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#21772 - 10/11/03 01:11 PM Building my first relationship of trust
wrangler Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern Virginia
I had a long session with my therapist on Friday. Lately I have been amazed at how effective she is. I go there feeling like I am wasting my time and I leave feeling like I learned something new, or that I shared more that I though possible. It has taken about six months, but I am suddenly at a place where I trust her more with each session. That trust manifests itself when I tell her more personal, shameful things. I reveal my deepest secrets and wait to see her reaction. Each time she doesn't boot me out of her office I feel like I can tell her the next thing down. It is a slow process, telling little bits at a time, but for the first time ever I have one person that I really believe will not abandon me. She reassures me nearly every session that she cares and is in this for the long haul, no matter how many sessions. No matter how little, if any, progress we seem to be making, she says she will stay.

It can thoroughly scare the shit out of me while I am telling my next dirty secret, my next disgusting emotion, my next repugnant desire. But she doesn't kick me out. We talk about it. Now I am even letting down my optimism front. I feel less and less that her approval and support rests on my progress. I go into sessions now more willing to tell her how I do not feel like this is working, or that I don't have much hope left. I can tell her what I really think about myself. I know that the are irrational, invalid thoughts, but I have them anyway. Previously I kept them to myself because I knew they were nonsense. But now I have an outlet.

There is one room on this planet right now that I can enter and relax in front of another human being. I can be as miserable as I want there. I can be as scared as I want. I can be as fickle as I want. She stays. She takes care of me. She doesn't leave me.

_________________________
"Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." -Mary Schmich

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#21773 - 10/11/03 01:21 PM Re: Building my first relationship of trust
wrangler Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 84
Loc: Northern Virginia
By the way, I have been with many therapists and this was the first that treated me this way. So many of them were consumed (like I was) with progress. But it is not always possible to measure progress and now I am learning that the first step is forging a single relationship founded on trust. For me, trust is knowing that the person is not converned with "progress" and will not ever abandon me.

Some of the not sexual abuse aspects of my childhood were very damaging as well. My mother was very mean and I am learning what that can do to a three year old. She would scold me, sometimes very harshly, but then she would fail to reassure me that she loved me. So I developed a paradigm where loved depended on behavior, and could be taken back abruptly at anytime. My wife did a lot to reenforce this notion.

For now, progress is forging a new paraigm where real love depends on nothing and once it is given it is not taken away again. That has to be done slowly and with a person that knows how to reassure me. Someone like my therapist.

_________________________
"Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." -Mary Schmich

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#21774 - 10/11/03 01:22 PM Re: Building my first relationship of trust
survive75 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 304
Loc: Massachusetts
Thank you for this post. Gives me hope as I re-start therapy next week. I've been dreading it, but hopefully it will give me more courage knowing now that others are going through the same thing.

Thanks.
-Sean

_________________________
-Sean

"Even though I know/I donít want to know/Yeah I guess I know/I just hate how it sounds"

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#21775 - 10/11/03 02:50 PM Re: Building my first relationship of trust
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Hi Wrangler--

I was struck your phrase "first relationship of trust," which reminded me of the first time I ever spoke of my abuse to anyone. It seems like an appropriate story to tell in this thread...especially since your story gave me such hope. Stories like this remind us that people are also decent. I'm actually coming to believe most people are really pretty good at heart, where I used to think everyone wanted a piece of me. I've never been in therapy, so this is a story more about friendship and trust...a little different perspective.

The revelation came out of nowhere. I was driving down the road with my best friend...it was a beautifully sunny Caribbean day. We had been hanging out at my place, and I had gotten a call from my mom that he overheard. It was about my not coming home for Christmas because of the effect it would have on my dad's state of mind (he was my abuser).

Anyway, as we were heading to the beach, my friend said "what happened between you and your dad?"

No one had ever asked me that before. And this particular friend is more like a brother to me than any one I've ever known. So I couldn't lie.

The weird thing about it (or one of the many weird things!) is that when he asked me the question, the light changed. It suddenly seemed to get very dark, and I felt like the whole world was closing in on me. I was trapped, and I had a brief out of body experience. Only the fact that I was driving kept me from freaking out completely.

Then I felt the words spilling out of me...they were out of my control in a way, and I was horrified of the terribleness in what I was saying. I don't remember exactly how much I said, how detailed the answer was. I only remember that I expected to be shunned.

When I looked over at my friend, he had this unbelieveable anger in his face. He was pounding his fist into his hand. He looked at me, and I almost think I thought he was mad at me. Then he said, "I wish your dad was here right now. I'd beat the shit out of him!"

I can't tell you what a moment of joy that was for me. The sun came back out, bright and alive again, I felt the weight of the world fall from my shoulders...It was as though I was really alive for the first time. He was just angry. Really, intensely angry. And not at me. We were just as much best friends after the news as before. Nothing had changed. That was so amazing to me. I really don't know exactly what I was expecting...I had never thought to share the news with anyone, so I had no way to know. But I was certainly generally expecting something horrible, something akin to the abuse. Instead I got support...Miraculously someone wished he could have protected me from the horror! Someone would stand up for me, right by my side through the darkness. Amazing!

This was one of the most incredible days of my life, and I'll be forever thankful for it.

Trust is beautiful thing.

Danny


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#21776 - 10/11/03 04:27 PM Re: Building my first relationship of trust
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
It feels good to trust again, doesn't it?

It's a slow road, but it's wonderful that you are getting to that point. I'm so happy for you. The right person can make you believe what you know is right: you're a good person who got stuck with a very bad thing.

Keep at it, my brother! You give me hope.

Peace and love,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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