What Led Me to Therapy

I was reading recently on Shades of Ivory’s blog a post Why Now? Thanks Ivory for your honesty and courage.


Basically she was asking why is your life tanking now?  That got me to thinking about what led me to therapy and how that led me to slowly understanding that I was abused and to flashbacks and to healing. I don’t see my life as tanking now. It tanked 25 years ago.

I was in my mid-20s when it all started. My main abuser had died a year before, but I was living a life of repression and amnesia about that part of my life. I worked two jobs and had some injuries that I did not recover from. With two jobs I was just barely able to pay my bills and eat. Sometimes the two of them did not add up to full time hours, where I got paid around minimum wage, and my hours could be cut at any time. I didn’t have medical insurance. I had excruciating pain. Everywhere.

My body couldn’t take it anymore. I had pinched nerves in my neck and my lower back. I wasn’t getting better. I was getting worse. If I had insurance, I think that I might have been able to stop the problems from turning chronic. I didn’t. I had a back injury from my childhood that I was unaware of, caused by physical abuse by my mother.

I had started a sexual relationship with an abusive person. I had moved into an apartment with my mother, who had sexually and physically abused me when I was a young child. My  PTSD symptoms became very bad, they continued to get worse and worse.

I got to the point that I could not work and a few months later in applying for help with the county I qualified for medical assistance and they recommended that I go to therapy. That was the start of it all. Without help with my health issues and therapy, I never would have been able to work on healing.

It took more than twenty years for someone to point out that my broken bone in my spine, which showed up at the time of the start of my pain on x-rays, was the cause of the back and hip pain. At the time the doctors and chiropractors acted like it was no big deal… even with all the pain and symptoms I was having. This issue used to be attributed by the medical profession as being due to an accident or a genetic defect. Now it is considered  to be caused by physical abuse before the age of 17.

It took three therapists and several years before I got to the fact that I was an abuse survivor in therapy in a way that was healing.  It took that long to get to the truth that I was ritually abused and had dissociative identity disorder. Both discoveries I made by myself, outside of therapy. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never had a great therapist or a therapist who was a good fit. I’m glad that I had myself, because if I hadn’t had someone as smart, compassionate, caring, and willing to learn  as me to get me through this process of healing, I wouldn’t have made it.

It took my mother being dead four years, in my mid 40s,  before I could start to remember her beating me and the fear that was my constant companion while I was tiny. It took another year for me to start remembering the mother daughter sexual abuse. The therapist counseled me to forgive. If someone shows more compassion or more times to a sexual predator and a baby raper than me, I leave. She did. I started looking for a different therapist.

So for me it was a combination of lack of safety in most aspect of my life, triggers in most aspects of my life, lack of health and mental health insurance, lack of body health due to abuse catching up with me, and PTSD symptoms and trying to cope while being multiple, amnesiac, and repressing decades of sexual abuse. It makes perfect sense to me that I couldn’t cope anymore at age 25. I’ve spent the last 25 years trying to heal from the first 25. It has been worth it.

13 thoughts on “What Led Me to Therapy

  1. Kate, I’m so sorry all this happened to you, but I’m really glad you’re healing.

    It took me 38 years to start healing. I’m hoping it won’t take another 38 to live life a little more normally (whatever that means).

    Thank you for sharing this with us.


  2. Kate,

    I’m glad that something I said generated a post for your own blog. I believe that even those of us with a great therapist or good fit, in the end have only ourselves (it just takes us a little longer because we sometimes get coddled).

    I am finding that we are truly so different in our perceptions, our abuse, our healing. Parental abuse was not in my childhood, tho, abuse by emotional neglect is. I was always watching, not experiencing a mother/child bond. I’m surprised I thrived in any capacity.

    After reading this post, I realize that our histories are a lifetime of difference, yet, the outcome is similar. I’m so happy that you have found healing. (and thanks for the reference.)


    • Hi Ivory,

      I don’t really think that our system is one that would be coddled. We are just too independent for that to happen, even with the right therapist.

      You are right, there can be huge differences, and yet, the same outcomes and the same areas that need healing. Ah… the human condition. Thank you for your blog and comments. Good and healing thoughts to you.



  3. >>If someone shows more compassion or more times to a sexual predator and a baby raper than me, I leave.

    It is good to read it is worth it. That for me comes and goes more here than gone for the most part.

    I liked Ivroy’s post also. Pretty much there seems not to be one reason for everyone.

    The longer I work on trauma the more I know there is less in common than the world understands.


  4. So glad you fired that therapist.

    Your ability to support yourself and forge your own path has always struck me as remarkable. I think you have an unusually loving relationship with your insiders, which allows you to make more progress without a therapist than many DIDers are able to do with one, simply because there is such extraordinary internal cooperation and listening, which is what a lot of us spend time learning to do in therapy. I hope that soon you are able to find a guide and mentor who is worthy of you.


    • Hi David,

      Yes I think that I do and mostly that is because they trust me so much and I love them so much. Getting to know them allowed me, for the first time in my life, to love a part of myself. Their love and trust in me has allowed me to keep us safe, to live our life, and to work on healing. Without those things I really would have had to work with what I could find as a therapist, no matter what, because I would have needed the help to establish those bonds. I am always dismayed, humbled, and overwhelmed by their love and trust in me. I never feel worthy of it and yet they are willing to show me examples of what I do that they value in me. It has only been in the last year that their expressions do not break open a pocket of self-hatred in myself. I consider that huge progress. I guess I am starting to believe I am the person they all believe that I am and I am proud of that.

      Still I would love to have someone that we can all rely on and work on healing in cooperation with. I think that it would bring us huge leaps in healing and that would be a very good thing. Thank you for all your kind words.



  5. Just a thought. Perhaps with you knowledge at this point you could communicate what your needs are more to a therapist.

    The mental health field has made great strides in the 7 years that I have been in treatment.

    To be clear I could not work with most experts that treat trauma.


    • Hi,

      Communicating my needs were not a factor. I have always been very good at that. It was finding a therapist that validated me, bonded with me, who was knowledgable and who I could afford. I believe that there are a lot of great trauma therapists.



    • Hello dear Phoenix,

      Thank you so much dear. What a nice compliment. That really really touched my heart.

      Though, looks might be deceiving. I do think that I am unshakably centered on healing.

      You give me, and I am sure lots of others, so much. You are an inspiration. Hang in there. Good and healing thoughts to you.



  6. Wow, I really needed to read this gutsy post right now. I am starting to understand there comes a point when telling the truth becomes a crucial part of the process. I have read your truth before and communicated with you about so much of it but repeating it again becomes important, not just for me and others but I think for you (not to ever put words in your mouth if I am wrong)!

    “I’m glad that I had myself, because if I hadn’t had someone as smart, compassionate, caring, and willing to learn as me to get me through this process of healing, I wouldn’t have made it.” These words are so inspirational. I wish every survivor on the Planet could understand just how crucial they are to their own healing. Your example is humbling and I for one am grateful beyond measure to be your associate.
    Bound by our Healing my friend.


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