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|05-04-2012, 03:21 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Blog Entries: 35
Replacement of Parents
This may or may not be the right section to put this in but I have a curiousity that is undying and though sometimes it gets me into a bit of trouble, I find asking usually shuts my brain up for a while and works a little better .
For those of you in therapy...do you find yourself "attached" to your therapist? Is there a special bond/relationship between you or is it the opposite and you're totally independent and feel no real attachment to them?
I guess I find that I glom onto them, and I think it's because I never had an adult in my life who cared when I was young and since in therapy we're digging up all the feelings and experiences of the past, I am in "child" mode and they're sorta guiding me through like a parent should. Maybe it's an effort to "replace" my parents somehow and to get the loving and caring I've wanted for so long. It's strange though, because I have other normal, functioning adults in my life that I've gotten to know over the years and trust but I don't feel the same way towards them. I think it is because with them I haven't been dredging up the past constantly and consistently, it's just a surface relationship and nothing more (except with my former foster parents I guess).
Has anybody else experienced this? I know dependence is not healthy and my therapist does not encourage that at all (and it's certainly not like I'm asking my therapist to hold me or anything, haha) but I think I am struggling to find a little bit of balance between the two extremes.
Bring me home in a blinding dream,
Through the secrets that I have seen
Wash the sorrow from off my skin
And show me how to be whole again
"Castle of Glass" - Linkin Park
|05-04-2012, 03:35 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Oh, yes, I have! And in my case it was a wonderful healthy thing, and I hope it will be for you, too! We are basically letting the therapist "reparent" us - taking some of the bad stuff we got programmed with as children and replacing it instead with functional, loving stuff that helps us be happier and healthier in our lives.
I think that might be actually expected during therapy, to not be too distant or unaffected!
|05-04-2012, 03:57 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Waterford MI
Blog Entries: 1
I still want some sober loving parents too, and I am 53 years old.
I am learning to reparent myself through books, and meetings and sometimes my own grown kids.
No, I did not give them the job, but they have said things I wish my parents had said, maybe because they heard it from me.
Things like I love you, You are the best mother, Don't worry, it will be okay, or I will help you. I am proud of you for not smoking. These kinds of things.
In other words, I do not think it is strange at all to want an adult to be kind to you like a parent would. If the doctor starts to notice it getting "out of balance" he will be able to see it and talk to you about it.
Maybe you could bring it up yourself, as a concern of yours.
You seem to be very introspective and insightful Jay. It will be okay, because you are okay.
"Dating is not an appropriate treatment modality."
|05-04-2012, 03:58 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: South Pacific
well firstly therapy and therapists do not really exist in my part of the world
it appears to be a big thing in the USA with an attorney on one side of the street and a therapists on t'other...
there is a thing called 'reparenting' I assume some people have tried this...
I have had a long string of replacement parents in my life, especially replacement fathers...
none have taken away the core sense of loss I feel at not having a responsible adult around when I was little
About the question of 'dependence'. Just a 'gut reaction'. I feel dependence is necessary for a young kid... to have stuff to eat- somewhere to live and to have people who care....
Period- nuff said...
I think as teens we are supposed to 'let go of the apron strings'. I think we are supposed to explore out opportunities and our options and choices...
My friend... these are not answers- just throwing in some ideas and a bit of ESH... thanks for the topic, and the opportoonity to do so...
|05-04-2012, 04:41 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North America
Your feelings are normal in a good theriputic relationship. The idea of re-parenting or, better yet, a "corrective relationship," does apply. The web of perceptions and feelings are captured by the terms transference, counter-transference, and projection; if you want to look up more there is a lot of information and conversation about these phenomina.
One thing, very important. Do not forget, ever, that you are an adult in a world of adults. We may like or trust people very much, but it is foolish to trust to the point where harm can be done to you. Everybody, including cliants in therapy, has a right to personal secrets. It is good to work as a team on understanding what ales you and overcoming it with a plan, just don't let yourself become overawed within this power-relationship.
I am glad that you are having a postive experence with your theripist!
|05-04-2012, 06:05 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Starting over all over again
In my "toxic family" there was an egregious absence of mentor figures. In addition, I learned early on not to trust anybody, so even when I did find adults who were normal I was very leery. I still had the need for people to guide me in life, I just didn't know how to trust anybody.
As I learned to trust I also learned how to find mentors. My first reaction, like you mentioned, was to glom on to them like a drowning man gloms on to a life preserver. With time and recovery I no longer needed them with such desperation and eventually, as the years went by, I found myself being the mentor
Sunsets are not endings. If I have enough faith, they are beginnings.
|05-04-2012, 06:35 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: South Pacific
what goes round comes round... ... in bad things and good,,,
Some people don't hold great store by the internet... but it works
if you work at it. I was on Skype this morning. My nephew contacted me and told me i saved his life etc etc...
we fostered him a long time ago for about 8 months... I suppose it meant something to him... he is my cousin's kid and had done a fair bit of jail time...
his first uncles, all four were/are all gay. Nothing wrong with that- but I am straight.
he said sometime ago he was going to come round and see us when he was clean.
I had the same experience with my uncle and aunt... they were mainstays- but they did not solve my problems...
that I had to do for myself, with my peers...
Thank God I found some really decent peers...
Thanks for the share,
|05-04-2012, 08:15 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Columbia MO
Blog Entries: 3
I adore my therapist, she is tough but caring, I like her as a person, would be comfortable having her as a friend or even as a crazy aunt, but I have never thought of her taking a replacement role for one or both of my parents.
That may be because I am much older than you are. As Mike said mentors are a wonderful thing to have in your life, my wife was a school nurse for many years and she still is there for many of her kids when they need advice or a shoulder.
People will come and go in your life but there will always be those who are special, when you fiind them, treat them right and let them know that they have made a difference in your life, it will mean the world to them.
|05-05-2012, 08:52 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2009
I think its natural to "want" what you didn't receive when little.
For me, I'm now attracted to kindness.
I think balance is the key too. I know how it is to put someone on a pedestal only to have them do or say something insensitive. I think that that is one reason to see hp as mentor.
hp doesn't make mistakes, cannot be knocked off pedestal. Hp can help guide us to re-parent ourselves by giving ourselves compassion and empathy for ourselves and others.
Maybe I'm just a little jaded at people because we all make mistakes. I know I'm far from perfect. Anyway, I try to take what I like and leave the rest. There's no such thing as perfect people. Its a song too I think by Casting Crowns??
Anyway very good question! I wish I could afford therapy to try to give you a better answer.
Thank you for sharing and for letting me share.
|05-06-2012, 10:00 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2011
Blog Entries: 20
I never wanted parent replacements probably because I was distrustful of all adults. Still am. I did look up to a pastor once that turned out badly. As I shared before, I knew my parents were bad from a very young age and I guess that gave me some self reliance that I didn't need anyone else to fix it for me because I was going to fix it myself as soon as I could leave home. And I did. With God's help of course, I was out on my own and living how I wanted with no drugs or alcohol and no parent dominating or controlling any aspect of my life.
Love yourself Jason and take care of yourself. Some have said we have to re-parent ourselves and I guess I agree. Looks like you are taking steps to do just that. Heal yourself and then have a family you can love and treat how you would have liked to be treated. It's very healing to give that love to your own.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
|05-06-2012, 10:58 AM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: All over the place
Your questions are always so great for me to read and to think about.
I am taking a therapy training course, and part of the reading I did yesterday struck me about this post. It resonated with me as a client.
Especially when we are working on child stuff we need an "adult" to witness us and to give us the parts that were missing in that time. For me this is helping me to figure out what is mine from the situations when I was a kid (most of it is not mine). Also it is helping me to see the "strategies" that I used as a kid to attempt to get my needs met (they were pretty ingenious), but now are really more harmful to me than helpful.
I don't think it is any mistake that my therapist is of a similar age to my mom, and has some similar life experiences. I am learning things from this relationship in the safety of therapy that I get to take with me out into the big world and hopefully create more meaningful relationships there. I liked the idea of a mentor, because that is really how I think of it too.
That is just me, and I am a generation removed from addiction in the family....but grew up without two parents in recovery.
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