Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Not looking for your approval

More than 24 hours later and I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened in therapy yesterday. I spent all of yesterday thinking about it, trying to make sense of it all and I've spent today doing more of the same.

It's extremely rare that I go into a session with any idea of how to spend the time, MY time. However, yesterday was different. I'd done a lot of thinking over the past several weeks about where I'm stuck, how hopeless I feel, just ruminating over life in general. Every thought seemed to dead-end at one of two questions, either "why did I do that" or "why didn't I do that". The same answer kept popping up...I don't know how to say no.

When your personal boundaries are continually being breached by others who are physically, mentally and sexually abusing you as a child; your mind, body and life stop being your own. The words "no" and "stop" don't exist for you. Setting any kind of boundary with anyone is impossible because you never learn what a healthy boundary looks like. Unfortunately, unless someone intervenes on your behalf, you carry these lessons over into your adult life.

My entire life is made up of a series of events I never wanted for myself and have struggled through as best I could, all because I couldn't say no or stop. As a teen and young adult, I got into many situations where I was sexually violated because I couldn't say no, stop. I took jobs that others talked me into taking. I bought things like cars, dishes and clothes that I didn't want. I went to a trade school I wasn't really interested in attending. Even my marriage and pregnancy were ultimately a result of my inability to say no.

And that's the goal I asked my therapist to help me work on yesterday. I want to learn how to say no. To gain the power over my own life that I should have had all these years, but never did. She said it was a good goal, but she sees it as a catch-22. It's important for a person to have control over their life and not accept things they don't want for themselves. But I'm going to use that power to give myself permission to stop therapy and medications, which she's opposed to.

Okay, so let me get this straight. I've gotten yelled at by therapists for not having any goals, but then when I come up with one I'd like to work on, I get rebuffed. I wasn't aware that goals had conditions attached to them. I'm struggling with being in therapy when I don't want to be and taking meds I can't bear to swallow, yet it's not okay for me to gain control and say NO, I'm not going to do these things that I don't find helpful any longer. All they do is cause me increased stress, anxiety and more trauma.

She then starts asking what I think my pdoc's response would be if I told him I didn't want to take medications any more and how she's going to be talking to her supervisor later in the day and she'll ask about whether it's a good idea for me to quit therapy. She even makes the comment that it is entirely up to me if I come to therapy or not.

I don't care about what you think or what my pdoc thinks, I'm not looking for your approval or anyone else's. The only approval that I want, and deserve, is MY OWN. I want to be able to be the one that decides what I do with my life instead of feeling like I'm being forced into things because it's what everyone else wants for me, what everyone else thinks I should do. And no, right now it is not up to me whether I show up or not because I don't have the ability to say no. Should I have that power? Absolutely. But given that I had explained why I don't and how it was related to the past abuse, she should have understood that.

I left feeling like she didn't hear or comprehend a word I'd said. As if I had spent more than an hour talking yet all she heard was blah, blah, blah. More frustration, more anxiety from being in therapy. I'm fucking tired of it.


Blogger Laura said...

I don't blame you for being really upset with this. I would feel like I was being told that I didn't have the brains to know what is best for me and others have to dictate what I must do.

My last appointment with my psychiatrist I left her office feeling exactly the same as you - she didn't hear or comprehend a word I said.

8:15 AM, February 10, 2010  
Anonymous Lili said...

Bail on that broad. You have to have docs that support you. You are the most important thing no matter what they ask, infer, or BS.

YOU are the most important thing in your world. Dealing with abuse is a life long process.

Get rid of her if she's taking the BS route instead of supporting you.

12:42 PM, February 10, 2010  
Blogger Matthew Isaacson said...

I can understand your frustration. My first pdoc was a total putz who didn't listen to me.

Sounds like it's time for you to seek a new therapist or do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

3:50 PM, February 10, 2010  
Blogger Psych Client said...

wow I've heard it all now. I agree that you may want to ditch her. Practice saying no to her!

She is going to ask her supervisor if you should quite therapy? Wow, inexperienced much?

11:49 PM, February 10, 2010  

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