Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for June 5th, 2012

The Fog Rolls In: The Fog Rolls Out

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on June 5, 2012

Clarity of thought, like so many mental states, is not a constant. One minute, one feels understanding and coherence, and the next minute, without obvious change in circumstance, one feels confused and bewildered. I have come to call this dynamic, “the fog rolls in and the fog rolls out.” Merna, twenty-five, knows that if she calls her ex-boyfriend that she will end up in pain and bitterness. She knows this because this has been the pattern for the last three years. Yet, in moments, she seems to “forget” that and  call Leo, at all hours of the day or night. At first the conversation is exciting, but then as time goes on, she feels demeaned and unimportant. “Why do you think you called him?” I ask, trying to get Merna to reflect on what interfered with her better judgment. “I was bored,” she said quickly. As the session proceeded, she then told me that her girlfriend just got engaged, in a flat tone, as if she had no feelings about that. “Maybe your friend’s engagement made you feel scared and lonely. Maybe that was a trigger for you in that you felt alone and so you had to call Leo, even though in a different state of mind, you would know that downstream from that phone call you would be left feeling bereft.” I say, helping Merna see how a change in her feeling state could cause the fog to roll in. “Well, that is possible,” Merna replied, astonishing me at her openness to consider that her friend’s engagement was a trigger. In the past, Merna would dismiss my ideas as “preposterous.” “The fog is out this morning as you recognize that you put yourself in harm’s way.” I say, highlighting that with the light of day, without the emotional wound-the fear of being alone-her brain works in a different fashion. Like the weather, thinking and behavior are changing states, subject to forces that we struggle to understand.

Posted in Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, Relationships | 4 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: