Psychoanalytic Reflections 01

It’s a full sev­en days between ses­sions, and at this point, my pschol­o­gist is just start­ing to know me. In between, I can nev­er stop reflect­ing. I’ve always believed that I know myself well, but these ses­sions are prob­ing ideas and mem­o­ries I haven’t thought of in a while, and open­ing up com­plete­ly new areas of reflection.

And while I could write for days about these thoughts and epipha­nies, I sim­ply don’t have the time, so I fig­ured I’d briefly touch on them in point form.

  • I need to respect my psy­chol­o­gist in order to accept help from him. i.e. If he was a Freudian and I was a Jungian, I wouldn’t be able to agree with any of his methods.
  • I get very anx­ious when I’m in his office. This is because I don’t like to admit to myself that something’s wrong with me, but when I’m in there, it’s a very tan­gi­ble reminder that I have men­tal problems.
  • I’m very con­flict­ed on sev­er­al issues. 
    • I don’t want to lose my emo­tions because I need to suf­fer to cre­ate. Yet the emo­tions are bad enough that I don’t want to have them any­more (or have them in mod­er­a­tion at least).
    • I want to love and be in a rela­tion­ship, and at the same time I cling to being sin­gle because I’m scared of being hurt (in addi­tion to the fact that the free­dom is intox­i­cat­ing). I do this by push­ing oth­ers away from me or cut­ting them off. 
      • This stems from two sig­nif­i­cant child­hood mem­o­ries, where I felt betrayed in friend­ship, as well as my rela­tion­ship with my parents.
    • I want to be set­tled and have some sta­bil­i­ty (in terms of sched­ule, rela­tion­ships, finances etc.), but the strug­gle to be set­tled is what makes me grow and be stronger.
    • Many of these issues can only be resolved from deci­sions I should make. (i.e. No one else can make the deci­sion for me)
    • Turning to Taoism, which is very para­dox­i­cal in itself, has only helped so much.
  • Without my cre­ativ­i­ty, or my desire to express myself, I’m nothing.
  • I don’t want to “blame” my par­ents for con­fi­dence prob­lems or per­fec­tion­ist ten­den­cies, but I’m slow­ly start­ing to find out that they’ve affect­ed me even more than I thought before.
  • As a hedo­nist, my great­est fear is los­ing my joie de vivre. If this hap­pened (and it has once), I would con­sid­er killing myself. This is because the joys of life bal­ance out all the bad and makes it worth living.
  • I’m depen­dent on oth­er peo­ple for hap­pi­ness. I don’t see my friends often enough for me to be sat­is­fied, and it’s a sim­ple fact of life. They all have sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers, and I’m the only one left sin­gle. I don’t blame them for not spend­ing enough time with me, but it makes me very sad.

11 comments

  1. Regarding suf­fer­ing = cre­ativ­i­ty, I say BULLSHIT. I mean com­plete­ly. Yes I have writ­ten some won­der­ful poet­ry that way, but my best art­work has not come from that AT ALL. My best art­work has always fall­en out of the small, high­ly repressed and cov­ered over place where­in I PLAY joy­ful­ly like a child. It’s very hard for me to play with the aban­don of a kid, large­ly because I was raised to be a small adult, but it’s great when it hap­pens. I have to force myself into it con­stant­ly. Just go, just go! Don’t think so much. Then after­ward, look sub­jec­tive­ly at the results, edit and adjust a tad, and most often some­thing sig­nif­i­cant occurs. I had a fine pro­fes­sor once who told me that I was think­ing far too much for the num­ber of pieces I was pro­duc­ing, and it made a huge change in my suc­cess level. 

    Joie de vivre is actu­al­ly a sort of metro-train. Do not wor­ry, anoth­er will be along in a bit. Honestly, I mean that. It’s been proven to me many times.

    As for being the odd-per­son-out among fam­i­lied friends, I have great issues with this par­tic­u­lar­ly now, lat­er in life, since I am in much the same sit­u­a­tion you are. I wish you courage and qui­et and I’ll think about it too. Look for­ward to hear­ing what your shrink sug­gests and whether it helps you; no one I’ve spo­ken to ever did.

  2. You’ve said it. I’ve always felt that you don’t want to lose your emo­tions because you think you need to suf­fer to cre­ate. I feel that you dwell on your suf­fer­ings and savour them, that’s why you cry more often than most. Whether you do it con­scious­ly or sub­con­scious­ly, I don’t know. Many great artists do it, and they end up doing drugs or going insane.

    I don’t know any­thing about artis­tic cre­ation. I guess the impor­tant thing is to make sure one is total­ly con­scious of the fact that the suf­fer­ing is only a part of the process of cre­ation, so one is in com­plete con­trol of what’s going on.

    The beau­ty of Taoism is it gives a true reflec­tion of life which is one big para­dox in itself, and appre­ci­at­ing and enjoy­ing the para­dox of life will bring peace of mind.

  3. Many of these issues can only be resolved from deci­sions I should make. (i.e. No one else can make the deci­sion for me)”

    This one echoed most strong­ly with me. I also noticed that I have strug­gled with these ques­tions at one time or anoth­er. Do you real­ly need a psy­chol­o­gist to bring these into focus?

    For me, I don’t have a solu­tion for any of these. I just escape to anoth­er thought when I real­ized that the same thought repeated.

  4. @Xibee — It’s safe to say that every­one is dif­fer­ent, and what applies to you doesn’t apply to me. My best stuff has come from the throes of anguish. Not to say that there’s no inspi­ra­tion dur­ing ecsta­cy as well, but it’s not the same. As Ralph Fiennes asked in The End Of The Affair, “Pain is easy to write. In pain, we’re all drably indi­vid­ual. But what can one write about happiness?”.

    Good point about the joie de vivre. As soon as I get bored of some­thing, more often than not, there’s some­thing else to take it’s place. I nev­er real­ized this before.

    @Uncle Joe — It’s hard for me to say, since a lot of this may be sub­con­scious, but I don’t cry because I want to, I cry because I’m sad. I want to be sad and I don’t want to be sad at the same time.

    Creativeness for me is actu­al­ly some­what out of con­trol. When I’m in the cre­ative zone, the words write them­selves, spon­ta­neous­ly. I pre­fer it this way. It’s like hav­ing a mas­tery of a dance or a mar­tial art: don’t think, just do.

    Your idea about the beau­ty of Taoism being a reflec­tion of the para­dox of life is exact­ly right. I’m learn­ing that there are tech­niques that can be used to enjoy and appre­ci­ate the para­dox, instead of just try­ing to con­vince your­self to be hap­py, which doesn’t work. These tech­niques serve to enhance the idea of Taoism, by shed­ding prob­lem trig­gers and behaviours.

    @Causalien — No, I don’t need a psy­chol­o­gist to bring these ideas into focus. These are thoughts I’ve had on my own, com­ing from the ques­tions he asks.

    Psychologists are like a med­ical doc­tors. You don’t need to see a med­ical doc­tor to know that you have a pain in your stom­ach or a cyst on your back. But you do need one to diag­nose which spe­cif­ic ail­ment you have by ask­ing you about the frequency/severity of the pain, or doing tests for can­cer, etc., and fig­ur­ing out how to cure it. The first step is the diag­no­sis, which is where I am right now.

  5. Sounds like you’re get­ting a use­ful ori­en­ta­tion to some rooms in your head. Getting a han­dle on what you’re react­ing to and why is always handy for acknowl­edg­ing and let­ting go. That doesn’t mean it goes necce­sar­i­ly but is less cen­tral. It’s easy to fear that emo­tion­al dis­tance as being a dis­con­nect with self. It is a dicon­nect with one part of self to recon­nect with oth­er parts, exchang­ing the inner scream for the inner whis­per. It’s like adapt­ing to a dif­fer­ent amount of light in the room. At first you see noth­ing until the eyes adapt.

    I sup­pose if one wants to hold on to suf­fer­ing and tie it to iden­ti­ty, teth­er it to cre­ativ­i­ty, it’s good to acknowl­edge that as a step. There’s a rea­son for that desire, to fig­ure out, what one gains from it. If may be a lit­tle cog­ni­tive excuse or the mon­key-brain is jus­ti­fy­ing hop­ping around and needs a dif­fer­ent response to get the same needs met in a way that the whole per­son can ben­e­fit. Sort of the old bag of hav­ing many strategies.

  6. I have vol­umes to write about the things I’m learn­ing with my Counselor.

    But I’d prob­a­bly need to just one day talk to you about it. I’m glad you are see­ing these things and learn­ing about them. I think it helps to talk to a pro­fes­sion­al who can under­stand these things about you and bring them out so that you learn to under­stand them for yourself.

    I’m still wait­ing for your thoughts on the first thing my Counselor taught me.

    Til then — I’m just send­ing you my pos­i­tive ener­gies. I med­i­tat­ed a flame yes­ter­day, focus­ing my ener­gies on it. I made it stand still. Then I just med­i­tat­ed its dif­fer­ent lay­ers, and I felt some ele­ment of peace. I wish this same peace to you. **send­ing you my good ener­gy reserves**

  7. Parents came up a lot in my ses­sions, and my ther­a­pist said that for most peo­ple, par­ents is a com­mon sub­ject. I didn’t want to place any blame either, since that doesn’t real­ly solve any­thing, but it’s amaz­ing how much you real­ize that they have affect­ed you.

    Maybe it’s time to find new sin­gle friends :) hard to meet peo­ple when all your friends are cou­pled up. I usu­al­ly hang out with friends who are sin­gle, they’re more fun ;)

  8. i become severe­ly anx­ious when my lev­el of social­iza­tion with oth­ers has stepped up. it’s hard to not to want to recede back. i find that only time fix­es the issue, and one must guar­an­tee that they have enough time for soli­tude in order to bal­ance it out. but stop­ping to see friends–like i have done in the past–only makes me feel worse. not to men­tion guilty.

    out of curios­i­ty jeff, what kind of ther­a­pist are you see­ing? is it cog­ni­tive-behav­iour­al? (not that it real­ly mat­ters in the end–studies show that peo­ple ben­e­fit from ther­a­py no mat­ter the type).

  9. @Pearl — Less cen­tral is the right way to put it. I don’t feel like progress has been made in terms of self-dis­cov­ery because this is most­ly stuff I’ve been aware of in the back of my head for some time. I already know what I gain from suf­fer­ing (i.e. cre­ativ­i­ty), but I don’t know if I want to keep it this way.

    @mk — We seem to share this com­mon bond of our expe­ri­ences. Talking to a pro­fes­sion­al does help a tremen­dous deal. Otherwise, it’s dif­fi­cult to tell if one is being unfair­ly biased in issues such as one’s par­ents, or if one is jus­ti­fied in find­ing out that they’re the root of some problems.

    @Sophia — Interesting, you’re still on good terms with your par­ents, aren’t you? Have you ever told them?

    Unfortunately, I don’t make friends eas­i­ly and as I get old­er, it’s get­ting to that age where every­one is get­ting married.

    @tina — Yes, it’s very hard not to recede back. It’s get­ting worse for me actu­al­ly, and I avoid social con­tact (con­certs, par­ties, etc though not small gath­er­ings with friends). Not see­ing friends makes me feel worse as well, but i isn’t a choice for me.

    I’m not sure specif­i­cal­ly what kind of ther­a­py, but I do believe it’s cog­ni­tive-behav­ioral, based on the two work­books he gave me. I’m curi­ous as well since there are so many spe­cial­iza­tions in this field, but I keep for­get­ting to ask him.

  10. We get along, but most­ly because I don’t want to cause any unnec­es­sary dra­ma. I nev­er told them I went to ther­a­py, and I don’t think they ever knew how depressed I was since their main pri­or­i­ties were that I was fed and edu­cat­ed. Making friends is hard­er since you go to work and see the same peo­ple every­day. I’m sure your exhib­it will let you meet a lot of new peo­ple too :) Usually extra cur­ric­u­lar stuff is a great way to meet dif­fer­ent people.

  11. Woah, the fact that your par­ents didn’t know you went to ther­a­py is pret­ty shock­ing, but I under­stand why. I would nev­er tell my par­ents any­thing either, because they wouldn’t under­stand as well. And it’s almost like it’s worse if you open your­self up in this way to them, because it would be so much worse when they show that they don’t care, as was the case of my dad, or over­re­act, as was the case of my mom.

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