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DBT 20: The catch up

Been on vacation for about 3 weeks, so my return was largely getting caught up on all the things I missed. Admittedly, I still have a stack of papers I need to read.

One was on body language and how to use it. I am terrible at eye contact. I always have been. I use to get yelled at all the time from one of my siblings because would look over people. I cheat and look at the nose or the mouth. I make a conscious effort to look people in the eyes, particularly authority figures. But for the most part, I don’t want to look into people’s eyes. It’s too much information and I feel what they are feeling, and I can’t deal with their emotions and mine at the same time. With my old therapist, who was a bit of sensitive person and I had a strong emotional connection with them, I never looked in their eyes. I didn’t want to know that what I told them made them feel something. I don’t want to know. My new one I do, because I’m less emotionally attached, and she’s better at hiding her emotions.


We finished interpersonal skills. The weeks I missed was trouble shooting interpersonal skills. AKA what do you do with people who do not respect or listen to you. I would have liked to have been at those sessions because at least in the one DBT book I read before this group, which if it was a real book and not on my tablet, I would have thrown it against the wall. That book, implied that skills could not fail and largely it was your illness that was making it so other people hurt you. Bad things happen not because of people, but because of you. Bullshit.

Yes, you can be prone to do the same thing over and over. Abuse can be addictive. But there are situations where you have done everything to get out, to get what you need and the attempts have ultimately failed because that person you are asking is awful. It has nothing to do with you. There was no way you could succeed with this person. (Oddly, corporation also works in this situation. I’ve done everything right as an adjunct and I’m still treated like garbage.)

I was really happy to hear our leaders understood that the skills aren’t always gonna work, rather than indoctrinating us with the idea that they will work, we are just doing it wrong. That it’s okay to fail. Let’s be honest, not everything is going to work out. You can do everything ‘right’ and still have a bad outcome and that doesn’t have to be the end.


The big thing you can do, is remove yourself from the situation. If you can’t, which in most abusive situations, there are reasons you can’t leave. Then you can use other skills to heal yourself, in order to ready yourself to leave or survive the next day.

Now that I am back posts will be more consistent.

Holiday was good and I am so glad I had all my DBT skills to help me. It made my late train to the airport less of a disaster. Normally, I would have freaked out. Spent the whole ride praying not to miss my plane. This time, I was like “There’s nothing I can do. I can’t make the rail go faster. Might as well enjoy the scenery because I’m not the first person to be late to the airport.” I was still anxious, but it wasn’t a high level. It was manageable. Luckily, I had checked in online, which meant I was 10 minutes late rather than over an hour.

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