Friday, 2 September 2011

Huge breakthrough

Unexpectedly useful appointment with the psychologist today. I came away with kind of a diagnosis - a clearer idea of exactly what kind of screw-up I am.

Apparently, what I need is Psychodynamic Therapy. My 'schemer' - the main, underlying issue that pretty much everything else springs from - is abandonment. A 'schemer activation' is anything that triggers that issue. So anything that makes me feel abandoned will trigger ALL of those feelings. That explains why I over-react so badly whenever I feel let down or uncared-for; each time, I'm reacting to ALL of the abandonment I felt as a child.

These 'activators' can be nothing like what you might imagine. Apparently, something as minor as someone forgetting that you don't like a particular flavour of cake can set you off. Suddenly, you're feeling that friend has abandoned you and doesn't give a damn about you - how else could they forget something so basic? As a result, you react as if they had just walked out on you in your hour of greatest need, even though you know logically that it's nothing of the sort. You can feel yourself doing it, yet are powerless to stop it.

So all the times that I've felt terminally let down by someone forgetting something I told them, turning up late, not calling, not understanding, not bringing something they promised, missing my birthday, or by businesses not having something in stock, missing a delivery date, being understaffed - they're all explained.

All those things and a million others: to me - unconsciously, unintentionally and entirely wrongly - each and every one of them is synonymous with my mother abandoning me to the clutches of my rapist father.

I've known for a long time that abandonment was a big issue for me. I knew it was causing me to over-react to things. But I had no idea of the depth of the problem.

Apparently, the realisations I had earlier in the week about being inside my ultimate childhood terror, where no-one is ever going to come and save me, were a huge step. Even more so with the realisation this morning that being in my ultimate childhood terror actually represents the ultimate abandonment. Think about it: when you're in a terrifying situation, part of the fear is how much worse things could get, the worry of what comes next. But there IS nothing worse; I'm already in the worst possible place and no-one's coming. There's nowhere left to fall.

It all explains why the realisations had such a drastic effect on me, stopping the suicidal merry-go-round that had been going on in my head for days. The shrink said that when you have a eureka moment like that, it can 'clear out' the blockage; the schemer activations can just stop. But not always.

I still feel there may be more to discover from those realisations and their impact on me, or maybe it really is just that, and the fact that I have survived what seemed so unsurviveable.

Apparently though, my exhaustion today - by the time I got to the shrink I was so tired I could barely speak - is due to the enormity of these realisations.

Anyway, I guess I just have to see what happens next time someone does something that I would normally perceive as letting me down.

In the meantime, all I can do is explain all this to my friends and family, and hope they continue to understand my over-reactions, see them for what they are - a symptom of a psychological condition - and forgive me.

Not so easy with my mother herself, though, who would understand all this about as much as she'd understand Swahili!

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