Therapy worries. Rejection, Abandonment.

I have just had three good days in a row, three! Saturday morning’s writing really helped.

I had an amazing afternoon with my cousin and her family and then a peaceful day Sunday. Yesterday, I had a challenge of handling the children alone until late evening and not only did I manage it, but I felt perfectly calm and natural while doing so- YAY for me!

 

Today is not so good, painful body memories, flashbacks and some fears/worries surrounding therapy and my T again. I really need them to go away, I cannot address them, nor can my T reassure me until next Friday.

One memory in particular continues to bother me. I really hoped it was among the processed memories and I would not need to go there again. Unfortunately, it seems I do. It keeps coming back and no amount of telling it to “do one” works. It just comes back. I can understand why, while we have discussed it before, it was not faced properly, or as necessary, instead it was talked about in order to reach other goals. Therefore, it makes sense that I need to raise it again at some point, but it seems I have some worries about doing so.

The thing that has surprised me, is that the worry is not about having to go through talking it over again, it is not fear or even frustration so much, instead it is more about how my T may react.

What the heck is up with that?? I have no reason to question him, he has never given me reason to.. But:

I am worried about going over old ground and causing him to feel impatient or annoyed with me. I deeply fear his (or anyone’s) rejection and abandonment. And that pisses me off. I thought those feelings had at least faded a little.

My last session with my T is probably why this is getting to me right now. He said a few things that were badly timed- things I will bring up in my next session.

The things he said were actually really encouraging when considered in the right mindset, but I guess I am not there, because I am struggling to see them as such right now.

Lots of fear and worrying. I have thoughts such as:

“Two years of therapy now, is he becoming frustrated with me?”

“Is he sick and tired of hearing about my stuff”

“Does he think I am exaggerating?”

“Does he believe I should be over it?”

Or the worst “Does he think I am over it and I am just attention seeking now?

 

Deep down I know the answers. He is a Person Centered Therapist, it is my agenda, my therapy, it goes on as long as I need and want. I have not stood still, I have made huge leaps of progress- so why the fear? Why the worry?

I have to get past it before I can talk to him about this memory again. It was a particularly nasty incident, probably one of the worst. It was emotionally and physically traumatic, incredibly so. It is also a memory that is (once again) surrounded in shame. As such, I need to feel completely sure he is there for me, with no frustration or impatience directed towards me.

I feel ridiculous for the fear, he is amazing, he has been amazing all the way through this. I should not need to question him.

It’s hard enough to have to get through the body memories and the flashbacks without the fear and worry. Every time I am hit by an intrusive memory I think of my last session when my T picked up on my use of the word “intrusive” and we talked of how it is OK, to tell a memory where to go. Why does that bother me? When or day or so ago that knowledge was a source of liberation for me? I feel so conflicted. I cannot tell this memory where to go yet and I know that is OK. I know my T would encourage me to explore it again. So why the worry?

I am tying myself in knots here. I hate feeling this way, the insecurity, the neediness.

The relationship with a therapist is a strange one isn’t it? You tell this person deep thoughts and feelings, you probably won’t tell another person, yet they aren’t a friend or a family member, or someone that will remain in your life after therapy.

While the boundaries are so very important to me, sometimes it’s hard not to feel needy. He knows my deepest, darkest thoughts. He knows vile and sick details I can never imagine repeating to anyone else. I have told him things I do not think my loved ones will ever know. I cannot handle the idea of his rejection. I cannot bear to imagine that he will abandon me with this.

 

I could beat myself up couldn’t I? I could be frustrated and angry at the way I feel, but what good would that do? I feel this, I cannot help what I feel. And I am not to blame. I did not cause these feelings. I feel this way because I was abandoned, because I was abused, because I was rejected. So, I am doing what I can to help myself feel better this evening. It is back to basics of grounding and comforting through these awful body memories and these troublesome, conflicting fears.

I hate this, what he did, what he caused and how it still lingers in my life now. I want to be free of it.

I hope this passes soon. 😦

 

 

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Needy.

It would seem that I am not ready. I couldn’t release how I felt today. But my T was awesome as normal. He stood with me and together we looked at it. We looked at what it was, what it is and what it means. And though we didn’t move forward into it, neither did we turn back.

I am not disappointed, everything inside of me was telling me to run away from that pain. While I didn’t let it speak, I didn’t turn and run from it either.

My T suggested that this is the root of it all, that once I can get through this, everything else will follow. That’s a scary thought- something to explore another time.

I’m a little triggered on and off right now, I can’t talk about this stuff so deeply without going close to the memories. I feel a bit “icky”. Like I need to shower, to wash away the triggers, scrub away the memories. It’s not unusual, I should be used to it, I guess. Yet it doesn’t seem to get any easier.

At the end of my session (perhaps bad timing, but necessary), my T told me he’s away for 2 weeks in April. As I left, I realised that as there is also a holiday (Good Friday) the week after he’s away, I won’t actually see him for most of April. I’m so angry, not at my lovely T, not at all. I am angry at my reaction and my feelings to that news.

Earlier in the session, I told my T I wish I could take a break to face one thing at a time (sometimes I feel as if I don’t get to finish a stage before the next is upon me). April could be that break- yet I don’t feel good about it. Quite the opposite.

Firstly, because I have a huge and horrible anniversary (easily the worst day of my life), the day before his first week off. Yes, I’ve told him about it once before, but I need to go there again. Now I can attach myself to the feelings too, I need to talk about it again, differently, properly. How the hell do I handle that anniversary without him? When do we talk about it again?

And secondly, today we talked a little about how I hate to depend on other people and I guess I realised how much I actually do depend on my T. I am clear on the boundaries, he is not my friend, I don’t need him for survival, I don’t need love or affection from him. What I get from him in our relationship though, I need.

A professional relationship is necessary in this, so I don’t have to be paranoid about taking up his time, or fearing that he’ll tell someone else, or worry I’ll upset him. I know (mostly) that space is reserved for me each week, he will (almost always) be there each week. When I’m struggling, I know that I just have to hold on until Friday. I cannot expect anyone else to do that for me.

That need for him and need for therapy and any need for anyone, scares me. I don’t want to need him or anyone. I hate that I feel so needy. It scares me, more than I can ever explain.

I’ll cope with the gap (I think?), I’ve done so before. I’m more able to handle the trauma side of things and while I don’t do feelings well yet, I can contain if I really have to. But today, after gently prodding at that devastation of being abandoned and rejected-left alone in my agony, I cannot help but transfer some of those feelings into my T going away.

I hope I will feel differently in a few days? Perhaps it’s just because I feel so raw from the session and because the way I feel is so new and scary and huge?

I couldn’t cry all session for the deep pain inside me, yet the idea of being alone with that anniversary and also the reality of needing someone, is so terrifying that I just cannot stop the tears.

I don’t want to need him, I don’t want to depend on anyone. Yet, I don’t want to be alone, I cannot do this alone. You know that “I’m almost on my knees here” from yesterday? Well I’m beyond that now. I am flat on the ground. What do I do? How do I get through this?

And I swear, the more upset I get, the more triggered I am. Apparently, I cannot even cry, without “him” intruding.

Grooming, Attachment, Anger.

 

My head may explode, this week was supposed to be calmer. Work was nuts, house purchase is all systems go, children are driving me nuts, to do list is getting longer. I just wanna sit on my couch and hide from it all.

Tomorrow is therapy day, I’m looking forward to it this week, I’m desperately trying to keep a lid on my feelings. I am hoping I can release them a little with my T.

 

I have been reading up on grooming again, I find it is a need right now. While this was something I started to face and come to terms with last year, I know I am not there yet and my most recent therapy session has thrown it up again for me.

I have been reading some of the NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood) website, have you been there? I never really thought I belonged there. I don’t consider myself as someone who was a victim of child abuse. I was a teen. I hear child, I think pre pubescent. Am I the victim of child abuse?

Either way, a lot of the stuff on the website really resonates with me. Particularly as I am dealing with mixed feelings towards my abuser. It seems to be common/ normal/ expected. The  feelings I have right now, aren’t about now, they are 14 year old feelings, but they leave me confused and conflicted. It helps to know I am not alone.

 

I have known all along, that I had feelings of love for my abuser. Even though that love was out of manipulation and grooming, the way I felt was real. But following my recent therapy session, I now realise how much deeper it went.

I  think I formed a bond/an attachment to my abuser. I needed him, I really, needed him.  And as I faced his betrayal with my T on Friday, I was devastated.

How the hell am I supposed to feel about that? Sick, for one. Guilty too. I read that the bond/ attachment is normal. Yet I feel anything but normal. How could I have needed him and loved him so very much, when he hurt me in ways I didn’t believe were possible? What does that make me?

 

I know, I know- he caused that, he groomed me into needing him. He worked hard to sever my bonds with anyone else, he was cunning in isolating me from anyone and everyone else. I was so young, I needed someone. He was the only someone left. I know I am looking at it with hindsight. But I don’t know how not to blame myself.  Perhaps, because it’s easier to deal with that way? Easier than the reality? Or perhaps it’s because he ground me down so much, I still struggle with finding self worth.

Either way, it adds to my anger. The anger that I ever felt that way, the anger that I feel this way now and the anger that exists to hold down the growing pain.

It was supposed to be easier and better this week. Where’s my break? When will it end? I swear, I’m not far from my knees here.

 

 

 

I’m doing a little better this week (so far at least)! My PTSD symptoms are so much calmer, I am quite easily managing any that come my way right now.

Saturday was difficult, but Sunday was so calm, grounding and peaceful (as peaceful as it gets around here with two young children).

I know my sessions with my T are helping, disclosure helps so much. I hate doing it, I wish there were another way, but it works. I was quite ill last week, yet after telling what I did Friday, I feel so much more relaxed.

Sure, as with every new disclosure, tons of issues have been thrown in the air, things changing and feelings shifting, but  it was worth it for the relief I feel right now.

My T encouraged me to “park” what I disclosed if I found it all too much this week. It took a few days, but I’ve managed it. For now I have emotionally detached. It makes it easier to talk about, it makes it easier to write about. I can start to look at the issues it has raised, I can begin to explore the feelings it has revealed. I don’t want to remain emotionally detached (as I have with some previous disclosures), because I don’t want to have to do it again. But for now, to get me through to my next therapy session, emotionally detached is what I need. 

The first thing I will ask my T when I see him is “do you believe me?”. It is something I find the need to ask after each disclosure. It’s not as urgent as it used to be, now I know him well enough to read his body language and his reactions. But still, that reassurance is a big deal for me. It’s something I crave a lot. I need to know I am believed.

While I have told my T worse things than what I did on Friday, it still sounds so far fetched and unbelievable. His long exhale, his shift forward in body language, was enough for me to know he was with me as I told. I felt believed, understood and I knew I wasn’t alone. I didn’t need to ask him “do you believe me” right then, but since I’ve detached from it and had time to consider what I told, those doubts have crept in.

What I went through, it really does sound unbelievable, especially if you know me and the life I have now. I have been safe for ten years now and even find myself wondering if it really took place. I talked about it some last night and as I heard it out loud (in the way I just don’t when I’m really feeling it), it sounded like a lie- made up or at least exaggerated.

It helps to talk it through, it is the only way I will accept it. I choose what I reveal, I remain in control with what I am saying, I never want to say too much. I worry all the time about over sharing, these things cannot be easy to hear. Mostly, though, I fear that my own thoughts of “that sounds made up” are being thought by those I am sharing with.

I remember it, as if it were yesterday. It is as if the memories have been burned into me and there is a giant scar, running through me.  Yet, I don’t believe it half the time. How do you get past that? How do you deal with how unbelievable it all sounds? How do you accept it, when you can barely get your head around it yourself? Will this constant questioning of myself ever end? Will I always be so insecure and afraid?

I just cannot understand why anyone would want to hear these things, I cannot understand why they are willing to share my pain. I wait, to be called out as a liar, or an attention seeker, I fear it everyday. Will that ever go?

If I barely believe my own story,  how can I ever expect anyone else to believe me?

My fault? (That damn question again)

Is it my fault?

That is a question I’ve been asking myself often, for a very long time.

As therapy has progressed and I have moved forward, that question has continued to bother me from time time.

Each time there’s a new memory revealed, I find myself asking that question again. “Is it my fault?”.

Sometimes the weight behind it, is not what it was. I know the truth, intellectually at least. I know what my T would say, the argument against, the rationale.. however, the question continues to bother me, time and time again.

 

A new disclosure on Friday and it was horrible. It seems to get harder as I move forward. I feel more than ever before. I’m not simply telling a story- emotionally detached from the reality- I feel it now, every word I say. It was  incredibly painful.

I couldn’t tell my T everything, it was too much to deal with in one session. I was in danger of reliving what I went through, so I purposefully left some of it for another time.

One of those things I left out is really bothering me (and I’m angry that it is already bothering me, can’t I get a break??). Among other things, it is leading me to that question again- Is it my fault?”.

I cannot really explain here because that would lead me to feeling exposed and vulnerable again and I’ve felt that enough the last few days. I do not wish to share the details of my abuse here, certainly not right now.

But I cannot shake it- is it my fault at least in some way? My own actions, participation- it’s not as simple as that I know.  When is choice, not really choice? Willingness, not really willing?

I know I was groomed, trapped, coerced and forced. I often did what I had to just to survive. I don’t mean I believed I’d be killed if I didn’t, but it was  for my own emotional survival. I did what I had to for my own sanity.

I guess I find the need to justify myself, I find myself trying to remember what my T has said when I have previously shared my feelings of guilt and fault. I need that reassurance right now. Because I cannot get out of my head that at least some of that particular day, was down to me-my fault.

I so don’t need this right now, I’m still trying to recover from my therapy session on Friday.

Judgement

 

 

Sometimes, I fear I am evil. Those thoughts, feelings, beliefs I hold, I have always feared that if I shared them, people would see that evil within me unfold.

On Friday I shared some of those with my T. He let me talk, he let me explore and he asked some questions, which allowed me to be sure of my feelings. I shared my fears of what other people would think if they knew. My T told me I was entitled to those thoughts and I couldn’t feel something other than what I feel. He told me my feelings were valid, he seemed to understand.

Those people in my life who really have no idea, or cannot comprehend my past, I fear they would never understand. I think, they would be shocked, I fear they would change their view of me. But I cannot help the way I feel and I am certain it will not change. So, it feels as if I am lying, hiding yet more of myself.

I struggle with that a lot, I want to be open, I want to feel able to be me. If I want to share the way I feel, or share those things that were done to me, I want to be free to do that as I want to. But how can I, when there’s so much judgement, from within me and (in my experience) from without.

 

I go through periods of praying a lot, reading my (new and beautiful) Bible, where I find I just cannot get enough. But when I’m being completely honest with myself -with my thoughts and my feelings, I find I cannot pray, or even look at that Bible.

When I’m being real, I am ashamed of myself and I get all defensive, assuming I will be judged. Then everything that was comforting me, is suddenly a trigger, even my normally much loved, devotion app. Any sort of teaching, feels like preaching because I’m so full of guilt and so laden with shame.

Right now, I feel guilty for not feeling what I think I should and I feel guilty for feeling the things I do. I am ashamed of the thoughts I have and the way I feel about some of my past.

 

And if you knew, would you judge me, the way I judge myself?

 

Therapy. Pain, Confusion

 

I find myself counting the hours, sometimes even the minutes; until I see my T again. Week two of this need to be with him and I don’t like it. I don’t like the neediness. I don’t like relying on him so much. Yet once I was there last week, I found myself ready to leave. The session was intense, we reached new depths of feelings, it was awesome in a way, freeing. But so horribly painful, I wanted to run away. I left exhausted and hurt.

The exhaustion may now be gone, but that hurt remains. And I don’t know what to do with it. Nothing, I guess? But it is not that simple and it is not that easy. I’m containing so much and yeah, I’m doing it well, but I can’t get my head around the reality we have faced. I cannot believe it, it doesn’t seem possible. It’s not me, not now and it was not me before, so how can this be? How was it real?

I need some reassurance right now and to know that it’s OK. Not just what I revealed, but what I feel is so unexpected, is it normal? Is it wrong?

I know what my T would say and I try to take comfort in that knowledge and to remind myself in my confusion, that whatever I feel is OK.

It’s serving its purpose, not just the opportunity to speak the truth at last, but it’s getting me where I need to be with the particular issue at hand. It’s helping me to let go of lies that I’ve held close and it’s changing the twisted perception I have, that was groomed into me. But by letting out this secret, it is as if I’ve been forced to turn around, to face the remaining lie that there was ever something good in “him”. And it’s like a punch in the stomach, winded beyond belief. I know it’s my way to more acceptance, but to an acceptance I thought I already had.