Past pain as a way towards healing

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Girl interupted

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#1
So I had this debate/conversation with my therapist today (who also informed me I’m not doing cbt, but instead psychoanalytical therapy), and I was lamenting the fact that in order to get better you have to delve into some horrible stuff. Stuff that you have buried.

And she indicated that in order to move past the trauma you must master it. That by fully understanding what happened your mind can finally put it to rest. If you don’t do that, it will return and manifest itself in various disorders because suppression is temporary and will eventually leak out in unwanted behaviour.

She also explained the difference between cbt and pt. Cbt looks to find blame for behaviours and pt looks to learn from them and grow and actively change. I’m glad I’m doing pt, as painful as it is.

But I wonder your opinion about reliving trauma to spur growth and change? Do you think change is possible without reliving it?
 
Fairy Lucretia

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#2
that is a really hard one
so much has happened to me that I have blocked out and now just have sad uneasy feelings as opposed to actual memory's

im not sure I just know I don't want therapy again as I find it too hard

I hope therapy helps you x you deserve to be happy and well
love Lu xxx
 
Hopefuloldie

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#3
I tried doing that once, and it made things worse rather than better. But we are all wired differently, and I think everyone needs to find what works for them. I hope that this helps you xx
 
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Girl interupted

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#4
To be fair, I spent the first three years in therapy avoiding talking about any of it. I am blessed with a patient and persistent therapist.
 
Lunus

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#5
So I had this debate/conversation with my therapist today (who also informed me I’m not doing cbt, but instead psychoanalytical therapy), and I was lamenting the fact that in order to get better you have to delve into some horrible stuff. Stuff that you have buried.

And she indicated that in order to move past the trauma you must master it. That by fully understanding what happened your mind can finally put it to rest. If you don’t do that, it will return and manifest itself in various disorders because suppression is temporary and will eventually leak out in unwanted behaviour.

She also explained the difference between cbt and pt. Cbt looks to find blame for behaviours and pt looks to learn from them and grow and actively change. I’m glad I’m doing pt, as painful as it is.

But I wonder your opinion about reliving trauma to spur growth and change? Do you think change is possible without reliving it?
Personally I see BPD as very similar to Social Phobia in the recovery process. Social Phobia is an irrational fear of people and the best way to recover is to confront your fear and meet people, so after time you can realise there is nothing to fear. I see BPD as similar but instead of people you’re avoiding and suppressing emotions that are keeping you in a permanent state of suffering. Therefore I think we have to use techniques like radical acceptance and face our fears and past trauma in order to be able to accept us for who we are. I’m not looking forward to it but it has to be done.
 
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dewey

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#6
If you become more unstable as a result of therapy, that then has a knock on effect to all the other things you are trying to do with your life. The trauma you bring to the surface in therapy can then spiral outwards and have a negative effect on your day to day, your work, your aspirations, everything.
There's a risk it may not eventually lead to you getting better.

I don't believe you need to re-live past pain in order to get better, at all, or delve into all the complexities of it. The approach needs to be more constructive, recognising problems and pushing forwards, not going inside the wound to clean it. That's just me though. I think the problem with a lot of depressives etc is that we live in the past quite often, and therapy programs that encourage you to live in the past and define yourself through traumatic experiences are not helpful. Why can't we learn to cope better for today, drawing on our experiences but not going so far into them that we have to re-live them???
 
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dewey

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#7
Personally I see BPD as very similar to Social Phobia in the recovery process. Social Phobia is an irrational fear of people and the best way to recover is to confront your fear and meet people, so after time you can realise there is nothing to fear. I see BPD as similar but instead of people you’re avoiding and suppressing emotions that are keeping you in a permanent state of suffering. Therefore I think we have to use techniques like radical acceptance and face our fears and past trauma in order to be able to accept us for who we are. I’m not looking forward to it but it has to be done.
As much as I respect your response, I have to question you on this.
Why is it irrational fear of people though? The fact is, it is not true that 'there is nothing to fear'. There are things to fear, people can do terrible, ghastly, inhumane things, and the fact is, if you have got BPD you have probably lived through repetitive trauma of some kind.
On a side note, I don't agree that depression is entirely an irrational illness, either, it's a response to human suffering which is incredibly real, and hence depression can be a rational response to it.
If you kick a sheep once, it might come back to you. If you kick it twice, it's definitely not going to come back to you. Humans are the same, we are protecting ourselves having lived through pain, and there's a kind of wisdom that comes with that.

EDIT: I wish I could kind of re-write this whole thing as I've just re-considered it. What I really mean to say is that people are not 100% safe and we need to learn to have boundaries with them. Maybe BPD don't know how to have proper boundaries.
 
Lunus

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#8
If you become more unstable as a result of therapy, that then has a knock on effect to all the other things you are trying to do with your life. The trauma you bring to the surface in therapy can then spiral outwards and have a negative effect on your day to day, your work, your aspirations, everything.
There's a risk it may not eventually lead to you getting better.

I don't believe you need to re-live past pain in order to get better, at all, or delve into all the complexities of it. The approach needs to be more constructive, recognising problems and pushing forwards, not going inside the wound to clean it. That's just me though. I think the problem with a lot of depressives etc is that we live in the past quite often, and therapy programs that encourage you to live in the past and define yourself through traumatic experiences are not helpful. Why can't we learn to cope better for today, drawing on our experiences but not going so far into them that we have to re-live them???
Of course I totally respect your views. We are all individuals, all with unique needs. I am fortunate I’m not on the depressive side so hope this particular therapy is suitable for my needs. You make an excellent point for some it could be damaging.
 
Lunus

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#9
As much as I respect your response, I have to question you on this.
Why is it irrational fear of people though? The fact is, it is not true that 'there is nothing to fear'. There are things to fear, people can do terrible, ghastly, inhumane things, and the fact is, if you have got BPD you have probably lived through repetitive trauma of some kind.
On a side note, I don't agree that depression is entirely an irrational illness, either, it's a response to human suffering which is incredibly real, and hence depression can be a rational response to it.
If you kick a sheep once, it might come back to you. If you kick it twice, it's definitely not going to come back to you. Humans are the same, we are protecting ourselves having lived through pain, and there's a kind of wisdom that comes with that.

EDIT: I wish I could kind of re-write this whole thing as I've just re-considered it. What I really mean to say is that people are not 100% safe and we need to learn to have boundaries with them. Maybe BPD don't know how to have proper boundaries.
You didn’t need to re write it. It was absolutely fine. Please note these are just my personal thoughts on my experience with Social Phobia. Of course there are dangers in the world, including people, that we have to be on our guard about. Normally, our fight or flight mechanism comes into play and we judge whether the danger is real. Obviously BPD hinders is in this regard due to our highly emotional state. Then we have Social Phobia. What is an irrational fear of people you ask. In Social Phobia terms it’s the irrational fear you are being negatively judged, somehow you will embarrass or humiliate yourself, people will see your weakness. You sweat, you faint, you have panic attacks etc. The difference between what you state and Social Phobia is the dangers you highlight are real and with Social Phobia they are imagined. There is no danger, you just perceive that there is.
 
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dewey

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#10
In Social Phobia terms it’s the irrational fear you are being negatively judged, somehow you will embarrass or humiliate yourself, people will see your weakness. You sweat, you faint, you have panic attacks etc. The difference between what you state and Social Phobia is the dangers you highlight are real and with Social Phobia they are imagined. There is no danger, you just perceive that there is.
Makes sense, but at the same time, people do negatively judge, right. People judge all the time. And if you have a history of embarrassing or humiliating yourself, such as being bullied for certain things, you would only presume that it would happen again.
 
Poppy2014

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#11
I've done both CBT and PT, I'm with your therapist on this one.
CBT was hopeless, I know why I act like I do, I know what I'm supposed to do and I know the consequences of not doing it. But I didnt own the thought, and consequence because every time the emotions came back / trigger, I would fly or crash.
In the end I did CAT psychotherapy which looks at why the triggers send you off. For me knowing what was wrong was frustrating, not being able to link that to why I did what I did was worse.
CAT gave me the tools to recognize the "bounces" for what they were, why they happen and what to do.
It gave me answers, I can now own my care, my pain and my happiness.
PT for me. Maybe CBT a little later if you need a top up.
Good Luck xx
 
Lunus

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#12
I've done both CBT and PT, I'm with your therapist on this one.
CBT was hopeless, I know why I act like I do, I know what I'm supposed to do and I know the consequences of not doing it. But I didnt own the thought, and consequence because every time the emotions came back / trigger, I would fly or crash.
In the end I did CAT psychotherapy which looks at why the triggers send you off. For me knowing what was wrong was frustrating, not being able to link that to why I did what I did was worse.
CAT gave me the tools to recognize the "bounces" for what they were, why they happen and what to do.
It gave me answers, I can now own my care, my pain and my happiness.
PT for me. Maybe CBT a little later if you need a top up.
Good Luck xx
Thank you so much :hug:
 
Lunus

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#13
Makes sense, but at the same time, people do negatively judge, right. People judge all the time. And if you have a history of embarrassing or humiliating yourself, such as being bullied for certain things, you would only presume that it would happen again.
I leant a very good saying ‘what other people think of you is none of your business’ lol. Of course certain people judge but the vast majority don’t as they’re too wrapped up with their own issues. All I was really saying is that in recovery the meaning of your social intersections change so they become less threatening to you. Take care mate.
 
Flameheart (was BPDevil)

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#14
it makes sense, this is the type of therapy I want to do
 
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#15
If you become more unstable as a result of therapy, that then has a knock on effect to all the other things you are trying to do with your life. The trauma you bring to the surface in therapy can then spiral outwards and have a negative effect on your day to day, your work, your aspirations, everything.
There's a risk it may not eventually lead to you getting better.

I don't believe you need to re-live past pain in order to get better, at all, or delve into all the complexities of it. The approach needs to be more constructive, recognising problems and pushing forwards, not going inside the wound to clean it. That's just me though. I think the problem with a lot of depressives etc is that we live in the past quite often, and therapy programs that encourage you to live in the past and define yourself through traumatic experiences are not helpful. Why can't we learn to cope better for today, drawing on our experiences but not going so far into them that we have to re-live them???
Interesting, and my gut is inclined to agree. But after a year of intensely working on my traumas, amd it took me three years to feel safe enough to do so, my therapist said I was not currently depressed. First time in 30 years. And I recognize that she is right.

I do have depressive periods, they do return during times of stress, but the day to day? Not feeling like I’m in that big dark pit. And it’s such a new feeling for me that it’s hard to immediately recognize that it’s gone. But it’s also a little bit wonderful.

So having seen that shift, I’m kind of inclined to believe that the only way out is through. It’s just that it’s painful and very difficult to go through. I think you really have to be tired of living the way you are ... you have to really want it.
 
Lunus

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#16
Interesting, and my gut is inclined to agree. But after a year of intensely working on my traumas, amd it took me three years to feel safe enough to do so, my therapist said I was not currently depressed. First time in 30 years. And I recognize that she is right.

I do have depressive periods, they do return during times of stress, but the day to day? Not feeling like I’m in that big dark pit. And it’s such a new feeling for me that it’s hard to immediately recognize that it’s gone. But it’s also a little bit wonderful.

So having seen that shift, I’m kind of inclined to believe that the only way out is through. It’s just that it’s painful and very difficult to go through. I think you really have to be tired of living the way you are ... you have to really want it.
I feel my Choices are either to embrace everything my therapist tells me to do, or die. I’ll either recover or I won’t. Not that I have ‘black or white’ thoughts. 😉
 
RockSolid

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#17
I was never able to suppress childhood trauma and because the memories left me feeling powerless I was always in a perpetual state of attempting too hard to keep my cool. I would become very angry at other people who could not deal with what I perceived to be trivial emotional problems because I was forced at a very young age to be a man, to never cry or feel sorry for myself because my abuser would threaten me with more violence if I expressed that anyone else but me was to blame for what was happening to me. It was violently burned into my psyche that I deserved to be the brunt of irrational outbursts. Just as an example when I was nine I was beaten with a belt until I was black and blue for cleaning up dog shit and supposedly not spreading it out into a field correctly. My cries and screams of pain were met with more intense anger and so I was beaten with a chain until I could take my punishment without making a sound. Facing the cause of my BPD did nothing but make me feel worse. So too blaming my abuser face to face only served to cause more problems. In the end it was only forgiveness which healed my wounds. True forgiveness is very difficult to master but once achieved it is like shedding the weight of the world off of your back.
 
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#18
I think all feelings needs to get vented somehow, if not they will result in various behaviors or disorders that you do not really want. It can be as simple as being disappointed in a friend and not talking about it and when you both get drunk the little disappointed devil in you might do smth that hurts your friends feelings or whatever, it can be a snarky remark on their weight, laughing instead of helping as they vomit. Solution is to let the feeling of disappoint come out before this, by letting the friend know what you feel and think.

Trauma should work the same way I guess (I'm not a psychiatrist). There can be loads of dammed up feelings and thoughts that simply need release and best way is probably to trodd through and "relive" the shit again.

Things need to get out of us and if we don't do it properly it will do it by itself in ways we wish it didn't.
 
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#19
True forgiveness is very difficult to master but once achieved it is like shedding the weight of the world off of your back.
Forgiveness is the best way to move forward. Personally I only seek to forgive myself for my failings, I think its the most important part of forgiveness. Sometimes others if its in my interest to do so, mostly I rather cut ties instead and never think about those people again. Fool me once.... To many people I have forgiven only to be let down again and again and again, of course in situations when it mattered most, you can't keep such people around and just forgive, now the limit is reached for anyone coming into my life and they have only one chance, fuck it up and I drop them instantly without second thoughts. I also have the view that their wicked ways will pay them back through life so there is no reason for me to hold a grudge or seek revenge or anything like that, I'm confident they continue to stumble for a long time, to their own dismay, before sorting out and that is all I need to know.
 
Lunus

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#20
I was never able to suppress childhood trauma and because the memories left me feeling powerless I was always in a perpetual state of attempting too hard to keep my cool. I would become very angry at other people who could not deal with what I perceived to be trivial emotional problems because I was forced at a very young age to be a man, to never cry or feel sorry for myself because my abuser would threaten me with more violence if I expressed that anyone else but me was to blame for what was happening to me. It was violently burned into my psyche that I deserved to be the brunt of irrational outbursts. Just as an example when I was nine I was beaten with a belt until I was black and blue for cleaning up dog shit and supposedly not spreading it out into a field correctly. My cries and screams of pain were met with more intense anger and so I was beaten with a chain until I could take my punishment without making a sound. Facing the cause of my BPD did nothing but make me feel worse. So too blaming my abuser face to face only served to cause more problems. In the end it was only forgiveness which healed my wounds. True forgiveness is very difficult to master but once achieved it is like shedding the weight of the world off of your back.
I can relate to that. Also I believe your comment about true forgiveness. Not that I do yet but I have reached the stage where I treat these people with total indifference.
 

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