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Would therapy help me


Alwaystrying
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Hello

 

I'm nearly 50, single female with amazing family and friends, I try to always be happy and grateful for what I have, however for some reason this year has brought so many memories that I had locked away, to the front of my mind. They are encroaching on every desicion I make, and have completely stopped me from moving forward, for the first time in my life.

 

I no longer feel like the adult, I feel like the abused child again, and memories are becoming more vivid.

I feel like someone has lifted the lid on the box that has been chained and hidden away. I don't want to open the box. I want it to stay where I put it over 30 years ago.

 

I have always just accepted that these things happened but I'm still here and I think, relatively 'normal' if there is such a thing.

I'm just so confused as to why now, who unlocked the box. I don't want it open, but how can I shut it.

 

For the first time I'm wondering if therapy would be helpful, but I'm scared to say it all out loud. I am extremely aware that it is the reason that I am who I am, however I have never used it as an excuse for my behaviours l no longer know or see how to move forward.

 

Sorry for the long entrance and thank you in advance to anyone who can maybe point me in the right direction.

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I think it’s very hard for us to give advice about whether or not you should seek therapy without a little more context (about your situation, not about the abuse).

 

In what way do you feel stuck or like you are being held back?

Have your circumstances changed recently?

Are there other things going on?

 

I’m sure others may disagree - but I think that if you don’t want to talk about it - and you’ve managed to function well for the last 30 years - maybe “sticking it in a box” IS a valid way to deal with it. (Key words: “function well”)

 

For what it’s worth, I also think it’s perfectly valid to meet with a therapist and say “Hey! I don’t want to unpack and rehash it but I was abused and here are the challenges i’m currently facing”. Interview a few of them, if you’d like, to find one that you like and are comfortable with and who appears to respect your boundaries.

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I am 52 and chiming in to say I am glad you posted and I hope on this forum you get some valuable input and resources - I might consider therapy if I were in your shoes and maybe as a baby step start with a good book or three on this subject - I don't know of any titles but Martha Beck comes to mind for example. I hope today is a good one for you.

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Sure, it 'could' help, as nobody can promise 'would' to anyone. Consider that people have no trouble hiring a trained plumber, lawyer, or tax expert to help them with practical matters, but what could be more practical than our mental health and quality of life?

 

The fact that these memories are bubbling to the surface may indicate that you've reached a stage of life where you are 'ready' to work through those in ways that may not have been possible for you any earlier. That's not necessarily a 'bad' thing, but hiring someone who is trained in walking people through this stuff makes perfect sense.

 

Depending on your location, consider whether your job offers an Employee Assistance Program (EPA) where 3 free sessions are available to help people through an acute event. If you compare that list of providers with the providers on your insurance plan, you can select a therapist with whom you can continue your work after the 3 sessions if you would like to. If the 3 free sessions prove unproductive, you can select another therapist afterward.

 

First session is considered an assessment, and you'll be presented with options. Nobody will force you to do any work you're not ready for. I hope you'll let us know how it goes.

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The trouble with packing it away is that it still sits there and reminds you in a way and eventually that hidden stress builds up. Taking that box and actually throwing it out, letting the past go completely is a different kind of process. To throw it out, you might have to open the box and sift through some things in order to really let go for good. So maybe that's why. Perhaps you are finally ready for that final step of letting go for good.

 

Whether you need a therapist for that or not, only you can decide. You can always talk to a few and decide for yourself whether it's something you need, something helpful or not at all. I'll just emphasize talking to at least a few because it's like finding the right pair of shoes. You have to try on a few to find the right fit and style.

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I am 49 and I was sexually abused as a child. I can tell you that therapy really helped me, so much so, that I now help other women.

I learned that most people don’t deal with it until their fourth or fifth decade.

It’s a process that really requires someone that understands and has been through the same type of abuse. So, whatever your abuse entailed, try to find a therapist that specializes in that. I found a free group in my local area years ago. I still get counseling on and off as issues come up.

Being aware is the first step. Congratulations.

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I would guess that these thoughts are coming to the fore because you now are ready now to process them. I am perpetually amazed at the ways we have internal valves that protect us from being completely overwhelmed (though it still happens obviously).

 

Yes, therapy would help. I would recommend psychotherapy because of its approach at getting to that inner child and finding a way to heal the child.

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In my opinion you either deal with it - or it deals with you.

Repressed things have a way of effecting your health and emotional well being in different, innocuous ways.

It's always there waiting for you.

I vote for therapy.

I did it off and on for a few years. One of the better investments I made.

 

Absolutely ,you deal with it or it deals with you .

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I've never forgotten the story my friend shared from her travels to a place where people like her were oppressed in all manner of legal, economic, and social expression.

 

What she found was admittance to secret gathering places that had become a hotbed of vocal expression for these silenced people. Sometimes these were caves 80 feet deep or more, dug out just to create a safe place to talk.

 

What lies within will out itself. In a way that we choose, or in a way that we don't (the latter often has damaging consequences), we will express ourselves. It will be empowering to dive in to these most painful events and discover that you are more powerful than the trauma is.

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Hello again all, I am so overwhelmed at the response you have all given. It made me cry to see so many people take the time to reply when you have all got your own lives, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

From reading all the replies, I see that, yes the best option is for me to finally deal with this in some way. I am not sure which way yet but will re read all of this to form a way forward.

Without going into detail as that is the part I am struggling with, and sometimes wonder if I would be believed anyway......

I have been physically, mentally and sexually abused from my earliest memory to the age of 18. Mainly physical, my mum, until she died when I was a young teen, my older brother, during this time and after. Then my uncle carried on until I was so scared for my life I fled in the night at 18. Throughout my school life I was bullied relentlessly.

I married at 19 to the first man who showed me affection, he was a controlling alcoholic emotionally abusive cheating man and I finally found the strength to leave after 12 yrs.

I moved straight on to the next alcoholic and cheating man and finally with my self esteem at rock bottom, left after 16 yrs. I'm nothing if not a glutton for punishment...

Then straight onto the next, he was the nice guy, and not my type but he treated me like I was someone special, I finally thought I had hit the jackpot until I found messages from another woman. I didn't stay this time. No million chances for this one. I spent 30 yrs in relationships and have 2 amazing kids.

And so here I am on my own for a year by choice, as I cannot trust my heart not to be broken again, and it's for the last few months that my tightly sealed box has been opened. And thank you all, I truly see that it needs to be sifted and let go of. My next step after reading all your replies is firmly within my grasp, she says with fear and trepidation.

I'm sad you are all dealing with your own demons, and I wish you all well. I'm so sorry this is so long, but am eternally grateful that I found this board and amazing people and I will ofcourse keep you updated on my journey.

Thank you x

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Hello again all, I am so overwhelmed at the response you have all given. It made me cry to see so many people take the time to reply when you have all got your own lives, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

From reading all the replies, I see that, yes the best option is for me to finally deal with this in some way. I am not sure which way yet but will re read all of this to form a way forward.

Without going into detail as that is the part I am struggling with, and sometimes wonder if I would be believed anyway......

I have been physically, mentally and sexually abused from my earliest memory to the age of 18. Mainly physical, my mum, until she died when I was a young teen, my older brother, during this time and after. Then my uncle carried on until I was so scared for my life I fled in the night at 18. Throughout my school life I was bullied relentlessly.

I married at 19 to the first man who showed me affection, he was a controlling alcoholic emotionally abusive cheating man and I finally found the strength to leave after 12 yrs.

I moved straight on to the next alcoholic and cheating man and finally with my self esteem at rock bottom, left after 16 yrs. I'm nothing if not a glutton for punishment...

Then straight onto the next, he was the nice guy, and not my type but he treated me like I was someone special, I finally thought I had hit the jackpot until I found messages from another woman. I didn't stay this time. No million chances for this one. I spent 30 yrs in relationships and have 2 amazing kids.

And so here I am on my own for a year by choice, as I cannot trust my heart not to be broken again, and it's for the last few months that my tightly sealed box has been opened. And thank you all, I truly see that it needs to be sifted and let go of. My next step after reading all your replies is firmly within my grasp, she says with fear and trepidation.

I'm sad you are all dealing with your own demons, and I wish you all well. I'm so sorry this is so long, but am eternally grateful that I found this board and amazing people and I will ofcourse keep you updated on my journey.

Thank you x

 

Wow! I am sorry (understatement of eons) for your pain but i love love love your story because your strength is obvious. For the first time, in a sense, you are on your own - not looking for another but looking to invest in yourself. You made that happen. That took guts, just like the courage you now display in seeking to make yourself heal and find a gentler path forward. You are an illustration of self respect and survival skills, something I hope you see.

 

We are just like you, students of the school of life. We may stumble in our responses but always there is a wise voice here someplace, and a collection of people who will act as a board of directors, if you will. Please check in some time, if its good for you to do so, and let us know how you are doing.

 

I am excited at the idea of you putting yourself first. What a fantastic journey lies ahead. Best wishes and bon voyage! Send us a post card!

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What you are talking about is emotional baggage or issues, if you prefer (or possibly PTSD). Everyone has some to varying degrees. If you have so much that it's very troubling, yes, you should seek counseling. Counselors are vary skilled at teaching you how to deal with this and have a better life. It won't happen in just one session though.

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