Monday, November 9, 2009

What are we waiting for? Won't anybody help us?

I ponder that question during those long nights when my mind won’t rest and I am begging for someone to knock me out with an injection of some mind-numbing medication so it will just stop. It used to be that the overwhelming question of “WHY” would send me into fit of self-destructiveness and suicidal thoughts. Kind of a: I can’t change it ~ I can’t fix it ~ no one will listen to me…which would lead this overwhelming internal pain that I could not deal with and I would hurt myself (mostly cutting – lots of vomiting) in a last ditch effort to get it to just stop. I don’t want to die, I’ve never wanted to die – not really…I just want someone to help me figure out a way to deal with all the conflicting parts of me and my past – help me in a way that WORKS!

GRACE, YOU NEED TO DEAL WITH YOUR FEELINGS BEFORE THEY DEAL WITH YOU….and deal with me, they have. Now what? Since my feelings began to manage me and I was no longer able to manage them…I was told to put them in the ‘time-out’ bucket. Label them – and throw them in the bucket. Well, let me just store them in the old cedar chest where they were covered with a quilt and preserved for 30 years before someone actually led me to believe that it was ‘okay’ to talk and I was not bad…and that I had a right to be heard and understood and ‘accepted’. (*To be fair, let me add the statement that my self-destructive behavior was excessive and troubling…and there were times when I could have died due to my ‘behavior’. And yes, I get that it’s okay to have feelings and emotions – however best not to always act on them.) 

This is a direct quote from my therapist after I sent her an email telling her that I was angry because I hated DBT class and resented going: Of course you are going to feel irritable after DBT class as this class runs counter to what your emotional mind wants which is to be heard, understood and comforted, vs being told to modulate, distract, "pretend" to feel good, etc. So, a trusted MHP admits that DBT is about ‘pretending to feel good’?  Someone should have just said that! That would have saved me months of self-destruction, invalidation and re-traumatization…not to mention two grand!

When Lynn posted this:  The MHP Manifesto ~ I felt it ~ her words echoed through my ribcage and chilled my heart and I again thought: what are we waiting for? 

But the problem is that there is so much much pain, that we can't do it alone.  We have stored it for so long because we were afraid and ashamed that to finally find someone we can trust and then to feel as though that trust was breached…it’s like validation that we never should have spoken in the first place. Somewhere in our maladaptive brains it only confirms that our abusers were right. We don’t matter. Everyone else is more important than we are. We are nothing. We have no rights and we will always be nothing.  However unintentional that perceived breach of trust was enough to send us right back there again. Even if it was a promise, or commitment, that was not sustainable - but was offered with only the best of intentions...even if your life 'changed' and you had over-extended yourself...that just validates that we are not important.  I realize that is not the way a 'normal' person, a person who actually received love and care that every child deserved, reacts.  But we never had that...our trust was broken time and time again.  Day over day, week over week, year over year. 

Lynn went on to write this:  shame-manifesto .  Shut up and behave!  Shut up and drug up!  Don't cry out loud! EVER!

Yes, it is a lot of shame to carry...too much. And the abuse from my childhood has ripped apart my insides to a depth I can barely see and feel.  There are parts of my being that were destroyed to the point that I know they can never be recovered.  Every night when I lay my head down I wish for even two hours of peaceful sleep....telling myself, "Sweet dreams, no nightmares."  Each evening when the darkness comes I hope like hell I can get through it without feeling him all over again, without hurting myself, without a pain so intense I cannot stay in this body anymore.  Each morning I wake up with no new injuries or long lasting residual after-affects from nightmares I am thankful for surviving another night.  But the shame, and the fear, and the pain...and the sadness of not having anyone to help guide me though it...all of that remains.  But I have put it back into the cedar chest and covered it with the quilt.  It is my childhood dowry...a dowry no one wants. 

And I remain silent.  Because I am afraid now.  I am ashamed of my behavior.  I am ashamed of my weakness and fear.   I am ashamed.  I am ashamed.

But I hope that someday I will not be ashamed.  I hope that someday someone will listen to me, to 'us'. 

What are we waiting for?  Won't anybody help us?  What are we waiting for?
We have stood up...we are trying to fight the enemy...won't anybody help us?


  1. "Of course you are going to feel irritable after DBT class as this class runs counter to what your emotional mind wants which is to be heard, understood and comforted, vs being told to modulate, distract, "pretend" to feel good, etc."

    This is what she said? You're kidding, right? Please tell me you're kidding.

  2. Nope - you know I would never ever kid about that. She said it when the Marsha Pod Person took over her body...I have no idea how that obese nun fit into such a tiny body - but she did morph into the therapists body and the quote from above is a real quote...

  3. No, I didn't figure you would kid. Grace, can I just tell you that you are not crazy for the feelings you've been having about the DBT debacle? You're not. You're not crazy, you're HONEST and you're no longer willing to pretend that poison is good for you. Big difference. No wonder things got so bad. I think you should bring this direct quote to her attention because what it created for you is still in play. This makes it seem that she already knew what DBT would do and that she agreed with it and sent you anyway. Maybe this is what's going on inside you and if you bring her the quote and talk about it, it might help.

  4. I know I'm not crazy- I know how I feel about DBT and how it made me feel. But I dont think bringing the email matters now. I feel so disconnected from her right now...I don't know how else to explain it. It's almost like she's a 'memory' somehow. Like she isn't even real now.
    Sad...because I do think she used to help me (before the DBT BS) and I know she cares...but I'm afraid to let her back in now. I don't want to be hurt again. I think she 'meant' well - if that's fair - but that's what she said...maybe thought I was supposed to get the 'validation' part of therapy from her, and the cult would re-frame my maladaptive behavior patterns. I don't know. But I guess it worked! Because she must be bathed in relief that I'm not 'crying out' for her anymore. And I won't. I won't.
    She can't hear me anymore-because I can't talk to her right now.

  5. Defeated...that's really how it feels. Like I keep screaming but no one can hear me. No one will because I only scream inside now.

  6. I think there should be some kind of therapy program to help people heal from DBT. I really do. It's so fucking cruel and shaming. IT IS ABUSE.

  7. Yeah, it is always sad to be abused for crying about being abused.

  8. yes...I've shut up now, though...Daddy and Mommy would be very proud. I think I might throw up now (but then I'd have to brush my teeth again and I don't think I have the energy....)

  9. I think we shut up when things get so bad that we can't risk taking on more abuse.

    I feel like that about brushing my teeth, too. Once in a while I will actually get hungry right before I go to bed, but I don't eat because I know I wouldn't have the energy to brush my teeth again.

  10. Grace,

    If someone would listen, what would you say?

    What I hear so far is that you don't like DBT training. Maybe you should start there and not do it. You have that choice. Just because you have emotional problems and have gone to a therapist for help, doesn't mean you package and vapor-lock your feelings and choices at the door. You are paying your therapist to help, not dictate to you. You have the power to voice your choice for your course of therapy and if your T won't allow it than your T is ineffective for you, I'd find one who is more compatible for you. Stand up, Grace. Stand up for yourself and don't let anyone tell you what's best for you before they've asked you what you want.

    I could go off all night on this. It took me years to stand up and demand my opinion be considered as valid and I hate it when some one is told they haven't the mental capacity to have a voice. Stand up Grace, be counted. Your way out is not suicide, it is standing up and taking control of the direction of your life - even if the first step is finding a different type of therapy.

  11. Ivory, I'm not doing DBT. I have stood up for myself with respect to DBT - and the therapist has told me that she won't do DBT unless my SI/SUI is out of control...and needs to be addressed. But it isn't right now.
    I'm not going to kill myself (at least I have no intentions of doing it) the struggle now is this angry stubborn part of me that will not allow a connection with the therapist - because of all that happened. Even tho the rational part knows it wasn't that she tried to intentionally hurt me. I know that.. But it still sux! Because I can't figure out how to get ALL past it.