Psychoanalytic Reflections 02

My therapist is still getting to know me. Now I have books to read and worksheets to fill out. It’s somewhat strange; I’ve been putting myself through self-help for years, but I’ve never traced it so far back to my childhood. I don’t like to blame my parents because I see how Darren and Pat have survived far “worse” but it’s getting more and more obvious that there’s trauma in my childhood that still affects me to this day.

  • Apparently, I’m moderately depressed, and “moderate” is not normal.
  • We’ve figured out that my unassertiveness is the result of conflict avoidance. Even if I practice a situation in my head where I say something that may bring up conflict, I often can’t follow through. I feel helpless to fix this, and this leads to a self-defeating attitude.
    • This stems from my childhood. I’ve almost never argued with my parents (there were two times in my life I felt strongly enough to stand up against them, both ending in me submitting because there was no reasoning with them). I’ve always felt like I wouldn’t be loved unless I got good grades and did everything I was told. In other words, it was an extremely conditional love.
    • This means I care about what people think of me, and I define or evaluate my self-worth through them. Knowing this pisses me off because philosophically and pragmatically I don’t agree, but can’t do anything about it.
  • Every time I’ve been in therapy, I’ve cried at least once. This happens whenever I bring up specific aspects of my relationship with my parents.
  • Hearing my therapist say, “Wow, that’s bad” brings me a comforting validation to what I feel.
  • Aside from being slightly verbose, my therapist is great. He’s a non-judgmental, ethical, open-minded intellectual. He’s also a good listener.

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