JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Boundaries and Types of Relationships: Lessons From Therapy

I met with my therapist in Kansas City today. (I know that its a bit wierd to have two therapists in two different cities, but I've spent more time here than there this year, so it made sense to go back to see the therapist that I used to work with when I lived here.) Anyway, she pointed out a couple of things of note that I'd like to record here so that I can go back and think about in the future. And feel free, my readers, to remind me of this later.

First, she pointed out that I have a tendency to spend more time and energy on relationships which are problematic and/or with people who have issues instead of on ones which are fun at the time and which give to me at a particular moment. She said that this is a pattern that I should think about.

Secondly, she noted that there are four types of relationships: public, social, private, and intimate. It is important to start relationships on the more superficial levels, but she noted that I have a tendency to push people into more private or intimate spaces too early. She suggested that I put more energy into public and social relationships, even though I feel less comfortable in those spaces. And, as I get to know people, I can decide whether or not it is appropriate to move into more or less intimate spaces. I think that I have a tendency to be too rigid about where a person fits - if I have a superficial relationship with someone, I want it to stay superficial and if it is intimiate, I want it to stay intimiate, BUT relationships are fluid.

Even though it feels counterintuitive, I should be spending more time and energy on more superficial/public relationships, so that I can get to know people more slowly and gradually and practice these boundaries of what is talked about, how often meet, and how much to depend on someone. By doing this, hopefully, I can create more connections with people and become less dependent on those few that I let into the more intimiate spheres. Part of my problem, I think is that I become much too dependent upon those in my intimate spheres, and the people that I let in there end up not being the right people, which is somewhat related to my low self-esteem. I feel less comfortable with healthier people because I worry about what I can offer; whereas people with more issues tend to make me feel more comfortable because I can offer something.

I don't know if any of this makes sense to anyone else, but I certainly have somethings to work on: having more fun and taking things less seriously, being more fluid about levels of intimacy, and putting myself in more spaces to have public/superficial relationships.

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Blogger Gail Rae said...

I'm impressed with your therapist's observations; she sounds like she's observed you with a clear AND compassionate eye.
I never thought about different types of relationships; not consciously, anyway. I'm bookmarking this post because some of the stuff you're musing about is a good thing for just about anyone to think about during times when they feel beleaguered by the world.

Saturday, February 10, 2007 1:15:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

I'm honored that you're booking marking this post. See and I was afraid that no one would ever read it. It is good that your comment caused me to read it again too because clearly I'm just back in my pattern. So, I need to slow down with Jerry, not get so wrapped up in the problems, connect with other people.....

Saturday, February 10, 2007 10:07:00 AM  

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