I think it’s very interesting that the therapist said the meaning behind the presence of dogs in a recent nightmare was perhaps to serve as my instinct/intuition since I don’t trust myself enough to determine if a situation was safe or not. I didn’t trust that I would know what was in front of me. I didn’t trust that I would know what was real.
Which reminded me that a few weeks ago, I tweeted this simple sentence:
At the time, I had been thinking a lot about what went wrong with Zooey and the role I played in it. I am mostly resolved to the fact that she is not a very good
therapist person, but I think what has been most difficult for me to understand is how I didn’t see this coming.
How did I not predict that she would hurt me so badly? How could I have trusted her so blindly? How could I have not sensed and reacted to the fact that she was rapidly deteriorating right in front of my eyes each week?
But the more I talk about this in session with the therapist, the more she helps me understand that I absolutely saw this coming. I felt it. I wrote about it and brought all of those emotions and thoughts into session. I tried to talk about it. I knew that something was wrong. I knew that therapy didn’t feel okay and that my relationship with Zooey was beginning to feel very intense and toxic.
My intuition told me that something was wrong. My instincts said to get out of there. But I didn’t listen. I didn’t trust myself enough to listen.
Growing up in a household where people are both saying and doing completely incongruent things on a regular basis is crazy-making. I think “gaslighting” was essentially my biological parents’ go-to parenting skill. From a very young age I was consistently given the message that my intuition and instincts were wrong. I was called “over-sensitive”, “melodramatic”, “imaginative”. I was lied to about many things (including myself) and called a liar even when telling the absolute truth.
I was ultimately told that my perception and sense of reality was not valid.
With that in mind, I can see why I didn’t walk away from treatment with Zooey even when my instincts were screaming at me to get the heck out of there before she hurt me even more. It also explains some of the blatantly precarious situations that myself and various other members of the system have found ourselves in throughout the last three decades.
When you’ve never been taught what is safe, how to keep yourself safe, or that you’re even worthy of being kept safe – it’s kinda hard to understand how to do so!
But I want better. For me. For us. For our life. I want to be able to trust myself and trust that I’m making the right decision.
I just don’t know how.