Talking about talking

Wow, starting with a new therapist is harder than I thought. I’d forgotten about all the “ickiness” that comes up; the squirming and the shutting down. I’m three or four months in with PNT and am just realising that all that ickiness doesn’t go away. I’ve caught myself a couple of times with her – almost saying something and then someone or something inside stopping me. The fact that I notice this and recognise it is probably a good thing – may be there is some progress, after all? It seems I still have trust issues, though. I’m sure that’s not really surprising – in fact, any one of you could have told me that! It did take me a little by surprise, though. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to sit huddled in the chair, studying the carpet or the paintwork in depth, wishing the floor would open up or the clock would tick over and your hour would be up. Uh huh, that’s still with me.

The PNT is almost nauseatingly keen on talking about all this. I foolishly sent her an email before today’s session saying I’d like to “talk about the talking”. Silly me! Well, silly because she’s onto me like a rabid dog and doesn’t let me get away with my usual avoidance tactics LOL. But also not silly because it helped me clarify that this is fundamentally about trust, and the fear that she’ll hurt me. Irrational fear, of course, because she can’t really do any such thing.

She prompted me to think about how I resolved this with the WT. I’ve found it hard to remember, but of course, I did have trust issues with the WT! The solution? Time, of course, to get to know her (and her me) – her approach, her likely reactions (or non-reactions), her (therapeutic) heart. And a spoonful of sugar, by which I mean a giant – and I mean GIANT – leap of faith. I remember the first time I realised I’d have to put my faith in the WT, how hard that was. How it felt like inching towards the edge of a cliff and then stepping off, not being at all sure what was over the edge, if I’d need a parachute, or if I’d have one. Please tell me I don’t need to do that again??? If you believe this guy, then yea, I do need to do that again. Sigh.

Of course trust, in my view, needs to be earned. I’m not sure what the PNT has done  to earn my trust, if anything. Of course she gets a level of trust and respect by being another human being, with a heart. And she ticks all the basic boxes – she’s reliable, maintains confidentiality, etc – but I need something more than that. I don’t know what, but may be I do need something from her. I remember the early days with the WT – she made an effort, it seemed, to get me to trust her. Things like  going the “extra mile” with appointment times, out of session contact, etc. And of course there was all that weirdness about her not thinking I was a “freak” – that probably engendered some trust. I’ve not had that same experience with the PNT – perhaps because I’m still seeing the WT, so there’s been no real reason to trust her?

And what am I afraid of? Sure, being judged, even though rationally I know she won’t really judge. Feeling like a failure. Feeling not good enough. (Who said there’d been progress? Phooey!) Better to just keep quiet, right? 😉

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9 thoughts on “Talking about talking

  1. You’ve described the trust issue perfectly! I anticipate this will be great for you. You learned to trust with your previous therapist and will again with PNT. A good flow of experience for real life application 🙂

  2. I thought this sentence was really interesting, “Perhaps because I’m still seeing the WT, so there’s been no real reason to trust her?” That might be a big part of the issue. Maybe because you still have WT there to “fall back on” deep inside you feel you don’t really need to have that deep trust with PNT right now.

  3. I wondered the same thing as Tracie… trust can feel like a leap of faith, and is as scary as a scary thing, on a scary day… So, while you have that safety net of WT there, is there no scary rush to trust PNT? Is that a good thing, or a bad thing??? Does it mean you can take it slower, and in a more considered way???

    I do think that you’re ability to identify your feelings about all of this is huge progress, irrespective of anything else… kudos 🙂

    Take care,
    CG

  4. Hi everyone, my apologies for being a total slacker and not replying to your thoughtful comments. Life continues to be a whirlwind and I am becoming increasingly bad at managing it. So sorry.

    @ Sanity – I hope you’re right. I really do. The process is just so yucky, as you know.

    @ Tracie and CG – Thanks for dropping by 🙂 I do think you’re right. There is no real reason to trust the PNT, though also no reason not to trust her… especially while I still have the WT. I have also been thinking of that “leap of faith” I made with WT. Perhaps that’s all it takes with PNT as well? I do remember the mess that created (in me) when I did that with WT. I’m not sure I can handle all that right now.

    And CG – Thanks gorgeous. Even without all that trust the PNT is helping with the feelings “stuff”. *taking a bow* 😉

  5. I don’t have anything any better to add, I just wanted you to know that I’ll be thinking of you and hoping you can make the leap x

  6. Hi Kerro,

    I agree with CG. All of this shows huge progresses in healing. It’s like you have figured everything all out. Trust is a hard one to do for most of us. I think you are right that sometimes someone does something and it helps us trust them. I hope that in time the new therapist does those things for you.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  7. @ Alice – thanks for your support.

    @ Kate – thanks, trust is really really REALLY hard. I thought I had it worked out, and then the PNT came along and all the same stuff raised its ugly head again. There’s a huge battle inside between the emotional, child-like side who doesn’t want to trust, and the more cognitive side who says we should. It’s exhausting. Good and healing thoughts to you as well.

  8. Just thought I would pop in and say that I am thinking about you and hope things are settling down a bit. Your plate is definitely full!!

  9. Thanks Strangename. The plate is definitely full. Overflowing, actually. I hope to post more again soon. Really soon. Hope you and L are both doing ok.

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