Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 361334

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Questions

Posted by cricket on June 28, 2004, at 11:18:31

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here, although I have been reading others for a while.

I have been in therapy for almost 2 years now (1x per week)and still have issues of trust with my therapist. I went into therapy because I felt very disconnected from the world, no friends, etc.

I had big time abuse in my childhood and I know that my therapist thinks that a lot (perhaps all?) of my issues stem from that. From reading your posts it seems that many of you are dealing with the same situation. Have you ever doubted it though? Have you ever maybe just thought you were plain crazy and as nice as it is to have an excuse for it, it's just not true.

He wants me to read a book now ("Trauma and Recovery" by Judith Herman - have any of you ever heard of it?). I'm not supposed to read it on my own but bring it in so we can look at it together.

Then there's all the feelings I have of wanting to just run away from therapy. I've gone through 2 years of misery with this. I don't doubt his competence, and I am sure that he wants to do his job and help me, but most of the time (particularly when he says things like "in cases of trauma like yours") I just feel like a big fat lab rat. A little adjustment here, a bit of pressure there, and viola the lab rat is cured. This makes me want to jeopardize the whole process and be the one lab rat that defies all the theories and then I stop going to therapy or I go and I refuse to speak.

I know this sounds like complete craziness and I'm not sure why I continue to spend all my money on therapy and jeopardize my financial stability but I know I need help.

I've heard so much on this site about dissociation (something I suffer from greatly) and transference (possibly something I suffer from considering my very up and down feelings about therapy and my therapist) but I was wondering if anyone ever had these extreme doubts like I do.

Also, after almost 2 years I still do not know my diagnosis, besides the trauma - is that a diagnosis? I guess I should just ask but for some reason I am terrified to do that.

Any thoughts?

Thanks so much.

 

Re: Questions

Posted by antigua on June 28, 2004, at 13:10:11

In reply to Questions, posted by cricket on June 28, 2004, at 11:18:31

Yes, I still doubt if "it" happened. I just told my T that today. Denial is one of the strongest defenses. We used it to help us get through the trauma so we could survive. Doubting is perfectly natural. For me, there are some big things I still doubt, but slowly but surely the pieces are fitting together so that in my mind and my gut I know it's true. You'll know when you get there.

It's a really long process for some people (14 years for me and still counting!) but I'm a much happier, healthier person now because I have a (little) better understanding of why I react the way I do to certain situations in the present. I function much better now, even if I'm still working on it.

Please don't give up.
antigua

 

Re: Questions

Posted by cricket on June 28, 2004, at 13:37:53

In reply to Re: Questions, posted by antigua on June 28, 2004, at 13:10:11

> Yes, I still doubt if "it" happened. I just told my T that today. Denial is one of the strongest defenses. We used it to help us get through the trauma so we could survive. Doubting is perfectly natural. For me, there are some big things I still doubt, but slowly but surely the pieces are fitting together so that in my mind and my gut I know it's true. You'll know when you get there.
>
> It's a really long process for some people (14 years for me and still counting!) but I'm a much happier, healthier person now because I have a (little) better understanding of why I react the way I do to certain situations in the present. I function much better now, even if I'm still working on it.
>
> Please don't give up.
> antigua
>
>

Hi Antigua,

Thanks for your encouraging words. It's not the abuse that I doubt. Even though there are huge holes in my memory, I do remember enough to know that there was some really bad stuff happening back then and there were strange injuries and illnesses to corroborate.

It's the trauma part that I doubt. How could so many years have passed (15+) and now I am suffering from those horrible times. And if that is the awful truth that it wasn't enough to survive but now I have to somehow deal with it all because it still exists in part of me.

Then there's the recovery part I doubt too. To recover means to get something back that was lost or taken away, right? But the abuse in my case started so young (it's one of my earliest memories) that I never had a chance to have anything to begin with. There is nothing for me to recover.

It is good to hear that you are getting better though, slowly but surely and I guess that somewhere deep inside I have that hope too. Otherwise why do I keep throwing my money away like this?

Thanks again.

 

Re: Questions cricket

Posted by antigua on June 28, 2004, at 16:15:23

In reply to Re: Questions, posted by cricket on June 28, 2004, at 13:37:53

My abuse started so young too, and I thought the same thing: how could I recover what I never had? But, I have discovered that there was a young girl who would have grown and developed normally (bad choice of word), who would have developed differently if the abuse didn't happen. My "self" is still in there, and everything I wanted to become is still there too. I had to hide that part of me in order to stay safe. I'm not explaining it in the best way, but knowing that there was a "me" before all this happened HAS given me hope. I don't have to be the person I became. I can become a healthier me.

As to the truama, from what I've learned if we didn't process the trauma (or weren't encouraged or allowed to) it stays trapped in our unconscious until we are able to process it, which means bringing it out. My T keeps telling me that my fear of what it was like is nowhere as bad as my expectations, but I don't feel safe enough to let it all out.

So, for me, the word "recover" isn't right, because I'm becoming a new person, a healthier and happier one. I have to hope because w/o hope I would have to give up. In the past year I've thought I would give up, but I realized it was because I felt I had nothing left once my defenses (denial and disassociation) were stripped away, but I've discovered that there is a core "me" that is still there. She will never be what she could have become w/o the abuse, but she can become something to be proud of.
best,
antigua

 

Re: Questions cricket

Posted by daisym on June 28, 2004, at 17:00:21

In reply to Re: Questions, posted by cricket on June 28, 2004, at 13:37:53

Cricket, welcome to babble.

My therapist likes to use the word "heal". We've talked many times about how old all this is (30 yrs. ago for me)and how I think I should just have "gotten over it" which is what I did most of my life. I know why it has been triggered now, and most days I "know" I have to go through it to come out on the other side. That doesn't mean I don't wonder frequently if it wasn't so much better tied up in that box in the mind's attic.

It is hard. You will need support. But you aren't alone and it is very typical to have these feelings, even as much as 2 years into therapy. If you trust your therapist and think you are working well together, I say it is money well spent. On the other hand, if you feel like you've gone as far as you can go with her, maybe it is time to reevaluate things.

I hope you keep posting here. You will probably find lots of support around this.
Daisy

 

Re: Questions

Posted by Cricket on June 28, 2004, at 19:24:04

In reply to Re: Questions cricket, posted by antigua on June 28, 2004, at 16:15:23

Thanks Antigua. It sounds like we have a lot in common. I know exactly what you mean when you say "I felt I had nothing left once my defenses (denial and disassociation) were stripped away." I am feeling that nothingness in a big way.

 

Re: Questions

Posted by Cricket on June 28, 2004, at 19:32:01

In reply to Re: Questions cricket, posted by daisym on June 28, 2004, at 17:00:21

Thanks for the welcome Daisym. You're right I do need support. And I am very glad you and other people are still around after the turmoil of the last few days on Babble.

Yeah, boy do I understand "gotten over it." I hear that voice in my head all the time "Oh get over it already.

I think that my therapist is very good. It's just that I am so damn scared of attachment that I am either fighting him, shutting down from him or actually fleeing therapy. Probably an issue that I should post about more at some point.

 

Re: Questions Cricket

Posted by Racer on June 28, 2004, at 22:54:43

In reply to Re: Questions, posted by Cricket on June 28, 2004, at 19:32:01

Welcome, Cricket.

While I'm hardly the poster child for effective recovery from depression, I can safely say that I *am* a success story for the ability of therapy to help you recover something you never had. The best news for you is this: just before the "breakthrough" for me, I was feeling that same sort of nothingness you're describing. All of my defenses were -- altered, not gone, just different and it felt as if I'd never be able to survive. Those defenses were altered enough that I finally had to experience my own emotions -- I could no longer protect myself from them. It was hard.

A big part of it for me was grieving for what I never got as a child. I, too, thought that I could never "re-cover" what had never been there. I can't tell you what happened, but I can tell you it was good. Yeah, sure, my childhood was lousy in a lot of ways, but now I can appreciate the ways in which it wasn't lousy. I guess I finally "got over" it -- but it took a while to do so, and it required working with a good therapist.

Best luck to you, Cricket, and welcome.

 

Re: Questions Racer

Posted by cricket on June 29, 2004, at 10:20:13

In reply to Re: Questions Cricket, posted by Racer on June 28, 2004, at 22:54:43

Thank you Racer. This is one time when it is so good to hear the "been there, done that" from people.

 

Re: double double quotes cricket

Posted by Dr. Bob on June 30, 2004, at 1:22:30

In reply to Questions, posted by cricket on June 28, 2004, at 11:18:31

> He wants me to read a book now ("Trauma and Recovery" by Judith Herman - have any of you ever heard of it?)...

I'd just like to plug the double double quotes feature at this site:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#amazon

The first time anyone refers to a book without using this option, I post this to try to make sure he or she at least knows about it. It's just an option, though, and doesn't *have* to be used. If people *choose* not to use it, I'd be interested why not, but I'd like that redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020918/msgs/7717.html

Thanks!

Bob

 

Re: Questions cricket

Posted by terrics on July 1, 2004, at 19:24:06

In reply to Questions, posted by cricket on June 28, 2004, at 11:18:31

Hi Cricket, If you are very unhappy with your therapist would it be possible to get a second opinion? I would try, especially if I did not agree with your Ts diagnosis. Also, are you sure you are dissociating? I used to think I was, but I was using the wrong label.. I depersonalize and derealize frequently. They are normal occurrences if they are not endless and so severe you may as well dissociate. I have the book you mentioned. I think I read very little of it as it did not pertain to me. The print is teeny so bring your glasses.

Personally it sounds like you do need that second opinion. Good luck. terrics

 

Re: Questions

Posted by cricket on July 2, 2004, at 11:16:54

In reply to Re: Questions cricket, posted by terrics on July 1, 2004, at 19:24:06

> Hi Cricket, If you are very unhappy with your therapist would it be possible to get a second opinion? I would try, especially if I did not agree with your Ts diagnosis. Also, are you sure you are dissociating? I used to think I was, but I was using the wrong label.. I depersonalize and derealize frequently. They are normal occurrences if they are not endless and so severe you may as well dissociate. I have the book you mentioned. I think I read very little of it as it did not pertain to me. The print is teeny so bring your glasses.
>
> Personally it sounds like you do need that second opinion. Good luck. terrics

Thanks Terrics. Yes, at times I certainly do feel like I need that 2nd opinion too. It's not that I don't trust my therapist (besides of course those major issues of trust I have with anyone in a position of authority or power) but I think at times we just clash and at times he just really really doesn't get it. But right now I am trying hard to attach and that is so so hard for me. If I went to someone else (and to tell you the truth just the thought of that gives me the creeps) I would have to go back to a year ago where I was virtually mute in therapy. An hour of me shrugging wasn't getting anyone anywhere.

As far as dissociation I really don't know. I don't think my t has used that word. It's not only a foggy state, but there are all the voices and seeing shadows and the always feeling like someone standing over my shoulder. Then there is what feels like the ability to leave my body and float up and look down on it whenever something unpleasant is happening. I also have an extremely high threshhold for pain. In fact, I have to constantly watch myself in the kitchen because I just don't feel a burn quick enough to pull away before I have a big red blister. I have discussed little or nothing of this with my T. So it's no wonder he doesn't know to call it anything either.

As far as the book is concerned, I'll let you know. We start on it next week. Thanks for the tip about the glasses :)


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