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Not sure where to begin in therapy...


Albino-Kitsune
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It's been some time since I've seen a therapist. And any therapy I've had before that has been sporadic. I've moved around a lot and had to change therapists many times because of my family's views or choices.

My first experience with a shrink was after my mother died when I was 8 years old. Thinking back on it now, I'm glad my dad put me into therapy. My remaining family, on the other hand, to this day, thinks that putting me into therapy is the reason I'm so 'screwed up' in the head now. I disagree.

Had it not been for the therapy after my mother's death, I would have been far worse in social interaction than I already was. It was HARD being 'that weird girl'. Kids are cruel and therapy gave me a place to talk about how I felt and gave me a way to vent and express myself.

But, I stopped seeing that therapist shortly before my grandparents whisked me away from my dad and brought me to Maryland to live. (That's a long story in and of itself. Basically, he was letting a harlot destroy what was left of our life in Virginia, and ended up in jail on drug charges. He took the fall for that slag's stupidity.)

I didn't see a therapist again until after my Dad died at 13. But nothing was solid. My grandma changed who I'd see every couple of months. Just when I was starting to trust and open up to one shrink, I'd get pushed to another. And another... and another...

It went from once a week, to once a month, to '... maybe we'll go this month. You don't really need it, do you?' (How was I supposed to know what I needed, I was a teenager. >.>)

After my uncle raped me (I refer to this anymore as 'The Shane Incident') and my family denied it happened (still deny, in fact. Actually, they blame me for his loss of employment and ability to gain a job anywhere.) Grandma started to swear that the therapy was making me worse and that it was the biggest mistake ever to put me into it.

Even though I disliked my shrink at the time, I knew I needed someone to talk with. (I got a new one not too long after, school made it mandatory for me because of all the lies my grandma spread around the court trial for Shane. Superintendants basically told her they thought I was a bad influence and a danger to the other students. If I didn't get help, they wouldn't allow me to stay in school. Guess that's what you get when you tell everyone your granddaughter is a fruit-loopy loony that is OBVIOUSLY lying just to get her 'baby boy' in trouble.) Last therapist I had that I liked no longer takes patients anymore. She's now a board director. I've seen her recently and she said she'd help me find a new therapist, but for now all I have to go to for even marginal help is the health department's mental health building. (This didn’t look promising when I did the intake earlier this year.)

But, although I'm certain I'm going back into therapy, I'm not sure where to start. I've got a lot of anger and bitterness towards my family. But I'm living with them so it's not like I can tell them where to stick it and drive off into the sunset. I'm still grieving over losing my parents. I miss them every day. I constantly ask myself 'Would life have been better had they not died?' I'm sure if Dad hadn't died, Shane would have never laid a hand on me.

It hurts worse now because I've found my 'one'. I've been blessed with the most wonderful man I could ever have love me. (Sad part is, he lives in England, so we rarely get to see each other. I just got back from a week-long trip there. He's coming over for Thanksgiving with my family later this year.) I'm not sure how the family will take to him, but I don't know if I should really care what they think. All they've ever done is belittle me and put me down.

We're thinking about marriage but that's still some time from now. I need to get my head straight and find independence (not just financially, but emotionally; I need the validation of others to feel anything good about myself.) before I go over to stay for good.

I cry a lot when I think about it. Dad's not here to give me away.

His family is so much larger than mine, and so much closer. I want to exchange vows in England, which means anyone coming for me would have to fly themselves out and get themselves a hotel room. ...Which leads me to think I won't have anyone come for the wedding. Just his family... which, I suppose, is enough for me. Doubt my family cares enough anyway.

...I really need to learn to love myself though before we can proceed in the relationship. I hate on myself all the time. I constantly have to ask him why he loves me and I know that's frustrating for him. But there are times I honestly can't see any good in me. I feel like a huge failure. Deep down I know I'm a good person that a lot of bad things have happened to but it's very difficult to keep a stiff upper lip when you're reminded constantly of your own screw-ups and how much of a burden you are on everyone else.

I have a huge history to explain to any shrink brave enough to take on the jungle in my head. I don't like wasting up session time recalling my history over and over, but I know that's the root of my problems and it needs to be understood. I wonder though, would it be wrong of me to give the shrink a bit of homework? I mean that in the way of I could type my history and print it out for him or her to read later. Though, the only person I've brought this idea up with doesn't know what to make of it. They said they'd ask their friend who practices psychology.

Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

... And sorry about the text wall.

Edited by Albino-Kitsune
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Don't worry about having a lot to say. If you didn't, why would you be here?

Another way to say it is, that's what we're here for. Yet another is, quit apologizing for being you. :-)

Welcome to our little outpost on the edge of darkness. (You could also say that it's on the edge of light, but I'm not quite up to that yet, myself.) We're pretty good at listening, or reading anyway, so feel free to spew whatever's in there. You're bound to find someone who can relate.

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Hello Kitsune,

I'm glad that you've found your "one" and that you've mustered the strength to admit that you need to return to therapy.

In my opinion, selecting a therapist is of paramount importance. You should trust your therapist and avoid changing 'sporadically' unless you feel that you're not improving or it is necessary. Like what you mentioned in your post, trust is very important and it is an effort from the therapist to break your wall in a therapeutic relationship and this is not something that people who are not going through therapy may not understand.

It is essential in every therapeutic session that the therapist will know what he is dealing with. So my advice is, you'll have to tell him everything even if its a mountain of things that he'll have to deal with. Do not be afraid of what the therapist may think of you, have faith in him and if possible, stick with only one therapist. I am not sure, but it may be best to keep a journal of your sessions so that in case you'll have to change again (and I hope that won't happen too often), you can tell your new therapist or show him your therapy log so that he'll have an idea on how to deal with your case.

In your new session, try to sound neutral and describe what you're feeling in detail, avoid medical terms or jargons as much as possible to give your therapist a clear picture of what you're going through. What you have experienced back then may be different from what you're going through now.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

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[...]quit apologizing for being you. :-)

You know, I used to apologize all the time for everything. =P

Fiancé broke me of that in a way... I still apologize for silly things, but I don't do it as much anymore.

-------

And, hello Dazed,

Thank you very much for the advice. It does help, I appreciate it.

For the past couple of years, I've traveled and moved around a fair bit, but I'm thinking I'm going to stay close to my family for now, until I move across the ocean. (Save for the occasional trip to see friends and loved ones, of course.) I had thoughts of returning to Chicagoland, but... doesn't feel right now. This may end up being a topic I bring up with my chosen therapist later.

I like the journal idea. In the past, when I ask the therapist if I may read their notes, they oblige. So unless ethics around here have changed, I should still be able to read their notes so that I may add to my own.

I do appreciate your advice. It has given me a lot to think about.

Thanks again,

~Jess

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Albino-kitsune,

Entering therapy is a good idea but be aware that you will experience bad feelings and memories as you discuss the terrible things that happened to you in the past. One thing you might consider is finding a therapist who uses cognitive behavioral therapy. In terms of rape and trauma, there are many support groups for women out there that are very helpful. Of course, we are here as well and I am pleased to see that our wonderful members are already reaching out to you.

Allan:)

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