• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Email fallout with T - need advice please

if there is much respect and esteem for one another you can say it out loud, too.
This is something I need to be able to do more... I've noticed over the years people in my real life world are able to give each other compliments to each other much more easily than what I can... I can't do it with myself so it's probably why I find it hard to do with others.. it's a practice I need to get into... there have been various suggestions on the forum and this thread which are helpful.. I'm starting to do a gratitude list each day to refocus my brain onto positive things... what I may do is start another list of, say 3 things, which I've found positive about myself and/or someone else in a day.. it really needs to become a practice to get the brain used to it...
. Often we aren't even sure what it is that really sets us off, at least at first. Or if we do it seems more- what's the word?- uncaring or agriegous?- if it seems it was on purpose.
Yep! I very much relate to this! I think this is where the paranoid aspect comes in... something goes wrong in my relationship with someone and my brain goes immediately to 'it was on purpose' ... and this is what sets off my somatic symptoms and tends to make my whole world flip into another place...or, looking at it through the lens of having a DD, it's the trigger for another younger part to come out...
Sometimes it's just 'the feeling' (fear) that acts as a reminder (not a trigger) for me.
this is a good one for me to look out for too I think.. to try to remember that when that feeling of fear creeps in, its a sign to say 'Hey your reactions have gone past what's necessary for the actual present day situation we're dealing with' ... and then to step back and get uninvolved until my parts are calmed enough for me to move forward...
Sort of the difference between fear, panic, and triggering versus perspective and a sense of safety.
ooooofff.... perspective taking.... that's the key one to remember...I get triggered into fear 'this is dangerous' 'he's trying to hurt me' ...at this point i need to step back and remember to broaden my perspective and look from the others' view point and take stock of other ways of thinking.. then when calm, move forward...
Realizing it feels like a bigger deal because of fear, rather than justification to stop trusting.
Yep
But I think it is eased along if it can be addressed.
And this is the therapeutic work!

Thanks @Tinyflame !
 
I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday about why this whole email exchange (at the point T sent his defensive and OTT email) was possibly so triggering for me...

During part of my abuse history, one theme which popped up in therapy is how one of the people who abused me developed a trusting relationship with me first... that enabled the abuse to happen without me really being aware of what was happening, because I was so young... at the point in which I expressed discomfort with having sex as a young child and I talked about us stopping it, for fear of getting pregnant, his demeanour changed dramatically... it was pretty sudden and went from 'I love you' / 'We love each other' to 'If you stop this, I'm going to let everyone know what you've done and how disgusting you are' ... And that was it, on my own in fear, a huge amount of shame and needing to keep everything about me from that point a secret and hidden..

With T's very uncharacteristic change in his tone in his first difficult email reply, it triggered that feeling of 'Change in tone = threat ' ... I felt the 'i can't believe you're doing this to me'feeling.... i felt that feeling of being discarded by him...and that sense was heightened possibly that week in particular because the week before, he'd just finished a review session with me, bringing together everything we'd discussed in therapy and reflecting it back to me...it was a full on session because I've never been able to hold all the info about myself in one place, let alone see it in a holistic light... when he reflected it back, it was simultaneously really helpful but very over whelming.. and part of that overwhelm was realising that T had done a huge amount of work to hold the information I brought him and to keep it safe...it was not an easy task to do to present it all to me in the way he did.... and that hit me on an emotional level because no one has ever done that for me before... and I realised to do what he did, he must have some level of care for me... so I guess I felt a new sensation of ?connectionin some way... and I felt threatened by this on one level...I wanted it but couldn't understand it?....

So when the email exchange played out the way it did.... boom... it took me straight back to old expected dynamics... and that place of betrayal...

Phew... this is such heavy work! It's exhausting...
 
Firstly @ninja thank you for saying this... it means alot because with this thread in particular I've really laid myself bare and have felt pretty vulnerable... people do read into what's communicated on this forum in different ways and I know there's always a risk of being further misunderstood, or attacked in some way or hearing truths which are uncomfortable but which I need to know.... But the flip side to that is actually receiving alot of feedback from people who care and want to help me help myself... and that's pretty astounding! Your comment has boosted my confidence a bit thank you 😊
💜 🫂
This is really helpful... and I need to keep remembering this as a technique to employ when there are disagreements... I guess it's all about owning my own feelings and recognising them as just that.. not the objective truth but my feelings... feelings aren't wrong but they may be Ill informed from thoughts which aren't healthy or useful... it can be easy to forget all that when you're in it...
It is so easy to forget it all when you're in it. Then even when you do remember, it can be so challenging to respond differently............

Our feelings and beliefs are usually just trying to keep us safe. They are perfectly molded and adapted to the situations and experiences they were built for/as a result of. In that way, they carry so much truth - for a different time and a different situation.
 
Our feelings and beliefs are usually just trying to keep us safe. They are perfectly molded and adapted to the situations and experiences they were built for/as a result of. In that way, they carry so much truth - for a different time and a different situation.
This is so so on point.

Thank you for consolidating very important info so precisely ...
 
Getting really nervous about session with T tomorrow... I'm not really sure how to broach the topic of this whole email saga with him.. what I should say about it.. how much I try to explain my perspective.. I'm trying to visualise me being there and not dissociating and managing to hold a convo with him... I've had a lot of space from all this over the last week and that's been necessary.. but now it feels nerve racking and I have to open it all up again...I think we're so far from each other's perspectives...I don't know how to start or where it's appropriate to start... I guess maybe just by telling him where I was coming from when I wrote the emails I did?

Do i bother going into the deeper psychological interpretation of why the interaction was triggering for me? Or do I separate out the conversation into the more factual 'I wrote this because I wanted to know this, it surprised me when you said this because....I didn't mean to offend, sorry if I did... etc'

?
 
Getting really nervous about session with T tomorrow... I'm not really sure how to broach the topic of this whole email saga with him.. what I should say about it.. how much I try to explain my perspective.. I'm trying to visualise me being there and not dissociating and managing to hold a convo with him... I've had a lot of space from all this over the last week and that's been necessary.. but now it feels nerve racking and I have to open it all up again...I think we're so far from each other's perspectives...I don't know how to start or where it's appropriate to start... I guess maybe just by telling him where I was coming from when I wrote the emails I did?

Do i bother going into the deeper psychological interpretation of why the interaction was triggering for me? Or do I separate out the conversation into the more factual 'I wrote this because I wanted to know this, it surprised me when you said this because....I didn't mean to offend, sorry if I did... etc'

?
Maybe saying all this too him? You don’t need to have all the answers about how to have the conversation. He can guide that conversation and ask you in the moment what feels the most important to say And explore first.
 
Getting really nervous about session with T tomorrow... I'm not really sure how to broach the topic of this whole email saga with him.. what I should say about it.. how much I try to explain my perspective.. I'm trying to visualise me being there and not dissociating and managing to hold a convo with him... I've had a lot of space from all this over the last week and that's been necessary.. but now it feels nerve racking and I have to open it all up again...I think we're so far from each other's perspectives...I don't know how to start or where it's appropriate to start... I guess maybe just by telling him where I was coming from when I wrote the emails I did?

Do i bother going into the deeper psychological interpretation of why the interaction was triggering for me? Or do I separate out the conversation into the more factual 'I wrote this because I wanted to know this, it surprised me when you said this because....I didn't mean to offend, sorry if I did... etc'

?
Is the agenda important?

(It may be, honest question.)

Because, if not? It’s ALSO perfectly okay to go in with no expectations, no agenda, and simply let things unfold naturally.

It’s useful to drill down, sometimes. It’s also useful not to talk everything to death, that doesn’t need to be.

So… my personal baseline… is how important is the agenda?
 
I think we're so far from each other's perspectives...
How about "I wonder how far we are from each other's perspectives?" Or "I wonder how he's thinking/feeling about all this?"

I totally get being worried about how to start. Remember, he does this stuff for a living and chances are really good he's been in similar situations before. There's a real good chance he's given thought to how to handle things too. You probably won't have to sort this out all by yourself.

I felt kind of the same way the session after I accused my T of lying to me. (Long story. A pretty big blow up. I don't think he was actually lying, he was just wrong......) Anyway, it was a big blow up and I was really dreading what was going to happen next. He always met me in the lobby & we walked back to his office together. As we were walking down the hallway, he asked how "we" were today. (Not something he would normally have said.) I asked if there WAS a "we". He smiled and said that, as far as he was concerned there was. Things moved on from there. It was fine. I think there's an excellent chance you're going to have a similar experience. (My fingers are officially crossed1)
 
I'd say that in a healthy conversation about solving a problem, both you and the other person should be doing 50% of the heavy lifting.

So how about letting T do his half of the heavy lifting and not "pre-planning" all of that? Allow the course of the conversation and the place the two of you end up unfold.

Plus, while T wasn't doing well initially with this topic, he seems to have "caught up" now (maybe he did some supervision on it... you know that thing were T's talk to a T who's their mentor about challenging dynamics in therapy...) so maybe you can even trust him to do 75% of the heavy lifting, given that's the nature of his job...?

You showing up, wanting to work, willing to compromise, willing to both speak up and listen, willing to problem-solve... that should be "plenty" in terms of achieving some kind of useful result...?

And maybe don't pressure yourself that it all has to be resolved within a 50 minute session? Maybe just do "whatever fits well" into 50 minutes and save the rest for next time?

I think we've moved on from the thing of you feeling like it's annoying to be paying for 50 minutes of "discussing an email misunderstanding"... I think we're now at a place where you're doing valuable work on conflict management, on speaking up and making yourself heard, on how to deal with misunderstandings, on trust, on repairs of relationship rutptures, etc, etc, etc... So well worth investing more than "just" one session, if that's how it unfolds.

And you being nervous is "good" - it means that you care about the outcome - it means that this T and the therapeutic relationship are valuable to you and therefore it means you're going to invest effort into resolving this well.
 
I’m in agreement with Friday, Scout & Ecdysis 😊

They’ve said it all a lot better than I ever could, but can you try just showing up, with no agenda, no pre planning, no going over how the conversation needs to go over and over in your head. Just relax about it, and go in & feel your way through it and let it happen naturally as it comes up between you.
 
Back
Top