Ninth Session

Resilience.  For some reason this is a word that causes resistance in me.  As soon as I hear phrase “You are a resilient person” I feel this resistance start to rise up.  I’m not entirely sure why.  You’d think it would be a compliment.  I’ve been thinking about it since the last session and came up with a few ideas.  Who knows if these reasons are valid, I could be way out in left field for all I know.

First off I tend to equate a resilient person with one who is an overcomer of adverse circumstances.  One who has an inner strength. I don’t think I’m an overcomer and I don’t think I have an inner strength.

Secondly when the therapist would say I am resilient I would resist (fear) that idea because in my mind I would hear ‘you don’t need help, you can do it on your own’.  Because you know I’m so resilient.

I know, twisted thinking.

I decided to look up the word in the dictionary.

Definition of Resilient:  a: capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture.  b: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

Now for sure I know I’m not resilient.  If I’m honest I think I’ve experienced permanent rupture in some areas of my life.   And I certainly don’t adjust easily to change.

On the other hand I’m slowly recovering from my ‘misfortune’ in some areas. So does that make me resilient? I know I’m probably looking at it in a simple way but that’s where my brain is at right now.

I wonder if I need to find a new word, something more accurate to describe my survival through my ‘misfortune’.  (besides the word survivor)

These are just some random thoughts that have gone through my head.  This session was about resilience.  We did some artwork around it and had some discussion.  I actually talked more than usual.

I enjoyed this session, it got me thinking.  What am I?

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3 Responses to Ninth Session

  1. Diver says:

    Hi Miss Mazey. “Resilience” … there’s a hint of patronisation in it I suppose. It’s almost dismissive, as though to say, “You’ll get over it.” And perhaps by implication “Get over yourself” which, I’ve noticed, is usually the cognitive behaviourists’ (sweetly delivered) ultimate message to their clients.

    I remember when I ‘came out’ as an agoraphobic to my family. My father’s immediate response was to tell me that the men in our family are of “most resilient stock”. I didn’t think much of it at the time but on reflection he was just saying, “You’ll get over it son.”

    I didn’t think much of the dictionary definition either. “…without permanent deformation” ??? I dunno. Maybe things like agoraphobia are in fact purposive? Maybe the idea is not to ‘recover’, to return to the person we were before – but to embrace the new values and identity we have, through adversity, discovered?

  2. lostinamaze says:

    I agree this is the message of CBT. If only it were that easy. I can honestly say I don’t want to go back to the person I was in regards to values. Agoraphobia has given me many gifts as hard as it is to live with it. I have way more compassion and understanding for others now among other things. But I do have to say I would really like to re-enlarge my world. Thanks for stopping by. I like your perspective on agoraphobia.

  3. Diver says:

    Thanks. Agoraphobia has had exactly the same effect on me, especially with compassion and empathy and non-competitiveness (a stupid bloke thing). I’m the same with re-enlarging my world too … just itching to travel at some stage. I guess we’ll get out there again when this chaotic blessing has done its work eh. Hmm, quote from Carl Jung for you, one of my favourites …

    “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”

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