Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Thoughts Before Starting Therapy
I'm supposed to hear from someone in a few hours to try to get me set up with a therapist. If I'm being honest, I'm very afraid. I'm afraid to dredge up so many emotions that I've carefully hidden. I'm afraid that I'll turn into a non-functional puddle. That's what has happened every single other time I've had these emotions bubble up and I can't handle having that happen again. I think that's what drove me to seek out a therapist. I could see that this was coming and wanted to head it off if possible. I'm still trying to pinpoint what I'm dealing with. I don't know if it's Andy or my mother or Tim. I think it's Andy. This all started last month around the anniversary. I usually get funky around then, but this year was worse than usual. I could barely function at work. Since then, I've been feeling off and on more depressed. When I was calling around to find a therapist, they ask you what kind of issues you're dealing with and I had to explain that I'd been raped by my brother and then that led to being abused by my mother and then that I was raped later on by my fiance. I felt so shaken and upset. I started sobbing in the office. Not actual tears, but I felt that my entire body was being wracked with sobs. Like my soul wanted to burst out of my body. Anguish. I felt anguish. Everything I have tried to repress is bubbling up. I've done so very well at coping. I've been able to emotionally detach from everything I've gone through to the point that I can easily discuss what has happened to me without actually feeling the emotional impact. That's a double-edged sword in many respects. It's allowed me to function and to cope, but at the same time, it means that I've never really dealt with any issues. I don't know how to do that on my own, I only know how to cope. That's gotten me through so much, but I know it isn't a long-term solution. I really don't want more issues to be dredged up, but I know I have to have it come out so I can deal with it. I also worry about the level of therapy I'll get. I've never had a good therapist, so I don't even know what to expect. The last one had me drawing stupid pictures when I was 18. I never got any sort of benefit from her. It didn't help that she was intimidated by my mother. But my mother also had unrealistic and harmful expectations. She just wanted me to be "normal" so she thought if I went to therapy, I would remember what Andy did and then suddenly be fine. Because remembering your brother raping you wouldn't somehow fuck you royally... One of my concerns is that I don't process things like a lot of people do. Support groups are helpful for some people, but I don't feel alone in this, particularly. I know that many other people have been through what I have, and been through worse. I know that I don't have anything to be ashamed of, and I feel like I would be trying to be the support for others instead of just participating. I also need to stop putting myself in the therapist chair for this. I have a decent understanding of therapy styles and of psychology, to the point where I might know where the therapist is going. I need to put that on the back burner for this. I've spent a majority of my life being the therapist. This is supposed to be about being the patient. This is time for me to talk about what's happened to me and deal with it, not being there for other people. In a sense, that feels selfish to me because I also rationalize that others have been through so much worse. I'm too rational and I can step back from almost anything and take emotion out of the equation. I think I'm also worried about diagnoses. I don't want an official PTSD diagnosis. I know I have it, but I don't want that label. I don't want to be blocked from anything in the future because I have flashbacks or because of the stigma associated with it. I also have quibbles about self-harm. Technically, I do self-harm. But it doesn't negatively impact my life. It's more like a self-comforting action than anything, or a nervous habit like someone else twirling their hair. I don't cut, I never have, even when I was suicidal. I don't think that there's necessarily anything wrong with cutting, even. I don't have patches of hair missing anymore and I don't have visible scabs. I've stopped pulling out my hair, for the most part, but I still pick at scabs. But I don't wound myself to create them, just take advantage of what's already there. I've never gotten an infection and the scabs clear on their own. For me, it's as natural as getting dressed or taking a shower. It's just something I do. It doesn't mean I'm troubled, it's just a tic. I don't relish the thought of revealing it to a therapist because they take a very dim view of things like this and I simply disagree with the perspective that it's a "bad" behaviour. I've known too many people who just liked the pain or the relief. They didn't want to kill themselves. I don't even fit that category. It's just something I do. I have 45 minutes before the intake, so let's see what happens. I'll probably update again afterwards.