I was who was so traumatized has caused me a lot of problems, because I don’t know what she decided or thought in many cases until there’s an issue. It’s my flashback to be swamped with pain, fear, or panic and possibly no apparent reason for the reaction.
For a long, long time, shame held me back, but I didn’t realize it until one day in therapy I blurted out, “I don’t deserve to heal; I killed my mother.”
I remembered feeling that way as a small child, but I thought it was survivor guilt, and I thought I’d dealt with it. I hadn’t. I did after that.
One of the most difficult things is at 60+ is to “get” that what’s going on with my body/mind has not much if anything to do with who I am now and figure out how to undo whatever it is. In many ways, it’s rather like trying to talk to an alien.
That said? She also did me a really, really good turn by her lack of understanding in one critical area. A few years back, I started to slide into clinical depression. I thought I was going insane, finally. My therapist and I talked about how I felt, and what was happening to me and she diagnosed it as clinical depression.
A while later, I put it together. What I had always been afraid of was losing control — “going insane.” That was what I’d fought internally for decades. It was keeping myself out of that. But it wasn’t insanity; it was clinical depression.
It meant that when I started to slide down that path in my 50s-60s, a remote part of me — at a distance — noticed and said, “What are you doing?”
My internal response was, “I don’t know. I don’t care.”
But that monitor said. “Hm. Maybe we’ll read this piece, it usually makes us feel better.”
“Nothing will make it better.”
“If you insist.”
I did two or three other things: read the pieces which make me feel better, walked to the place which makes me feel good, etc. with no hope they would work. But eventually, they did.
So, yes, I’ve been depressed. And I’ve been close to succumbing to clinical depression.
But that plucky little girl wasn’t going to “go insane” no matter what! She kept finding ways to avoid it.
This puts me at a loss with people who ARE depressed, because my magic, most effective tool against depression’s devastation is that I made it absolutely illegal and forbidden for myself, when I was 3.