Why am I still like this after so much therapy?
Do you still feel stuck in destructive relationships, feel life is out of control, find yourself easily distracted and unable to focus? Do you suffer from insomnia or eating issues? Do you still feel high anxiety, get too easily stressed, suffer physical symptoms you don’t understand? Do others weigh you down with their problems, do you find yourself compelled to help others at the expense of yourself, find it hard to say no? Are you hard on yourself, need to strive to achieve, don’t play enough, feel tight and constricted? Or perhaps you struggle to be YOU in your own skin.
Maybe you look in the mirror and sometimes see your mother’s reflection or your father looking back. Or do you feel your life is futile and what’s the point in it all?
AND ALL THIS AFTER YEARS OF THERAPY!
Many people come to me saying they’ve done so many different kinds of therapy and yet they know that underlying everything there is still something that hasn’t changed.
My response is: “Yes, I know you have….that’s why you’re here. If you hadn’t done all that therapy you wouldn’t be ready to look deeply at your pre-birth / infant trauma now. You wouldn’t have the resources to explore this. All that you have done has brought you to this point. No sooner, no later.”
It really is important to see how, in an unconscious way, we prepare for what can be very hard to see, feel and resolve. It is good to be self-protective but we sometimes fear more than we need. Yes, exploring our early traumatised self is painful, self-exposing and can carry a lot of shame. However, what can be more painful is how we have lost our true self by surviving the trauma of not being seen for who we are, our need to survive by giving up on our ‘I’ to connect with our mother, to fulfill her needs, take on her trauma, stay in her skin.
There is nothing like the pain of seeing what we have lost of ourselves in giving up on our I-dentity in order to have our emotional needs met as best they can be. And it is also more painful to see how our survival self has played out all through our life and how it has compromised our identity. A client will say: “Oh and that’s what I do to my partner” or “that’s how my partner treats me…I’m just playing out the same relationship again and again.”
And we bring to the work a healthy part of ourselves that has resourced us to allow the vulnerability and strength to do this work. And we can resolve these splits in our psyche that result from the traumas of love and identity in our earliest attachment relationship. We can’t change what happened to us but we can reclaim who we are; we can step out of being our imprint and be truly ourselves in our own skin.
Remember: you can have all the advice from well-known inspirational speakers you like and as many 10 tips as you can absorb from the coaches and therapists out there but underneath there will always be the parts of yourself you had to abandon, from pre-birth on, having a hold on you and your life until you see them and make steps to integrate them for a healthier, happier, freer and more authentic you.
If everyone in the world could have the opportunity to do this, to make subjects of themselves, not objects, we may have a more honest, open and healthy world and environment. So why not be an ambassador for others? Understand your own trauma and survival patterning and take small steps to change yourself and the world.
Helping you live, love and create the life you want.
Kate Collier MBACP / AAMET Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy