The Joys of Therapy

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I have my therapy appointment today and I get excited for it now. It wasn’t always so.

My life has been traumatic. To very quickly catch up the new folks to my life – My mother was an alcoholic (with traumas unknown to me so all I ever knew was that Mom was a drunk), My father abandoned me (that’s not really fair though as he was married with a family and my Mom was the “side chick” and I am sure did not want a child by her) anyway, I met him at least once – someone had the sense to take a picture. He looks like a nice guy, but I’ve never met him. My half-brother is a sexual predator/drug abuser/and felon; he and his friends sexually abused me for a good portion of my childhood and he’s responsible for a lot of other bullshit thats irrelevant to this particular post. We lived in poverty for my early childhood until my brother went to jail and my Mom got a decent job, and life evened out for a while (mom was still always drunk though). I had trouble in school. had inappropriate relationships with men in order to meet my needs (read child prostitute basically). I was a difficult, and really smart kid and I’m honestly impressed with some of the shit I managed to accomplish.

I joined the church and they cared enough that I kind of got my shit together and stopped being a criminal-in-the-making and went all Jesus Freak on everyone – but it saved me from a life of crime and jail and drugs… I owe them. However, at the time I identified as a homosexual (now I’d say demi-sexual or even asexual – for another post LOL) and the church was not kind. The psychological circus that religion is almost destroyed me, because all the people who said they cared for me (and had) all of a sudden treated me as though I was the most horrible person on earth and it was devastating. So I wandered. I found myself, was a school HS drop out, but I started community college almost immediately because on some level I KNEW I was never going to escape anything unless I had a formal education. I made the decision to join the Army, and that is a book all on its own, but untreated trauma trained to fight is dangerous. My own drinking spiraled out of control, I got out of the military and tried being a civilian which sucks balls most of the time because since leaving the military I have had a hard time without any personal success (by America standards success to me equals a home and a job and healthcare).

I mean, I’ve skipped a ton of stuff, but as you can see, life has not been easy, and I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety pretty much since I was born, probably PTSD too (Ive been given the C-PTSD diagnosis which means my traumas are just basically stacked on top of each other, and there was never any resolution or treatment for them until now). I have spent my life surviving. The moments when life settles and I can focus on thriving instead of surviving – is when I get to go to therapy. It’s when I get to write blogs. Its when I get to go to school. Its when I get to reasearch things that interest me as opposed to things I HAVE to do to survive. I have always taken advantage of my “calm” times, and for that I’m glad because while chaotic and inconsistent, I have NEVER lost sight of making myself better. I have never lost sight of my goals for myself – I just have obstacles to achieving them sometimes. Sometimes, I still have to just survive. When I go to therapy – I know my life is BETTER than it was because I am there. No matter how little sleep I get or how chaotic life might be, if I can get to therapy, I’m doing pretty well.

Therapy is hard and messy. I’ve fired more therapists than I can count, but even the shitty ones teach me about myself. I have a therapist I love and I have to say that my growth over the last 9 years or so has been because of the foundation she taught me. She doesn’t take my insurance and she’s expensive (for me). She has seen me at a reduced rate the ENTIRE time I have worked with her, and for about two years she saw me for free. She got me into rehab (a VERY VERY good one). Ive had years where I didn’t see her, but when I have the means to pay her, I call and ask if she will see me (it’s always yes, and if she can’t get me in the office she will call me and help me if I need it immediately at no cost to me). I can only budget to see her twice a month now – but I know my life is better because I can. Even when I am overwhelmed by life, if I can make that therapy appointment and pay for it… life is going just fine (even if there is still a ton of things to cope with on any given day).

All that shit at the top of this post is what we work on. I haven’t even touched my military service traumas yet. We had to get alcohol out-of-the-way first. Therapy is both easier and harder now that I’m sober. I am more willing to share and heal and “do the work”…but it was easier in therapy when all we talked about was drinking. So I both dread and look forward to my therapy appointments. I always know though that even a bad or difficult session will help me make my life consistently better, because the more I can understand about myself and why I make the decisions I do – the fewer times I have to repeat devastating mistakes in my life that set me back to chaos and survival.

People who need therapy the most are often the loudest about why they think it’s a waste of time… but when you do it, and you get a therapist that “gets you” in the way you need to be “got” (and that’s a process too) – well its just healing after that. I like healing. I love healing.

So my success that I haven’t found?… I’ve found it. It’s just not for other people to see. I’m more successful now than I have ever been. I don’t have the ‘things’ I want, I don’t have a career, I don’t have many friends and I have no family. I still struggle with a million different things about my circumstances. Overall though, my success right now washes over me, because I am actually starting to like myself a bit.

I know I’m successful because my therapy appointment with my awesome therapist is at 2:30 and I am going to learn something about myself today; I may even get real lucky and heal some damage today.