Therapy (152) Pt II

It feels like there could be a lot of parts to this one…heck we could probably turn it into a book between the two of us.  I’m only in my mid twenties, I’m young, and I’ve no doubt got decades of on and off therapy ahead of me, but I want to start this post off with remembering a bit about where this therapy stuff started.

So I come from the kind of family where the idea of therapy and talking to someone is entirely ridiculous. The silly phrase that actually pops into my head on a pretty regular basis about this and stuff like this is from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where Vernon Dudley’s sister in the film says good. i wont have this namby pamby wishy washy nonsense about not beating people who deserve it. It just sums up entirely how my parents are about emotions and feelings and talking about them – basically, you don’t. That’s for weaklings, for pathetic people, people to be mocked. I won’t have this namby pamby wishy washy nonsense about talking about feelings. And so of course the idea of therapy was totally ridiculous to me.

But I went to university…I felt isolated by the fact that I never wanted to have sex and I was terrified of relationships, as well as simply men a lot of the time. One of my housemates was talking to me about a friend on her course who was struggling with anorexia and was seeing a counsellor at the uni about it. And that kind of sparked the idea in my head. I think I was already on a forum just before that (I didn’t get on well there – it wasn’t where I met pocketcanadian), and I had read about plenty of people being in therapy, I just had never thought that maybe I could even have that.

So I looked into it, and I started with emailing a woman called B. It was too terrifying to see somebody face to face. It started by having to fill out a questionnaire to assess me – hilariously looking at it now her response was the good news is your risk factors registered as zero and your functioning was well within the range we’d want it to be! Hmmm, don’t think I was completely honest in that first questionnaire. She asked me to tell her a little bit about what I wanted us to work on and I said okay, so when I was about 7-8 I was sexually abused on and off for a year or two. I’ve always considered that I’d gotten over it but I can never seem to get into a relationship with someone – it’s like I just automatically say no even if I want to. [a little bit about how I had read about counselling in a book and just thought I’d try it]. I think that’s about it. Thanks, pocketbrit

It seems comical to me now rereading that. Oh well i was sexually abused (and make it out to be shorter than it was) but I don’t know what my problem is, think that’s about it. cheers, bye. *eyeroll*. B emailed me back, told me I was brave and asked me to share some more. I built up trust with her, aided by the fact that it was behind a screen and not face to face. Rereading the emails now I feel a mixture of sadness at how I was struggling but not wanting to admit it, pride that I gave it a go and found the courage to reach out and begin to speak about these things, and also a bit ashamed of how young I sound. It was a good few years ago now, but I sound so young and naive, and then that brings me back around to sad, because I was so sure I was making a big deal out of nothing, so sure I didn’t deserve this woman’s time. She didn’t have any experience in trauma, she was a counsellor rather than a therapist, but she listened, and she was gentle and kind. She was exactly the introduction into it that I needed.  There was a bit she wrote that I used to reread a lot – you are not the problem here, all families are systems and yours hasn’t worked for you. While I’m sure your parents did the best they could at the time and this is in no way meant as a criticism of them, something made them consciously or unconsciously turn a blind eye and it is in that darkness that abuse happens. You are not in the dark anymore, nor should it follow you around like a shadow. I don’t know why but I felt her and I believed her, and I hung onto it like an anchor at the time. She suggested we meet in person and I did, and then she mentioned that the head of counselling did EMDR and that she wondered if I would be able to give it a go, the extra scary part being that he was a man (though a kind and gentle small Irishman, as she put it). I freaked out and said no, and then came around to the idea.

Seeing A for EMDR was terrifying. I’m proud of myself for going and trying. I don’t think it really helped – I refused to tell him any details to begin, and was only just beginning to open up and trust him as our time was coming to an end. But I began to really like him. She was right, he was gentle and kind, and quite fatherly. He didn’t push me but also wasn’t scared or shocked when I did tell him bits. He was steady, never wavered. What seeing him really did was build up my confidence. He really tried to impress on me that I should make sure that if I went to therapy in the future I saw a trauma specialist. That’s what he was, a senior accredited with personal interest in trauma. I kind of wish I could have carried on seeing him, but I wasn’t living there anymore, and even if I was I wouldn’t have been able to pay for it.

So then I didn’t see anyone for a bit. But I went back to uni (a different city) to do a postgrad, and looked up their wellbeing services. I started seeing a young woman there – no counselling or therapy experience, but a fun woman, a good listener that I just really liked. She was a good listener and kind, even though I was a pain in the arse and spent most of my time staring at the clock not knowing what to say. Sometimes we would draw or play gamed, not even really talk. She was not helpful for the trauma, but very helpful for the loneliness, for having somebody.

And then we come to sonja and today. And I’m going to leave that for Therapy Pt III I think – that’s more than enough nonsense from me for tonight…

Back to the Blog

Neither pocketcanadian nor I have been consistently here in forever. We keep saying to each other how we do actually want to finish these daily words, but for me at least, finding the energy to write about some of these words is difficult – knowing how much there is to say, and wanting to do it justice. I’m going to try to make a commitment to myself to come back here and write again, finish these words off. (And the terrible reality is that I actually have 202 words of the 365 still to do – I didn’t even manage to do half of them.) But rather than an unseen word a day, I’ll just be choosing between the words, whichever I feel like writing about that day. And it won’t be one a day…I’m going to aim for one a week as a minimum, and hope that there are more than that some weeks.

So I hope we haven’t lost the couple of people that actually read our words, though it would be understandable if we had. Any of you out there and reading this, thank you – I hope you’re doing okay, xo.

Therapy pt 1

Dear sonja

As much as I wish I could write all good things, what I’m feeling right now is all of the bad. And to be clear, by bad, I mean absolutely fucking terrible. I oscillate between wishing you were dead (and yes, I know how awful that makes me), and wishing you would take me in as your own and welcome me back with open arms and hugs and ample words of reassurance.

You see I don’t understand any of it. I don’t understand how it happened, I don’t understand how it’s okay for you to have done that, I don’t understand what I did wrong, I don’t understand why you abandoned me and I really don’t understand why you are treating me like I’m some dangerous criminal.

Do you know that I’ve been making a scarf that I started knitting for you? Do you know that I’ve had a design idea for a necklace to make you going around and around in my head for months, that I intended to make and give to you for christmas? I don’t know where this all went wrong. I really don’t know where this all went wrong.

I like to think that you’re nothing to me, that you never were anything to me. That I never needed you and never cared for you. That I couldn’t care less about your dog that used to cuddle me on your sofa, or your cat that I got to know as a kitten. I need to pretend that you are nothing to me. That I don’t care whether you still exist, whether you are still practicing, what your kid is up to, whether you ever think of me.

I don’t understand. I don’t understand how despite knowing my core wounds, all the attachment shit, you could do what you did. I don’t understand how you abandoned me. And worse, I don’t understand how you treated me as though I was a criminal, refusing final sessions, refusing to have any more contact with me.

You made me feel like I was the worst of the worst. Like I should be put down. Like I didn’t deserve to call myself a human. That I used and abused people. That I am just like him.

I am not like him. I am nothing like him. Whether I was too much for you because of your own wounds, or whether I was too much for you because of my stuff, because of being little and upset and needy, I don’t know. But I am not an abuser. I am not like him. And I cannot begin to tell you the damage you have caused by treating me like I’m even worse than the rapist that I came to you because of in the first place.

I want to be dead. I am struggling every single day with the will to stay alive. I just wish that when I went to bed at night, I would never wake up in the morning.

I hate you. I know that is childish and harsh and likely cruel to say, but I hate you. I hate what you have done to me. I hate the pain you have caused me, knowing exactly how it would. I hate how I mean nothing to you. I hate how you can simply erase me from your life, but I can never erase you from mine.

I feel worthless. Even the one person that I pay to be there for me abandons me and treats me like the disgusting whore I have grown up being told that I am.

I have nobody. Nobody at all. Not even somebody that I pay to be by my side.

Why bother living?

Fuck all of it,

Pocketbrit.