Posts Tagged ‘needs’


April 24, 2012 10 comments

I saw BN today. The day did not start well. I was holding down a lot of terror because despite knowing better, there was a deep feeling of dread about what I would find when I walked into his office. I knew I was overreacting by being convinced that the relationship was beyond repair, but try telling that to my hamster amygdala. Which is also deaf, I believe. 🙂 And as if the terror was not enough on its own, I woke to a continuation of a difficult situation with which I have been dealing. I do not mean to be coy, dear readers, but this particular problem involves not just my privacy, which I have every right to set aside if I wish to, but also other parties for whom I cannot make that decision. So if I sound a little vague at points, you’re not imagining it.

So I drove to BN’s office in a very focused manner, as when I am feeling this scared about an upcoming session, I have this habit of overlooking a necessary highway change, the correction of which can be quite costly in terms of time. I was running a little late because I had stopped for a cup of coffee at what seemed to be the most popular drive through for a 50 mile radius judging by the line of cars. But I had been so nervous, I hadn’t really slept all that well the night before and we were out of caffeinated coffee at home. I was not going into the lion’s den unfortified, or even worse, unconscious. 🙂 So when I arrived, I headed upstairs as quickly as possible and settled in the waiting room. Continue Reading

Feelings can be irrational: Example #637

April 21, 2012 9 comments

Preface:This is going to be a bit of gloom and doom as I am in the middle of doing some fairly heavy processing of which this post is a part. When I am doing this kind of work the past rides close, which means that I will be struggling with bad feelings about myself. I know they’re not all, or even most of them, true. I also have a number of lovely friends and my husband who have been supporting me through this with care, kindness and love. So don’t take the gloom too seriously. Yes, this is not fun, but it’s also not insurmountable or unbearable and I am not alone in facing it.

This has been a really long crappy week. I’ve been dealing with a couple of different situations in which I’ve had to work very hard to keep my boundaries clear, work very hard to examine myself to sort out my own stuff and in most of the situations draw a hard boundary which has either not gone over well or has left me feeling like I’m kicking puppies or even worse, becoming my father. At one point this week I was actually wondering if someone had hung a sign somewhere on my person that said “please tell me what a crappy human being I am.” Since I am quite capable of doing that on my own more often than I would like, I honestly could have done without the assistance. 🙂 Continue Reading

Learning developmental skills: Identifying and Expressing needs

April 16, 2012 18 comments

This post is a continuation of a series started in But therapy can take us a long way: Learning Developmental Skills Part 1. In this post, I want to talk about learning to identify and express your needs. For most trauma victims, this is most definitely a skipped part of development. Because the caretaker is putting their own needs ahead of the child’s when abusing them, by definition the child’s needs are being overlooked and pushed aside. How do you learn to identify and express something that is not even acknowledged to exist?

A long-term trauma victim often becomes hyper-vigilant. They learn to watch their abuser and observe their behavior in minute detail in the hope of getting some warning before an episode of abuse. So they’re paying a whole lot more attention to the abuser’s feelings and needs than their own. Add to this the fact that many victims of long-term abuse believe and/or are told the abuse is their fault, so they are also watching the abuser for cues about who they need to be and what they need to do to “finally” make the abuser happy with them and stop the abuse. (This serves the function of providing some sense of control in a situation in which you are powerless and have none.) Your own feelings and needs fade to insignificance in the face of needing to survive. Continue Reading