What I Have Learned From 8 Months of Therapy

David1959

Confident
First, I have to say that while my therapy has been effective it also has been disturbing, on many levels. It has forced me to examine my childhood and to explore a long series of traumas that unknown to me shaped my life.

So based on what I have learned, here are some of the effects and distortions I have lived with. My goal is to learn how to deal with them to the best of my ability so I can move forward although that seems almost impossible

  • I blame myself for the traumas from my CSA at 10 to my heavy drug use from 13-19 to my lack of effort or success in school and never attending college
  • I am unable to grieve or cry, I will not let myself. Having protected myself from emotional pain for 50 years it is hard to let it in
  • I disassociate from memories of traumatic events
  • I carry deep scars caused by these traumas but having disassociated all my life I have never addressed them
  • I am very hard on myself for anything I do that does not turnout the way I expected
  • I have created a compartmentalized life with things bottled up and forgotten
  • I have lived my life with the expectation that it will end, soon. As a child I full expected to be dead by 20
  • I have taken most of my anger and turned it inward

Throughout my childhood I never told anyone about my struggles or asked for help, which was desperately needed. I was making decisions that as a child I was totally ill equipped to handle
My next task is to learn how to deal with all this new knowledge and awareness. At the same time, I am desperately holding on with my fingernails as I explore.

Example – My wife and I visited our daughter and grandkids this past weekend. My daughter had found an old photo album of my dads in her storage and we all flipped through. My wife began crying at seeing me as a little boy and teenager (she is aware of my situation the kids are not). She was grieving for the little boy in the pictures, something I am unable to do. Seeing her cry literally tore me apart and I had to excuse myself and leave the room before I broke down. The feeling in the pit of my stomach was so bad and as usual I shut it down before it escaped. I do not know how to handle emotion and maybe never will.
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
Sounds like you have an excellent therapist. You are doing great and observing feelings that others have that you shut down. Even recognizing that you shut them down is part of the work. I’m really glad you wrote this as it gives me pause to ask myself what I’ve learned and where I’m heading. Wishing you healing as you move forward.
 

David1959

Confident
Wishing you healing as you move forward.
Thank you, no doubt it is a journey where there is no picture postcard of the destination. I feel much better knowing that I at least have a chance at some type of recovery

Sounds like you have an excellent therapist.
Yes I got lucky. I read an article she had written about CSA (her area of specialty) and she was in my city. I reached out for an appt ab=nd had to wait 3 months for an opening, well worth the wait, in some ways she has saved my life.
 

RNrecovery

Learning
I am so glad to hear you found someone who is helping. It’s so hard to identify the scars we still have after all these years. The fact that you able to do that is a big step. You survived and i hope this helps you thrive.
 

David1959

Confident
This weekend I shared this post with my wife, it was hard (not because of her but because of me). She is very supportive as usual but also cry's and grieves over my pain (something I can not do) which is a good thing but it drives me crazy and horrifies me, I need to learn how to deal with that
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
First, I have to say that while my therapy has been effective it also has been disturbing, on many levels. It has forced me to examine my childhood and to explore a long series of traumas that unknown to me shaped my life.

So based on what I have learned, here are some of the effects and distortions I have lived with. My goal is to learn how to deal with them to the best of my ability so I can move forward although that seems almost impossible

  • I blame myself for the traumas from my CSA at 10 to my heavy drug use from 13-19 to my lack of effort or success in school and never attending college
  • I am unable to grieve or cry, I will not let myself. Having protected myself from emotional pain for 50 years it is hard to let it in
  • I disassociate from memories of traumatic events
  • I carry deep scars caused by these traumas but having disassociated all my life I have never addressed them
  • I am very hard on myself for anything I do that does not turnout the way I expected
  • I have created a compartmentalized life with things bottled up and forgotten
  • I have lived my life with the expectation that it will end, soon. As a child I full expected to be dead by 20
  • I have taken most of my anger and turned it inward

Throughout my childhood I never told anyone about my struggles or asked for help, which was desperately needed. I was making decisions that as a child I was totally ill equipped to handle
My next task is to learn how to deal with all this new knowledge and awareness. At the same time, I am desperately holding on with my fingernails as I explore.

Example – My wife and I visited our daughter and grandkids this past weekend. My daughter had found an old photo album of my dads in her storage and we all flipped through. My wife began crying at seeing me as a little boy and teenager (she is aware of my situation the kids are not). She was grieving for the little boy in the pictures, something I am unable to do. Seeing her cry literally tore me apart and I had to excuse myself and leave the room before I broke down. The feeling in the pit of my stomach was so bad and as usual I shut it down before it escaped. I do not know how to handle emotion and maybe never will.
Stuffed emotions take time to handle....it's like you bring them out...for a second, and deal....then the next time you bring them out....deal for a couple of seconds and realize you are still alive and feeling.....and the next time you do it you've been feeling it for 5 min or so and tolerating it, but over time if you keep dealing with stuff and feeling the feelings...at least in my case, I could sit with them for longer.....but it's taken a lot of time.
 
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