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#56373 - 07/26/03 11:07 AM REALLY NEED ADVICE
michaelb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
I have been seeing my new therapist for over nine months now, my previous one got a different job....for some time, almost from the outset i felt that my new therapist did not like me....i decided to overlook that thinking that it might be benificial therapeutically....but now i think i am just subjecting myself to abuse by her....I HATE MYSELF and think she may hate me just as much...i have been diagnosed with borderline personality, ptsd, sexual aversion, kleptomania, etc........i have come to realize that she is quite judgemental especially in the areas of my kleptomania, suicide ideations and my inability to change....i feel she is blaming me because i am unable to change.....it culminated yesterday during our session when she informed me that nobody will possibly ever want to be around me unless i change.....my big goal in therapy was to maybe one day be able to have a caring relationship with somebody, although i have come to the realization that is a pipe dream.....

i have overlooked her continued insensitivity over the months assuming it was a therapeutic technique, but looking back i have to question her empathy ability.....i began having dreams of being brutally raped when i was 10, and to be honest while discussing these dreams, she was extremely cold and distant and offered no real support.....i thought she was doing that to try to help me overcome the abuse, but now i must wonder if she is just incapable of empathy, at least where i am concerned.....

i had an anxiety attack, well guess that is what it was, during a session a few months ago....i also have a serious heart condition and had quit taking medications....i was not getting enough oxygen and was struggling to breathe.....she wanted me to go to the hospital, but i refused....she asked me to call her to let her know how i was......i did not call her and was balled out quite extensively during my next session for not calling her, she said she was worried.....i almost had to laugh considering i know she could care less about me....why was she faking her concern?????....was she afraid of legal ramifications for allowing me to leave her office in my strained physical condition????? i am quite certain her concern was not valid.....

guess i have come to the conclusion i do no longer wish to continue therapy with her.....but thought i would solicit other people's opinions to see if my feelings are valid.....yesterday i questioned the effects of my therapy sessions with her and she blamed me for my inability to change.....i told her i had little hope in changing and she asked me why i kept coming back to therapy each week if that was the case....my previous therapist tried employing this same technique with me and i quit therapy for several months before being hospitalized and beginning again.....why do therapists think that because you go to your scheduled appointments that you have hope????? why do they think if i am not making progress it is all my fault????? do they ever consider that maybe my lack of progress might be because they are not a capable therapist, at least in my case????? ....or that fact that some individuals are just too extremely emotionally destroyed by their sexual abuse to ever be happy???????? i'm just very confused......30 months ago when i began therapy, i held out hope of maybe being able to accept myself on some level, but here i am once again, being more and more convinced that is an impossibility and that this internal pain will never subside.....i really think that ending my life is the only thing that will allow me some sense of peace, therapy certainly has not been the answer........michael


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#56374 - 07/26/03 12:19 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
Thad Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 1752
Loc: Oakland, CA
Michael,
giving up is no solution to anything except to ultimately give up to the control that your perp(s) exercised over you -

control, IMO, is what is at the heart of abuse and it sounds like you want to regain some control over the therapy process since it is clearly not working -

From what you are saying it sounds like she is frustrated and not very skilled - but also that you have a part in the process - not bringing up the issue from the very start - feeling stuck and assuming that maybe it is part of her theraputic approach -

my suggestion: dump her - take control - try some other T's - listening to yourself about whether there is a connection (don't let it go on for 9 months) - there is someone out there who will give you the help you need - explore other theraputic modalities (EMDR for example)

above all - give yourself a break - this is tough stuff - try to reflect on the progress you have made - what helped - make a list of what you want and don't want from a T and take it to the intial interview of the next one...

_________________________
"..this place isn't a discussion forum..it's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.

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#56375 - 07/26/03 12:34 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Micheal - Sorry for such a horrible experience in therapy especially where you go for support and help. I also feel badly about your feeling of not being heard compassionately. I know that can make the hurt and pain even worse!

You ended your message with "therapy certainly isn't the answer" and with her it doesn't seem so. BUT "...taking my life" is not THE answer either. Sometimes we feel hopeless but now realize that is your body assessing your present condition. It doesn't mean that things ARE hopeless. It means for THAT POINT in time that is HOW WE FEEL. Conditions can change. Feelings can change. I encourage you to keep seeking THE answer which is still ahead in your journey. I say that because I have hit that spot in my life when I was at the bottom of the bottom of the bottom. It really hurt and things seemed very hopeless. The thoughts of life without the pain were very, very real. However, they are in the past today and I am ever so thankful that I kept them feelings instead of actions! I would have missed so much in life I am so grateful for today!! I encourage you to not let this moment in time STOP your journey to your dream.

Micheal, you said your dream (I know you see it as fading away, unreachable - I feel your sadness and almost feel my tears) is to have a close relationship with someone. We all need closeness, social and emotional intimacy. We are all capable of that too! Yes, you too!! Our perps left us with a lot of damage to fix up and taking away our dreams in one of them. I'll give you 2 phrases that helped me find my course again.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Your main thing is to build a close relationship...and it takes time. There are many pieces to put in place along the way to achieving this dream, goal or main thing. Once you have a main thing (close relationship), then keep it your main thing. It doesn't change but becomes a fixed point in your recovery. A place for us to aim for.

The second is: Is that decision a part of your solution or your problem? We survivors don't need more problems - we have them coming out the ying-yang (so to speak). Every decision we make will be to move closer to the main thing and any other decision distracts us and takes us away from our main thing. You are looking for solutions to get you where you are aiming to be.

Now as for your therapist. List on a piece of paper, what you are going to need to reach your goal (main thing). You may need help or some suggestions here but we are here to support each other and you are one of us, Micheal. The list should help you see what you need in a therapist and maybe, what would be harmful in a therapist.
For example, I might suggest looking for a therapist who has very positive approaches to people and their problems; who can help assess your needs without being judgemental. With that list and suggestions from other recovering folks in your area, you begin your quest. Be open, up front with the therapist (Do they hear and understand you? Do you feel supportive? Are they defensive when you challenge them? - you know, all the important questions).

Micheal, your perp took things from you they never, ever should have. You were born with a good future - they seem to have stolen that! BUT it is your future...get it back! That's what we all are doing here. You are not alone!!!

Please, don't give up and there are good therapists out there, Micheal!! Go get em!!

With support and luv,

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#56376 - 07/26/03 01:54 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
gryffindor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
I am not supposed to post here because I'm female.(My best friend is a male survivor.) However, I'm a survivor of a variety of trauma and have a lot of experience with therapy and medication. (In fact, I've come to the conclusion that I will need to be medicated for the rest of my life.) I'm posting because your need seems to me to be very urgent.

First of all, your feelings are "valid" because you have them. You do not need anyone's approval of any feeling you have in order to validate the feeling or make the feeling real. Nor, do you need anyone's permission to feel any particular feeling. You have a right to have feelings because you are a living, breathing human being; and all of your feelings are valid. However, the thought(s) that accompany feelings are not necessarily true just because they go along with the feeling. Hence, there is a kind of therapy called "cognative therapy," which attempts to change the way a person understands or conceptualizes his/her present-time experiences. Sometimes, thoughts become distorted due to past experience. For example, in my own life I have very big fears about taking any kind of test including driving tests because I'm certain that I will flunk. My fear is so great that I have gotten into my car with a Motor Vehicles test administrator and forgotten how to put the car into gear. Fortunately, the test administrator's annoyance snapped me out of my freeze, and I went on to take and pass the test. In this simple example, fear was the feeling and certainty that I would fail the test because I always fail driving tests was the thought. My thought did not come true. If I had been able to have a neutral thought about taking the test (maybe I'll fail; maybe I won't) instead of a negative thought, then my fear might not have escalated to the point of panic and I would have put my car into gear just as I always did in non-test situations. The reason I spent so much time explaining this business of feelings and the thoughts that accompany them is because I think some of your thoughts might not represent a true assessment of the situtation with your therapist and of your therapy.

"I have been seeing my new therapist for over nine months now, my previous one got a different job....for some time, almost from the outset i felt that my new therapist did not like me....i decided to overlook that thinking that it might be benificial therapeutically....but now i think i am just subjecting myself to abuse by her....I HATE MYSELF and think she may hate me"

I wonder if you approached your new therapist with the subliminal thought that she probably wouldn't be as good as your old therapist and with feelings of resentment at having to see a new therapist. I've had to change therapists several times for reasons beyond my control and have disliked it a lot. This is not to say that I don't think you should shop around for a therapist that you click with. You need to get a different therapist because your relationship with the one you have now is completely negative. This web site has information about therapist shopping and maintains a list of therapists. Make use of this material because it's here for you and for situations like yours. Looking for a new therapist will allow you to control who it is that you will see on a weekly basis. I suspect that your current therapist was more or less handed to you without you having anything to say about it.

After you find a therapist of your own choosing, watch out for your self-hatred. Just because you hate yourself, doesn't mean that other people hate you. Based on your past experiences, you probably think that no one could possibly like you or ever will like you. Not true. Besides, what right have you to predict what someone else will feel? I don't want you to tell me that I'm not supposed to like you. I like you. If I didn't I wouldn't respond to your post.

"Why do therapists think that because you go to your scheduled appointments that you have hope?????"

I think it is very natural for someone to think that you must have hope because you show up for your scheduled appointments. Somewhere buried deep down inside you there is a little spark of hope for something. I don't know what the hope is for, but I'm guessing it's for some kind of change for the better because you are putting so much time, energy and effort into proving to everyone, including yourself,that you're a hopeless case. I can't imagine why you would do that unless there is some counter-effort from deep within yourself telling you that there is some kind of hope. Do you ever set aside some quiet time for yourself when you try to listen to your thoughts and feelings? Believe it or not, some people's thoughts and feelings have voices Maybe you are one of those people.

"when i began therapy, i held out hope of maybe being able to accept myself on some level, but here i am once again, being more and more convinced that is an impossibility and that this internal pain will never subside.....i really think that ending my life is the only thing that will allow me some sense of peace, therapy certainly has not been the answer......."

Death won't bring you "some sense of peace;" it won't bring you sense of anything. All death will do is nullify your existence and bring enormous pain to everyone who knows you, especially those who know you through MS. Please don't do it. It's possible that you have a misunderstanding of therapy. Therapy is a process, a relationship between two people, and both of the parties must be active in the relationship. Therapy will never work as long as the patient/client believes that all he/she must do is be a passive recipient of the therapist's attention. Therapy is very hard work, not only during the weekly fifty minutes allotted to you but throughout each hour of each day of every week of the year, and it can take many years especially if the patient has an attachment problem. May I suggest that you begin to do a lot of research regarding your diagnoses and the SA of males? This website has an excellent book list. It will take you a very long time to read them all. The more you know about your condition and what you are dealing with, the more tools you will be able to use to allieviate the pain you are in. May I also suggest that you see both a cardiologist and a psychiatrist to work with you and with each other to find appropriate medication that will help to relieve your emotional pain and be safe for your heart? I hope you will at least think over my suggestions. If you decide to undertake any of them, the work will take your mind off your pain at least for awhile. I wish you every blessing on earth and in heaven. Take very good care of yourself.

_________________________
"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

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#56377 - 07/26/03 02:51 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Michael
I have very little to add after those three replies, they all have some excellent advice.

I will join them in telling you that suicide is not the answer to your questions.
We value you far too much, as must your family and friends.

One point I will make however is in response to this -
Quote:
...why do therapists think that because you go to your scheduled appointments that you have hope????? why do they think if i am not making progress it is all my fault????? do they ever consider that maybe my lack of progress might be because they are not a capable therapist, at least in my case????? ....or that fact that some individuals are just too extremely emotionally destroyed by their sexual abuse to ever be happy???????? i'm just very confused......30 months ago when i began therapy, i held out hope of maybe being able to accept myself on some level, but here i am once again, being more and more convinced that is an impossibility and that this internal pain will never subside....
Even though I realise that as far as this therapist is concerned you're possibly better off finding a new one, and one with SA experience, I get a feeling that you might be expecting more than is possible from therapy.

The therapist that helped me, and the one that's training me to become a counsellor at the moment, both stress the principle of not giving the client answers. And also as little advice as possible.

What my T, and the Tutor, both stress is leading the client down all avenues possible, getting them to think about each possibility, ( homework ! ) and then discussing those possibilities in a session.

Only then does the T start to offer subtle opinions, and challenges. And, most importantly, validation of the best ideas. Not neccesarily the T's ideal answer; but the mine / the clients ideal answer.

For me it worked most of the time, maybe 90% success, and the 10% that didn't work I very quickly saw why it didn't work. And I couldn't blame the T for that either, only myself.
And that wasn't as painful as it sounds, it's a new experience to learn from.

Michael, I think your relationship with your present T is possibly too damaged, so look around and see what's about.
When you find a new one go in with a blank sheet of paper, no preconceptions. Don't take the baggage of this one with you.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#56378 - 07/26/03 04:02 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Michael:

My brother listen to what all your other brothers have told you. You have worth and deserve to live life fully.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I have told this before but I think I should again. I tried suicide on 3 occasions. The first was possibly as close as I got to being sucessful. I shot myself in the chest with a rifle. It really knocked me on my ass about 10 feet back. As soon as I felt it I was terrified I was going to die and realized how much I wanted to live but it was too late. As I tried to scream and watched the pink froth come out of my mouth I knew it was over. In fact God, or my higher power, gave me another chance. I totally missed everything except a lung which I collapsed. I covered the whole thing up by telling the docs and cops that I tripped as I went over the fence with a loaded gun.

Michael what I am trying to tell you is that it is the wrong thing to do. I now realize that I cannot let the monsters who abused me win. I kept quiet for so long to protect them and ending it makes me permanently quiet. I also strongly believe that we survivors here ( who have been lucky enough to find MS ORG) have an obligation to those unfortunates who have either yet to find us or worse who are about to be sexually abused to heal and to help them. We can carry the message because this crime should no longer be talked about in hushed tones but should be bellowed from the rooftops. How can our voices carry if there are too few of us.

Do Like others say. Get yourself another Therapist and start from scatch. For every lousy one there has be be at least 20 who are great. Give yourself the opportunity to travel to inner peace with us. We need each other here believe me.

Your brother

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#56379 - 07/26/03 05:16 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
Green Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC, NY
Michael,

I am not saying that your T doesn't hate you, but I went through a long process of convincing myself that my T hated me. How much I misinterpeted what she said astounds me. One time she used the same word that I had just used. I took that to meant that she was correcting my grammar and belittling how I had previously used the word.

We both eventually came to understand that it didn't matter if she liked me or not. Also, I was obviously confusing her with someone who didn't like me.

Green


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#56380 - 07/26/03 06:29 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Michael,

I echo the good words said above and been in a similar place as you from time to time.

What has worked best for me is when I first found, by chance during one of many hospitalizations, a Pdoc I could work with. Then I asked him for some recommendations for a T, someone that he knew and knew would have the proper T skills to deal with my trauma past and addictions. Although they haven't needed to, it was comforting to know that, with my permission of course, they could talk to each other for ideas, treatment modalities, and feedback on how my antidepressants were working - or not working.


You'll find peace and friendship brother Michael. It will happen, but only if you live, I promise.

jer


MikeC.

What a fight back from near death you must have had. It seems you're a living example of how far down we can go and yet return and find answers that work for us.


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#56381 - 07/26/03 06:44 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Michael,

we have been friends for a long time, you need to stay incontact with me more. I PM you back when you send one. Don't stay away. I would look for another therapist if I were you. Don't be a stranger ok.

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#56382 - 07/26/03 08:19 PM Re: REALLY NEED ADVICE
martin Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 229
Loc: The Good Earth
Michael,

I too want to say that your feelings are valid you have every right to feel the things you feel. You also have the right to feel that the relationship with your therapist be beneficial to you. Continuing in therapy where you don't feel supported or feel judged would be counter productive.

I know the suicidal feelings too. I went through life a long time thinking I should just end it today. Just be relieved. The thing is relief is a feeling, you can't feel it if you are dead.

Hang in there and give yourself the gift of a therapist that is good for you.

Keep coming here too, sharing your struggle helps us all lighten our burdens and see our own struggles more clearly. Thanks for that.

Your strong for starting the healing process, give yourself credit for that.

Your brother in the struggle,
Aaron

_________________________
Its times like these we learn to live again,
Its times like these we give & give again,
Its times like these we learn to love again,
Its times like these time & time again.
-The Foo Fighters

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