Showing 35 of 35 comments.
Yes, you ‘hear me’. And I understand nearly all of the dynamics you’re expressing in the lack of trust you’ve experienced and rightly so.
I would be willing to share my story with you privately, but these days I’m feeling really unsteady, as no doubt many are still. I believe you would be a good listener and would sensitively identify as well.
I appreciate your response here. This hasn’t been familiar to me by many who respond to my responses.
I do hope you continue to find trusted support in your friends and psychiatrist. (Projecting my fear again here) This hasn’t been my experience, even after I had had life lines and they failed me and I decided to trust a ‘god of my understanding’ and talk only to it for a year or thereabout, then that contact was lost (I know there are many paradigms of thought on this) where I am still in disconnected survival limbo.
I have let go of counselors and friendships because of noticing the distrust I felt with them and finally had the courage to not depend on them, feeling I had to edit my process. I am now unedited with myself and take risks with the last couple people I text with and Skype, and yet, I am so dependent on them that I fear I will push them away too, because ultimately, I know they cannot save me from my cycles of trauma, as I go through another counselor relationship now, once again. Thus far he is willing to listen once a week and I feel respected in my self awareness and whatever comes up in our new dynamic of intimate relationship (payed for of course, so not too intimate).
Thanks for being here Lauren, and thanks for your vulnerable open response. I understand free expressing to who will listen. Sincerely I do. Individual to individual is the best I can try to find settling for or some semblance of solace.
Removed for moderation.
I wouldn’t know how to trust friends or a psychiatrist who can take away my power after what you’ve been through Lauren. Telling and retelling my story to people I thought were friends only made them treat me more like ‘a mental patient’. To be honest, I don’t trust many people here that are ‘fighting the good fight’ because the way one is read or sensitized in their own experiences tend to project their own experiences onto who’s speaking. I know you want to be heard and believed and trusted and ‘fought with’, and yet…who really has your back if not you in healing from the trauma of this systemic oppression that continues. And if you aren’t clear in how to heal and who to go to for healing then who do you trust? I’m not speaking for you of course. I’m projecting. I’m curious all the same in how what I’ve replied lands for you.
I appreciate and respect your story and how you chose to tell it, and yet I wonder how you can trust an education that is taking you into the same system that failed you and your parents, and their parents before.
I am curious if there are alternative approaches that are healing to your trauma and those you want to serve in their trauma. We tend to settle in the modalities that are recycling being dependent on counselors and ‘people in power’ and not in finding agency in one’s life. I’m speaking from my own experience of course, but am curious in if you have your doubts about the education you’re going forward in, that and community and systems already in place that cycle trauma in their behaviors and beliefs that collude with systemic oppression.
Thanks for writing and reading.
I would like to hear Megan write about what individualism is and what interdependence looks like that isn’t codependent. I’m being sincere. I agree with much of how she defines what she’s experienced and the way she words these things that need to stop, I intrinsically agree with her. I feel lost after what she says though. I feel overreactive in my victimization and I feel angry (as I should) and I don’t know how to approach elderly parents who didn’t know how to parent in a way that wasn’t abusive and wasn’t teaching me individualism or demanding someone to be something they didn’t know how to do (because this is who I would attract consistently-I’ve given up now). I simply don’t know how to take in emotionally what she’s honestly and convincingly arguing to need to stop. I feel I’m setting myself up to be bullied in saying all this out loud. I also feel bullied already and don’t know how to not overreact (as I believe she understands) of what I’ve come to expect from those who ‘love me’ and ‘know me’ best. It’s too heartbreaking much of the time to really accept.
So taking responsibility for my feelings of anger when feeling something from experiencing someone’s words is them making me feel? Is this right? I feel lost, confused, child-like, all those aspects of child abuse, and in shock. I get that being mad about these feelings being brought up in me from the experience of others that I trusted, and that we are reacting to our environments since we’re small, or we are traumatized by our environments since we are small, and then these feelings are triggered by the wealthy, 26 white guya. I get that me being a white guy makes sense that I’m angry too because I was raised to think I had privilege, and more sense that I would go on some kind of shooting rampage, except for I’m afraid of guns. I get that my anger towards myself is stuck and repeats indefinitely in trauma from childhood, and experiences from the mental health system and then being reminded of how parents that ‘loved’ me and other friends who ‘loved me’ repeated every one of these slogans you mentioned here to me. But again, how am I taking responsibility here? How am I accountable and how do I not just look like a monster because of how I react in my anger when I feel I AM BEING MADE to feel in the judgments and gaslighting of environments and family and ex-friends (now) and even ‘recovery’ groups because I couldn’t hear the fucking lies anymore?!
I really do feel lost and yeah (where’s the gun?) triggered reading this. Yeah, no solutions here.
I’m STILL not over my anger. And to hear this written here over a year ago and aware of all of this only nine years ago, I’m still unable to free myself from the rage I feel towards what this has done and is still doing to all those I know where I live. It’s RARE that people I meet aren’t already assuaged by all that I feel rage and contempt. I was like them for 20 years. It’s very difficult to be with and accept others where they’re at when they think they’re saving their lives too.
I have noticed that Megan doesn’t respond so I thought I’d try and ask you for a response. I’m confused about the line you quoted of Megan’s about ‘individualism’s permeation’. I don’t understand how this is a negative aspect that can be equaled to ‘capitalism’s saturation’. I get the capitalism thing, but not the individualism thing she’s bringing up. What do you make of this use of this being negative? Just curious.
I was getting into this, but then it just got maddeningly difficult to follow for me. It continued taking me into more and more aspects of ‘attention seeking’ and then I’m being TOLD that my individual truth isn’t really a truth, or something. I really find several sentences difficult to follow, which blows, because I feel validated at moments in sentences as I agree with the shaming culture thing of adults who have lost a sense of truth in self, but then the branching into other areas of politics and this ‘we’ stuff…I dunno, feels pushy and not real clear. I had to give up. I like the validation of the bottom line though-not to shame for needing attention at any age. It’d be interesting to hear more examples of how to go about that.
Reading this piece and the comments bludgeons me in the heart and gut! I agree with the solution being present and open hearted and listening with NO backup of cops or hospitalization nearby. Yet, I also hear how undeniably similar people are speaking about what constitutes as someone to reach out to being completely unsafe and abusive still since I was locked up ‘for my own good’ because of my lame attempt at suicide in 1990. I don’t hear anything changed and it’s become even more dangerous. I learned about NAMI by going to a meeting and it was like entering the lions den. So glad I got out and never turned back. Yet, where then to turn? Who? I just don’t know still, after all this time. I hear more of the same chaos being what’s acceptable, and though it’s good that we’re aware of this here with so many voices, it’s still very disturbing, especially here in the midwest where I live, even this being a college town, and I’m stuck and don’t know where to move to have a place that would be more closely available to people that have someone or someplace to go more locally that is safe(er). At least not abusive.
I’m confused as to what self care can be and what connection with people can be and all this piece brings up that capitalism and the MH system has done as well as the media and social media has done to isolate and/or co-opt what is acceptable connection or self care. I still have no idea what the solution is for me or for anyone else in the comments or in the piece. It just feels like chaos.
Well said Steve…and I wonder these years later if there is any change in the mental health system being held accountable…but no…I still see more of the same ‘mental illness’ push and ECT is still being pushed…by the famous suffering and us who survive in between connections here at MIA…I’m not holding my breath connecting with the author of this piece at any time.
Thanks for the suggestion of Haim Ginott. Will check it out. Appreciate your insight here.
What emotion-releasing therapy did you practice Sinead? Thanks for sharing your experience.
Before now? What changed?
I have had personal experience with more than one counselor not allowing me to express my fear/rage/anger because it was ‘retraumatizing’ and/or because it was not being respectable or considerate to the other rooms around us at the center.
I’m sincerely curious Noel, what do you make of this and where else I could go? Oh, I’m in the midwest too, so yeah, has a lot to do with my options.
Capitalism and the rest of these economic structures are acts of murder. Duh. And we’re all going along with it.
I’ll respect your privacy and not push connection. Thanks for being here as your drawn.
I sincerely appreciate your perspectives of power and the lack therof and the voice you have and how you express yourself. I’d like to hear more from your experiences. Let me know if you have a place you share this if you’d like. Thanks for this.
Yes, intuition…instinct…I am trying to listen to and trust this when it comes up and yet I have also been unable to discern at times ‘my truth’ in this regard.
I also have a very difficult time trusting people and I prove it over and over again. I speak to one person via Skype fairly consistently an hour at a time who’s a sort of understanding friend, and she has a lot of experience in an alternative and open way of being with me which I deeply do appreciate, although I still have had difficult time even trusting her, but we continue moving through these feelings, I broke contact for a couple months once after meeting her in person because I didn’t feel as ‘safe’ in the experience of being with her and talking (that’s a long story though, and I won’t get into that here). We did work through it though and I am able to continue our conversations.
I don’t trust anyone with what goes on with any consistency, not even my counselor, which is deeply unfortunate to me, I settle on having some personal intimacy in emotion and insight of an intimate nature with her but not through all the inner-goings-on because I simply cannot trust her with this, nor anyone really as I still don’t have this ‘acceptance’ (if your reading Alfie). I find acceptance to be a process not a simple decision. It comes and goes, is fluid. Just my experience thus far. I still have little trust in myself with so many aspects of myself, and withdraw consistently in the ‘living of life’. I don’t expect to have a trust in a capacity of friendship that is long and in person and nearby anytime soon. I have much to learn being with myself as well and simply appreciating how I am in moments. Again, this comes and goes… I really appreciated Noel’s blog 6 Ways Trauma Might Inform Your Current Life. Much of it rang true to me. This is my discerning voice or intuition saying ‘yes’ in what she’s expressing in this piece, there is understanding here. Sadness and a sense of hopelessness in what I have no trust of this society at large, but understanding in what evokes trauma consistently.
Yes it is different from when I was coming out of the fog of the revolving door of psychiatry. Yes I have a stubborn pride that I will not go back. But having ‘life’ after this has not felt clear and free and trusting to me with any consistency. As I age (I’m 50) I find less to be ‘living’ for or with…so much I want to escape…and simply not be judged any longer…
Thank you so very much for your understanding and empathy from what you’ve gone through and how this rage continues. And yes, I don’t like living in that rage and that resentment, it simply comes up, and I feel so undermind by these ‘professional care givers’ and I have been ‘paranoid’ and have shown distrust to those who have been counselors since then. True, 20, 30 years ago this kind of information wasn’t available (at least I didn’t know where to go to look for it being in the midwest all this time, except for a short transient stint in Boulder, CO). I tell a counselor I work with what my belief system is and tell them what I don’t want to hear from them (because around here it’s hard to find anyone that doesn’t go along in some way with the DSM and the modern mental health system).
Yes I wouldn’t choose this anger either, and yet when it comes up someone has said this is my spirit saying ‘don’t let them take your dignity and self respect away from you!’ I dunno, I could probably find other ways to find this dignity and self respect. The intensity of this is powerful though when I speak of my experiences or hear about similar experiences. And it just goes on and on, and I find it hard to trust the ‘nuggets’ of positive things that happen for people who are being dragged into the system now, and they find a way to ‘get out’ of the system through other services that are alternatives. I’d like to hear more of them.
I do often find myself disheartened that the only examples of people ‘breaking out of the diagnosis/system’ are those who find this professional/money making/voice of power-work, and therefore they have succeeded in ‘breaking free’ of the system and what that system did for them. I can’t find my way to what that success is whatsoever and it is VERY troubling to me. I just don’t see a way of finding that power within. Just as I stopped going to AA meetings 5 years ago (though I continue to stay clean/sober now for over 25 years) because the majority of ‘success’ to everyone was what kind of capitalistic power they had or how perfectly they worked the 12 steps and it just felt dishonest and FAR from TRUTH to me. So, I just had to walk away because I was more and more resentful and not relating and feeling only more vulnerable in what I felt was important to share that was coming up in my process. I also, simply find it hard to have this ‘attitude of gratitude’ that appears to be SO important… It doesn’t feel true consistently for me.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for your comment. Sorry, I go on…
What jumped out at the beginning of this for me, other than agreeing strongly with his discernment and obsessiveness about the dangerousness of this power is HOW HAS MEDICATIONS HURT MY BRAIN AND HOW CAN I HEAL THIS? I have been off all meds for 9 years, but I still feel this underlying distrust or inability to comprehend, a deep seated insecurity… I was on meds for 20 years. I was yes, mesmerized, hypnotized etc… So, I fear that this ‘doom’ is not going to go away after so many years on SSRI’s and the trauma from them that I experienced, I find later, after having been on Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa, Remeron, Trazadone, one at a time or SSRI with a anti-psychotic for up to 5 years at a time, that my suicidal ideation I consistently experienced especially after relationships ended was given extremes because of these meds.
I completely concur with how my psychiatrist’s demeanor was with how he describes this, again, in hindsight. My rage towards this psychiatrist and the system that I went to and leaned on so intensely for 20 years is intensely filling me with resentment when I read this piece to be honest. This isn’t uncommon. I simply have not been able to ‘let this go’, but then again, I don’t know how to be ‘even keeled’ and a good ‘understanding, kind fighter’ instead of having this deep seated resentment and absolute horror for the destruction I received under this ‘care’ and how it goest on to do it’s work and turn family and friends away and professionals away from really being of any help whatso-fucking-ever!
I noticed it was Community not Center just after I sent that (so clever).
I am out of state, I would be interested in what I have to do to have it waived for the next series of trainings. Please let me know what I can do. I won’t fill out the survey as I don’t really feel well enough experienced with where you work and experience a majority of the time to give an accurate expression in words to the community there. I’m fond of the words trauma and connection and community, so ‘trauma connection community’, but yeah, probably not so marketable.
You’re welcome. Thanks for responding.
I have felt the same way, and yet, it still feels incredibly lonely after this repel/rebel for some reason where I am. I needed to read this all the same.
Hey, wait a sec. Don’t you work at the ‘Recovery’ learning center? Sketchy title….(smiley face emoticon)
No, love your writing Sera! I have MUCH to unlearn, I still am in victim mentality consistently and sadly only have here to come and books I find through folks here (mainly here, recently plowed through what I could of Rational Suicide, Irrational Law, felt incredibly validated and acknowledged in the Conclusion section at the end of chapters and the last couple chapters in full I could muddle through). Lawyer speech is so dense though.
I also had to stop going to AA because of the modality of speech there and not feeling aligned in my ‘big feelings’ that I would have in others’ shares (haven’t been back in 2 years) but still don’t want to drink after not doing so for 24 years, but I don’t believe in what the literature taught me anymore about ‘why I drank’ and ‘alcoholism’. “In my recovery…” Hear it ALL THE TIME and ‘we’re as sick as our secrets’…it DOESN’T STOP.
Similarly, while listening at our Hearing Voices meeting here, and I agree that I cannot have others ‘control’ their speech, sadly, many who participate are not yet ready to listen to 99% of what you speak about in our group.
I missed the deadline in your Alternatives to Suicide training and cannot afford it if it requires money for the training anyway. Just appreciate all that I learn through you. I was especially drawn to your 3 part series on suicide in your blog. More recommendations are welcome!
Thank you for your views!
Again, this ‘tone’ brought up feelings and the story I experienced with The Process Institute and maybe I need to ‘open the dialogue’ with them again. But, I must say I don’t feel any power in speaking with them and don’t feel confident in this. They let me know the ‘answer’ was they would no longer allow counseling sessions to take place via Skype with people who have not graduated from their graduate program level of counseling. That was the ‘answer’ and ‘solution’ but simply not for me. To say my belief in ‘help’ that I can afford has been shanghaied is putting it lightly in terms of where I can go in this paradigm I have so been drawn into, and most especially from what has been described so concisely in Sera’s writings. I learn so much from her in what I am still trying to unlearn from my place of definitely still feeling a victim of the system and AA for that matter (24 years clean) yet still feel I’m not ‘recovering’ or ‘recovered’ in my ‘ism. Haven’t been back for over a year now. Big feelings? You bet. Better not to go where I am not heard? You bet, my feelings are too big there now and I have them all the time with what and how people express where they are… Sorry, off topic…but word slinging, not off topic.
A year ago this very thing happened to me when a student who just began graduate work at the Process Work Institute in Portland, OR had been counseling me via Skype and without investigation but citing her as being overwhelmed and unable to be my counselor anymore after 3 months I was ‘listened to’ by her instructors and given a response in email by the president of the school, and yet, the remaining ‘help’ was only that of people who I could not afford that were graduates of the graduate school. So, this happened IN a NEW paradigm of counseling. It does not only happen in the system. This has happened before as well (without naming names) by people in the paradigm that MIA subsists in, sadly, capitalism rules, still and nonetheless. This is via Skype counseling and to have connection of any kind in this paradigm shared here. I live in Iowa, so not a lot to go on here unless it is via Skype or phone in connection with a face and a voice.
I hear you and believe you and did feel your experience in how you expressed this here. Thank you robinwren217!
Thanks for this insight and comment, informative most def.
Thank you Sera.
Your calm resolve of truth lands in my heart with my own experience.
Childhood sexual abuse to how teachers physically and emotionally abused me in front of my class to how the medical and psychiatric system took my power away and my quality and clarity of self away.
THIS for 2 decades because of 3 months of believing diagnosis and institutionalization, drugging, along with forced drugging and physically being forced to be where I don’t want to be and not feel I have anywhere else to turn is STILL not allowed to be heard in my BIG EMOTIONS with this experience with family and friends who are no longer friends as well as counselors I have had and terminated because of their lack of understanding or compassion or space for hope and empowerment. Duh, suicidal feelings and thoughts.
Thanks Sera. If I could afford to move to be of service and know the experience of what I assume is consistent at RLC in Mass, I would move. Maybe I will visit someday.
I know you’re busy, but would love to know if/when you are speaking and can be heard elsewhere.
I am going back to EMDR as soon as I can, I did before, but this was stopped abruptly because I was being more triggered and it effected my ability to not react in the world even more. I want to continue moving forward with it though.
I will try to find the discussion forums here for more camaraderie , don’t do FB.
I appreciate your voice sincerely, your clarity.
Yes, I am swamped in the emotional despair I find myself (accountable for or not, depends who is the critic at the moment inside or outside of me). Thank you for acknowledging my pain.
Noel, I hear the humility and the fight against, and also the balance in that everyone is on their own journey. As refreshing as this is, and inclusive to those who want a safe open space now who find themselves here (them being ME mostly), being off SSRI’s for 6 years, but still not being allowed my anger for the 20 years being led to believe I am NOTHING without diagnosis and medication and the reassurance from the person doing the prescribing— IS A LOT OF ANGER. I have been sober 23 1/2 years, but AA isn’t a safe place to talk about THIS ANGER, and there’s no one at the meetings in my small college town to EXPRESS this, family does not accept this as well. So, where is there a safe office space with love an openness for THIS ANGER? I haven’t found it, and I’ve tried for the last 6 years with different counselors who take my insurance and are trauma based (the last wanted me back on medication, been stuck in trauma spirals with the others, just talk, talk, talk…for years, existence and survival). If my neurons are irreparably damaged from the 20 years of medications and then the psychological and emotional trauma of BELIEF that I NEEDED psychology’s help in order to NOT take my own life or end up back in an institution (which is STILL my terror) where do I go in poverty, confidence and self esteem at an all time low? Your voice is comforting. Where do we go from here? Too much, I know. Just thought I’d give it a shot with you.