Therapy at 6 Months

What did your therapy look like at 6 Months? What are you in therapy to overcome or challenge or heal from?

After another session of what feels like complete misattunement, I’m left with so many questions. Instead of letting them all mull around in my head, I’ve typed them all out stream of consciousness.

C says, after I spent hours and hours crying at the end of our session  and after our session, that I’m right where she expects me to be. But, how do I know that? Therapy is so individual and it’s such a private thing. I’ve never walked through my pain before. I’ve never healed so how do I know what that looks or feels like, especially when she keeps adding hurt? I don’t even remember what the last straw was yesterday because I ran in my mind. I could have hung up the phone and run physically but, instead I dissociated. These were my thoughts after:

I can’t do this

I’m not strong enough

The pain is too much

It’s too uncomfortable

This is excruciating

I’m bad

I must have done something wrong, that’s why things have changed.

I’m being punished for needing too much

She wants me to hurt

I’m being manipulated

She is testing my boundaries to see if I’ll assert myself.

I thought I did. I told her I felt hopeless today, that I felt like quitting

Why did she take that as the right time to push?

I’m hurt and confused

I’m angry that I have to learn boundaries at 29.

I’m angry that I don’t have proper boundaries because of all the ways they’ve been violated before.

I’ll never learn

I’m destined to just repeat the same things over and over.

I’m repeating them with her and she doesn’t seem to realize she is playing right into the game

Or, she doesn’t care.

Maybe my aunt and cousin had the right idea

Maybe that’s the only way to end the hurt

Maybe I wasn’t made to be close to people

Maybe I’m too damaged

Just cut, it’ll help, it’ll quiet the voices

If she cared she wouldn’t have pushed so hard

She doesn’t care.

She is mad at me. She has animosity and she is acting that out.

She is just going to walk me into the storm and leave me

She did leave me with the storm

She doesn’t even know me

She doesn’t want to know me, she hasn’t even tried

I told her Easter things triggered me, that I felt triggered today. She didn’t even ask why.
She just focused on why I think that’s stupid

I get it, we are changing my language

She doesn’t have to be mean about it, I’m receptive to insight

She probably thinks I’m pathetic

I suck at emotion

She doesn’t care if I hurt myself

She just says be kind to yourself and that’s all, like I’m some normal, healthy person who even knows what kindness feels like.

I run from kindness

I run from cruelty

I just run from everything

I might as well not even be a damn human

Maybe I let her go too far bc I want to be punished

Maybe that’s what I deserve

Maybe she would have been kind if I just said sooner, ” your harshness is hurting me.”

It is all my fault

Everything is my fault

I’m to blame for it all

Maybe we should both face the fact that I cant be helped

Or, maybe my boundaries don’t count because I know I’ve told her that pushing me that way doesn’t work for me

She is vindictive

I think she must not like me very much

Harmless words like, “You have thoughts about everything” are said with sting.

Is it supposed to feel like this?

Am I supposed to feel worse after therapy?
I felt weird but fine for days

Now I feel shattered again

Is that what therapy is like?

How can I know I’m not being abused again?

It feels like abuse

It feels like mind games

It feels like being purposefully pushed off the cliff, out of my window of tolerance, into the hurricane of emotions.

I just wish I knew what she wanted from me!

I can’t walk away but I hurt

I hurt worse now than when I started

I wish she would just fire me as a client

I want to be abandoned and rejected

The one who fears being left, given up on, wants someone to give up on her

Does that mean something or am I just running from something that could help if I stick it out?

Then we have this text exchange (I, admittedly, after 7 hours of sobbing broke her rule. I was desperate):

20180220_075333
I had never, ever sent a text that late before. Never felt that desperate. She said exactly what I needed to hear and I hate that

These thoughts followed:
She hurts me then offers kindness. It feels like the abuser offering I love yous and flowers.

How can I trust her?

How can I know what’s true?

She says she knows it hurts, how could she know?

If she knew then she wouldn’t keep triggering me like it’s a game

I don’t know what’s real anymore. Is this what healing looks and feels like?

 

Update: after all of that back and forth in my head, I think I realise that was a shame spiral. It’s probably the very thing I most need to work on. And, I think I’m going to keep trying to trust her (after all, she did not freak on me when I obnoxiously text at 12).  I hope that my lack of trust and my struggling to see any signs of care (even though they’re there) are just “symptoms.” I hope there isn’t really a reason to lack trust. Even if there is… I guess I’ve got to risk getting hurt some time. Hah! might as well be now.

18 Thoughts

  1. Oh wow, yeah. I could have written a lot of this a while ago. This really brings back a lot of memories for me. I feel like I’m very much on the other side of all of this pain now, which makes me feel compelled to comment – I can’t say anything about what will happen for you, only share my experience in the hope that it will create hope for you, which for me was the sustaining force through this.

    The first 9 months of my therapy were the absolute worst of my life. My therapist was a torturer, an abandoner, truly evil, constantly rejecting me. On a mission to ruin my life. I was in 24/7 excruciating pain. I self harmed every day. I abused alcohol every day. I made myself sick and I swallowed pills. I raged at my therapist constantly. Every time he told me to respect his boundaries I told him to leave me then. (He didn’t)

    In short… the awakening of all of those attachment anxieties totally broke me. It sent me genuinely at times psychotic – I completely lost touch with reality. My therapist wanted me hospitalised but we couldnt find an appropriate programme. He went on holiday 8 months in, and I shattered. Him coming back did not help calm me. I lost my job and home in the same week.

    Rock bottom.

    I genuinely wanted to die. I was obsessed with it. I won’t go into detail but I planned and plotted and bought things related to my plans. I regularly googled ‘how to disappear and never be found’ and considered running.

    Tom (my therapist) said yesterday – “I knew something would have to give. You drop a penny into a well, and sooner or later, you have to hear the splash. You have to.” That’s what gave him the motivation to hold on through all of this chaos when unfortunately I think most therapists would have terminated (and would have had every right to.)

    Just before the plane crashed into the ground, I somehow grabbed the joystick and lifted. Back into the sky. And I haven’t come close to crashing again in another 9 months, not really. It’s got better in a pretty linear manner since then. At the start I still wanted to cut and die but I got better control over how I acted. Now, I really don’t want to. I get the odd flash of suicidal thinking that fades within minutes. I genuinely feel calm and steady. These feelings were completely alien to me my entire life leading to this.

    A lot of this came from finally realising that my therapist did love me, did care, was there with me. That he had been consistent and been there the whole time. Of course this really heavily depends on your therapist fully understanding this process and being consistent the whole time which can be hard when all of this is unfolding. There’s a book by Jeffrey Seinfeld called ‘The Bad Object’ – he posited 4 phases in recovery in this kind of therapy. He explained the whole process and why therapy can make some people feel so very much worse at first. The subtitle of the book is something like ‘the negative therapeutic reaction’. Google it, there’s some really good blog posts summarising it. Tom and I bought and read the book and that added to the hope I had when I felt as stuck and atrocious as you are. It also helped him manage the high level of risk and chaos at the start I think. I’m not sure where he bought it from but I can find out if you’re interested.

    I hope some of this helps. 6 months into therapy I was ready to die. 18 months in… feel better than I ever have by a long shot, in some really profound ways. Sorry for sharing my life story. Personally I wish I could have known this when I was stuck where you are and that’s why I wrote all this x

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    1. No! Thank you! That’s really helpful and I am interested in the book. And, a lot of my pain has stemmed from her not being consistent. But, then trying to start implementing consistency now. It just has me all kinds of confused. It’s good to know that much of what I’m feeling is actually “normal” though.

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  2. I hated therapy for a while, I cried my way through the first year. I am in year two and I don’t think I have cried in a while in a session. I started therapy to deal with grieving the loss of someone i loved and to figure out wtf to do with my marriage, and now I am just working on boundaries, which suck. good luck

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think there’s a difference between feeling stuck in therapy and feeling completely unsuited to your therapist. I know you’ve been back and forth about whether to continue with her, so that complicates things. I do understand where you are coming from though. I don’t remember where I was at six months in, but I know somewhere in our first year I went to her saying how stuck I felt. She validated my feelings, but also shared her opinions on all the ways I’d grown since our therapy’s inception. I think that when you have years and years of thoughts, feelings, and coping mechanisms that have become engrained and automatic, change comes slowly and is harder to feel. For me, six months would be just a drop in the bucket in alleviating some of the very painful things I’ve been dealing with for years. We have had to work consistently at measuring progress bit by bit so the overwhelming feelings I feel don’t take precedence and make me think nothing has changed. Even now, I struggle some days, thinking I’m beyond help. It does feel worse sometimes. But it helps me to hear her perspective on my growth and success too. Maybe C would expand on her view of your work together for you?

    Your pain is so raw and real, I’m glad you could get your thoughts down. Could you share them with your C? Do you think it would be helpful?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I will share them with her and ask her for clarity on her perception of our work together. At least, how she perceives growth in it… bc we do talk about the goals frequently when I lose sight.

      Sometimes I wish she never would have allowed the outside contact. But then I know I probably would have quit before developing any sort of connection. So, it was really a lose, lose situation. I guess it would have been okay if I had practiced more self-restraint and just not been too much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand, but I don’t think you’re to blame. It’s her burden to set appropriate boundaries and yours to respect them. Which, as you said, you always were mindful of how much and when you texted. To have the ability to connect and then have it taken away without any warning is awful. Consistency is so important and her doing that really took a hit on your relationship.

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        1. I just feel like I must not have been mindful enough. I feel like her defensive response just validated the shame for me. I guess I’m still stuck on that. Maybe even that feels like a test on boundaries, like you hurt me, so the way for me to show respect for my boundaries is to walk away. I don’t know. Maybe I’m over thinking

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s good recognition about the boundary thing, I didn’t think about that. Like a way to take back control. You have so much good insight, but try not let your ability to think drive you too crazy xx hang in there

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  4. Maybe she is not a match

    Maybe you are
    Triggered during therapy which is not then integrated, so you feel worse.

    Maybe all those things are false

    Some
    Sound like an egos negative
    Unworthy judgments we all have felt
    Seems
    Like forever

    Maybe you have all you need to heal

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  5. Ask your therapist how she recognizes u r triggered and what she uses to integrate
    And how successful she is

    Or of healing comes from our daily work

    Not thinking and nit judging heals

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  6. KD,

    Healing is hard, really hard. And it never looks or feels the way you imagine it should or might. I would definitely stick with her. And your piece got me thinking that I really should get in touch with my therapist, who I stopped seeing a few years back because I was perfect! (Insert heaping helping of sarcasm here).

    You never realize just how valuable it is until you don’t have that person to bounce stuff of of and rant and bitch and all the many other things I did inside a session. But I feel the void more and more recently, so thank you for posting this. It reminds me.

    Peace and healing

    Like

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