Is it Normal When in Therapy to Get Worse Before Getting Better

David1959

Confident
Yesterday was another day with my T delving into the beginning of my story, my abuse. She recommended that I read or watch some videos from Brene Brown about Shame. I watched one of her Ted talks as well as another persons, both very powerful and hit me hard. My T has zeroed in on a core issue, (no doubt that there are many) I blame myself for never saying anything about my abuse at 10 and thus deep and destructive shame.

I can logically understand that a 10yo is not to blame for their abuse but that does not change how I feel, weak and pathetic for not saying something, how is that possible? Unfortunately that led to many years of drugs and self abuse in my youth and then finally 45 years of disassociation and not understanding that those feelings where always there undermining the foundation of my life.

I will have to find a way to overwrite my internal hard drive to allow me to believe this, don't know how to get there yet. In the meantime, opening up this path to get better is actually making me worse in the short term. I am having trouble concentrating and I am constantly starting to cry until I shut it down.
 

piratelady

MyPTSD Pro
It’s pretty common for it to get worse before it gets better. It’s like your pulling everything out of the drawers and closets and now everything is in a disorganized pile in the middle of the floor.

As therapy progresses, you start cleaning up the mess, putting things away, organizing it, throwing out the stuff you don’t need anymore. As you keep doing that, it gets better.

I struggle with the fact that I didn’t say anything as well. My therapist has repeatedly told me that abusers set things up in a way to make sure you stay silent. They are the reason we don’t speak up, they are to blame. Not us. We didn’t have the understanding or resources to deal with what was happening and to know what to do about it.

When we look back on it now, we often project our adult brain and adult understanding back into our childhood selves. But we didn’t have the understanding that we do now. We have to remember that.

Anyway, I don’t know if that’s at all helpful. Hope you start to feel better soon.
 

David1959

Confident
When we look back on it now, we often project our adult brain and adult understanding back into our childhood selves.
This is exactly what I do, I absolutely view my abuse and judge my inaction as athing.n adult not a 10yo child. I understand that no 10yo can be responsible for or contribute to abuse by an adult but it does not matter, I still feel horrible and guilty I never said any
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I was groomed and abused by a man at college. It really f*cked me up and he told other people that he was doing it. I was over 18 but I was traumatised, vulnerable and an easy target. I f*cking hated him and later sent him a text message that if he ever contacted or spoke to me again then I would break both his arms. f*cking scumbag. These people cause us so much damage.
 

PTSDisaster

Learning
I can logically understand that a 10yo is not to blame for their abuse but that does not change how I feel, weak and pathetic for not saying something, how is that possible?
When you have PTSD, your memory and emotions are not connected. This is what makes us anxious a lot or thinking like this.
For example; I get panic attacks at random times/places, these are emotions coming up but not the memory behind it. So I start to think 'going to this place is a trigger'. But it's probably a trigger in the past, which I can't remember because my brain is wired differently.
It also works the other way around. I can think about my traumas and I don't feel any emotion. So I think this is a little bit the same for you, but indeed what @piratelady said, you are creating this emotion with your adult mind and this is not the emotion of your 10yo self.

As I'm writing this I'm getting more and more confused if this is understandable hahah.
 

piratelady

MyPTSD Pro
. I understand that no 10yo can be responsible for or contribute to abuse by an adult but it does not matter, I still feel horrible and guilty I never said any
What I said above, my therapist started telling me that ages ago. It’s only just recently been easier to stop doing it- to separate adult and child brain. It will take time, but you’ll get there.

One thing I do is try to catch the thoughts when they start, recognize them, and just consciously tell myself that it was the abusers fault, I did the best I could (or something like that)
 
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