Waiting Room Therapy III


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“You’re back. It’s been a while.”

“I was scheduled to come with my husband. I told him I cancelled and came alone.”

“You got married!”

“It’s not that exciting, you know.”

“Well, I was wondering when it would happen for you.”

“Gee, thanks!”

“Do I smell trouble already?”

“No. Everything is wonderful. Why, can’t I come to therapy alone? I give him everything else.”

“Hmm. Yeah. OK.”

“Fine. I am just…grieving.”

“You are always griving.”

“It’s not my fault I get attached to people. It’s just my nature.”

“You have choice. There would be no sense of loss without a sense of ownership.”

“Sounds like you know the feeling.”

“If I can quit drinking, you can quit anyone.”

“I know. I have done it a million times.”

 

 


Attachment Styles in Adult Relationships


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Reading about attachment styles and therapy today and pondering on a few things. There are 4 main types of attachment styles: secure, anxious/preoccupied/resistant, avoidant and disorganized. 

I find the Strange Situation experiment fascinating. Especially if you apply it to your adult relationships. It goes like this:

The infant is left alone with a stranger while the primary caregiver/attachment figure leaves the room. The the attachment figure returns. The infant’s behavior is observed. Three main patterns emerged from this experiment:

The securely attached infant becomes distressed by being with a stranger and being left, however when the parent returns they are able to soothe, re-establish the bond and move on exploring their environment without much fuss.

The anxious/resistant infant vacillates between being needy and angry towards the attachment figure for leaving. They have a hard time being soothed and moving on to exploring the environment independently.

The avoidant infant seems unfazed by the separation and appears equally indifferent to the parent returning. However, the emotional distress he/she is under is equal to the anxious infant except they don’t show it.

Got it?

Good.

Now think about your current or last relationship.

What is your attachment style to them?

Is it different with different people?

Why?

And most importantly, how do you reestablish the attachment bond after a separation, may that be minor or seemingly insignificant? How does it effect your communication?

Research shows that people who are securely attached benefit significantly more from therapy which is interesting since, in therapy, we see more people with insecure attachment styles. That’s WHY they are in therapy to begin with!

As I keep thinking about this topic, I revisit my own childhood and am painfully awakened to the realization of a significant break in attachment to my main parental figures which explains a lot of my issues I have encountered in relationships as an adult. We often think of abuse or trauma during significant attachment periods (0-3 years) in extreme terms (like sexual, physical abuse), however as it turns out, even being sent away to your grandparents for a while may have a significant effect.

The good news is, your attachment style changes over time through secure/safe attachment figures into adulthood.

The question is…

What kind of attachment(s) are YOU choosing for yourself? 


Dandelion fights


Monkeytraps

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They fight on my sofa.

The themes are familiar.  He never listens to me.  She won’t stop trying to control me.

Thirty minutes, this goes on.

Finally she breaks down and sobs, and he stares angrily off into space.

 “Do you guys have a lawn?” I ask.

Betty wipes her eyes, looks at me.  Bob, suspecting  I’m crazy, frowns.

“With dandelions on it?” I continue.  “What happens when you mow dandelions?  Right.  They come up again tomorrow.  Because to remove a dandelion you have to dig up the root.

“This is a dandelion fight,” I say.  “You keep having it for the same reason you can’t mow dandelions away.  You’re not getting to the root.”

“What root?” Bob asks.

“Two roots, actually.  One’s emotional: how you feel right now.  You guys never talk about that.  Betty, what are you feeling right now?”

She sniffles.  “Like he doesn’t love me at all.”

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Addictive Drugs That Are Actually Pesticides


Homeless Jesus - Tales of a Tenderhearted Kid

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From coca leaves to coffee beans, people use plants to produce many of the most popular drugs in the world. But whether it’s your $5 morning latté or a line of coke, you might be surprised to learn why plants bother to build the molecules behind that buzz in the first place. Strangely enough, many plant-based drugs—such as caffeine, cocaine, nicotine and morphine—are all made for the exact same reason: to fight off insects. Why exactly do humans love ingesting insect repellent so much?

CAFFEINE, COCAINE, NICOTINE AND MORPHINE: PLEASURABLE PESTICIDES

According to Dr. David Kennedy, who studies plants and the human brain at Northumbria University, to understand what it is about nature’s pesticides that gets us so enjoyably high, it first helps to look at the world from a plant’s perspective. “Unlike animals, plants are rooted in where they live, and can’t really get away from any threats they might…

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A Tenderhearted Kid Goes Vegan…and a lesson on the architecture of the mind.


Homeless Jesus - Tales of a Tenderhearted Kid

In summer of 2010 I read Diet for A New America by John Robbins. John is Baskin-Robbins c0-founder Irv Robbins only son. He grew up eating a lot of ice cream, sometimes with every meal. As he got older, he started to notice his father’s and uncle’s health deteriorate and wondered if that had anything to do with their dairy heavy diet and largley sedentary lifestyle. The more he learned about food and nutrition the more his suspicions were confirmed. He could have been the legitimate heir of an ice cream empire, rich and successful. Instead, he abandoned all that to become vegan, move to Canada with his wife and start a garden. Needless to say, Robbins advocates a plant-based diet for ethical, environmental and health reasons. He is a bestselling author, social activist, and humanitarian. He is the recipient of the Rachel Carson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award…

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This Is Not Goodbye.


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I must admit. I have been slacking. Big time!

I can’t believe I haven’t written a single post since Nomber. But then again. I can.

I am sorry.

Honestly, I love this blog and I hate this blog. I love talking about life, happiness, relationships, addiction. I love writting about things I know a lot about. But I can’t help but feel that this blog is by far the most self-indulgent thing I have ever done. I truely hope that you have gotten something from it because I am about to shift focus.

No, I won’t stop writting. But I will stop posting on a Couch and a Chair. I will give therapy and the pursuit of happieness a break to pursue something more important and closer to my heart.

Social Justice.

You can check out my new blog and follow me there if you like.

I will return to A Couch and A chair one day. I’m sure of it. In the mean time I’m following my heart. As they say in running “When your legs get tired, run with your heart.”

 

Thank you for reading.

See you soon!

~E


Waiting Room Therapy II


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“So you go to therapy too huh?”

“Nah. I used to. I’m just waiting for my friend. What brings you here?”

“Relationships.”

“Do tell.”

“Well, I’m closed off to them. I don’t think I’m good enough so I don’t even put my self out there. I’m 38 and I get lonely, you know? I want someone to share my life with, go to the movies with, cuddle with on a rainy night like this…instead I’m here talking to a complete stranger about how I can’t connect to another human being. It’s sad really.”

‘But you want to.”

“What to connect? Boy do I!! I’m just not sure I can anymore. It’s like someone has broken in and stolen my human connection device, leaving me robbed and helpless. You ever feel that way?”

“Not really. I am a master in connection, I open up like a flower in bloom. I attach like glue, I’m like a magnet when I find someone I like, I go where they go, whether they feel me or not, whether they notice me or not, even at a distance, they move I move. It’s sick…Or used to be. I’m not like that anymore.”

“What happened?”

“I’m not sure. But I think I finally found someone who actually gives a shit about me. Which means no more chasing, adjusting, adapting, pretending to be someone I’m not, sacrificing, hiding. You know, there were others before, who claimed to care but I know they didn’t. They either didn’t have a clue about who I really was or they were too busy focusing on themselves and their selfish needs to really give a fuck about me. It’s a sad realization to think I have wasted the past 8 years invested in people who were at the least invested in me. Funny thing is, now that I’m with someone who really cares, I’m not quite sure what to do with it. I find myself wanting to break it off, sabotage, you know? But I don’t have the heart to do it. I know this is my last chance at not ending up alone. I hope for my sake I don’t blow it.”

“What’s wrong with being alone? I have for the past 2 years and it’s been great. I can do whatever I want, sleep with whomever I choose, not have to respond to anyone or take their wishes into consideration. It’s just me and my needs. It’s great!”

“Yeah, so great you ended up in therapy!”

Sigh

“It’s OK. You know what I think? I think you should find someone who is OK with your independence, who doesn’t bug you 24/7 or pressure you to be someone you are not. Someone who understands that you are your own person, with a free will and a free spirit. Those are rare, you know women who don’t take shit personally? But they are out there, if you are OK with them being as independent as you are.”

“I’m not jealous at all. I swear sometimes I wish I was. It’s like that’s the standard for caring, if you’re not jealous then you don’t care. Which makes people pissed off at you. And I hate when someone is pissed off at me. I find it my duty to fix it for them. I’m rarely successful.”

“I’ts called boundaries. You are NOT responsible for other people’s feelings. Only for yourself. You can’t fix others. Nor can you make them understand. You just have to focus on you and be the happiest, best person you can be. And hope one day someone will come along who really appreciates all your hard work. Someone who really gives a shit. Just hope you are wise enough by then to take it all in and not screw it up with your bitterness and cynicism.”

“I do have hope. And even though I’m bitter I try not to show it. What can I say, I am a work in progress.”

“Aren’t we all?”