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Cbt i am not sure anything will work for me

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by recoveringfromptsd, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. recoveringfromptsd

    recoveringfromptsd I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I have pretty much tried everything, and all I seem to have left is CBT, my new therapist (who is great) actually took the time to read my history, and understands my thoughts well when it comes to my trauma.

    She thinks she can change my constant negative view and thinking so that I can enjoy life instead of hating it and wanting out of it as I do now and always have. I just don't think its possible to repair damage that is so bad it has controlled my behavior and reactions, and kept me in fear for 40 years or more. I think all she is accomplishing is keeping me alive for the present.

    I wonder if anyone has recovered from such a process, going on to enjoy and embrace life instead of being haunted by trauma.
     
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  3. Rumors

    Rumors I'm a VIP

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    Sometimes it is a combination of things that work. For me cbt, emdr, and medication worked best and gave me the most relief from bad thoughts, negative outlook, and my trauma memories. If you aren't on medication, I would suggest you discuss that with your therapist as well. I would also suggest talking about the possibility that it may take more than one dynamic at a time to help. Best wishes!
     
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  4. recoveringfromptsd

    recoveringfromptsd I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    @Rumors EMDR was a disaster for me, learned a lot, but in the end and a short time, reprocessing overwhelmed me with body memories. I can probably only do EMDR safely in a hospital environment. I am on medications. A lot of medications (6). It seems all I have is a therapist who gets its. But its hard for me to see my way out of the darkness.
     
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  5. Junebug

    Junebug I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    There was also a (self)-compassion-based therapy someone mentioned on here, for people who find cbt difficult because they are very self-critical.

    This is something you could explore your thoughts around with cbt. Even if no one ever had improved (and they have), you could be the first..

    Best wishes to you.
     
  6. recoveringfromptsd

    recoveringfromptsd I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    @Junebug I feel like its a losing battle, all I have left is hope. I think my T is sort of leaning the self-compassion direction, I am finding it hard to integrate. Part of what keeps me going is she has invested in me more than anyone, took the time to know and understand what took place and how it affected my life moving forward. The least I can do is honor that by trying. Still I feel nothing will really change and life will continue to be the misery it has been.

    Its very difficult when I am a mixed bi-polar with extremely fast switching of moods, and when the depressive side hits badly, the misery and depression make for a dangerous state of mind, as in that state what hope I had does not exist. The only time I am not miserable is when I am manic, but even then my misery comes out in bad ways that get me in trouble within manic behavior.

    Over all I feel doomed to this existence.
     
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  7. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    She might think she can help you change your way of thinking, but she can't change it for you. Maybe that seems like an unimportant distinction, but it's not.

    The bipolar diagnosis would sure complicate things. I don't know enough about it, but medication is an important part of managing that, I guess.

    But, in order to change the way you experience the world, I think you first have to be open to the possibility of a change. And that can be really scary. Maybe what you know is all you've ever known. Changing that can feel a bit like jumping of some cliff. It really helps to have a therapist you think you can trust. But then you have to actually trust them and that can be really hard.
     
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  8. recoveringfromptsd

    recoveringfromptsd I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    You hit this right on target, it is hard near impossible to be open to change, change is uncertainty, uncertainty tied to trauma, trusting complicates things because I can't trust period, because those who abused me I was supposed to be able to trust, and those who were required to protect me did not, and chose to ignore the abuse. Trust for me is not trust, its calculated risk management, I measure the world by the potential threats posed. So my T I feel less a threat to me, it has made it easy for me to say or write anything, even alarming things and see seems to give me the opportunity to deal with it directly with her. I think at times my sessions are keeping me out of hospital more than anything.
     
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  9. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    My T is really particular about language. Language can shape our thoughts. So, if I had said this
    He's have said "You can't trust YET." He'd have been totally willing to leave it at that, or talk some more about it, but he's always corrected my language when it comes to that sort of thing. To my surprise, he's right about that.
    Agreed! And my T agrees too. He's never once suggested that the world is a safe place. Just that it might be safer than I think sometimes, or that the cost of being wrong might not be as steep as my amygdala thinks, sometimes.
    Good use of language! It's "near impossible" but it's not impossible. An important distinction!
    I don't know......I think change is change. Uncertainty is something else. You can change a tire on a car too. I suppose there's a level of uncertainty there, but no more than with most things. You can change your clothes, change your mind...... You can change back too. And uncertainty......It's pretty much everywhere, all the time, isn't it? Sometimes "certainty" can be boring. (Or reassuring, I get that.) But, if things in your life aren't optimal now, and that's certain.......?
    That's a thing, for sure. You thought you should be able to trust them and that wasn't true. And it CAN happen again. But you survived that, right? And chances are you've got skills now that make you more able to both detect untrustworthiness and deal with it now that what you had then.
    I chose to look at that kind of thing as "bad luck". Not that you, or anyone else, has to see it that way. I'm honestly not quite sure I get the concept of someone being "required" to protect anyone, but, whatever the job, sometimes you get someone who's competent and sometimes you don't. It's luck.

    It sounds like you've got a good start on a good relationship with this T. And it DOES sound, to me, like you're open to the possibility of change. That, to me, is the first requirement for getting something to work. I try to look at this stuff as "an experiment". I've got sort of a science background. If I think of it as an experiment, I don't get too hung up "requiring" a specific result from myself. And, it gives me a reason to use "curiosity". I like "curious" and that attitude helps me take a step back from the temptation to see everything as a life or death situation. (Most things aren't life or death, they just SEEM that way. Even if they are life or death, I function better if I don't think about that in the moment.) I form a hypothesis, do the experiment, observe the result, and go on. Otherwise, personally, I get too wound up worrying about "doing something wrong". And, with an experiment, if you don't get the desired result, you try something new. It's not the end of the world.

    Good topic, BTW! Because I think most of us feel that way at least some of the time.
     
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  10. recoveringfromptsd

    recoveringfromptsd I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    @scout86 My T (she) has made it clear that she wants to change my negative thinking. Which is a tall order, since its existed for over 40 years when things happened. And yes this T is a good fit for me, less threatening than the last. And this one has done something others haven't or won't and that is take the time to read voluminous records and abuse history so she can understand how my mind reacts and processes. And I am able to tell her about feelings of self-harm and she does not run off petitioning me, instead we work together to get through it.

    At times when we have talked about actual abuse moments she zoomed in on aspects of those moments using that information to help me parse the feelings, so I know she took the time to learn about me. I also know the whole treatment team is aware of some aspects as she told me in the beginning she spent an entire treatment team meeting discussing my history and case (I am assuming that is to get feedback and ideas from the team as well as to inform them in case of an emergency).

    Your paragraph about bad luck could not be more off, you will understand when I describe why now, in 1977 I was placed by social services with a for-profit group home entity that established to fill a need at the time as there was a national crisis on foster home and other placements. So it solved a crisis the higher ups at DSS were happy about so the social workers at the bottom did not want to lose there jobs by rocking the boat when they got reports of abuse. DSS is charged with the duty by CAPTA (federal law) of taking, investigating, and referring for prosecution or court intervention reports of abuse. The place was a den of abuse of all 3 forms of abuse, my sister was also placed there until she was smart enough to run away and stay that way until she turned 18. She was 14 when a male staff member had intercourse with her, which is statutory rape. I was raped 3 times myself there, 1 being by a staff member, Sex abuse, physical abuse, and mental abuse we a constant there, in fact the latter was so bad I am literally incapable of using or interpreting non-verbal communication, because one part of the abuse was using non-verbal communication as a reason to abuse or continue to abuse more. So when you say BAD LUCK, that does not come close, the abuse was systematic, purposeful and done by people who were supposed to be helping me not abusing me and others, and purposefully and intentionally allowed to continue unabated by DSS the very agency that was charged by Federal Law with the duty of receiving abuse reports, and investigating them, and referring them for action. Instead I was told "I am not going to do anything about it, learn to live with it". In the end they discarded me like trash making me homeless and incapable of caring for myself. Where I eventually had to survive by sleeping in parking garages, coping with alcohol, and prostitution to keep from starving. Someone had to die before there was an outcry to shut them down. And even then the DSS agencies that knew about the years of abuse and looked the other way, claimed the statement "we didn't know" which is bunk because I personally told the DSS I was a ward of about the abuse. The funny thing I was a ward of the court, so it was like court enforced abuse, when I ran away they had a juvenile runaway warrant out for me. And I was returned to the den of abuse to continue my fate.

    They were eventually shut down in 1985, it took someone who was a client of the place to die by murder before there was an outcry to shut them down. To give you an idea how this place was, when Tammy Agee was murdered they did not report her missing for over a week. Responsible they should have reported it the same evening, especially considering how vulnerable she was being developmentally challenged.

    So it is very hard for me to see the world in any way other than a threat, trust requires faith in someone, I can't trust simply because it opens up the doorway to threats I cannot handle because of the nature of trust, and in the past those who I trusted, who were charged with the duty to protect me from harm did the opposite.

    Being open to change as you stated in the last paragraph, well it's not so much that as it is that's all I have left but to continue trying despite the likelihood it won't change much, I do say however I have a lot to build on, so chances are better than in the past. The alternative is to be locked up on a long term psych unit somewhere where I will eventually meet my end. In 1986 I stopped trying and found myself waiting for a bed in such a placement and a long term state hospital. I avoided that by trying again. I know the moment I stop trying and stay that way, that its a matter of time before the sheriff shows up to take me away for such care. So I try and try any ways.

    I can give create however that availing myself to trying has opened up avenues of coping skills learned from PHP, DBT, Trauma Unit, etc. that have made it easier to cope with the trauma. It's a drop in the bucket, or 1 step up a mountain that has so many steps it can never be climbed. Nevertheless I find myself trying the climb those steps. I sort of have to, there is nothing left by to try what appears impossible

    And no I don't think I have skills to detect untrustworthy people, because that requires the ability to trust to start with. As to surviving, well I am alive, but that can be a negative for me, as to surviving, no I did not survive. The damage done has left me with nothing but pain and struggle, and little to live for.

    I will continue trying, I don't see any other direction but to do so. Giving up completely I have been down that route, and all it did was get me locked up for my own safety, with diminishing chances of release.

    You said that some of us probably feel this want sometimes, for me, it seems to be most of the time. I think at time being still alive, I am struggling to find good reasons to stay alive.
     
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  11. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    I think you have a lot to offer the world. I don't know that that's a reason to stay alive, for you, but it's a reason for the rest of us to hope you do.

    When I said "bad luck" what I meant was something like, it was your bad luck, at the time, to end up in that situation. The situation sounds horrible! (I hope people went to jail and they never get out. Knowing how this stuff often goes, I suppose that's not likely.) If your luck had been different, you'd have never needed to end up in the system, or you'd have ended up in some part of it that actually worked, or something. As it was, sounds like your luck couldn't have been much worse. I guess what I was trying to say is that the experiences we each have aren't necessarily the only ones possible. They're just what we end up with. And I really think it's a pretty random thing. You've got every reason not to trust anyone at all. You've had pretty much no experience of it ever working out. And yet, sometimes it does. It's just kind of hard to believe that until it happens. And, of course, you have to take a chance, and that's a risk, and is seems really huge, especially when it's not worked out well so many times.
    I guess I never thought of it that way and I'm not sure I see the connection. (Personally, I tend to think I miss that sort of thing just through not being smart enough to see what "should" be obvious.)

    I admire your determination to not give up. Sounds like you've found a T who's a good match. I really hope things work out. That determination is an really important asset, as far as I'm concerned.
     
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  12. recoveringfromptsd

    recoveringfromptsd I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    That's part of the problem, no one went to jail even after a client of theirs Tammy Agee was murdered and the told no one she was missing for a week, one person was the escape goat, who got a slap on wrist and made 18 million of taxpayer money for running a den of abuse. All the agencies involved and the higher up politics sweep it under the rug.

    With no accountability and my experience there being those who should have caring for me, abusing me instead, and the agency who placed me there DSS who by law is charged with protecting willing declined to protect me. This makes it impossible to trust as doing opens the door for bad thinks. Last time I trusted was before July 1977. Everything is a threat to a degree of some sort. Measuring how much a perceived threat a situation or person is Its the only way I can establish any relationships at. With the fact that those who were supposed to care for me abused me, and the agency DSS that by law was supposed to protect me from abuse willingly refused to protect me and do nothing knowing abuse was going at that place. I have felt safe since, its a bad to exist when you get through each in fear for what my happen next. For this reason function better when there is no chaos and/or uncertainty going on around me. Uncertainty often puts into a emotional flashback, and I cease to be able to reason or function. I hate it.

    This is what is known in regards to any appearances of trying for accountability

    As far as recognizing trustworthy people, well that works for most. Not for me, I have a life of people who I gave a chance for me to let them in, to basically go blinking trust them who seem the least threat. Who in the end abandoned me, rejecting me, or harming me or intentionally crossing boundaries re-traumatizing me.

    As far as determination is concerned, and giving up, I sort of have, its just not allowed, at times it comes to living regardless how I feeling, or being locked up on a ward somewhere, for my own safety for giving up. In fact in 1986 for giving up they tried putting on a chronic unit at the state hospital that once there was harder to get out of than getting in. If that were even possible. I was told most on that unit spent the rest of there lives there.

    If you can PM me I can give you a link that details the whole story. I think you will understand more when you get all the information.

    I am beginning to realize that treating my PTSD is near impossible because of the intensity and way my abuse was conducted. Even my therapist acknowledges this. And is always having try different things just to cope. I guess the easiest way to put it, is I am stuck in world I don't feel safe and can trust that I would rather not be in. But have to anyway. Ironically my current T knows I feel this way and have for a long time, yet she has not acted on me feeling that way for the sake of safety. We have an agreement that I will use my supports when needed to cope and be safe (including hospital if needed). And the moment I don't do that the agreement is off, and she would have do petitions if needed if my thinking was too concerning. It's a good relationship, as it forces me to get help before I act. Part of the agreement is we pre-sabotage my opportunities for self-harm. Making it hard to self-harm.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 5:39 PM
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  13. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

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    You don't have to prove anything to me. I totally believe you have reasons not to trust people. Good reasons. People let you down. "The system" let you down. (And the slap on the wrist part really makes me angry. I just wish me, being angry, actually mattered in the larger world.) I also totally believe in neuroplasticity, though. And I believe in the ability of people to learn later in life, and keep learning. It may not be easy, but it's possible.
     
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