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Re: I can't stand that word. (**abuse triggers**)

Posted by Racer on October 31, 2006, at 12:36:23

In reply to Re: I can't stand that word. (**abuse triggers**), posted by bent on October 31, 2006, at 11:33:22

Maybe because I'm at a different place in therapy, or because my psychopathology is different, or because my history is different, I have trouble with slightly different things...

The biggest trouble I have is when someone says that my mother was abusive, or that she was cruel (which my T has said, using that word), or in any way suggests that she was not a good enough mother. That's what I react most strongly to. I'm more defensive of my mother than of myself -- I was the world's worst child, but my mother tried her best. I suspect that's something we have to work on one day. In the far future... And if we never get to it, that's probably OK, too.

But I also react when people talk about me "surviving abuse." "Oh, you've been through so much! Look how strong you are to have survived all that!" And I hate telling my history, because it makes me sound so pathetic. I have such a strong need to say, "No, things happened, sure, but it was mostly pretty normal..." No matter how many times I'm told that it wasn't normal, and that it wasn't right, I still can't get it into my self-concept.

Actually, that's not true. Sometimes it does hit up against me, as reality -- that's when I find myself thinking suicide is the best choice, though, so maybe denial ain't such a bad thing?

I wish psychiatric or psychological histories had a place in them for asking about accomplishments. I want to have a place where I can say, "I wrote a paper about science education that was accepted after peer review." "I taught adult ed and my students all did well and emerged from the class with confidence in their abilities." "I learned on my own to take computers apart and put them back together -- without too many parts left over." "I can knit." "I've read "The Mysteries Of Udolpho" -- and it wasn't assigned for a class." A place to tell the things that make me into a real person, and not just a cringing mass of psychopathological features and symptoms.

I hate it when someone says something about how I've "survived so much," or anything that implies I'm anything other than what I feel as though I need to be: Perfect. I know that need to be perfect is part of my troubles. I know that it's a way to distance myself from everyone, to push people back from me. But I still can't stand to have someone say that I've been a victim, because it makes me feel so vulnerable, somehow.

So, Li, I guess that qualifies you to join our little club. Someone will teach you the secret handshake later. I'm sorry you qualify, but your presence makes me feel safer. If you qualify, then it's not so bad that I do, too.




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