Tuesday, August 23, 2011

sometimes therapy is just 'meh'

And other times you find yourself like a half-dead fish gasping for air while being gutted alive. Everything, everything, tilts on its axis and you see yourself in the world in a different way and you can scarcely believe it. 

The realizations come without warning, breaking in waves over the breast bone. It fucking hurts, like chest-cracking open-heart surgery without anesthesia. 

I knew before I went in that I was looking for the connection and interplay between multiple emotional abuses in childhood and my fucked up relationships. It seemed obvious. It seemed...simple. Of course, of course I'm somehow playing out those abuses repeatedly. It's in all the textbooks. 

Therapist decided today was the day to tickle at my random thoughts, to gently nudge here and then there, to turn me again and again to face down particular corridors and walk to their end and open the doors I found there. Doors linking past and present. 

There was my frustrating need to expend energy on getting people to give me permission to be. Why if I knew someone was wronging me and they refused to see or apologize or make it right on their own was I so determined to batter myself up against their wrong thinking repeatedly? Why expend so much of my valuable time and energy getting them to see? Why the need for their permission to feel hurt? Why the need for them to have the right view so I could move on?

All people? Or certain people, she asked. 

Certain people...people who are consistently mean to me (even if they are sometimes also nice, generous, giving). awareness...a truth is coming up and I feel like crying. 

I'm one of those people, I think. I look at Therapist with a rising shock in my eyes. "I'm repeating the abuse...I'm repeating it because I want to come up with a different ending, and I think I CAN come up with a different ending. If I can get one bully to see their error I can relax, that's what I'm thinking. It's so predictable." 

No, it's still not that obvious. There's more, and each new revelation strikes its blow, swift and precise. Therapist says nothing now, she sees she doesn't need to. 

"I was a good child, and these people, they punished me because of it. My caretakers, my peers, they wanted to make me feel awful not because I was bad, but because I was good and open-hearted." 

It's true. As a child I was a little ray of sunshine. Talkative, brave, kind, curious, sweet, sensitive, and pretty. I was stubborn as hell, but I wouldn't hurt a fly. And for whatever fucked up reasons, my caretakers and peers took it upon themselves to make me feel as bad about myself as they possibly could. Seemingly without remorse.

"What you're describing sounds like evil", Therapist said. I heard those words through the pounding rush of revelations, it barely registered, but I felt myself nod slightly through tears.

Therapist asked me if I felt any anger or rage. Yes, I have a lot of rage. "Sometimes the rage comes through because we have moments of knowing how wrong it is", she said. 

All of this. It manifests in various ways. I repeat the abuse hoping I can undo the evil this time. I take on the burdens of others hoping that kind of good will be appreciated. But instead my strength gets used, ABused. My ex-husband, when we were splitting and he couldn't bear to be alone started an affair before we were properly separated. His excuse, "you were always the strong one". 

Bottom line, I can't fix this problem from the inside. 


  1. Wow! This one REALLY hit home! eerily so, except that I never felt very pretty as a child. (late bloomer), but when I see photos, I was quite cute and the sweetest most angelic smile.

    Yes, people are ALWAYS telling me how STRONG I am too...

    but I'm not really. nope. Making my husband leave is not an act of strength. Its an act of soul-crushing fatigue and yes, RAGE. xo ~ L

  2. You and I are a lot alike. Our past experiences, and current. Unfortunately, my therapist seems to be more about cognitive restructuring which focuses on thought processes and does very little going back into the past. I haven't really pushed it, probably because I have a lot of awareness of things like the ones you are coming to. Maybe because I am scared.

    My parents...punished me harshly for things that I should not have been punished harshly for, and at very young ages. By four I knew that I had a soul and doing bad things left black marks on it. I would hate to call them evil, but there were times when the punishment and so forth was excessive. And, that is where it started. All my abusive boyfriends have 'punished me' for things that weren't so bad, or weren't bad at all. Mostly me just being myself, really. Or, no, they were just abusive because of their own character flaws, I just accepted it.

    I have learned that we have conscious and subconscious thoughts (let me run and get the paper...okay). According to this "sourceless" paper, our subconscious belongs to our early environment and those who raised us. My subconscious is what has me continuing to be involved in abusive relationships (I haven't had one that hasn't been) for, I'm sure, the same reason as you.

    I don't know about you, but I'm around my mom and dad a lot. Like, two to three times a week. I see their behavior and it triggers me. I see their behavior and hear comments they make and I can imagine being a child, a four year old, and how it influenced me. It almost re-injures me because I hear it and I remember hearing it as a child. Anyway, what I've realized is that they are kind of like abusive boyfriends in the sense that they will never own up to the damage that they've caused. Meaning, I can't seek comfort from them. I have to heal on my own, through therapy and my own insight and work, despite the fact that they aren't changing. That is a tough one.

    It's hard, isn't it? To have these realizations? Maybe not as hard to live without realizing. I haven't decided. I think it is harder to live without knowing why.

    I'm here for you. Long rambling comments and all.