Ever get that feeling like your wading through molasses? Like your trying to reach the other side of the river, but half way across the water has turned to sticky molasses that is trying to suck you under? That’s what the last few weeks have felt like. We’ve had little clues as to what has been causing this, but we’re at the point where we need to write them down in order to try and work them through.
1. We’re incredibly threatened by Liz
A healthy amount of challenging is appropriate from a therapist, but we’ve interpreted Liz’ experience in the dissociative disorders as a threat. This is for many reasons, pretty much all of them could be assigned to our insecurities and negative experiences with previous mental health professionals. We know that we can work on this by trying to communicate with Liz as much as we can – we’re starting to do this by giving her a copy of all of our YouTube work. If nothing else, these clips give a different view-point into our experiences and interpretation of what is occurring.
2. We are increasingly aware of how anger effects us.
Several blogs we’ve read have lately have looked at the issue of anger, predominantly how it is expressed by the abuse survivor. We do have this as an issue – some of us do feel anger which is not expressed appropriately. Yes, some of us self-injure; but this is rare and those that do self-injure don’t seem to do it out of anger – or else the anger is off the scale to the point where they appear to be operating on auto-pilot. But our main issue at the moment is being able to understand how anger is expressed by those around us. When Kriss doesn’t contact us regularly, we interpret this as the brooding anger that the father exhibited while we were growing up. Today the team leader was getting angry about a decision that the library manager had made, but was questioning and raising her voice at us instead of the library manager. This triggered a young one to the point where we nearly crawled under the desk – not a good look for a supposedly mature librarian.
3. Terrified of making therapy about “us”
We know we’ve been in therapy for about 4-5 years, but most of that has been aimed at surviving the abusive marriage. We’re now at the point where we have to go into therapy and concentrate on us and how we can heal. This is terrifying! We learnt from an early age that we are worthless and anything that we do to try and draw positive attention is futile. Now we’re meant to spend at least an hour per week concentrating on what we need. That concept is so triggering it’s incredible.
4. Memories of the perfect childhood.
Possibly to give us hope, or possibly just a way this brain plays with itself, we’ve been getting more images of the perfect childhood that some of us created in order to cope with what was happening to us. It’s a beautiful childhood that involves having a dog, a garden etc. What is interesting, is that even in our perfect childhood there is no real sense of having a family.
5. Terror that we’re going to get much worse before we get better.
When we see the hell that other survivors are going through, we worry that if we lift the lid on the emotions and memories that some of us hold, we’ll go through something similar. It’s a very irrational fear based on looking for ways to block therapy and go into the unknown area of healing, but it’s something that hits us every now and again. We know we’re lucky in our current level of functioning and are worried about losing that. We also know that losing that functioning doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with healing.
6. Time-frames for healing.
Liz mentioned that it is reasonable to expect someone with Borderline Personality Disorder to have seven years of therapy before healing. That is a really long time. We don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for BPD, but it’s still indicative. It’s still scary. Management had a time-frame of being “cured” in six months when we first went to therapy, we knew within a couple of weeks that this time-frame wasn’t possible; but we’re scared of a process that could take years and what could happen in that time. Part of this is because we have so little concept of time – if you’ve ever talked about seven years to a child, you know the sort of reaction that you can get. We have a similar concept of time.
Trying to remember to take it a moment at a time.