Trauma and recovery
From Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman
I have been reading the book Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman and it has been helpful to see where my trauma has hindered so much of my life. Last night I was reading a chapter about how the client should feel empowered through therapy and only then can they heal. I feel that I am being hindered in my therapy with my therapist because she has her own ideas of what is helpful that doesn’t include my input. I am finding it very difficult to stay connected to her because I am being stifled so to speak. I often don’t feel validated in therapy. I feel like she only gives it as a last resort to things that I say. I am going to ask her tomorrow why she has trouble validating what I am going through. I often feel that she is listening to me and then her saying “ok” doesn’t validate my experience. Just means that she heard what I said. I really don’t want to have to go find another therapist but she is pushing me too much. The last session I had with her she said the depression is making me not want to bother and I need to bother, in regards to calling a chronic pain support group. It made me feel bad because she doesn’t get how severely limiting my depression can be in reaching out for new support. I can’t just put the “bother” aside and do things. That isn’t how things work.
I know I gripe about therapy a lot on my blog but it is how I process what goes on and how I am feeling. Things that happen in therapy stay with me and I go over it to try and deal with it. I have a lot of trauma to sort through and it is still affecting my ability to deal with stuff. My depression is severe and I often think about ending my life. I have been in therapy for nearly thirty years. I think the only thing it has done is keep me alive. I have been hospitalized more times than I can count. I have learned things but sometimes those things don’t come up when I am in a crisis or feeling really bad. This is why I don’t find DBT helpful because when you are in the heat of the moment you aren’t going to reach for a piece of paper or manual for help.
I get so frustrated in therapy because I feel like I am not heard. Right now the therapist is of the opinion that she is the expert and that I should listen to her. I honestly don’t like this. I feel like this is patriarchy. It burns me to no end when I think of what she said when I was at my most vulnerable. I don’t know how to bring this up. Even as I was trying to cancel session she was of the opinion it wasn’t a good idea. That maybe so but don’t I have a right to cancel when I feel like it? She said we should at least check in because of the level of my depression is so severe. So I agreed on that point. I will have a check in with her tomorrow. I don’t know if I will talk about her idea that her being my clinician is best for me. The paternalization needs to stop.