Everything felt NEW in the process. Everything WAS new! I had been so protected by my coping methods for so many years. When I started what I call “the process that worked” In my intake session with a new therapist, we talked about some of my coping methods, and my therapist mentioned that we would work on letting go some of my self control. I thought “I don’t think so, no freaking way” but I smiled and nodded. The truth is that I had no idea what he was talking about but it didn’t sound like something I wanted to try. I realize today he was talking about my coping methods. When I began to consider letting some of them go I quickly became very aware of my trust issues. For me, the therapy room became the tiny world where I would try out my new tools, new thoughts, new hopes and dreams. It would also be where I would face my fears, my false beliefs and the truth about my life and what had really happened to me.
As soon as I made the decision to really engage in the process of recovery, the fears came up in a big way and those trust issues were more evident than ever before. My first fears about learning to live in a new world were about my tiny new world ~ the therapy and the therapist. First of all I had to know that I could escape the therapy room, it I needed to. Each session I checked around for the escape routes. There were two doors one leading outside and into a beautiful garden and one leading out of the office itself. I made sure that I could reach the garden door if I had to run. Sometimes I had to sit on my hands; I thought I would get violent. I was afraid to get angry, I was afraid to “do the wrong thing” and I was afraid that if I did the wrong thing that my therapist wouldn’t like me. I could not relax; I was so sure that I would make a wrong move, and if I did, then he would make a wrong move. I was afraid of the therapist, but yet saw him as my last hope. Looking back my adventures in therapy were a tiny mirror of how I lived my life. Everything looked fine on the outside but inside it was chaos.
My therapist pointed out the escape routes in his office. I smiled nervously. Part of me was wondering if he knew that I had already planned my escape which meant that he would know that I didn’t trust him and that might hurt his feelings or make him angry; the other part of me immediately wondered why he was pointing the escape routes out to me. Was he going to do something to make me want to run? Was he going to try to trick me into trusting him? He told me that trust was something that came with time and that I didn’t have to trust him with anything until I felt more comfortable. Looking back, he explained this really well, but in my mind I heard that I should not trust him because he was human and that I might need to run. I had had problems with therapists in the past. A few of them made passes at me or made it clear that they were attracted to me. Part of me was pretty sure that I had caused the attraction and had sabotaged any help that they could have given me. I was afraid that I was going to do it again. I wanted help but I didn’t believe that anyone could help me; furthermore, I didn’t believe that I deserved it.
Even though I planned my escape should the need arise, I was absolutely sure that I would not use it even if I had to. I had frozen so many times before that I didn’t even trust myself to protect myself.
I wanted recovery but I was afraid of it. I wanted to trust someone to be able to help me, but I had learned my whole life that people rarely could be trusted. This is a difficult spot to be in when in counselling therapy because these trust issues and this mixed up thinking get in the way. A therapist can’t help you if you don’t or can’t tell him what is going on but the problem in most cases and certainly in my case was compounded by the fact that I didn’t really know what was wrong and I was pretty sure that the problem was me. I was afraid to tell the stories in case he validated that the problem was indeed me, and once again, I was afraid that he wouldn’t like me, therefore reject me and then my last chance would be gone. I was also afraid he would like me (inappropriately). There were two distinct sides to everything that I thought, although I was not really that aware of it then. Round and round I went, all my thoughts spinning and swirling in my head; most of them opposing each other. I had a lot to sort out and there were days when I wanted to give up ~ “Stop the world, I want to get off.”
Everything was hard. My therapist somehow picked out one thing for me to start with. The process was really truly difficult but the combination of wanting recovery so bad and some of the things that this therapist was saying enabled a little seed of hope for recovery and even a seed of hope for wholeness to take root and that is what kept me going. I fought for my life just a bit more then I fought the process at first. Eventually I fought the process less and less. Little by little the therapy helped, I got stronger, I learned how to feel and deal. I learned how to listen to my dual thought process and figure out the truth and false of each side of it. I learned how to stop spinning and sort my thinking out. It wasn’t super quick but it happened!
My therapist told me that we would find the jewel that was unique to me, the gem inside me. (I thought he was the one who needed therapy but I smiled and nodded.) But once again, he was right. I found the jewel inside of me. And guess what? We all have one.
Life is more colourful without the spin,