It’s been a week since that emotional SNAFU. I am very slowly coming around from that. It’s somehow almost fascinating, how profound the effect of a mere trigger can be. A week! But I shouldn’t go beating myself up any more like I used to. Used to be weeks and months. And it not only set off a cascade of emotional regression to early on endured neglect and the ensuing depression from that, it may have given me some new insights – or at the very least confirmed existing ones and reminded me of those, too. Fear of rejection – or more precisely: fear of having the outcomes of that initial rejection replayed in my heart – is at the root of social avoidance, over-controlling behaviour, walling myself off and an entire host of more coping strategies, therapists usually are quick to denounce as false coping. Which brings me to another problem I don’t seem to have found a solution for, yet: All therapy and their underlying ideas that I have come in contact with or that I had the misfortune of undergoing to no avail, seem to have one central illogic in common: They seem to inherently establish and reinforce a power balance that automatically entitles the therapist to take higher ground over the patient. What I mean by that is this: Most, if not all therapeutic models seem to assume that the patient is “in the wrong” with their entire outlook on relationships, society and the world at large, like saying “Look – where I am standing is where you want to be, as well.” Maybe I just had bad luck with therapists and only came across the incompetent ones. But it seems to me that there isn’t enough credit for the fact that a patient has made it until here on their own! In other words: Whatever coping strategies and tools they found and employed – have worked so far! In yet different words, I miss a therapist commencing treatment by reaffirming the patient in their current state of mind and heart, in their current position in their journey. Like I said – maybe that happens somewhere else and you, my reader, were lucky enough to have come across such personell. I haven’t. Which produces my dissatisfaction borderline resentment and unwillingness to further comply with the process by which standard therapy – in my country – seems to work. There’s always this power divide, e.g. “I’m up here, I’m well and happy and successful – and you’re down there and you need to shell out your money in order to come see me and have a part of where I’m at.” Or something like that.
This latter thought crossed my mind after seeing my hypnotherapist friend two days ago. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I have benefitted from his treatment and he’s incredibly giving and generous in having treated me at no charge, when I wasn’t able to afford treatment any longer and found my health insurance plan exempting outpatient treatment from its terms. I mean to say, I’d hate to sound ungrateful, because I’m sure that I not only learnt to trust my own intuitions and bodily as well as emotional signals more and work with those, he also was the only person who gave me an opportunity to share things that were heavy on my heart for a long time (and prior to starting this blog, for example). I guess, he was crucial in my digging up suppressed feelings and understanding the crux of my being some more. However, when I shared last week’s let down with him, we immediately focussed on “getting away” from it and on the CBT/DBT stuff of understanding that my cognition or rather: My emotional response was not in line with the actual experience that triggered it. Well… yes and no. Of course, the person in question, who shared with me how she felt a need to recede from me at the time, because I was “heavy”, can’t know what effect this would produce in me (well… I think, in her particular case she could have had an idea, at least, which makes her insensitive in my view at the very least… but that’s another story). Of course, she was still interested in me (was she? Is she? Really?). Of course, we spent a nice evening right until that moment. Yes, I understand and see all that! But – there is a fragment of me, a “chipped off” part of my psyche that was hurt beyond comprehension and not only was never given the chance to heal, but more importantly wasn’t even ever acknowledged in its hurt! That part of me, that person at the time, when something grave happened that got him/me derailed, is still in that place! And alone! And isn’t even given an opportunity to say “Ouch – this hurt!” And be met with at least “It did? I never meant to hurt you”. Or something like that… (unless I was indeed meant to get hurt, which then defies any further discussion, of course…). B.t.w. and digressing for a minute: In writing all this, again, it seems to confirm to me that validation of suffering endured is not the predominant idea in any kind of therapy. Because the medical description for having “chipped off” those unacknowledged parts of self is “depersonalization“. Are you fucking kidding me? I was voiding myself of the person I am/was? How is that even possible? No, I – or anyone having endured similar things – simply compartmentalized the pain upon understanding that the perpetrator didn’t give a flying fuck about my pain in the first place! How does that establish ridding myself of personality? In fact, compartmentalizing like this – at the expense of henceforth shutting off some “emotional circuits” – is an accomplishment given the circumstances at the time! It is an accomplishment in so far, as adjusting behaviour to a situation of abuse enables the survivor of abuse to carry on and largely still function! As an accomplishment, I think it should be given its due credit first before moving on and finding ways to reconcile those hurt parts and thus ignoring the still standing, de facto injustice and wrongdoing! A patient should be allowed the pain to come out and then for the therapist to help process this pain and assist in processing substantial and valid grief from real and valid loss of a part of one’s life, one will never have back – ever! Like I said – maybe all this happens with a good therapist, whom some of you have hopefully met and been treated by. Maybe I was just shit out of luck forever – and keep finding myself in a situation, where (partial) rejection – even from the therapist – has simply become too much to bear one single more time. Last week has reminded me of the fact that having a trigger go off in this thoroughly scorched place is a completely inacceptable and devastating non-option, because it keeps putting me back in the place of a victim. And I’m soooo over being a victim.
I might have to carry on by myself, largely. Therapy – the kinds I have encountered – simply doesn’t seem to offer anything of value – as in: help – to me.
P.S. Disambiguation: I keep talking about rejection, when I actually meant fear of abandonment. Or rather: Fear of encountering the full spectrum of despair I must have felt over the intial experience of abandonment in infancy and a few more times later on.
P.P.S.: I also realize that I am highly prone to therapy. If only I could get access to it and find a therapist who really have their shit together. It’s been too many let-downs in this regard as well, it seems. I might have to keep doing “ole grumpy” – and find a funny, humorous angle to it. Or something like that…. hell, I have no idea.