Transitional Objects

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
My therapist has given me a hand written card for her vacations to serve as a transitional object for the last few years. Recently, she mentioned that she would like for me to consider ending this, but it will be up to me. I don’t rely on the cards as much as I used to, but having it helps me feel connected while she is away. She thinks I am able to feel connected without the cards. I’m not so sure.

Have you used transitional objects in therapy? Have you given them up? Was it hard to do? Did it backfire?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I wish my T did transitional objects.

I just have her collection of emails in an online folder and re-read them. Or look up her web page.

Those things work for me, mostly.

So maybe there is something else to replace the transitional object with? But if it is too soon for you, then it's too soon?
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i've never called them by that name, but i've gone through uncounted transitional objects in my long healing journey. i have more often called them, "fetishes" or "talismans." by whatever name or validation, i still have most of them in forgotten, unorganized spots. few of my transitional objects have made a comeback, but coming across them by random circumstance, they often help me take inventory of just how much ground my healing journey has covered.

what a long, strange trip it's been.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I was perfectly fine with doing cards for the entirety of our therapy together. I’m still trying to figure out why she thinks they should stop. I sent her a long email about this, so I’m sure at some point we will hash it out.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
Have you used transitional objects in therapy? Have you given them up? Was it hard to do? Did it backfire?
I once had a handwritten note for a therapist that went on maternity leave for six months. What was more helpful, though, was my own artwork that I did to remind myself of my therapist. One thing that is nice about using my own artwork is that I am not dependent on my therapist. I'm taking our relationship and using it for support, but in a way that emphasizes my own capability.

My therapist is gone for six weeks right now, and she suggested that I do some artwork. I find that midway through I haven't done that, because it's been fairly easy to call her up in my mind.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I’m curious what attachment styles people have. How deep is your “abandonment wound?” How do different parts of yourself feel about this stuff. My therapist won’t feed my defense strategies or let my inner children dictate my needs during separation which is good, I suppose. I just hate that because those are the parts that get activated when she is away and it reminds me that my independence is ultimately equal to a long term/permanent separation from her.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
I’m curious what attachment styles people have. How deep is your “abandonment wound?”

my abandonment wound is pretty freaking deep. i have grown my awareness of that wound and its side-effects far more than i have cured it. the conditioned reflexes still rise at every insecurity, but awareness helps me act more often than i react, or at least turn around and attempt making amends before i burn the bridge.

my own style is to reject before i can be rejected. my m.o. is to be gone before the other party even knows there is a problem. in my wounded heart, i still believe the rejection is inevitable if i should dare to care. rejecting before i can be rejected gives me a modicum of control over "the inevitable."
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
My t appointment was on “cards” today. She wants me to see the value of trusting myself to love and care for myself (and lean on others). She said that there is no defined cut off date, but she wants me to experiment with it. I still have so much fear running my feelings. My abandonment wound is pretty deep. My attachment style is to cling—but I ultimately believe people will leave.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Is this triggering your fear that she will leave?

I have abandonment issues too and my attachment style confuses me frankly. I often think T will terminate me because I have done something wrong or I will make her break a boundary in some way, because it's me and I make people do bad things and etc etc etc.

It does feel good to manage a break with no message from T and to know it's ok. It forces me to be on my own and manage.
So, amongst the fear and worry, it might feel pretty great to know you can do it?

I feel connected to her still as I sort of run conversations in my head with her. Like, if I am struggling with something, I imagine I am talking to her about it and visualise her face and what we might say about it. That helps to feel connected.
So maybe there are other ways to feel connected whilst she is gone?
 

Punky143

MyPTSD Pro
Unfortunately, it's only getting worse with age. I feel like I've tried so many methods to decrease the feelings of abandonment- specifically towards my T. But, it's not just "me", I have did parts who all react differently to it and it causes immediate chaos both externally and internally. Especially when last minute changes occur. In the past, my t has written us a short letter usually saying she's on vacation and she will see us on x day. We also "borrowed" a small stuffed animal from her office and it seems to help the younger parts at times. But in the last few years, the dread, sadness, uncertainty, and isolation has only gotten worse and I can't help but feel this is so hard wired deep into our soul, it will never go away. It has to be one of the worst symptom to suffer from because there's no way to explain to anyone. Sorry if I rambled on, it's been awhile since I've been on here.
 
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