Everyone should have a Therapist like mine
Before I go further I just have to reiterate how in love I am with Therapist...truly...head-over-heels...
I was worried that he, as my last counselor had done, would get all freaky about my relapsing into feelings and desires from the past, and that he'd start threatening all sorts of dire consequences because I was unstable. He didn't. He said there was a reason all that happened, and we talked about those reasons. Basically, my response was elicited because I was connecting the visits from my pedophile cousin with my blog visitor. So we talked about what that represented: My blog is my place of healing. It belongs to me and the contents are highly personal. There is vulnerability in sharing those personal contents in a public forum, but thus far the response has been largely affirming and supportive, and has come from non-threatening individuals. To have someone come, who represents fear in my eyes, constitutes trespassing, and causes me to feel unsafe again.
Therapist was unsurprised at my reaction. He was intrigued, however, that I had worked through it and was now back in control. He asked how that happened. We threw a number of ideas around and this is what we came up with:
1. Somehow, I made a shadowbox parallel between my person being trespassed upon and violated as a child, and my blog being intruded on and exploited currently.
2. In both instances I felt helpless, frustrated, weak, and vulnerable.
3. In the first instance, I believed there was no help or support for me--anywhere. In the second instance, help and support came almost immediately, and from many different sources. I had in-person people, who expressed love and encouraged me to continue fighting to continue my progress. I had online friends who allowed me to talk, or who acted in protective ways. In both instances, this time I was not alone, and I worked through the emotional stress with help--thus avoiding my need to resort to negative coping devices.
4. I came to the ultimate realization that I don't have anything to fear. I'm not alone, it is not my visitor's intention to harm my physically, I can conquer that which is hurting me.
There were some random things that were really helpful. In no particular order:
1. I didn't call Therapist. I wanted to. But even more, I wanted to make it through this on my own. And I did. There is strength in that, and triumph. And control (this will be a continuous theme...).
2. I set boundaries and ground rules, i.e.: This is my blog. No more anonymous comments are accepted. You must identify yourself if you wish to comment. There are certain people/subjects that are not allowed to be disrespected on my blog. Your presence must not interfere with my healing, which is the main reason for this blog's existence. Being able to set those boundaries/rules helps me feel more in control of myself and my life.
3. The person I decided to eliminate from my life (in my stupid destructive cycle habit) ignored my attempts to do so, and welcomed me back when I became sane once again. He said he recognized what was happening, which makes him smarter than I am, because I was clueless. But amazingly, in this instance, because he did not allow me to push him away, I learned that there really are some people who will still love me when I'm stupid, and will continue to support me until I return to my senses. Amazing--there really are people willing to do this! Who knew???!!!!??? Result of learning this? Well, obviously, I'm going to have to re-evaluate my opinion of human nature, as it seems to be flawed.
4. I can allow myself to feel protection and love from others when I'm vulnerable. I'm not alone--I actually never was alone. There is strength in this. And control... :).
5. Different friends fill different needs. Based on my neediness, I need lots of them. It was so amazing this week!! I have the friend who will listen to anything, regardless of how ugly, bizarre, or scary it is. And he never tells me to stop--which is so good, because sometimes I really need to get things out. I have the friend who makes me feel happy just because he's in my life, the friends who brings peace and joy, the ones who hold me when I'm afraid, the ones who feel protective. Then there are the friends who make me laugh, the ones who stay on the sidelines and cheer me on, the ones who don't say much , but also just don't go away. It's a wonderful phenomenon--very empowering--and makes me feel more in control of my life, and myself.
So the parallels between my past and present experiences were drawn, and this time I made it through the feelings by using all the positive devices at my disposal. Other differences were that I talked about what was happening, I addressed the person by whom I felt threatened, I did all that I could myself, but then took the rest to those I trusted to help me, and I posted my boundaries. This time, I took control, and did not allow myself to be acted upon.
Therapist is very proud of me--and he is so impressed at the calibre of people who visit me. He said, "Sam, I've never had a more unusual client--I'll admit that. You definitely have unique ways of dealing with your issues, and amazing people who help you. I wish all my clients had that."
We talked more about moving toward my last assignment, which is to learn how to resolve my relationship with my cousin is such a way that God would approve. Then I received a progress evaluation:
1. I've moved closer to allowing myself to let go of my past experiences--I'm losing the fear that accompanies that step.
2. I've acknowledged that I had no culpability in the acts that were forced on me, I was not a participant, and as a child, those things happened through no fault of my own. I do not have to accept responsibility for those acts.
3. I'm accepting the true nature and feelings of my cousin for me. I've moved beyond the mourning.
4. I continue to accept my cousin's right to seek forgiveness through Christ's atonement, and I, personally, forgive him. If he never takes the steps necessary to make things right in his life, it is not my problem.
5. I'm learning to take more control in how I view those events, and even though I still wish they had not happened, I will not allow my past to determine my present.
6. I'm accepting that God did not take the trial of abuse from me--but he did protect me. Given the facts I've found about this type of abuse/crime, I am blessed that my life was spared. And I have to acknowledge that much in my life is a gift from God. I'm grateful for his protection and
An interesting side-note: I didn't tell my parents about all this turmoil. Perhaps there is a parallel there, I'm not sure. And I'm not ready to delve too deeply into this fact right now. I'll address it when I'm ready, but not today.
Therapist believes that as my healing trend continues, I'll be able to eat normally once again and not be bothered by the eating disorder which is the unfortunate by-product of all this. I'm trusting that he's right--he has been so far, which is, I suppose, why I'm so in love with him.