Therapy - does it actually help you

fazza

fazza

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#21
I have recently started CAT. I thought at first that this would not work and it was pointless. However after the third session I have realised that it is really good.

I was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder but they are concerned that I may have a personality disorder as I tick so many boxes.

CAT is the best thing I have done and I have already made adjustments in to the way I think about people and it has made me see the exit points in tricky situations that we face.
 
D

dewey

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#22
when I started showing signs of BPD they signed me off saying I was well enough when I clearly wasn't and it made me think I was just weak compared to everyone else, and because I was so young I started to believe being suicidal all the time was normal
I'm sorry your experiences at therapy were so unhelpful. That's the last thing a patient needs.
Yeah, I hear that about thinking you're weak compared to others. But mental illness isn't about weakness. If someone isn't suffering your illness, you can't compare their strength to yours.
And yeah, when you're young it's easy to adopt depression as your norm, and not really know anything else.
 
D

dewey

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#23
I have recently started CAT. I thought at first that this would not work and it was pointless. However after the third session I have realised that it is really good.

I was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder but they are concerned that I may have a personality disorder as I tick so many boxes.

CAT is the best thing I have done and I have already made adjustments in to the way I think about people and it has made me see the exit points in tricky situations that we face.
That's cool, do they give you practical life advice in your CAT sessions? Or is yours more about looking behind the problems to find out why they're there and understand better?
 
fazza

fazza

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#24
I am only on unpacking my past feelings about myself and we have started exit techniques for when, for example Feeling that you are being dismissed or disregarded it makes you think "what has made me feel dismissed in the past to make me feel like this now"

I have 16 weeks of this and every week we discuss how my past events (usually as a kid) have rewired my brain in to the destructive state that is in now.

In some ways I am a little worried as my therepist is going to speak with my Pdoc and I fear they may change my diagnosis

Then again perhaps this would be a good thing as so far I have been Bi-polar schizophrenia and schizo-affective.

Is it possible to have massive delusions of persecution, Many voices talking to me all the time but not have schizo-affective and have a personality disorder instead.

All I know is that for the first time in 30 years I actually feel stable. I am on lurasidone (latuda) sertraline and lithium. This combination of drugs for me is fantastic along with CAT therepy
 
G

Girl interupted

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#25
About the state passing - when you are in those states, can you now embrace the idea that this will pass? Because when my brain is telling me those things, I completely believe my brain, and lose sight of everything else and can't rationalise it as a state that will pass. I think it's me buying into it because it's such a familiar feeling.


That sounds like a good approach.
And thanks for the encouragement.

When I was your age it was me believing my brain. Over time I think you learn not to panic and then fall into the pit because you know it will pass.

When I was younger I used to literally chant to myself “just get to tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better” ... even if it wasn’t, that deal I made with myself got me through a lot of dark nights. My therapist calls it my Scarlet O’Hara phase ;)
 
D

dewey

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#26
When I was your age it was me believing my brain. Over time I think you learn not to panic and then fall into the pit because you know it will pass.

When I was younger I used to literally chant to myself “just get to tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better” ... even if it wasn’t, that deal I made with myself got me through a lot of dark nights. My therapist calls it my Scarlet O’Hara phase ;)
That's soo uncanny I was thinking just yesterday I need to re-watch that movie as I might be able to learn something from Scarlet! We definitely have a telepathic link of some kind.
My life goal is currently not to believe my brain. Maybe I will get there by the end of it!
 
D

dewey

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#27
I am only on unpacking my past feelings about myself and we have started exit techniques for when, for example Feeling that you are being dismissed or disregarded it makes you think "what has made me feel dismissed in the past to make me feel like this now"

I have 16 weeks of this and every week we discuss how my past events (usually as a kid) have rewired my brain in to the destructive state that is in now.

In some ways I am a little worried as my therepist is going to speak with my Pdoc and I fear they may change my diagnosis

Then again perhaps this would be a good thing as so far I have been Bi-polar schizophrenia and schizo-affective.

Is it possible to have massive delusions of persecution, Many voices talking to me all the time but not have schizo-affective and have a personality disorder instead.

All I know is that for the first time in 30 years I actually feel stable. I am on lurasidone (latuda) sertraline and lithium. This combination of drugs for me is fantastic along with CAT therepy
Is that your first experience of therapy? I looked exit techniques up on google and it says something about an out of body experience.
Do you feel that the drugs numb your experience of pain? I've heard of some people on Lithium describing being at a complete remove from their emotions. That's how i felt when my doctor gave me a really high anti depressant dosage to start off... it was so strange because I was so used to over-feeling everything and then suddenly i felt miles away from my emotions. So eventually lowered it.
I'm sorry you have delusions of persecution, and hear voices, that must be difficult. I am glad your therapy is helping you.
 
D

dewey

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#28
Thanks to everyone who is sharing their experiences of therapy on here, I am starting to feel not so alone.
 
M

myjourney2

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#29
My honest opinion on therapy is it helps, but only because having anyone to talk to/listen to you is helpful.

Again my opinion, therapists are better than just having some random person listen because they are trained, but not at all worth the amount of money they charge.

Also, I've had much more luck talking to friends/family/lovers who I really trust. I find it really hard to open up to them about my disease at first (I guess therapists are easier to open up to, and maybe the only option for really depressed/anxiety people) but once you open up to them nothing beats that kind of connection.
 
Poppy2014

Poppy2014

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#30
Hi
I managed from 17-35 because I had to, I'm an organiser, Steve called me a Master Puppeteer, I married at 18, had a daughter at 19, and then my husband became seriously mentally ill following an accident.

I had to learn to put things, people wherever I needed or wanted them, I had to protect my husband and daughter.
At the age of 26 I moved into nursing after spending 6 years in community working up to district manager.
This gave me some insight but it was also my salvation, it was the place I went to hide from all the rubbish going on at home.
Then at the age of 35 in 2008 my mother managed to do what no one else had done over the years, she broke me, she made me realise I was completely worthless, and the rest is history.

On the 7th of my I attended to kill myself for the first time and the 9th for the second. My practice nurse was phenomenal.

However after 2 weeks of crisis intervention home therapy, followed by 20 weeks with the mental health team I was discharged, "cured" because I hadn't done anything again.

I met John after being referred to pain management, he started with CBT, useless, then went into REBT, slightly better but still no good for me, but he did work through some stuff with me and I saw him on and off for about 5 years. He told me there was something more. Though he thought bipolar. In 2013 I got the courage up to approach a GP, who told me I was fat, forty and had fibromyalgia so if course I was depressed. Unfortunately the NHS caught up with us and I had to stop seeing John.

I changed GP's, however I did decide to try one of the trust's new mental health staff, it was quite funny, as the guy I saw there, Dave, had been my husband's CPN all those years ago, his words were, I often wondered how long it would take to see you, but 16 years isn't bad.
But when we started talking he realised it was really bad.

He persuaded me to try the GP again, and finally in Jan 2015 my psychiatrist saw me and said it most definitely wasn't bipolar, but it was BPD. The difference being bipolar the cycles are long, so they go into deep depression for weeks then can go high and conquer the world for weeks.
My cycling was rapid I could go high to low and back to high again in a matter of hours.. in therapy with Steve we called it cycloning.

Once I had the diagnosis, Kat, the psych was adamant about the order of therapy and I was never to have 2 different sorts together.
So first of all I spent 1.5 years with Dave working on emotions and emotional recognition. Once I could label an emotion and do it consistently I was to have CAT,
CAT has very few consultants and in our MH trust there was 3, however I only work with male therapists.
This narrowed my choice to 1 and the original wait list was 14 months, I was never going to survive this by myself so I looked for other forms of support as I didn't want to mix up any of the order for therapy

By now I'd moved out of physical nursing into lecturing at university, so I received support through access to work and the disabled student allowance.
Liam supported me in work, he wasn't a counsellor, just someone to offload crap to and act as mediator between me and my employer (although she was great)
Then I acquired a study mentor (I'm doing a PhD) who allows me to offload about all the stuff that stops me doing work.

CAT came via a private therapist as my initial 14 months wait rolled over and over, in June 2016 I contacted Steve, met him, liked him and agreed to work with him. Be wary of men with quiet voices who listen.... his work was supposed to be 24 sessions, it took me that long to actually trust him. 48 sessions later I was fuming, didn't want to leave, he was my rock, the person who made my world right again.

But he was adamant and held his nerve and I respect him so much for that. I couldn't have wished for someone better to do the grounding, this is what CAT gave me, an understanding of the me, what I do, why I do it, he made me realise I am me, not BPD, he wouldn't allow the BPD label into therapy, as he said BPD is 3 letters that someone put on a page because they couldn't do anything else.
It does not and will not define the person you are.
He talked about a continuum of symptoms, imagine a flat field then a huge hill in the middle of the field, then on the other side of the hill Rocky terrain that no-one can cross.
Every one starts on the flat field, that's normal emotional responses to everyday situations, some people have had a good childhood or no really traumatic things in their life. They look at the hill and say no, it's ridiculous, why would we climb that when we can't even do anything at the other side.
People with BPD, start off up the hill determined they can conquer it and the world. Then half way up they go no, this is ridiculous, and go back down again.
Some though who's symptoms are worse will carry on up the hill, they are still in a cyclone, conquering all, a few with really bad symptoms get to the top and start going over, but they came be rescued still, help arrives, and they go back down.
Finally some people who don't seek help or recognise what's happening, those with the very worst symptoms, get into.the rocks, and their life is a constant flux, but it doesn't mean they can't start off back up the hill as long as the right support is there.
That's described me exactly, by the time I met Steve I was a rocks person, by the time I finished CAT I'm a flat/ halfway up the hill and come back down person.

EMDR will hopefully give me the tools to become a flat field walker and to recognise that there are some hills even I can't climb, but their are others that are okay to climb because I had some crap in my life.
 
D

dewey

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Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
204
#31
Hi
I managed from 17-35 because I had to, I'm an organiser, Steve called me a Master Puppeteer, I married at 18, had a daughter at 19, and then my husband became seriously mentally ill following an accident.

I had to learn to put things, people wherever I needed or wanted them, I had to protect my husband and daughter.
At the age of 26 I moved into nursing after spending 6 years in community working up to district manager.
This gave me some insight but it was also my salvation, it was the place I went to hide from all the rubbish going on at home.
Then at the age of 35 in 2008 my mother managed to do what no one else had done over the years, she broke me, she made me realise I was completely worthless, and the rest is history.

On the 7th of my I attended to kill myself for the first time and the 9th for the second. My practice nurse was phenomenal.

However after 2 weeks of crisis intervention home therapy, followed by 20 weeks with the mental health team I was discharged, "cured" because I hadn't done anything again.

I met John after being referred to pain management, he started with CBT, useless, then went into REBT, slightly better but still no good for me, but he did work through some stuff with me and I saw him on and off for about 5 years. He told me there was something more. Though he thought bipolar. In 2013 I got the courage up to approach a GP, who told me I was fat, forty and had fibromyalgia so if course I was depressed. Unfortunately the NHS caught up with us and I had to stop seeing John.

I changed GP's, however I did decide to try one of the trust's new mental health staff, it was quite funny, as the guy I saw there, Dave, had been my husband's CPN all those years ago, his words were, I often wondered how long it would take to see you, but 16 years isn't bad.
But when we started talking he realised it was really bad.

He persuaded me to try the GP again, and finally in Jan 2015 my psychiatrist saw me and said it most definitely wasn't bipolar, but it was BPD. The difference being bipolar the cycles are long, so they go into deep depression for weeks then can go high and conquer the world for weeks.
My cycling was rapid I could go high to low and back to high again in a matter of hours.. in therapy with Steve we called it cycloning.

Once I had the diagnosis, Kat, the psych was adamant about the order of therapy and I was never to have 2 different sorts together.
So first of all I spent 1.5 years with Dave working on emotions and emotional recognition. Once I could label an emotion and do it consistently I was to have CAT,
CAT has very few consultants and in our MH trust there was 3, however I only work with male therapists.
This narrowed my choice to 1 and the original wait list was 14 months, I was never going to survive this by myself so I looked for other forms of support as I didn't want to mix up any of the order for therapy

By now I'd moved out of physical nursing into lecturing at university, so I received support through access to work and the disabled student allowance.
Liam supported me in work, he wasn't a counsellor, just someone to offload crap to and act as mediator between me and my employer (although she was great)
Then I acquired a study mentor (I'm doing a PhD) who allows me to offload about all the stuff that stops me doing work.

CAT came via a private therapist as my initial 14 months wait rolled over and over, in June 2016 I contacted Steve, met him, liked him and agreed to work with him. Be wary of men with quiet voices who listen.... his work was supposed to be 24 sessions, it took me that long to actually trust him. 48 sessions later I was fuming, didn't want to leave, he was my rock, the person who made my world right again.

But he was adamant and held his nerve and I respect him so much for that. I couldn't have wished for someone better to do the grounding, this is what CAT gave me, an understanding of the me, what I do, why I do it, he made me realise I am me, not BPD, he wouldn't allow the BPD label into therapy, as he said BPD is 3 letters that someone put on a page because they couldn't do anything else.
It does not and will not define the person you are.
He talked about a continuum of symptoms, imagine a flat field then a huge hill in the middle of the field, then on the other side of the hill Rocky terrain that no-one can cross.
Every one starts on the flat field, that's normal emotional responses to everyday situations, some people have had a good childhood or no really traumatic things in their life. They look at the hill and say no, it's ridiculous, why would we climb that when we can't even do anything at the other side.
People with BPD, start off up the hill determined they can conquer it and the world. Then half way up they go no, this is ridiculous, and go back down again.
Some though who's symptoms are worse will carry on up the hill, they are still in a cyclone, conquering all, a few with really bad symptoms get to the top and start going over, but they came be rescued still, help arrives, and they go back down.
Finally some people who don't seek help or recognise what's happening, those with the very worst symptoms, get into.the rocks, and their life is a constant flux, but it doesn't mean they can't start off back up the hill as long as the right support is there.
That's described me exactly, by the time I met Steve I was a rocks person, by the time I finished CAT I'm a flat/ halfway up the hill and come back down person.

EMDR will hopefully give me the tools to become a flat field walker and to recognise that there are some hills even I can't climb, but their are others that are okay to climb because I had some crap in my life.
Interesting story. Good determination.
Why do you think you only want to see male therapists only?
And that's amazing you're doing a phd and good they've given you that extra support.
Interesting you use disability allowance, maybe that's something I should've used more in the past but then I always have this weird thing where I tell myself I don't really have a disability.

Where I am at personally with the therapist is like, I'll give this a go for a little longer to see where we are. But I want more from the therapist that I feel I'm just not getting.
 
D

dewey

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Messages
204
#32
My honest opinion on therapy is it helps, but only because having anyone to talk to/listen to you is helpful.

Again my opinion, therapists are better than just having some random person listen because they are trained, but not at all worth the amount of money they charge.

Also, I've had much more luck talking to friends/family/lovers who I really trust. I find it really hard to open up to them about my disease at first (I guess therapists are easier to open up to, and maybe the only option for really depressed/anxiety people) but once you open up to them nothing beats that kind of connection.
True talking to friends can help you feel supported, but I always end up not wanting to burden people and feel like I should keep my issues to myself.
I feel there could be better forms of therapy out there. Too many of my therapists have just been passive listeners, which just means me talking, them sitting there acknowledging my pain but what use is that I think to myself. On the other end of the spectrum I had a therapist that was way too bossy and authoritarian in her approach and wouldn't let me speak in the sessions.
I feel some people just have a personal intuitive talent for being therapists, if you're lucky to stumble across one that's a good thing
 
Poppy2014

Poppy2014

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
yorkshire
#33
You're right, some therapists are just that, some are beyond all hope and some are just right for you.
I've lucked out.
My crisis team were hopeless I had a newly qualified and 2 women, I saw a different person every day for 2 weeks so it was a constant rehash of the story. Andy was okay for 20 weeks but apart from listening didn't offer much practical advice.

John, Dave, Steve and Eamonn have been different again.
But while I have had 3 therapists (with the occasional female thrown in, Steve's CAT was the one that made the difference.
Why male therapists? They are much more about dealing and less about feeling, I find them much more pragmatic and easier to relate to. There were other reasons, such as manipulation, control and being 2nd which played a part. But the biggest reason is I struggle opening up to women as I see that as being weak, because out of everyone in my life it was my mother that finally broke me after opening up and telling her things. She turned them and used them against me.

Saying that I have for the first time recently agreed to work with a Neuro psychologist as I was referred by the neurologist for pain control, he wondered if my psychological pain was contributing to physical pain. While I didn't mind her I didn't get a lot out of therapy as I didn't feel as connected.

But my PhD Disabled student support mentor is a female and she is absolutely perfect for this job.

In terms of where you are at with your psychotherapy, why don't you sit down next session, take in dome notes and tell her exactly what you have said here, about feeling not listened to, about not knowing what you are doing, and about how little connection you have because you aren't getting any support back.
I tried a new therapy last year as needed offloading, but it was hopeless, I spent more of the therapy explaining some tens to him than I did doing anything useful it was Gestalt therapy and supposedly patient led. After 10 sessions I called it a day. I think your psychodynamic sounds a lot like that.
Good luck, xx
 
G

Girl interupted

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#34
You need to turn that around. They may be passive listeners, but have you been an active patient?

Therapy requires work. It sucks sometimes, but you have to find someone you trust and dig in. Only then will you find any relief.
 
D

dewey

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#35
You need to turn that around. They may be passive listeners, but have you been an active patient?

Therapy requires work. It sucks sometimes, but you have to find someone you trust and dig in. Only then will you find any relief.
There is probably a certain level on which I need to be more willing to talk about things, but there's a reason why I avoid talking about them.
Firstly to protect myself but also, it's quite difficult that I have opened up about a lot of difficult things, and feeling that they are just there in the space. No real enlightenment or healing really comes from it. It's like talking about a terrible thing, and then the therapist just mirroring it back. All it does is just exist in the room there, and so no wonder I dread going back there each week.
Probably still living in my family home is just making things worse. I've tried to resolve my problems with family members, tackling what I'm trying to run from head on, but at the same time, there's a limit to what I can put myself through. Some things never change so I shouldn't really be living here. I guess it will be hard for therapy to work while I'm re-living many of the experiences that were so hard for me.
 
D

dewey

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#36
Yeah, I found that so bizarre when I had a crisis team come and a different person would come each time.
What do you mean by 'being second'? Sorry for being so specific I'm just really interested to know about other people's therapy experiences. It's interesting that you think men and women can offer different kinds of therapy, I never thought about it like that.
Thank you for wishing me luck, I also wish you luck.
 
G

Girl interupted

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#37
Probably still living in my family home is just making things worse. I've tried to resolve my problems with family members, tackling what I'm trying to run from head on, but at the same time, there's a limit to what I can put myself through. Some things never change so I shouldn't really be living here. I guess it will be hard for therapy to work while I'm re-living many of the experiences that were so hard for me.
Hal we are the same person. Confirmed.

And I’m here to tell you everything I did wrong, that hindered my capacity to heal, was going back home to live after going through something bad.

It’s like Sartre’s No Exit play, “the devil you know....” but if you are in an environment that is source or birth of your disorder, it’s a Herculean effort to even gain a small step forward. Sartre also coined the term “hell is other people” in that play.

Sometimes we don’t have a choice though, nowhere to go but home. I’m in that situation now, but at least my main tormentor has recently passed away. So there’s some peace. I do get the no choice thing, but you need to get to a place of stability where that choice is eliminated. Because going home comes at a cost.

You also have to get to a place where you no longer joust at windmills, trying to get people to change. I wasted far too much of my life doing that and the subsequent anxiety from it only compounded aspects of my bpd. If you can learn to do that early in life, you will save yourself so much heartache.
 
Poppy2014

Poppy2014

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#38
It hard to describe what my life has been like here, it is in my 1st blog, but the long and short is my worth as a female, I never came first with my mum, it was always about the boys. I wasn't worth anything but collateral damage.
Being vulnerable with a female counsellor put me in the same position, another female controlled my life, (that's how skewed my thinking was). So when I had the opportunity to say I refused to work with females.

Another reason from background meant that by working with males, if I could make them do what I wanted proved I was stronger than they were, I was "superior". John quickly disabused me of that idea, but I could at times manipulate both him and Dave into doing what I wanted especially when things became tough and they wanted to talk about things I didn't.

Steve, I can't explain, CAT is normally 16 session for standard CAT, 24 sessions is normal for BPD due to trust development. Steve was quiet, insistent, challenging, I asked him to push, to not let me hide, and he took me at my word, we realised early on 24 wasn't going to be enough, CAT usually goes in blocks of 8 or 12. I used to come out of the sessions absolutely no wiser as to what we'd done, I said from the beginning I don't know what
happened in CAT, but whatever it was when I finally buckled, I gave control to Steve, I needed him to steer me, guide me, and walk me through the feelings of insecurity.
He did this, and some of the things I told him were not nice, but at no time did he ever make me feel small or worthless. He held me to account for some of my actions made me see what I was doing, but he also taught me why I was doing it and why/how to see it and most of the time stop it.

He made me feel safe, and when it was time to end it became a battle in its own right. But Steve held out, sure in his belief that it was time. And I know without a shadow of a doubt he was right.

I know this because it's been 16months since I last saw him, I haven't bounced, self sabotaged, I've asked for help when I needed it instead of drowning and then becoming hyper. But most of all I knew because at 26 weeks after therapy I hadn't tried to kill myself again, but more importantly I don't want to.

12 months came at a funny time, in fact it couldn't have been more appropriate if it tried.
The week of 12months came on the same week as I tried to kill myself the first time. To treat myself I did something I should have done years before. I traded my old car in and bought myself some new memories in the form of a bright red car.
I'm not going to say CAT wouldn't have worked if it was a female, but I really really am not sure I could have given the level of control or trust to one.

Eamonn is a whole new story, but he was the psychologist who confirmed the diagnosis in 2015, and again because he is only 1 of 2 people (the other is female) who do level 4 EMDR in our trust I held out for him. The level of trust required for this therapy is as much as for CAT and I'm not prepared to risk it on a female who I still don't know if I could be that comfortable with.

So that's why males, and that's why I don't want to be 2nd.
Oh and I don't cry as much when it's men, I don't know why that is, but I suspect it is to do with my own feelings of worthlessness.
 
D

dewey

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#39
Hal we are the same person. Confirmed.

And I’m here to tell you everything I did wrong, that hindered my capacity to heal, was going back home to live after going through something bad.

It’s like Sartre’s No Exit play, “the devil you know....” but if you are in an environment that is source or birth of your disorder, it’s a Herculean effort to even gain a small step forward. Sartre also coined the term “hell is other people” in that play.

Sometimes we don’t have a choice though, nowhere to go but home. I’m in that situation now, but at least my main tormentor has recently passed away. So there’s some peace. I do get the no choice thing, but you need to get to a place of stability where that choice is eliminated. Because going home comes at a cost.

You also have to get to a place where you no longer joust at windmills, trying to get people to change. I wasted far too much of my life doing that and the subsequent anxiety from it only compounded aspects of my bpd. If you can learn to do that early in life, you will save yourself so much heartache.
Yes as humans we need to have some degree of separation from others and realise our limitations. We can't change others but we can change ourselves and attract non-toxic good people into our lives through that so our situation generally improves. I believe that.
It's amazing how much energy some people will expend trying to change or help others, but not try to change or help themselves. In that way, selfishness can be a virtue.

And as an unrelated point, I think I am starting to slowly realise how many of my issues, in relation to depression, self loathing and guilt, actually come with the idea that people are expecting me to be something, and that I feel some kind of imaginary pressure to live up to some ideal that I've created. A lot of it is just about a sense of expectation I put on myself. But I believe you can change that level of self expectation so it's more self loving and more practical. Things don't have to be about these huge innundations of emotion and lack of self esteem, if you take each day step by step and realise that you don't have to be some kind of finished perfect product of a human. I don't know exactly where I'm going with this idea, but letting go of what others expect of us and developing self worth, I'm realising is a huge part of this process of getting better.

I'm trying to change my mentality with the upcoming therapy. I think I have some things I need to say in terms of 'I view this as a negative space where I'm coming to unburden all the bad things in my life and so I dread coming here'. I honestly believe I need some form of therapy which is more reciprocal and less just about me talking about crap things that have happened to me.
 
D

dewey

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#40
It hard to describe what my life has been like here, it is in my 1st blog, but the long and short is my worth as a female, I never came first with my mum, it was always about the boys. I wasn't worth anything but collateral damage.
Being vulnerable with a female counsellor put me in the same position, another female controlled my life, (that's how skewed my thinking was). So when I had the opportunity to say I refused to work with females.

Another reason from background meant that by working with males, if I could make them do what I wanted proved I was stronger than they were, I was "superior". John quickly disabused me of that idea, but I could at times manipulate both him and Dave into doing what I wanted especially when things became tough and they wanted to talk about things I didn't.

Steve, I can't explain, CAT is normally 16 session for standard CAT, 24 sessions is normal for BPD due to trust development. Steve was quiet, insistent, challenging, I asked him to push, to not let me hide, and he took me at my word, we realised early on 24 wasn't going to be enough, CAT usually goes in blocks of 8 or 12. I used to come out of the sessions absolutely no wiser as to what we'd done, I said from the beginning I don't know what
happened in CAT, but whatever it was when I finally buckled, I gave control to Steve, I needed him to steer me, guide me, and walk me through the feelings of insecurity.
He did this, and some of the things I told him were not nice, but at no time did he ever make me feel small or worthless. He held me to account for some of my actions made me see what I was doing, but he also taught me why I was doing it and why/how to see it and most of the time stop it.

He made me feel safe, and when it was time to end it became a battle in its own right. But Steve held out, sure in his belief that it was time. And I know without a shadow of a doubt he was right.

I know this because it's been 16months since I last saw him, I haven't bounced, self sabotaged, I've asked for help when I needed it instead of drowning and then becoming hyper. But most of all I knew because at 26 weeks after therapy I hadn't tried to kill myself again, but more importantly I don't want to.

12 months came at a funny time, in fact it couldn't have been more appropriate if it tried.
The week of 12months came on the same week as I tried to kill myself the first time. To treat myself I did something I should have done years before. I traded my old car in and bought myself some new memories in the form of a bright red car.
I'm not going to say CAT wouldn't have worked if it was a female, but I really really am not sure I could have given the level of control or trust to one.

Eamonn is a whole new story, but he was the psychologist who confirmed the diagnosis in 2015, and again because he is only 1 of 2 people (the other is female) who do level 4 EMDR in our trust I held out for him. The level of trust required for this therapy is as much as for CAT and I'm not prepared to risk it on a female who I still don't know if I could be that comfortable with.

So that's why males, and that's why I don't want to be 2nd.
Oh and I don't cry as much when it's men, I don't know why that is, but I suspect it is to do with my own feelings of worthlessness.
Fair enough. Sounds like you've been on quite a journey with your various courses of therapy and I'm glad you don't feel like you want to end yourself anymore.
It's encouraging to hear.