Double standards when looking at yourself and other survivors


I had my second therapy session of the week today and I saw a theme in every comment I made. I was talking a lot about the abuse being my fault, about how I don’t feel any anger towards my abuser because what happened was my fault and about how I hate myself and the me who was that kid. My therapist made the expected comments about it not being my fault, and not hating the child I was. I heard her but I didn’t care. She made logical points that I would never feel that way about other victims/survivors or another child etc. and I agreed. But I told her that those rules don’t apply to me. And I realized that I really mean that. But I also find it interesting that I mean it.

I have a feeling though that many of us have a double-standard like that, at least at times. Am I right? Wrong? It was just a thought that I had. The funny thing is, I can sit here and type this knowing that the double standard makes no sense but I still believe that I am different from everyone else. I deserve what happened to me, I caused it and I don’t deserve any better now. I told her that I’m sloppy seconds. I actually had to explain that term to her, ha! My therapist said that I can’t see myself as being outside the human race. She said I can’t have one standard for me and another for everyone else. I actually got mad but I don’t think I showed it. For some reason, it felt like I was turning to stone right there in her office, it felt like I was sitting there and my body was becoming a rock starting at my feet and working up to my head. The rock wasn’t anger, it was straight up hate, self-hate and it got stronger and stronger. It actually took me over while I was driving home from the session and I felt myself recede and someone/something else came forward. Interesting experience and I welcomed this person. I have a feeling that this “presence” would like to talk to my therapist and they are not happy. I don’t know if it’s an alter or what though.

I told my therapist about the baby doll I bought months ago after I had remembered a “game” my uncle played with me. I was obsessed with finding a doll that looked exactly the way I wanted and I searched Ebay until I found her. I have kept that doll shoved under my bathroom cabinet and whenever I open it and see her, I also see myself as a child, and I hate them both. I told my therapist that I was planning on stabbing the doll with a knife, seriously, and she said that I wasn’t allowed to do that. That did not help my mood. I didn’t want her telling me what I could and couldn’t do even though she’s doing it for my own good. She said that I had a reason for buying that doll back then, a reason I can’t see right now, but that it wasn’t to destroy her. She said since I also see myself in the doll, I can’t hurt the doll. Damn it!

My therapy homework is designed to help me self-nurture and since I hate myself, my therapist wants me to look for one thing everyday, even if it’s tiny, that I like about myself or something that I did, and I’m supposed to write it down. Oh Please. It sounds stupid but I’ll do it. She expects me to have one quality for each day by the time I see her on Monday. This ought to be fun.

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About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in abuse, Alters, bipolar disorder, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, depersonalization, depression, derealization, DID, dissociation, dissociative fugue, dissociative identity disorder, Family Relationships, Incest, Mental Health, Multiple Personalities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatry, PTSD, Rape, Sex, Sexual Abuse, Therapy, Trauma and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Double standards when looking at yourself and other survivors

  1. meredith says:

    You wrote: My therapist said that I can’t see myself as being outside the human race. She said I can’t have one standard for me and another for everyone else. I actually got mad but I don’t think I showed it. For some reason, it felt like I was turning to stone right there in her office, it felt like I was sitting there and my body was becoming a rock starting at my feet and working up to my head.

    You know what, tai? Every time my therapist told me that I could or couldn’t do, I went nuts, too. Not one more, god damned person in this world was going to tell me what to do, ever again. Every time I listened to someone, I got hurt. So having a therapist “boss my around” was hugely threatening. Reading the above paragraph made perfect sense to me. I did the same thing. I turned to stone every, single time year, after year. I was too hurt to be told what to do for a long time. No one… not even a therapist… was going to “break me” again.

    I think one of the most draining things about therapy is having your boundaries challenged AGAIN about the SAME THING that made all the mess in the first place. There’s a huge sense of loss and confusion about realizing what it’s going to cost to get well. All the chips are on the table, too: trust, disappointment, love, fear, trust, trust, trust…

    You’re so okay to feel this way, tai. It’s really hard to wrap your mind around how involved going to therapy is… and how demanding… of everything you have… especially trust.

    I’m thinking of you.

    Love,
    ~meredith~

    • tai0316 says:

      Wow, thanks meredith, you actually made me feel better 🙂
      I wasn’t sure if what I said made sense and I know I found my anger(?) or pissed-offedness (yes I just made word :P) confusing. I don’t get mad at my therapist so that was a new one. And you made a point that I hadn’t seen myself, that I have to come to terms with what it’s going to cost to get well. It’s a lot to think about.

      Love you 🙂

  2. manymes says:

    You said: “I have a feeling though that many of us have a double-standard like that, at least at times. Am I right? Wrong? It was just a thought that I had. The funny thing is, I can sit here and type this knowing that the double standard makes no sense but I still believe that I am different from everyone else. I deserve what happened to me, I caused it and I don’t deserve any better now.”

    Were you sitting in on my session yesterday?? LOL. I can straight up tell my therapist that I know it’s a double standard, but none the less it applies to me b/c I deserve it. She always, always asks what makes me so special that I’m the only one in the world that “my” rules apply to. AGH! it’s so frustrating. So yes, there’s at least one other that has those double standards. And it’s comforting to me that someone else has the double standards I am fighting.

    • tai0316 says:

      Hi manymes 🙂

      It’s weird sometimes isn’t it, when someone is going through almost the exact thing we are at times and our thoughts mirror each other? It’s nice to know other people understand. Thanks so much for coming over 🙂

  3. Freasha1964 says:

    Hi CI,
    I am afraid if I make a point, you might realize a new way to hate yourself which is the opposite of my intention. I know I have gone around and around about this, though in the “lite” version, toward myself. After enough therapy and reiterations, I have to conclude that I do care about myself. The evidence is right there in the therapy office. If I really really hated myself, why would I bother with therapy? Why would I bother with eating good organic food? Why would I pursue avenues of entertainment that I love? I guess it is logical that I don’t really hate myself, at least not 100% of the time, and the percent of time is going down slowly for me.
    One could almost argue that the statement “you can’t hate yourself” means not that you aren’t allowed, but that that it is mathematically impossible. If you care about the world, you are part of it, too.
    I do know how hard it is to reflect on yourself when you are feeling this way.
    Your therapist should be buckling her seat belt about now. It is OK for you to feel a pissed-offedness toward her (Alright, a new word, thanks!). My current therapist has emphasized that I should always let her know if I feel angry with her, and we have even done drills. My last therapist kind of fell apart when my anger got very high, and talk about trust; I wasn’t going to let that happen again.
    I am so curious. Would you share any of the good things you come up with about yourself? (I already know a ton of good things about you, but the exercise is for you to do it yourself, so, alas, I am waiting…) You don’t have to if you don’t want to, of course. I would totally understand.

    • tai0316 says:

      Hey Freasha 🙂 Your points are always welcomed, don’t worry. Your reasoning on whether you really hate yourself gave me something to think about, especially the ‘why would I go to therapy’ question. That’s a good one. The problem is the cycle of hate, there are times when a person hates themselves less and then they hate themselves more. I appreciate your point about therapist trust issues too because your very point occured to me. I’m worried what would happen if I showed anger towards her. She’s dealt with my angry 17 year-old alter, but my alters anger was directed towards our mother not to anyone else and her attitude was more belligerent, very much like a 17 year-old. I’ve never shown anger towards her before and the feeling today made me nervous because I kind of view her as an authority figure for some reason.

      I was actually thinking of blogging my “one good thing” each day, just to see if I can even find one thing. I told my therapist it sounded arrogant and she laughed because my problem is the opposite of an arrogant person’s issues. 🙂

      • Freasha1964 says:

        I am glad you said blogging. I would have pointed that out, but as we understand, the exercise is for YOU to look at it.

        Yep, interesting. There is a whole world full (half full? Quarter full?) of people who are allowed to hate themselves while they care a lot for everyone -almost- else. Do the math. But we established long ago that our rational brain knows all of this. I swear it is the distance to the moon and back in neurons that is the path from the cerebral brain to the emotional brain. Almost seems you can’t get there from here… Why did nature set us up this way?? Have you tried EMDR? It is supposed to work well in forging that path for those who can feel their trauma right here right now.
        I urge you to talk to your therapist about the anger safety issue. You need to establish that it is safe to step up on that top rung of the ladder and not find it rotten and have the whole thing collapse. I think anger is right up there on the top rung and the key to a lot.

  4. castorgirl says:

    Hi tai,

    I used to hate it when my therapists pointed out my double-standards… a young one in particular would sit in the chair shaking with rage, because it was SO OBVIOUS that we deserved the abuse. WHY COULDN’T ANYONE ELSE SEE IT!! We are dirty, disgusting, evil, the list goes on. We were born that way, and so it made sense that people picked that up on that and abused us. The therapist always asked, so are children born evil… of course not, just us. So a child deserves to be abused… of course not, just us. This conversation happened again for me on Tuesday with Allison, but it was about our worth as an adult… i.e. we’re worth nothing because we don’t have a house, partner, children, job we enjoy etc. Allison asked the nasty questions… do we think less of other people who don’t have a house by the age of 40 – well no, because they might have had something happen in their lives which means it wasn’t possible. I’ve heard the questions often enough now, that they don’t sting, they confuse. I know that the therapist is trying to help me see that I didn’t deserve to be hurt. There is nothing inherent within me, that caused me to be hurt. It was a series of events which meant that I was singled out as vulnerable and able to keep a secret.

    I think the double standard is common to most survivors. I don’t think it’s necessarily about us thinking we’re special or different, but rather our way of trying to rationalise the irrational.

    It’s ok and good to explain when you’re angry with your therapist. Some of the mildly angry ones have spoken with therapists over the years, and oddly enough the therapists always thank those parts for coming forward and talking. I’m not sure why, I think it has something to do with them getting a sense of trust from more parts of the system, and expressing themselves in a safe way, in a safe environment.

    I totally agree with Freasha, we wouldn’t go through the pain of therapy if we didn’t want to change those core beliefs, and think we were worthy of that change to begin with.

    Take care,
    CG

    • tai0316 says:

      CG, it was like you were reading my mind here. And I bet you’re right about why our therapists ask those kinds of questions. I’m kind of nervous thinking that there may be a part that I’m not aware of, I hate that. But you’re also right that my therapist appreciates getting to know me better, however that happens. She’s so weird! 😛 It’s strange to have a safe place to show anger when it was literally beaten out of you to show that kind of emotion, or if it was scared out of you. I’m not used to it being ok for me to angry, at least not anywhere but here.

      It’s an interesting thought that maybe we really do feel we’re worth it, somewhere inside ourselves. That’s kind of nice right?

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