When your childhood is a series of insults punctuated by violence and decorated with festive bits of crazy, you have two choices: you can become familiar with either the inside of a bottle or the inside of your head.
We adult survivors of child abuse are the Analysis Lifers. We cycle in and out of therapy for decades, not to become healthy but instead to become comfortable with our dysfunction. If we’ve survived in one piece for this long, we are self-aware enough to know that we’re never going to leave our childhoods behind.
I tend to wander back into therapy when I am seemingly doing well. I find it more constructive to plumb the depths when the surface is not a mess of red tides and nascent hurricanes.
What brought me into a psychologist’s office five weeks ago was sadness. I was sad. For me, that’s unusual, a big step. I do angry or happy, but not sad. So, when this genuine feeling of mourning popped up, I thought I was probably ready to work on something.
Plus, times are hard, and I’m doing my part to jump start the economy, one co-pay at a time.