Secrets

It feels as though my emotions are bobbing up and down on a yo-yo string. Life wasth3JVIHS41 bright and positive in Thursday’s post, but now I’m struggling to drag my mood from the gutter.

It was difficult to answer the comments to my last post, everyone was happy and supportive of the “therapeutic breakthrough,” but I’ve been feeling like a nasty fraudster because I don’t feel happy at all.

I was at group therapy yesterday morning… urgh. We begin each session with “check-in,” a time when everyone says how they’re feeling and what they might like to explore during the hour and a half session.

I stopped raising topics for discussion because the two group leaders are not very attentive when it comes to remembering what members want to talk about and it’s quite hurtful to feel excluded, but that’s for another griping post … morons!

I initially shared how so many areas of my life are changing for the better, especially in terms of leaving the past behind and looking towards the future, but I must have been the happiest person there because the topic quickly turned to matters of a darker nature.

thJYB9F4NQAs the minutes ticked by, my mood sank deeper and deeper into a dark silent hole, and I had nothing to contribute. This kind of experience is nothing new, but it has taken years to understand why it happens, therapy is full of bittersweet moments.

This deterioration in mood and communication skills normally occurs whenever I don’t speak my mind. It will kick off with a familiar sense of suppression and the longer it continues, the more suffocated and self-conscious I become, but nothing can save me from the jaws of silence… all because I’m not telling the whole truth. This time, I wasn’t telling the truth about myself.

With the door to the past firmly closed, I have come face to face with who I am todaythC0RILPD8 and, frankly, I don’t like what I see. There is something in my life that should not be happening, it’s not conducive to my mental health or to my recovery, but it is one of my biggest kept secrets.

Do not let your imagination run riot here, it is nothing pervy, or anything like that, but the shame feels every bit as bad.

I am not quite ready to spill the beans on this one. Talking about it somehow acknowledges its presence and as soon as I do that, it will be time to do something about it, but I am not quite ready just yet. I’ve just remembered a quote on my ‘About me’ page…

“We are only as sick as our secrets”

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43 thoughts on “Secrets

  1. cbecker53

    Do you think that “admitting” to yourself (if that’s the right word) that there is this secret that you don’t like about yourself, and do want to share and acknowledge and change, is the first step to feeling better? I hope so.This is your journey, no one else’s, so take the steps you need to take, in your own way and your own time.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thank you for drawing this to my attention. I do think admitting the problem is most definitely the first step in the right direction. Sometimes it is difficult to see the wood for the trees!

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  2. Priceless Joy

    I’m not surprised by this post Cat. If I were in a group therapy setting where there were other members talking about dark pasts in front of me, well, that would pull me down too. I was in a class setting and our therapist asked us to write about our illness (I don’t remember the exact question). OMG that really pulled me down and took me awhile to recover from it. Also, in therapy, I believe when we are working through things that it isn’t always “one step forward.” Sometimes it is one step back, then two steps forward. Or one step forward and two steps back. Believe it or not, there does come a day where most of our progress is only forward but it is later on in our recovery. I am sorry your are experiencing this “darkness” right now and I hope something wonderful happens for you that will pull you out of it.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Sometimes it can feel as though certain people like to have a moral inventory. I am all for talking about problems, but not in a pointless reminiscent way. One step forward two back… the dance of recovery… great title for a post! Thank you, Joy 🙂

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      1. Priceless Joy

        I agree with you. I also believe when all that is going on in front of others that are struggling with their recovery that it is more harmful than good. (It was for me). I think you could write a wonderful post using that title, “The Dance of Recovery.” That’s a great idea!!

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  3. Ellen

    The group therapy part so reminded me of the pain of sitting silently in group. We’re alike in that if I don’t get to speak my mind, I start to feel unbelievably lost and sad. However, speaking my mind was not always helpful either – so I won’t be saying, go for it, because sometimes it gets worse. Theoretically, we should speak our minds, and tell both the dark and the light.

    I guess I don’t really understand how you’ve been saying lately that now the door to the past is firmly closed. Because for me, that is not possible in any sustained way. I think our relationship to our past can change, slowly, so it maybe stops dominating the present, but the past is always going to be there, for a healthy person. My two cents anyhow.

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    1. Cat Post author

      “Feeling sad and lost” is spot on, Ellen, but I can’t understand why and the two group leaders aren’t much help. I don’t want them to throw a lifeline because then how would I learn to overcome this, but at the same time, they piss me off because they never seem to notice when I’m struggling, or maybe they do and just need to leave me to it…who knows, the Jury’s still out!

      For such a long time, the past dominated the present. It’s a long story, but the trauma stood in the way of exploring the actual childhood experiences and this only kept the hurt and anger alive and active. I hesitate to use the terms ‘healing’ and ‘moving on’ because I am not entirely sure what they mean. My past traumatic experiences still hold hurt and anger, disgust and disappointment, and whenever I look back, I imagine those emotions will always be there. The difference is, they no longer consume the present moment and the ‘closing a door’ analogy is the closest I can come to expressing how much that part is finally in the past where it belongs.

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      1. Ellen

        Thanks for explaining – that makes sense.

        With group – I think it’s a difficult thing to run a good group, and lots of therapists are not up for that. Yours don’t sound great to me. If they don’t have time for something raised at the beginning, that should at least be acknowledged and brought over for the next week. As to noticing when you’re struggling – I know that in Ron’s group, he would not usually approach someone who wasn’t talking, because part of the group was to learn to speak up when we needed to. But…I do know that I felt he was entirely unsupportive of me in that group anyway. For me too, the jury is still out on whether he was, or whether it was my own issues writ very large. IMO, I think it would be helpful if group leaders at least seemed to care. I can see your difficulty if yours do not. I find I want the illusion at least of a group and leader caring about me, if I’m to venture into risking disclosing myself. Still – good for you for persevering.

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        1. Cat Post author

          I should think about clarifying it because maybe some other people are wondering the same.

          The group’s really troubling me. Unfortunately, it comes as a package, so I have little choice about leaving, otherwise I may have been tempted. The leaders aren’t good, but I must remember they are probably leaving me to push myself forward….I’m not sure if they should be helping, but on the other hand, it feels even more supressing when they don’t seem to be attentive. Thanks, Ellen, your feedback is always helpful 🙂

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  4. sensuousamberville

    You know Cat, with each post there is an email address attached, click on edit and you can see it, if you ever want to have a more quiet chat, I am here.

    One of the topics you could raise in group, is how if you raise a topic it is not discussed…

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    1. Cat Post author

      This talking in groups issue is actually a big problem and stood in the way of doing university courses in the past. I am usually outgoing because I would hate anyone to recognise MH (sorry, it’s still my shame) but then sometimes this silent bug attacks me. At the back of my mind, I am thinking people aren’t really interested in what I have to say, that somehow their issues are worth more time than mine. I have struggled with this issue in groups since the start of the MBT programme, but the two group Therapists either don’t seem to notice or are leaving me to struggle through it on my own. If they rescue me, how would I learn? But, at the same time, I can’t help feel excluded and not important enough for them to try. Not sure if that makes sense. Next week I will try to talk about it, but it’s difficult to talk about what I don’t understand. Pew, that’s a long blab.

      Thank you for your kind offer, Amber, it is nice and helpful to know you are there and willing to listen… you may live to regret it 🙂 I never actually look at email notifications, but I will look for the email addy

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      1. sensuousamberville

        I sent you an email. 🙂

        Shame at MH is easy and understood. But if you break your arm and it is in a cast, we are almost proud and wave it about to be signed, like hey look at me I did a silly thing and broke my arm. Your therapists run groups differently from me I am afraid. The noisy wheel gets the grease though. Squeek.

        When you talk in a group, do the other not nod, add comments, continue, perhaps with similar views or experiences? Do the therapists not explore your comments with you?

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        1. Cat Post author

          There is never that sense of exploring and one of them never actually converses with me in any way. She does with the others, but for some reason, not me, but she is relatively new. I’m not sure if I am being paranoid, but I’m just about to find out because I will try to talk about it next group. They know I struggle at times, but they don’t seem to notice when it’s happening. A little bit of coaxing/support to get into the swing of things might be nice, but short of demanding it from them, I doubt they’ll notice. In the early days, we had the Consultant Psychiatrist as one of the leaders and the overall experience was entirely different.

          Thanks Amber, I will check my email

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          1. sensuousamberville

            Hmmm, the new therapist that doesn’t converse with you, is she learning? In therapy, tis expected to find, in group settings, that paranoia would be of concern, it should be a protective environment too, considering that a fear of abandonment would also exist. Care should be taken so that all members of the group feel a part of the group.

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            1. Cat Post author

              I’ve had a lot of group work training when I worked in drug rehab and maybe I am a little too expectant of them. I am also aware that my own issues are maybe spilling onto them when I feel they aren’t being attentive. Its troubling me, so I need to talk about it this week, but I’m not confident in group. The other members are great, but the leaders….mmmmm… Cheers, Amber

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    2. Cat Post author

      PS I don’t have email notification for comments, but if you like a comment, for some reason I get emails for that….duh… not very tech, I’m afraid 🙂

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  5. edwinasepisodes

    I am sorry you are struggling Cat. This ‘secret’ is obviously bothering you a great deal, and I think you are finding it hard to come to terms with that part of your life. I hope you will soon feel ready to talk about it with someone as that might help..

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  6. Send Sunshine

    Cat, I think we know without knowing, if that makes any sense. You have already spoken out loud this weight you carry without saying the exact words. I pray for your redemption in your own eyes, burdens must be given over to a higher power, release this unto him and be free to continue. We are all victims of circumstance and because of such can find ourselves in dark places. It is the choices we make then we must live. Make right what you can and face these demons through light. There will be a place for all of us and though I have tears as I reach out you, your place is only for one to judge. Be well.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Yes, that does makes a lot of sense. I hope I’ve taken that first step to change and I thank you for your very kind words of encouragement 🙂

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  7. Anonymous

    Dear Cat,
    Having read the responses, I agree, ‘sitting with your own secrets ‘, can be helpful until you feel safe to share. All in your own time, recovery for me in up and down. Sometimes I feel heaps better, only to find there’s more to it. Sending happy smiles on your journey…lol
    Love Ziggy

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  8. mincs1

    Dear Cat, you finish your post with your quote, “We are only as sick as our secrets.” I have also heard, “We often call this our ‘dark’ not because it is bad or negative, we call it our dark because it has been kept secret and away from the light.” I’m sorry I don’t remember who said this to acknowledge them properly. What I want to say to you is that I hope you will soon find a way to release your secret so that you may accept and be embraced by the light and love that surround you. When faced with adversity you can see it as a trial in order to be ‘reborn’ if you will. The only thing that matters is what the story means to you. What you will learn. Your story is important and through it you can connect to a larger body – a larger unit and achieve deeper relevance. I wish you well!!

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    1. Cat Post author

      I like that, rather than a secret, it’s ‘the dark’ filled with light when you confront it, nice way of looking at it. Your words are very wise and comforting. Thank you 🙂

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  9. Andi

    Sometimes it’s when we’re making progress that we hit roadblocks like this. It’s tough but proud of you for even writing this much. Shame is a soul destroyer.

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  10. painkills2

    Don’t allow shame to be stronger than the beauty of what’s in your heart and soul. Once you let go of the shame, it will no longer have any power over you. Perhaps you could write about it in the third person? As if it was someone else’s secret?

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    1. Cat Post author

      That’s a good idea, I wish I had thought of that before announcing to all that I had a secret…lol…now it’s pretty obvious who I’m writing about, but it might help to break the ice. Thank you for commenting 🙂

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  11. fromthedarkintothesunshine42

    Hey I wanna say you not a first to go from happy to sad and I mean by what we go through its never plain cut or done and dusted. .
    I guess it’s something iv never quite understood what happens but iv been in similar place cat ..and you not a pretend type person either It’s our reality ..I’m hoping you understand something of what I’m saying.
    Take care

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    1. Cat Post author

      Isn’t it so frustrating to be bouncing up and down. I understand everything you’re saying, Lisa, thank you 🙂

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  12. cardamone5

    Your honesty about your feelings is so wonderful. I understand EXACTLY how you feel because sometimes I will write upbeat posts and then feel down again and responding to the supportive comments feels disingenuous. But, you honestly felt happy when you wrote that post, and now you don’t. It’s all OK. I respect your privacy as far as your secret. You don’t have to share, but, if it helps you, I hope you do. Wishing you acceptance and peace.

    Love,
    E

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    1. Cat Post author

      It can feel very disorientating, Elizabeth, thank you for all your support and encouragement…AND acceptance. 🙂

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