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Re: Just need to talk(long)

Posted by Racer on July 5, 2004, at 12:33:39

In reply to Just need to talk(long), posted by rs on July 5, 2004, at 10:29:15

Healing is hard, and painful. I liken therapy to debriding an abscess: the traumas of our past haven't really healed, because the pain was encapsulated at the time, and the infection remains active within the capsule. It may look as though the wound has healed, because the skin has closed up over it, so we can't see the active infection working away at us. But it is active, and it is destroying us on the inside.

Therapy is painful, because the first step has to be opening up the old wound in order to clean out that old infection, so that the real healing can happen. That part is painful -- often, it's almost more painful than the initial injury itself was. What's more, when that debriding process is going on, you get the additional pain of learning how much damaged that denied infection has caused. In the case of a physical abscess, that might mean that it's eaten away at bones in the area. In the psychological abscess, it may be shining a light on how many other events in our lives were shaped by it, and how much we lost by reacting in -- let's say -- suboptimal ways learned during the initial trauma.

As for the people around me not understanding what I"m going through, while it hurts -- no question about that, and having to hold all this inside me is terrible (I feel at times ready to burst from the pressure) -- I kind of look at the psychological trauma scars as being analogous to my sex life: I have women friends I'll discuss my sex life with, in detail, and even two male friends I can talk to about some of the details. Most people I know, though, I simply wouldn't want to talk sex with. So, why should I think that any of those Second Tier people would be any more trustworthy with my psychological life than my sex life? Again, it doesn't always make a lot of difference in my comfort level, but at least thinking about it this way gives me some perspective.

The little kernal of hope I hold closely to myself is this: I went through several years of intensive, effective therapy 20 years ago. There was a period that was so painful, I was convinced I would not be able to survive it, and that there was no chance of any sort of life afterwards if I did. That period came right before the turning point for me, the point where I could start to heal. I had to go to the depths of hell, though, to get to the healing spring. (Man, that sounds sappy even to me.) Again, I think of it like an abscess: sometimes the bones need to be scraped out, too, and that causes so much more pain. But if you don't do that, the infection is still active, and you'll have to do the whole thing over again, and again, and again as the infection causes more and more damage, until the scraping is finally done completely. Does that make sense? (And I know: thinking about abscesses is gross, but the analogy works for me so well, I can't think of another, more polite version.)

I'm sorry you're feeling so lousy. I agree that having a job is helpful for you, forcing you to get out of bed, and put one foot in front of the other. (I've been unable to work for a while now, and it's terrible.) I guess the only thing I can say is just what you already know: Hang in there, it can get better, there is hope, just hang on and keep working towards it.

Best luck to you, and even better luck as well.




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