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Finding Peace — Manuscript Post #32

Adult Child of an Alcoholic, ACoA, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Finding Peace, One Patient's Journey, Therapy For the Adult Child of an Alcoholic
Posted: September 14, 2015 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

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–Sessions: 19 of 53
cancelled Monday, May 4, 2009 11:00am

Elsie called me to cancel this session. She was sick. We would meet again in a week. It didn’t bother me when she cancelled this session. I liked going to each session and I could see that I was making progress. But I wasn’t upset if I we didn’t meet for a week or two. I knew I could call her if I needed to, if I had an emergency, but I never needed to. She said I was gracious about this cancellation. I didn’t see this as a big deal. I didn’t want to be so dependent on therapy that I couldn’t manage on my own for two weeks.

–Sessions: 19a of 53
Monday, May 11, 2009 11:00am
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 295

Last week Crackle sent me an email to tell me our mother was in the hospital due to a congestive heart condition. Crackle wanted me to call. I did, but there was no answer so I left voice mail. I asked Elsie what I should do. I was asking if I should travel to see my mother. She said I should “do whatever gives you peace”. This is a phrase Elsie would use several times during our sessions. It applies to many situations. There was no way for me to know how many more times my mother would have medical issues during the rest of her life. Could I afford to travel every time or do I have to limit how often I travel to see her? I had to make decisions and that was ok.

I brought three photo albums of my family and some photos of projects I have worked on. Looking at the pictures of my cat brought up a story. While I was in college my mother threatened to get rid of all my stuff. My cat was at my mother’s house at that time. What was I supposed to do? I decided to travel home and get my stuff and my cat.

Elsie said this is very typical of ACA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic). You don’t know what is coming next. When would my mother be rational and when would she not be? How could I know if my mother’s threats to destroy all my stuff were real or not? Crackle’s recent email brings up the same issue, in that I don’t know what is really going on. Is this a real medical emergency or another of my mother’s dramatic episodes? Since there was no response to my call, I don’t know how serious the situation is. Elsie said that perhaps my mother was dead, and perhaps that would be a relief. She looked at me and said “that is sad”. She meant that the reality of the situation is that my mother’s death could be a relief. Yes, this was very sad and very real. Therapy discusses many things that are very real that won’t be discussed anywhere else.

There were pictures of my great uncle and his wife. He had a ranch near Lodi. He traded horses and played poker. He kept his money in a coffee can buried in the backyard. He had no formal education. He left some money for my college tuition.

She looks at the photos of my stained glass projects and model train layouts. She said I was doing very involved, complicated projects at a young age.

–Sessions: 20 of 53
Monday, May 18, 2009 11:00am
Blood Donation, Apheresis, Number 296, 37 Gallons

I brought the photo albums again. I ask Elsie why my mother was supportive of my stained glass projects and then could be so non-supportive of so many other things. Elsie said that my mother did the right thing in some areas but I deserved much more.

Looking at photos of my siblings Elsie said Snap doesn’t look developmentally disabled, which is defined as someone with an IQ of less than 70. I told her that I think Snap had played along with this for so long that it had become effectively true.

–Sessions: 21 of 53
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 11:00am

This was the last time we would meet at this location. Elsie was moving to a new office.

Since our last session, I cried again. I saw someone on TV that was going away. I looked at pictures of my sons. I know it is time for them to go away. I wish it wasn’t time but it was. Elsie says this is very normal.

I told Elsie about a TV show I watched. It was about a therapist and the patients he sees. The patient was a CEO whose brother had died young and he blames himself. He had to be strong to survive, his father would not spend time with him. At 58 he crashed, he couldn’t keep saving everyone. He never learned to play. he actually believes his only worth is in a crisis. People don’t want him around they only ‘need’ him around. He finally cries, he loses his job, everything.

I have been ‘saving’ (taking care of) people all my life. Now that my sons are going away, will they want me around after they don’t ‘need’ me? I know the answer is ‘yes’, but I understand this patient’s feelings. This ties in with my siblings, they don’t really want me around.

The patient in the TV show, he can’t depend on others. My fear isn’t job loss or losing a paycheck. My fear is that I will need help. I provide, I don’t ask for help. Elsie said this is good processing. She also says “You feel things very deeply”.

I cried last week. I don’t cry often. I was working in the front yard and I could hear children down the street, they were yelling “Daddy’s home!”. I was watching a TV show where a mother and her child were leaving, moving away from the family. I thought about these two events and later that day I broke down. Elsie asked me how I felt about crying. I told her I worried I wasn’t doing it right. She looked sad.

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