My ability to react and respond in a far more effective way, my self control, my capacity to ask for what I need, has definitely increased. I have repeated situations occurring, that demonstrate this.
I have blogged about my counsellors lack of validation for what I have been through and how it was not my fault, blame, shame etc… and how hurtful it feels to not have this validation offered. And I am increasingly okay with validating my own emotions and feelings.
So, at counselling today, the subject of shame was one that needed raising, as I have been doing a lot of processing about the depths and levels of shame I have been inflicted with. I stated that I needed to hear more – that it wasn’t my fault, my blame, my shame, or anything I did wrong. I was a child trying to survive a horrendous childhood and wanted the normal needs of love, affection and attention. And sadly that was abused further. And how the blame and shame is the abusers, not mine, even though I feel it.
I didn’t make a big deal of how hurt I feel when this validation isn’t offered. I made the decision instead to just ask for what I need. It felt uncomfortable and I struggled a bit, but I did it.
And it had the needed response. Validation was offered and comforting words (no matter how weird it was to hear them – having rarely heard them in my life and instead hearing the opposite) and I appreciated that.
Shame as a whole was discussed, including how mental health policy can shame those suffering the most and that was all validated as correct too. Along with validation of the cognitive distortions within the mental health industry about ‘recovery’ – black and white thinking, tunnel visioned thinking, ‘one size fits all’ thinking. And how my capacity to ‘think’ more, is having a good effect, as per the email exchanges with a psychologist, which I had forwarded to my counsellor to read.
Shame was discussed with regard to how the shame is shifted from the abusers (who in my case absolutely intended to cause harm, and did so over long periods of time) ….. and is shifted onto victims – by demanding victims forgive, feel compassion, minimize what was done to them and make excuses for abusers. I explained I am not okay with this ‘shame shifting’ that goes on within society, within families, within the mental health profession, within religion. That was validated.
Interestingly, this capacity I have to hold several trains of thought and the emotions that go with them, all at the same time… was deemed to be healthy.
I can have all my needed emotions about the abusers, how I don’t have to tolerate being shamed by others as to how I view the abusers, how I don’t have to feel sorry for abusers and I can deal with the reality and truth of what they are and what was done to me…… but at the same time have the understanding within me I have always had – that I hold no thoughts of revenge, condemnation, retaliation, I don’t want them hurt back, to suffer back etc. And I leave them with Jesus to deal with.
And whilst knowing what they did was horrendous and I don’t have to minimize that in any way…. I do have an appropriate level of understanding that what they are and what they do – no-one in their ‘right mind/soul’ would choose. And I do wish for their sakes, they were not like they are. And even if they refuse to see any wrong in what they do…. I can see it is a terrible state of psychological, mental and spiritual health, for any person to be at. But, it is still their choice.
And I am 100% okay with my understanding of all this. I will not allow anyone else to tell me and shame me, with ‘this is not good enough’. It is good enough. In fact, it is far more honest and dealing in reality, than many choose to confront.
I even calmly reminded my counsellor, when she stated something about how she views abusers, that her opinion does not make her better than me. So, I stood up for myself, appropriately, maturely, with self control…. to not allow her to shame me. Even as unintentionally as it may be.
I spoke about how I have really bad days, still… and I am okay with that. I have better days too and however long this journey of mine takes, is okay. And I refuse to be shamed by being compared to others, or to be made to feel weak and worthless, because I am not the poster child for fast ‘recovery’.
It was probably the most assertive and yet calm and non emotionally reactive, I have been in counselling so far.
And I do absolutely see, how this is progress, growth and healing.