Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Comments by amikatari

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I don’t think it should necessarily be totally shut down, either.

    But most of the reasons the author has given are for the benefit of the psychiatrists, rather than the patients.

    It worries me that he seems to lack the self-awareness to realise this and the knowledge that every medical system should have the sole purpose of helping its patients.

  • I just have to say, TirelessFighter3, whoever you are, I think you’ve just changed my life! I had a mental health breakdown 2 years ago, I had to give up work, but it’s also led me to understand that I was abused and suffered trauma as a child. Ever since then I’ve been trying to ‘heal’ through psychotherapy and self-help reading. I’ve read some validating books, but others made me really angry, as did the therapy in the end.

    I’ve been trying to articulate why I feel so angry with so many of the ideas and theories that are supposed to help me heal. You’ve absolutely summed it up for me and it’s now clear in my mind.

    I’m supposed to be angry. It’s a reasonable and healthy reaction to what I went through as a child and crucially, what others go through too. It’s a reasonable reaction to therapy that failed to even properly validate that I’ve been abused, even when I disclosed illegal things that were done to me, and located my problems in my head. The causes of my distress are external, societal and I need to use my anger in a positive way to make a difference in the world, however big or small. I’ve been told by books and people that the way forward is to forgive my abusers and even to forgive myself, which is insulting because I was a victim and a child and not to blame. And told that that no-one can make me feel anything, as though my pain at being abused was my own fault for allowing myself to feel it, and as though I can ‘get better’ by loosening my grip on reality and accepting that lie.

    Like, why is the answer to being the victim of crimes, psychotherapy. It isn’t. If your car is stolen or your house is burgled, society helps you by confirming that the thieves are wrong and bringing them to justice. No-one would dream of suggesting therapy instead. So why are violent crimes against the person which are far more serious treated that way. Why don’t therapists offer guidance and help with reporting crimes as an option for their clients to consider when abuse is disclosed? I agree with what you’re saying, that survivors are punished and abused yet again by social structures and by most forms of psychotherapy.

    Why didn’t I click before? I did it when I was younger – I was abused in relationships in my 20s, too, since I was vulnerable after my childhood, and ended up helping myself by recognising that there is a massive problem in society with this stuff going on (relationship abuse due to power differentials and bystanders’ refusal to believe or see it) and that it was not my fault and that I was right to be angry. And I didn’t get any therapy. Instead I volunteered as an advice worker to help people in poverty, and this turned into a 12 year career. I listened and validated them as some of them poured their hearts out about abusive situations they’d been in, and were currently in; somehow they recognised me as a fellow survivor, and I helped some of them escape abusers as well as helping them with the social deprivation and money problems they were having because of oppressive power structures. I fought for justice for my clients. I made my clients better off by over £600,000 in total in my most productive year by advocating for their rights and getting them some social justice.

    Then I broke down and had to take a career break. And somewhere along the way I got lost in psychology and ‘therapeutic’ ideology. I forgot what I’d learnt. I didn’t click that I could react to my childhood abuse in the same way as my relationship abuse. Because I pursued therapy and psychological self-help. It clouded me. I forgot that social activism was relevant to my situation (partly because I felt a failure for giving my job up). I read damaging things that implied that I had only enjoyed helping others for selfish and ‘unhealthy’ unconscious reasons. That made me feel I’d achieved nothing in life, that I was a fraud and that all the work I’d done counted for nothing. I only realise now that these factors actually caused me to sink into a deep depression and become incapacitated while I was trying to ‘find myself’.

    I know I’ve rambled on about myself a lot here, but I really want you to know how much you’ve changed my life and set me on a path towards a legitimated biography, as you say. I was lost, but realise now that I was trying to heal through compliance with a lie, and that those ideas have made me worse. I’m going to read the book you suggested right now. I’m going to write more of this stuff. I’m going to find people who are fighting for the rights of survivors and join them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, seriously <3