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Old 09-28-2009, 05:39 AM
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I'm looking at the bright side of this...I know I don't have any STI's and....I'm not pregnant.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:07 AM
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Bam

I've really come to appreciate you.

I was raised with all that stuff too. I came to the conclusion that being human precluded my comprehending god. Explaining that would take a book...

So, I'm not an atheist. I don't think I'm a true agnostic. In some sense I am a theist who simply cannot accept any religion. After all, religions are human constructs. I became comfortable with the notion that I would leave earth the same way I arrived--ingnorant.

I do respect many people of faith, however. Those who live with and embody a caring and forgiving god. Me? I just try to live each day as if there were a loving god. First, do no harm...make the world just a little bit better because I'm here. For now.

Most religions have at their core certain fundamental belifs. One seems to be self perpetuation. A monopoly on the truth. A belief that there's "them" and "us." But also, most religions seem to espouse forgiveness. And perhaps we need to forgive them for what they did to us as kids.

Fables and fairy tales are ancient. They were created to scare the bejeezus out of kids and as a means of behavior control. "Don't go in the woods by yourself." Thus, much of the "stuff" we came to "believe" as kids, via our church really did serve to protect us from immoral and hurtful behavior. And I think we need to look at those things in the context of the times. Sadly, I cannot imagine a church in the 50's espousing gay rights and freedom of sexuall expression. The intent, I think, was to protect us from what was considered a nightmare at the time. A child who "became" gay.

That was the deeply held belief at the time, Bam. That is what I believed until, in my 20's, I came to have many gay friends. And then the gay people of courage who took enormous risks to educate the rest of us. We have made extraordinary progress. I wouldn't look for a gay bar in Tehran any time soon, but I do think the mass of "Western people" accept that gender identification is not a choice.

Any therapist worth their salt will have encountered clients with these deep seeded conflicts. Therapy is a two way street. You have every right to challenge your therapist. That's why so much counseling is done within the church. But your not in the church. You are in the real world. Every therapist I've ever known has learned as much from me as I have from them.

Perhaps you might focus less on what was "done" to you and more on the effects, and understanding how to counteract them. Forgiving them for being what they sincerely believed in. Stuff changes. Our most powerful effect on the world is what we model, not what we preach. Whether we are gay, straight, Mormon or Muslim. My proudest achievement is in raising 3 kids who seek to include everyone. Find commonality. Expose ********. Stand for human rights. And accept that our differences make us the same.

I truly feel that forgiveness is for us, not the perpetrator. It's not the whole equation, but it allows us, I think, to get past the deed and get on with the healing. When we are continually focused upon the evildoer we are granting them enormous power. I can't do that if I am going to heal. I must focus upon the evil itself, recognize it for what it is, recover, and make certain I perpetrate no evil. It is only then that I will serve a god of my understanding.

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Old 09-28-2009, 11:12 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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I'm pretty sure it is a therapist's job to work through their issues to the point that they don't flinch when and if someone bashes something or presents something they don't agree with. I think it is called transference/countertransference. I know in another section of this class I have to take soon the teacher purposely said something homophobic to trigger the gay students in class. I think it really upset one and he left. But the point was what happens when you have a client who says something like that in a session? What do you do? And it is your job to be able to handle it, not by chiding them for being homophobic, in this case, but by keeping it therapeutic. So same thing goes if you say atheist things that in a normal setting might upset her, but she should be able to take those and be empathetic and understand it and not try to convert you but work through your pain surrounding religion while keeping her own issues out of it. That is her responsibility and job. You could always bring up your hesitancy with her about talking about these things and see what she says. I mean right there you will know. If she says, let's discuss your discomfort, that is a good thing, if she tries to convert you or tells you she is uncomfortable talking about it then you need to switch therapists. My bet though is it will be the first one.

And, I have def told you this before, but as for the atheist gay virgin, I think you need to come to SF because pretty sure there is probably a club for you here and any other fun subculture you can think of
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:25 AM
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I'm contemplating finding another therapist over this. I need to be able to say vile nasty things about my experience and I feel like I can't do it with her...But this...I didn't like the response I got when I tested the waters. I could be misinterpreting her body language and tone of voice. I do that sometimes...
Bam, you've been talking about being a people-pleaser (and trying to overcome it) for a while now.

Well, this could be the perfect opportunity to make some solid progress!

I mean, most of your posts in this thread describe your concerns about making her uncomfortable, or about her not getting it.

Why should you care about that?

Just go into that office, say "look, you may not like what I'm about to say but..." and *speak your truth*. You're the patient here, I can't see why you should be trying to protect her. Maybe you're underestimating her, or maybe your assessment is correct, but that's not the point. If she doesn't like what you have to say, well, that is her problem, not yours.

If she can't deal with it, then she's not doing her job. And who knows, maybe you're not giving her enough credit. Either way, it doesn't matter.

I've done this myself. A while ago, in my quest to banish my childhood religion from my life, I was all but forced to spew out my anger in my therapist's general direction - all the while staring at a silver cross dangling from her neck. She winced, she probably disapproved, she might think I'm going to hell - but I finally got over it. (mostly ;-) )
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mattcake79 View Post
Bam, you've been talking about being a people-pleaser (and trying to overcome it) for a while now.

Well, this could be the perfect opportunity to make some solid progress!
I think this is a really good point.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:26 PM
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@ Sfgirl
I'm pretty sure it is a therapist's job to work through their issues to the point that they don't flinch when and if someone bashes something or presents something they don't agree with. I think it is called transference/countertransference.

Counter-transference, yes.

Pro therapists are aware of their own prejudices and keep them in check...in order to allow for healthy transference to occur.

Being angry and thinking that your therapist "isn't getting it" is sometimes a sign of progress.

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Old 09-28-2009, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Overman View Post
Being angry and thinking that your therapist "isn't getting it" is sometimes a sign of progress.
I've had some pretty good luck with the professional therapists I've chosen over the years so my experience is if there are two of us sitting there and one of us isn't "getting it" it's usually not the paid professional sitting across from me

However, with court ordered therapists and shrinks Ive been able to tie those fools into knots and my opinion is those idiots couldn't find their @ss with two hands and a map.

I say this because I have been sitting in on a class where a few people just don't understand what the counselor is trying to say, they repeat themselves over and over in a feeble attempt to explain their "point of view" because they think the counselor "just doesn't get it" when in fact nothing could be further from the truth, it's not the counselor who is in denial.

been there done that, now I try to pay attention when either a paid professional or someone with direct experience tries to explain something to me.

here, go read this thread for an example of what that looks like

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...very-plan.html

The OP is explaining the same thing over and over to a group of people who obviously "don't get it"

What is your opinion of that thread after 6 months of sobriety (you go girl) who doesn't get it, the group trying to explain twisted thinking, or the person defending their choices to behave the way they are and why they have to continue to behave that way?

just a thought, I am trying to allow myself to be open to new experiences and see what people have to offer outside of my rigid thought patterns, since they are what harmed me in the first place

PS I agree wholly with SFGirl and Mattcake
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:56 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Deer, there is a really good chance that all of this is on me. I am uncomfortable talking about it...and everything that everyone has said has been things I've been thinking.

I don't like stepping on people's toes. Also, my thinking goes like this: my therapist has been the person who has offered the most support face to face. She's the last person I need to **** off. I don't want to lose this support. I'm worried that if I get dropped I'll be devastated.

I know...I'm doing a "worst case scenario"...that's on the list of distorted thinking. And I know that I need to be able to talk about everything in therapy...otherwise what's the point of going?

This isn't easy for me. As much social anxiety as I have I think I'd rather step up to a woman and ask her on a date.

I've been doing a lot of thinking after reading the responses here. What I should do is write down my thought process as to why I've been avoiding talking about it. It involves me being a "mind reader", "expecting the worst possible outcome", "people pleasing"....and whatever else I can add to the list of distorted thinking. After I get that out then perhaps I can talk about all of that other stuff.

Still have enough time before my session to write all of this down.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:59 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ago View Post
just a thought, I am trying to allow myself to be open to new experiences and see what people have to offer outside of my rigid thought patterns, since they are what harmed me in the first place
Bingo.

Originally Posted by Ago View Post
PS I agree wholly with SFGirl and Mattcake
Same here. Actually everyone has given me food for thought.


Thanks, everyone. Feel free to add more if you like. I appreciate the input. If I can get over my BS then maybe I'll be taking another step forward.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:48 AM
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I'm glad SFGirl and Overman brought transference into the equation.

My last post was abrupt, confrontational and angry; it reflects how I felt and acted during that session. The following session was wholly (haha) devoted to analysing my defensiveness and anger... my therapist couldn't care less about the actual content of my [email protected] rant, but she did want to focus on my "unexpected outburst", along with the way in which I'd lost my "usual charm and cool" (hiss!) Her choice of words, not mine. She had a field day.

I was a nervous wreck when I came out to her... That time, I didn't barrel into the office like a pissed off dragon, and I found myself stuttering my way through my speech. This experience was very different; both were very valuable and therapeutic.

Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
I don't like stepping on people's toes. Also, my thinking goes like this: my therapist has been the person who has offered the most support face to face. She's the last person I need to **** off. I don't want to lose this support. I'm worried that if I get dropped I'll be devastated (....) This isn't easy for me
Bam, were she to drop you, it would *only* show her shaky abilities as a therapist. Other people's opinions and actions are not an evaluation of your self-worth (I know, easier said than done I do get what you're saying). Still, having said all that... give her a chance
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