Life in a Bind – BPD and me

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


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Memory Monday – “Selective hearing – and all that jazz”

I’m not digging that deep into my archives for Memory Monday this week – this post is only five months old. However, it is so incredibly apt for where I am right now (again), that I could not ignore its call.

https://lifeinabind.com/2014/09/12/selective-hearing-and-all-that-jazz/

I have found it difficult to settle back into therapy since the Christmas break. I went from feeling completely disconnected, to feeling overwhelmingly reconnected, to feeling resentful and distrustful of the process. I thought I’d made progress in terms of understanding and accepting why my therapist might not always give reassurance, or why it might not always come in the form of words. But in my last session I found myself back in that old familiar place of feeling desperate for explicit verbal reassurance and validation, and feeling resentful in my perception that what I needed was being withheld.

One of the things that has changed, I think, since I wrote the original post, is that my therapist and I know each other a little better, and she is more openly challenging than she was. She pointed out to me that it seemed as though I thought that she was not providing me with something I wanted – but that there could be another explanation. That I was not receiving it.

In my post, I wrote that “I am the one who needs to be receptive“. In its conclusion, I noted that “perhaps for me, in therapy, I should be thinking not so much ‘what am I expecting to hear?’ but ‘what are the words, at this moment in time, providing for me, that I am missing?’ “.

I’m sure that my therapist is right. I’m sure that for a number of reasons – including perhaps a ‘push-pull’ reaction to my intense feelings for her following a recent difficult, but intimate and safe session – I was tuning her out, in every way. Her words were not being heard in the present or remembered from the past. Her actions were not being noted or were being misinterpreted.

If I can remain open to the possibility, I could go further than I did in the conclusion to my post. My therapist has talked about finding reassurance and caring in the ‘ordinary’ things. Perhaps I should be thinking not so much ‘what am I expecting to hear?’, but ‘what could I be receiving from the world around me, including the actions as well as the words of others, that I am missing?’

 

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