I don't know if I need therapy again

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Anjulie

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I don't know if I need therapy again
« on: March 06, 2019, 02:50:01 PM »
Hi
I'd like to write about my thoughts about therapy at the moment. Any feelings or thoughts /feedback will be very welcome.

*** Triggers involved***

From the age of 17 I've needed a lot of help: therapy, hospital.. Back then, (I moved out at the age of 16) I was very desperate, not able to live, in fact, I wanted to die. I had no idea who I was or how I could carry on. All my inner life was fear, shame, self-hate and wildly spinning thoughts and moods, I was also hurting myself. Gladly, there was also a fierce will to live, except in the moments I really wanted to die, but that was only because I didn't know how it could get better. Finally, after a real suicide attempt (still, half-hearted), I called a hospital and went to the youth psychiatry.

Then, my healing journey began. It feels that I have done recovery work since then every single day from getting up till going to bed. I really had a lot of therapy, mostly psychoanalysis, and two years ago, dbt, But the dbt-Therapist kept telling me, it was all not at all about guilt. One time she felt compassionate for my f when he'd bullied me and I sent him an angry letter. She said: he just doesn't know how to do it right. She kept telling me, I had to many expectations of them, so they can't fulfill them. And that they have rights, too.

But overall, there has been a lot of progress and now there is a lot more joy and good relationships in my life. I can't list all the inner accomplishments, but they are there. I thought, I'd cope without therapy now.

Since last summer, I've had a hard time adjusting to my new life circumstances (my lifelong invalidity pension had been granted). I didn't have to work anymore - work had  always been very difficult and often retraumatizing. I guess, somehow this was against all of what I have learned of life's values. What to do now? And then I saw how strong my inner critic still was, poisoning everything I engage in - for example, songwriting which was a central coping-skill for a long time, but also new things. I ran into them until I'm exhausted.. And I'm noticing that I have so many flashbacks, most days at least one... To see, after all this inner work of nearly 30 years, that I am still so damaged... it is so sad. :'( And I feel a lot of shame, that it's still not solved.

I have difficulty in showing what I feel (the extend of it), my husband is himself exhausted from the crisis I have because it triggers him sometimes to see me suffer. All my friends have problems themselves and there is no one really healthy around me atm.

I was proud not to need therapy any more... But now I've wrote all this, I can see it would be very helpful to have a person with which I can be myself without breaks on. Well, I can be with myself, and I have made big progress in being there for me. I think that is why I ask myself if a therapist would help in other ways I can. But it is hard to feel what I feel when I'm alone.

Anjulie


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Dee

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2019, 02:58:02 PM »

Would it be possible for you to schedule a consultation?  It wouldn't be a commitment, but an exploration with a therapist about what your needs are.  I also felt like it was effecting your marriage from what I read.  That certainly would be a case for therapy.

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Anjulie

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2019, 05:13:01 PM »
Dee, thank you!
I also felt like it was effecting your marriage from what I read.  That certainly would be a case for therapy.
Yes, that is the case to some extent and I don't want it to become worse.

I've been thinking about consulting a therapist and sent one an email. But all the time, I keep thinking about it. I am afraid that she might tell me that I've had enough therapy already... Maybe want to arm myself with reasons?
There is a lot hopping back and forth right now  and I feel deeply ashamed of that.

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Blueberry

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2019, 06:46:34 PM »
I am afraid that she might tell me that I've had enough therapy already

Funnily enough, that's the very thing I've often been frightened of with therapists. I've lost count of the number of sessions I've had with my current T but I've been going 3 years now and recently I asked him if he was ever going to say "You've had enough therapy now!! Time to get your act together and manage on your own." He sat there shaking his head, "No, no, definitely not!"

I have heard that stuff from therapists in the past, that was ones who didn't have uptodate knowledge of trauma therapy.

There's no shame in not being able to decide for the moment. Feeling shame about things like that can be a reason for therapy all on its own because this toxic shame totally interferes with decision-making, with our quality of life. I find it hard to pinpoint though. It's taken me a long time to get to where I notice how much shame is interfering in my life.

I'm sure you have made big progress (!) but I'm pretty sure the right therapist for you would help you make further progress. I've made way more with my present therapist than I thought possible.

btw I also have been in therapy and/or working on myself between times for seemingly forever. It's really nothing to be ashamed of. If anybody should be ashamed then the people who put us in this situation should be ashamed of themselves and their actiosn (sounds like parents in your case as in mine). I've been in clinics about 10 times adding up to probably about 2 years of inpatient therapy. Some of the therapy was wrong for somebody with cptsd, some even really damaging and threw me back.

I'm not surprised you feel a bit ambivalent about therapy after your experience with the dbt therapist.  :pissed: :pissed: :pissed: to her. Therapy is about helping you and not sticking up for your father.

I'm going to pm you. :hug:
« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 07:01:57 PM by Blueberry »

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Blueberry

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2019, 07:55:52 PM »
This fact sheet might help you for when you speak to therapists http://www.blueknot.org.au/Portals/2/Fact%20Sheets%20Info/Fact%20Sheet_Health%20Practitioners.pdf 

If you haven't done so yet, you could also check here https://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=9072.0 Kizzie compiled a bunch of information, some of which is undoubtedly useful even if you're not in an English-speaking country.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 07:59:07 PM by Blueberry »

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woodsgnome

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2019, 08:21:08 PM »
I've seen and felt similar twists in my journey. I first felt just leaving school would be so wonderful I'd be free (along with the FOO the religious school was a big source of the cptsd). Kinda -- then I was attacked in a park and set back again. Tried and quit therapy in short order as the T was awful.

Then a job/career kind of rescued me, in that it allowed me to move far away and into a more peaceful life setting, which helped. Then I ran into an employer who was a covert narcissist and ... tried therapy again. And again. And again, usually when it was obvious the T was either not well-versed in handling traumas or were otherwise unskilled and/or unhelpful. What was really disappointing is that, living in a remote area, I had to travel a fair distance to reach them, only to find it wasn't meeting my needs.

I'm fairly well-versed in finding and reading materials of various types, Walker's book among them. When I discovered his book, I discussed his approach with a T who literally groaned at something new (cptsd) they'd never heard of before.

Told myself I was done with therapy, but still missed the witnessing part. So after another gap tried again, and this time the connection clicked and the therapist I'm now with has made a world of difference.

So I've wandered in and out, until recent years. I've learned lots, but something that stands out is that even a feeling of progress doesn't indicate the end of the line I'd dreamed about. Yes, I'm far better than I was, but the old issues hang and cling and are quite resilient. The progress I feel this time is different than before, in that I've been on the good route before, and had it thrown into turmoil. Now I've reached a point where I'm fairly okay with myself (s.l.o.w.!) but careful to not be smug and think I'm done -- recovered, signed, sealed, delivered. No, but now at least the gloomy clouds aren't always around, I can see breaks.

I guess what I'm saying is that therapy might be a good option for you to consider, but with caution, too. Finding a good fit might take a bit of searching, but coming across a good t could be very rewarding. There's lots of variables (personality, training, attitude, patience, etc.) but it might help, especially now that you have a better handle on it from the work you've put in on your own.

 :hug:

 

« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 08:25:01 PM by woodsgnome »

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Anjulie

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2019, 08:03:36 PM »
Thank you blueberry and woodsgnome!
Atm I feel very exhausted but I want to say that your postings were very helpful and so validating. I can't tell you what it means to me that you take that much time to answer me and that you understand me and share your experiences with me. I don't feel so alone with that anymore :)

The witnessing- yes, that is so important, isn't it?

Today I called a therapist and made an appointment on April 1st. She told me to see other t, too, so that I can choose better. But I've had enough for now. Very exhausted. But ok. So let's see how everything turns out.
After I called her, I was so finished (do you say that in English?) and then everything came out - I cried very much... but the first time, I allowed myself to be just like that in front of my husband. He held me and it was ok for him. That was such a good experience. We felt very close after that.  :)

Thank you all for witnessing  :)

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Three Roses

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 04:44:16 PM »
Quote
After I called her, I was so finished (do you say that in English?)

"Finished" gets the idea across, but where I am in the States we say, "I am so done!" or "I'm so over this!"

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Anjulie

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 06:10:58 PM »
Thanks Three Roses :) I think I'll need this again  ;)

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Three Roses

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2019, 04:20:36 AM »
 :hug:

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Anjulie

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2019, 10:24:21 AM »
 Today I feel better. It is as if the crying my  heart out in the arms of my husband has released much of the tension and pain. Also the confusion. I'm keeping the appointment with the therapist, But I'll see how things develop until then. And if I feel that it's not necessary at the moment, I can still cancel it in two weeks.
But I know myself, things can change very quickly. It will be good to know to have this appointment when things get worse again.

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woodsgnome

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2019, 06:38:38 PM »
Anjulie: "It will be good to know to have this appointment when things get worse again."

That's where I've been with and about therapy. Sometimes I feel good about things and wonder -- why therapy now? And then it hits me, that therapy isn't just about feeling good or even just better, like one might regard a medical problem. Therapy provides that chance to dig deeper into the core of one's heart and soul, regardless of immediate good/bad feelings.

Admitting that it is a bumpy, uneven path and that 'stuff' might flare up again, it seems at least that one can become more realistic about themselves. It sounds like this is happening with you. Anyway, I wish you well as you continue to sort things out.

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Anjulie

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2019, 01:47:02 PM »
therapy isn't just about feeling good or even just better, like one might regard a medical problem. Therapy provides that chance to dig deeper into the core of one's heart and soul, regardless of immediate good/bad feelings.

woodsgnome thank you for writing this, it somehow strikes a chord with me and it made me think a lot.

I try to share my thoughts in the moment.

For me, therapy had always been for becoming able to cope with daily life, for surviving and getting to a level where I could cope without therapy (I take antidepressants though - and need them, as I have repeatedly tried to reduce them). I think that's what most therapists believe, too.

My own feelings are:

There is a wish to get to the core and embrace who I really am. I would like to have all that I've gone through as a child witnessed by another human being. I think this would simply be to much for any of my people (parter, friends).

Earlier therapies touched the core and I have cried sometimes or angered. But I remember not beeing able to bear compassion from the therapist. I also never attached myself to any therapist - I don't know if that means anything. I never was sad to leave a therapist. I have a lot of memories (emotional neglect and abuse by NP, so there maybe nothing to discover anymore. So I think I've done a certain amount of grieving already and don't know if there is so much left for justifying therapy. Maybe the therapist will say: You've grieved enough. You're already there. And dismiss me.

I think a part of me believes I'm not entitled to have more help, I'm functioning again at the moment, right? Another part longs for being heard and seen. But again: " But do you suffer enough?" I can see, it is a thought circle.... :stars:

I also feel like there is something that I cannot pin down at the moment - maybe it has to do with the feeling of not taking myself so importantly - I'm diagnosed with combined personality disorder with a narcistic part in it - the others are dependent and borderline. Narcistic: one part of me used to think I am special and wonderful (intelligent and "dancing queen") - but I think that was only a coping strategy - well, so in parts of my therapy until now ts were telling me that I should not take myself so importantly - at least that's what I heard. I don't know if I got that bit right.

And then I can see clearly that cptsd is so much affecting my life - look at my reactions and efs when I wrote and worried about not being good here in the forum - full blast efs... I cannot consider myself healed at all... Can efs be reduced by a kind of digging-deeper-therapy? Or can we heal with beeing present with ourselves nonjudgementally and let the feelings get out + thought-stopping + thought-correction? Like in Pete Walkers book? Well, not that he says that healing doesn't need therapy.

Thank you for reading. It means a lot to have this place to sort my thoughts.

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Anjulie

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2019, 03:08:19 PM »
I feel I need to explain something about what I said about the narcistic part of me.
It was not only that I thought I was special and wonderful, but I also sometimes used to look down on people when I felt in danger as a means of defense. I didn't bully them but inside me, I raised myself above them. Well, I've long since understood what I was doing and have made great progress in not falling into that pattern.

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notalone

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Re: I don't know if I need therapy again
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2019, 11:30:29 PM »
"So I think I've done a certain amount of grieving already and don't know if there is so much left for justifying therapy. Maybe the therapist will say: You've grieved enough. You're already there. And dismiss me."

Regarding grieving; I have friends who have lost children or spouses. Even if it was 10 or 20 years after the loved one's death, I would never tell my friend, "You have grieved enough." Perhaps it is the same with us grieving things from childhood. Sometimes the grief is big and other times it is not on the radar. If you are sad, it is okay. If you would benefit from therapy, it is okay.