Before I explain why I decided to go down the CBT root, I thought it would be helpful to mention in passing how I got here. There are some triggers in this, although I haven’t gone into great detail… this is just light touch.
It’s a fairly long and laborious story so I will give you the abridged version. I was born to a mother who had been sterilised and thought I was a stomach ulcer. Once born, and for as long as I can remember I was reminded regularly that I wasn’t wanted. Also that I would be much prettier if I was thinner and almost constantly on a diet from about the age of 7/8.
As I got older there were 2 cases of sexual abuse by people who were not known to me, and then I fell into a horribly mentally and physically abusive relationship, and stayed in that relationship for 5 years before I managed to escape. This was all over by the time I was 26, but I didn’t really have the relationship with my mum to talk to her about any of it, and had developed some rather unhealthy trust issues (which I still have to an extent today), so didn’t confide in friends (which I didn’t have many of at the time as my ex had seen to it that I had lost most of them.
So… in my mind I had little choice to deal with this on my own. I read a lot of self help books, and did try counselling once, but I found the counsellor really just wanted to talk about their own life rather than mine, and after 6 sessions I gave up with that.
I studied about various techniques and coping strategies and for a long time this worked to a degree. I will admit I had massive triggers which could make me cry (I cry when I am angry as I don’t express it well otherwise) and I would often have to walk away from people. I kept people at arms length as I didn’t really want them getting too close.
This all sounds a bit of a sob story, I have a great relationship with my father, and I had an amazing relationship with my grandmother, unfortunately when I was 16 I was the one to discover her dead in her house, and that left its mark as well. While I had brilliant relationships with these people, I didn’t talk to them about it simply because if I did the whole family would know and that isn’t what I wanted.
A few years ago a met a person who became a really close friend, and I confided in them everything, and while this was a great release it seemed to make some of the triggers get worse. This person now puts up with a lot from me, but they are always there for me, and because they are quite well removed from my day to day life it is easier for me to feel comfortable with them knowing me inside out. The sheer fact that they are around even knowing these things about me and what my anxiety can do to me is a miracle in my eyes.
I am pretty successful in my career, but this brings its own stresses, and I manage 21 people at the moment, and this does prove to be a strain on my own mental health at times.
I currently also provide a level of care for my parents. You might wonder why I do this for a mother which has left so many scars and still adds to them, but when anything happens to her I want to feel that I did the right thing, as above all else she is the only mother I have. There is still something about human care in my mind and I want to feel at peace with the fact that I did everything I could and rose above how she behaves.
All of these things play on my mind fairly regularly and I want to find a way to manage them more effectively. I want to feel more comfortable with myself, and I think that is the key to finding help. If you don’t want to be helped no amount of what anyone says to you will sink in, so here I am 14 years later, accepting I can’t do this on my own.
Now… all that is out the way, the next post will be about how I eventually got started down the CBT route.