I’m hoping my mood is going back to normal again. What a weekend from hell. Sigh. Therapy is making me worse.
I finally emailed two of the trauma therapists I’d researched the last time things got so bad – a few weeks ago. Of course, I’d like an instant response. However, on the last day of a long week-end, that’s not going to happen. In fact, being August, they may be on vacation at the moment.
As soon as I emailed them, I felt some relief. Maybe it is a good step to get out of my therapy situation. I am not sure at all. But should therapy leave me so much worse, I don’t want to be alive?
I care about Ron a lot. I believe he cares about me also. I think I’d recommend him to anyone who didn’t have the early trauma issues that I have. I think his therapy is probably a really good thing for many kinds of issues that people have.
The last session, I did get angry at him, but our conversation on the topic of therapy was really brief. I know I need to dig in and stick with topics longer in therapy. I was wondering if the therapy is helping, and I may have said something about how I’m tending to feel worse, though I can’t remember. I wish I recorded sessions, so I could check what I actually said. Then he said the same thing he always says – So the marker of whether it’s working or not is whether you feel worse after a session.
Now I’ve been to therapy several times before. I’ve read about it, I feel I’m informed. I know that when you explore issues, and especially memories, it is going to feel like crap. I expect it to. I understand that with this type of therapy, you are in fact going to feel bad. Especially with dissociation, in order to break down the dissociation, you have to feel the stuff, and it feels bad.
And I have consistently felt bad after therapy. I’ve suffered a lot.
So when Ron said his sentence of ‘the marker is whether you feel bad’ I saw red. I raised my voice and spoke sharply. No it’s not. I understand therapy. I understand you have to go through stuff. You always do this – you reduce what I’m trying to say to this stupid statement.
What I mean to say is, when the therapy, the feelings, are too severe, I don’t think I can process them. I shut down instead. I need them to be actual feelings, not states where I can’t feel.
And he has not much idea what I’m trying to say. He says, as he has in a previous session, that trauma can’t be parcelled out in bits – it comes back altogether.
And – I switch the subject. I feel unheard in what I’m trying to say. I feel he doesn’t understand what it’s like for me, and doesn’t want to understand. Plus he’s not recognizing how my life is falling apart, when I need to spend days in bed recovering from a session.
Which is odd, because Ron is actually usually eager to understand. The only way I can explain it is that I’m bumping into some deeply held beliefs of his. He really seems to hate mainstream psychiatry / psychology. He doesn’t want any part of diagnosis or treatment plans. I believe he thinks they take away from clients’ humanity. He wants to treat everyone as the distinct individuals we are, not as ‘cases’ or ‘diagnosis’.
And I sympathize. I don’t agree with the mainstream medical system way of looking at mental injuries either. I think people get labelled, get dosed, and don’t get better there.
But – in a way, I also don’t care, because it doesn’t affect me. I’m not in it. I just need my therapist to have some ideas of what is going wrong for me and how to help.
So there’s that whole issue.
Then there’s my anger. This is why I’m not so sure I’m right to leave. I have this anger with men, and the way I feel it when we get into these interactions reminds me a lot of other times I’ve been angry. It’s actually reminding me of every break-up I’ve ever had. Complete with trying to get the person to change, like when I loaned Ron my book on dissociative disorders. One boyfriend, whom I felt was passive aggressive, I tried to get him to express anger directly, and then to learn meditation. Neither of which he had any interest in whatsoever.
With my ex, I of course tried many things to try and get him to change. Counseling, theories, books, take a walk when you start to get angry. None of which helped.
Back to Ron. I’m trying to change the therapy, slow it down, make it more nurturing. Since I’ve been doing that, Ron has more or less said several times that I’m ambivalent, or I’m avoiding. He’s stopped offering me check-in calls. He seems to be less interested.
I wrote to him about how I’ve been feeling, in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. It’s been so severe. He hasn’t bothered to reply to me. I didn’t attack his method of therapy at all. Just said how I’d been feeling, and then that I don’t understand what’s happening, why this is happening to me.
I am ambivalent. Sometimes I feel the physical sensation of being held. Or is it an energetic sensation? This happened this time, in the evening after the last session. I felt as if I was being accepted and held somehow. It was a nice feeling. But….that went away. But there is a way that energetically, our back and forth, arguments, whatever, is OK, and that to me is healing. On that level, I can see therapy is a good thing. If only this specific early trauma crap didn’t keep coming up, because for that, the therapy isn’t helping.