DIY web psychotherapy

January 30, 2005
The members of my UU Church's Science and Spirituality group were encouraged by its leader to attend this morning's Sunday service, where two members of the IRAS Council were speaking (IRAS is the Instiute on Religion in an Age of Science, and my UU Church's pastor has been a member for a long time.) Both Karl Peters and Ursula Goodenough (what a name!) spoke on losing their mother. Karl Peters mentioned the psychotherapy idea of giving someone who's clearly on the way out "permission to die"...that idea really hit me, how it was probably something I emotionally couldn't have done when I lost my own dad when I was 15 or so.

I think ever since some of the couple's therapy I went through with Mo I've been thinking more about how I might have been molded by father's death. I don't want it to become an excuse for ungood things that I do, or to dwell on too much in a woe is me kind of way. I still think mulling it over might be useful though, to have a better idea of where I'm coming from and where I might be at now.

My dad was debilitated for a year or so before he died and that gave me what for a long time I termed "issues about helplessness". For a long time I assumed it was just a fear of being helpless like he was...fair enough, that was pretty scary. But lately I've been noticing that there's something more insidious. That "something more insidious" likely has its roots in my own inabilty to help my dad...being "helpless to help", so to speak. I must have hated that, even if I didn't put it in those terms at the time. And so even now, I have this strong dislike of dependency, of deeply depending on others, and of others really depending on me. Which, oddly, doesn't mean I'm not dependable; quite the opposite (and like I kisrael'd before, reliability is something I really cherish in my friends.) I guess I become afraid of being on either side of situations where all the other person can do is just frown and be unhappy and sympathetic about what's going on.

So this leads to some tremendous intimacy issues, made worse by a "Men Are From Mars"-esque urge to go to my cave to heal and what not rather than reaching out during times of trouble...a bit of "manly" pride there I think, made worse by that "helpless to help" theme. (I've just started going down this path of thought lately, and just now as I write this, it makes me think about how I became "the hermit" when my dad was sick, almost literally going off to my cave and wanting to be my by own. I always would've assumed it was just not wanting to cope with seeing my dad in that condition, but now it seems likely it was...jeez, maybe even some kind of guilt, or at least frustration, about not being able to do anything.)

News of the Moment
I'm not sure if I quite believe it but according to Ananova, a Man peed way out of avalanche...trapped in his Audi with 60 half-liters of beer, he decided urination was the key to his dilemna.