Sexual Assault Therapy isn’t working

Status
Not open for further replies.

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
When I say I tried EMDR twice, I mean two different therapists, over months at a time. I didn’t mean I only had two sessions and that was it. I gave it a proper, fair shot and it didn’t work out either time. I tried it again after some time and with someone else, but it had no effect.
I have tried multiple different therapies over the years, I thought I’d said that??
And I’ve given each of them a fair try, for months or even years at a time.
I’ve tried EMDR and it didn’t help. I tried CBT multiple times, DBT, EFT (emotional freedom technique; the tapping thing), I’ve even tried hypnotherapy.
Even been on multiple medications!
I don’t know why everyone is trying to push EMDR on to me? Everywhere I go, it seems the same.
I get that it works for some people, but for me it simply didn’t work. I gave it a fair shot, twice over, and it didn’t work.
I have tried so many therapies over the years, and nothing has worked.
That was my whole point really... I’m not a one session and give up kind of person.

Sorry but I don’t feel comfortable sharing more about my last suicide attempt.
It was pretty recent ish... it’s still raw and I’m still trying to heal from that alone, let alone everything else.
 

grief

Sponsor
I don’t know why everyone is trying to push EMDR on to me? Everywhere I go, it seems the same.
my therapist told me unequivocally that emdr would probably not be effective for me. it's useful for single event oriented trauma. it's not as clear cut for complex trauma sadly. eft is pseudoscientific nonsense. dbt is a very effective tool but it is f*cking hard to implement. it can feel very critical. i would encourage you to keep focusing on cognitive processing and trauma therapy. they work but it takes time. often years.
 

Sues

Confident
my therapist told me unequivocally that emdr would probably not be effective for me. it's useful for single event oriented trauma. it's not as clear cut for complex trauma

I also read and heard that EMDR is best for single traumas and not so great for multiple or complex trauma. Nevertheless, I gave it a shot. I have 25 years of complex trauma and EMDR is working for me. My therapist is really good at trauma work and our approach is unique and tailored to me. I just don't want others to read this and think there's no hope of EMDR working if they also have complex trauma, because it can work, maybe not for everyone. And yes, it is a slow process, but that is to be expected.
 

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
my therapist told me unequivocally that emdr would probably not be effective for me. it's useful for single event oriented trauma. it's not as clear cut for complex trauma sadly. eft is pseudoscientific nonsense. dbt is a very effective tool but it is f*cking hard to implement. it can feel very critical. i would encourage you to keep focusing on cognitive processing and trauma therapy. they work but it takes time. often years.
Thanks but I’m not going to keep going back to CBT... it’s the one I have done the most, for the longest amount of time (literal YEARS) and as I have said before, it is re-traumatizing me so bad that I keep ending up in hospital after trying to kill myself.
I can’t keep going back to something that is making me do that... it’s not working.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
What you looking for from therapy? Like it's okay if you dunno, but it might help if you can pin that down (n you don't even have to tell us) n then maybe go from there. It's fine to not wanna talk about trauma all the time imo, it's fine to take a break n work on present day stuff, but what that stuff is is pretty individual.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
You seem to have an approach, and perhaps that’s a deformation of a lot of talking therapy around, that once you’re in therapy it’s supposed to fix things magically just by doing the talk. I really am not about talking therapy. If you aren’t ready, it can just feel like an interrogatory with someone blasting the anglepoise lamp on your face. I know how it feels and it’s not nice at all.

I do tend to believe that if avoidance does exist, it’s for a good cause. Of course it creates a lot of problems, but it also helps stabilizing before getting to the bigger picture. Home house? Ran away. Second house? Ran away. Getting in new cities certainly is refreshing and helps you relax, and the fact you felt better in the psych ward might well be a sign that first and foremost, what you need is to know you’re in a safe place. Remaining here at least for now then might be a bad idea, and certainly not with someone making you remember the whole thing again and again. They might not ask for the details but you’re seeing them anyway. You cross that street, you remember you were walking with X, and that then the night went south, and so and on.

But running away doesn’t resolve everything. I did leave my home country. I was doing well. I had a lot of friends. I was a promising student. I went in holidays there and it unset a very painful series of emotional flashbacks that did leave me out of control emotionally for 2-3 years. I know I’m not the only one to have experienced that. In the expats/immigrant folks that I know that have suffered childhood abuse, some version of this happened every time. We’re bound to places and contexts. Sometimes it’s the reverse, travel triggering the same sense of fearful displacement and then your emotional flashback is the one of the fresh immigrated child that hadn’t the time to even understand and whose parents suddenly changed as if they were other people. I’m sidetracking here but I think you get my point.

Nowadays, I can’t go past the pond I had a horrible wrestling with my ex without having some beginning of a dissociated loop. They’re ponds I have to go all the time, they’re in the middle of a park everyone goes. So that’s my exposure therapy. I go with friends. I go alone. I go with headphones. I pass by. I sit. I don’t need CBT to force myself to do more than that. No therapist will make me tell the whole story in detail as I did write it here, and please I didn’t even write everything and the most painful parts, just the most "impressing".

If your body is telling you therapy is shit, perhaps for now it is. Perhaps for now you have the right to think about something else. You’ll have symptoms of PTSD but probably less, and you can work quietly from that. Did you try anything physical like a sport? When I was a teenager I used to spend a lot of time with horses. They don’t talk but you can communicate. You sense them. It’s really great. They’re gentle (well, not all of them, but you get to know them). You don’t need words. You can process silently while doing something else.

I wonder what your profession is or if you have hobbies? There are activities that can leave your brain half alert and I find it’s good for processing shit. You have soft focus and you have what you’re doing to snap out.

I did enjoy the close combat classes because 1) the instructor yells so many orders at a time you can’t think of anything 2) it actually gave me more sense I could defend myself and it helped me feel less helpless, even retrospectively. I can tell myself at least okay, it happened, but not again.

Horse riding I like because it’s very demanding, trippy and fun. It’s a lot of good energy, contact and communication. It helps feel connected, safe and in control.

Society would blame me. A defence lawyer would blame me. There must be a reason WHY that’s the case, logically speaking. I mean I wasn’t strong enough to fight all three of them off me, so I froze. I know this. I know this is the case; anyone would argue that this is true.
This is because a lot of the culture is steered by idiots and cowards that prefer to be on what appears to be the "winning" side. Generally either these people know nothing, either themselves are toxic. Rape culture is real and it’s a societal plague. My opinion might not count more than anybody, but I’m telling you:
it’s not your fault
you haven’t done anything wrong
they were the horrible people who did that for fun and feel power or something disgusting like that.
They’re the ones disgusting and shameful, not you.

They are the ones to hold the shame, not you.

I guess that working on getting rid of the shame and in reaffirming your boundaries, as you’ve been in abusive relationships, might be better in a first time rather than ramming the trauma and repeating it. Target the symptoms that are the most inconvenient in your life and work on those that you can. It’s long work, you win by eating centimeter by centimeter. One small thing here, one small thing there. You can’t just fix it or screw it. And you have to find a good T. Someone you find subtle. Someone who’s capable to gently guide you without pointing at your contradictions as if they’ve found the breach in your defence system. Some do that. One of my T’s, I felt she was personally satisfied I would cry. Like it made me see something. It didn’t do anything. I was just feeling even more like crap. But also someone intelligent enough to make you see by yourself where you’re stalling.

As @grief said, DBT is really wonderful but it’s harsh. It has the great advantage though to be extremely symptom driven. It’s purely a method of coping, it doesn’t aim to resolve. It’s aimed at not jumping over the window, stick to it, tolerate distress and not blow your relationships away. It did help me to understand many things that I was doing and being activated and so and on… you mentioned it up already. But perhaps you can just pick up a manual somewhere and cherry pick the coping techniques that are useful for you according to your problematic in the moment.

I hope you have some peace and feel reasonably well. Things will improve. Don’t give up on yourself.
 

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
What I’m looking for from therapy is to heal. It’s really that simple.
I’m well aware it’s not an overnight fix. I have been at this for literal years. I keep saying this. It’s not like I’m just going for one session and thinking “nah this is too hard” and never going back! This is after years and years of multiple therapies, for months or even years at a time, that haven’t worked, and have only re-traumatized me to almost (literal!) death!

My body has been telling me therapy is shit for years unfortunately but I kept going back and/or trying new things. None of which worked.
I also like horse riding; husband and I actually own a few horses! And I agree they’re very therapeutic animals. Being around them makes me happy, taking care of them makes me happy.

I’m not “running away” though... I resent that.
I’m not running. I’m leaving a very toxic environment where I cannot heal.
I can’t heal if I stay here, so I’m removing myself from the situation.
Running away is a pretty childlike spin on things in my opinion. I’m just leaving an environment that has damaged me greatly and I really do think it will help me to leave here. I think it will solve a lot.


My profession is head chef. I love to cook. That helps me too because it’s such a fast paced, demanding job, and I just adore the actual cooking, too. I’m in charge in the kitchen and it’s one of the very very few areas in my life where I feel like I’m actually in control. (Not necessarily of other people, but more myself.)

I also like to garden, write, make things, be around animals...
It all helps me. I like to keep busy.

I won’t give up on myself, but I have given up on therapy.
I’m not going to go back to something that has almost killed me numerous times. My body is screaming at me that this isn’t working. I have to listen to it for once. I can’t keep forcing something that doesn’t work
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Sorry but I don’t feel comfortable sharing more about my last suicide attempt.
It was pretty recent ish... it’s still raw and I’m still trying to heal from that alone, let alone everything else.
Understandable.

I suspect that what your therapist is seeing is: you've recently tried to kill yourself, you have multiple trauma events in your history, and you are looking for help. It makes sense that they'd look at going after the trauma.

Therapy isn't for everyone, and it's not always the right time to process trauma. Sounds like you are saying, this is not the right time for that.

My experience with this: I rather successfully compartmentalized some bad shit for a long time. Decided that it didn't need to take space in my brain, and pretty much pretended it never happened. Simultaneously, I got good a navigating around it in my mind, not getting triggered by anything, and I didn't have PTSD symptoms. I did have massive issues with depression and suicidal ideation. Those got worse and worse and eventually, hit a crisis point. Got into therapy, got some meds, got some recovery from the depression....and then sunk back down again. That second time around - I wasn't planning on bringing trauma into therapy - but it kept floating into my mind, in a way that said 'maybe, tell the therapist about it'...because up til that point, I'd never disclosed it, to any of my psych care people. Or really, anyone except my ex.

My point: it was over 20 years before I brought it into therapy. And that's when PTSD happened to me. So then, it was really not going to let me avoid it anymore.

If you think there's a connection between those traumas and your recent suicide attempt - that might be an indicator that no, actually, you're not going to be able to forget those things happened to you. You're already having PTSD-type reactions to them. So, you may need to think about how you want to go at them, but at your own pace and your own timetable.

If you've got unresolved stuff around the suicide attempt, and just want to have a therapist you can talk to, someone who isn't a friend or partner, someone who is there just for you, to listen and do basic talk-therapy - then that's the sort of therapist you want. And I will get some flack for saying this on this board, but my advice is: if you want to be in therapy but you don't want to deal with the trauma, then don't disclose it. Compartmentalization isn't bad - it's only a problem when it turns into trying to stuff down feelings that keep rising up.

I think it's most important that you regain some rhythm in your life, some basic self-care, stress reduction, etc - to give yourself time to come back from your attempted suicide - before you move into addressing trauma.

There's no therapeutic modality that is going to work if you aren't willingly stepping into it. Sometimes, things that didn't work in the past can end up working some time down the road, when you're feeling right about approaching them. I'd encourage you to not get hung up on what you believe you know doesn't work - because it might be worth trying again, later on. But it doesn't need to be what you are doing right now.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
And I will get some flack for saying this on this board, but my advice is: if you want to be in therapy but you don't want to deal with the trauma, then don't disclose it.
This is why I asked about what you (@justasimplecat ) wanted from therapy. Cos I kinda agree with Joey. If you disclose big T trauma, Ts are gonna zone in on that, if you really don't wanna discuss it right now, then yeah, I second not disclosing.
 

rdd

New Here
I am so sorry for your suffering! You will get through this. Our worst enemy is our thinking mind. There comes a time when you have to stop engaging with these thoughts and move on. Reliving the thoughts repeatedly is just energizing them. It keeps the trauma alive. The mind is good at resolving external problems (car issues, money problems, late for work, traffic, etc. It cannot resolve internal problems. We have to go beyond the mind to resolve internal problems. The being mode which involves awareness/observation/being and spirit is the key. You are more than what has happened to you in the past. What happened to you does not define you. One has to accept what has happened in their past because you can't change it. Your life is now. Whenever these disturbing thoughts pop up in your mind, let them be without engaging with them. Just be aware of them, otherwise, you will just ruminate and repeat the cycle all over again. Just notice them and do not judge them. These thoughts will go away on their own if you let them. There is a book I am recommending. It is called "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer. It can be life changing. Every therapist should read this book. Please read it and keep a journal. Let me know if it helps you.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top