Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's division's fault (sometimes).

When we're injured by the invisible forces of misattuned caregivers during childhood, we develop a genius survival mechanism. We divide and fragment. We divide all the treasures within, (that form self), and divy them up into pieces, and then bury them apart from each other. This ensures that when facing attack, we never lose all of ourselves. Think of a pirate burying his gold all over his island so that no one thief can steal all the loot.

In adulthood, if these treaures are still scattered and buried it creates a situation where you can't love and feel attraction to the same person. You can only feel sexual connection to someone that can't make you feel emotionally intimate and connected. The two primary treaures of love and libido are secreted away in 2 different places, always ever protecting you from losing yourself to intimacy. That's the classic experience of being sexually attracted to unavailable people while feeling repulsed by those most capable to love you back. For some, this is the unconscious energy behind polyamorous relationship(s). The playing with the distinct treaures at the same time.

It's also that this is the case when different intense senses of feeling come up in dystonic random and painful ways. One can be in some kind of basic joy and then completely hopeless with no sense of connection to their surround. You get buried by feelings. Once again, these are the sensations of those disjoined fragments popping up. You merge with pain and it becomes all of you because there is no connection to the rest of self.

The work in adulthood and especially in therapy, is to unbury all the treasures and reuinte them into a unified whole. That's what we refer to as , "integration".  And where one can't muscle into integration, then there's always the idea of consciously unintegrated. The threats we face in development aren't portable to adulthood (we aren't dependant on caregivers for survival and we have coping mechanisms) and so those same primitive defense mechanisms of buring the treasure no longer work. Adulthood is the  time to uncover what's buried away and gather it into one whole, for no other reason than this allows you to self soothe.

The risk of not doing so is that one never receives love and a libidnal connection to the same person, or when you encounter intense feelings, it seems like you merge with them. This so often is the condition that creates the impulse for suicide. This is the fertile soil for suicidal ideation when that impulse to die is simply the lost map to the other buried parts of yourself.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Black and White Thinking.

One of the things we look for when we're trying to understand how your defense mechanisms work is your ability to see the good and bad in something (or someone) and hold onto those attributes at the same time. To be able to see wholeness as a integration of good and bad into a cohesive sort of grey, rather than splitting everything into good or bad and going through enormous effort to put those two categories into some sort of tension with each other, and then in that tension the good and the bad can never exist at the same time.

When you're with someone that loves you one minute and hates you the next, its an expression of that kind of thinking. The idea being that we all have personality structures, and depending on the structure, how one organizes the sense of self and sense of other is an indicator or whether or not we're confronting neurosis or a deeper defict like a personality disorder. *Except in children, where this kind of thinking, the "friend/enemy list", is a normal part of their development*

The main problem or side-effect of black and white thinking is that in order to hold onto the division between good and bad, or render everything into those categories, one has to distort reality. And those distortions cause all kinds of problems (as a metaphor, think of a black and white photo instead as a black or white photo and you can see how the absense of the grey scale eliminates information). Or worse, when reality forces good and bad together and one starts to lose a sense of integrated-self (which is the fuel for acting out). That acting-out of emotions is also normal for children, but not a functional coping mechanism for an adult, rather it's a method of quick disposal of difficult feelings and often involves some sort of conflict or drama and suggests an injury or traits of some kind of personality disorder.

So, there's that.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sometimes Someone.

I was just reading about Peaches Geldof and still thinking about LWren Scott... If one suffers from a depressive disorder, is a little over-attuned to what comes in,  and has some kind of narcissistic injury... it's impossible to convey how much not killing oneself is a daily decision, a minute by minute conversation and a kind of unending grind that... no matter how much one is met by love and support, opportunity and freedom... is always there. Some folks are fighting invisible forces every second of their lives.  The thing is wiring. It's subtle, it doesn't care much about rational thought and it's always there whispering at you no matter what you do. It makes a home of you. I hate seeing take anyone... as it so often does. The bad moment always passes but the accumulation of them can kill even the most thriving amongst us in a moment of hopelessness. We don't really (culturally) engage it beneath the surface before we toss it away as selfishness or stupidity. 
There is a way through. There are ways through.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Time for a Tolle.

This seems pertinent to a lot of what I've been seeing come up in the office of late:

"Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you're addicted to- alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person - you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain" - Eckhart Tolle.

The underlying process in talk therapy is unconvering pain at its root... through the layers to the  original pain, and then finding a way to  feel and move through it, and to make  make narrative meaning of it. That's most often the process for most people. There are a lot of false pains and compartments... the unearthing is an endeavor. But it's ultimately to uncover and then move through pain. Life is many things, all made more difficult by undigested pain. There's that old notion that we create new pain to avoid old pain with the hopes that the old pain is pushed so far down it's made mute. I've yet to see this work for someone. It can never find quiet until it's released. It's fairly easy to identify the pain at it's root... it takes skill to get there. Reading a map and walking through a jungle are very separate endeavors.