A few years ago I had a horrible experience with a therapist I had been working with for 2 years. It created such a breach of trust which still impacts me to this day in my current psychotherapy and work I’m trying to do with my therapist, Lee. Learning to trust again after it has been broken by so many is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.
There was nothing fun about sitting with my shrink and have her stare at me while I tried to cough up my feelings that were too painful and shameful to utter aloud. So instead I put on a good persona and artfully tried to dodge the elephant sitting on my heart that I wished I had the balls to say, but I was way too much of a pussy. I knew if I did I would risk looking like an asshole. I had learned early on to hide vulnerable feelings so the hungry ones wouldn’t devour me.
It took me weeks to get to the point of even mustering “it” up. The emotions carried that much shame for me to say.
It took me awhile to get the courage up to spit out what I was hemming and hawing about saying for that 40 minute session.
The thing I said well, it made me feel weak, embarrassed, vulnerable, powerless. All feelings I HATE. All feelings I don’t have skills to tolerate very well.
But I did finally spit it out, because I wanted to get healthier and I thought that puking up what’s hard to do, would get me there. I needed to tell the shrink that there is a fractured part of me; a splintered, inner-child like piece to me, who I can sense at times, is stuck chronologically at the age a lot of my child abuse occurred. The embarrassment for me, was that this child-like part of me seemed really attached to the therapist. Who was younger than me.
I breathed in quickly after saying all this to her as it took all the courage to muster to say. So I braced and waited, hopeful for a good outcome.
I was totally blindsided by her response.
The therapist began laughing out loud saying, “you don’t really feel that way, do you?”
Then I felt my face burn beat red, humiliated on top of the existing shame. Mother fucker. I wanted to bolt out the room and never come back. But instead I found my legs wouldn’t move, frozen like a deer in headlights.
I “present so well” and hide my emotions, I’ve been it doing for so long. I had created a seamless veneer simultaneously as the abuse was happening in childhood. To protect me so that no one could “see” how ugly I was. Some primitive defense mechanism to be sure.
The therapist was oblivious to my dual nature despite a factual understanding of the complex trauma and rather largish case file containing my trauma history. She denied my inner fragility and vulnerability at the expense of making a chiding remark , and was unmoved by what I had shared. She began booking next weeks appointment.
Sitting there in that chair in her office feeling ashamed, my brain flooded with similar events from my past, I had try to bury long ago.
Especially the young, impish, fractured, splintered off part of myself I thought I could seal behind a wall and bury alive.
But that girl’s muffled voice broke through from behind the bricks that day choking back her pitiful fucking tears.
There she was again, from behind the woman veneer. Stirring somewhere from latent consciousness. Crystallized and I’m still paralyzed.
I seem to walk through life, reflexively, a continuous loop of internal thought patterns, “I am bad. unlikable, unwanted, unacceptable….. I am un-lovable.”
When I told my shrink how I felt about her, she scoffed that I must be wrong. It stung. Walls went up.
Usually, I reject me before anyone else can hurt me. Well, I fucked up.
I am ashamed….of me. Ashamed there is a child in me so needy and desperate for love.
I am realizing that shame is a bigger part of my emotional make-up than I ever knew. It’s inescapable presence envelops me like a blanket.
If I don’t deal with “it”, I will continue to live in misery. How can I deal with it if I’m not even being believed. That Mickey Mouse post-secondary degree douchebag clinician that attended a cut-rate graduate school whose clinical skills were on par with a third grader, doesn’t know shit-from-shinola about incest, complex trauma, or the presentation of dissociation! She fucked me over!
Before that session I might have passed for an average girl, walking with a seeming look of purpose, unfettered by any stress. And in some ways, I guess that would have been true.
I left however, restricting my gaze downward to the cobblestone street, tears staining my cheeks, reflecting the ugliness I still hold inside. Ugliness from which I haven’t been yet able to wriggle free.
I later called her and told her that laughing at me and not believing me at a most vulnerable moment was too shaming and unacceptable. That I was done, I won’t be coming back, that she, she was fired.
BDSM and bondage isn’t about rope and and submission for me any more, for I’m out of the lifestyle.
The riskiest scenes take place on the inside, with the chains that bind my very soul.