Monday, October 22, 2007

My "Real" Therapy

I don't want to give the impression that I think therapy is bogus even though I used the word in talking about my first therapy in yesterday's post, Therapy - Bogus or Productive I really have no idea if the therapy that went on in that place was productive for other people or not. I just know it wasn't productive for me. And I think after that experience, any time a person is in therapy and they end up feeling somehow like they're the one that's wrong all the time. that's a good sign to move on and find a different therapist.

My "real" therapy began with the second place I went for therapy. The agency specialized in treating both victims and offenders of sexual abuse and had group sessions for victims of childhood sexual abuse. I didn't know they treated offenders when I started. That may have been enough to scare me away. But by the time I did learn they treated offenders, I was firmly on a path of healing and nothing could have drug me away from it.

I would describe this part of my journey as having two different phases. During the first phase I dealt with the sexual abuse by my older brother that started when I was ten or eleven. The second phase was dealing with the issues that caused me to split off into multiple personalities.

This first phase was a whirlwind for me. It took place over about six months. I had none of the usual denial about the sexual abuse happening. By the time I arrived to start therapy, I knew it had happened and it didn't take long before I knew it was not my fault.

This brief journey gave me a chance to learn about how a productive therapy process should work. I understood that the secret, whatever it might be, needed to be exposed. Without sharing the secret, the feelings surrounding it could not change.

Then there was denial. I learned that denial, too, was a part of the process, just like in the stages of grief. It was there to protect us from being overwhelmed but it could be abused. I saw people who totally used their denial to avoid dealing with there feelings. I was determined not to let myself fall into that. I learned confronting one's own denial can be helpful to the healing process.

I learned about co-dependency and alcoholic family systems. I also learned how a healthy family system should function. I learned that I wasn't responsible for other's feelings and that I was only responsible for my behavior. I even got a good sense of how and why that could be true as I began to understand that sometimes feelings don't really match what's going on.

I also began to see why I had been attracted to men who had been prone to violence. The warning signs I'd seen early in the relationships yet I had totally ignored them. Keeping to the family rules, I had brushed them aside as nothing when in fact they were the clues that could have protected me from my terrible mistakes with men. I learned I should have been listening to my gut.

I began to understand victim behavior and how it related to me. With that understanding came the first acceptance of myself as a human being. While this was only the first layer of the onion that was to be my past, I peeled it away thoroughly and resolved every issue. By doing so my system gained the advantage of having some very healthy personalities to assist with the deeper darker layers.

Part 2

6 comments:

keepers said...

thank you for sharing this, it always hopes to get others experiences to draw from especially positive ones.

peace and blessings

keepers

Marj aka Thriver said...

The excellent posts just keep coming! Thank you for your courage and insights in sharing. Would you consider choosing a post to submit to the BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE? It's had a hiatus, but I'm starting it up again. Thanks for considering.

Kahless said...

Good posts.
I think what you said
any time a person is in therapy and they end up feeling somehow like they're the one that's wrong all the time. that's a good sign to move on and find a different therapist.
that is spot on.

I dont know if you have read any of my old posts, when in July I quit seeing this guy I had been going to for a year. I came away from most sessions with him feeling upset. I was scared before I went. Basically in my heart I didnt feel he was on my side. I am not sure he was. I felt I could never question him.

The new therapist I am seeing I feel that she is on my side and that she genuinely cares about me. I need that. I trust her.

Cheers
Kahless.

jumpinginpuddles said...

Hmm therapy and therapists interesting once described as "the rapi*ts" becasue thats what they do r*pe your mind im not sur if thats a good thing or a bad thing and im not sur how we fele about rtherapy right now anyway all too confusing forus.
But cna we ask a question are you integrated? and if so how when where etc etc if you dont want ot answer sorry for asking and yo ucna delte this comemnt

Marj aka Thriver said...

I realize that I was insensitive to ritual abuse survivors when I started slapping together this October edition of the blog carnival. I want to apologize to you personally. I'm sorry.

Rising Rainbow said...

keepers, I'm sure with the problem you had with a therapist, knowing there really are good ones out there nust be helpful.

marj aka thriver, I'll thik about participating in a blog carnival.

kahless, I don't think a therapist should get upset with a patient over a session unless, of course, the patient is doing something very inappropriate. And not being able to question a therapist doesn' t sound healthy either.

I'm glad you've found someone more helpful to work with.

jumpinginpuddles, I do not feel like my mind was raped by a therapist at all.

I am not totally integrated nor do I intend to be, but I imagine I have had some integration.

marj aka thriver, thank you for that. Did you read my post about Halloween? It explains my feelings about this issue I think.

I'm afraid when I think about participating in a blog carnival on child abuse for Halloween, that is the post that comes to mind. Don't know that it would be appreciated much.