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Thread: Triggered by counseling.

  1. #1

    Default Triggered by counseling.

    I want to start this post off by saying that I absolutely do not condone the behaviors that I am going to describe. I fully acknowledge that they aren't safe and that it isn't in my, or anyone else's, best interest to be doing these things. This is, however, an account of what happened for me a week and a half ago after a really difficult counseling session. As has been suggested by others on this site, I am going to try to sort out my thoughts and clear my head by writing it down. Advice and insights are always welcome.

    First, it is necessary to give you guys some background. When I was a small child - ages 4-6 as best I can guess, but I don't entirely know - my father sexually abused me. It started out with inappropriate fondling and moved on to forced blow jobs. While what he did to me was bad enough, it was the treatment I received from the people who were supposed to help me through it that proved to be most damaging.

    I was sent to a state-mandated therapist who demeaned me and patronized me and couldn't for the life of her get me to give her enough information to legally keep my father away from me. I wasn't being a particularly stubborn child; I was just scared and she was incompetent. Instead of earning my trust so that I would choose to tell her what my father had done to me, she threatened me. She told me that unless I confessed to her what had happened to me that she would send me back to my father. I grudgingly gave her information until she let me know that it was enough to keep my father from seeing me ever again.

    Unfortunately, it was not enough enough information to convince them that he hadn't vaginally raped me. No matter how much I tried to tell them, they wouldn't believe me. So I was sent on to get a rape exam. This was in 1988 and at the time it wasn't standard of practice to sedate children during sexual assault exams. Despite my protests they went ahead with it. As a child, they explained, I could neither consent nor not consent. What happened to my body was not up to me.

    From my vantage point, I was being assaulted by the people who were supposed to be protecting me from being assaulted. The irony of that was not lost on me. When I acted out, I was told to stop being angry- people were here to "help" me and were not harming me is what I was told. From this I learned to trust no one. First my therapist insulted me and patronized me, then she resorted to threatening me, then I was told I was lying about being vaginally raped, then I was assaulted by doctors and nurses who were supposed to be helping me.

    As a result, I learned to trust no one. Despite that I was doing surprisingly okay. Even when I discovered at age 11 that I enjoyed wetting myself and playing with diapers, I was doing okay. I understood my sexuality was different from other people's but I didn't feel scared or ashamed. Yet. Then, for reasons unbeknownst to me, at age 12 I was sent back to that same therapist for a "check up."

    I never told her about diapers or pee or any of the other interesting stuff that I fantasized about. I didn't have to for her to screw me up. She spent an entire summer explaining to me how I would be messed up because of what my father had done to me. She explained how I would hurt those around me, how I would never have a good relationship, how I would likely drop out of school, end up an addict, and be a drain on society. I objected to every word she said, but eventually she broke me down. By the end of that summer of "therapy" I was depressed and severely anorexic.

    It was then that I started repressing my sexuality. I repressed it so well that I didn't even know I was repressing it. I even managed to go 16 years without realizing I was DL. This, however, isn't what is relevant.

    The important part of the story is that these experiences left me with a sort of PTSD around therapy. I know that many of you out there know I am a big advocate for therapy, but it doesn't mean I don't struggle with it myself. I do okay talking about most things in therapy. Unfortunately the thing that I struggle with is my sexuality. My first experiences talking about sex were beyond traumatic. They drove me to repression and self hate as a teen and as a child were connected with being assaulted by medical professionals.

    So Wednesday of last week was all about my sexuality. Really, that's all therapy is anymore, but that session was particularly hard on me. While I normally have a hard time during therapy, I perk right back up once out in the real world with all it's beautiful distractions. But 9 days ago I didn't. Instead I continued to feel more out of control, more hopeless, and very unaware of what was happening inside me.

    I ended up at home laying in bed in the dark unable to move or do anything at all. My mind spiraled downward until the only thoughts that comforted me were those of pain and blood. [removed] I still felt awful inside, but I could finally function again.

    Over the next week friends here on ADISC and the one friend I have in real life who knows what is going on tried to get me to not harm myself. When I knew I would be alone for too long, my real life friend babysat me by bringing a party to my house. [removed]

    On Wednesday I went back to therapy. My therapist knew what was going on because I had been e-mailing and texting him. We just worked on breathing exercises and better coping strategies instead of talking about the hard stuff. While he wouldn't call it "normal" he said it "isn't unexpected" for someone to have this much difficulty when processing repressed sexual feelings, especially someone with my background.

    In truth I am scared of going back to therapy again. As I have come out to him as DL I have stopped being able to repress who I am sexually. [removed] I worry that I will continue to experience the same out of control emotions and behaviors. I also worry that because of my anxiety around talking about sex that I will not be able to make any real progress.

    As always, thanks for listening.
    CycleChick
    Last edited by Trevor; 29-Sep-2012 at 02:04. Reason: self-harm.

  2. #2

    Default

    CC,

    This was a brave post. What you have been though is extremely difficult, and hard to survive. Therapy is difficult for a lot of people, myself included. Hopefully you can find a way to get through a few more sessions and see where they lead. You are an extremely great person and I can't imagine how hard it is to go through all of this, on top of everything else you have going on right now with the job search and marriage. Things will come your way once you can start working on each of these pieces of the puzzle. Unfortunately, you have a big puzzle to put together. But just take it one day at a time and focus on the thing you want most. And I hate to be the one that says this, but please stop cutting. Find a way to take some time, and clear your head. I am there for you anytime you need me. It sucks to have to push through such hard times, but such is human. And once you face these battles the reward will be waiting for you. I hope you get what I am trying to say here. But besides that, please take care of yourself.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleChick View Post
    In truth I am scared of going back to therapy again. As I have come out to him as DL I have stopped being able to repress who I am sexually. It is excruciating and painful and the only coping strategies I've used in my life are various methods of self harm. I obviously don't recommend them to anyone, but for me they are all I know. I worry that I will continue to experience the same out of control emotions and behaviors. I also worry that because of my anxiety around talking about sex that I will not be able to make any real progress.

    As always, thanks for listening.
    CycleChick
    It sounds like you've been through a lot and with some of the things you've gone through I'm not surprised that you have a mistrust of therapy. I can see two conflicting emotions going on in regards to your thoughts on therapy: On one hand you think therapy can be a useful tool for you and help but on the other hand you have a lot of fears that have built up as a result of some of your experiences with therapy. My advice to your for this would be to try some different kinds of therapy. To me it sounds a lot like you have had mainly talk type therapy where it's one on one. I would suggest you try support groups(you're in one right now ), group therapy (I find this one especially helpful, and maybe even self-help books; being your own therapist. I'm sure you can find a number of groups and group therapies for victims of sexual abuse as well as for sexuality in general. I think you will really benefit by talking to someone else who has been the victim of abuse rather than those who are just trying to understand it.

    [removed]

    For general coping skills find things that can distract you, whether that be watching TV, listening to music, going for a walk, exercise, reading a book, drawing, singing, and in general anything that you use to express creativity is good. Relaxation and self-soothing are also good; ideas: take a shower/bath, eat your favorite food, light a candle or burn incense, play relaxing music (Bach is always good), take a small nap, get in bed, and I know for me personally my AB/DL and regressing is also quite relaxing. Let me know if you need more ideas because I have tons of them.

    I hope that helped . PM me any questions or post more if you have them.
    Last edited by Trevor; 29-Sep-2012 at 02:05. Reason: reference to deleted portions of post.

  4. #4

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    Inflicting self-harm is a last ditch effort to shock your system back to some sense of reality. From reading your post, you should probably take very small bites of this burger {reference to a line in the movie Full Metal Jacket, where the main character is in Nam and his commanding officer says, "It's one big shit burger and we are all going to have to take a bite"}. It sounds to me like therapy has opened a can of whoop ass that is a little too much to take. That's the number one reason people who really need therapy avoid it at all costs. They don't have the courage you do. Yes CC, you have a ton of courage.

    This is going to take a while and be difficult. Meanwhile, you need people on the ground who can support you (we'll do the best we can from cyberspace). You mention one friend in real life. Great! You might want to also tell the therapist to slow down or just try and shut the faucet off before things get too heavy. Some therapist want to help so bad they rush forward too quickly. At this point, you don't need shock therapy and you definitely don't need to drop down the rabbit hole so far that you need to shock yourself to climb back up. Try taking off little bites of understanding at a time. And, as suggested, try as many happy diversions as possible. You have demonstrated the courage to do this, but you need the tools for the challenge and the foresight to stay off the gas pedal when necessary. Stay in touch!

  5. #5

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    Maybe this will help in some small way, some small understanding. My wife and I have a very good friend, wife and her husband, who adopted two very damaged children. The older girl had been sexually molested, I'm guessing by a male relative, probably the father. By the time she was reaching puberty, she, reported by our friend, was deliberately wetting the bed, herself, and deliberately soiling herself. The mother, our friend, couldn't understand why she was doing this. I had a pretty good idea, since I'm an adult baby diaper lover, but I couldn't divulge my suspicions without outing myself.

    My guess is that sometimes, if our childhoods are traumatic enough, we will psychologically revert back, and for whatever reason, be somehow drawn to wetting, especially having it close to us. I was adopted at the age of two, and probably spent some time in an orphanage. I have no idea what happened to me, but I certainly have some of the same problems. By high school, I was attracted to boys, and by college, lived an exclusively gay life. I self harmed in junior high and high school, and lived a completely out of control life in college. I still live with the psychological residual affects of all of that.

    My point is that you are not alone. After college I dug deep and moved on. I left my home, my state, and moved to Ohio and started a new life. I met my wife, married and had children. Don't give up on yourself. There is a future. Admittedly, your childhood was worse that mine, but mine was full of violence and bullying. I too had a shrink when I was in college, and I too shut down in front of him. Until you've been there, one can't imagine what it's like to divulge the darkest secrets in your life. It's not our proudest moments. And you are right, leaving the office, getting out in the sunshine and going back home is a wonderful experience.

    Life never gets completely easy. My job has gotten increasingly more demanding, and I've spent the last couple days home in bed with extreme back pain and sciatica. I'm sure it's the pressure of what I do for a living. But life goes on and I will find a way to cope with it, and that's what we all do. Life is tough, and so many of us on this site have a history of abuse. We find ways to get through each day. I work with children, some of them impoverished. It's a way I can give back, and a way in which I can intervene when bullying occurs. I try to make their lives a little better, and impart my better values back to them. The kids know who I am and the both like me and more importantly, respect me.

    Don't give up on yourself. Think about who you would like to be. There were older adults in my life who became role models for both me and my wife, and we looked to them for guidance. Over the years, we became like them, admiring their values and their accomplishments. Lastly, know that I'm here for you. I'm 64 years of age, but those years have seen a lot of living. In the end, I have triumphed over who I once was. That is your goal.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spaz View Post
    You might want to also tell the therapist to slow down or just try and shut the faucet off before things get too heavy. Some therapist want to help so bad they rush forward too quickly.
    The pace is directed by me. He doesn't push me at ALL. It is one thing that he avoids because he doesn't want to mimic my past experiences with therapy in any way. The problem is that no matter what I do things just keep bubbling up to the surface inside my mind. One of those what has been seen can't be unseen kind of things. I can't stop repressing things and it is freaking me out. It doesn't help that real life conversations about it are triggering for me both as a process and related to content.

    Everything is also exacerbated by being around my husband. I find myself wanting to engage in self-destructive behaviors when he is around. I obviously can't because he's there, but he brings those feelings right to the surface.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Dogboy- thanks for the words of encouragement. They certainly give me hope. Sometimes I feel so impatient with what is happening in my life right now. Mostly I want it to be over but it really has just begun.

    You hit the nail on the head with the whole relation between wetting and abuse. I used to do weird things after he would hurt me- wet myself, pee in strange places, and also wish for diapers. To later in life discover that these things aroused me really threw me for a loop, especially because one memory I have is of him punishing me sexually for wetting the bed. That I would connect these things with pleasure has always made me feel like I must be beyond screwed up. That I like to be (consensually) forced sexually with a partner has also made me feel like there is something wrong with me. Is there a connection? The specific things that my father did to me I find very triggering if done with a partner, but the general theme is still the same. I feel so much terror at facing these things and bringing them up during therapy because of the connection between what my father did to me and what turns me on. Am I just a twisted product of my father?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by Becute View Post
    For general coping skills find things that can distract you, whether that be watching TV, listening to music, going for a walk, exercise, reading a book, drawing, singing, and in general anything that you use to express creativity is good. Relaxation and self-soothing are also good; ideas: take a shower/bath, eat your favorite food, light a candle or burn incense, play relaxing music (Bach is always good), take a small nap, get in bed, and I know for me personally my AB/DL and regressing is also quite relaxing. Let me know if you need more ideas because I have tons of them.
    The problem is that none of these things have been working as of late, which is why we are working on new ideas in therapy.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleChick View Post
    I want to start this post off by saying that I absolutely do not condone the behaviors that I am going to describe. I fully acknowledge that they aren't safe and that it isn't in my, or anyone else's, best interest to be doing these things. This is, however, an account of what happened for me a week and a half ago after a really difficult counseling session. As has been suggested by others on this site, I am going to try to sort out my thoughts and clear my head by writing it down. Advice and insights are always welcome.

    CycleChick
    First of all I must say that your behaviors are of no fault of your own. They are are compensatory mechanism of coping. You have no need to feel overbearing with your story. Most ADISC'ers can relate to your struggles on some level.

    Also I must commend you on your courage to find help here with some very personal conflicts. Your words do not fall on deaf ears. I hope that you find some form of therapy here and you have many including myself willing and wanting to provide answers and similar experiences to help you in your journey to putting some kind of sense into where to go or what direction to travel.

    As you are still young and have a multitude of directions you can go, the pathway remains yours. You must remember that what happens in your life won't ultimately define you. I can see an incredibly strong person with the ability, strength and desire to move on from past and current abusiveness. I suspect that from your earlier posts that your husband is not helpfull in this path and is a current contributor to the abuse.

    I would stick to what works for you with your therapist and gain at least some type of foothold in your current life. Each day and with each drop of knowledge you become stronger and ready to overcome or take on a new realm of discovery. These discoveries are ones about ourselves and our relationships vs. the past pain and memories of feeling powerless. It sounds like your therapist has uncovered alot of locked feelings and repressed feelings. You have some huge building blocks here.

    Your past abuse is not uncommon in the world today and you are not alone. It is sadly too common.This type of abuse should be taken seriously (it has been regrettably feared and ignored) and exposed and prosecuted. I fully believe you and hope you can continue your search for solidarity here. There is a common ground for sub-terranian answers here on ADISC and many who can help you with complex questions that your therapist cannot fill such as the details or questions about coping or affirmation.

    As we can find a common ground on this site we are not judgemental and can understand the tendencies, pain and confusion on where to go next.

    There are no simple answers or hugs that can make everything ok but the fact that you are not alone in needing answers or confirmation makes this lifeboat a bit more meaningful.

    Please take it a step at a time and at your own pace. If you need time to breath and reflect then take it. Your therapist's door will still be open when you are ready.

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