Attempting the Impossible

A journey in therapy: its ups and downs

24 June 2008

I almost met myself. A twilight garden

Written by Depression Blogger ( Contact the author of this post )
Published on June 24th, 2008 @ 01:54:26 pm, using 402 words, 1454 views
Categories: General

This week we changed tactics and tried to approach things by using a visualisation/hypnotherapy type technique. The idea was for the adult I am now to meet the abused child that still lives within me.

The therapist was successful in relaxing me and getting me into the right state of mind. Equally as successful were the subsequent suggestions of visualising a child playing happily in a garden on a sunny afternoon.

The process failed to some degree, as I could not associate the child that I was visualising as being a younger version of myself. I could see this child playing with a ball, with a lot of my mannerisms and some of my physical features; but that was as far as I could go.

The therapist suggested I should join in with the ball game. It was suggested the child would appreciate the company. But I did not feel like I could approach the child – I felt I would be breaking a beautiful picture and that I would feel awkward.

In this hypnotic state I continued to enjoy the sunny afternoon and the innocence of this child playing simply with their ball. This continued until the therapist suggested I leave the garden. I reluctantly left and walked back along the path I had followed to get to the garden. At this point the therapist told me all was not as it seemed, and that beneath the happy image, this child was actually being abused by a parent.

Hypnosis is incredibly powerful, and I truly felt real sorrow and angst at the situation. The therapist asked me what I could do to help the child. I could go back and confront the child’s abuser – but I knew that would not help as I did not have any evidence, and nothing would change as a result. Alternatively I thought about some sort of rescue attempt – but to remove the child from their home was of course not practical. There was absolutely nothing I could do.

As the situation was so utterly hopeless, and because I knew all that that child was to endure, I started to cry. The hypnotic spell was broken, and I was violently returned to the harsh lighting of the therapist’s office, and to the reality of my present life.

We are to try this technique again in the next therapy session, before a two week break.

17 June 2008

I do not trust my own personality

Written by Depression Blogger ( Contact the author of this post )
Published on June 17th, 2008 @ 01:33:16 pm, using 265 words, 9129 views
Categories: General

At an early age I learnt to avoid some of the lurking abuse by trying to be the person my abuser expected me to be. In this way, I was less likely to upset my abuser and life would be slightly more tolerable.

This learnt behavioural trait has extended into some avenues of my adult life. When I talk to some people I adjust my conduct quite dramatically and try to be what I think they want me to be. Ultimately, due to my formative years, I do not trust my own personality. It feels I cannot be liked for just being the person I am. It takes a lot of time before I trust people with my actual, true personality.

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My therapist asked what I would say as an adult to the small child that suffered – as if I could go back in time and talk to the small, distressed child as the adult I am now. I came up with:

- to give reassurance to the small child
- to ensure the child did not think what was occurring was justified
- to tell the younger me that I am allowed to be myself, and to follow dreams no matter the controversy it might cause

I sometimes see other children that appear to be going through something akin to what I experienced. If only there were a way to help these children from suffering a comparable plight to my own.

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The alternative approach to therapy I spoke of last week was delayed until my next therapy session. I wait in anticipation of what it might bring.

10 June 2008

Too little to tell

Written by Depression Blogger ( Contact the author of this post )
Published on June 10th, 2008 @ 03:07:43 pm, using 265 words, 1563 views
Categories: General

We are going to try a different approach to the therapy I receive next week, mainly as we have come to a point where it is getting harder and harder to contact, and hence alter the way my subconscious mind behaves or thinks.

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In this week’s session we discussed past treatments. The most significant treatment we discussed was that of a course of Analytical Hypnotherapy I undertook. The aim of this previous treatment was to regress me to my childhood and focus on the good aspects of my younger days.

The hypnotherapy was successful in its aim. I did recall long lost memories of happiness. The problem seems to be though that this form of treatment may have reinforced my subconscious mind’s idea that things were not too bad in my past (see former posts). In this regard this treatment could possibly have had a negative effect on my life.

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Looking back, it does seem that there are many occasions where I protected my younger sibling from some of the abuse that was so commonplace. This protection was not always consciously decided on, but I do see there was an overall pattern of my offering some sort of shelter from the cruelty that was so customary.

We discussed that perhaps my younger sibling is aware of this, and this is why they are always so considerate and understanding of my depression and anxiety. They never patronise me, but are only ever very mindful of how things might affect me.

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Sparse notes from this week’s therapy, but this is all that really transpired.

03 June 2008

Left behind: the evidential school run

Written by Depression Blogger ( Contact the author of this post )
Published on June 3rd, 2008 @ 11:05:18 am, using 629 words, 1891 views
Categories: General

My last therapy session was not that helpful. It was not my therapist’s fault, but more my own as I was not in the right frame of mind to discuss much of anything. Therefore, this week’s entry is rather short and essentially quite meaningless.

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It has been identified that due to my abuser’s actions, that I am quite submissive to what demands are placed on me. A recent example is a friend that feels they have the absolute right to expect me to do whatever they require of me, at any certain time.

I am trying very hard to tackle this submissiveness. It is a behaviour trait that is as ingrained in me as the fight to stay alive. In fact, the two are strongly linked. I learnt in my formative years to stay alive meant to be compliant to all demands and expectations. As an adult, and more importantly in the last few weeks, I am learning to say, “No.” I feel uncomfortable, and feel I may lose some of the friendships I have due to this experiment; but nevertheless it is something I must attempt.

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I am not at all comfortable blaming my abuser for the way I am now as an adult. I feel I might be exaggerating, or that things really were not that bad. To confront this issue my therapist tries to regress me to former years, and to live through the subsequent emotions. We then discuss whether what happened was fair and correct.

This week the memory that came to mind was that of being picked up from school. We lived approximately four miles from the school I attended. It was essential that I was picked up from school, as it was too far to walk and the route home involved busy roads that no young child should have to contemplate crossing.

My abuser had a three year break from work, and so the school run was left on their shoulders. My abuser was always too busy to collect their offspring from school. There would always be a reason why we would have to wait outside the school gates for an hour or more. I would watch all the other children go home, and try to look after my sibling. When we were finally collected it would be with the approach, “What a nuisance this is. What an inconvenience you are to my important day.”

Taken alone, I know this does not seem too significant. My therapist is trying to help me produce a list of examples that I can refer to. As written in past entries, there are a lot more noteworthy incidents. This is all I came up with in this session. I was a burden and a disappointment in almost every avenue of life. I did not ask to go to school – the last I heard it was a legal requirement.

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I feel left behind. Those that also suffered from my abuser’s actions are getting on with their lives, where I am not able to. Why? Firstly, because I have never known life without my abuser’s influence (thus others have better foundations to draw upon – an understanding of what a more normal existence entails); and secondly, the abuse was not so fervently directed at my sibling. I am told that I should not beat myself up that I am not forging such a good life as those that also suffered.

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A random last outcome of this week’s therapy was that my saviour (see former posts), only ever did things to protect their immediate family – despite the very wrong doings they committed. I had no hope of real assistance from this quarter. In fact, looking back, I cannot think to whom I could have turned.

Attempting the Impossible

Personal recordings, musings and thoughts about therapy for clinical depression and anxiety.


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