Permanently damaged?

Giovanni

Registrant
You guys are really into your therapy sessions over there. Firstly, I don't know how you afford them and secondly, I sort of lose hope when I see the length of time some of you are in therapy and still feeling kind of bad. I'm not judging any of you but would be interested to know if anyone has dealt with the situation by themselves in conjunction with using forums like this for support.
 
My previous therapist didn't really ask much about the abuse when I first mentioned it to her, and I got the impression that it was a thing she perhaps wasn't comfortable with or didn't know much about.
I suggest finding a Therapist trained in PTSD/Trauma. They can help your whole person (not just the sex part ;) )
 
You guys are really into your therapy sessions over there. Firstly, I don't know how you afford them and secondly, I sort of lose hope when I see the length of time some of you are in therapy and still feeling kind of bad. I'm not judging any of you but would be interested to know if anyone has dealt with the situation by themselves in conjunction with using forums like this for support.
for 27 years doing whatever free stuff I could find. then CBT therapy for 2 years, then PTSD-T for past year and made HUGE strides in my healing as a result of paid PTSD Therapy!!
 

JDylah_da_Kylah

Registrant
Thanks for the input, I'll send her an email and mention what you suggested.
You're welcome, friend; I hope it helps! To be honest, I'm in a very similar situation, so here's to hoping we've both found good matches, eh? (Also--bouncing off of what @NC-Survivor said--my "new" therapist specializes in both trauma and is a certified sexologist as well. So I guess some magical unicorns do exist, i.e. therapists who have training in pretty much anything I think a CSA survivor could need. One-stop shops, as it were . . . If this particular sexologist doesn't work out, don't be afraid to ask her for referrals. Any therapist or other mental health professional worth their salt should be more than willing to help you find someone who's better qualified or a better fit, if it doesn't work between you two for whatever reason.)
 
I'm inclined to believe the damage is permanent, though that doesn't stop any survivor from finding a satisfying life. Getting there is the hard work all of the men on this website are doing.

This morning I was reading a bit about how the brain works given the experience of trauma. We know now that when trauma happens our brain responds from a more primitive level, not communicating with the neocortex, the last part of the brain to develop through evolution... the mammalian brain that allows us to make sense of experience. If the trauma happens early the neocortex won't be online in any case, but when trauma happens the body goes into fight, flight, freeze, feed or fuck... all of which take us away from the terror of the moment. Eventually we'll come to understand what happened, to tell ourselves a story that makes sense. That is what we do here... tell the truth about what happened while discharging the feeling it was our fault. It is a great gain to stop shaming ourselves but in reality, a more accurate and comforting story does not in itself assuage the reptilian brain when a frightening stimulus arises. It will act before we have an opportunity to say "wait a minute, I'm not a little boy any longer, I'm not at risk in this situation..." The reptilian brain will give us the finger and keep doing what it has done our entire lives. And so to use the 12 Step teaching story... we fall into the hole again.

So we keep relying on kindness rather than loathing or shame, in the hope that at some point the trigger will lose some of its sensitivity and our body will feel safe enough in the world that the automatic reaction won't happen. Considering the neocortex doesn't finish its development until we're in our mid-twenties it is probably safe to assume it wasn't able to give us much support when we were boys facing trauma. But now we can use that capacity and learn how to care for ourselves when the terror runs over us again. There is never a single moment in our journey in which our behavior, thoughts or feelings can be fairly judged as wrong, or shameful, or cowardly. Every reaction we have has been hard wired into us, the product on our home/family/community and perpetrators. We could have done it no differently than we did. And now we're both understanding that and doing our best to find healthier ways of caring for ourselves.

Perhaps the trauma will become a faint memory at some point and our focus will be simply on living our lives, loving our friends, being eternally gentle with ourselves. That is surely my wish. Getting there is hard work.
 

Blondecurls

Registrant
Had my first session today, it was ok I guess. Seems like I'm fairly normal after all so that was a huge relief. Hypnosis (edit: hypnotherapy) came up and I'm wondering if anyone have any experience with that type of treatment. I've decided that I'm going to give it a go and see what happens. I mean why not, right?
 
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Had my first session today, it was ok I guess. Seems like I'm fairly normal after all so that was a huge relief. Hypnosis (edit: hypnotherapy) came up and I'm wondering if anyone have any experience with that type of treatment. I've decided that I'm going to give it a go and see what happens. I mean why not, right?
PTSD-specific therapy offers various somatic-type treatments that are similar to hypnosis. Does this therapist have training in using hypno-therapy to specifically treat trauma/PTSD?? I would ask that first before becoming a Guinea pig. You may open up a can of worms witg the therapist having no training on how to "put the genie back in the bottle."
 

Blondecurls

Registrant
PTSD-specific therapy offers various somatic-type treatments that are similar to hypnosis. Does this therapist have training in using hypno-therapy to specifically treat trauma/PTSD?? I would ask that first before becoming a Guinea pig. You may open up a can of worms witg the therapist having no training on how to "put the genie back in the bottle."
Yes, she is licenced and have been working with these type of issues for 30 years. She did explain the basics of it, but also said I could look it up on-line and read about it more in depth.
 
does she have training in PTSD-specific therapies? (EMDR, etc.) Some of the "old guard" still use the traditional, yet ineffective, treatments like CBT, etc.
 
@Blondecurls "My previous therapist didn't really ask much about the abuse when I first mentioned it to her, and I got the impression that it was a thing she perhaps wasn't comfortable with or didn't know much about." I have seen 4 counselors prior to this one. I didn't tell the first two. The two others I told and they never asked about it. I think that the third forgot. It was clear to me with my 4th that he was actively avoiding talking about it. It confirmed my contradictory beliefs that the abuse was no big deal AND so horrible that it was too shameful to discuss.

In my first session with my current counselor I told him of my previous experiences with counselors. I asked him to either talk to me about it or not talk to me about but to at least let me know if he didn't want to talk about it. I said I didn't want to bring it up again as I couldn't handle another counselor ignoring it. He assured me that he would bring it up when the time was right. Three months later he finally broached the subject.

Also there is freedom from intrusive thoughts. I struggled with thoughts of violence against me. They would torture me at night. I would be walking through an airport perfectly content and they would overtake me. I would be watching a favorite movie and they would intrude. I have been free of those thoughts for several months now. There is hope. You can be free of them.
 

dark empathy

Registrant
You guys are really into your therapy sessions over there. Firstly, I don't know how you afford them and secondly, I sort of lose hope when I see the length of time some of you are in therapy and still feeling kind of bad. I'm not judging any of you but would be interested to know if anyone has dealt with the situation by themselves in conjunction with using forums like this for support.
Not sure where you are in the world there Giovanni.
In Britain at least, you can't get therapy on the national health service for sexual abuse unless your abuser was a family member, otherwise you'd need to go to court, or pay a lot of cash to go privately, neither of which I can do.

I tried the university counselling service when I was still living at uni, but they were a dead loss and did probably more harm than good.

I did find a charity called Isas, that is insest and sexual abuse survivors, who offered me a brief counselling course in 2013, however they only gave me 20 out of a manidated 36 sessions, and whilst it was useful at the time, it manifestly didn't fix everything.

So, from that point I've tried to sort of cope myself.
Meeting my lady and getting married in 2015, was a major step forward for me and probably did more good than any of the years I'd spent trying to fix myself previously.

However as witness my presence on this site, no things aren't sorted now, particularly with the very recent toxic climate towards men, something I find quite triggering myself.

So, is it possible to deal with things without therapy? Yes.
Is it possible for things to get better? also very much yes!

Is it perminant? [email protected] not sure.

There are long stretches now where I no longer think about the abuse, and certainly I'm not genophobic, but then things come up and I have further problems, though all in all I can say things are a hole lot better than when I started which is probably the point, largely thanks to this forum I suspect, indeed had I not! been on this forum, I don't think I'd have been ready to get married when the opportunity arose.

Hope some of this makes sense.

Luke.
 
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