It’s been several months since I’ve been to therapy. I’m starting back again this week and I’m really looking forward to it. I really started missing therapy about a month ago. I thought that I was doing okay, good even some of the time. But I missed going and missed having somewhere to go where I could talk about all my stuff. And I missed my therapist, missed the way that she listens to me, and her kind kind voice.
I like my therapist. I like her a lot. I respect her a lot. I enjoy being in her energy field. A therapist’s energy has never felt so good and safe and kindness seems to be everywhere around her.
Some time ago I told her that I could never do that attachment thing that people do with therapists, that bonding thing. I just don’t have that level of trust to give a therapist and I’m not sure if I ever could.
I’ve had trouble listening and reading when other survivors have a parenting attachment to their therapist and are working through that process. I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams being able to trust a therapist like that. It’s something that is way way way beyond me. I guess that shows how much other therapists have damaged me, especially in my ability to trust another therapist. I can’t imagine that area of my life healing.
On the other hand I did bond hugely with my advocate at the women’s shelter. Almost 18 months later and I still get overwhelmed with terror and horror when I think and feel about her and that I love her. I’m crying right now. I didn’t have any say in this. I didn’t get to decide intellectually about this.
It just happened. It just happened, and I get the shakes when I think of her. I don’t want to.
I want to just be able to love her and talk to her once in a while and to feel happy, because she always gives me good advice, gives me good support, and makes me feel happy, about myself and in my life. That would be nice. That would be swell.
I get that, but I also get the shaking and terror and horror, because my mother was a monster, and a child beater, and a child rapist and loving someone like a mother is more than my courageous heart can bear. My advocate is so many things that my female parent never was.
So instead I wish she were my mommy. I never had a mommy and I wish she were my mommy with all of my little baby girl heart. I can’t control it, stop it, modify it, make it better, make it easier, make it go away. And that makes me feel terrorrized, horrified, and my body shaking. This fucking sucks so bad.
so sorry kate. i think that is pretty common for most of us who had abusive parents. that we want what we should have had but didn’t, but that associating it ‘mother’ is so wrong…so it has to be ‘mommy’, or something we didn’t have from our mother. i think you are moving forward tho, bc you are able to really trust your current therapist more than you ever felt you could. that is a big step forward in trust right there.
Therapy is not easy. The natural progression is that the therapist takes a parental role even if the parent was abusive or neglectful and therapist is not. That’s where the work begins. We respond in old ways but the therapist, who hopefully is aware of this transference, uses our old responses to question us and bring us into a new relationship where healthy boundaries exist and can be learned.
It’s a big step, good for you!
I’ve seen many therapists and have never let one take the parental role. A few were adequate. A few were coercive and inappropriate. Two were definitely abusive. My present therapist is the best that I have ever had and perhaps is the one therapist to have come close to being a role model, but never a parental role.
I take your point, that this is a part of therapy, but it has never been a part of therapy for me. The power differential in therapy is not something I am ever comfortable with I am phobic-aversive to giving a therapist more power. I like the connection that I have with her and can’t imagine it going further, I would not be able to cope with it. Having bonded with my advocate I know how terrorized and horrified I am with that level of attachment. I could not go to therapy if I felt that for my therapist.
With the level of abuse and betrayal that I have experienced, I believe that I have done the best that I can with attachment and bonding and have come to believe that it would take me years and years of great therapy in order to bond with a therapist as a parental figure, through transference, if ever. I am okay with that.
I have been doing attachment/bonding in lots of ways for a couple of years, and have been writing about that process for some time on the blog, and that is going good.I am proud of that. It is scary but not anywhere near as scary as the bonding I have done without my conscious choice with my advocate. I think that it was the right decision, she is bonding worthy, but the fact that I chose to do it is flipping me out.
Thanks so much for seeing the positive and good progress I am able to do. We appreciate that so much.
Good and healing thoughts to you.
I’m so sorry that the attachment to your advocate is such a complex and frightening place…it’s very hard to know, as an adult, that attachment skills are an integral part of relationship, and to have young parts who know how dangerous attachment is. I’m glad you have a therapist you can trust, too…though I agree that the idea of attachment to a therapist is kind of inconceivable.
Thanks for your comment. I really love my advocate, have from the first day I met her, so that helps the process, though the terror, fear, horror, etc continue unabated. I look forward to it getting easier.
For sooo many years I over-attached to people, threw myself at people, and mostly wasn’t wanted for myself, for who I was, and instead wanted to have someone around, someone to do favors for, someone to boost their self-esteem. I think that was a coping skill that at least got me a little bit from others, when I was a child, and it just kept continuing into adulthood and it was not serving me well, not at all. It took a lot of effort and time for me to stop doing that, to be more discerning in who I offered my love and friendship to.
Now I’m kind of in a space where the people that I meet are not people that I want to be friends with or give my love to. I am getting out more and getting more support, but not really finding people that I would like to be acquaintances or friends with. I have a lot more work to do. I just have to keep reaching.
Good and healing thoughts to you.
OK, If you say so. It’s not something most people probably even realize happens during the course of therapy and I believe it’s how progress occurs, by working on those past unhealthy relationships with a healthy therapist.
It made separation when he moved out of state hard, as if I’d lost a Dad all over again, this time with more grief than I felt as an 8 year old child; deep dark depressing grief, I did not know how I’d go on. Does that mean I wish I’d never gone to him? NO!
I understand what you are saying.
The people that I have known going through therapy seem very aware of transference and the dynamic of being re-parented.
The beauty of life is that there are lots of ways to do healing, not just therapy. There are lots and lots of ways to do healing work. There are lots and lots of healing bondings out there waiting for us all to unconsciously attach to someone.
I agree that therapy can be very healing. But it is certainly not the only way or place to do all the healing child sexual abuse survivors need to do.
I’ve never had a good goodbye with a therapist, so I can’t really understand having grief over one. I sort of understand what you are saying, and I’m sorry that it was painful and so sad. I’m glad that you had a good therapeutic experience.
I don’t have that experience. I still believe that I can heal as much without transference. I have a lot of self-awareness and know what my issues are and know my history of abuse and it’s aftereffects and issues, so I think I am directly addressing my issues and find therapy very healing, even at the level it is at. I am heartened that even at my level of trust, I was able to pick out my own mother, unconsciously, even though I am terrifed by it.