therapy....
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Tangled Web Offline
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#1
therapy....
I have been having this problem lately..........
I just got home from seeing T. I asked her this question--how do I connect my thoughts now with the past's thoughts?


Here is the thing......I can say with ALL certainty now that if my parents were caught doing the things that were done to us is this day and age they would probably most definitely go to jail. I know this to be true.
So then how come when I think about the past or go back to that "place and time" everything just becomes "normal" and it isn't wrong and that was just the way it was-it was just normal.
I cannot connect the knowledge I have now when I am back there. It almost feels like I am trying to smash a square peg into a round hole and it can't be done.
My T asked me--why is it so important to see things as horrible as they were? And I answered her well if I can't see them as that then what is the point of healing if everything was just normal? She seemed to gain an understanding of where I was coming from. BUT I still didn't get an answer on how to connect the two things. She said eventually it will happen. That is not helpful.
So I was wondering if anyone knew how to connect things?
I don't have the spoiler option so this is a warning that the next part might be triggering to some people.
Here is an example--
My father threatened my life almost daily. He would tell us over and over again that he brought me into this world and would have no problem taking me out of it. He meant it and we knew that. So some of the things he used to do I am able to verbalize now. BUT I don't see them as any big deal as I have been told numerous times that it was horrible or I get the shocked look on my T's face. It was just normal and how can I see that it was wrong or horrible what he did when it was just a normal part of our every day life?
Does that make sense? I don't know how to make it feel like it horrible or that it wasn't normal or connect anything to it and this is what I keep running into with the countless other things in our past that were just "normal" and I know now all of those things were anything but normal. But it still just feels normal.
Emma
"You may not remember what someone says or does, but you will never forget how they made you feel" Mac Anderson.
02-24-2015, 04:52 PM
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nats Offline
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#2
RE: therapy....
well, it WAS normal for you guys so it makes sense that it's hard to connect with other people's ideas of normal and how extreme it may seem to them. think of it like a cultural difference in that you can identify that to most people your upbringing was extreme but that's not the same as feeling it, anymore than someone who grew up on a rubbish tip might feel it as extreme in the same way as someone seeing it from the outside. there is a very good novel 'Room' that tells a story of abuse from the perspective of a lady's 5yr old son to whom it was just normal life.

so, maybe the question isn't why you can't connect this in the past but whether you can identify that this is not how you would want yourself or others to live now.
Blush Learn how to manage conflict, because the greater the level you can tolerate, the more freedom you will retain - E. Walsh Smile
02-26-2015, 09:58 AM
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Tangled Web Offline
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#3
RE: therapy....
I think I understand what you are saying nats but there is a missing piece.
For example one day I was at work and talking with a psycho- geriatric specialist regarding one of residents sexualized behaviour. I normalized it. I didn't realize what I was doing but it didn't bother me and thought to be completely honest--that the staff needed to have thicker skin and not be so bothered by it. It is the same thing when people become verbally abusive and staff will say I don't deserve to be spoken that way........ I can't stop normalizing things because it doesn't bother me. The look I got from the doctor was shocking to me so I immediately stopped talking.
There is a disconnect there somewhere and I can't figure it out.
One day I was talking with a co-worker and she was having problems with her mother in law regarding something she said and some how the conversation turned and I told her what my mother had texted my son and the look of the shock and the words that came out of her mouth surprised me. I was like well that is just who she is..........
So if I can't stop "normalizing it how am I supposed to figure out how we want to live now?
Do you understand? It feels like I am missing something-a piece of something.
I know people should be treated with dignity and respect and I do know what those words mean......maybe I just can't tell when that changes to being abusive.....I don't know.....
Emma
"You may not remember what someone says or does, but you will never forget how they made you feel" Mac Anderson.
02-26-2015, 03:36 PM
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nats Offline
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#4
RE: therapy....
hi Emma, i think it makes sense. you weren't raised to be bothered by certain things that really bother most people. your T is probably right that you will eventually connect with this, but until then maybe you can adopt a pragmatic approach to help you deal with these kinds of situations. for example, perhaps you could try identifying certain behaviours/words that seem to bother other people so that when you see/hear this you can pause and think before responding in your usual way (e.g. 'how would X respond to this? would s/he be upset? why/why not?). it's part of a general process of re-educating ourselves to at least notice what bothers other people even if it never really bothers us. there may be other things that really bother you that don't seem to bother other people.
Blush Learn how to manage conflict, because the greater the level you can tolerate, the more freedom you will retain - E. Walsh Smile
02-27-2015, 10:25 AM
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Tangled Web Offline
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#5
RE: therapy....
Thanks nats. That is something I can do. I guess I was just looking for a switch or something like that to turn on that would just let me know what was normal and not normal. I never really thought about it having to be taught and now that I think about it -it makes sense.
Emma
"You may not remember what someone says or does, but you will never forget how they made you feel" Mac Anderson.
02-27-2015, 03:55 PM
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The People Offline
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#6
RE: therapy....
I have not read other answers but my thought is this: You have all of these horrible feelings. Like me. As kids we normalized the dark times or blocked them out in order to survive. For years our family was normal and it was us that had something wrong within. But all of a sudden we have all of this anger as we process (that is evening out actually). So what we needed was to recognize WHY we were angry. Instead of minimizing we needed to say "yes it was that bad."

When we first started to remember and had trouble comprehending the badness our T told us to go some place public and watch the kids who were our age at the time of various memories. It was amazing! They were so little! And defenseless. But when I remembered I would see myself as bigger and stronger. Sometimes from an adult perspective. Try looking at what it was through the eyes of a child. Imagine a 6 year old hearing that day in and day out. And you were standing there as an adult. How would you react? What would you d for little you if you could go back? Or some other kid that was being abused in front of you.
02-28-2015, 02:00 AM
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Tangled Web Offline
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#7
RE: therapy....
You are right The People. I do see myself as bigger and stronger than that six year old inside.
All I can say is WOW-that is the missing piece. I am not looking at things from the view of a child's eyes and I need to.
Thank you
Emma
"You may not remember what someone says or does, but you will never forget how they made you feel" Mac Anderson.
02-28-2015, 03:04 AM
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orek Offline
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#8
Friendship/Support  RE: therapy....
Hi, Emma--I love the others' ideas and responses and don't have anything to add. I just wanted you to know I read this and support your efforts and journey.
02-28-2015, 12:10 PM
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Tangled Web Offline
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#9
RE: therapy....
Thanks Orek. I am so glad to see you Smile
I actually went to a mall today and sat in the food court drinking coffee and people watched. It helped a little to put things in more perspective for me but then it made me start to feel really sad and I had to leave. I am trying to not lose the insight I got inside the feeling of the sadness. This crap is hard!
Emma
"You may not remember what someone says or does, but you will never forget how they made you feel" Mac Anderson.
02-28-2015, 10:05 PM
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orek Offline
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#10
RE: therapy....
"This crap is hard!"

Dudette, just put that on my tombstone now. You ain't sh*ttin'! Big Grin --davis
03-04-2015, 01:23 AM
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