Welcome to Therapy Thursday
At the beginning of the month, I took the plunge and started therapy. I found a therapist that specializes in Trauma and PTSD. I also made sure that she uses EMDR therapy, as this has been recommended for people with PTSD. I want to document my experiences with EMDR therapy as it’s becoming more and more recognized for its help with PTSD. Plus, when I have googled EMDR therapy, I find a lot of clinical explanations but not a lot of personal stories about it. Therapy is scary enough on its own, but to know you’re going to revisit trauma is extra on top. That’s why I wanted to read people’s personal stories about it.
I want to start by giving a little background into my history with therapy, as I believe to understand a person you have to look to their past first. I have been in and out of therapy since I was in 7th grade. However, I had known that I was not mentally okay since being in 5th grade. By the time, my parents took me to my first therapist, I have been cutting myself and using alcohol. Although my parents were not fully aware of the direness of the situation. I soon became known as a therapist killer, I would very quickly come to loath and despise each one they took me to. It’s easy to see why now but not at the time. Each therapist was trying to fix me according to what my parents said was wrong with me. My therapy was based on their terms, not my actual truth.
The only therapist I saw until now after my mother died was the first to listen to my story as told by me. I received a proper diagnosis and at least an understanding of why I sometimes experienced certain things. Then I was fired as a patient, due to circumstances that were hidden from me for years. When I approached my current therapist it took a lot for me to do. I had had my trust violated time and time again by those that I was supposed to trust without fear. Having her acknowledge that to me was a huge thing for me. It meant my distrust of people was for a reason, that I wasn’t completely crazy like others had tried to make me feel.
In my first session, we covered a bit of my background, my history with therapy, and what I would like to get out of therapy. I have become substantially self-aware in the last year and for once I knew for sure what I wanted out of therapy. I no longer wanted to continue the madness and negativity anymore. I want to be free from self-hatred and self-doubt. I wanted to love myself and find who I truly am at my core.
That is when the biggest revelation happened, it was one that for the first time in my life made me feel like I wasn’t crazy after all. I had been made to feel like there was something wrong with me, my entire life because of my viewpoint. But my viewpoint wasn’t wrong, I had been abused and had been aware of it even though those around me couldn’t/wouldn’t see it. That revelation: I am the daughter of a narcissist mother. Even one who assumed that the reason I dated people decades older than me was that I had daddy issues was wrong. I have mommy issues, which I had known for a long time.
My therapist gave me a book to read and I am not going to lie, I cried the entire first chapter. It was like someone had been watching my childhood and had written a book about it. I had been set up to be continually abused because of who my mother was. I know that there are going to be those that know me who read this and say, ‘but your mom was awesome.’ Yeah, she was the best at making you all believe that she was a wonderful mother. However, she wasn’t a wonderful mother to me. The only words she had for me were negative, hateful, disparaging, and meant to break me. I was not allowed to be who I am, like what I like, think the way that I think. I was to be exactly what she wanted me to be, and if I wasn’t, I was nothing but a disappointment.
I am now about to embark on a journey of undoing the damage to my inner self. I am about to get to meet the real me at my core. I get to embrace and love myself for the first time in my life. I leave you with a line from a music video that really rings true to my experience and feelings.
“I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.” – Taylor Swift, Look What You Made Me Do music video.