What I learned today

1. I need some grounding techniques for when grief / pain / fear take over. One of the main ones is to remember I am a person and I have rights, and that I might not automatically be wrong or be guilty.

2. I take on entirely too much responsibility for everything, and really need to see this and then stop it.

3. I cannot talk myself out of the fact that too many things are happening to me now (too many responsibilities, abuse in the family, abuse in the workplace, unwieldy and inadequate support) — all of them really are happening, and all of the bad situations are real.

4. Again, I have to remember that I am a person with rights.

5. The fundamental issues — the fear that if I do not self-harm I will be executed, the idea that there is something terrible I have done that I must atone for, the idea that I am flawed and must recognize it — are things I should address in therapy.

This last is very frustrating since I have been in therapy for 27 years for precisely this, and I articulated it that way when I started. “I am caught in a family system and I fear extreme violence,” I said.

6. I have been ruined by psychotherapy because it kept asking, insistently, what did you do to deserve this? Admit it, be honest, you must have done something!

7. Anything else that may have been said, and that I have not written here. This was all most enlightening. Points 2 and 3 are the ones that seemed the most resonant, but looking back at this points 5 and 6 are the most surprising.

The idea that I should NOT “take responsibility” for everything, look at everything from everyone’s point of view but my own, and so on, is SO surprising. And of course that “grounding technique” is point 4: I, too, am someone, and I, too, may not be all wrong all the time.


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