Therapist wigged me out with an idea


Short post:

As my last session was ending, I mentioned to my therapist that after the recent event involving intrusive thoughts, I had a desire to confront my uncle. She said something about it being good to be angry and I immediately corrected her and said that I’m not angry at him. Yes, I know that I should be but I’m not, which is something I’ll bring up with her later. Anyway, she asked what I meant then and I said that I want answers. I want him to tell me what he did to me. I want him to admit it and fill in the gaps, which I of course no will never happen.

My therapist then made a suggestion that freaked me out even though it involves not actually sending anything. She said that I should write him a letter that I will never send. Then she added that I could instead write a letter from him to me that has what I wish to hear in it, including a heartfelt apology.

For some reason this idea really makes me feel weird but I can’t explain why. What do you guys think?

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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 Incest, Sexual Abuse and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Therapist wigged me out with an idea

  1. castorgirl says:

    Hi tb,

    I’ve heard of survivors using unsent letters as a way to work through some of their emotions and reactions to the abuse. It’s one way to externalise the pain, and appropriately direct the anger… so I can see why your therapist would suggest it. I’ve heard of people who have done letters in versions – the first being an outpouring of emotion, then through editing, getting it down to one that you could send, but don’t. The emphasis is on working through your emotions, and not expecting anything from the person whom the letter is addressed.

    Now that there’s a little more distance between yourself and the idea, do you know why you felt weird about it all?

    Take care,
    CG

    • CimmerianInk says:

      I don’t know why exactly. I feel fear but it doesn’t make any sense because he’s not really here and he’s never going to see it. Thinking about writing a letter from him to me means that I’d have to pretend to be him which I can’t. I don’t like confrontation in real life so maybe that’s part of it, I don’t know. I just know that it creeps me out.

      • castorgirl says:

        The point of the letter to him, is you. It’s not about him, it’s about finding different ways to express what you are feeling. So in many respects, he is irrelevant.

        It might not work for you, but it’s worth considering – even if you never do the letter from him to you.

        As for the letter from him to you, I can understand why that would make you uncomfortable. The only time I’ve seen the technique of sending a letter from the abuser to their victim, was in an intensive in-patient environment. It was in a documentary, and was an incredibly powerful experience for the client. I’m not sure if I could do it, although I know parts of me would love to hear the words “I’m sorry”… I know parts would also be incredibly cynical and resentful of the whole thing – but then, may be that’s part of what I need to heal, I don’t know.

        At the very least, I think you need to go back to your therapist with your concerns. She might be able to help you clarify the reasons why it will, or won’t, work for you.

        Take care,
        CG

      • CimmerianInk says:

        Thanks CG.

        I think it would be a good idea to talk to my therapist about it because obviously her suggestion affected me quite strongly and I’d like to understand that reaction more before I proceed with something like that.

        I found your personal thoughts on this interesting. I wonder, looking at how various parts of you feel about this; is the letter idea, as far as the “I’m sorry” part goes, something that you would consider doing? When parts of the system differ in opinion on something, do we stop ourselves from doing something in deference to the rest of the system, or do we do it anyway for other parts that are ok with it or perhaps even need it? I’m asking in all seriousness. How do you manage the system when certain parts need something that other parts would find maybe annoying or insulting etc.?

      • castorgirl says:

        Hi,

        In all honesty, I don’t think I could do an apology letter from an abusers perspective at the moment. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be able to at some point; but right now, my anger is too great/disconnected. So if I attempted it now, I wouldn’t be in the right space for it. But I do think that I could do a letter to an abuser, as this might help me externalise and direct that anger more appropriately. It doesn’t mean that I’ll send the letter, or go out hating on anyone… just that I need to learn how to better direct my emotions, and release some of them.

        As for when you should do, or not do, something because there is internal resistence… I think that depends on the situation. Sometimes that internal resistence is because it is challenging old behaviours that need to be challenged, in which case it’s better to gently proceed. Sometimes the resistence is because it just doesn’t sit right with who you are, and that means that other ways need to be found. So there is no blanket solution. But keeping an open mind, and learning why there is resistence is important. There should always be respect in what we do, so that can mean doing lots of internal reassurances.

        Take care,
        CG

      • CimmerianInk says:

        I understand being disconnected from the anger. Maybe that’s part of it, I don’t know.

        Knowing how to do what’s right for the system as a whole as well as for myself is complicated sometimes. I found your insight helpful though CG. Thanks. 🙂

  2. alice says:

    iv done this a few times, for me it was jst getting it off my chest, i actually felt a lil better, anythings worth a try
    take care
    Alice

  3. meredith says:

    oh, yikes… I can’t even imagine wanting to write from that perspective. That seems like too much information to think about. period.

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