Where is the “real” me?

“Right now, this is the real you. The you in the present moment, the you who is talking to me about these pictures, giving your opinion, no judgement. She’s living in the present moment. I think that’s where the mindfulness piece, and the yoga can really help. That split? Both those states– all okay, or all not okay– is the past. Neither of those states are real, they are from the past. In a sense it’s your worldview, right? That you have to be all good or all bad. Neither of those is you in the present moment; in the present moment is where you find the grey. The real you is the you that is here right now, in the present. That’s the real you.” Bea is talking, and I’m hiding my face. We were looking at pictures of the lake that she had taken on a recent trip, and the way the lake has frozen is awesome and beautiful.

“That’s too complicated,” I mumble. I can’t wrap my head around what she is saying. I don’t understand.

“Yes, it can feel complicated. I think sometimes, it’s so simple, it’s complicated. We make it harder than it really is.”

It’s silent in her office for a while. I don’t know what to say. How to explain. Ugh. I hate this. “It’s…..like……well, kind of…it’s like auto pilot. Automatic, you know?”

“Mmmhmm, okay. Is it automatic, like you were in the moment and so that conversation just felt easy and natural? Or is it autopilot like you are dissociated, maybe like you are looking out from the room in your head? To me, it felt very natural and authentic, it felt like you were here.” Bea asks, and she is calm and sounds like either answer is okay.

I can’t answer. I’m afraid to say it’s autopilot like I’m in the room in my head. I afraid to admit that those conversations, those moments, where I seem real and like I am in the present are the very moments that I don’t feel real; they are the very moments I feel like I am in the room in my head and everything feels like it’s running on automatic, they are the moments I am there but not there. Finally, I say, “I don’t know.”

“Maybe that’s where we start then. Try to notice those moments this week, and see how you feel, what they bring up,” Bea suggests.

I don’t say anything back to her, but it doesn’t matter anyway, because the bad, gross, yucky feelings are spilling out, and I can’t stop myself from crying.

“It seems like something is coming up for you now,” Bea says softly.

I shake my head, and inside I’m repeating NO, NO, NO, over and over. I don’t want anything to come up. I don’t want to have this conversation. I don’t want to feel like this.

“Do you know what it is you are feeling?” She asks me.

I shake my head some more. “I don’t know.” My voice sounds small and tear filled. “Sick. I feel sick. Just bad.”

“It seems like this feeling is coming from the little girl. There was something in your email last night that really struck me. Let me grab it,” Bea says. I can hear her walk over to the table and grab her phone. After a minute, she has my email pulled up. “This, it just seemed like it was really hitting you and connecting, in a really deep way, like you were just realizing this and that it was really painful: ‘I never want to be a child again, being a child was scary because I had no power or control over anything, being a child meant doing what my parents expected and always performing and being perfect and good enough in order to earn their love, and it meant never saying a word about the bad things happening with Kenny, because I was a good girl, and good girls don’t play games like that. Even I knew that. But I couldn’t say no. I had no power to tell anyone no.’ That’s exactly right. It’s the truth. You didn’t have any of the control then.” Bea says this gently, but it still hurts.

I cry and pick at my fingers, curl more into myself. Oh God, do I just want to go away. This hurts too much. “No. No.” I tell Bea. I don’t want that to be right, I want it to be wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

“You really didn’t have any control. You were vulnerable, and he took advantage of that. He violated you.” She’s speaking softly, and I think she says more, but I’m not listening.

I want to tell her to stop. I want to cover my ears. I don’t want to listen to her. I don’t want this to be true.

“The truth is, it’s not your fault. And you are good, and perfect just as you are.”

“Every time…..when you say it’s not my fault, I want to argue with you,” I tell her. It’s the closest I’ve come to saying what goes through my mind every time she says it is not my fault.

“I know. I know you do.” The way she says it, I think she really might know and understand.

I don’t say anything, but I feel bad, full of yucky feelings. Like a toxic, oozing green-black slime has coated me on the inside, and I can’t get it out of me.

“What would happen, what would it mean if you weren’t in control? If you could accept that it wasn’t your fault?”

I’ve been crying off and on, all session, and now all those tears escape yet again, and I cry so hard my body shakes. “I don’t know. I don’t. This isn’t, ‘I don’t know, I don’t want to answer.’ I just really don’t know.”

“Maybe that’s the scariest part of all. That feelings wise, you don’t know what it would mean. That can be really scary.” I hear Bea’s chair turn, she must have moved a little.

I don’t know why, but I just have all these thoughts in my head, and for some reason, I feel like I want to say them to someone. Maybe because the walls that have been surrounding me are knocked down, maybe because it feels safe to talk to Bea. I’m not sure. “You know what I did.” I sob the words out, little voice asking to be heard and understood.

“Yes. I know. And I’m still saying it’s not your fault, that you are good and perfect just as you are– imperfections and all.” Bea says simply.

“I made a choice!” I throw the words at her, attempt to yell them, but they are coming from a tiny scared part of me, a part that is just waiting to be rejected.

“Well, okay. I want to say you didn’t have a choice, but let’s sit with this feeling for a minute. You feel you made a choice, but was it a real choice? Or was it a choice within confines of what you had to work with? It might have been a choice, or felt like a choice, but it really wasn’t a real choice. It’s about survival, right? Kidnapping victims sometimes take on the traits of their kidnapper, adopting the religion, or whatever. It’s not a real choice, it’s about survival. Then as adults, we judge, and we wonder how we could have done that, made those choices, but we forget just how little power a child has, and how that choice wasn’t a real choice.”

I listen and let what she says sink in for a few minutes. I shake my head. I feel sick. “I…..he….I…”

Bea gives me time to speak, but when I can’t get more words out, she says, “it’s so hard to say the words sometimes.”

It seems like a small thing, but her knowing how hard this is helps. “I….I…he…..” I stop again, and cry. Through my tears, I sputter out, “I slept with him.”

“And that feels really bad. I can feel all the grief and pain. But it wasn’t a choice you were old enough to make, that’s why this feels so very bad.” Bea says firmly.

“I can’t get it out of my head. It’s just there, always there. I can see it, it’s just…there.” I shake my head, and hug my knees tighter. I want to be the smallest ball I can be. I can’t do this.

“I know. We need a way to let go of some of the blame, or, if that can’t happen, maybe a way to find some sort of acceptance.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I know we keep having this conversation, I’m sorry, I’ll stop, I’m sorry.” I’m freaking out, crying and apologizing. I knew that I was too needy, that I was too much, I knew I was doing therapy all wrong.

“No, that’s not what I meant. This needs to be talked about, worked through. I just want a way to help you be able to stop blaming yourself. That’s all.” Bea reassures me.

“You aren’t…annoyed to be having this conversation again?” I ask.

“No, not at all. There’s still so much pain, and hurt, grief, that needs to be worked through. Yiu aren’t done with this yet.” She sounds like she means it, like it’s really okay.

I can’t help myself, though, and so, once more, I ask her, “You’re sure it’s okay? That you aren’t upset?”

“I’m not upset, not even a little bit. I’m pretty honest, you know.” I can hear a little smile in her voice.

I nod. “I know…I think so..I just…well, I just had to make sure.”

“Okay.”

I think for a minute, maybe two. “Do you still have my envelope?” I ask.

“I still have it. It’s safe, and no one has seen it.”

“I think……well, I think I need to….I don’t know…..deal with it.” I’m shaking, I’m so afraid of it.

“I don’t have it here, it’s at home with my files–” Bea says hesitantly.

I cut her off. “Not today! No, not today. Next week.” Oh my God, not today. I can’t do this today.

“Okay. I’ll bring it with me on Monday.” She tells me.

“I feel like…..like that is proof of my blame,” I stutter and mumble, but get the words out.

“Then it’s really important we talk about it,” Bea agrees. “I’m going to make sure I read through it again, to really be familiar with it, and so I know the whole memory. I only read it the one time when you gave me permission.”

I shake my head. “That’s scary to me.”

“I already know what happened. I’ve already read it. And nothing bad happened,” she reminds me.

“Yeah. Okay. You probably know it better than I do, anyways.”

“I imagine you were in a really dissociated state when you wrote it, maybe not really so much here,” she says.

“Yeah….I was really gone. And I didn’t, couldn’t read it, so I put it in that envelope.”

“It’s okay. I’m well aware what part of your mind that memory came from,” She says.

“Okay,” I nod my head.

“I’m almost afraid to say it..because even the idea of this can be scary sometimes..but..I think you are psychologically stronger now. Wanting to look at the envelope, thinking about the idea of it not being your fault. When you go away, you don’t feel as far away as you did. I think some pieces of the trauma are integrated, have been put in the past,” Bea says.

I don’t say anything for a little while. “I’m afraid of the envelope.”

“That’s okay. I’ll bring it, and we can decide what to do with it then, okay?”

I nod. “Bea?” I ask, and I know my voice sounds a little bit serious. I feel like a little kid, asking to be listened to.

“Yea?”

“I’m really afraid.”

“We don’t have to do anything with it on Monday. We can just decide what to do, or talk about being afraid,” she says.

“Okay.”

“You’ve really done some amazing work, being willing to go to these ugly places….” Bea is still talking, but in my head I’m blocking out her words. I want to shout at her to stop, that I’m a fraud and a fake, and I’m not amazing, I’m a mess, and I’m terrible. But I don’t. I just ignore what she says. I hate this. I don’t want her to think I’m amazing, or that I’ve done something amazing. I don’t want her to be concerned about me. No. No. No.

After awhile, I’m still crying, and I can’t get myself to stop.

“Try to just sit with the feelings, let them be heard. The little girl really needs her grief and pain to be heard,” Bea says. I think she is willing to listen to all that pain and hurt and grief, and I don’t understand why she would be willing to do so.

“I can’t.” I feel like I’m choking, like I can’t see my way out, can’t breathe, can’t function.

“It’s hard. But you’ve been doing it all session. Can you find some compassion for the little girl part? It seems that most of us either have compassion or hatred for the little girl. Do you know what you feel?” Bea encourages me to try to stay with the feelings. She is calm, grounded, and I believe she can contain the raging storm of emotion in me.

I don’t answer, but I know how I feel. I hate the little girl part. I hate her and resent her. But she is me. It’s confusing.

“It hurts,” I shove the words at Bea, wanting her to feel how much this all hurts.

“I know, I know,” she says it soothingly.

“It actually hurts.” I’m surprised to be realizing this, and surprised I’m admitting it out loud.

“Physically hurts?” Bea asks me, and I nod. It seems she is saying something validating, something that says she gets it, but I have no idea what the words are. I can’t pay that much attention for some reason.

We talk a while longer. I bring up hubby, but I can’t remember what we really said about him. We talked about Kat. I don’t know.

By the time I left, I was back to who I was when I arrived this morning. I’m able to hold a conversation without breaking down into tears. But as Bea and I talk about cleaning and everyday type stuff, I realize that while she thinks it’s the real me, me in the present, holding this conversation, it’s not. It’s me in the room in my head, a little bit not here, a little bit spaced out. It’s not exactly perfect me, but I think that this feeling is part of perfect me; it’s about being socially correct, appropriate, polite. It’s even about having conversation I enjoy. But it feels not real, and I’m not really here. Not enough that anyone will ever notice, but enough that this doesn’t feel real. But because I’m smiling and chatting pleasantly, the last ninety minutes of pain doesn’t feel real either. So where is the real me?

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25 thoughts on “Where is the “real” me?

  1. You are incredible. So brave. I’m thinking of you and remember to look after yourself over these coming days. I hope with all my heart you feel lighter? Or some sense of release/relief from this session? Xx

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    • I feel..freaked out mostly. Like I’m scrambling to get myself back together to function in my life. Kat needs me to be mom. I have lesson plans I need to make up for her– I mean, I can always fly by the seat of my pants, but lesson plans are safer. It’s almost time for another team Kat meeting, I have yet to make up any notes on that. And dinner to cook. And laundry to fold. And a play date to attend. It goes on and on. But, hubby is at least taking my car to the dealership to get my maps fixed, so I will have my map for driving again. Thank goodness. That was probably more than you wanted to hear. Anyway, life goes on. Xx

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  2. Your work so reminds me of my own struggles. I had no conception how young an eight, nine, ten year old child really is. I blamed me, hated her, the little girl. Because I was thinking in an adult brain and as an adult I would take a lamp and crash it on his head. As a little girl I just lay there. And my body responded to some of it. (of course, bodies are made that way)
    But a girl that young is so little and still a child. I was not sure of the age it stopped though I know it had by the time my period started at 13. And I hoped it stopped younger, like ten. What if I was eleven or twelve? I’d be more to blame. Or so I believed. And I believed this till middle age. Or my head knew better, not my heart and soul.
    No wonder you feel fake. If separated from any part of yourself, naturally you have to fake that part. But accepting her, welcoming her back into the fold? How awesome that would be. She needs it so much. I am talking to myself too as I say this. Loving her, that girl in you, like you love and wrap your arms around Kat, oh how that would be. I am still learning how to give myself that warmth, love and acceptance.
    There’s a glimmer of ember and hope under all that shit and dirt that the Ken guy did. That’s the ember to fan. I know about arguing with others, which is why the ‘others’ need to be consistent in their support, never faltering in their belief in you till you also come around. Once it’s all up and out, you will believe in your innocence fully too. There is a whisper beneath it that does already. I still work at listening to the whisper.

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    • I didn’t just lay there. I followed him around. I like him. I kissed him. I wanted to marry him. It gets messier and messier in my head. Bea tells me to look at Kat, and would i blame her? No, of course not. I think you are right, its my heart and soul, not my head that needs help figuring this out. I don’t know.

      This makes sesne. Feeling fake because i hate a part of me, am separtated from it. I don’t know what it would mean to stop hating her. I don’t know what it would mean to accept her. I’m not sure i know how.

      I’ll work on hearing the whisper. Thank you. Xx

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      • It doesn’t matter what you did. You were a little girl. confession? He had me use my hand to touch that thing and showed me how to move it to his liking. Disgusting. Yet I did it. Still so not my fault. (that bastard)
        So much to have to have hidden not mine!

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      • You are not disgusting. And you are right– not your fault. And thank you for your confession. You have no idea how much more i feel “not alone” right now because you wrote that out. I really needed to not feel alone, so thank you. Xx

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      • Of course! You are not alone. I cooperated in my own abuse. I felt I had to, that I had no choice. The longer it went on, the guiltier I felt. And he knew it, and also knew he could get away with more because of it.
        So I went from feigning sleep to doing what he cajoled me to do. I didn’t want to, I felt forced. I was forced, with the threat of others finding out…about me.

        That’s how a child thinks and it followed me for life. I don’t feel that way now. I wish I could have protected ‘her’, that poor girl, sullied and buried with her families burdens. But there was no adult “I” around at the time. The adult me just blamed me, adding nails to my own coffin.
        I can tell you more things I did that took far too long to get over, (because now I am free of it, it’s not mine no matter what) but I’m not sure it will help you because you will let ‘her’ off the hook only when you’re ready.
        But maybe you can start to get to know ‘her’, little girl you…. and start to accept her and work on offering warmth.
        After so many years of casting a part of me out with hate, I am still working on accepting all my parts and loving them. It takes working at it.

        What was disgusting was his ‘thing’. I’d never seen a penis. Didn’t know it’s name. At that age, that’s the word I would have used had someone had the good sense to pull me out of that home and talk to me about what was going on and cleared me of a life of struggle, pain and loneliness.
        A thing. An ugly, bumpy, disgusting thing.

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      • What you write feels so familiar to me! I am working on these same issues in therapy right now. It’s very deep work. I get confused sometimes because I am trying to reconcile the voice and needs of the 12-year-old who was molested and the 14-year-old who was raped and the 8- or 9-year-old who maybe was abused but has such foggy memories that she often thinks she made the whole thing up. Then there is the “logical” and judgmental voice that says, severely, that the earliest stuff probably didn’t really happen, and it was very wicked to make that up. And underneath it a mysterious voice that will pop up out of nowhere saying: I am the kind of person who just deserves to die. My head is going to explode!

        Thank heavens for good therapists. If I make it through this, it will be thanks to Ellie’s guidance and my husband’s refusal to be freaked out by my craziness.

        It sounds like you have a good therapist too, and a lovely daughter, and friends, and a community of readers who are cheering you on. Now that I’ve found this blog, I’ll be one of them.

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      • Thank you for reading and cheering.

        I’m sorry you can relate, and for all your struggles. You aren’t crazy. The 9 year old, 12 year old, they need compassion and understanding. It’s so much easier said, than done, I know.

        I’m glad you have a good therapist and a husband who is supportive. 😊 I truly believe that we can all heal, it just takes as much time as it takes. Xx

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  3. I really relate to the overwhelming feelings of shame, no matter what anyone else says to me, once that trauma is triggered out.

    About the not feeling real – I experience this when I’m trying to talk with my adult self in charge, but a child part is overwhelmed with emotion, and wants attention. I wonder if it’s something like that for you too? It’s not so much that the adult part of you isn’t real. It’s that you have these usually dissociated feelings, that are child feelings, and that are very vivid and intense. From that ‘child part’s’ point of view, you the adult are being fake – not being her, anyway. Then you are feeling as if the everyday coping adult part of you isn’t real.

    I’d say, both are actually real. You need the adult part, and you need the child part.

    I’m not saying you have parts the same way I do, but I wonder if some of the dissociative mechanisms might be similar?

    Seems like great work in any case.

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    • Hmmm. What you are describing “feels” familar. Its so hard ro describe the not real/here but not here feeling. But, I’ve often felt like a 5 year old playing at being a grown up. One of the first “not real” converstions I ever had with Bea was via email, and it was about the fact i don’t feel like a real grown up. I actually view most of my peers as being above me becasue they are grown ups. Then i realize, I am their age. Strange, right? So, maybe it is like Bea saying about my world view….maybe my view point is almost constsntly from that childs part? Or something? And so i feel fake? Ugh. So complicated.

      Thank you for this…more to think about. 😊

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  4. In my experience the not feeling real has a lot to do with what Ellen said. It’s when I have very intense emotions, but I can’t actually tolerate feeling them. When I first started therapy, there would be times when I was curled up in a ball on the couch, sobbing, but it was like I was also watching myself, thinking, “But that can’t be real, because I’m not actually feeling those feelings. I must be such a faker.” I know understand that I was quite dissociative at those times and I had a traumatized child part out and then a protector part was triggered and I would go into my self derisive “none of this is real” routine.

    Honestly, though, I think that it is difficult to feel fully real when you are spitting apart yourself. It isn’t that there is one part that is the “real” you, they are all necessary parts of you. I know that for me, the less that I am blocked off from the different parts of me, the better I learn to listen to them, the more that all of me works together, the more real and solid I feel.

    I remember when I started working with Mama Bear again this last time, we spent a bit of time at the beginning talking about our previous work together and what it had meant to us. She told me that working with me had been extremely impactful professional and personally, because it focused her work on trauma and dissociation. I had to go away and find someplace to think, but then the tears started to fall. I had felt like a wraith so much of my adulthood, if not going back even further. I felt like people could look through me and not really see me. Most people didn’t really seem to touch and make contact with me. I felt like I was so insubstantial and like I didn’t have a real impact on the world around me. But here was someone who has always felt solid to me, who has always treated me well, and who I have a great deal of respect for, telling me that *I* had such a large impact on her life. She had even gone on to tell me that there were things that she had learned from me that she had been able to take and use to help other clients. This conversation didn’t take away the feeling of being insubstantial, but it did show me that I am far more substantial and important than I had been feeling. The work over the last few years has cured that wraith like feeling, though. I needed to allow myself to feel fully and deeply seen before I could feel solid, though.

    I’m telling you about this, because you have said things in a few posts that have made me wonder if you also experience some of that wraith like feeling.

    As for following Kenny around, he kept things nice seeming for a long time, didn’t he? Please forgive me if I have put things together incorrectly. It sounds like your mom was so wrapped up in her eating disorder that she had been unable to give you the attention that you needed (not just wanted, but needed) for a long time, and Kenny took advantage of that vulnerability. Maybe there was a bit of hero worship going back aways and he took advantage of what had been there before and built on it. Maybe it was all built up during this period of time. I hope that it is ok to say it in so many words, but you were a lonely, needy child who was manipulated by a man to satisfy his needs. He was vastly more experienced at dealing with people than you were; how could you have had the experience to have any understanding of what he was doing? How could you have predicted where things were going? Your family trusted his. You were taught to see him as good and trustworthy, yes? He must have looked good from the outside. If he had been obviously a problem, your dad at least would have raised a fuss about trusting his kids to Kenny, right? And then once you had been caught in a web of acts that you didn’t want and were ashamed of, this became even more complicated. Way too complicated for a 9 (?) year old to deal with!

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    • Sorry, didn’t quite mean to post yet.

      I just wanted to reinforce that it really wasn’t your fault. But it may take time to let that in and feel it bit by bit, because it is so frightening to realize that he *was* the one who was in control. Remember, though, he has no control over your life now. He can make things complicated by attending functions, but you have the ability to make choices in those circumstances now. He can’t ever do anything to you physically again. First, you’re not going to allow yourself to be positioned so that you are alone with him. Second, he knows that you are an adult now and if you told him to get the F&$! away from you or you would report him the police so quickly that it would make his head spin (showing that same determination and protective spirit that you have for Kat), chances are extremely high that he would back off. Predators want easy targets. Third, if he doesn’t back off, you can start to make the loudest commotion ever to get the attention of others, dial 911, pull a fire alarm, whatever you need to do. You are no longer that frightened 9 year old, although you still hold the memories and fears of the 9 year old inside of you and need to help ease them.

      I hope that this helps at all. Maybe not now, but maybe it will plant a seed or two.

      Tons and tons of warm support

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    • Yes, wraith like is a good way to describe it. It’s like a dream feeling, but a dream that you know is not a dream. Like I’m not solid enough to make an impact. I don’t know. But yes. I think you, and others here “get it”– which makes me so sad and so grateful at the same time.

      And it’s exactly that, with strong feelings, the “it can’t be real becasue I don’t actually feel that.” It’s what I describe as being in the room in my head, like I live in my head, not my body, and everything csn be muted there, dulled down, not as hard ro deal with. I don’t know. It’s one of those things that seems to make so much sense in my head, but when I try to explain it, it sounds crazy.

      Maybe it is the fact that being so split makes it hard ro feel real at all. That is making a lot of sense to me, it’s what my blog friends are saying, and what Bea says, too…and it is slowly sinking in. Being split makes it hard to feel real, all parts are real, but until the parts are less split, I’ll comtimue feeling fake. Hence, Bea’s term of me needing to find and live in the grey space. But how, exactly does one find the grey space?

      And kenny. Well, you’ve put the story together quite well, really. I am just so out of words about this situation right now. But yes. And I do think my dad would have raised a fuss if he knew or suspected anything.

      And it is so scary to think of it as all his fault. Even typing that seems wrong. Thank you for reinforcing this. And for all the things that I could do now, if I were around him and scared. I’ve thought of sending a letter to him, requesting he not attend functions that I will be at or I will tell. But that seems scary. And I think he would know I was bluffing. Anyway. Thank you. Xx

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  5. Can I suggest a book that you might want to take a look at? 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery by Babette Rothschild. The emphasis is on Safe. She is both a therapist and she is a trauma survivor of some sort, so she writes from personal experience. She also wrote The Body Remembers, if you want to talk with Bea about it. Here is a quote, “Trauma makes you feel out of control. Taking charge of your own recovery will help you to reclaim control over yourself, your symptoms, and your life. These eight keys are a contribution toward that end.”

    The book is not a magic bullet, but I did find it helpful. I probably should read it again, myself, now that I am in a different place and would take some things differently.

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  6. Thank you. I’ll look for it. I think i have an “8 keys” book for eating disorders. I’m not sure though, I have so many therapy books on mh kindle. I read “the body remembers” when i first started therapy with Bea, as it is one of her therapy favorite books.

    Have you read “the body keeps the score”? Its new, but has similar ideas in it. Its by Bessel Van der Kolk. Anyway, that was an interesting read, if you liked “the nody remembers”.

    I refused to read anything about trauma or abuse for so long, but once i read one book, i really couldnt get my hands on enough information. I should probably go back and read my books again.

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  7. I can sadly relate to so much of what you say in your blog. I know about not wanting to believe any of it. It’s easier, the alternative means that everything, the illusion that was built comes crashing down. At least thats how it was for me before counselling. I wanted so badly to believe that my parents were good and so I had to be the bad one. And the abuse therefore had to be a lie and I a liar. But I do believe that voice that was always there in the background telling me that I never imagined it, it was real. The abuse was real and I am good.

    Something else that struck a chord with me was the ‘all good and all bad mentality”, I think this is a very child-like worldview where it is black and white or all or nothing. I have just finished writing a post on a book I read rescently ‘Strong at the broken places’ (I know you said you weren’t reading anything about trauma now, but my post touches on this very issue.

    The present is indeed a grey area. I am ok but no ok. My dad and mum did bad things but were not all bad!

    take care and may you find the strength and courage to know what you already know

    Like

    • I’m sorry, I am just seeing this comment now. Thank you…

      You have it exsctly right thst I want to hold on to the illusion, that feels safer. And the black-white thinking it very child like. Bea has pointed that out to me multiple times. It’s hard to accept the grey. I’m working on using AND….. Like, I’m mad at hubby AND I love hubby. It can be both. That’s a hard concept for me.

      I will read your post about the book, and maybe look for it. Thank you. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

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