Posted by: Marie | June 18, 2010

(338) What I really want

Post #338
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, January 30, 2010]

I can see/hear myself saying/writing things like “Mark must do this/that or I will leave/withhold/withdraw”. Maybe there is a better way.

Maybe I can ask him more about his experience . . . what specifically is he seeing in my behavior that leads him to conclude I have a habit of malingering . . . is it mostly due to the religion thing or are there other instances?

He said that I have created a number of huge barriers and that he has had to figure out a way around them – it is making his job tough. I don’t think that is accurate – but, I could ask for more information so I could consider the possibility it might be accurate – or maybe it will help him understand that it is not accurate.

I admit there is some resistance and negativity – but I think a lot of that comes from wanting a safe place to talk and vent and express and heal – and not being able to find it. Instead, all of that stuff just stays inside of me and cycles around and around. I need a safe place to dump it all out . . . someplace where I can be believed.

Sun Moon Lake by Martin Chen

I actually am a very self-aware person – and, I’m committed to healing, I really want to get out of the suffering. Mark doesn’t know that about me.

When I do get stuck in the negative thinking, I am very aware of it and work very hard to get out of it. Sometimes I need help with that. When I need help, I would like the help – instead of getting berated for being in that place.

Maybe it would be helpful to understand why he is so against my malingering. Sometimes I need to “sit with” the pain for a while because I am struggling to understand it and to give it language. I’ve not had an opportunity to do that before, so I am often slow at finding my way. Maybe he doesn’t understand that – maybe he could let it be okay for a while if I could assure him I will move through it in time. Maybe I could ask for more information on his experience of all of this.

I think he has a clear idea of how I should proceed and how I should behave. When I do what he wants me to do, then he thinks I’m healing. When I question his guidance or don’t follow his direction, he thinks I’m self-sabotaging. He wants me to be compliant.

I’ve spent my entire life being outwardly compliant . . . and it’s been a major contributor to my current way of being mute and frozen. I don’t think it is healthy for me to continue being unquestioningly compliant.

I’m feeling this horrendous rage building inside of me about all of this. What I really need from Mark is for him to shut his fucking mouth – quit talking, quit preaching, quit pontificating like an asshole, quit arguing with me about what it true and what is not, quit bringing in his own drama into my therapy . . .

I need him to listen to me – really listen.

I need him to stop trying to figure me out, to stop trying to stay three steps ahead of me, stop playing all these dumb mind games with me in order to trick me into doing God only knows what – damn if I know.

I need him to just shut up and listen – to quietly witness my story. I need him to create a space in which it is safe for me to tell my story, in as many details about all the sensations and emotions as I need to share in order to move them out of my body.

I need him to be the first person in my life to provide that safe space for me – and, most importantly, I need him to believe me – all of what I say, not just the parts that make sense to him.

It’s not going to make sense to him – he is not me; he didn’t live through what I lived through. I don’t need him to understand it. I need him to bear witness to it.

I need him to believe me when I say I want to heal more than I want anything else in this world. I need him to believe that, if I’m hanging onto pain, it is because something has to be healed first before I can let it go. But, I want to let it go. I have to tell my story in order to let it go. I just want him to give me a safe space in which I can do that.



  1. Imagine, a person with barriers. Instead they should just do what the therapist says?!!!

    When therapists accuse clients of resistance I think the appropriate response is to ask them why they have insistance.

    I hope that this blog is providing you some of the witnessing that you need.

    • Hey, Evan –

      LOL . . yes, it seems the barriers would give a therapist some job security!

      I think that a therapist’s rigidity has more to do with the therapist than the client . . . I think that might be another way of looking at your resistance/insistance point.

      Thank you for being one of my main witnesses in this journey . . .

      – Marie

  2. Personally, I think this is sometimes a tough call, as it really can be the therapist’s job to lovingly confront. However, I also think that when a client has resistance, if the therapist feels the need to continue to confront, it needs to be done with a different approach/via a different channel/after a break taken working on something that has more movement.

    Even if the insistence is legitimate, it’s never legitimate to continue to bang the client’s head against a wall until therapy ceases to have a positive benefit — and it seems to me that this is what Mark managed to do.

    • Hey, David –

      With Mark, there had been some tremendously healing moments where we were able to expose tender memories and raw emotions.

      I wanted more of those moments . . . but, session time spent fighting for control made that next to impossible. I wanted him to let go of control and suspend judgment for a while so I could just unload. He couldn’t understand that.

      So . . . yes . . . you are right . . . my head got a lot of banging . . .

      – Marie

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