Mental Health

Podcast: #7 – Can we heal?

Podcast: #7 – Can we heal?

Is recovery from trauma and abuse – resulting in dissociation and even a dissociative disorder – possible? That’s the subject of this podcast where Carolyn Spring talks about the vulnerability of hoping for good things, the difference between correlation and causation, and the difference between hoping for and planning for.

I see suffering

I see suffering

I want to fight her, I really do. She’s just not rising to it.

‘I see your suffering,’ she says, the words melodic and gentle. Now she’s looking at me, and she’s evidently not scared of me. She’s wiping down the space between us with tenderness. ‘Tell me about your suffering.’ Something about her softness breaks my aggression and I look down, and sigh. There’s pain in that sigh. It burns to breathe in again.

What do you need?

What do you need?

‘How can I help you?’ the therapist asks me. ‘What do you need from me?’
I look at her closely, examining her features, whilst also looking through her, to make sure I don’t connect too closely.
First the fear: Is this a trick? What does she mean? What does she want? Why is she saying this?
Then the shame: What right have I to be helped?
And afterwards, the sadness: No-one has ever offered to help me.

Three emotions in three seconds.

Why don’t I belong?

Why don’t I belong?

‘I don’t fit in,’ I complain, earnestly, full of pain. ‘I don’t belong. I don’t belong anywhere.’

The therapist looks at me steadily, brimming with compassion for me and probably a little stuck about how to respond. If she contradicts me, she’ll risk being misattuned. If she agrees with me, she’ll reinforce my misery. So she sits and waits and eventually she says, ‘When did you first feel like this?’