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Why am I attracted to my counselor?
April 30, 2002
10:17 am
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snowbyrd
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Since you all helped so much with my last question, I wanted to ask something else. This has got me worried - why am I attracted to my counselor?

I can't even believe myself. He's like 30 years older than me! I've never known a man like him. He's so calm and open and he LISTENS! I swear, I could fall in love with him just because he doesn't just hear my words, but he understands what I'm saying.

I haven't got a clue where to put him in my mind. I have no reference point for a man like that. I can't believe I caught myself dreaming of seducing him. Then, I laughed at myself because I'll just bet he could see a twit like me coming a mile away! I was even trying to dress cute for my sessions. He is driving me crazy right now not fitting into any picture of a man I know how to deal with.

Has anyone else ever felt attracted to their counselor? Is it normal? Will I settle down and get over it before I make a fool of myself? I wonder if they can tell? He is so calm and gentle, I just want to curl up in his lap like a kitten. Do you suppose insurance will cover sessions where I just go in to curl up in my counselor's lap?

snowbyrd

April 30, 2002
12:16 pm
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Molly
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Blondie said it all.

April 30, 2002
8:52 pm
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gypsygirl
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Wouldn't I love to go to therapy and curl up like a kitten. I had a crush on one of mine a few therapists ago. A hug would be nice.

May 1, 2002
11:00 am
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snowbyrd
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You know, I got to thinking that maybe I was trying to picture my counselor as someone I could control because I don't know how to accept him yet. Like, if I could get him under my "spell" he wouldn't be threatening to me at all. I wouldn't respect him if he fell for my b.s. and was weak. I feel guilty about thinking that way now because he's only trying to help me. It is so hard to share deeply personal things with someone and then go home and forget about it for a week or two. It's so hard to be so intimate with a person, but they're really not your friend. Not like friends you can call and have a relationship with. I feel so close to him for an hour and then I feel cut off until I see him next. It's like torture. I can call, but I'd feel stupid and needy. And, besides, what would I say?? "I just called to hear your voice, so I wouldn't feel so cut off?" This is sickening having feelings. I felt better when I was numb. At least then I could get my laundry done and pretend the world was rosy.

snowbyrd

May 1, 2002
1:31 pm
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Molly
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Fantasies are just that, make believe. As long as you have a handle on it, what is the problem. I have a thing going on with Val Kilner, know what I mean ?

May 1, 2002
3:32 pm
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snowbyrd
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Val Kilmer???? No way! Now, Sean Connery, that's something else altogether. Pure sex appeal with an accent even! Killer combination. Nothing like a good James Bond fantasy to get you thru the night!

Snowbyrd

May 1, 2002
5:09 pm
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damaged
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Been their done that!!! I had a major crush on my counselor. I don't feel it was tranference, I think she really was someone I was attracted to. I told her about it and still saw her and it was a big problem for me. I have stoped seeing her now and don't think about her as much, but I do miss her. She also helped me a great deal, I wished the feelings part wouldn't of never happened for me but it did and now I just have to learn from them. It was a feeling of rejection, I know what your saying.

May 2, 2002
7:31 pm
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shortysusy
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Well, see i have a thing with my doctor but that doesn't have to sleep with him but i dont want to leave him he has help me alot. Well as long as you feel he is doing a good job then good for it it is all about you. the great thing about it is you have a someone you are attracted do hey things like this do happen in this world.

May 4, 2002
10:52 pm
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annerose
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Anyone ever read a good book, fiction or non fiction that deals deeply w/ this topic?

May 4, 2002
11:23 pm
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annerose
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I have been working thru my attraction to my male counselor on & off for most of our 3 years together.We've talked about, & I've read obout transferance & counter trans. I started talking about the love I felt coming from him 3 months into our work. He says it's just part of what he works with, & it will never go beyond the work in therapy. Later, when I brought it up again, he would not answer my direct questions about how he feels about me. He said it was a boundry issue. He made it clear he wants to be professional, has a lot at stake, and yet I feel so much "in love" off and on it's hard to not go off into wishing he & I could be together outside therapy. At times I have imagined,
that we do get together & I enjoy so much giving back to him physically. I think this dual world I live in has helped me get thru some tough times. It is nuturing. I monitor myself. Sometimes I write in my journal to explore this strange aspect of my life, as if I'm writing a book about someone else going thru this. Helps me see it more objectively. I do keep a grip on reality. I am telling him more about how I feel, but only after he promised not to stop seeing me in therapy. You see, I tried stopping & after 3 months off, went back & half jokingly said "I can't live w/out you in my life!" My life is richer, much more textured and joyous w/ him in it. He offers great support. Love does come in many flavors.

May 5, 2002
5:24 pm
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damaged
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and to top it off you are me!!! are probably not the only client that they have that have feelings for them.

May 5, 2002
5:28 pm
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UK Polly
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Blondie, I love you!!! You're SUCH a cynic! And so right!

May 5, 2002
8:17 pm
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nikka
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Nothing cynical about Ms. B on this one. Either way she's right -- if he does the woman then she shouldn't be there anyway because he's just not good enuf to be a therapist and if not she shouldn't be there because she's getting nothing done except adding to her problems. Also right about the money. -- Look, annerose -- find a new therapist and get some work done w/ yourself. The fantasy is only adding to your inability to get a grip. I'm a counselor and feel rather strongly about this -- a neverending transference ain't doing you any good. I'm surprised he hasn't made some calls and gotten you a sheaf of referrals if he knows you feel this way. If he doesn't then you should 'Fess UP and get on w/ a bit of life. Good luck.

May 5, 2002
10:52 pm
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damaged
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nikka I agree with what you just said. I did finally stop seeing my counselor, and I do miss her but I feel she was just another problem added to the list of problems I was already trying to deal with. I do miss her and I have tryed to call a couple of times just to tell her I was ok. I would get so stress out just to go see her.

May 6, 2002
3:16 pm
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nikka
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Ya know, sis, I think u r exactly on target and I think the reason (well, one of them) is the deep American-as-Mom-and-apple-pie fear we have of being referred to as (here it comes, the squeamish can look away now and avoid this) 'crazy.' (sorry, sqeamish ones, tried to warn you.)

Of course by the time your son has killed 12-13 young men and eaten most of them -- well, hell, everyone knows he's crazy. -- Dahmer wouldn't work, doubt Bundy would've either -- sociopaths are like pedophiles, just have to hope u can find something their mosre scared of than the jolt they get from their urges. -- But, maybe the OJs and Robert Blakes and probably a few postal workers and some fellow who lived near you who had been beating his wife and she left and he shot her and the three kids 48 times to make sure they were really gone before suiciding. Those people and those like them counseling might be able to help. The battered and the batterer might benefit and the world too from counseling.

It's just that fear of being "crazy" which you probably aren't near the beginning, a few sessions, you might find your answer.

Of course twenty years of stuffing the pain and the chagrin and the explosive emotional depth charges makes for quite a hot newsday when Charlie Bronson or Arnold tosses a handgrenade into that toxic ammo dump you've built in your head and heart. Oops, say all, wish we'd've moved to California yesterday!

That annerose, is what counseling is about -- helping you find ways to release the pressure on your triggers. Only you can find the release points, the counselor just supports you while you do it, and cheers you when you do it. THEY AREN'T THERE TO F*** THEIR PATIENTS OR EVEN TO GIVE THEM A GOOD TIME. ----
listen -- COUNSELORS ARE CATALYSTS, THEY MAKE A SAFE PLACE FOR YOUR REACTION TO OCCUR --- THEY DON'T TAKE PART IN IT!!!!!

Thank you, tole you I felt strongly, didn't I. So get help and get over the crush. And if anyone reading this is wondering whether or not you require help -- get it, you do. If you ain't wondering, congrats, you have no problem currently that requires guidance to have you solve the problem -- you will, it's human.
Thanks for the time to yell.

May 6, 2002
4:00 pm
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Molly
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I read the threads backwards, and worked my way up to anarose, honey you are working with a scumbag. this guy is a voyer. When you asked that question, and stated your feelings, he should have said, you are a client, and I am a professional counselor, and that is all it is or ever will be. Some of these people, keep you going for the ego, the mercedes payment, for the census, for any thing but the real reason. You know when you have some one there that is there to help you when your life changes, when you get some owies, when you walk out, when you have some life shaking thought pattern changes, or when you are out right boared. I swear this goes to show again, if I was your counselor for a day!!!!!! I thought the dependency that some of the others had on this thread was bad, and its bad therapy, if you want to call it therapy. Its financial gain through emotional dependency, ahhhhhhh and the diagnosis is co-dependency, har har har.... He is violating you, and you are paying for it. RAPE for which you are volunteering for, and they wonder why we have no faith in the system. Read a Dr Phil book, sometimes he hurts, but he won't string you along on fantasies. to quote one of his famous sayings, What chapter in the book of stupid did you get this from ? Got to love some one who shoots from the hip like he does, sorry, its your life, you can do what you like, but that is evil what he is letting you do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 6, 2002
4:03 pm
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scherza
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When I was a young teen, my father had a psychiatrist that he and my step mom were seeing. My step mom used to regularly lock me in the attic and pound the hell out of me. The neighbors used to watch in horror and do nothing about it. I learned to keep my mouth shut. Once I didn't speak for a month...and then I trusted the psychiatrist and told him exactly what it was like living with her. He prescribed tranquilizers for my step mother the give me whenever I was to become "out of control." She would flatten me, sit on my stomach, and cram those tablets down my throat anytime she felt that I was "challenging her." Even if I shut my mouth, I was THINKING things that were designs for challenging her...she said she could read my mind...! I have LOTS of these stories...I could be a really famous horror writer. I am not kidding.

About 10 years later, my first official counselor entered my existance after I recovered from cancer, lost 8 friends and relatives within 18 months, and had to move 7000 miles back to the US for cancer treatments...and no money to return to my life in the UK afterwards. I heard about the merits of counselling and thought maybe I could find a way to get peace in the middle of my intense grief experiences.

She and I clicked pretty much immediately. I was lonely and so was she. There was 23 years between us. We acted normally at first, as therapist and client. Then quickly we stopped making appointments and I just started dropping by...and she would always see me...for as long as I wanted to stay. She invited me to swim in her pool. She liked watching me swim. I was a strong swimmer even after losing 25% of my weight to cancer treatments...and I still am.

I found out that she was gossiping about me to her colleagues. I guess they asked her about me first...and then she had to "back peddle" to save her license. She started saying she would see me and then she would leave me waiting all day and never see me. I started getting "handled" by her staff. I stopped coming to her office. I started seeing her everywhere in public...on the way to school...work...etc. I was at my artist's guild meeting and she was there. There was a string quintet I played in at the theater...she would be there...with her colleagues...talking and pointing. I could not believe it. I saw her at the airport when I dropped some friends off for their flight. I got a lawyer letter a week later stating that I should stay away from her office...and I hadn't been there for weeks...months, even! I packed up and moved out of town...30 miles away. I was getting groceries about 7 months later...and guess who I found going down the isle...! Too scarey to be true! I felt sorry for her...and sad...and angry...all at once. She really is an attractive woman...even as she nears retirement age! We locked eyes...and I said "hi." She ignored me...as if I was dirt.

A whole lot more happened...but this is the quick version...the gist. She is a PhD psychologist...a very highly respected one! She "won that one" by giving me a diagnosis that I cannot seem to escape...because it has some pieces of truth in it...but it is painted in a FAR worse way than I truly am. I believe that she shares this diagnosis with me! We have very similar problems...and we do have similar histories...especially childhood sex abuse. During one angry public encounter, I leveled her with it and she screamed and cried. (This woman likes to project the image that she has no feelings and has everything under control.)

This was 15 years ago.

Why do I care about therapy at all? I kept hearing that "transference" was all a "part of the therapeutic process" and that I should just "let go and flow through it" and "trust" them...with my life and my sanity...etc.

Today, I actively avoid therapy. Unless I absolutely have to go...I will not go. I have friends that share a "common therapy" with me. We help each other out. They tell me the bare-butt truth.

I will never see a psychologist or a psychiatrist, ever.

When my life is uncomfortable and I cannot find the way to peace despite my hugest efforts, I will briefly see an LPC. I will only work on ONE issue with her...create a tool I can use in real life and then I will leave her office and not return until another issue arises that my efforts can't seem to handle after a certain amount of time.

I am very functional...99.9% of the time...in my life. I am just really glad that I don't have some major metabolic disorder where I would NEED a therapist to survive.

***********
Blondie: You are paying them a LOT of money. Why are you doing this? You could enjoy a wonderful cruise for the money you are shelling out on a weekly basis. You are putting their kids through college! And paying for their new Mercedes! I bet you are not rich, either.

May 6, 2002
4:07 pm
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scherza
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PS: I bet I know the problem is! I seek out these really fucked up therapists because I enjoy getting abused. My abuse history! That's what it is! Abuse is comfortable...my normal baseline.... It *couldn't* be their fault. I am evil and I bring out the worst in these Good People.

Can you believe I heard a therapist say something like this....less inflammatory, more palatable, "appropriate" language, of course...!

We bring on what we seek and deserve. I asked for it.

May 6, 2002
4:09 pm
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scherza
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It is my Karma.....

May 6, 2002
4:55 pm
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Molly
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scherza, ugh ugh well welcome back any how !!!!! Karma is ending up here, that is karma. Its just like anything else in the world today, who do you trust, you have to trust you. Its a long journey, we get shakey, we get paranoid, we have way to much information, but after we have talked to a few "professionals" read a few books, we get that the answers lie with in us, and there isn't much that a day at the beach won't cure, unless we have succombed to the Rx's and really have a problem that wasn't some sort of real imbalance, which I still believe are few and far inbetween. Bless you for your history, and your lessons.

May 6, 2002
8:34 pm
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nikka
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Thanks for the compliment. -- I am really, always impressed with your story when you tell it. A bit more now and a little there later. -- Beginning to end it is impressive. --

Surely you understand why I call you Xena. Hell, you are -- Lucy Lawless would be blessed to look like you. --

I believe that things do come round the way they're supposed to. Karma -- for every action there is an equal and opposite -- but the subject of shrink, psych, counselor abuse drives me wild -- hell, it's what I do.

Gawd knows, I love it and hate it and make fun of it all at the same time --but no no-good camel's *ss should be allowed to try to play cute w/ a client. Neither should any no good b**** be allowed to do the same -- w/ men or women. --- Hell, it's like screwing a fifth grader (hell, make that first grader.)

These people are sick -- they are unable to find power within them and prey on the helpless who come to them seeking relief -- like that sh**hook dr. w/ you in the padded room. Sorry B, not the sweet jersey girl at all, just one pissed- as-hell-and-not-gonna-take-it-anymore-she-bitch-from-hell who thinks taking the dicks and tits off these sick pervs an inch every three hours is way too good for them.

Blondie, -- How was that? Knew exactly what I was saying and even tho I know that my anger and outrage at these 'pros' isn't adding either to my own or anyone else's health, that's okay. I'll pay whatever the karma price will be just to have a few days w/ these creeps and a choice of knives and manacles to work w/. -- Gawd, it's happened, I'm Gabrielle transformed!!! and I never got to be queen of the Amazons!!

Thanks for your stories about your story. I find much motivation in your determination. Wish all my clients and perspective clients had that, I'd be outta a job in a month -- that'd be fine w/ me, I could scrub floors at mickey d's if that's what it took to pay for the healing.

Okay, Xena, get my jersey *ss outta here. xxxooo It's love, plain, pure, simple, and this love has nothing to do w/ sex or gender or lust.

Whoa, is that the sun? No, it's down now. O, as you told Molly the other day, it's just your bright and shiny ass after I licked it clean and polished it. -- Just heard the greatest GAP commercial, "Love is all around you." Just loved that back in the day. It made me stop typing!

May 7, 2002
9:57 am
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scherza
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Molly...thanks for the ear and the blessing.

Blondie: Thanks for sharing....

Nikka: I believe in Karma, too, but I do not think for one minute that I asked for this...and I don't think that that was what you said, either....

Recently, I have learned that I need to pay close attention to my gut. I could have saved myself at least the adult problems I had by listening to my gut.

My childhood situation was a no-win situation. The rest of the story went like this: Eventually, my step mom got locked up for a month...and then she got back and her problems were again assigned to me...eventually, my father was given an ultimatum: get rid of me or never see his son again. His son was a baby...and the only male child he had. I was 13...so I got the boot. I was sent to the streets with my mother to finish out my adolescence with drug abusers, prostitutes, and child molesters. I was an honor student in school...so that was where I put my energy. I lived in my car starting at age 15...when I could get one. There were times when I felt like letting go and cracking up, but I could never afford to. Cracking up is for people with medical insurance...!

Today, I am stinging a little from again not having listened to my gut...about another issue not related to therapy. Listening to my gut! It tells me things. I need to listen!!!

I have been told that transference is a part of the therapeutic process. The strong feelings for the counselor are a "phase" of the relationship. That the "real work" gets done while squirming through this phase to its completion. This sounds like bullshit to me and I actively avoid this today...but the first therapist I had in adulthood was fantastic at first...too good, in fact. I was just so happy to have that person around after so much tragedy. My gut told me to run, funny enough...but my issues with materal abandonment took over and silenced that gut. I had my late mother's cold, empty home to return to alone....

We get trained to beware of negative personality types and vibes...but not to watch out for positive ones.

I have learned to not let myself get too attached to anyone that isn't my family (the really healthy one I have today)...or to close friends who share the same power base with me. I have learned to pay attention to my gut. It is my friend and it can save me thousands of dollars...hours of grief...multitudes of embarrassing social mistakes.

Counselors out there: what is your take of transeference? Is it part of the therapeutic process?

May 7, 2002
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Molly
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I think there has to be a healthy dose of some transferance, or how would a trust relationship begin ? counseling isn't going to work if you don't have some sort of a click, and where do you think that click comes from ? TRANSFERANCE----- I do believe that it is up to the professional to clearly outline that, and to maintain the boundries. I have seen where many maintain the dependency, due to the Professionals need to be needed, make sense ? Employment security, emotional needs, ugh ugh counter transferance ? That is where some of those 12 core functions of a counselor come in, ORIENTATION, and TREATMENT PLANNING, like what is the ultimate goal ? INDEPENDENCE, and Quality of life.....
That should be real clear at the end of the first session. Screening, assessment, intake and orientation, with the goals outlined and mutually agreed upon before the end of the first session, damn it. Needless to say, many of the counseling sessions that I have heard about, the client calls, goes in vents, they make another appointment, and the vent rant continues, and ca ching, ca ching. My clients leave me knowing what is going to happen next and what they need to be working on, between sessions, no magical 60 minuets . Work in between the magic, which involves reflection, journaling, reading, watching, and effort on the part of the client. It all depends on the client and the professional. Truly the professional does no one any service with the just common down and we will chat, because when that bell rings, and you have just casually gotten around to what it is that you were really going to get to, you feel so empty inside. Needless to say many issues come up in the future sessions, that need to be addressed and outlined, but the client needs to participate with the counselor in the priority of needs.
I am starting to ramble here......
But hope I some how answered your question, from my perspective.

May 7, 2002
7:49 pm
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Wow Molly. That is what counseling is about to me. Sandra asked me again yesterday what I most wanted from therapy. We made a plan when I first went to her. Since that was last year we updated that plan. I want to learn new coping skills to deal with stress. I used to use people to make myself feel better when I was stressed out. I need to learn how to have healthy relationships and how to deal with challenging things, and feelings. My old plan was to learn to recognize unhealthy relationships and to get out of my depression. I have had a bit of transference with Sandra, but I have not taken it too far. Instead of calling her up at every crisis and running to her to make me feel better, I write more, I find other ways to not become to dependant on her. I think she is a very beautiful woman. She is very warm and understanding. I sometimes want her to just hold me and let me cry, but I know that is not possible, so I kick those thoughts out of my head. She is like a guide for me. She points out things to me, she encourages positive things. I have had the chance to look at things with a different perspective with her help.

May 7, 2002
10:09 pm
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nikka
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As I said in one of those rants above -- counseling is about learning to be a catalyst -- counselors make the ingredients safe and comfortable and enable the reaction to occur, while not taking part. It's a cruel thought maybe for some -- they need to get out. Counseling isn't about me it is about the patient. Service plan at first visit -- the patient figures out what they want from the sessions, second session should finish and service plans every 3-6 mos thereafter if the client is still requiring assistance. -- Molly's right -- INDEPENDENCE -- that's the goal. If the counselor needs strokes, and its nice to have a satisfaction survey comes back that says 'I just love Nikka's groups,' but I've learned to try to get more out of the "I can't stand that bitch, I'm not ready for this." Of course, trying to figure out who wrote what on an anonymous survey is rather horrid work. -- W/ addicts (that's what I do) so much is tied into the grief over the loss of substance that in the early stages its almost mandatory that people hate you, you helped slaughter their best friend. The office variety probably see different things.

As for transference. It happens, I have found what Molly seems to find and that is that there's a certain trust that takes effect. The 'i'm lost and looking for a lover' men and women are difficult to judge properly, how long to let this go on -- I think you get a feel for it after awhile and if the relationship seems headed for a messy situation you have no choice but to provide referrals and get the patient some help that doesn't endanger them or you.

I get love and support from family and friends. It's nice to hear compliments, but it's not the job.

Scherza, (what a neat moniker, a female scherzo?) 🙂 you're correct. Karma is action,that's all the word means. I don't think you are somehow getting 'paid back' for evil you did as a child.

In the way that not all billiard balls take direct hits, especially when I play, not all people are directly responsible for all that happens to them. Sometimes we are just in the way and our responsibility lies only in the chance of having our steps have us being there.

There are no easy answers to why there is pain. Buddha seemed to think that it is due to selfish desire, the inability to see that we are part of life, not the owners of it. I like that, but it still doesn't answer why the innocent suffer. I'm pleased that you are finding ways to recover from the pain inflicted on you by people who should have been protecting you and allowing you to grow and be nurtured. -- I understand there are no words. ((hug))

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