Life in a Bind – BPD and me

Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and my therapy journey. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org. I write for welldoing.org and for Muse Magazine Australia, under the name Clara Bridges.

Waiting

10 Comments

I told my therapist I was thinking about leaving because I didn’t feel cared for or understood. My therapist told me that establishing a therapy takes time. I told my therapist that I couldn’t just wait for someone to come along and understand and care about me. She said that it was about waiting to come to the realisation that I was cared for. 

She asked me if I knew T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’. She said that part of it was about waiting. This is that part.

waiting 3

 

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10 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. Oh wow, I really get this!

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    • My therapist’s comment, or the poem? 🙂 I’m not sure I do completely get it – I think I need to understand it better….I’m struggling, I must admit, to accept both my therapist’s statement, and the poem. I have never been good at patience! But the idea of waiting and ‘putting up with’ the constant feeling of being misunderstood and uncared for, until I have some sort of ‘revelation’, is difficult! I feel like I’m missing the point, somehow. That it should be making an impact, but isn’t yet. I sort of sense the point that the words are trying to make, but am not really connecting with them yet. Probably because in a way, I don’t want to….I am mightily confused at the moment about where to take things with my therapy, and about whether to trust myself and my emotions/thoughts, but I was definitely struck both by her statement, and by the poem, and really wanted to share them…..Thank you so much for your comment!

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  2. It is possible to train yourself to actively look for the things your therapist says/does that indicate genuine concern for you. This promotes internalization of the therapist as a substitute parent figure / good object. It’s also s beneficial to clearly and immediately voice negative perceptions of the therapist (as uncaring, mean, uninterested, etc). This “airs” them and creates the opportunity for these distortions to be corrected. Making all-bad split perceptions less negative ultimately promotes ambivalence and makes it easier to trust / see the therapist as a non-dangerous whole object, as mostly good and only a little bit bad.

    Just noting some of my thoughts from what I started working on internally with my therapist probably 7-8 years ago. For the last several years I’ve had no problem trusting my therapist, and most people in general, so it’s possible to get over the lack of trust. Once one trusts deeply, one is no longer borderline, at least not for the periods when one feels that way… because to trust deeply you have to gradually develop a set of positive self/object units that is stronger than the all-negative units. And that is diagnostically non-borderline, from a psychodynamic standpoint.

    Michael Balint wrote about the lack of deep trust as “the basic fault” – the fundamental inability to feel a sense of basic trust or safety in other people and the outside world. He talked about how regression and recapturing a childlike relationship of satisfaction to a parent figure was crucial for abused people. I liked his book, The Basic Fault… it inspired many other writers like Seinfeld, Adler, Searles, who wrote about regression and therapeutic symbiosis in a similar way.

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    • Thank you – yes, I think you’re right and hadn’t really thought about it in quite that way before (your first paragraph). I think I _did_ look for things Jane said that indicated concern and caring, probably because I was already idealising her and I guess my ‘radar’ would have been set to pick up on anything that might have indicated a glimmer of mutuality (although I know of course that the way in which she cared was very different to the way in which I care). Whereas I’m starting to wonder whether the opposite is true of me and my current therapist. I wonder whether I’m just not hearing anything that might be construed as ‘caring’ -not just ‘not actively looking’, but perhaps even unconsciously ignoring….on the one hand maybe that’s just my tendency to blame myself for things not working, but on the other hand, it does have a bit of the ring of truth about it. I think you’re right that I should air things as and when they arise – it’s taken me weeks if not months to get up the courage to be ‘confrontational’ (as I see it!) and raise these issues with her…..but tackling them at the time wouldn’t give the splitting as much of a handle and as much longevity. It would, indeed, promote ambivalence (which sounds uncomfortable, but I know that ‘recovery’ requires it…..). My logic is so ‘back to front’ sometimes – one of the reasons I worry about staying with my current therapist, even if things improve, is that we will always have a ‘history’ – I will always remember how things feel with her now, even if they improve. I’m not sure I could idealise her, and that seems like a problem! Whereas in fact, as you say, ultimately, it’s where I need to be, not ‘splitting her’ but seeing her as a ‘whole person’ -and certainly not perfect! Thank you again for all the reading suggestions – I wish so much that there were _at least_ 48 hours in the day, so that I could actually do some of this reading, which I know I would find immensely helpful. I should be able to spend some time looking for some of these online this weekend, so at least I can make the first step and get hold of them!

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      • Thank you. Wherever possible I get these books for $4-5 or a little bit more used off Amazon. It’s a really good value. I don’t buy many of them new because it’s just too expensive, although if I had to, I would because their insights are worth it.

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      • I agree, psychology/psychotherapy books are ridiculously expensive new, although I don’t think I have seen any second hand ones as cheap as $5, but will keep looking! The last one I bought second hand came with a nice note from the owner, wishing me luck and hoping the book would help 🙂 For various child related reasons, my weekend has not turned out as expected and I have not had a chance to reply to personal email yet, so please forgive the tardiness!

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      • No problem. There are many old psychotherapy books on Amazon that sell for 1 cent plus 3.99 shipping. There are many newer ones that go for between $5-10 used plus shipping costs.

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  3. Pingback: Memory Monday – “Hope” | Life in a Bind - BPD and me

  4. Pingback: Knowing | Life in a Bind - BPD and me

  5. Pingback: Waiting revisited | Life in a Bind - BPD and me

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