On my therapist
Right now I'm in treatment for an eating disorder. I've been waiting years for this help. I feel like my therapist doesn't recognise how I'm feeling, and how invalidating CBT is to my experience. After this I'm expected to just pick myself up and get on with things, with none of the coping tools left. I had self-harm, and eventually I stopped. It left me with my eating disorder, and the trauma. No one wants to come near the trauma, except my GP and one of my best friends, who seem to be the only people who don't brush me under the carpet out of sight. I wrote this in my journal on paper, and copied it out onto one of my blogs. I try so hard not to blame myself for everything, and sometimes I manage to hate myself a little less for what I went through. But this therapy, it doesn't make that easy.
"I can’t decide if the therapist is the problem, or if I’m the problem, or if the model being used is the problem.
I feel stifled. I’m forced into boxes, to fit into her flowcharts and schematics. I can’t talk about anything but what the ‘module’ prescribes in a given session. No interest in the trauma tearing me up every night, how I wake shaking and sweating, wholly believing it just happened again. I don’t feel safe, left with these extraordinarily vivid memories which wring me dry, leaving me more tired in the morning than when I crept under the covers hoping to extinguish the sound of my past and fading future. I’m being raped every night while she tries to tell me how writing down my intake will help me. She doesn’t seem to recognise that this, having to be exposed and vulnerable to a stranger, it’s worse than what I’ve lived through already, because this time she’s stealing my only remaining way of coping and leaving me alone and frightened, with the things that got me here in the first place.
This is like him watching me in the bathroom, him waiting as I did exactly what he told me to, because I was no longer fearful, and only numb, attached somewhere to the ceiling up with the light fixtures, watching the story unfold. This is the whispers that I’ve heard as I grew up, hating the little girl I was. I shudder when I think of her and I look at her smiling face and think she is an idiot, stupid, for not fixing it or stopping it or changing it. I don’t logically know how a five year old could have, but I blame her just as much as I blame the me of now, and the two of us are detached, separate entities, not seeing each other. Any other five year old is innocent, just a child, needing to ultimately be protected, with freedom within age-appropriate constraints. Not my five year old self. She should have had the wisdom of a dying woman, should have stopped it.
I want to spit at this woman, all my fear and shame coiled around me. I want to retreat into the corner beneath the chair and see my bones again, open the scars so I can check that I am still real. I don’t think I want to be real, but the not knowing is perhaps worse. I want to wrap myself in a fluffy blanket covered in rainbows while I scream at her that she gives how many fucks? No fucks. about me, her ‘client’, ‘patient’, ‘service user’, whatever stupid term they’re using this week for me. She doesn’t care that this is breaking me further, and that every time she makes a promise and changes the goalposts, she invalidates my experience just that little bit more. She doesn’t care that the breaking is uncared for, as long as she can pass me off as another dealt-with statistic on their extensive waiting list, and move onto the next person. She doesn’t care that her telling me that the 20 hours she suddenly reduced to 10 is supposed to heal me, is perhaps the most invalidating thing I have experienced in recent years, beyond the usual onslaught that helped bring me to this place. Telling me that my 15 years of suffering in mostly silence can be fixed with her not-so-magic wand just because the piece of paper says so.
I call bullshit.
If she watched me through the glass on an old videotape and saw what they did, would she realise how much it insults the pain I have, and still am going through. Would watching them rape me help her see?"
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