My Therapist Winced when I Told Him…….By
Unless you are new to this blog, you have realized by now that my life has not always been happy joyous and free. I prayed to die for many years. I tried hard to change my life, to change my heart and to just “get over it”. I didn’t know what the heck was wrong with me, but I knew something was. I did everything that I was told might work, and I can honestly say that I was sincere in my desire to live without the baggage of my past dragging me down forever. I just never felt happy or good for very long.
I did make some progress over the years through some of the people that I met and the places that I went for help. Some books gave me hope; some seminars lifted my spirits for a while. I am not discounting any of the methods that I tried; it is just that none of them were the total answer. The improvement never felt finished. I still had this emptiness, this hole in me that would not fill. I had this restlessness and desire for something better, to find and know myself, to find my purpose in life. I longed to be free of the depression that came unexpectedly and yet regularly into my life. I just wanted to be okay instead of lost, broken, exhausted and disconnected.
I found fresh hope one day when sitting across from a new therapist talking about the hopelessness that was me; In my intake session I told him that I had the best life, the most wonderful husband, 3 great kids and was living my dream on a big farm/ranch riding my horse, but for some reason I had no reason to live. I thought that my family would be better off without me. I was tired, frustrated and heading for my third serious depression in 5 years. The last two depressions had lasted for almost 2 years each. I was terrified of antidepressants since I’d had a terrible withdrawal experience the last time I had taken them. The only stone left unturned that I knew of was that I had not followed through on the therapy for the dissociated identity disorder that I had been diagnosed with when I was in my mid twenties. I had decided to make one last attempt at dealing with that.
I caught just a glimmer of something different in the methods this therapist was using. He didn’t just listen to me, he reacted to me. He winced when I asked if it “was normal for a mother to put her tongue in her 9 year old daughter’s mouth?” He assured me that this was not “normal” and it was in that moment that I knew this therapy would be different. Not because of what he said though, because he winced. Other therapists had never reacted to that question. It was what I later realized was my “test question” and I was not going to tell absolutely everything if I wasn’t going to get an idea if this stuff was just run of the mill no big deal stuff or if something really wrong had happened to me. I had been raised to believe after all, that my life and my upbringing was better than most.
That glimmer of hope is what kept me going week after week, dumping some of the most difficult stories, and being validated by my therapist who was sometimes moved to tears. He showed his disgust for the things that happened to me. He assured me that it was not my fault, but more importantly than that, he showed me why I thought it was my fault, and then he helped me to see why it was not my fault. This was the beginning of my emerging from broken and into to a life of wholeness and splendid mental health beyond anything I had ever hoped for.
Living life to the fullest,
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