well, don't need one anymore. But the game is life, and it can take a lot of coaching. For sure, you seem to have a nice on-line community here, use them, too. maybe. Friends are priceless, too, in the flesh. Anyway, it's up to your doc to set boundaries if he feels you're asking too much.

Ivory said...

Therapydoc,
Part of the reason I feel so "needy" is that Mr.S offers as much as I ask - for instance: My daughter is having a wedding reception and because her dad is causing problems, but is invited, she asked me what Mr.S would say to an email her dad sent her. I suggested she come and we talk to him together. She agreed. I emailed him and asked if he could see us on SATURDAY (for pete's sake) and he said he would. When she changed her mind, he offered again - twice - to see us on Saturday. I felt like I imposed by just asking and I'd have felt worse if we'd gone. He needs some "down" time, too.

I guess you are right about needing a coach. I haven't looked at it that way, yet that is what he really is. I feel better seeing it that way. Thank you for commenting, your opinion is always appreciated!

VICKI IN AZ said...

♥ ♥

kate1975 said...

Hi Ivory,

You're welcome.

I think if he was willing to do a Saturday he was able to do it. He cares and that is shown in his work with you. That is good. We all need someone to care. It is okay to accept what he has to give you without feeling bad about yourself. I know it is hard to even try, but it is okay to try to accept it. That too is a part of healing.

Good and healing thoughts to you.

Kate

Michael Finley said...

Sometime I can see that if I could do for someone what my therapist does for me I would feel privilaged to do it.

Ivory said...

Kate and Michael,

Thank you much for caring. Michael, I haven't seen it that way, but you are right. Only, I just got back from my session and it has all crashed in on me. I just can't talk about it now.

sarah said...

I think sometimes we go through a phase where we need to depend on someone, (a therapist) for awhile because we are hurting so much and feel so alone. But I think too eventually we start living our life more solid. I hope so. Sarah

Ivory said...

Sarah,

Yes, I needed someone to depend on and I am literally alone - no family except my daughter and no close friends to confide in. Waiting to begin my life is taking its tole...

Paula said...

Hi I just found your blog and I am moved to tears. I remember when my doctor decided my therapist shall be a woman. A WOMAN: Obviously he knew what he was talking about... I hated women, females in general, myself obvioulsy and particularly my MOTHER. I didnt want to see a female t. I had too, my mother delieverd me to my stepfather for abuse, I had no concept of mother, unable to talk , trust or let a woman close to myself. I needed a female therapist. She became my first female friend, she was my mother when the little girl inside me came out and cried, she provided the first safe palce for me and without her I wouldnt comment on your blog. I was "freaking dependent" and like a kid which grow up I cut the cord, however when I felt insecure I went back or later on wanted to go back. By now I am doing so much better. She restored my trust in the female figure and she had healthy boundaries. The time came where she cut loose too and it was right. I wish you well.

Ivory said...

Paula,

I'm happy that you came by. I have been avoiding coming to my blog and I haven't been reading others either. This has had me very upset.

Thanks to what you shared, I think I understand why my T has asked me why I didn't go to a woman first. In my case, I needed to learn how to trust men.

I hope you come by again!