A New Therapist

Well I’ve got a new therapist. I am very happy with her. I have seen her five times now. It is a short-term kind of therapy, so I might only be able to see her for six months or so, so I am trying to be very happy and grateful for what I have right now and to use my time with her wisely.

I am trying to work on the things that I want to work on in therapy and stay focused on that. I especially want to spend some time in therapy dealing with being a mother-daughter sexual abuse survivor, including all the ways that she abused me and it’s impact in my life, the blockages that has created in my functioning, and how it continues to trigger me still.

It has been over ten years since I first started remembering the mother-daughter sexual abuse, and I have seen three other therapists in that time. But none of them helped me to heal from mother-daughter sexual abuse, and in fact, they actually all made things much much worse by the ways that they treated me.

The first therapist expressed feelings and words of compassion towards my mother. I did not want to sit through that. I hated that, especially since she did not ever express feelings or words of admiration or compassion towards me. I thought that it just wasn’t her thing, until I tried to deal with mother-daughter sexual abuse in therapy sessions with her and she started saying compassionate things about the person who I have always considered a monster. I had seen her for over a year before I started talking about the MDSA, so I had thought that I knew what kind of therapist that she was. It really hurt me to see that she felt and expressed that about her and not me, not ever me. I felt very betrayed and after several more sessions, told her that I needed to try to see someone who know about this type of abuse.

The second therapist was the first DBT therapist that I saw. Although she knew about the mother-daughter sexual abuse and although I had said it was important to me to deal with that and to try to work on that in therapy. Every time that I would start trying to mention my mother she would interrupt me and change the topic immediately. This happened every time. She always had a look of fear in her eyes when she did this. Since there were so many issues with her as a therapist, a DBT therapist, and her severe lacking as a human being I did not stay long in therapy with her. Doing DBT with her shut me down emotionally for several years.

The third and last therapist was also a DBT therapist. She announced to me during session one day that we had already agreed that during the year of DBT therapy I would not be doing any memory healing work, at all. Except I had never agreed to that. This was very problematic, especially since it was against my understanding of DBT therapy and I was still having flashbacks every day and was having a huge amount of trouble in my daily functioning, none of which DBT was helping.

My new therapist is very knowledgeable, caring, communicates caring, and interacts in a way that assists me in healing and learning and coping. I really really like her, a lot.

Connectedness, Not Grounding

If you are a survivor of childhood trauma and abuse and you are successful in your grounding methods and find them helpful and healing, I commend and congratulate you. I am so happy for you. I believe you are in the minority.

So many survivors do not do grounding easily. So many are triggered and wounded by doing grounding methods. So many try, but get judged and shamed when their efforts are not successful. So many are told that it is the way to cope and the way to work on being aware and being in the present moment. So many are told that if they only continue working on things that don’t work, it will eventually start working.

Grounding has never been fluid or easy for me. Many, sometimes most grounding methods, have been triggering, even to the point of re-emerging panic attacks, which I had mananaged to previously control and not have for some years.

The first therapist I worked with tried to get me to do meditation. I wish that I could have done it. I wish that it would have gone good, but it didn’t. Other therapists have only made this situation much worse.

One demanded that I do breathing exercises, even when I told her that I could not, to the point of triggering me into the re-emerging of panic attacks, which I had mananaged to previously control and not have for some years. She was the first DBT therapist that I saw.

I have concluded that some survivors can do grounding, being connected to the ground or earth and/or to their bodies or an object or activity. I think that’s great.

I don’t. I can’t. It is not good, for me. It is not healing, for me. It is not connecting.  I don’t like grounding to the ground. But I do it, usually every day. I do a daily grounding cord exercise and I don’t like it. I don’t feel good about it. It does not feel healing or healthy. Here is a link to an article that includes an explanation of the method I use:

Grounding Cord Exercise 4

After working on healing for over 25 years, I am finally able to work on being connected to my body. Though this is not my primary method of connecting. It is one way, but just in it’s infancy and is not effective yet.

So basically I have stopped calling what I do as grounding and to stop working on anything that I call grounding. Recently I decided what I need, and perhaps what other survivors need as well, is connectedness. Connectedness is a more custom fit method that I am using to work on healing and coping with being a survivor of child sexual abuse.

I finally figured out that I had a lot of discomfort, anxiety, fear and terror with grounding to something that is not right for me to connect to. Well, I’ve always known that, even when I said it and it was denied, I knew it, I just couldn’t say it as strongly as I can now. This has sent me on a trek to find things to connect to that did not bring out the discomfort, anxiety, fear, and terror. I will be posting about each area that I am working on in the next week or so.

May To-Do List for Littles

play catch with doggies

talk to doggies

sit in the sun

blow bubbles

play

ride the bike

bike around lake

watch movies

watch tv shows

put together 100-piece puzzles

play our kids music tapes

look through some of our nature books

go to kids websites

go to library and get music and books

read kids books

take nice, warm showers

do reiki drumming

do crafts

do coloring books

play with super high bouncy ball

popsicles

ice cream

go to sonic and get their cherry limeaid with pineapple pieces on the bottom.

What I Know Now

My mother was a sex offender.

My mother was a monster.

All the hateful things I have believed about myself all my life were taught to me by abuse and abusers.

It is okay to ignore everything they ever taught me.

They lied.

She didn’t like when someone else loved me. She was jealous of anyone who got anything, even a tiny girl who was loved by her daddy.

She used terror and threats to control others, especially little defenseless children.

She used little children’s bodies like blow up dolls and sex toys.

She saw me through her own cracked lenses of being a mother daughter sexual abuse survivor and a sexual offender of her own daughter.

Just because she loved her mother abuser doesn’t mean that I have to. She also hated her mother. I get to decide how I feel about them.

She projected all her self-hatred and self-loathing onto me and others.

I don’t have to accept her self-hatred, like she accepted hers from her sex offender monster mother.

She never loved me, but she had a very small and damaged heart.

She didn’t love me. She said I was unlovable. She lied. I am loveable.

She never truly saw me.

It is okay to be happy she is dead.

It is not only okay not to love her, it is understandable.

I am nothing like her. I’m so very proud of that.

I get to decide how I am going to live the rest of my life. She can’t stop me from being happy.

Lost Emotions

When I was young, most of my emotions were a dull throbbing pain inside of me. Most of what I felt was not even really the emotions that I thought they were. Mostly what I thought of  emotions was feelings of grief, rejection, terror, and sadness, in a surprising number of shades.

I didn’t know that until I was an adult and on my own, when slowly real emotions started seeping in and I had to figure out what they were and naming them and trying to find out what to do with them. I worked on healing for a long time. I had a wide range of emotions and they each could have different resonances and vibrations.

I started teaching my inners about emotions, as they emerged, worked on being in the world, and started feeling their feelings, their loss, and their sorrow. A lot of healing happened. We made a lot of progress.

I went to several different therapists. Some things worked, some things didn’t, some therapists were healing, some other therapists were godawful and wounded me. I always had my feelings.

I was trying to find a new therapist while having a lot of flashbacks. I had contacted several only to be told that I had to go to one year of DBT first. I explained that I was not in need of DBT and didn’t want it.

I couldn’t find a therapist who did trauma therapy for DID clients who had experienced ritual abuse. They kept insisting that they knew my functioning and skill level better than I did. No, they didn’t. They didn’t know anything about me. Finally I gave up and got into a DBT program, because I needed to have someone to see in therapy while going through my disability claim. I hated DBT.

Being coerced into doing DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) changed my emotions. It supressed all my emotion, no matter what I was working on. The two therapists I saw individually, at different times, were both awful. They interrupted me when I was talking. They changed the subject. They ignored what I was going through.

I told them that I was dissociative enough, I didn’t need more skills to dissociate from what I was going through. I even got that from supposed DID/trauma therapists. They were wrong.

I was a Christian and believed in keeping my spirituality out of my therapy and yet the creator of DBT stole aspects of Buddhism and especially Zen and Tibetan Buddhism and put them directly into DBT and then tried to say it wasn’t religion, because she was so stupid she didn’t know that Zen was Buddhism, even after studying it for years. It was my right to decide how much I wanted to share on my spiritual and/or religious life. I had a right not to have another religion forced upon me. I was against practicing another religion and my concerns were ignored and actively invalidated.

I believe in telling myself I am a good person. I need that to counteract the self-loathing and self-hated. I was told that neither good or bad were descriptors I should use. It took me years to believe, even in a small way, that I was good and deserved to be loved. I wasn’t going to give that up.

They actually tried to tell me that the skills the were teaching were not dissociative, but rather associative. They weren’t.

They actually tried to tell me that they didn’t judge me or their clients in the group, but instead accepted us all right where we were at in our lives. I wish I could say that was true. That never happened. I would think the concept of forced change negates the concept of acceptance and evaluating someone as being all right where they are in their life.

The therapists were on the side of other therapists in the clinic, rather than finding out what happened in any incident, before judging me. Yet judging the clients was something that they weren’t supposed to be doing. I prefer that a therapist is there for me, rather for someone else who isn’t a client. I never thought that would happen, but it does.

The last time I was in DBT it had managed to supress a lot of my emotions. Maybe they are really there, at times I see myself acting as though I am feeling love, or loyalty, or something else. Maybe they are there, I just don’t know where there is. I feel as though I’ve lost my emotions. But the truth is someone buried them and now I have to find them again.

A Reiki Story

I know sometimes it is hard to see if alternative health methods work. Sometimes alternative health methods can take time for the results to appear. Sometimes it can be slow. Sometimes it can be dramatic. I wanted to tell a Reiki story about something that happened to me last year.

We need to go back a bit in time for me to explain. About six years ago I was in a therapy program called DBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Therapists and a clinic both refused to see me, even though at the time I was very functional and had never been in-patient, was not addictive in any unhealthy behaviors, was not suicidal and was not cutting or doing any other dangerous behaviors in my life. I was multiple and I was a ritual abuse survivor and so I could not find a competent, experienced therapist at the time who would take me as a client, unless I went to DBT first.

The therapist that I saw was supposedly competent in my abuse history. My insurance company referred me to her.  

She knew that I was a survivor of mother daughter sexual abuse and ritual abuse. She knew that I was multiple. She and my insurance company claimed that she had had many clients with those abuse histories and that she was a good therapist for me to see.

The therapist also ran the once a week DBT class. As a college student in my last semester of college at the time, I did not think that she was a good teacher. In college professors you pretty much see the good, the bad, and the ugly. She was the ugly.

She emotionally abused clients during class time. She would repeat things that they had said in a way that was not kind. She would often change her tone of voice when responding, to sound snide. If someone said something that happened to them, she would imply they weren’t telling the whole story, the whole truth. She did this to me one time in class, I was struck silent. I lived this kind of life as a defenseless child. I was not interested in voluntarily going through this as an adult. I felt stuck there.

She would not call me back in a timely manner. When I told her certain skills were not working for me, and instead were in fact triggering panic attacks, and that I needed other ideas or skills instead of those particular skills, she would tell me there were plenty, but she did not give me any, though I repeatedly requested them for weeks.

During session she was not kind to me. She would often look around the room rather than focus on me during sessions. She would lean back in her chair and act like she was taking a break. She would repeatedly point around her office to little catch phrases and repeat them ad nauseum like they were the cure to what ailed me.

However, every time that I saw her in individual sessions and I brought up, even in the most vaguest way and only in passing the reality of my abuse issues, she would change the subject, shut me down, and start repeating her stupid catch phrases over and over, none of which were helpful, accepting or healing in any way.

When I would bring up mother daughter sexual abuse, she would look like a deer in the headlights, leaking fear, she would immediately stop me. Yes, it was that obvious.

Finally someone who had been emotionally abusive to me showed up in the class. I told the therapist in detail about this person being hurtful and abusive to me.

There is a rule in DBT class that says that clients cannot have secret or private interactions or relationships with one another, as that was something that created an unhealthy dynamic. The therapist kept saying that I would have to attend class with her. Instead I stayed home. It took them three weeks to decide that they would follow the rule and she would have to be in another class. During that phone conversation the therapist yelled at me. I hung up, called their messaging service and left the message that I quit.

What happened from this experience is that I/we shut down emotionally. I could not cry anymore. Tears had always come easily for me and they were healing. I valued that part of my healing process.

After her I was so shut down. I thought that crying was a waste of time. Of the few times that I was able to cry, it was not healing in any way, shape, or, form, as it had been in the past. Slowly the issue got better. I could cry, but it was not very healing. I could cry but it was something that I scolded myself for doing, something that I thought was a complete and utter waste of my time.

I talked about all of this, with several therapists. I talked about this with others. I posted about this online to other survivors. It never got any better.

About a year ago, after a Reiki class, three Reiki Master/Teachers listened. I think that would have been healing just by itself. They listened to my story. They let me get it all out. They let me cry. They let me talk and say how I felt and what a block this was in my life. They accepted. They did not judge. They never told me what to think. They never told me what to do.

Instead what they did for forty-five minutes while I talked was sit with me, put hands on me and hands towards me and send me Reiki healing. I talked. I cried. And it was healing tears.

That night I went home and cried. The next day as well. Now I could cry again. It still took me a few months to get over the ridiculous notion that I was not worthy of tears, that it was stupid, and not helpful at all.

Since then I cry when I have to. I cry when I need to. And it is always healing. That is my Reiki story.