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Newest Member: Groholl

Wayward Side :
Counselling

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 9:17 PM on Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

I am currently on my third IC. This one is much better at dealing with me than the others. We're dealing with my emotional issues as well as my communication issues. I have previously lied to IC as well as using them to blow smoke up my ass. I have used them as an expensive was of making Bulcy feel better about myself. We've spoken about my infidelity and especially the infidelity committed alongside my BIL. I am feeling like I am getting some personal benefit from her. However.....

I have minimised and avoided subjects that are particularly painful or upsetting. It's odd given we've discussed hiring a prostitute with BIL and other things that are horrific. I don't understand why I don't discuss some subjects which, given my past behaviour, could be considered less horrific. I've told myself that this is either time related (45 minute session) or that my mind has other things that come to the front of my mind when we're discussing recent events. Omitting relevant information to my counsellor is obviously a big problem, especially given I recently told BS and her about past infidelity that I had minimised. She took my admission of lies and told me that there is little point in having support if I am not going to be honest. She cannot help me if she does not know I am being honest with her.

An example of the above would be my sister moving closer to us. Like 20 miles away. A huge things given my behaviour with my BIL. When I found this out, I did not mention it to counsellor. Only when BS asked if we had covered it, did I then bring it up the following week.

Also, I want support on my whys, a common thing on here is the requirement of a counsellor to hold a waywards feet to the fire. Mine is not doing this, primarily because I'm not asking her to, but I struggle with knowing what I'm asking her to do. Can anyone who has had a counsellor really hold you accountable give examples of what their counsellor did/does. I can then speak with my IC and change the current dynamic. I do like this counsellor and I expect she will be open to a change in direction. She is certainly trying to get e to be more open and honest about my feelings and thoughts. I'm still struggling with this but am starting to see improvements (I hope, previously I have clung onto small improvements and considered these to be leaps and bounds down the road to R) I guess it's difficult to hold someone accountable if you're not being told what to hold them accountable for?!?

I welcome feedback and questions from WS and BS

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8798145
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oldmewasmurdered ( member #79473) posted at 6:03 PM on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

Hi Bulcy,

BS here, no stop sign so I'll try to help.

Obviously I can't comment much on IC from the WS perspective, but I have suffered lots of childhood trauma (CPTSD) and is in IC for that (that and the betrayal trauma). And I see a lot of similar patterns in what you've wrote. If I am off and you feel this does not apply to you, then feel free to ignore.

Could it be that your minimization, lying, and avoidance started off as survival strategies from when you were younger? And that those maladaptive strategies were what you were used to to feel safe, and so you just kept using them throughout your adult life as well. You minimized the consequences of your lying and avoidance, because you've always done it and it just felt right? I'm not trying to give you a reason to not take ownership of what you did, but rather I see a pattern as a possible source of your "whys". I believe that knowing why we do things paves the way to changing the maladaptive ways of coping. I'm happy to elaborate further if this is actually the case for you and if you wish.

Regardless of if your maladaptive traits were a result of abuse in upbringing, you still need to own what you did to your BW. That's a necessary step in healing. I believe that attitude change is big going from "I want to avoid thinking about it because I hate myself for what happened", to "I acknowledge I did horrible things to my BW, I hate that I allowed myself to do that, and I will do whatever is necessary to be better".

a common thing on here is the requirement of a counsellor to hold a waywards feet to the fire. Mine is not doing this, primarily because I'm not asking her to, but I struggle with knowing what I'm asking her to do.

Gently, this is all part of the minimizing, lying, and avoidant behavior.

Good ICs should be able to catch when you're blameshifting or minimizing and hold you accountable. If your IC is not holding you to reality then that speaks poorly on the therapeutic effect this IC will have. Trauma informed, or trauma trained therapists should be better at catching your lies and holding your feet to the fire.

If you're having trouble letting your IC know to hold you accountable (because it triggers your avoidance), then write it down on a piece of paper beforehand when you're not triggered and read it to the IC. I find this helps if I can't help but to be triggered about certain topics that I really need to discuss.

[This message edited by oldmewasmurdered at 6:04 PM, Wednesday, July 5th]

posts: 119   ·   registered: Oct. 12th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8798250
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 9:27 PM on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

...I struggle with knowing what I'm asking her to do.

I see that as a big obstacle to your making the best possible use of your IC.

And I don't really believe you - IMO, you know what you want your IC to do for you. It's probably some form of 'make me better' or 'make me whole' or 'solve my problems'.

My reco is to figure out what you want and formulate it in words that a 4 year old would understand. Tell your IC that's what you want. If she's a good IC, my bet is that she'll respond with lots of helpful clarifying questions that will give you a lot of insight into where you are and where you want to be. Once you've got that, you can figure out how to get from here to there.

A alternative is to start with, 'I want to stop lying.' If she's good, you'll make some good progress fairly quickly, I think. I say that as a BS to a WS who lied to her therapist.

You know the joke about shrinks changing a lightbulb, right? People aren't lightbulbs - to change, you need to be honest with yourself and others and you need to want to change. To make better use of the IC, you can probably even start with, 'I'm here, but I'm not sure I want to change.'

IC starts with you knowing what you want to change about yourself.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:27 PM, Wednesday, July 5th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29568   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8798295
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 6:31 PM on Sunday, July 9th, 2023

If you're having trouble letting your IC know to hold you accountable (because it triggers your avoidance), then write it down on a piece of paper beforehand when you're not triggered and read it to the IC. I find this helps if I can't help but to be triggered about certain topics that I really need to discuss.

That is an interesting idea. I'll draft something and sent to IC before our next session. What I need and how I would like our sessions to go forward. I'm getting some benefit from her, but need this to be more focussed on my avoidance and lies.

My reco is to figure out what you want and formulate it in words that a 4 year old would understand. Tell your IC that's what you want. If she's a good IC, my bet is that she'll respond with lots of helpful clarifying questions that will give you a lot of insight into where you are and where you want to be. Once you've got that, you can figure out how to get from here to there.

Doing it like this might be beneficial. No possibility of misunderstanding or minimising.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8798797
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Abcd89 ( member #82960) posted at 1:00 PM on Thursday, July 13th, 2023

BS here but adopted and a master at being a chameleon smile I found counselling hard. I had to take time to process things afterwards. I’m perceptive and can intellectualise but I have avoided my feelings for a long time.

I wrote down a time line for my counsellor. I have several issues and didn’t want to waste hours of time! I don’t need smoke blowing up my butt , I didn’t want to take my time getting to the point, I wanted helpful suggestions and challenging from day 1. I didn’t want to forget anything that could be relevant.

So write down a bullet point list of what you think you need help with. Maybe also note a couple of examples of when you were like this. Also any ideas of where in your past this may have come from as a starting conversation.

You seem pretty self aware and you realise this isn’t working for you. By writing it down you get time to think and rewrite.

I handed over my list in my first session (I was apparently very unusual).

I wish you well.

posts: 101   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8799224
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 4:36 PM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023

Abcd89

I often prepare short bullet points of what I want to discuss. This is not always, and certainly I don't write "what I want" from this discussion. Keeping it basic but also having live examples could be useful. We've done a fair bit of work on feelings recently. The logic, I'm assuming, is to understand feelings now in order to help understand the feelings then. This is helping me break own the narrative I've told myself and to understand what I was seeking from my affairs. We've only recently started working backwards. I have a list of things that BS does not believe usually because they don't make sense. I've generally been dismissive of this and not even considered the possibility that things don't make sense because I'm still living the lies or justifications I told myself in the past. I am trying to break this down. It is of course possible that what I remember and what I'm telling myself are the truth, but I cannot discount the possibility that the truth is still there deep in my mind.

This is what I need my counsellor to help with. As well as:

The need to be liked
The default "lie" position when things get tough
The "run away" from conversations or the marriage when I get uncomfortable
Shame spiralling
Defensiveness
Resentment
etc etc etc

Still a lot of work to be done

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8799603
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 4:38 PM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023

You seem pretty self aware and you realise this isn’t working for you. By writing it down you get time to think and rewrite.

I handed over my list in my first session (I was apparently very unusual).

Writing to the counsellor has been suggested twice. I have in the past contacted her in writing before my session, but maybe tis is something to consider further and more often.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8799604
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 9:52 PM on Monday, July 17th, 2023

This was a method my WH used with his IC:

If you're having trouble letting your IC know to hold you accountable (because it triggers your avoidance), then write it down on a piece of paper beforehand when you're not triggered and read it to the IC.

He also wrote these down:

I have minimized and avoided subjects that are particularly painful or upsetting.

First step was making a list of topics, second step was informing his IC of the list and his difficulty with conveying this info to the IC, third step was telling IC what was on the list. He said it was hardest the first time - and he combined steps two and three - told his IC about the list and handed it to him and went from there. For my WH, ripping the band-aid off so to speak was some of the hardest part of the process. I think his note was something simple like this:

Things I am having trouble disclosing to you that I think need to be discussed:

1) ___________
2) ___________

Of course getting to why these things were so difficult to disclose will be part of the discussion, but as time moved on he would sometimes write something down for his IC session, and apparently it just became part of the routine - they would start sessions with the list, if there was one, and go from there. The list morphed from things needing disclosure to things needing further discussion or issues he was having etc.

Give yourself a bit of a break here - many people have trouble with disclosure. And your IC has seen more of that difficulty than most. You can do it!

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

posts: 2257   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8799768
Topic is Sleeping.
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