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Reliving the past

A couple of months ago, I started to increasingly educate myself on psychological topics and gained so much more insight than I have ever in therapy. I cannot even wrap my mind around how much money I wasted on therapists that kept invalidating my experiences and wanted to tell me how wrong I was. I wonder whether there was, on their end, ever an awareness even on the most basic things on developmental trauma. While I am aware that this is a personal opinion, I cannot imagine how therapy can be of any help to anyone. Maybe it just was bad luck, the wrong person or wrong type of therapy.
The catch of bibliotherapy however is that feelings and flashbacks come up to an unexpected degree I was not prepared for and that I have to face on my own. Painful experiences range from scary emotional flashbacks of being physically punished to excruciating feelings of abandonment. Since being abandoned as a child threatens survival, I understand that this is so painful, but it is unbearable to live with this. Making so many links and generating a much more in-depth understanding in a short amount of time is very insightful and creates at least the illusion of progress, and there probably is underneath the overwhelm of going through all these emotions repressed so early in life. Still, I am not sure whether this is enough. I always feel like I have to do something about it, but I think there just is not anything. Maybe healing is simply consciously going through all these emotions in a self-compassionate way. The worst part about it is how it affects present-day social interactions. I feel so terribly abandoned, rejected, punished, and ignored that it tears my heart apart. I know it is an emotional flashback, but I cannot deal with so much pain. It feels like everything is tumbling down on me. I cannot carry this heavy burden and yet another time I am writing that I need this pain to end. This nightmare has been going on for way too many years.

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Hi Blini, That made for very interesting and emotional reading. I think its a wonderful thing to be able to educate yourself on any topic that in some way will help you to look at your life and understand it in a way you never have before, that can only ever be a bonus. Therapy is a difficult one because until I came here I would have agreed with you with regards to being a waste of your money, I myself although I never had to pay have not had the best experience of therpay but being here I have heard some very positive stories of people that have had some fabulous experiences so perhaps it was just bad luck for us and we were unfortunate not to meet the right one and Ill be honest I perhaps wasnt as honest and as trusting as I could have been to them either.

I too think this is complex and wonder if really anyone who has not experienced this can really relate, Im coming from a place of ignorance of course as I have not had any training in therapy or psychology but I honestly cannot imagine being able to be taught that but yes you are right the basics should be in place.
Your flashbacks sounds excrutiating and I have no idea how you manage when they occur, so the fact that you are fighting so hard to manage them and not giving in to them inspires me.

I think this is a huge leap towards the future not only for you but for many of us, sometimes you just can fix it sometimes you do have to go through things even if its horrendous and maybe once you are through the thing you fight for years things do start to improve??
My only wish is that I or we could be there to physically help you through that. Help you with that burden.
Its time you had a break, you help so many people here and I would love to be able to help you more. We are here for you, You are such a strong person, you have come so far, allow us to be there with you now.
Much Love to you friend.
Lisalovesfeathers. :green_heart:

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Hey Blini, thank you for coming here to share this.

I’ve felt the relief you’re speaking about here, of finding answers where I’d been assured there were none. When you know that something is wrong and that you need help with it, hand-waving does nothing for you. I’m so sorry that you’ve been invalidated for this long. It’s so shitty and what you’re saying is completely valid. That sort of treatment can set people back years, and that’s something I’ve experienced myself. The money you waste is a big loss, but it’s the time you spend fighting against what you’ve been told is nothing, and then the self-doubt and shame that come with not being able to win that fight, that really gets to me. It can leave people with more work to do than when they started. I get angry thinking about it. It’s just so unfair and you deserve better.

What you’re doing here, honing in on your challenges and choosing to take them on, is really admirable. It’s great that you took those steps for yourself, even though I can tell that undergoing that process has led to quite a bit of pain. You’re right that self-compassion is a large part of this – your traumas were never deserved, and you should have been given the help you needed long ago. I hope you’re treating yourself with extra kindness in harder times. :heart:

Those emotions, feeling abandoned, rejected and ignored, they must cut very deep. I hope you know that in this place we will always accept you for who you are. You absolutely belong here, and we’re so much better off for your contributions. We will always listen and do our best to understand. I’m sorry that all of this has made socialising even harder too. I feel that one, and it hurts. Sometimes it feels like having the freedom to come to people as I really am has been stolen from me, and I oscillate between being angry and sad about that. Right now I’m choosing to believe that time and effort can make that better, and sometimes that really is the case. It has gotten easier, maybe with time I’ll find my people.

With all those things about negative experiences in therapy said, and this is coming from a place much like yours, I still think it is worth a shot. The things you’re describing, the flashbacks and deep developmental trauma, the feelings you’re experiencing and the effect it’s all having on your social life, it all sounds impossible to deal with on your own. In my mind it’s about finding the right person to help. I know that someone with that kind of expertise is out there, somewhere. It’s completely up to you, I’ll be here to listen and offer support whether you choose to try that route again or not.

I’m just about to start sessions with a new therapist after a months on a waiting list, and I come equipped with information from my own research and introspection. The thing that’s worked for me this time is that I went to my family doctor and told them the symptoms I’ve noticed, particularly the ones that have been persistent since childhood. I told them that they’ve affected my hobbies, my social life, my work and study, all of it, and so they referred me on to a psychiatrist. This isn’t the perfect framework for this kind of thing, but I hope sharing it may be helpful in some way.

I’m deeply hopeful that this one could work out, and I’m trying to remind myself that I deserve the help. The thing is that I genuinely cannot do this without the assistance of a professional. I need their expertise, their perspective, maybe medication. Like you, I’ve always felt like something needed to be done about all of this, but I’ve just never been able to find that thing that made a difference. I’m sure we’ve both tried a truckload of things by now. And you said it yourself, this has been going on for long enough. You deserve this vital medical assistance, you always have.

I’ll be thinking of you today, I hope you’re feeling well. I hope I didn’t come off as preachy, I absolutely respect your right to handle this however you think would be best. You just deserve the help so much. I’ll also be happy to talk more if you want to. Stand fast friend. :heart:

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Thank you for your time and your reply.

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Hey @blini,

I hope it is okay to respond to you here - please let me know if not.

I just wanted to send a reminder that how you feel will always be valid, no matter what anyone else said. If you have been told that “it wasn’t all that bad”, then I believe the people who told you this were making a judgment over things that are highly intimate and personal. One same experience can bring two people to having different ways to perceive it, to feel it, to experience it emotionally. None would be wrong. They just are.

I don’t think you’ve painted a dramatic picture of your problems. We often post here when we are feeling very low, when we are prone to more intense and unbearable emotions. What we say becomes a kind of photography of how we were feeling at the moment. For sure, it can be difficult to look back at it, and so many times our first reaction can be to say that it wasn’t that much of a big deal. But it’s still part of our experiences. It’s still real, even if we feel a little more “rested” afterwards.

How you feel is valid. No matter how many therapists or people could contradict that reality, no matter how many books could bring something more rational and distant, how you feel is valid. Thank you for sharing, still.

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Always, friend. :heart:

I can delete or edit this part if you’d like, just let me know. I hope you don’t mind that I saw your reply before the edit, just for a flash, and saw you questioning your account of things looking back. I can relate to this so much! Part of my problem is that I have questioned how bad things really were when I’ve had good days, to the extent that I’ve delayed getting help for far too long.

Trust me, you always deserve help. Even if you’re only feeling awful for a couple of hours, we want you here so that we can remind you that you are loved. I know that when you were typing this post you would have felt every word. Seriously, you deserve all of the support plus more. And also, things don’t have to be horrible all the time for them to still be quite bad. Especially if this happens to you repeatedly, remember that you’re just as worthy of assistance as anyone else. I hope you won’t make my mistake and hold off on getting the help you need and deserve. :heart:

I hope you’re well today @blini! I’ll be around if you’d like to talk more.

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