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Hi. I want to talk here from the perspective of someone that does not have a therapist and probably never will. There is so much inside of me that I want to say, to let out. There has never been a person in my life that I felt I could do that with, no one i've ever been able to trust enough that I could take off the mask I wear in public and be myself. Wearing the mask has become natural to me. So natural I dont know who I am anymore deep inside or even if anyone still exists there. Where shall I start though? Do I go on about my childhood? My parents? My brother? My life? Where do I start and what shall I say? How do I get it to come out? Even if a therapist were available for me I know I could never tell him/her everything that I need to to feel at peace or at least a sense of relief. I'm rambling on here because i'm not sure of what I want to say. Maybe...HELP?

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The person who is talking to us now is not wearing a mask. So you have begun the conversation... Lately I think that the mask is necessary, it makes us civil. I am very tired lately and not very able to put on the mask, and I'm not sure it's a good thing :( Tact is not great without my mask...

I know what you mean though, about sharing intimate parts of ourselves without fear of being hurt, or shunned, or judged. I've found that even in spousal relationships that is not easy. The most deep sharing I have ever done is with girlfriends, close, longterm, solid girlfriends.

Do you think it is perhaps that the people in your life do not share your basic core values because of where you were raised, so it's hard for you to find people who speak the same language?

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Symora you have put it better than I myself was able to. Definitely. Even though i've spent more of my life here than I ever did in the West still my 'core' is so different from the women I know here that I could never open myself to them. The one time I did try, when I was a teenager, was to tell my cousin, who I trusted, something private. It backfired as she broke my trust and told others what I had told her. Though, to be honest, even when I was a child in England I always felt an outsider. I was always a loner, and have never felt that I have been on the inside of anything. I've always been the onlooker looking in on people's lives but not participating. Not even in my own. I dont know that if I did have a therapist I would be able to be completely honest with him or her either. I find it hard to open up to anyone face to face. I could never say what I have said on these forums to anyone in person.

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I get a sense that you are caught between two very different worlds, and they collide within you. When you were in the west you were raised in a house with Saudi/Muslim rules probably, but your environment at school and friend's homes, in society in general was very different, much more liberal probably. And then as a teenager you end up in Saudi Arabia in a world that is very different from what you had known. The age you arrived was probably a critical factor as well, 15 is such a confusing age to begin with as a girl. Naive, yet aware enough about the world to understand some of what is happening but with little maturity. I know that much of my own hangups are caused by the way I was treated by my father between the ages of 13 and 17 when I left home. They are part of my core programming and have cause <memory pods> that are easily triggered and can take over my present reality if I don't realize what is happening....

I'm glad you're here with us Endless, trusting us enough to share you fears and concerns. It really is a huge part in the process of healing, just getting it out of one's self and daring to share it, bringing it out of the shadows into the light.

Are you still working two jobs Endless? Have you decided to move over to the new one at the end of the semester?

Salam

Edited by Symora
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Hello, endlessnight! :)

(I had written you a long reply this morning (when your answer to Symora wasn't yet here), and then my computer got frozen and I lost all the text and was quite upset, but then I had to cook the lunch and so on, so I’m here, in the afternoon, going to try to write it once again; this time off-line, as my notebook gets frozen mostly when I’m on-line.)

I know your feelings about seeing a therapist very well, as I used to think the same for about 13 years. So you can believe me, I’m not so much different from you :) . Therefore, I feel the hope that I could help you to see it from the other side; from the side of somebody who has broken her prejudices and began to get benefits from therapy. I’m not going to tell you what you "have to" do, of course! It’s only up to you.

You can get an important part of what you need here, from our community. You can learn to remove your mask while writing here and thus to understand "who you really are". I agree with Symora; you didn’t have your mask when you were writing your post. Thus it’s probably a great start of your way to yourself!

Your prejudices about therapy are very natural and understandable. The problem is: You’ve never had any experience in your life similar to a therapeutic session, you cannot have anything but fantasies based on your experiences, which (-the fantasies) logically have to be (I’m sorry to say it like this) more or less wrong.

I’m sure it would be beneficial for you to read here some threads about others’ experiences with therapy, but I know this would not be the only sufficient prerequisite for your decision to see a therapist. For me, the most important stimulus was my ongoing, "never-ending" despair and feeling that there are no other ways than suicide or therapy. But the danger of suicide isn’t the only possible reason for breaking the fear and ignoring the prejudices and seeing a therapist. Your wish to "identify" yourself and lead a better, more pleasant life is definitely a great and important motivation.

So what to do with the prejudices? First of all, accept the fact that all your "fantasies" about the dialogue with a therapist are based only on something you already know, but you actually cannot know how it would really be. As I’ve mentioned already, you can get a lot from this community, but, unfortunately, not what you would need the most! The proximate, healing contact with another human being, who accepts you whatever you say or do, who is there for you and face-to-face appreciates with you the slow and complicated process of removing your mask and identifying your true self. Please, do know it’s impossible for you to know now, how would you be able to do it, but you indeed don’t need to know it! The question is not "how to do it", the question is: "Do you want to improve your life? Is it so important to you that you will sustain the fear, shame, and other possible unpleasant feelings and try to do it for you?"

The "how" would come. It would be difficult – nobody can bring you a "salvation" without a hard process of getting it. But it would be worth of the effort. Or wouldn’t it? :)

Edited by LaLa3
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Hello LaLa. You misunderstood me I think. It's not that I don't want a therapist it's that none are available (that I know of) here. And yes, I do want to improve my life. I don't really see that as being possible though. As I have said before, I don't know how to help myself and I dont know where or how to get the help that I need.

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