Thursday, May 14, 2009


Been following the comments on The Same Sky regarding An Unconventional Therapy. Talking about boundaries of the therapist and pushing against boundaries. I've been giving thought about what boundaries I would like to violate :) I really want to know my therapist better. I want to know what she does for hobbies, whether she is a stay at home person or goes out to socialize. I want to know what she does on vacation. I feel as if she likes me, but I seem to want to know more about her than I care to know about most of my friends. Is this normal?

I've also had a hard time accepting the fact that we are NOT friends. The therapy relationship is so unusual. Part of my pathology is feeling inferior to others and having this one sided relationship feeds into this feeling. I feel like I am not accepted as an equal. Do others feel this way?

I also like to hear her voice. I called once after a particularly tough session where I shared what I remembered about the abuse. She called back and left a nice message. I listened to it over and over. Anyone else feel like this?

This is tough work.


So I've been making my way through various books as I go through this "process". Although right now I am taking a break - things just got too intense last week.

Books I've finished:
Trauma and Recovery by Hermann
Courage to Heal by Bass and Davis
Surviving Childhool Sexual Abuse by Ainscott

Books I've read parts of:
Courage to Heal handbook
I Can't Get Over It
Healing From the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse

I've considered buying "Treating the Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse" because I am interested in the therapy process.

Many books have things that "speak" to me and many things that don't seem to apply. I am interested in reading more about the "inner child" and the feelings I went through at the time. I have a difficult time feeling now.

Anybody have a book they want to recommend, or comments on what I've read so far?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nurturing self

So part of my reading has to do with nurturing oneself. I am supposed to ask others how they do this. So I am asking....

What I have come up with for myself -
1) Reading - started in childhood as a way to escape life. Read everyday - usually average a book/week or so. Also love talking about books with people.
2) Listening to music - I've recently discovered Pandora, so I can listen at work. Usually the soulful women - Sarah McLachlan, etc. Although sometimes music can make me melancholic.
3) Gardening - would do more of this if I had more time. LOVE fresh flowers. Unfortunately forgot to bring some peonies into the office today. They are glorious now and haven't been beaten down by a thunderstorm (yet).

Unfortunately - these don't seem to help me in the "acute" anxiety moments. Like I had big time on Saturday. When I ruminate over and over about the bad things. What helps in those times? Besides breathing?

Friday, May 8, 2009


I am really struggling right now with all aspects of the healing process -

1) Telling others - Most of the books I have read recommend finding someone to share the healing journey. I am having a hard time imagining this. I have told my husband, but we haven't talked about it since. I'm not sure I will share more with him. As I talk to friends, the possibility of telling is always there. But I don't and I'm not sure I will. It's hard enough to talk with T. Right now, putting it down on paper (or computer screen) is the best I can do.

2) Memories - Parts of me want to remember more and yet I am afraid to remember. Again, from what I've read, it seems like survivors remember bits and pieces as they go through the process. I have a set memory (I remember parts of three or four experiences but given the time span know there must be more) and more hasn't come. I do have olfactory memories. I smell cigarette smoke (usually when reading in bed at night) even though no one has smoked in my house. It takes my breath away. The smell of sweat and cheap beer set me off.

3) Inner child - So much is written about the inner child and finding the inner child and being kind to that child. I suspect that inner child is the same as my private personna in my previous post. I'm pretty sure I don't like that kid.

4) Therapy - Although I have GREAT sessions in my head with T, I clam up in person. That drives me crazy. I'm hoping I can talk her into at least receiving emails. I don't mind typing and once you push the send button, you can't take it back. And I don't expect her to spend time writing back. Just reading them and bringing them out in session.

5) Pervasive thoughts - Even though I've decided to cut back on some of my reading, "it" is there all the time. I've thought about charting the number of times I think about the abuse, my reading, my T during the day. That would be hard because it seems to be there all the time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Public vs private personna

I have been visiting lots of sites in order to aid in my healing process. This in addition to reading several books, going to therapy and journalling. It has become evident to me that many people have developed DID in order to cope with their abuse. Although it is likely that I dissociated during the abuse (hence why I remember bits and pieces and have lost large chunks of my memory about my childhood), I'm pretty sure I do not qualify as DID. That being said, I do have two different personalities -
1) The public personna - this is the successful female, doctor, wife, mother. I appear in control and generally do a good job in all of these areas. I have friends, a social life. I'm respected at work - often a go to person. I'm a good listener - people confide in me. I know things about some of my friends that their spouses don't know. I am not saying any of this to brag. I don't understand why all of this doesn't make me feel good inside. Then there is the private person in my head.
2) The private personna - the one who doesn't feel success despite evidence to the contrary. The one who frequently has a knot in her stomach. The one who doubts her parenting skills and her friendships. Although the inner person feels mostly confident about the job, sometimes the littlest thing can set off waves of doubt. The one who feels like a failure at therapy because I don't talk about the things I've read during the week.

I am really tired of this feeling. T thinks I am pushing myself too hard to get through this. She says there is no timetable or quick fix. I'm beginning to wonder is there will ever be a fix. How does someone heal after 40 years of doubt? I think I will take a break from the reading, but will still go to therapy. At least for now.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It could be worse

So I did some prep work today - went through some of my journaling and made some notes about what to talk about with T. I thought my first comment would be "We have a lot to talk about". Instead, I got there a little early and stewed in the parking lot. This is my first week at this new place. I got so worked up - it was like a mini panic attack. Then I went in to sit in the office where I waited for 10 minutes. The new office is nice - warm color. I sat on the couch for the first time. But I couldn't talk about the things on my card. She is warm and empathic - realized I was having a hard time just being in a new spot. At one point, I told her "This sucks - and I really hate that word". Then I sat in the car afterwards reading a text from my d, and as I was leaving I HIT the car behind me! How awkward is that? I left my cell phone number on the window - that could be an awkward conversation. Will it be a patient or a therapist? Didn't do much damage - just scuffed up the bumper a bit, but still......

One thing we talked about was telling someone else about the abuse. I asked if she thought it would change a friendship. I can imagine the conversation now - "I know I've known you for 30 years, but I neglected to tell you that I was sexually abused as a child." How can that not change things?

To repeat - THIS SUCKS.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Nervous about the move

So tomorrow is the first appointment at the new office. I am not looking forward to this. One reason I liked the old office was the relative privacy/isolation. There is great danger that I will run into someone I know personally at this new place (therapists and clients). I'm not sure why this bothers me so much. Of course, my T says that therapists don't think twice about seeing people they know waiting in an office. And if they do think about it, the thought is they are glad the person is seeking therapy.

I'm already getting butterflies.