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#467512 - 07/12/14 06:10 AM Yes I'm back, with the therapist question
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2017
Loc: durham, north england
Well hello guys.

I admit to be perfectly honest I'd rather not be here again. This is nothing to do with anyone here, or because it hasn't been helpful in the past, in fact I'd like to say hi to Magellan, Pero, Writer kieth and everyone else.

The reason I don't particularly want to be back here again is because frankly I'd rather not be dealing with this recovery rubbish again. and also because as I said at the start of this year I just felt frustrated sinse I seemed to be on a road to no where and everytime I posted it just seemed to emphasize that fact. I also felt slightly guilty about the fact that my frustrations lead me to do something Ive never done before and start snapping at people, which I'm not happy about and I do actually appologise for, albeit I suspect most people will have forgotten that incident.

I was playing the "I'm fine" game, ---- do i ever learn? When the other day my mum phones out of the blue and suggests I get in touch with a charity called Isas who she phoned on the basis of getting me some therapy to deal with my genophobia.

it turns out the health service won't give therapy to anyone who wasn't abused in the family, or referd to them from a court case, ---- oh yes, you have to love the fareness!

However, the suggestion is I go and see the Isas charity who are a group who offer professional standard one to one counselling (or groups but I don't fansy that idea), for a year. Their website is Here

On the one hand this isn't what I wanted, sinse this isn't an attempt to deal with the genophobia. On the other hand, it is (as the lady said), perfectly true that I've never seen a therapist who specifically dealt with sa. The ones I've seen in the past have either been general purpose counsellers or ones working for the uni, so I might as well try the thing.

I phoned Isas on thursday and they seemed okay, albeit I admit I wasn't being exactly my most charming, sinse I was just focused on getting an appointment as to be brtually honest I don't particularly want to stir up all this crap again.

So I'm going to see them in a couple of weeks, they apparently have someone specific in mind who is skilled in the areas I'm looking for.

Sinse then things haven't been fun, sinse to be honest I really! don't want to do this again. yes, it will probably help, but in the same way going to the dentist will probably help, and heck at least once the dentist has finnished you should feel better afterwards, that doesn't seem the case with this, however again I have to admit that I'm not okay, however much I would like to think that I am.

I'm just sick of dealing with all of this! it seems everytime I think I'm fine I end up having to admit I'm not. Why the hell can't this stuff just be done with?

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#467516 - 07/12/14 09:26 AM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
traveler Online   confused
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3451
Loc: somewhere in Africa
d e -

i, too wish you didn't feel the need to be here.
but it is good to hear from you again and know that you are still in the fight.
and i applaud you for your (perhaps intermittent) persistence in dealing with the old recurring wounds.
i wish you all the best in this new effort to find something that helps.
please keep us informed - if you can - how you are faring.

LEE
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#467520 - 07/12/14 10:56 AM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2017
Loc: durham, north england
Hi lee.

Well it actually turns out from a conversation with my mum that she phoned a cbt expert (there are some advantages to having a father who was a senior psychiatric nurse), who recommended this particular charity as being the best possible option given the national health service lack of interest, so I might as well give them a try if nothing else.

My mum did say to me this afternoon that I don't have to, that I could just continue as I am. I know that very well but I've come to realize that that really wouldn't help at this point sinse if I try nothing new, nothing new will happen and there is no point me trying to pretend that everything is fine, when what I actually mean is everything is fine so long as I'm not thinking about anything!

So, intermitant persistance perhaps, but maybe it's better to try persisting with something else than just sitting around and winjing like I have been on this forum sinse I was so frustrated at having no way forward, or still worse, pretending that I am fine between crashes as I have been pretty much sinse I left.

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#467527 - 07/12/14 02:03 PM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
Hi, D.E.,

I don't know why I kinda felt a nudge to log in and peruse the forums this morning. I saw you're note saying "hi" here and it gave me a boost. Like a lot of survivors, I undervalue my presence anywhere.

I completely understand what you mean regarding the frustration of feeling like you're going "back" to therapy and that you're "here again." Sometimes I feel that way, and on occasion there are acquaintances who look down their noses at me for returning to therapy. And I strongly agree with your sentiment in getting tired of dealing with all this stuff. It really is like taking a journey and being deluged with advice while having to sketch your own map.

I'll toss out a thought and maybe it can spark ideas for you.

I think of therapists just like fitness trainers. We meet, they help me identify my weaknesses, strengths, challenges, and goals. They teach me some [mental] exercises to use, and I do the exercises until we meet again. We repeat this process and I try to improve and build on what I'm learning. And just like fitness training, I have setbacks. I'll nurse the wound, or stretch it out, or do therapeutic exercises for it, or whatever it takes to get back into the fitness plan. [Sounds nauseatingly optimistic like I'm always winning, but I'm not, believe me. When I hit a low, I hit a LOW.]

I have hired fitness trainers periodically. I had specific, attainable goals. When I reached them, I had learned how to maintain them as well. I continued training without the trainer. If ever I had concerns and felt it wise to get more instruction, I hired a fitness trainer for a period. That's what I've done with therapy.

I am now in my 5th period of therapy, stretched over the 36 years of my adult life. Each season lasted anywhere from 1-3 years. When I feel I'd plateaued, I'd take a break from therapy. Sometimes I had plateaued because that particular therapist had taken me as far as their ability (or our match) could, and sometimes it was because I needed to settle in to the many life changes I had made as a result of therapy.

It's okay to return to any resource. It means that resource is working for you and has something valuable to offer. When we're down on ourselves, we feel it's a failure. It isn't. And it isn't an indicator of going backward or circling. It's really not much different from returning to the gym.

And for those who would think ill of someone returning to therapy time and again, it's no different than shaming an athlete for returning to his annual Spring training.

There is no shame in being brave.

So, it's good to see ya, Dark Empathy. Now go suit up and we'll meet you in the weight room. cool
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#467528 - 07/12/14 02:34 PM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2017
Loc: durham, north england
Lol Kieth, as I'm about to order a pizza this made me laugh! laugh.

About your contributions, I tend to like reading what you write sinse you put forward your thoughts in a very clear and articulate way. Your monica of "writer" seems quite appropriate, whether your talking about emotional issues or just random experiences, so I'm glad you came onto the forum today.

Funnily enough, it's not the therapy thing that bothers me so much as just having to go into all of this again and again. I tried counselling a few years ago but never found it helpful. It is true that the counsellers I tried were neither experienced in sa and that is probably something I need to considder, , and a point that the lady from the Isas charity did make.

The reason I left was due to my own frustration more than anything else sinse it seemed I'd got to a point where there was really no way forward and where nothing really had changed and continued to change, especially about genophobia and relationships, and frankly I got pissed off.

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#467529 - 07/12/14 02:43 PM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
D.E.

Wanted to specifically answer your closing question.

I'm not a pro in the field, so I'll have to generalize..

..but there is more than "just memories haunting us" at work. Physiology, genetics, personality, and environment all come into play, along with numerous other possible influences.

We beat ourselves up because we can't get over something, or we can't stop doing something, or we can't begin doing something, or we get triggered by something...when all the while that particular symptom may simply be a neurotransmitter doing what it does naturally.

Finding the root is just part of the solution because the roots are intertwined and feeding each other.

I kind of feel for the professionals trying to help us, because effective treatment is a perpetual "who dunnit" mystery case to be solved.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#467552 - 07/13/14 08:03 AM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2017
Loc: durham, north england
Well it is true that there are contributing factors, be those bio chemical, environmental or whatever. My problem however is I want to just have this stuff over. I'm frankly sick of the hole thing and just saying "oh it's your brain going wonkey" won't help if there isn't a way to fix that, indeed my problem with a lot of biological determinism is how, under some treattments it can negate human freedom and responsability (though that's another arguement entirelly), plus when I actually tried antidepressents, when I found one that worked it just succeeded in making me feel a bit more doped, rather than actually being at all successful in curing things like genophobia. It was a measure of control and at the time a very useful one, but not a solution in and of itself.

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#467555 - 07/13/14 12:06 PM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1410
Loc: California
Dark Empathy,

It's good to see you. And I'm glad you've chosen to take another stab at talking to a therapist.

I, too, also know that sense of exasperation. "Why do I have to keep talking about this? I've already talked about this ad-nauseum. I just want to heal and move on. I've done this before, already... whats the point!?". Matter of fact, I said that to my therapist just 4 days ago.

I seem to be learning/accepting a new truth about who we are, our injuries, our brains, and how to move away from that stuck, cyclical "here I am again!" feeling.

I'm a big science and tech geek, so I spend an inordinate amount of time reading about recent discoveries and theories about the body, brain, perceptions, and all the rest.

What I'm about to say isn't new, as various faiths have already known this for millennia.

Our brain is maleable. It is physically changing throughout life. Old neurons die out, new neurons come to be, and throughout our lifetime, our brains evolve physiologically to meet and respond to life's experiences with replacing neurons to record and playback its experiences to its owner. That appears to be one of the primary functions of the brain (that we're aware of) - to record and playback what we experience. It's how we learn and recognize patterns. It's what makes us particularly intelligent, adaptable, and it may possibly hold a key to "consciousness" itself. Much research is being done with this now.

TRAUMA does something horrendous to this natural process - trauma impacts the developing brain in such a way that this record/playback system in the primal brain (amygdala, which houses fear response), the brain resorts to getting stuck with the pattern of looking out for threats. We get locked in a cycle of being paranoid and suspicious and fearful, always looking out for potential danger, because of what we had to endure.

I like to think of it as a kind of thought seizure, like epilepsy. It's a dysfunctional behavior that the brain takes on (obsessive, uncontrolled thinking / repetitive, uncontrolled and uncoordinated neurons firing, causing the seizures). It does this in order to continue doing the job of recording and playing back what it experiences in order to recognize patterns (THREATS!). It's a nasty "side effect" of TRAUMA and CSA. Unfortunately, this "side effect" basically rules how we live our lives, until we become aware and consciously/deliberately do something to alter this.

I find this whole idea to be incredibly fascinating, and liberating at the same time. Because, if this is true, that our brains are constantly developing and changing to record and playback what it experiences, then we have immense power in changing that.

My life path seems to be taking me down this path of very slowly waking up to this idea. Ever since I looked at CSA and its affects on my life, my life has changed. I'm asking different questions, I'm looking at myself in different ways. I'm looking at others in different ways, and I look at life in different ways. All because I have chosen to start directing the experiences that I have, and as a result, have a physical impact in how my brain continues to develop, as it marches on its quest to record and playback what it experiences, in order to recognize patterns.

I have decided to turn up the volume on this process. For me, this has translated into trying new things, and pushing myself in ways that are sometimes uncomfortable. I've located, and decided to try and join a local improv community. This is giving me experiences that are totally new for my brain to process, and print new nerves. I believe I've said a bit on MS about improv already, so I won't go into great detail; other than to say, I am DEFINITELY experiencing new thoughts, and the old cyclical "why me!?" thoughts are abating.

Another thing I've decided to go back to, because it work VERY well in the past, is to start practicing the loving kindness meditation again. There's a 15 minute short guided and simple walk through video on youtube. I SWEAR BY IT!

After just a few days of practicing the meditation, negative and harsh self judgments practically disappear. It's difficult to ruminate on negative thinking and getting frustrated by life's little inconveniences. It is much easier for me to accept when things don't go exactly as I like, and, instead, improvise a new reaction, rather than resorting to my knee jerk irritation.

Between improv, coming to MS and reading all of your various struggles, and doing the loving kindness meditation, I can feel my brain changing. My experience of life is being altered. And it may be, because quite literally, *I* am re-wiring my brain proactively. As my brain grows new neurons and recycles old ones into death, my brain is always growing neurons to reflect the experiences its having, in order to find patterns. And since I'm consciously and deliberately giving my brain new experiences (by improv and loving kindness meditation), my brain is responding by developing neurons to recognize patterns in these new experiences.

As a result, I spend my time looking for things I never looked for before, and I spend less time looking at the life long issues I've had all my life. By doing this, I'm creating a new life.

I believe this is why various faiths talk about gratitude and focusing on the positives, and practicing compassion and love. Because, millennia ago, we somehow already knew that we could shape our futures by focusing our thoughts in different areas. This is to circumvent the natural process the the brain is already undergoing - recording and playing back in an effort to recognize and learn patterns. This intelligent pattern recognition is what has helped us to survive. So by focusing our thoughts and creating new experiences, we trip up our brain's natural process of identifying and holding onto patterns, and inject new thoughts to record and playback. We can master our own evolution as a result of this self awareness. We can quite literally shape our own brains by our actions and choices.

I apologize if this sounded preachy at all. That's a life long issue I've had as well. I know that I write well, and am articulate. I also happen to type close to 100 words per minute. And I don't edit much of what I write out. I only write on MS when I'm inspired to write, and this is one of those times.

Thank you for posting here, DE. You and I truly are brothers in spirit. I get your frustrations, and I know you get mine. I'm tired of rehashing all the old shit. Fucking. Tired. Of. It. This past year has taught me that I don't have to keep looking back on all of the damage, I can ALSO start creating new experiences in an effort to build a new life and a new history that doesn't involve trauma, and looking back at problems.

My heart is with you! Strength!

D
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#467576 - 07/14/14 05:02 AM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 951
Loc: southern California
D.E.,
You pretty much hit it on the head as to why we all get sick of it. It's an awful lot of mud stuck to our shoes.
_________________________
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#467577 - 07/14/14 05:44 AM Re: Yes I'm back, with the therapist question [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2017
Loc: durham, north england
@kieth, well I suppose this is the point to try and do something about it, indeed one thing I'm only just realizing is while I probably have! done as much as it is possible to do alone, the previous attempts at therapy I've had were pretty cruddy to say the least, being mostly the university counselling service who knew bugger all about abuse.

I funnily enough did treat vocal performance the same way I got as far as I could on my own, then went to see a professional standard teacher three years ago, and there is no doubt she has hugely improved my voice or that she is an expert in what she does. Not only was her father music teacher to Thomas Alan the famous baritone,but she works as a part time vocal consultant for various hospitals and is on the committee for the British voice association, being that the biology of singing is sort of her speciality.

So i suppose if I'm prepared to go and be tutored ( by one expert I should go and see another.

@Magellan, I do like your explanation of evolving nature of the brain. It has always bothered me that one of the key problems of biological determinism is that if you assume all mental states are essentially physical ones, then you automatically negate responsability, sinse you've effectively reduced consciousness to only an automatic and imperfect awareness of the physical nature of an object, ie the brain.

This is one reason I've always been a property duelist, which interestingly enough is where most quantom research into the structure of the brain goes as well. It did also always confuse me slightly that those like Paul Churchland who claime consciosuness is essentially a rather irrelevant side effect of physiological process are missunderstanding neuropsychology quite badly.

Btw, a very good book on this subject is "Philosophy of mind by E J Lowe" (and I don't just suggest that because he was a professor at my university who actually taught the modules on philosophy of mind, logic and metaphysics I took).

Either way I do like your thoughts on pattern changing sinse certainly that is my experience especially of genophobia and depression, This was why i wanted to try cbt, but as the option for specifically directed cousnelling has turned up and as I now believe I've not . really seen anyone who is much good on sa I probably ought to just try that with an open mind.

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