Tuesday, September 2, 2008

there she goes again

If you don't want to read more about therapy, just shut down your compy right now and go find a Dove Bar or if you prefer something warmer on this fallish day, have some tea or cocoa.

I've been talking about 'and how do YOU feel about that' for over three years now. The first therapist quickly became a dear friend, which wasn't the best relationship between therapist and client. But she did eventually achieve the one thing she knew I needed from her. She kept me alive until she got me to the hospital.

In the hospital, I had several therapists, which is what happens when you arrive on the weekend. Different therapists and psychiatrists twice a day and every one of them has an opinion--amazingly the same opinion expressed by various personalities--which is that they must break through that outer shell, shatter you into little pieces, give you lots of drugs and send you out the doors, a week later, in a stupor, ready to meet your new therapist, who will put you back together. Or in my case, find the sessions too difficult/boring/whatever, to concentrate on, especially when her computer screen is right there, beckoning her apparently to READ! ME! NOW! It's hard to compete with an interesting computer.

Then Carolyn came along. She is the first therapist who listens, asks, listens, asks, and if I really can't figure it out, helps me with the answer when the pain is too great and I am stuck. We have worked together to get me to the point where I am finally starting to understand.

Understand that the pills help me cope until the time when I have figured out the mysteries and no longer need the long-term or short-term benefits they offer.

Understand that the most important thing in any healthy relationship, the thing we all crave in some part of us, is for the others in those relationships to accept us and to recognize the gestures that define acceptance and safety to us and to give that freely because they love us purely, unconditionally. No strings attached. No control issues. No holding back. No matter whether the gift is reciprocated or even acknowledged. It is given not for gain. Not to manipulate, not to be praised. Simple, genuine acceptance and comfort.

Understand that relationships cannot be their best without communication. Through hard topics and hard times. With fairness while still maintaining the level of acceptance. Not for compromise, where one wins and the other loses. But to reach understanding and agreement that both willingly accept as it strengthens the relationship.

And finally, to understand that these things apply to every important relationship.

Perhaps I'm a bit of a slow learner, but, well--so far, sososo good.

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