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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