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.