Or maybe I will write and be insightful today as I think perseverating on what’s bothering me is going to push me over the edge today.
One of the things that my Primary Physician mentioned at the reconciliatory appointment was that I am “sensitive.” I wanted to take offense at her comment, but honestly, she is right. I am sensitive in multiple ways, which is both good and bad. She wasn’t placing a value judgment on it but rather was making an observation. (Her other observation is that I have a “strong personality.” Who, me?!)
So right now I am feeling sensitive and perseverating about something that the Art Therapist said on Monday….And it’s not his fault. So…let me back track.
When I used to see Therapist #1, we did lots of general CBT work to get my self-confidence up and have me become less isolated. A lot of therapy with him was of that level, not as deep work as I did with Therapist #2 and nothing like the deeply personal level of the work I do with the Art Therapist. With Therapist #1, I just didn’t know how to let him in and honestly, I was nowhere near ready to let him in. I mean, I did try and we did talk about things… even personal things, but it was just different…more like standing in the doorway of a dark room vs. going in and turning the light on.
However, I did try to talk to him about my sexual abuse. And I don’t think he believed me. Since I don’t have a really solid memory of the sexual abuse, and I tend to like “evidence” to validate things…his lack of belief made me question myself and what memories I do have and thus shove all that stuff further back into my denial vault. It wasn’t until Therapist #2 and an ugly and lengthy PTSD exacerbation with multiple, vivid flashbacks that I started to trust my intuition again about having been sexually abused.
And if you are wondering why I don’t think Therapist #1 believed me, partly it was just how he reacted in general about the topic, but also he talked a lot about not creating memories that weren’t there. And at some point in the midst of seeing Therapist #2, I went back for a single visit to Therapist #1 to ask him about what he and I used to talk about about sexual abuse. (Trying to jog my memory.) He was very unhelpful and handed me an article about a woman who accused her father of incest and thus destroyed their relationship, his life, etc., etc. and then later the woman recanted claiming it was a false memory. That kind of sealed the deal…He clearly didn’t believe me. Nothing like reaching out and then getting my hand slapped!
So….Back to 2015 and Monday….The AT and I were discussing my sibling and the range of psych diagnoses she has been through; depression, anxiety, DID, Borderline, etc. The AT made a comment to the effect of, “All those diagnoses are typical of someone who has experienced early sexual trauma…kind of gives credence to what you have said.” And I am sure he was just trying to use that to validate my experience…..But, the sensitive me heard, “I didn’t believe you that you were sexually abused, but I guess your sib’s experience kinda confirms it.” And since I won’t know without having him clarify, my brain is trying to torture me that he doesn’t believe me either. (And that I have misplaced my trust in him and that I was stupid to ever trust him and that therapy was a stupid thing to do and that I can’t trust anyone, ever….The whole slippery slope.) But I am pretty sure all of that thinking is wrong….And I almost trust him enough to just tell myself I am being silly and let it go, but I am so used to people disappointing and hurting me…. <sigh>
That’s why I feel flat and tired and broken today. And now even teary. I hate, hate, hate feeling things and trusting people and opening up and feeling vulnerable. I give up. I just can’t do it.
My plan for the day is to not perseverate. (Wish me luck with that one!) But I am going to really work at reminding myself that I have worked hard to let myself trust the AT and just because Therapist #1 didn’t believe me doesn’t automatically mean that the AT won’t believe me either. I just need to calm my mind down…Or just go to sleep so I can’t think.