I want to write about therapy partly to share where I am at emotionally and partly because if we talk about these things we just might make someone who needs help get it. Regular readers know I am adopted, insecure by nature, introverted and so on. They also know that the last year has seen me in the middle of a bumpy old ride. I have left my beloved France and my friends there. I have started a new job after a long time freelancing. I have got my kids back into structured education after separation from them for 4 long months. I have seen my son off to university, seen illness threaten his life and seen him bereaved by the loss of a friend. My marriage has broken down with my husband appearing to choose France over me and the children. I now live with my brother and have felt like a charity case.That’s how it feels to me – we all have our own individual truths. There’s also the new relationship that took me completely by surprise. Oh and that little global pandemic as a backdrop to it all.
The good news is despite so much angst, hopelessness, loss and pain, I am still here and so are all the other players thank goodness. I am well aware that many families are not in that position so really I am one of the lucky ones.
Anyway, I decided I had tried everything to feel OK and that only therapy might fix me or help me make sense of it all. People have suggested therapy over the years to me. I didn’t like the idea of them thinking I was bad, rubbish or whatever. Of course, that is not what they were saying at all. I see that so clearly now.
I spoke to a couple of potential therapists and followed my gut instinct and so far the experience is really powerful. We had a scene-setting session because the facts of the last year are pretty complex.
In my first real session, we discussed power and control.
My therapist had me go through every aspect of the wheel. I recognised most of the things on the wheel. Not one thing, not two or three, most!
I am not going to say much more on that apart from to say I am facing facts and acknowledging things. With this, I am able to be liberated and let bad memories go.
It’s amazing how much of a difference that exercise has made to my mood and hopes for the future. I feel weirdly at peace with the past now.
In this week’s session we considered what has led me to believe I am not good enough. There was an incident when my husband did something that broke my heart and for many years. I have always known it was not just his action but also my reaction that put a real strain on our marriage for 11 or so years. Credit to both of us for still trying to make it work for all those years. We should have sought outside help – we didn’t and here we are.
Anyway, the therapy has helped me see how my adoption gave me the idea of rejection right from the get go. Well actually I knew that bit but the therapy showed me how my mum lashing out at me when I was a child and she was ill and scared contributed to those feelings of worthlessness. Bullying at school by a girl who told me I should have been aborted rather than being farmed out in adoption also stayed with me.
My parents adopted me because they wanted a baby girl not me specifically. The children are school mixed with me because I was there. My husband chose me as I was – my looks and my personality. So when his action made me feel not good enough, it re-opened all those old wounds. Having worked all that out I can now forgive him and let it go. It no longer imprisons and immobilises me.
All this also explains once and for all why my college in Cambridge and my bar in France meant so very much to me. They are so different on paper but not to me. These are the only two places that I think accepted me as I am. And not only accepted but liked me too.
Next time round in therapy I will be doing EMDR therapy to deal with multiple traumas some old and some more recent.
Today I suddenly realised I liked myself and right now that is good enough.