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Therapy isn’t helping **TW - discusses suicide attempt, rape and abuse**

justasimplecat

justasimplecat

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Ontario, Canada
Hi,

I posted here some months ago about my ordeal with past gang rape and how it resurfaced again and how the trauma has been tormenting me: ( Was this rape? **TRIGGER WARNING** Discusses rape & abuse )

Anyway, I finally got a new therapist after trying to take my own life (and almost succeeding!) not long ago, and just like every single other therapist I’ve had, they just keep making me talk about it and re-live it all over again.
It’s obviously making me very very uncomfortable and re-traumatizing me by talking about it.
I’ve expressed to my therapist that I just want to move forward with my life. I want to forget it all again and move on, just be happy for once in my pathetic miserable f***ing life! I told them that I don’t want to keep going over it, and they told me that in order to heal, I need to revisit past traumas and address them, blah blah blah.
But can’t they see? It’s killing me! I physically cannot do it any more.
After every single therapy session, I just feel drained and tearful.
My sex life now is pretty much completely dead. My husband and I don’t have sex any more and although he’s been amazing and supportive, and hasn’t complained once (to me anyway?), I’m terrified that eventually this will all become too much and he will get fed up of our sexless marriage, and cheat on me and/or dump me for another guy who will give him what he wants.
He’s never said this, I just worry that’s all.
I’m scared of losing him, but I just can’t bring myself to do it, even if I take on the top role, I just can’t bring myself to do it. :(
I’ve become so useless.

I still blame myself partly, for what happened to me.
I know they are at fault, obviously! But I still partly blame myself.
The truth is, I had been raped twice before this took place (by two separate guys, but they were on their own; this particular incident was three of them!), so I feel like I should have seen this coming somehow; I should have seen the signs. I should have escaped or stopped it or SOMETHING.
Obviously I did try to tell them I didn’t want it, but they wouldn’t listen to me. My then-boyfriend was calling the shots.
He gave them “permission” on my behalf.
It’s been a few years so I can’t report them either. I have literally no evidence. It would be my word against theirs, and I know exactly what they’d say: that they had consent to do it to me (albeit not actually MINE but my then-boyfriend’s!), and that I didn’t fight back. Which is true; I totally froze after the initial few tries of trying to escape and being pinned down by them.
I just feel like therapy isn’t helping.
It’s not just this therapist, it’s every therapist I’ve ever had; they want me to talk about my traumas and revisit them to try and come to terms with them. But all that seems to do is re-traumatize me all over again.
I just want to move on. I want to forget.
I want to bury it all away again and just be happy, restart my life again maybe, in a way.
Because right now, and for the last few years, therapy just isn’t helping.
I’ve tried so many and it’s all the same. And yes I’ve tried every damn medication under the sun; that doesn’t help either. Nothing does. Nothing helps.
I just want it all to go away and move on with my life.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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They shouldn't be re-traumatising you. Can you see a clinical psychologist who specialises in trauma? If you feel they are making mistakes/inexperienced in this area, please don't continue with it. Maybe you could educate them politely and then by their reaction decide whether it is safe for you to continue.

Some people think it is good to talk, but it is not right for everyone. If you appear stable and coping, maybe the therapist thought it was safe to press you but they should have noticed your discomfort.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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I don't think it ever goes away and we cannot get on with our life like it was before. It becomes a new normal, for me. I didn't go through anything like what you did but i also am struggling to build a nice life for myself that i can cope with.

Avoiding stress has been very important. I find that slow and steady healing is good for me. As i am going about my life, there is a drip drip of healing and that is best for me. I don't work which is very sad for me but this is my life now and it is nice.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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Therapy, some people find 6 weeks here and there is ok.
EMDR can be destabilising too but for some it helps.
 
justasimplecat

justasimplecat

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They shouldn't be re-traumatising you. Can you see a clinical psychologist who specialises in trauma? If you feel they are making mistakes/inexperienced in this area, please don't continue with it. Maybe you could educate them politely and then by their reaction decide whether it is safe for you to continue.

Some people think it is good to talk, but it is not right for everyone. If you appear stable and coping, maybe the therapist thought it was safe to press you but they should have noticed your discomfort.
I am seeing a trauma therapist.
She’s giving me CBT and part of that is exposure therapy, because she wants me to work on my avoidance.
I don’t want to “work on” this. For me, avoidance helps.
Therapists all seem to have this very one size fits all approach, and don’t seem to realize that not everyone wants to keep going over it and “process” it!
When I keep busy and think of my future, I feel happy. But being re-triggered is so harmful to me.
When I’m re-triggered I self harm or try to kill myself, so really, exposure therapy might actually ironically be the death of me one day!
I know they want me to acknowledge what happened to me, and I do. How can I not?
Every day it’s there at the back of my mind at the very least, and what hurts more is the fact that I KNOW I’m partly to blame for my own rape. I wasn’t strong enough to fight all three of them off me so I just froze.
I had no choice obviously. But still.
Society would blame me, defence lawyers would blame me, a judge would probably blame me too. Logically there must be a reason they’d blame me, right?
I accept it’s my fault. I don’t like it, of course I don’t. I’m disgusted and angry at myself for being so weak and dirty and disgusting letting three men do that to me. I hate it but I have come to terms with it.
There is nothing I can do. They’ve won; they got away with it and always will.
Now I just want to forget it ever happened.
No therapy can help me I don’t think.
And I tried EMDR twice before (two different people), it was a total waste of time and money; it did absolutely nothing for me. As far as I’m concerned it’s just some quack/placebo effect nonsense from my experiences with it so I won’t be trying it again.
I just desperately want to forget and move on...
 
Tawny

Tawny

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My experiences are milder so my thoughts on all of this may not be helpful but for me, the best method of dealing with the past and healing was time.

During that time: new good memories, rest, eating well, going to nice places, no stress, movies, music, and yes the occasional very bad day where i would take a sleeping tablet.

It has been hard, maybe a few times i might have died but it has been best for me. We are all different though.

Not all clinical psychologists believe talking is best.

I understand their treatment at a basic level but i also feel that if something doesn't feel right, it isn't. What do i know :) nothing much! i do think one size doesn't fit all though.

You could maybe look at how children are treated for abuse, what therapies they have, i wonder if it is very different? Art therapy?

Peer support is invaluable
Happiness, going to the zoo, crying, gardening groups, painting groups, beading, massage, these are all how people get through life.

War veterans, my grandad, he never got over it, he found life hard but he got married and had children, got drunk, went to work, blew out candles on birthday cakes and laughed. I think this is nothing new.

Other people's actions are not your fault though. We don't make people do things. You didn't tell them what to do. They did it of their own free will. You, on the other hand, did not choose yes this is what i want to happen, so that makes it their fault, their action. They hurt you very seriously and add that sort of experience to our other problems in life, if you had other problems, it can be too much. Depression, it is hard.

I don't understand acknowledgment? Is that the same as acceptance?

Do you like ice cream?
Do you live near a beach? I'm going in the week to a beach near me and going to paddle.
 
S

SunnyDaze

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The only way past it is through it,that's what the trauma experts say.

I went through years of trauma therapy and I do believe it was one of the hardest things I've done in my life.

It was so destabilizing. It was extremely rough to go through. My therapist tailored the therapy based on how I was handling it. Sometimes he spread out sessions to give me time to process and stabilize. Sometimes he had me go in twice per week. The therapy was always about me and how I was doing.

Talking about all the sexual abuse,rapes,etc was so hard to do. But it was well worth it. I know I will never get over any of it but I am doing so much better than before the therapy.

Hugs
 
justasimplecat

justasimplecat

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The only way past it is through it,that's what the trauma experts say.

I went through years of trauma therapy and I do believe it was one of the hardest things I've done in my life.

It was so destabilizing. It was extremely rough to go through. My therapist tailored the therapy based on how I was handling it. Sometimes he spread out sessions to give me time to process and stabilize. Sometimes he had me go in twice per week. The therapy was always about me and how I was doing.

Talking about all the sexual abuse,rapes,etc was so hard to do. But it was well worth it. I know I will never get over any of it but I am doing so much better than before the therapy.

Hugs
But that method doesn’t work for everyone. That’s what I’m trying to say.
I keep having this belief forced upon me, but all it does is make me even worse, to the point I have tried to take my own life multiple times.
I can’t keep re-living it. I have been forced to re-live and go over ALL my past rapes and assaults for years now, and every time, I end up in hospital.
It just does not work for me.
I’m glad it works for you, seriously, but it doesn’t for me.
Therapies aren’t a one size fits all.
I physically cannot keep going through it because one day I think I really will wind up dead. It’s re-traumatizing me to the point I genuinely think I could be dead soon if I have to keep doing it.

I have tried countless types of therapies, and none of them have worked.
I’ve been put on multiple medications and they did nothing either.
Honestly, I’m happiest when I’m busy; when I’m working on something I love, being pro-active about things.
I love being near/in nature and water. Where I live right now is a city in the Greater Toronto Area (inland), and my husband and I made the decision at last, to move closer to Lake Ontario, because I just have this need to get away from this city.
There are far too many awful memories and triggers here, and I need to be away from here, away from the reminders.
I personally feel like being near the water will help me. I can’t explain it, but it’s such an overwhelmingly strong feeling, I have to do it.

But as for therapy, I honestly think it’s made matters worse for me.
 
S

SunnyDaze

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I didn't want to stick with therapy either. My therapist kept telling me it gets worse before it gets better. So many times I wanted to quit and was suicidal. I trusted what he kept telling me and stuck with it.

You know yourself better than anyone else. If you don't want to do therapy then that's your own personal choice. Just don't do it if you don't want to.

I do still struggle and I'm sure I always will. I don't think anyone can go through 17 years of sexual abuse and rapes in childhood and ever completely be "ok". But like I said,I'm doing much better than before trauma therapy.

My therapist used pretty much used every modality there is. EMDR for specific traumas,CBT,ACT,DBT,art therapy,dream work,anything he thought would be helpful.

The most important thing for me was understanding none of it was my own fault,working through all the cognitive distortions and beliefs I had about myself and the world. And all the shame and self blame.

Therapy sucked. It really did. But it was the best thing for me,personally. If it's not for you or not something you want to do,that's ok,we are all different.

Hugs
 
justasimplecat

justasimplecat

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Thank you.
I wish it did work but after years and years of trying so many things (and ending up nearly killing myself!), I just can’t do it anymore.
I and my husband have figured out that moving away and having a fresh start would be the ideal thing to do.
Honestly, ever since we’ve gotten the plan in motion and been proactive about getting our house valued and looking for a new one in a different city by the Lake, I just feel like a huge, huge weight is being lifted off of my shoulders.
My intuition is telling me this is the right thing to do, and I feel calm and even excited about it.

I mean it’s great that therapies worked for other people, but it doesn’t work for me.
I keep being made to feel like it’s my fault or I’m a failure. People on another forum I’m on, seem to be dogpiling on me right now, and trying to force it on me, saying or implying that I’m “letting myself down” or “failing myself” and saying “oh you’ll never heal.”
How do they know? It’s so horrible and makes me feel like crap.

Thank you for being the one person to actually acknowledge that it is my choice and that not everything works for everyone. I really appreciate it
 
Z

Zoe1

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I think trauma therapy and exposure therapy are two different things
exposure sounds like a form of gestalt
which I would never go into

a good trauma therapist should not make you feel exposed like that
but allow you to open up only what you feel ready for
 
carlita

carlita

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Hi,

I posted here some months ago about my ordeal with past gang rape and how it resurfaced again and how the trauma has been tormenting me: ( Was this rape? **TRIGGER WARNING** Discusses rape & abuse )

Anyway, I finally got a new therapist after trying to take my own life (and almost succeeding!) not long ago, and just like every single other therapist I’ve had, they just keep making me talk about it and re-live it all over again.
It’s obviously making me very very uncomfortable and re-traumatizing me by talking about it.
I’ve expressed to my therapist that I just want to move forward with my life. I want to forget it all again and move on, just be happy for once in my pathetic miserable f***ing life! I told them that I don’t want to keep going over it, and they told me that in order to heal, I need to revisit past traumas and address them, blah blah blah.
But can’t they see? It’s killing me! I physically cannot do it any more.
After every single therapy session, I just feel drained and tearful.
My sex life now is pretty much completely dead. My husband and I don’t have sex any more and although he’s been amazing and supportive, and hasn’t complained once (to me anyway?), I’m terrified that eventually this will all become too much and he will get fed up of our sexless marriage, and cheat on me and/or dump me for another guy who will give him what he wants.
He’s never said this, I just worry that’s all.
I’m scared of losing him, but I just can’t bring myself to do it, even if I take on the top role, I just can’t bring myself to do it. :(
I’ve become so useless.

I still blame myself partly, for what happened to me.
I know they are at fault, obviously! But I still partly blame myself.
The truth is, I had been raped twice before this took place (by two separate guys, but they were on their own; this particular incident was three of them!), so I feel like I should have seen this coming somehow; I should have seen the signs. I should have escaped or stopped it or SOMETHING.
Obviously I did try to tell them I didn’t want it, but they wouldn’t listen to me. My then-boyfriend was calling the shots.
He gave them “permission” on my behalf.
It’s been a few years so I can’t report them either. I have literally no evidence. It would be my word against theirs, and I know exactly what they’d say: that they had consent to do it to me (albeit not actually MINE but my then-boyfriend’s!), and that I didn’t fight back. Which is true; I totally froze after the initial few tries of trying to escape and being pinned down by them.
I just feel like therapy isn’t helping.
It’s not just this therapist, it’s every therapist I’ve ever had; they want me to talk about my traumas and revisit them to try and come to terms with them. But all that seems to do is re-traumatize me all over again.
I just want to move on. I want to forget.
I want to bury it all away again and just be happy, restart my life again maybe, in a way.
Because right now, and for the last few years, therapy just isn’t helping.
I’ve tried so many and it’s all the same. And yes I’ve tried every damn medication under the sun; that doesn’t help either. Nothing does. Nothing helps.
I just want it all to go away and move on with my life.
Do you have a friend that can vouch for you? If you're not in danger to yourself and others, a friend can say they'll "watch over you." (my personal experience) I wonder if you can say that you will stay (temporarily) if you can say you specifically want to speak to a trauma therapist.

Also, ask if there are other methods than retraumatizing you. I read that that method is really not as useful because, as you said, it makes you go through the experience again and therapy ideally is supposed to help with the opposite. Some people don't need to relive the experience in order to address symptoms and give support and resources.

I don't know. I had a friend whose in similar situation. His sister committed him. He's stuck in a group home and although he's very very healthy otherwise, lack of resources and situational depression got the best of him.

I think you'll get it, it's just hard dealing with more than one thing at the same time.
 
justasimplecat

justasimplecat

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Messages
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Location
Ontario, Canada
I already do have a trauma therapist.
Well. I should say I DID; today I told her I no longer want to have therapy and ended our ‘relationship’ if that’s what you can even call it?.
And I have tried so many other methods over the years, plus medication, I’m pretty sure I have mentioned this?

Vouch for me???? What do you mean?
I have my husband... I live with him?
I have had stays in psychiatric hospitals which offered me CBT and trauma therapy too but that didn’t work.
I’m not going to keep trying something that has failed me multiple times over the years.
Feel like I keep repeating myself about this. Trauma therapy doesn’t work.
No therapy I have tried works for me.
Probably worth mentioning that I’m also on the ASD spectrum so that probably doesn’t help matters either?

For now we’re focusing on taking me away from this toxic environment and hopefully that will work.
 

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