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#374162 - 11/03/11 04:49 PM Question about Therapy
WPB Offline

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 12

I have been seeing my T now since the beginning of the year. I feel like I have talked about all these things in my life but not directly about what happened to me when I was a kid.
I have asked him about talking about it and he says that with PTSD he thinks that bringing up what happened in detail will only traumatize me all over again.
So how do I get beyond if talking about it is only going to traumatize me all over again?
When I am talking to him and we even begin to talk about difficult times in my life or he asked me questions about my perp I can hardly speak as I get all nervous and anxious.
Maybe he is taking it slow.
Have others experienced this?
I would like to hear what others have to say.

Thank you.

#374163 - 11/03/11 04:59 PM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: WPB]
Fissy Tsickens Offline

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Bassett, Virginia
I have felt very frustrated by my T's tactics. I feel like he is always teasing me, leading me on. Whenever I say, "yeah, great, but how do I heal from it?" I get, "you're not ready for that yet" or "we're not at that point yet." My sessions are paid for by a grant specifically for victims of CSA, so I don't think he's trying to pick my pocket. It is very frustrating. I think a T should follow the client's lead. In other words, if YOU desire to talk about it, he should at least give it a try. Just my humble opinion.



Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home Iíll never see

It may sound absurd...but donít be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but wonít you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
Itís not easy to be me

#374240 - 11/04/11 10:13 AM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: Fissy Tsickens]
WPB Offline

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 12
Thank you. I met with my T yesterday and we talked about alot but not what I have been through until the last 15 minutes of my session. I said that I want to know if how I feel is what others feel and do they have the same internal struggles as I do. He told me I have done very well being a master of keeping my secret hidden. Successful wonderful wife and kids. But I still have this empty feeling that something is missing.
My next session he said we are going to focus on me not all the other things in my life today that we all deal with.

I would like to hear how others deal on a day to day basis. Sometimes it is hard to smile through it. Thank you for listening.

#374243 - 11/04/11 12:04 PM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: WPB]
ANDREW63 Offline

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 164
Loc: Australia
Hi WPB, i have been seeing my therapist (counsellor) since july when i started it was on the basis of my depression and my inabilty to commit in relationships ,i was the one who brought up the subject of my childhood abuse ,with each session i have slowly opened up more ,YES it has been traumatic to the point where i have openly cried but the relief of finally speaking about things after bottling everything up for 40 years ,my therapist is very good and allows me to progress at my own pace ,she said today that by me talking about my CSA and my reactions helps her gauge the next step for us to take , my treatment is through the public health system so there is no financial outlay ,Andrew.

LOOK AT ME NOW I AM A SURVIVOR !My inner child and I are now doing this together !

#374251 - 11/04/11 12:34 PM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: WPB]
1227ms Offline

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 98
Loc: PA
My experience with T
I started with therapy last year. First couple therapists told me all of my bad feelings and depression were due to a failing marriage. I knew I struggled with that but also felt strongly that my csa had something to due with it. I found another T here on the MS site. I called her on a Sunday night last December and heard back from her about 2 hours later (yes on a Sunday night). She was taking 2 weeks off starting a week later and didn't want to start with me until she could see me regularly. I almost tried another but decided to wait. Best thing I ever did. She is amazing. Every visit begins with "what would you like to talk about today"? she asks probing questions but never pushes or tells me how I should feel. You ask about feelings and internal struggles WPB. I wondered the exact same things. For me something was missing also. I found it at the weekend of recovery in Hope Springs I recently attended. 28 other guys who felt the same things, had the same questions and fears. I had feelings but also had walls which kept me from expressing those feelings in a healthy way. The WOR was a leap in changing that. CSA screws with our heads in a lot of ways but working your healing journey at a pace that is right for you can help. I am going to PM you with a copy of the letter I wrote to all my new friends from the weekend of recovery. Feel free to respond if you want and always feel free to ask our brothers questions here at MS.

Your brother on the journey to healing,

ÔŅĹEverything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.ÔŅĹ
Hermann Hesse

Hope Springs alumnus 2011

#374252 - 11/04/11 12:38 PM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: ANDREW63]
ACRoberts Offline

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 242
Loc: New Jersey (recently moved fro...
I have been thinking about your post since I read it yesterday. It troubles me the fact that your therapist says that talking about the events only makes you be re-traumatized. I have found that the only way I could begin healing was to get down into the ugly, dirty parts of my memory and see them from an adult point of view. I had been with three therapists before I found the man I am working with now (I have worked with him for over 11 years). There are many different approaches to therapy and the issues that we face are particularly difficult and not all therapuetic approaches have the same impact.
I hope that you are able to work through this with your therapist and find a way that helps you. If not, and you need more guidance, I suggest you read some of the writings of Richard Gartner (he leads the male survivor therapy group that I am part of).
Here is a link to his website:
He is one of the best resources I have had in my healing process, both when I read his books as well as when I joined one of his groups and learned more deeply how his knowledge is matched by his caring guidance.
I wish you the best in your journey. It is a difficult one, but I am still learning it is definitely worth taking!

WOR Sequoia 2011--it has changed my life!

#374254 - 11/04/11 12:45 PM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: WPB]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3790
I think your T must make you feel safe during the sessions. My T helps me to direct my emotions. These emotions and memories were buried for years and I need to process them. However, I also know I need to get rid of the self blame and guilt--by failing to do this my T tells me I am trying to control the outcome--only if I had done this or that it would not have happened. I need to accept the abuse was real and no matter how hard I try to erase it, it will always be part of me. We are doing different exercises and one thing I always do is say my child, I see him there crying with the bastards hands on him. I need to accept that the child is me-need to integrate, a part of me that I cannot keep separate anymore, if I am to heal. My T also worries about being re traumatized by fighting to accept what happened and it cannot be changed and will always be a part of me. He also is concerned new traumas and abuses can re traumatize and I will need to work through these after I continue to heal from the CSA.

I know I have episodes of re traumatizing myself--I am working on it and my T has been helpful--I journal and my T wants me to be focused on re creating and talking in the present of the abuse. Currently I have been dumping memories and emotions into my journal. They are fragmented, back and forth, my T believes this fragmentation of thoughts and lack of specificity to one event is my way of not fully accepting what has happened.

I met with my T yesterday and he outlined what I need to do--first begin my thoughts of when the most troubling flashback begins, write in the present tense, do not refer to my child-say I or me-fully accept it happened to you, write of external memories and internal feelings (switching back and forth). Travel the whole flashback and stop once you get to the end of the flashback, when I feel the pain of him doing it to me. It is the end that hurts because after what he did I go blank and cannot remember anything--I worry it was not the end and there were more abuses--this is one reason I am scared to fully accept, fear of more. I tried it last night, I felt the pain and hurt, but not fully focused because I was having trouble saying I and not mentioning my child. But I did get to the end, felt empty, disgusted, betrayed and angry.

This morning I woke up feeling him all over me, I could not get rid of sensation of hands on me-like bugs crawling up and down.I could feel the touch and what he was doing to me, it seems as though what I wrote last night was being relived. Maybe, I am beginning to accept and will fully process the memories and emotions. But the healing process seems to be an emotional roller coaster.

I have good days and bad days, but I want to be myself, not have doubts of who I am, not self abuse or destruction. I just want to be happy--where every it may be. I now better understand myself and I am beginning to accept the abuser is responsible for what happened and not me as a child.I want to live by the rule a wise mother once spoke--everyone is welcome, but if anyone makes anyone feel unwelcome it will not be the one made to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable who will leave but the one who made someone feel unwelcome shall leave the table unless they apologize and do not repeat. A lesson in respect and love that should apply to all aspects of life. Like my abuser he crossed the boundary and made me unwelcome and showed no respect as do all abusers--the abused is left to feel worthless.

I know I will find peace and happiness and have a wife that I will share love and respect and put each other first. The healing has helped me to better understand how important this is to have happiness in a relationship. I will continue on this healing journal but like you some days are a bitch.

Edited by KMCINVA (11/04/11 01:22 PM)

#374261 - 11/04/11 02:26 PM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: KMCINVA]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 754
Loc: VA
There's one tiny little thing that I find helpful in coming to terms with What Happened: I never say "MY abuser." The "abuse" is mine, because he gave it to me; the flashbacks are mine, because they're my mind struggling with What Happened. But the bad guy, the perp, the perv, is NOT "mine." There was nothing personal about what he did to me--if some other kid had been available, the perv probably would have done the same thing to him. (I suspect that intra-familial abusers rely on this opportunistic approach.) In fact, I know that the perv who got me mistreated or molested at least one other kid. What he did to us did not make him "OURS."

When I'm able to distinguish what's personal from what rightfully should be "depersonalized," it helps me stay in myself, grounded, with a healthy sense of boundaries.

Just a suggestion, another cognitive exercise that I find beneficial. If you find yourself slipping backwards, work through it again. Peace!


#374265 - 11/04/11 03:06 PM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: unhappycamper]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3790
I like the way you look at it--I agree but still grapple with it is my abuse. I have trouble because of my child--who is he and who am I and why do I feel separate from my child. We are working on connecting and have been supporting each other. I think once I do not have a disconnected feeling from my child I will embrace what you say. But I still see him as my abuser. Without what he did I would not be here. But you are right, I need to depersonalize the bastard because I do not own him nor is he me.

I am working on it and appreciate your suggestion. Hopefully it helps me from slipping backwards. Thank you.

#374317 - 11/05/11 03:53 AM Re: Question about Therapy [Re: KMCINVA]
WPB Offline

Registered: 12/19/10
Posts: 12
Thank you for your kind words.
My T says I need to take it at my own pace. He is a great guy and the first person I have ever started to tell my story to.
It makes me feel that I am not alone and there is a light at the end of my tunnel.
My feelings and emotions are all over the place. I have a very difficult time even talking about it. It has been weekly sessions with my T and everytime I even approach the subject I shake and my mind goes blank and I can't even speak, it is a physical reaction I have.
The things that I struggle with is the flash backs and the dreams. I wake up and really have to wonder if it is real or was I dreaming. The other thing I struggle with is that the person who did this to me was only a few years older. He was my friend so I thought. But it is the shame and the things he would say to me so I wouldn't say anything and how he would do things and make me feel like I asked for it. I lived in fear that people would find out. I lived in fear he would tell someone and twist things because he said I wanted to do this because of how I was physically reacting to what he was doing.
I have so many blank spots in my childhood during that time that flood back in bits an pieces.
I want to be able to focus and have direction when I am talking with my T but I get lost and there is lots of moments where he will ask me a question about a certian time and I have nothing. My mind is blank and I start to laugh. Sounds strange but it is almost like I have stuffed these memories for so long that when I am trying to recall them. I get nothing. But then driving home or in the middle of the day at work it is like a slide show sometimes in fast motion of memories and images. Then they are gone.

We are all on a journey and it will be rough at times but I tell myself I will get through. It took me years to even talk about what happened so it isn't going to just go away overnight.

Thank you so much for helping me understand how others work through.

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