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Old 01-17-2018, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Traumatic Transference - When your therapist becomes your abuser

((HD)),

You are right in that if you write out how your therapist is triggering you, your risk is that others will not understand because they are not you and don't get to experience your therapist for themselves.

However, what your effort to write out how you "feel" about what your therapist says to you that you "feel" is a lie can actually contribute to your own gain in that it is important to be able to articulate how an interaction with another person can trigger us to "feel" threatened or uncomfortable.

Quote:
. In todays session she made a big step in making me feel safer. This felt like betrayal but feelings are not facts. This is certainly a retraumatization but it is different because there is nothing I know for a fact aside from her lying.
((HD)), feelings are facts, however these feelings are YOUR facts. What I mean by this is that your personal history consisted of how the dysfunctional ways your parent/parents behaved and your childhood challenges have left you with a lot of uncomfortable "feelings" that you had no choice but to try to manage and work around on your own.

A therapist is a person that tends to register as one who is "superior" and has the power that is capable of making judgments that a parental figure or authority figure made in our history that hurt our "feelings" and contributed to our not feeling "safe". If someone is in the throws of experiencing symptoms of complex PTSD, a therapist can contribute to the challenging feelings that can turn into re-experiencing how one felt as a child where they did not feel "safe".

When a child is traumatized from living in a dysfunctional family where their needs are not met and there is some kind of ciaos that the child has no way of understanding or controlling, that child begins to develop desires to find a way to gain "control" when it comes to facing this kind of "dysfunctional" behavior.

Sometimes, what can happen in this child is a growing desire to FIX whatever is wrong and that can lead to that child becoming "the fixer" and that child without realizing it can take on a role of a parent like figure to the "broken" parent or parents. The problem with taking on that role is how the parent NEVER really sees this child the way this child really wants them to. Often that can lead to the child facing some kind of ultimate "trauma" where they are hurt to the depths of them and often that can create all these symptoms that make it so hard to function.

Ever since the holidays came close for me, I have been facing so many triggers that just getting through the holidays for me was utterly exhausting. The past few days alone have been utterly brutal for me to the point where I suffered from the chills so bad that I ended up totally crippled. I have not showered in well over a week and just the thought of showering makes me shiver because of facing getting wet and then stepping out of the shower and possibly getting a chill when I am already struggling constantly with these chills that really have nothing to do with how cold it is outside but more of how I am reliving "traumas" that I am reacting to with these horrible chills.

What I finally realized after suffering for so many days with these horrible chills is how very much the now in my life is causing me to relive my "history" where I was badly traumatized by the daily dysfunction I had endured that I had no idea how to handle or change.

My older brother is facing a horrible challenge in that he learned he has cancer. He told me and yet he does not want me to tell anyone else. My older sister is in full control mode with my parents and when I called to wish my parents a Merry Christmas, she lied to me about my mother and when my father tried to tell me that my mother is in the hospital which was the truth she yelled at him. My older sisters behaviors have gotten SO TOXIC that I can't even be near her, hearing her voice triggers me, and I have a horrible reaction if I happen to see her in person. Then my sister told me that if I want to know where my mother is that I have to go to her and sit and listen to what she has decided that has changed. I can't do that, I can't sit across from her in person and witness her exerting her control that has gotten very toxic. And my sister also said what dates "she" has open if I want to know where my mother is when she can sit and tell me.

I could not go, and as a result I do not know where my mother is. I have been so badly triggered by this I have struggled every day just to try to function. My husband tends to get angry and frustrated which only makes me worse, and I don't have a therapist right now because the therapist I did have has retired. That is a major trigger too because I did not have anyone to help me when I was little too. So I have been reliving that in a way I never imagined I could and it's been HELL.

My older brother is facing a cancer that is going to shorten his life, his family is scared and the truth is I AM SCARED for him and I am alone with that. That is exactly what I faced in my childhood too. And I want to tell my parents but they are far away now as they were way back when and I was so alone with something I was witnessing that was traumatic that I watched happening to my older brother. And I cannot tell, not then and not now because it will only make what is already bad WORSE.

I was sitting and trying to eat a dinner my husband made for me and I was shaking and his reaction was to criticize me for not being dressed warm enough, and I "feel" as though there is no way I can tell him what I am experiencing where he will react with understanding instead of the typical "anger" that he usually responds with. So even though I do have someone in my environment, I am very much ALONE.

There were a lot of "feelings" in what I just described HD. And I can tell you none of these feelings were a lie. I can't always articulate them and often I write out long posts that are some kind of effort to vent whatever happens to come forward. Sometimes I repeat because what comes forward can be repetitive. Yet, as these triggers take place and I get to finally see "some" of the pieces that are in these triggers, I get another small piece of a much bigger picture that are slowly showing me who I am that resulted from a lot of trauma. I have a lot of trauma that goes all the way back in me, so far back that I get flashbacks from when I was just a baby in my crib. What I have learned in such an extremely painful way is how all these "feelings" are truths about my own life story. However, what I relive can get very confusing because I relive a lot of "childhood" experiences when I did not have ANY of the more adult knowledge that I have now and I am 61 years old. What I come to know in such a painful way, is how much we are all of our life experiences.

I tend to hate the word "survivor" because I don't feel like I am a survivor simply because IMHO, if I was a survivor then I would not be so disabled with all these triggers I experience where I end up reliving something that can take me such a long time to figure out.

I do know what you mean when you talk about not "feeling" safe with this therapist you have been working with. I also know how it feels that feeling "safe" with a therapist doesn't feel right either. I can say from where I am now looking back, that these feelings I felt were not "lies" either. They were MY truths, part of MY life picture that I had to SLOWLY work through that has been such a challenge and it sure has been consuming and often exhausting too.

I know how hard it can be to do what I suggested you do too. No, I am not experiencing your therapist in a way where I will see what you are describing. However, that doesn't mean I can't "hear you and listen" or "believe you". I believe you ((HD)), I believe you because even if I don't have the same history you have, I do have some very similar challenges and I have learned that the "feelings" that I have that come forward are "keys" that are an important part of my own history that I need to work through and slowly understand "better" and these "feelings" were not lies, instead they were reflecting my "emotional history" the truth about how different life challenges affected me "emotionally" as a human being.
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