My session this week reminded me of something that castorgirl wrote about not too long ago: learning to trust your therapist, or more specifically, trusting in their abilities or experience.
In one of my recent posts, I talked about cancelling therapy for a while because I felt like I was stuck in a cycle of compulsive behavior while still having no answers about my past. I did actually email my therapist and cancel but she wrote me back and told me that when these feelings come, it’s even more important to come in. The session would probably be classified as rough or deep if I could actually connect with it. I can’t. I’m not sure that I can even remember all of it because I pushed it away as soon as I walked out of her office.
One of my biggest complaints/issues is that after beginning to talk about my uncle last year, I have no other memories to explain my behavior. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog since last year, you’ll know that I have, at various times, mentioned imagery or feelings that I’ve had, and that at one point it seemed as if I’d concluded that other abuse occurred. To prevent any confusion, let me say that I don’t remember those connections and therefore I don’t understand what I wrote or why. That means that for me, “the kiss”, is all that happened.
So, in explaining to my therapist why I wanted to cancel and why I was feeling so ambivalent about continuing, I brought this up.
She reminded me that she has two clients who have been in therapy for over 10 years and with one of them, only now is she starting to get “real” memories back (you know what I mean by real. More like regular memories). In other words, there is no time limit on how long this takes. Wonderful.
We talked about the eating too. I told her that I’d felt a lot of pressure to be responsible for my own healing when she’d said that whatever I was hiding from wouldn’t come forward until my eating was under control.
She proceeded to clarify what she’d said, and she told me that she didn’t mean it was impossible, she meant that it would be easier.
She found it very interesting that I felt sad each time I put the fork to my mouth when trying to eat. She wanted to understand that sadness, so she did this thing she does where she imagines what my life was like when I was little and connects it to my behavior or feelings today. It drives me crazy because it hurts when she talks about me being little and I have to smile and laugh it off to handle it.
She said that it must have been very lonely for me when I was little and I was taken away from my grandmother, only to realize that I had to deal with my mother’s abuse on my own. She said that kind if responsibility would have been terrible and that she could see that it would make me sad to feel that kind of responsibility now. It would good to clear up that therapy can continue while I work on eating.
I read the aforementioned blog post to my therapist so she could see where I was coming from. I especially wanted her to hear the last part, about what it says about me if my uncle really did do only one thing to me. I told her about the interview Oprah did with those pedophiles, and how one of them said that he acted spontaneously with one of his victims. I said that we don’t know that my uncle didn’t do the same with me that day.
Now, my therapist puts a lot of stock in certain things to draw conclusions:
- My personality: the fact that I’m not a liar or an attention-seeker
- My symptoms: the fact that I couldn’t open my legs the first time I went to a gynecologist. The fact that when I was first intimate with my husband, I had a flash of my uncle in my mind and started crying. The fact that I had vaginismus for years. My knee-jerk reactions to certain sexual situations. What she calls my “feeling memories”.
- The existence of DID and other Dissociative Disorders.
- The boldness of my uncle in doing what he did, in my grandmother’s house, with other people (including his wife) around.
- Her experience with other abuse victims.
- Her knowledge of the patterns pedophiles follow.
- Her instinct.
While I can acknowledge that I experienced the above issues, my problem comes in accepting those last three bullet points. Those last three require me to trust my therapist and to trust her training and experience. How do I do that?
This is where castorgirl’s post comes in. Basically, she talked about a person who is not an expert in a certain area, thinking that they know what they need and the realization that they need to yield to the expert, who because of training and experience, knows better.
It can be easy to do this in regular life. If I go a gardening center and I know nothing about plants, it would be logical and beneficial for me to listen to the people who have studied plants and gardening. Easy.
When it comes to this? It’s a whole different world.
Why is that?
Why is it so hard for me to yield to the experience and training of my therapist? Why is it that when she tells me that all of the evidence points to other abuse, I can’t accept it?