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Abuse Counselling Problems....

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by BassistKara, Aug 6, 2007.

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  1. BassistKara

    BassistKara Active Member

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    So a few months back i started seeing a counsellor through Centre against sexual assualt, and she has been really amazing, only the 2nd person working in that job to not have me never go back to them in my 10 year therapy history...
    But im having a few problems and i just wanna know if anyone else has had similar issues...
    The first one is when i go in to a session like today and actually rationally explain why i do things/the way i think/and give them an insight into my though process etc etc im somewhat fine while doing it but sometimes i can just switch and go completely silent and put up a wall, or wait until i leave and beat myself up because i willingly made myself vulnerable and took down my wall for a moment...
    Second one is at my last session i ended up getting really really pissed off at her and walking out...but i dont remember it happening, like i remember waiting in the waiting room for her, but the rest of it i have no recollection of, this sorta thing also happens sometimes outside of counselling like if im in a really depressed state or have a major freak out at someone coz they must've triggered me or something...its scary and rather annoying coz they'll bring up stuff i said or did and i dont remember doing any of it..
    Anyways, other than that, im gonna be starting CBT my next session, im really hoping that i doesnt make me worse before it makes me better...
    Also suprised that this post actually makes some sense considering ive been binging for the last week on drugs and alcohol..argh!
    Thanks for reading and any advice or ideas or just general ive been their too sorta stuff will be much appreciated!
     
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  3. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Part of what I think you are talking about is denial and disassociating. ....

    The denial part is easy...It's a powerful tool that we use when we don't want to talk about something, or when someone brings up a subject that we aren't willing to deal with at the moment. We get PISSED....

    Disassociating is when the memory is way to hard to deal with, when the emotional pain is so great that we just leave the scene ( for lack of a better word) It's a way that our minds protect us from something that we really can't handle at that time and place.

    Once you are aware of what is happening you can control it some. It's hard but you should have some warning that you are about to "Leave the scene" Then just try and stay grounded in the here and now.....

    All of this is hard to do at first, it takes time and patience, but it can be done.....

    Wendy
     
  4. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I also wanted to add the the drinking and drugs is self medicating (a form of denial) and it actually defeats the purpose of therapy in my opinion.

    In order to really heal, you have to be honest with yourself and you therapist. Drinking and doing drugs prevents you from that also...

    The thing that matters now is that you are worth getting healthy, please consider getting help to get clean so that your therapy will have a chance....

    Wendy
     
  5. BassistKara

    BassistKara Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply She Cat...
    I personally dont think its a type of denial though, more along the lines of dissociating...which before it happens i tend to get that overwhelming pissed off feeling and cant deal with it etc etc....
    I know the self medicating ultimately makes things worse, up until the past week i hadnt touched drugs in 2 years...or had more than one or two drinks in a day for over a year, i guess im just scared to actually be starting some sort of therapy that will help me, in comparison to the past 10 years of seeing people who havent done anything...
    I also think i need to learn strategys to deal with the overwhelming emotions(brought on by my ptsd triggers) that lead me to drink and/or do drugs...
     
  6. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    bassistKara,

    I disagree with your last post, about you not being in denial.....as this is what you wrote....

    "i guess im just scared to actually be starting some sort of therapy that will help me, in comparison to the past 10 years of seeing people who havent done anything..."

    This is denial. And understandable, but you have to find a way around it, so that therapy will be effective now.

    Great job on being clean for 2 yrs, now try and work on the drinking. Even 1 or 2 a day is still self medicating.

    Therapy is scary when we finally decide that we have had enough of the PTSD crap that has gone on for so many years. We have to learn to do things in a whole new way. Change is very hard, but so worth the effort in the end.

    Hang in there,

    Wendy
     
  7. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

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    I definitely do this a lot. In fact, too much I've been told. I'm brilliant at talking generally... when it gets specific I shut down.

    It's very, very difficult to deal with but it is important to recognise so that you can change it. And in a basic word... it is avoidance and defence when that wall goes up. And when it comes down it is self-hate because how dare you go against what you have spent years learning...as you said, vulnerability is a problem. It sounds like a trust issue, and a PTSD issue (since avoidance is one of the cluster of symptoms). Talk to your therapist about it, it's important that he/she know what is going on in your mind... they can't figure it out all by themselves. It will also help you to open up comminucation lines so that when you are faced with something you just can't handle you can at least talk about why and get a little closer that way. However... talking about whatever it was which brought that wall up needs to be talked about and when you do that it is not going to be easy either way. But you can help yourself along by finding a way of talking (ie. I talk via email when I can't say something), and by trying to deal with why vulnerability is such a problem (as it is to most of us), and how you can learn to take that risk and see if it pays off....

    As for the dissociating... and/or denial with walking out.... I do agree with She Cat. But just a thought, since you believe it is more like dissociation...could it be both? Sometimes anger can trigger dissociation, and denial and fear can cause someone to flee a situation....I don't know your situation so I don't know if that suggestion is redundant, but it is possible. Anger is an extreme emotion... dissociation occurs when something overwhelms you and you feel unable to do anything at all about it, so you psychologically protect yourself by simply shutting down. If anger is a trigger that would do it. As She Cat said, learning when that starts to happen is very important, to try to bring down the arousal, keep you grounded and stop it taking total control.

    When things like this happen, you need to look inside yourself. Whatever happened, it obviously hit a nerve since you not only reacted, but you also have been blocking with drink and drugs since. For that reason alone you are using avoidance and denial strategies by trying to deny your mind knowledge of whatever you are trying to block out. This is an important thing in therapy. If therapy is easy... something is wrong. When something comes up that appears to block you, that's an important thing to focus on and get past. It might take a while, you may fail every time you try... as long as you are recognising it and trying to push forward that is a good thing. And you obviously have recognised it as a problem, since you posted here...

    Good luck....

    Lisa.
     
  8. BassistKara

    BassistKara Active Member

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    So its still considered denial if i in all honesty do not remember doing it? And is denial a type of coping mechanism in some way?
    Sorry if this all seems a bit obvious to every one else, im just fairly new to trying to gain a better understanding of whats going on...and its damn confusing i gotta say!

    Shecat- thanks for the reply, i guess im in denial about being in denial hey?! But in regards too the whole "seeing people for 10 years and not helping me", its coz they didnt, they never even knew about the abuse as i had no recollection of it at the time...
    I know 1 to 2 drinks a day is still self medicating...but its not every single day without fail i do it, still not good i know, just trying to make things a tad clearer :) Also as you mentioned the whole change thing being scary, it sure is, i know i have to do it im just scared i'll feel even more out of control than i do at the moment....

    Lisa- It most definatly is a trust, vulnerability issue and a "how dare i go against what ive learnt" type thing....I touched slightly on the things you mentioned in my session on monday but in typical Kara fashion i backed off...geez i really am avoiding and in denial arent i?!
    The whole dissociation and denial thing together makes alot more sense than just one of them singularly....Any ideas how to try and gruond myself and keep it under control(i know its different for different people, but i just have no idea where to even start!). Also, would blocking out the memory of the actual abuse be dissociation? or am i way off?!
    I guess im also partially annoyed coz im generally an impatient person, and going through all trying to make the slightest bit of progress is like banging your head against a brick wall- gets you no where and causes pain!
    Thanks for the replies again....
     
  9. Awakening

    Awakening Well-Known Member

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    Kara, no real advice but I've been following your posts, because I can so relate.

    I'm new to this to, and would love to hear or read more about denial/defense mechanisms.

    You wrote "is it still considered denial if in all honesty I do not remember doing it?"

    I'm starting to think the answer is yes, and yes it's a coping (defence) mechanism.

    I always thought denial or defensive behaviour was something you were consciously aware of doing.

    For example 'did you leave the milk out on the kitchen bench' and you answer 'umm no I don't think so' (But you have that lingering doubt that maybe you did, you can't quite remember but you just deny it anyway).

    Or someone asks you to do them a favour and you say "Sure no problem, I don't mind" when really you do mind but you try & convince yourself you don't really.

    When your aware you are denying it's easier to work on it. But when you are not even aware...well it's a tough one. I think the key is; as soon as you realise you've done something defensive or denial however long after, REWIND to just before it happened to see if you can find out what happened. The more you rewind, and analyse it you figure out what triggered it.

    For example a trigger might be the word 'blue'. That way in the future you are aware what triggers you and more likely to be able to stop it. As in 'oh-oh here comes that word blue or his wearing a blue t'shirt, I gotta watch myself here' and then you can implement methods to help you deal with this trigger.

    Also my T will point out (some of the time) when I dissassociate, deny, become defensive. She will ask me to stay with it, and we try & explore it from there. I find this pretty annoying & confronting though, and I really have to resist the resistance!

    I think you are on the right track & I wish you the best in your recovery.

    By the way 'forgetting' aspects of a trauma from all I've read on here, is a symptom of PTSD. There is also a great article from Becvan (I think) about "Repressed Memories".
     
  10. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Bass,

    Hope that you don't mind that I shortened your name. Just easier for me. No disrespect, just easier.

    The anger that you talk about.....Being pissed and then walking out. When we get PISSED at something, it's usually because someone has touched a true spot that we aren't ready to face. Thus the anger. Anger in this respect is denial, because you don't want to face it right now, and are angry that someone has brought it up. You must know that you were pissed because you stated that you got pissed then walked out. Denial.

    Coping mechanisms for people with PTSD that have not been through extensive therapy, are 99% of the time WRONG......We have used whatever we could to cope, and most of the time they were wrong. Only through therapy, can we really learn GOOD coping skills, and use them effectively.

    Yes, right now you are out of control. When I decided to finally get help, I felt this way too. I think it's normal. It's a whole new way of life, and what you have known forever, is now changing, so the feelings of being out of control are very high now. Try and keep yourself grounded at all times.

    As far as the drinking........You know that it's not good, it's self medicating, even 1 or 2. It's a not so good coping skill that you have used for awhile. I am in no way judging you....I too did the drinking and smoked pot to COPE!!!! I learned through therapy that it only mad matters worse....I quit, both.....

    Hang in there.....

    Wendy
     
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