(I write this as ‘Today’s counselling thoughts’, but I made the notes for this blog post about two weeks ago, I have since completed my CBT therapy, but that will be spoken about in a future blog post)
Today I finally spoke about my abandonment issues to my counsellor. This has been something that did not begin to affect me in my adult life until I started having serious emotional relationships, I think my problems with feeling abandoned first became apparent when I was around 16 and was in a pretty dysfucntional relationship with a guy I was seeing on and off for about two years.
I originally came into this counselling session with the belief that it was my final counselling session, however it wasn’t. It always seems to be as I near the end of counselling that I am most open, this is probably due to the fact that the counselling sessions I have had have been short term counselling. I hope one day that I am able to have a long term therapist so that I am able to build up a relationship and speak openly about my problems for a longer period of time, however the short term therapy that I have received has been useful
I spoke about the issues I have with abandonment, which have stemmed from the relationship I have with the adults in my life. For some reason I can no longer type ‘parents’. It is sad, but I do not feel as if these people deserve that label. This may be a temporary thing, I am not sure, I am just working through my inner child and the relationships that I have with these individuals. It helped me realise that I have an intense fear of feeling that I am being left alone. This reaction is mainly my inner child, because as an adult I need time alone in order to work through my feelings, also naturally I am a pretty solitary person, this is what helps me to be productive and to be myself.
I think in this counselling session is when I realised that I am only human. It was quite a revelation. To realise you are only human and that you are allowed to have reactions and emotions in regard to going through abuse. For some reason I have separated myself from other people, feeling that it is normal and encouraging people to cry and be upset if they have been hurt, but not doing this myself because for some reason another rule exists for me. I think subconsciously I feel that if I cry or allow myself to feel these feelings than somehow the perpetrators of this hurt will have won. But I think by thinking in this way that they have already won because I am not allowing myself to be ‘normal’ in the sense of having human emotions and reactions.
It was around this time that I made the revelation of only being human and recognising why I struggle so much with abandonment, is when I finally explained to my bf why I am such an insecure person. (This was also linked to another event which I will not type because it is a personal event in my relationship, also it is a bit embarrassing). I feel frustrated that this abandonment continues to plague my life, but I know understand that in order to overcome it, I have to sit with the feeling of abandonment and take myself back to the place from which these feelings originate from, acknowledge these feelings and cope with them in order to be able to move on in my adult life. I do not have the answers to everything at the moment, and I do not need the answers as the majority of the time as I have found out the hard way searching for answers as to why I was treated in this way does not actually make me feel better, it just makes me feel more confused.
My counsellor said to me what I already knew in myself, the fact that encouragement must come from myself. It doesn’t matter how long I spend in therapy or how many people tell me good things about myself or congratulate me for good things I have accomplished in my life. If I cannot congratulate myself or believe that I am a good person or have confidence in myself then there is no point in me doing all this work. It is only now that I am admitting that I have done a lot of work in order to still be standing here alive and still fighting today. I am now trying to learn to be present in myself. To acknowledge that I exist and that I am living and breathing and fighting. I need to recognise positive things I have done. Some times it feels like I am banging my head against a rock, but eventually I do allow myself to be proud in what I have achieved and recognise that I have indeed achieved good things. I want to gain my confidence to be myself back. I want my life back. Those who tried to put me down and abuse me and make me hate myself do not deserve to win. I deserve to win. It is my life.
My new task is now spending time alone with myself. Recognising that spending time by myself is not a bad thing. That life with myself is not a bad thing. I now say to myself throughout the day ‘I love myself. I am a good person and I deserve good things’. I am now beginning to believe it more than I did when I first began to repeat this mantra. It is only in loving myself that I will continue to have the strength to continue to heal from abuse and to live my life to the fullest. It is a pretty difficult thing to learn when nobody has taught you how to do this, but there is no better time to start.
Lastly, I discussed the fear I have of everything going wrong and the need to be in control because of this fear. I now recognise this as anxiety. And anxiety is not real. I realise I have anxiety because my inner child is still damaged and scared and living in the past of my childhood. It is only by connecting with my inner child and facing this childhood that I can free myself from this anxiety and from consistently living in fear.
My counsellor explained to me that fear will be my initial reaction to most things due to anxiety and due to the need to stay in control, but I have to feel the fear and continue to push through it anyway. If I believe in myself and have this confidence then I can do anything no matter how scary it may seem at first glance.