Therapy – “You Brought it all on Yourself”

I can hardly believe a full week has gone by since our last group therapy. I lay in bedthHT4VLBYU early Friday morning thinking about my last blog post while trying to connect with those same dissociative feelings. I’ve realised a large part of that detachment encompasses the fear of persecution. I needed this week’s session to be different, but it would be a challenge to reveal a part of who I really am.

In the early days of this blog, there was a subtitle under My Travels with Depression, “A Tale Too Tragic to Tell.” I was always worried that my story might present an impression of this poor hapless victim, because nothing could be further from the truth.

When my little child-world experienced all kinds of abuse, the intense anger fuelled a th0V2VU4B4determination to rise above them. My parents would laugh when I regularly vowed, “I’ll be leaving home when I’m sixteen.” I thought being free of their control would somehow make me happier, but in reality, the trauma from their dysfunction would chain us together for many years to come.

I believed their disparaging words, “You brought it all on yourself.”

Life wasn’t easy while growing up confused about sexuality and gender, but rather than shy into a corner and hide from the bullies, I held my head high, but deep down it broke my heart.

Parents and teachers said, “But, you bring it all on yourself.”  

The option to stay silent about my sexuality would have avoided further persecution. ItthR7F77MAR was the early eighties and attitudes towards homosexuality were a world apart from what we know today. Nevertheless, I chose to ‘come out’ to a church full of charismatic Christians. Unfortunately, they were also my employers. They spoke of love, forgiveness, and tolerance, but I only witnessed disdain.

They said, “You brought it all on yourself.”

Years later, when I became a victim of an attempted murder, I also became a victim of fierce judgement from loose-mouthed peers. They would say I was a fool for going home with a stranger.

And, yes, many said, “You brought it all on yourself.”

It’s difficult to imagine where the inner-strength came from. On the outside, it looked like I bounced back, but on the inside I was struggling to hold on.

Then something happened fourteen years ago. You could say it was the final straw.thEBX59GJ7 The years of persecution crashed like a ton of bricks, leaving me utterly flattened and defeated. On my knees, I no longer had strength to tolerate potential persecution. It became so much easier to hide within a tough protective bubble, but now it is time to break the seal and reach out.

I have no room for those who say, “You brought it all on yourself.”

Driving to group, admittedly, I rehearsed a shortened version of this post. During the obligatory ‘check-in’, it felt like I was dragging my soul – kicking and screaming – out of a long dark tunnel. My voice was quivering as I blurted out…

“I’m nervous because there’s something I want to share with the group after check-in.”

th2DNVUN37It felt a bit like going to the dentist… once our bum is on the chair there is no chickening out. I was about to open myself up to the same vulnerabilities I spent fourteen years running away from. All of those years I considered myself weak… a failure. This week I caught a glimpse of a person I didn’t even know existed.

There is something very powerful about relating past trauma to the difficulties weth0UQOMD3L encounter in the present moment. Healing may not be the most appropriate word, but it does strengthen that shift in perspective and nurtures the strength and courage necessary to tackle the problems head on rather than pretend they don’t exist.

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27 thoughts on “Therapy – “You Brought it all on Yourself”

  1. shoe1000

    I dont heal, I integrate.
    I dont stop the fear,
    I learn to deal with it
    I dont stop the others, as
    I cant stop anything.
    I can only choose
    I am here, and that is it.
    I deserve to be loved,
    I deserve to love.
    I try not to hate those
    I cant deal with.
    I can only learn that
    I can only be, when
    I can finally see, that
    I am not here alone.
    I am always near to those
    I choose to love and laugh with.
    I need them to be,
    I need them, for there to be we.

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  2. Priceless Joy

    It makes me sad how people treated people that “weren’t like them” years ago. They were persecuted, treated with distain and disgust. I think the thinking of most people now have gone past tolerance to acceptance. Those who were treated so terribly then, can live with pride of who they are now. Although it doesn’t make the pain inflicted hurt any less I truly hope it helps you to heal. Cat, a huge part of that healing is forgiving those idiots. They acted that way because they lacked understanding through no fault of their own. Society wasn’t given the necessary information in order to understand. Now they have. My wish for you is to have the best of everything wonderful in all the future days ahead.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Kat… thank you. I just popped by your blog, but things are quiet… I hope everything is okay… I know this is a tough time for you. Thinking of you

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      1. kat

        ya i havent been posting much, just some reblogs. but im ok, just have been really super tired-not sure why–almost got a DUI bc of it tho. Been sleeping as much during the day as at night! might need to drop my clonipin.

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        1. Cat Post author

          Glad you’re ok but go easy on the potential DUI’s! I also sleep loads when I’m down. Hope you’re feeling much better soon, Kat

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  3. mandy

    Cat, I’m just exhaling now after reading this. Honest to god I sometimes wonder how you could write some of the lines from my past. That “You brought it all on yourself” was the mantra I came to hear (and believe), too. I thought everything bad that happened was a punishment from the Almighty. I love not only that you came to that point 14 years ago where you weren’t going to take it anymore, but then at your therapy session, where you said it out loud. That’s so freakin’ huge!! ♥

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    1. Cat Post author

      When we injured ourselves as children, Mum would often say, “That’s God punishing you for…” and it does instil fear and a bit of the old paranoia. Even today, when things don’t go as planned, at the back of my mind I’m thinking, ‘Is this punishment…?’ How ridiculous is that?!!

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      1. mandy

        I know. I still have those old flashback-remarks jabbing me. Even though I know I’m a grown-up now, those things seem to have been written in indelible markers. You’d think having the awareness that we do would make them disappear. Those darn markers!

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          1. mandy

            Me too. When I began this healing journey I believed awareness, writing a memoir, and forgiveness would erase all those things. They didn’t. I’m trying let go of the hoping for it, and just understand that it became part of my DNA. And like those things I was born with that I don’t like but can’t change, I’ll try to ignore them with they happen and be grateful I’ve reached the point where I understand they aren’t true. (Doesn’t mean I’m not really pissed off about it, Lol.)

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  4. mm172001

    I find I often perceive that I bring things on myself, I don’t think I was ever directly told this; but when life keeps hitting you again and again you can’t help wondering what you are doing wrong. I’m glad you have that strength.

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  5. myspokenheart

    I am so happy every time I read about a break through, and I am proud of you, because over coming those things we hold so deep inside is one of the greatest challenges.

    You inspire me Cat, thank-you. ❤

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  6. Americana Injustica

    Cat, I know you have been through some serious shit in your life that has created these boundaries and borders between yourself and anyone you perceive as being able to hurt you, rightfully so.
    As you kinda know, I have similar issues with being a survivor and the guilt associated with just that in itself, I applaud your progress in therapy – despite how it feels for you at present, it is the actual “recovery” of yourself a little bit at a time now. I admire people like you and Manz so very much because I KNOW that it takes a certain type of survivor to pull through longstanding trauma and abuse (I didn’t survive that kind). But, you have a fire in your belly it seems…to recover yourself. That’s very admirable and respectable from one human to another. HUGS.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Your comment does mean a lot, thank you. Often we acknowledge so much about being a survivor, but tend not to focus on the immense strength and courage that brought us to where we are today.

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