How did this happen?

I had an odd session with my therapist last night. The regular one – not p-doc. I saw him today, but more on that later. *sigh*

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow I ended up revealing the depths of my self hatred and stupidity to my therapist. Probably a good thing in the long run, I suppose, but I’d never intended to inflict that on her.

I felt so disgusting afterwards. So putrid and vile and hideous and poisonous and ugly and dirty and rancid and foul and, well, disgusting. Disgusting because my therapist now knows how disgusting I am. Disgusting because I’ve inflicted my filth on her. Disgusting, because, well, I’m just disgusting. I hate that I’m so disgusting, and I hate that she knows it.

Somehow we got to talking about gynaecological issues, which can be a big issue for abuse survivors (see this great post by Sword Dance Warrior). I talked about how difficult it is for me to have gynae exams, and how I’m dreading the upcoming internal ultrasound I have to have post-surgery. (Of all the medical issues… why did I get stuck with this? Why?)

Granted, this is something most women aren’t all that fond of. I don’t know too many women who do a happy dance when they’re going to the gynaecologist. But… it can be a bigger triggery, hellish experience for abuse survivors. Made worse by the brutish insensitivity of some health practitioners.

Not only is it triggery for me, but I also have this stupid thought that I can’t let a doctor I know do the exam, because then they’ll know how disgusting I am, and I won’t be able to face them again afterwards. Stupid, right?

One thing led to another and we got to talking about relationships and children (or the absence, thereof), and the stupid thought that always pops up for me, “Why would anyone love me?” Stupid again, right?

I was burning with shame for most of the session. I wanted to crawl into the carpet and just disappear. (Why doesn’t that floor ever open up when you need it to????)

Of course, my therapist didn’t think I was disgusting. Nor did she think I was stoopid. She was, as always, gentle and kind and supportive, and actually said some very positive things about me. Part of me is afraid to face her again for fear of contaminating her again, but I will.

A very good friend suggested I should write down all the positive things she said, so that even if I’m not ready to take it in now, I can go back to it. I haven’t yet, but I will. I guess I needed to process the toxic stuff first.

Now not only my therapist knows about the depths of my self-hatred and disgustingness, but the blogosphere as well. Nice comments only today please, people, I can’t take the other kind.

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10 thoughts on “How did this happen?

  1. The shame you feel is just a disjointed fragment of memory. It has nothing to do with you now, and had nothing to do with you then. You are whole.
    – blessings to you – SDW

  2. Howdy 🙂

    I hope the following will help: I’ve been the self-hatred corner and the “I am disgusting” corner for sure, and it WILL pass, I promise. This is something that, as the above person said, you just have to get out and process. Just let it out. But also remember these are things you’ve held inside, and you are not a disgusting or vile person. You don’t love yourself as much as you should because — simply — you were never taught how to. It’s a tough road to learn to love oneself but just be patient. Allow yourself to feel sad, and when you do, give yourself some things to feel good about, and do that more and more each day. For every sad or negative self-thought, think of 2 good ones. Keep multiplying them. Sometimes you have to just start on the surface, but after a while it will sink in and you’ll believe it. And it’s not a matter of convincing yourself that you’re a good person, worthy of love, it’s reminding yourself of it, and the part of you that has forgotten that fact. It’s going to be okay.

    As for the gyno exams, it’s a little tricky to do but really, try and tell your doc, if you feel comfortable enough, that these exams are hard for you. You don’t have to say why or what or what is not tough for you if you don’t want to, but these doctors are trained people and a good doctor will know to change their work style to be aware of your needs and be as patient and slow with you as you need them to be with you right now. Make them work FOR you, as this is something that isn’t just some lame routine but really is paramount to ensure your health. It’s good that you go through the exams because it means that, at the end of it all, you are caring for your health and body. If the doc doesn’t respond in a way you like or feel comfortable, change practitioners. Give yourself as much room to be, at all times.

    Rootin’ for you,
    C

  3. Oh Kerro – you know at some level that this is not true – this is the dark horrid voice beating you up. Please take care of yourself. I too understand TOTALLY the “why would anyone love me” comment but for completely different reasons. Remember too that you are physically not that great at the moment so CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK MY ANTIPEDEAN friend.

    Your T has been nothing but a caring support for you – she WON’T change now.

    Please look after yourself and don’t let that shame eat you up. I felt really sad when I read your post. No-one who is “disgusting” could have supported me and helped me with the compassion you have – it’s not possible.

    Try and stop the Dark Voice, that inner critic…

    Look after yourself ((((((((((HUG)))))))))))))

  4. Oh, sweetheart. You’re not stupid, or disgusting, or contaminating. Those are the things you had to absorb from your abusers; the terrible things they made you carry for them. Not only are you not like that; those feelings don’t even originate with you. They belong to people who forced you to hold all of that ugliness.

    You’re brave and honest and loving; valiant and truthful and ethical. That’s the core of who you are, and that shines out even when you feel worst about yourself.

  5. Hello,

    Okay here is the deal. Every survivor who has ever told me about their disgustiness or that they told their therapist, they thought it was a secret. It isn’t.

    Every survivor feels it, at least initially. Every therapist who is knowledgable and compssionate about trauma and abuse know that their clients think and believe that they are disgusting. Don’t know if that will help, but I say it in trying to help.

    I will also give you a quote a friend game me when I was in a deep hole of pain one day, maybe you have already heard of it:

    “Whatever is behind us and whatever is before us, are small matters compared to what is within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    And it’s true. You have much of value, worth and to recommend you.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  6. Hi everyone, I’m truly touched by all your kind thoughts and support. Thank you so very, very much.

    @ Sword Dancer – Thank you.

    @ WISP – It’s nice to know I’m not alone. You’re right – I was never taught how to love myself. *sigh*

    @ IGMC – Yes, I know, I know, I can hear the pots and kettles, too. 😉

    @ Life is Change – Thank you.

    @ David – Have I told you lately that you’re the sweetest man alive? You really are. I’m touched. Thank you.

    @ Kate – It’s helpful to know that I’m not alone, but I’m sorry there are so many of us who feel rotten to the core.

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