Advise request; attempt to reach out gone wrong.

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Hopefulphoenix

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Hi.
I want to write about this because it happened 2 weeks ago and has triggered a depression in me. Also I cannot stop thinking about it. ?
I met up for a coffee with a local artist who was offering painting lessons. This was absolutely huge for me as I am isolated and trying to break out.
I told this lady just a little about my situation; having childhood ptsd and being isolated so wanting to pick up painting again to help. I guess a part of me wanted her to be compassionate.
But instead she kind of took it upon herself to fix me.
She told me she herself had a big “backpack from life”, but a person cannot just rely on endless therapy to get better. Instead they must find the answers and the key inside. She told me that I am in charge of my own destiny, and must just decide to go out there in life and take what I want.
I felt so badly because I did not say I disagreed. Its like I simply cannot will myself better. God how I wish I could! I think I felt alot of shame and weakness because I cant do this.
The worst was at the end we were talking about colours. I told her I dislike the colour orange. She asked me why and I just mumbled oh its childhood related. She said that it was actually to do with my orange chakra being blocked and I should get it looked at.
Again I said nothing, but I wanted to yell right now I couldnt give a f*ck about my chakras (not to insult any believers here).
I think my depression came from the fact that I did not stick up for myself.
Also because one part of me wants to “get it together” internally and go back and get lessons and be brave and tell her she was wrong. Like using her to get back painting but nothing else. I think that my old dbt therapist could have coached me to do this.
The trouble is I dont feel brave enough now. Hence depression.
I can email around to see if I can find any other teachers, but this was convienient as her studio is very close to my house. At this point I am not good at getting buses etc and travelling further, so would have to ask and pay for someone to come over. More shame.
The reason the whole thing is SO big in my head, is not just a feeling of being beaten. It is also because there is a place in the city for people who paint etc to go who struggle and my T has suggested that as a place to practise getting out to eventually.

I would like basically to hear what any of you guys would have felt in this situation? Also what you would do, as to go back or not?
Also has anyone else felt on how scary it is to have something we are so powerless over without therapy?
PS. Her art work is good but not my style and also freaks me out a little!
 
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Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
Over and over the underwriting in what you seem to be saying is, she isn’t for you. She wouldn’t be for me either and hence the let down and disappointment which would lead to depression. however that being said, paint a little at home and keep looking for the right person, right area, and method to get there. tackle one thing at a time, is it to get a ride to the place you would go if you could, or is it to find the right person then figure out how to get there. I paint at home. Lately though I’ve switched to pen and ink and appreciate that I am self taught. I would say too that you could also look at shame based thinking as first thing to tackle and see if you can untangle that can. In any form, We all need help, and we all give help where we can and there is no shame in either.
 

Friday

Moderator
Would I personally go back? No. Why?

- I don’t voluntarilly spend time with people I don’t like

- I’d of already crossed roles with her ... later, when I’m more socially adept, mixing up people’s roles in my life is something I can & do recover from fairly easily. When I’m just getting back into the swing of being around people? That’s not something I’m able to do at all, much less easily. It’s like if I brought my taxes to my massage therapist, or asked my plumber to take a look at my sore throat and Rx me some antibiotics. If I’m mixing up why I’ve brought this person into my life? My purpose for being there, what & how much of myself/my life I’m sharing with them, and my expectations on what they’ll do with that information? I need to work on my sense of self type boundaries. Am I hiring this person as an art teacher or a therapist? Art? Then why am I laying out my trauma history in front of them? It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with taxes or sore throats or trauma histories. It’s not hiding/lying/shameful to not tell my plumber or massage therapist or art teacher about those things. It’s simply not why I’ve brought them into my life.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
No, I wouldn't go back. The experience didn't click for you, and there were too many weird messages.

I took a watercolor class when I was in the middle of clinical depression. I didn't meet any lifetime friends. The art was nice, but nothing incredible. But that didn't matter. The class gave me a way to get out of the house and away from my rejecting wife. Just being able to sit in a class and paint is enough.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I'd probably have felt about the same things you did. Would I go back? Depends on how much I wanted painting lessons and how willing I was to look at other options. I have a number of clients who have what I believe are wacko beliefs about their horses. (Some of them are alarmingly close to the "orange chakra" thing.) I don't need anything from them but their business, they're clients, not friends. So I let the wacko stuff go in one ear and out the other, nod in the right places, try to walk the line between lying and sarcasm, and drive on. Maybe you COULD learn to paint from her, but you're going to have to be willing to ignore the wacko stuff because it's part of who she is.
 

knuckles

MyPTSD Pro
I think it would be brave of you to look out for yourself and not go back to that artist - if she doesn't feel right for you right now.

I recently read a blogpost written by a trauma survivor, outlining how to make the most of therapy. It was all good and "take-it-into-your-own-hands" - and it felt like a punch in the gut. Like she was telling me how to run a marathon, when I am still struggling with how to walk. Felt deflated and worthless. Sometimes the most well-meaning advice just falls short of the mark, because we are not where they think we are. So if this artist is not seing you *where* you are, but talking to you like you are eye to eye, I get how that can cause you to feel all wrong.
Personally, I am not always strong enough to be around these people, as I can't just let their well-meaning talk go in one ear and out the other without affecting me negatively.
 

EveHarrington

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Ok so my take is a little bit different.


She told me she herself had a big “backpack from life”

This is a good thing, right?

but a person cannot just rely on endless therapy to get better.

No arguments here!

Instead they must find the answers and the key inside.

Yes, I believe this to be true. In an endless sea of therapy styles, coping skills, grounding skills, self soothing skills, ETC, we really do have to figure out what works for us inside. (This can take many years!)

She told me that I am in charge of my own destiny, and must just decide to go out there in life and take what I want.

Not the most helpful thing to say to someone with a debilitating illness, but she was trying, right?

I met up for a coffee with a local artist who was offering painting lessons. This was absolutely huge for me as I am isolated and trying to break out.

And I think this is the key.....you’re trying to open up to new people and get support, right? Have you done this much in the past, with your ptsd? It seems to me like you’re unable to appreciate that she was trying to support you, and instead you’re focusing on the fact that she didn’t support you in the way you wanted. Guess what? People aren’t mind readers. Nobody is ever going to tell you exactly what you want to hear, and support you in the exact way that you need, unless you tell them. (No, not even other PTSD sufferers.) Instead of focusing on not hearing the right words of support, focus on the fact that she did indeed try. If you continue to open up to people but get mad because they didn’t support you in the “right” way, you’re going to reject a lot of well intentioned, caring people.
 

The Albatross

MyPTSD Pro
"I met up for a coffee with a local artist who was offering painting lessons. This was absolutely huge for me as I am isolated and trying to break out.
I told this lady just a little about my situation; having childhood ptsd and being isolated so wanting to pick up painting again to help. I guess a part of me wanted her to be compassionate.
But instead she kind of took it upon herself to fix me."

A good amount of issues in the mix. Wanting painting lessons, discussing something personal with a stranger yet wanting compassion, actually getting compassion in the way the artist could give it but translating that as "she took it upon herself to fix you".... then the conclusion:

Her art work is good but not my style and also freaks me out a little!
Makes all else in the opening post more not less odd. Why do you make this statement?

Reread your opening post. There is A LOT there. So far as your depression resulting perhaps from not "sticking up for yourself"... rather the question is something like, "If I wanted lessons and the location is convenient why did I elect to overshare with a stranger and then get weirded out when she was compassionate in the way and manner she was able to?"

"Do what you do, get what you get" is a mantra of mine. Because someone doesn't respond a way we want/need/desire is really the issue. That issue started with a choice though, to put wanting compassion from the artist over the want for lessons. Perhaps an unconscious choice, but a choice nonetheless.

Agree with Friday and Scout.
 
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grit

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Hi Hopefulpheonix

Please take what makes sense for you and leave the rest. This is my ultimate disclaimer but no matter how wonderful or evilish we are, we cannot never be pure outside ourselves…so there is always little bit of us given to others that others do not want.

With that in mind, I do not agree with most people here who say, avoid this lady. You do not have to love her, nor agree with her and nor love or or even like her but you can learn a lot from her personally and artistically and at the end of the day. We will always meet people who criticizing us or breaks or shows us our darkest side, we still have to soothe, see it, and either improve and grow or decompose because of them. See we, including you, always give some of you to others. Maybe you reminded her of her past and she is also depressed today thinking hmmm should I take Hopefulphenix as a protégé or not? She really made me feel like I was her mother and should take care of her needs. Do not assume she is happy laughing, or she is crying. We do not know what we pass until it comes back to us at some point.

Now I will make few comments about your post and hope this is helpful. I have had very similar journey like you. I also suffered extreme narcissistic injury so often, until I shatter the nurture mirror and saw my true self but that shattered mirror is still there and it cuts me every time I move one. This is my perception of your story as it relates to me.

But instead she kind of took it upon herself to fix me.

Would you ever entertain if your need for “compassion” was projected as “needy”?So she did not see “I need compassion” but aggressive and entitled, I am hurting and needy and take care of me….just throwing it out there for you to think about.
I think my depression came from the fact that I did not stick up for myself.
Most likely. Is it also possible that this rejection reminded you of a real one you suffered as a child from a person very very important to you? I honestly do not feel some lady you do not know hurt you so bad that you are depressed. She reminded you of a past of a person who truly could and did hurt you very bad when you were helpless little child. Much much younger. Can you compare this hurt to something in your body (beyond talking memory and see a connection)…just again wondering.
Also has anyone else felt on how scary it is to have something we are so powerless over without therapy?
I did not go to therapy until couple years ago, cause well I believed very strongly I can do it myself. I learned since (in the most horrific ways of therapy) that PTSD is a clinical state and must have therapy (or most patient like mother Theresa) to love us, give us a chance to love her and have break up with her and survive that break up! A lot of people do it via divorce – ooh I grow so much after my divorce or the death of a child or a death of a parent ----but if you cannot afford that much of real life lesson, therapy is cheaper. You fall in love with them like a child to a mother, she will hurt you cause ultimately you are a client and will break your heart but if you are lucky and I am lucky we will grow so much strength consciously the break will not a on a wood but on a bendable material that will bend really deep but bounce back. That is the only way.

I felt so badly because I did not say I disagreed. Its like I simply cannot will myself better. God how I wish I could! I think I felt alot of shame and weakness because I cant do this.
Feeling shame for being unable to help yourself is a sign of being deeply hurt probably before you were able to talk. I am so sorry this happened to you. I find you extremely intelligent and admire the ability to see your feelings, and actions so clearly but yet not able to see the connection and the turn you will take (I am so hopeful for you). You are getting close.

Maybe take time not to see this artist since she triggered you so deeply. But I think you will benefit from her expertise when you see your own contribution and giving her that much power. By trying to take that power back from her, is another form of healing in real life without a therapy but you can see it is not so easy to have deeply disturbing experiences and time to process and digest and swallow and have them internalized positively.

Super super tired today and had rough weekend so sorry about the worst English in this post. Hope you can get the gist of my contribution.
 

Hopefulphoenix

Not Active
Sorry it took me so long to reply. But thank you so much for the time, thought out answers and tough love.
And.. after much procrastination and pain of inaction I have decided to go back. Basically there are no other options and painting is a possible way out of isolation. So.. I must bite the bullet. I shall report back how it goes. Not easy to do anything in depression but Im going to try, and with revised expectations.
 
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