The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

October 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 2:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I want somebody to tell me what to do, how to fix this. How to fix me. But everyone’s solutions seems so inadequate.

NT’s solution seems to be, basically, just wait 30 years and then you’ll feel better.

Windhorse team’s solution is wait for the neuropsych consult about your broken brain and then figure out how to go back to school.

Psychiatrist’s solution is to put me on all these supplements I can’t afford because he doesn’t grok that not everybody has a doctor’s income.

None of these answers are helping right now. Nothing is helping the immediate desperation and feelings of intolerableness. None of it is addressing the fact that I’m trapped in a past I can’t escape on my own. None of it addresses the pain that’s so bad and so inescapable I don’t want to be alive.

None of these people make me feel any less alone with it.

I’m not suicidal, exactly. I want to live, but not in this much constant pain. It and I can’t both exist in the same body; there’s not enough space.

I don’t even need to feel better right this instant–I just need to feel like I’m definitely moving in that direction.

But will I tell any of these people any of this? Of course not.

This pain is my own fault.

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3 Responses to “”

  1. m Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I hear how frustrated you are. Here are just some thoughts, which you can obviously take or leave. What strikes me most in your recent posts is how you write so passionately about your anger, even rage, over being coerced to participate in medication treatment….yet at the same time you express repeatedly your wish to be pushed by your therapist into addressing your trauma history.

    IMO, therapy for abuse survivors tends to be all about the relationship and often about unconscious re-enactments of all the impossible emotions and catch-22’s involved in the initial traumas. You want your therapist to push you to do this work. Yes, it has the potential to be healing, but you write yourself that you also expect it to be painful. I don’t know if your therapist is clueless or merely very alert to and cautious about the differences between pushing a client into “going there” and doing that type of intensive, painful work…and a mutual, agreed-upon partnership to do so that is voluntary, therapeutic, and sought by the client.

    But it’s a catch-22 for both of you, nonetheless. She either unilaterally pushes you into a painful process you have not asked for, or she betrays you by abandoning you and not seeing how much you need her to help you do this work. You experience either a painful coercion or a painful abandonment.

    Abandonment or coercion are the choices you keep describing, just like in the past.

    This feels to me like a dynamic and a set of roles that you may be bringing to the process unconsciously, to show her something. You keep describing yourself as stuck and not having really begun in therapy, but IMO what you describe unfolding between you already sounds important.

    • weordmyndum Says:

      I guess I need to define my terms. (You would think I’d remember not everyone is in my head and not everybody uses language the same way I do.)

      When I say I want my therapist to push me, I don’t mean that I would be an unwilling, passive participant. I don’t know exactly how to explain the dynamic I’m looking for, but I’ll try.

      The most helpful therapists I’ve had were ones who could be very active in the process of therapy but still leave space for me to go where I needed to. Direct, specific questions about difficult topics, pointing out connections between past and present that I couldn’t see on my own, encouraging/pushing me to express intense emotions and holding in mind that–despite my feelings and fears–I wouldn’t stay stuck in those states if I allowed myself to express them to a compassionate witness. There was a sense of the therapist not being intimidated by or angry about my intensity.

      I know it sounds strange, but it also helps me to have a therapist who doesn’t tell me things will get better. I assume therapists have to believe in the possibility of hope to do their jobs, and a very occasional reminder that they believe things can get better is helpful so I know the therapist doesn’t think I’m a lost cause. But I bristle when people tell me things WILL get better. No one can honestly promise that, so to hear it feels like the person saying it is minimizing the seriousness of what’s going on. From a normal person, it’s frustrating; from a therapist, it’s maddening.

      Also, I consider psychiatry/medication a totally different realm from therapy. Any therapist I’m willing to work with can’t use the kind of coercion and boundary violations I’ve experienced in the past from both sexual abuse and abuse in the psychiatric system. In fact, I quit seeing my last therapist when she ignored a clear boundary. (When I talk about needing to be pushed in therapy, I’m not talking about boundary violations.) For me, mainstream psychiatric treatment has been very traumatic. Therapy, conversely, has overall been a painful but incredibly important in my process of reassembling my life.

  2. Grainne Says:

    I’ve looked for this too – the answer or, at the very least, the direction that the answer is in. The one thing I know for sure is that it’s not your fault…none of it is. I know it’s not a choice you make, to blame yourself for the things that hurt you…but it’s so not your fault. xx


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