rehired and perceptions from the past

June 9, 2015 at 10:56 am 23 comments

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after blowing off Dr. Val for one session last week and missing her first phone call, i called her and told her i quit.  i didnt want to be charged for another “no-show” so i was calling to quit… totally.  she called me back and i knew it was rude to ignore her call, so i picked up the phone.  i dont remember all that was said, but somehow she got me back into therapy. so…i rehired Dr. Val.

i literally almost quit for good this time…it was the closest i have ever been to flat-out quitting with her. we talked about the list she was supposed to make and how i perceive her (gonna dump me, paycheck, etc)

part of the proble17434389-an-image-of-a-word-in-the-sand-pastm for me in therapy is that i perceive Dr. Val as i would anyone else in my life … through the lenses of my past.  so for example, i expect her to make fun of me, dump me, treat me like crap, etc. i basically perceive people just like i was treated by my bio-parents, numerous foster parents, and people on the streets.

it’s these perceptions that make it hard for me to interact with people.  i get that. … … but how do they change?

i dont believe in cbt because i think it is a short-term solution to long-standing problems, and i believe feelings are very important and deserve to be felt….. but i think sometimes i need to train my brain to challenge my almost always negative and fearful thoughts about how people perceive me.

the tapes thUnloved_by_Josibeanat constantly play in my head include things like: they hate me, im a joke to them, im disgusting, they are going to dump me, im not worth it, they are going to hit me, i’m nothing more than a paycheck, punching bag, or fucktoy, they think im stupid, etc, etc, etc….

A good example of this is my boss at work.  i think he hates me.  now, he treats me like he treats everyone else and sometimes better. i think he is going to yell at me and fire me.  he has yelled at me twice, but he was probably having a bad day. when i drop something, i think he is going to punish me.  never happened.  but i still see him in a fearful, negative light.

i often wonder if i started viewing people in a more positive light, if i would put myself in danger?  like do i trust myself enough to know who is and who isn’t safe?  i have been around so many unsafe people. my perceptions help to keep me separated from others… it’s isolating but self-protection really.

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being dumped and dumping throwing away tokens

23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jordynn28  |  June 9, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Yes. Maybe do a mini mental challenge to have the same compassion and understanding of animals to imperfect humans. A small daily thing like “say a nice thing to a human, once a day, for 30days”. a challenge that makes you practice the gentle art of human interaction that HAS to be based from a place of giving. give to a human to get from one. this is the key to everything.

    Reply
    • 2. Jen  |  June 9, 2015 at 11:20 am

      I love this idea, Jordynn28. Consider doing a social experiment – smile at one person every day for 30 days. See what happens! You’re not putting your emotions on the line, it’s just an experiment that means nothing to you. I think a lot of us could learn a lot from trying this and even I should put this into practice more. There are many kind, gentle souls in the world and hopefully this will help show that. And that person you smiled at just may really have needed it at that time because they were feeling alone, too.

      Reply
  • 3. bethanylest  |  June 9, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I am glad to hear you hired Dr. Val. From what you have written, she seems like a good, supportive therapist. I also like Jordynn28’s suggestion! 🙂

    Reply
  • 4. Blessedmom  |  June 9, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I’m glad you took Dr. Val back!

    I agree with previous comments that it could be positive to experiment with some sort of kindness toward other humans or yourself. I once read a book titled, “365 Thank yous: The year a simple act of daily gratitude changed my life.” This guy basically committed himself to write one thank you note a day for a year and was amazed how much it helped him see life differently. It improved all his relationships, his emotional health and his business. Even if you start with just smiling at someone once a day, or thinking a positive thing about yourself once a day it will be interesting to see what difference it makes for you.

    Reply
  • 5. coccomuffin  |  June 9, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    So glad to read you’re going back to therapy. I think cbt is doing you something good, maybe you don’t perceive it as a definitive solution but, even if it weren’t, it’s proving to be of some sort of help. Look at this post LT, your introspection is turning more objective by the day, you are managing to discern facts from unreliable thoughts generated by hurtful experiences, and acknowledge that the people around you now are not like the ones you had around when growing up, which means your emotional world is more and more under your control and it’s not controlling you as it used to be.
    Sure your defence mechanisms’re still going to be around for a while, but it’s understandable, after all for a big part of your life you had to deal with hurtful people in a hurtful world so you’re still learning to trust and how to tell “good apples” from “bad apples”. But eventually, when you’ll stop looking at the world around you through the lens of the past, you’ll start seeing things and people for what and who they are and trusting will come automatically, and when your ability to judge will no longer be obfuscated by the shadow of your past experiences then you’ll no longer fear to be dumped or hurt.
    Now life is different, people are different, your world is different and your brain has still to learn how to relate with all those new things and has to re-learn how to approach to life. You’re going there though, just be patient with yourself!
    I’ve been reading your blog for years now and I’ve alwasy felt very proud of you because you’re no quitter, today after reading this post I can tell for sure you’re on the right track. I’m sure someday you’ll be able to see people and the present world for what they really are and will be able to trust and open up more, just don’t lose heart and believe more in yourself, you are no dummy, look at what you’ve achieved in life! Once again, I’m glad you’re going back to therapy! Don’t give up on yourself, ok? I’m really so proud of you!!! ♡ One more thing, consider doing that little social experiment the previous posters suggested you, maybe if you start pushing yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone you’ll start seeing things under a new and more positive light. Try and see 😉

    Reply
  • 6. jpirog2013  |  June 9, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    You are really onto something with that last thought. I wouldn’t make a blanket change but try doing it with relationships that are not fleeting – such as Dr. Val, your boss, neighbors, etc. I think it will be eye-opening to you. Keep in mind it won’t always be perfect but often it will be pretty good.

    Reply
  • 7. PurpleLindsay  |  June 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    For me, as I learned to listen to my heart and honor intuition I began having experiences which helped me learn that I AM able to judge people based on the kindness of their face/eyes/words and their interaction with me pretty accurately.

    (*** I did have to learn that “intuition” is NOT the same thing as the trauma-fear knee-jerk reaction. I still have reaction-judgements from trauma, but I am learning/have learned to “talk myself down” with the truth about a situation (like, “This man reminds me of one of my abusers but this man is NOT my abuser”) and then when listen to my intuition about the current situation (like, “This man is being very kind, maybe I will smile back and see what happens then” or “I’m uncomfortable with his body language, I’d like not be be alone with this person)

    I’m glad you’re giving Dr Val another chance, and hopefully talking about the problem will help her care better for your heart going forward.

    Reply
  • 8. lee1978  |  June 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    I’m glad you wrote and I am glad you are hiring back Dr Val. I think the fact that you know that you keep people at a distance and why you do that points to the fact that therapy is helping. First we have to understand why we do the things we do before we can work on changing.

    Reply
  • 9. manyofus1980  |  June 9, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    So happy you kept dr Val! She is a keeper! Its good you talked through the part about why you almost dumped her. I dont believe in CBT either as a long term good method of therapy. Its a very short term solution! XX

    Reply
  • 10. Sue  |  June 9, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Happy to read this. Maybe it will inspire you to write more. 🙂

    Reply
  • 11. momma2abby  |  June 9, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    There is a DID conference in Florida called ‘Infinite Mind’. When I was there someone said that they had heard so many bad things about themselves when they were growing up that they felt like they had to do something or they would never believe anyone. So every time they walked through a doorway they said something nice about themselves in their head.

    Reply
    • 12. Megan  |  June 9, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      This is a great idea!

      Reply
  • 13. Linka  |  June 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Hello, LT! I find myself in complete agreement with cocomuffin, so I don’t feel a need to repeat…I am glad you re-hired dr. Val. I have a feeling she would have kept at you until you returned, lol! I like the ideas presented to you above…I found that making myself find, and write down three things I was grateful for everyday helped me get out of a really long mind funk, much like smiling at people does for others…do it in a journal, and periodically go back and read through it. It was really helpful in reprogramming my brain when I thought there was nothing good going on in my life…like the butterfly, LT, we all struggle to break out of our cocoons, I see yours starting to crack and shatter…love and blessings!

    Reply
  • 14. Tara dSL  |  June 9, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    I think you are amazing. I know it is hard for you to see it, but you really have come such a long way since the time I have been reading your blog. You have gained so much resilience! Whether it is therapy, your own determination, or some combination of factors, what you’re doing is working. Keep writing!

    Reply
  • 15. onemorewithus  |  June 9, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Good words here👍🏻 so I won’t repeat them.
    I also understand this negative thinking. I’m very similar in my thinking. I don’t know why, though. I tend to capture the negative more than the positive. I assume people don’t like me or that they will eventually quit on me. I don’t trust people quickly either. with that said, real friends are actually hard to find, so I also guard my heart well. It’s easier to talk here in the cyber world where we all have a level of anonymity 😊

    Reply
  • 16. Hannah  |  June 10, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I think CBT or DBT can help with negative thoughts. Sometimes it is helpful to combine types of therapy because they can work on different problems or give you different perspectives on the same problem. I found CBT very helpful for those negative tapes that you hear in your mind.

    Reply
  • 17. Foster Mom in Training  |  June 10, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    The fact that you are even questioning this shows enormous growth. I’m glad he went back with Dr. Val. Keep growing, LT. 😄. (((Hugs)))

    Reply
    • 18. Foster Mom in Training  |  June 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      I’m glad YOU went back with Dr. Val. Silly autocorrect. 😉

      Reply
  • 19. cinara13  |  June 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Some very smart observations about yourself, LT. I can really relate, I have a simiar fear. For me, it’s that there’s nothing of value to me and I have to earn it for people to be nice to me. So the second I do something wrong, they’ll turn on me and scream at me (like my Mum) and hate me forever (like my godparents and my mentor). So it’s better to just avoid people so I can’t fuck up. I wish I could help you, but I haven’t figured out how to fix things myself yet.

    Like you I have insight into why I feel like that, and I get that my perception is probably not reality, but I don’t know how to move past it.

    As for CBT, I’ve done it and I had the same sort of feeling as you, it was like they were trying to tell me what I was feeling was wrong, just in a nicer way. Then I’d try really hard to argue about why I was right and they were wrong and we didn’t get anywhere.

    I actually found DBT (dialectal behavioral therapy) more useful. I needed to keep being reminded “it’s OK to feel that. You’re not wrong to feel like that. But things can also be seen differently. But your way makes sense too.”

    Sorry, just rambling, but wanted you to know I’m still here, listening, and I still want peace and happiness for you

    Reply
  • 20. Sam  |  June 10, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Smart of you to rehire Dr. Val. Even if you can’t see it, your readers can see the changes over the years. Trust yourself a little more, LT. You will know safe people versus unsafe people. It’s more fear talking.

    Reply
  • 21. sageplant  |  June 10, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Hey, for now, I’m glad you have not left Dr Val. Maybe you could look at other options that YOU would want to try so that you don’t have to be feeling dumped .i know it’s not easy to just go and find another source, but, you could begin to at least look into what is available near you and what. Type of choices you may have. Then , maybe even meet one of those people..just a thought. I was thinking about you and how, there is a decent support on your blog here, and that is a good thing in your life. You can be somewhat satisfied by this. It is an accomplishment of sorts. You articulate well. You have filled in many kinds of people aboutFoster Care and children that have tremendous stories. You should try and allow yourself some good feelings about this work you have here. And try and soak in some nature, water? A park? A mountain..anyway, summer is near..peace

    Reply
  • 22. Beeblebrox  |  June 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Hi LT,
    Have you ever tried loving kindness meditation (metta)? Metta is a Buddhist practice that addresses the kind of negative self talk and negative feelings toward yourself that you describe. There is a very well known book by Sharon Salzberg — who herself had a very difficult childhood — that describes the practice. The book is called Lovingkindness. I thought of this because of what others have posted about being kind to yourself and others. This is Sharon’s website: http://www.sharonsalzberg.com/. She is a lovely person. She said somewhere that she practiced lovingkindness meditation exclusively for herself for four years.
    Peace to you!

    Reply
  • 23. mv49496  |  June 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    good for you for having this difficult conversation!
    You don’t have to let your guard down completely. Just recognize when you’re thinking negatively and fearfully and call yourself out on it non-judgementally (“Oh, I see I am thinking negatively and fearfully”)and just try to redirect.
    Great progress!
    wishing you well!
    MV

    Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2015 14:57:02 +0000
    To: mv_49496@hotmail.com

    Reply

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