Medication Blues









































The Burden of Lifespan Integration

I believe in the neuro-plasticity of the brain. I believe that what was hardwired as a child can be rewired as an adult. I understand that one of the premises of Lifespan Integration (LI) is that many of us get stuck in certain behaviors and modes of thinking that served us well as children, but are no longer useful or healthy as adults in our relating to others. Therefore, LI can be used to show people who are open to this form of therapy that they are no longer stuck in their circumstances as a child, but in fact they have grown up and new ways of responding, being and doing are accessible and lead to life instead of a powerless existence. Well and good.

Sometimes belief in something does not necessarily turn into reality. For instance, I have been participating in LI with my therapist as my coach for nearly 4 years. At times I have felt this was very successful at alleviating tanger abandonmenthe horror of some childhood memories. Today, however, I felt mired in my own fear and even my time-line, which is a vital part of the LI process, betrayed me. Every memory that was the timeline cue for the passage of time, became infused with fear and anger toward the person who had wronged me. I don’t recall ever having this person’s approval for anything I have ever done and yet I was so terrified of being abandoned that I made it my aim in life to continue to seek her approval. For some reason this felt like a double bind today instead of being released from the grip of fear that has made me feel that my one responsibility in my life is to make everyone around me happy (or at least happy with me). I have never tolerated not being liked, and when hurtful accusations are made against me, I just want to curl up into a ball of self-protection.

I believe in God. I believe that He will restore the human spirit and everything on this planet. He will recreate Eden in all its glory and humans will thrive in His light and life. Then, there will be no fear, no anger, no crying and no need for bearing the tremendous weight of responsibility that comes with seeking approval of all people and avoidance of unpleasant encounters with them. Even now, I have an understanding that I can trust God to turn my fear of man into a respectful fear of Him-one that empowers instead of belittles, one that gives life instead of death. But I am not there yet. I have not broken free from the chains that keep me locked away in a child’s mind. I don’t know if LI can help me this time. I only know that I am dying one breath at a time, ever since I had the wind knocked out of me as a kid. imagesCA6PF50C

Loneliness, My Winter Friend

I believe that God is preparing for us an eternal dwelling place that will be so magnificent that He could not allow us to imagine such glory here in this world lest the focus of our desire be on the place of heaven rather than the presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

The hope of heaven is not that we will finally be free of all sorrow and pain that we have endured in this life, but rather to see with the eyes of our heart the Calvary where Jesus took the scourge of pain and death from us and exchanged it for His righteousness.images (2) The hope of heaven is Christ Himself. He made it possible for us to escape eternal separation from God so that we will someday eat from the tree of life. Indeed, we do eat of that tree, which is Jesus . He is the First fruit of His Father, He is the Door to the Father, He is Living Water, the Bread of Life and He calls us NOW to “Taste and see that He is good.” (Ps. 34:8a)

Yet, we are “soul-journers” in a dry and desert place. We thirst for what we do not have and we chase away the things we do not want because they cause us pain. Read the sign. It says, “Pain and sorrow are not welcome here”. It is written on the faces of all humanity. But none of us escape it. What encouragement we find in Scripture where we read, “These light and temporary trials are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison as we look not to the seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:17-18). If only we believed it. Then we would realize that though we are hungry, that hunger is good because it points us to Christ who wants us to enjoy the bounty of His table. Right now, in the midst of our suffering.

Loneliness has become my winter friend.  During the cold and dark months I often try to escape the clutches of that beast that threatens to take me to a dark and dreary place; bitter, unforgiving and desolate. Normally, I despiimages (3)se loneliness. I hate how it makes me feel. Recently, I had an encounter with loneliness and decided to stop fighting it. I began to pay attention to my emotions; when my feelings of loneliness were particularly strong. One evening I was alone in my house, thinking about the difficulties of this life. I decided to put on some music about heaven, knowing the hearing of it would act as a balm to soothe my weary soul. Minutes into my music, I found myself feeling overwhelmed; despairing over the aloneness of my heart! So I turned up the music and sang at the top of my lungs, tears streaming down my face. I felt anger over the loneliness but I was also aware of the intense feeling of joy!  That’s when Jesus spoke peace to my waiting heart. I began to laugh because of this beautiful gift He had given me. This is what He wanted me to know: Loneliness is not the enemy.  My loneliness is for Jesus! My loneliness is a good gift from the only One who can truly satisfy that need of my heart. So, I can invite my winter friend into all the seasons of my life because my loneliness is but a reminder to me of my unquenchable desire for heaven where merely seeing Jesus face-to-face will end all feelings of loneliness forever. Come, Lord Jesus. Come!

The End of Therapy (How do you feel about that?)

imagesCA5XFSRUAllow me to make this clear at the outset. What I have put in the lines below are not necessarily a reflection of my own experience with therapy. I happen to admire my therapist a great deal. She is a godly woman and I do believe she genuinely cares for my soul. But some of my frustrations with the therapeutic process do come out in these verses. No doubt, those of you who are in therapy or have spent a good deal of time with a therapist, will see your own feelings here as well.

Cast me aside.

Can you do that with a straight face?

Do your years of training prepare you to discard so easily what you took in so warmly?

How do you feel about that?

I was reeled in little by little to keep me from fighting, to prevent me from snapping the line.

But the hook is still in my belly.

I will bleed to death slowly until I die.

How does that make you feel?

You caught me but I am of no good to anyone.

My insides are torn and bloodied, though you tried to heal me.

You didn’t heal me at the source. You couldn’t risk being pierced by my hook.

Tell me more about that.

Does my brokenness remind you of your own?

Does my sexuality arouse in you what you fear in your own?

Does my depression drag you down your own slippery slope?

Would you like to talk about that?

You want me to be honest with you. Well, I am.

You may be the therapist, and I the client.

But this is how I feel. Abandoned to die.

Can we take a moment to breathe, then address this issue, please?

I came to you looking for answers, and you gave me some.

We are still working at finding the others, and sometimes the questions, too.

But I feel as though you have packed up the equipment and thrown away the bait.

Are you feeling this, too?

Will you really leave me on the shore to die?

Will you teach me to take oxygen into my lungs, when I crave water to quench my thirst?

Is it against the rules of professional ethics to love beyond a specified limit, to care for only so long?

This must be very difficult for you.

This is what I wish. I wish you were as honest with me as you want me to be with you.

Instead of not answering my emails, I want you to tell me that you will not answer them.

Tell me that you are uncomfortable with my dependency and you want me to stop.

Tell me the truth.

I also wish you were not afraid to touch me.

My need for touch is not the same as my need for sexual intimacy.

You used to touch me occasionally, reassuringly. Now you don’t touch me at all.

Will you tell me the reason for this?

I am a child who is not yet weaned.

I have a mother who despised me and despised the womb that bore me.

Will you also abandon me before I am ready to fly?

Would you please answer why?

Of course I will see you next week at the regular time.

We will both pretend that all is well, that progress is being made.

But one day I will stop coming because I will have bled to death.

The hook that neither of us could talk about will finally have had it’s way.

I can’t tell you how awful that makes me feel.

How do you feel about that?

How does that make you feel?

Tell me more about that.

Would you like to talk about that?

Can we take a moment to breathe, then address this issue, please?

Are you feeling this, too?

This must be very difficult for you.

Tell me the truth.

Will you tell me the reason for this?

Would you please answer why?

I can’t tell you how awful that makes me feel.

Excuse me, but do therapists realize that we are actually human, like they are?