Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve ruminations - possibly triggering

So I couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve - should have taken an Ambien. Thoughts swirling around - making haikus and other thoughts - should have gotten up to write them down in the fresh state. Jotted down what I could remember the next morning.

Night falls, listening,
Fearful, waiting, barely breathing
Darkness, take my hand.

Decades locked inside
Little girl, shamed to silence
Please come out to play.

How much time is needed
To heal the wounds
Of a life unlived?

Violation, pain
Hope stolen, innocence lost
Trauma scars the core

I'm thinking that I'm taking a new step in therapy - I actually want to talk about these with my T. I usually bristle when she brings up the previous haikus. Perhaps it is time to let the little girl out.

Blog recap

I recently read all of my private online journal - searching for some dates to talk something over with T (actually more to prove a point). Yesterday I read the whole of this blog with comments - not that long as I'm not prolific. Interesting process to see where I've been and how many things get repeated over and over. I do think I've grown some over the years, but realize I have a long way to go before - what? Not sure if it's acceptance of who I am and where I've been. Realization that my past has shaped me into who I am today, but that with work, I can change my image of myself. Sometimes I wonder if I will be satisfied with a different outlook - do we become too comfortable with the person we are? Is change too scary?

Musings before the new year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Story

So in order to battle some melancholy, I've started walking. This weekend "The Story" by Brandi Carlile came up in my random playlist. I've always liked this song and her raw voice. I've been dealing with some issues in the therapist relationship and the song made me think of my T and where I am in our relationship (I substituted "I depend on you" for "I was made for you").

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true.... I depend on you

I climbed across the mountaintops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do.....I depend on you
You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what I've been through
Like you do..... I depend on you

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true.... I depend on you

Well maybe the second paragraph doesn't resonate so much in the T relationship, but the others certainly do. If I was more technologically competent, I could insert a youtube link to the song, but alas, I am not.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This one will be different - the first one without my mother. It seems odd already. Also, the date of her birth is this Sunday. And we are having a graveside service on Wednesday to inter her ashes. Lots of triggers in a short period of time.

I think I am still angry for everything that happened that she didn't stop at the time and swept under the rug after the fact. Angry that I can't confront her with it anymore. And sad - for the fact that I wasn't mothered in so many ways.

But - I am doing OK :) Tried to talk about some of this in therapy last night, but it's tough to express the emotions. I'm pretty sure my therapist doesn't realize how deeply I feel some things because my outward demeanor is so controlled.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Frequently the concept of goals comes up with my therapist. What am I hoping to accomplish with therapy? Is there something I want to change? Same questions with EMDR - what would I hope to accomplish? Remembering? Forgetting? I've always had a hard time with verbalizing what I want out of therapy - what would give me a sense of accomplishment? I've only come up with broad things - such as being able to trust more, have a greater sense of intimacy, an ability to feel "feelings" and to verbalize how I feel. These goals seem so nebulous and not quantifiable. So, I've been doing A LOT of thinking and trying to pay attention to what causes my heart to race or my stomach to clench. I've come up with a couple of specific things I would like to change -

1) I would like to be able to experience a disagreement or confrontation without spacing out and feeling ill. To realize that it is OK to get angry and to express anger and for others to do the same.

I've always kept everything inside. My daughter is the opposite - she's quick to react and quick to forget. I'm sure much healthier in the long run. But when she "loses" it - I can't deal with it. I feel physically ill. I realized last night at dinner (during such an event), that in my eventful childhood, I learned to check out to avoid the drama. And that's what I do now. I also internalize the drama of others. I "carry" my daughter's outbursts long after she has forgotten about them. My daughter finds it difficult to say she is sorry. Last night late into the evening, she kept coming to me with a question about this or that and I know it was her way of trying to make amends for her outburst at dinner. But I wasn't able to accept it - I was still cold and monosyllabic and pushing her away.

2) I would like to be able to experience physical touch, particularly intimate touch, without my abuse coming immediately to the forefront. Or if it does, to be able to recognize it and move out of it.

I'm actually proud that I've come up with something concrete. I'm not sure if the goals are reachable or what to do to reach them, but at least they are more specific.

Have others set specific goals for healing and/or therapy?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book question

Has anyone read books by Babette Rothschild (? spelling). One is The Body Remembers. I just purchased it (along with a couple of others).

Still in pursuit of making sense of all this by doing what I do best - reading.

Brief update

So I don't think I have posted since my mother's death. The services went well. We still have to have a small service at the grave to inter her ashes.

I haven't felt grief yet - except a bit on the day we found her. I suppose that will be wrapped into ongoing therapy.

She was somewhere between a pack rat and hoarder, so cleaning out her house will be a job. So far, I've found a few things -
1- A handwritten document in her handwriting written in 1968 summarizing my visit to the ER. This was when she took me to document the abuse (to be used in her divorce proceedings). This visit is one of my few memories. The last line reads "have arranged for psychiatric care". I don't remember this at all - surely I would remember if I saw a therapist for any length of time? She was not educated and many words are misspelled, but the essence is there. The frustrating part is that this thin slip of aged paper was found midst old cards and letters, bills (new and old). I want to tear her house apart looking for more.
2- Pictures - of my abuser - some with me. Ugh.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I haven't been online for a week or so. Last week was busy and this week -

my mother died unexpectantly.

She didn't answer her door, my brother and I were contacted. My daughter and I were out her way shopping - I was on vacation this week. So we stopped by her house to check since I have a key. My brother had called the police who arrived at the same time. They asked "do you want us to check the house"?. Of course not - she would be so embarrassed to have you find her in some compromised position (I think the latter). So I went first. And found her. Dead on the floor of her bedroom. Looks like she had fallen during the night - not sure if she hit her head or had internal bleeding.

Despite the fact that I've seen a lot of dead bodies in my job, seeing your mother in her house is a bit surreal. My daughter (16) was a real trooper.

The services are today. Afterwards I drive my daughter to camp (six hours away). Then I will start processing next week as I go back to work.

Going through pictures for the service has been interesting - I've come across a few of my abuser. Perhaps I will give them to my T to keep.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I was talking with T about memories last night. I have very few specific memories of my abuse. Not surprising - I was young when it started. I've read that visual memories might be few due to abuse taking place in the dark. I've also read enough about memory to know that what I do remember as specific incidences could likely be amalgamations of different times.

We've talked about these 4 or 5 incidents more than once, although perhaps we haven't talked through all of the feelings.

I think it would be helpful to remember more, but I really don't see that happening. And for me, it's become easy for me to talk about the memories without feeling anything. It's hard when the story is repeated back to me - I feel it then.

I thought EMDR might be a place to access more of my memories and/or feelings - but that has been postponed for now.

Although I know I've accomplished things in therapy the last two years, it's amazing how the same things circle around over and over again.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Favorite Movie

I have a hard time coming up with an all time favorite movie - it depends on the mood etc.

One favorite recently watched again with the kids is The Princess Bride. Also love the book. So many fun quotes - my 10 year old goes around saying "anybody want a peanut". Actually that gets old after awhile :) One quote that I repeat often "Life isn't fair, but it's fairer than death".

Although sappy - I've watched You've Got Mail more times than I should. Meg Ryan is this cute little thing (yea I'd like to look like that) and the books and the dog - I do get teary eyed when I watch that one every few years.

And Colin Firth - I would probably watch him in commercials.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One more post about feet

Three posts in one day!

So one of my overwhelming thoughts during yesterday's session was -

How did she manage to paint her toenails with her dominant arm/hand in a cast?

Little Bee

So this book is in the phase of being passed around for various book groups. I had read about it a few months ago, but just started it yesterday. There are some good quotes for survivors - here's one -

"I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived."

There are a few I've come across like that. Author is Chris Cleave. There are some scenes which will be triggering for some. Not me - I can read the bad stuff without feeling much. Perhaps that is something to work on in therapy - to regain the ability to cry at the sad things and be repulsed by the awful.

An Egg

If I could draw - I would draw an egg with a splinter size crack that proceeds to a mesh of cracks with eventual shattering of the shell. That's what I thought about after therapy yesterday. The goal of my therapist (at least in my mind - she would say she has no goal - it's all about what I want) is to effect the first crack. But we all know what happens after you break an egg - you end up with a gooey mess.

And I've developed this thick shell for a reason - I'm trying to decide if there is a good reason to break it.

And whether I should call my T to let her know how I'm feeling - although I suspect she has a pretty good idea.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Worst job

I've been out of the blogosphere over the weekend due to out of town guests - missed a few of the prompts - now I get to pick.

My worst job was the summer between first and second year of med school. I worked as a phlebotomist at a local plasma donation center - very depressing place - people came and gave blood for a paltry amount of money. There were about 10-15 of us from my class working there during the summer. Unfortunately, several of my classmates exuded superiority from every pore. This cast a bad light on all of us - you know the privileged and educated (yeah right - educated maybe, but certainly not privileged). I still remember the feeling I had when I couldn't "get" a hard stick one day and one of the full time workers had to help me. She was so full of scorn and derision that I, who was going to be a doctor, couldn't do this.

It was the first (and perhaps only) time I felt hated for what I was rather than who I am.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Greatest Fear

I meant to post this yesterday.....

This one was an easy one. My greatest fear is that something terrible will happen to my children. By terrible, I don't mean getting cancer or having an accident (both terrible things). I mean the really horrible things - abducted, raped, murdered.

Makes me feel ill just to write it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My superpower

I can't say that I have a superpower. I mean, who does besides the superheroes? :)

I suppose I could answer this in the context of past abuse - my superpower was to survive and go on to lead a productive life.

Or I could answer it in the context of things I am good at -
1) I have a great memory - particularly for names - people, books, authors
2) I'm a good listener although my T would say in part that is a learned mechanism to avoid sharing my own story
3) I am cool under pressure - particularly at work
4) I'm a fast reader
5) I can keep secrets (I suppose this could fall in the above category - learned from my abuse)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Five bands/concerts

Now - this is a fun one that doesn't stir up bad things - always nice.

Five best concerts I've been to - I haven't been to that many concerts, but I've been to some great ones. I'm not including symphonies/opera/classical/musicals in this list -

1) Rolling Stones - Steel Wheels tour - we had GREAT seats - on the floor about 12 rows back - my ears were ringing for days!
2) Bruce Springsteen - another great one - forget which album he was promoting
3) Grateful Dead - yes in the times of Garcia - it was an outdoor venue - it was hot as hell and like a dustbowl, but who cared? Warm up was Bruce Hornsby - also great.
4) Paul Simon - small venue at the local university - I think it was Graceland album - again we had great seats.
5) Phil Collins - huge arena - in Ohio State stadium - packed to the gills - post Genesis days but a lot of energy flowing
6) Adding a sixth - Barenaked Ladies - venue was not great - too crowded - too hot (perhaps it was the beginning of menopause for me :) It was during the promotion of Barenaked for the Holidays. Really entertaining.

More recently been to Avril Lavigne with dear daughter (in the same venue as Springsteen 15 years previously). It was actually pretty good.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My First Kiss - today's prompt

WTF - do they write these with abuse survivors in mind?

I can't begin to remember my first kiss -

Thursday, June 10, 2010

16 year old self

Prompt today is to list three things you would tell your 16 year old self. I was in my senior year of high school at the time.

First one is easy - tell someone now, get into therapy, don't carry the baggage for so many years. I can only imagine it is harder now than it might have been at 16.

Second and Third - see above. Actually I don't have many regrets about the way my life has progressed. Except for my silence for so long.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

1000 Cranes

Japanese lore suggests that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, your wish will come true. What would your wish be, and what would you be willing to do 1,000 times to get it?

Today's inspiration. Funny this was done at our school this year for our librarian. Her 2 year granddaughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor and people folded 1000 cranes and hung them in the library.

So the question is do I wish for something past, present or future? Reminds me of the Christmas Carol.

If in the past - definitely would wish that the abuse had not occured. That the discovery of sex came from natural exploration and curiosity and not forced upon me at a young age. That trust and security were instilled.

If in the future - wish that my kids are happy in whatever they choose to do.

The present - well I'm living it moment to moment - perhaps I would wish that I could work part time.

What would I do to get these wishes? Folding 1000 cranes would be nice. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nablopomo - a million dollars

What would I do with a million dollars if I couldn't keep it for myself or help those I know?

Not sure I can top Kerro's suggestion of taking a portion of it in $100 bills and throwing them off the top of a tall building.

Kids - I would want to help kids in some way. Because most kids are not born evil. Because many kids will prosper if given the resources. S0 -

Programs that help kids learn to read
Programs that feed kids
Programs that provide mentoring for kids
Resources to buy books - I escaped my childhood by reading
Programs to pay for therapy for kids who need it

You get the picture.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nablopomo - apology?

Today's prompt is whether I owe anyone an apology, and if so, why?

I guess I could think of lots of reasons to apologize to people.

Therapist - apologize for asking questions that lead to disclosures
Husband - apologize for not telling him my secret years ago

Inner child - apologize for not being able to access you to feel your pain

I'm sure I could go on, but this is enough for now.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nablopomo June 5/6 Therapy

So there was no prompt yesterday on the site and none so far today. I checked as late as 10 p.m. So I missed yesterday -

One thing I did this week was write a long entry in my private journal about things to talk about in therapy. I'm one of those who chit chat for awhile and avoid talking about some things. And then the time runs out when we are in the midst of it.

I've had a heart to heart with T and at this point we've reached an understanding. Something came up this week which made me realize that I still don't completely trust her (or anyone). Although she is worthy of my trust - I intellectually know that. I called and left her a voice mail about the issue (something I've done only 2-3 times in over two years). I told her that she didn't have to call me back, we could talk about it at our session next week. But she called me back because "she didn't want me to ruminate about it over the weekend". And she said she was glad I called.

That got me thinking that she is definitely worthy of my trust.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nablopomo - Father

Today's prompt - "What is the first thing you think of when you think of your father?"

Oh - funny question with more disclosure. My first thought was "dead" but in reality it should be "not known to me".

Another opportunity for disclosure - I never knew my father. My mother had an affair with her (married) landlord and got pregnant (with me). His wife was pregnant at the same time and also had a girl (how sweet). I know his name - I asked my mother once when I was doing genetics in med school. He (if he is still alive) and presumably his family live in town. I have from time to time thought about looking into it, but have decided it's not worth it.

All three of my mother's children have different fathers. The last was my abuser.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nablopomo - freedom

Today's topic is defining freedom - interesting because the last line of yesterday's post was about the caged bird singing of freedom.

In the current topic of this blog, freedom for me is the ability to tell others, to share with others my story. Most of that has been anonymous, but still a tremendous help.

In a general sense, freedom for me is the ability to think what I want, say what I want, live my live the way I want without condemnation or judgement from others.

And of course, there is the hope for freedom from the aftereffects of childhood sexual abuse. Still working on that one.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nablopomo - favorite poem

Favorite poem -
I used to love poetry - I remember reams of paper where I had copied poems. I remember reading this book in 9th grade and it resonated with me. This reminds me that I should read more poetry.

I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nablopomo - childhood dreams

Thanks to Kerro - I found this site. I will give it a try since I post so infrequently. I've been offline for awhile - no posts, email or reading of blogs. Nothing bad - just life and doing some thinking on my own. :)

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?



And maybe beautiful.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010



I've read a lot of books and blogs about healing from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. In some I am struck by how "up" everything is. There was a journey and a process and now there is

How do you know this?
Is there a light bulb that goes off that says "I've felt good for x number of months"?
Is it because your therapist thinks you are done and gives you a get out jail card?
Is it because you have well defined goals and those are now met?
Is it a conscious decision about not dwelling on the past but moving to the future?

Some of the above are tongue in cheek and I am sure that even those who have moved past my stage (whatever that is) will say they are still in the process. That there is no endpoint.

I still find it difficult to believe that 45 years of feelings (shame, guilt, inferiority.... pick your own) can be altered dramatically. I feel like I still have to find that one book or one person who can show me things can be different in my mind.

I sound down and maybe I am a little. That roller coaster ride of therapy. I think last night my T tried to change the session a bit in response to my comments last week. It came off seeming forced (lots of "tell me what you are thinking right now about what I just said") and was jarring. I went in thinking we had cleared the air last week and would get down to business, but it seemed "off" somehow. Historically, after a session where I've voiced concerns about the process and my progress, I've always thought she was distant the next session, like boundaries are being redrawn. Or is she like that because I think she is?? Or the proverbial circle.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Therapy update

After writing the last post about my anniversary date, I also spent time reading all my previous entries in my private journal. This was about 60 entries over a year and a half time span, many written in conjunction with reading "Courage To Heal". I was struck by what has been almost a roller coaster ride - the doubts I expressed in the last post about continuing with therapy were played out several times over the past two years.

So - I went in poised to express this thought about quitting and/or changing. One thing that has become clear to me is that I have changed in this time frame. Although it was awkward and embarrassing at times to express my unhappiness with lack of progress and her lack of feedback, I was able to talk about it and put it all on the table. I'm not sure I could have done that early in therapy. I admitted that I don't think I am done with therapy - I still realize that I am a "closed" and "cautious" person who holds feelings tight (if experienced at all). I admitted that I need to deal with being able to express my feelings, BUT that she needed to figure out the way to get me to talk about feelings. I'm not being resistant on purpose - it's just a difficult process.

So - I will stay on for at least awhile longer. I still have some doubts as to whether she can help me go any further with processing the abuse. I'm not sure I know what I need in that respect. But she does listen and I can talk to her. Perhaps she can help with the effects of the abuse.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Anniversary Date

So last week was my two year anniversary with my therapist. As is typical for me, I asked her where she thought we were (or perhaps where she thought I was relative to two years ago) and if she had any thoughts as to where we might go. As is typical for her, she punted the question back to me, because of course "It's all about me". I'm just not sure if I can do this anymore. It seems as if we have been stagnant for some time in the sessions. I asked her about her training for EMDR. She doesn't think she will. I'm considering termination. Or searching for a new T. The last option is anxiety provoking.

I had a dream that I quit therapy in quite a rude way - cancelling an appointment, telling her on the phone that I was quitting, telling her to count me as one of her failures. Like I was trying to hurt her. I'm sure that is saying something about where my mind is now. And I'm not that sort of person.

I will talk about this with her next week, but I am not hopeful. We've had similar discussions before.

Do others find that their therapists challenge them?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Confiding in others

I think one of the hardest things about my three week break from therapy was the realization that my T is the only one I talk with about my past. Besides those involved, only two others know my history. One is hubbie and we don't talk about it (one of my areas of anxiety). The other is a long term close friend who lives 3000 miles away and has a busy life with young kids. So we don't talk often.

Although I had a great vacation - it seemed like my "internal chatter" was greater and got fairly negative by the end of my break. I'm thinking that is because I had no outlet for my thoughts since I can't call or email T. Well I could call if there was something big, but this was the "usual chatter".

That led me to think about friends who I might tell so that I might be able to unload when needed. I see a few issues with this -
1) you never know how it will be perceived
2) is it selfish to tell someone so that I can talk to them when necessary? Would I be attempting to use a friend as a therapist?

Any thoughts on this?

The Language of Therapists

Everyone jokes about how there must be a course "Illegible Handwriting" in medical school. I'm beginning to think there must be a "Therapist Language" course.

Beginning of yesterday's session -

Me: So did you miss me while I was gone? (after 3 week break)
She (chuckling a bit): What do you think? (with emphasis on you)
Me: I don't know - only you can tell me what you were feeling. (Pretty clever, I thought)
She: I noticed your absence. Although there might have been someone else sitting in the chair, I was fully aware that the 5:30 Tuesday is your time.

So - what do you think? Did she miss me?

All joking aside - the session was neutral - not great, not terrible. She commented once that she thought I was quieter than usual. It did seem like she did more talking than usual - but nothing really new.

Now we have another two week break............

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just because I KNOW it is transference

Doesn't make it easier.

T and I have spent quite a bit of the last few sessions talking about "our" relationship. And how uncomfortable it is for me to tell her what she means to me. So I'm realizing that I am projecting feelings of wanting to be mothered or to have an intimate friend on her, and she, in her therapist way, is filling those roles. In a recent session, she mentioned that she "tells" me more about herself than other patients and she was wondering if I was interpreting that as "friendship" or as a sign that she likes me. And I had to admit Yes. I think that bothered her - she was using this disclosure (I think) as a way to build trust. Although I think I knew that on some level, I also thought we were just talking because we are (1) similar ages (2)both physicians (3) share similar humor. So it seems a bit forced now - where I analyze what she says to me and wonder how she processes what I say to her. We have a two week break and the week back will likely be a bit of "fluff" and then she is off for a week or two. So - it will take a while to get back into this discussion.

One book I've read on vacation is The Talking Cure. It is a quick read dealing with how psychotherapy alters the brain. I found it interesting to discover that this therapist seems to be constantly processing what the patient is saying with her own interpretations and then reprocessing in order to determine how much of her bias she is interjecting, before responding. Must be exhausting.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fiction books about therapy

A couple of books were recommended to me by a therapist friend. I'm in the midst of one AUGUST by Judith Rossner. A bit outdated (I think it's from the 70s) and boring at times, but interesting to read about the therapeutic relationship.

I've read a few others (mainly by Yalom). Anyone have other suggestions of fiction books dealing with the therapeutic relationship?

It all comes down to the mother again

So this past week in therapy, we were discussing my ability to express my anger/dissatisfaction at her the previous week. In the midst of this conversation, T threw in a comment about my mother. I've having difficulty bringing back what she said because it was so jarring in the moment. I did ask her about why she brought my mother up at that point and I don't remember what she said. She knows that I have many negative feelings about my mother. I've come to two conclusions -
1) She brought up a negative image (mother) in the midst of me talking about caring about her as a T and a person in an attempt to have me care less about her.
2) She's laying the ground to explore that when I obsess about her being gone, I'm dredging up abandonment issues related to my mother and when I get angry at perhaps misinterpret something - it's because I'm channeling anger to my mother.

Something to talk about this week. I sometimes despise therapists using these "techniques" to draw the lines between things present and things past.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quote on sleeping

"I've always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed."

from City of Thieves by David Benioff

Good read, BTW.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

EMDR anyone?

After a rough session last week - one that felt very disconnected - this week was good. I was able to vent all my anger/frustration/doubts/worries about last week, our relationship and therapy in general. One thing I was able to vocalize more clearly was my concern that she did not have enough experience to deal with helping me work through the abuse and wondering if I should see a "specialist". In the course of that discussion, she brought up EMDR as something she has been "holding in the back of my mind as a possibility for you". She does not do EMDR so I would have to go to someone else.

So my question - I know what EMDR is - I did a bit of reading about it early on. Has anyone been through this and willing to share the experience?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Therapy, thus far

So after a particularly bad session (you know the the type - nothing to say - staring at each other in awkward silence) this week, I've been evaluating what has been accomplished thus far in nearly two years.

The good -
1) I've disclosed everything I remember about my abuse.
2) I've told T, my husband and I've put it here.
3) I've broached the subject with my mother and learned a few more things.
4) I think I feel more secure in my parenting skills.
5) I don't think about the abuse nearly as much as I used to.

The bad -
1) My relationship with my husband is not what it was - it is more distant without much intimacy (physical and emotional).
2) My relationship with my mother is not what is was - I can barely stand to talk with her. She is now depressed again and somehow I feel guilty for this.
3) Instead of thinking about the abuse, I now think about therapy and my therapist more than I would like.

I'm at the point where I think I need a roadmap or some guidance to figure out where to go next. And I'm not sure I am getting that from T. So, once again, I am at the point of trying to decide whether to quit therapy completely, try a new T with more experience in CSA or stick with it with current T for a while longer. And yes I will talk about this with her - it seems like we have been over the issues before.

I particularly dislike how one week can be good and the next not so good. By good - I don't necessarily mean that I "feel" good after a session, but that we connected - even if the conversation was difficult.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Treatment plans

After a dissatisfying session this week, particularly because I am wondering where we are headed in therapy, I'm left wondering about treatment plans and goals. I've read a lot about how therapy is supposed to work - you go in and talk about what is bothering you and decide on a plan for working out the issues. Most that I've read indicate there should be goals with a treatment plan and a timeframe.

I don't have that at all and at times I feel like we are aimlessly wondering along. Despite what my T says about nothing being pointless and we'll go where things take us. So that leads me to ask - do any of you have well defined issues, goals and treatment plans?

Perhaps my lack of these is due to the "type" of therapist I have. I'm not even sure about that - I think psychodynamic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An aha moment

Man I am an epic fail at this blogging thing - my last post was December 21. I haven't been writing in my private journal either. Perhaps my T is right - I am in avoidance mode now.

At any rate - I've been thinking a lot about issues related to trust and power lately. I've had some conflict lately with my teen daughter over studying, grades, etc. She is so much more self confident than I was at her age (perhaps even now in some areas) almost to the point of being defiant. Thinking about it this weekend, I thought that her defiance (which is really individualization) is triggering for me. And I wondered if that is because I am angry at my own "inner child" for not being more defiant and standing up to the abuse. Now, I am not big on "inner child" work - probably because it involves feelings. I've also never thought that I blamed myself in the past - but maybe I am on some level. Having a strong confident daughter has brought that out in me.

Food for therapy today.

Oh - and things are much better with the daughter now - she's one of those get it out in a dramatic way and then move on. I'm the ruminator who dwells on the same things over and over. It was good to hear what she was feeling and clear the air.