Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Treatment, Love and Limits

I have treated so many adults on the spectrum. A few successfully.

And what I learned in school has proven barely relevant to the process.

Clients who come in trapped in the prison of their mind are in a fight for their lives. No clinician, no person, can ever win a battle to break into the fortress.

It's what the fortress is guarding against that needs addressing. Most clients I've met are dying of loneliness.

Most are guarding, full time, against a pervasive and nameless panic, or, in Sylvia Plath's words, the "o-gape of complete despair".

To imagine I might outsmart a client's mind, as it builds and rebuilds its walls of protection, is to have no understanding of my own limits.

I hope that, as we develop more and more complicated ways to name and talk about symptoms, we will eventually come to the simple understanding that to learn to give and receive love, after one has learned to live without it, is the bravest, most heroic journey.

It is the only journey. The rest is walking in circles.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Finally. Where have you been? Please keep writing. Some of us are using your blog as a lifeline.

Anonymous said...

You say this is about love but what if you cannot get love. You ned hope to go on and know there is a purpose. I want love but I am alone and cannot even relate to another person without crushing panic. So what can I do. I want tools to learn to cope with being lonely but I do wish I could solve the loneliness. This is good and thank you for writing again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you and glad you are back. Please post again soon.

Anonymous said...

THIS is a frightening way to describe therapy but it is exactly my experience with well meaning people trying to help but they are as clueless as I am and we both know they cannot really help me. I am usually the first to admit it. At least they keep trying though. I don't want people to matter to me because they suck and then they leave.

Anonymous said...

This post sounds like it was born of frustration. I don't know if I'm reading that correctly. Hopefully you still find the effort rewarding. I tried therapy years ago but met with little success. I had not been diagnosed at the time. I would still consider trying again sometime in the future.

I find it interesting that I checked out your site for the second time only days after you post again following a long interval. Good timing.

Ellen in USA said...

Cary, I enjoy your posts and you seem to get HFA better than anyone. Re your post, I cannot say for sure any therapist has helped my Aspie daughter (age 26) yet. She has only had talk therapy two or three times. Currently THREE therapists (one social worker incl.) are working with her gratis thanks to the state of GA and deep down I doubt any of them are successful with her either.

The one who made the greatest headway was a social worker when she was in high school. Deals were made mostly and mostly she kept her side of the deal....

I felt then, and feel now, she needs friends, even if they are paid, in the form of therapists. Everyone does and lately I have availed myself of two, one spiritual (Daniel Shai on Quora.com who Skypes with a few clients) and one standard issue. I am 64, experienced, kind, spiritually driven, enormously empathetic (that's a problem in and of itself) but feel so hopeless often about my daughter's progress that I descend into my own abyss.

What helps me and my daughter, who is probably basically happy actually! is our connection to God. We are not religious but spiritual and have a guide, master we depend upon. It has made all the difference. I have spent 30 years reading Him and his guidance and it keeps me sane. My daughter fell for him too.

Hang in there, and yes, love is the main thing. Happiness matters too. No one should ever give up. Ask the universe for help or whatever saint or master you are drawn to (Jesus, Buddha, Dalai Lama, Thich Nyat Hhan, Wiccan, etc.) KEEP asking for help. We are often powerless and adrift in our sanskaras and karma and so need guidance, help, luck even, redemption.

Why said...

So glad that you’re back and writing!!! Please add practical strategies to help adults...!!!!