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DBT session 9: "I'm sad, I'm sad," and "you know better now."

A continuation of the private sessions. Feelings, I still fail to understand your function.

I had a hell of a week, which I summed up here and here.

Long and short of it. I didn't get to go on a business trip to California, guy that asked me out, of course has a girlfriend, and I shit my pants a little. The pants shitting still makes me laugh. Oddly a bright spot in the week.


I actually openly sobbed about the business trip in therapy. I didn't allow myself to feel anything at work. I just mentioned it to my boss that I got the message it was cancelled and didn't say any more. I knew it wasn't going to happen. When it was getting close to the date, and I was about to book my ticket, that I accepted that this trip was going to happen. I accepted that something good would happen, and I'd get to leave the country for the first time in over 10 years and I allowed myself to feel excited... And of course, because I accepted it, it didn't happen. I was mad at myself for allowing myself to believe that anything good could happen. I was mad that I let my guard down and got hurt. It's far easier to numb everything. I was mad for all these reasons, because I didn't want to be sad about it. Because I shouldn't be sad about it. Because there's no crying in baseball...

New therapist said it was understandable that I was upset and disappointed. That things haven't been great for me for a while, and this just adds to the chain. She seemed to suggest that I should go on a trip and I very quickly explained that I can't afford to go anywhere, this was my only ticket out of here. I just wanted out of this hell hole for a little bit and see the damned sun. She asked me to close my eyes and feel that emotion, and tell myself "I'm sad", she also asked me to say it aloud.


You have no idea how hard it was to say "I'm sad." I was sobbing, and I couldn't say I'm sad. It felt so wrong. I've never had such a hard time saying a word. It was stuck in there. I laughed and said "I'm sad". I smiled and said "I'm sad". It was so hard to say it and mean it. She asked me to just say it to myself. It got easier as I said it more. As I was doing this my face would contort in so many different ways, a sad mouth, but dancing eyes. I was sad. I am sad about it, but it was hard to admit. I really didn't want too.

We moved on to talk about other things, and she pointed out that I looked like I was gonna cry again.


"Because I am sad about it, and I can't let myself be sad about it."


"because then I lose the game."

"what game?"


When I was a kid we played this game, basically, you would try to wind up the other player so much they'd either get angry or cry. Who ever showed emotion lost and would be ridiculed further for being weak. I always felt like I was loved less because I was too emotional. I was a bad person because I have feelings. What I didn't realize is that I never really stopped playing this game or stopped feeling bad.

I was bullied a lot, and I put on a mask to make it look like it never hurt. When I was with my ex, the one that emotional abused me (actually both did, one was just worse), I did the same thing, because if I showed feelings he or the people that bullied me would make it worse. I'd always felt ashamed, that I had lost because I let them see that they hurt me. They'd use that emotion to hurt me more. Same with the doctors, if I cried in pain, they'd treat me even worse because now I was an overreacting woman. My feelings were impossible. I shouldn't be in that much pain. I shouldn't be crying. I learned how to not show any emotion other than joy, because it protects me from all the attacks by other people. It's easier to be numb or to feel fake/real joy than to actually feel anything.


New therapist asked "If you had kids would you teach them that game."

I snapped "I DON'T WANT CHILDREN." (Ohhh found a new trigger. I know why this bothers me, largely because I'm sick of people valuing my life based on the children I'm allegedly suppose to want and have. )


She rephrased the question.

No I wouldn't. I'm good with other people's feelings. I'm always giving them permission to feel because I need that permission.


"And that kind of behaviour has you end up here [in psych]."

We talked about a lot of things. I'm suppose to sit with my emotions and name them. Say their names until I feel okay with it. To understand the function of feelings. Anger is protective. Sadness is grief for loss. Fear is protective. etc. I started at my adjunct job, every time I go into the building now I am scared because of my stalker student, so I kept saying "I'm anxious and scared." It made it a little easier because I often just choose to ignore it, and then I feel pain from the medical stuff. I have to stay in the present, to avoid the body flash backs.


We talked briefly about my relationships, that's what opened up the vault of tears. My own disappointment with my interactions with men. I have lots of great guy friends, but I date the worst men. I honestly want to be a misandrist sometimes because I feel it would be safer and easier to just hate all men. Once again, my protective anger.

Okay, other people who have survived and gotten out of DV situations does it not piss you off so much when people say things like:

"Well you know better now."

Like I learned some kind of lesson. Or I deserved that because I'm a fucking idiot. I get that in some situations you might not actually have known differently, so of course you are gonna stay because that's the norm for you. We stay in places that feel normal. But when you do know a different life, one without abuse, they very slowly introduce it to you that it becomes normal. I did know better, but you know what those emotional manipulative types are really fucking good at passing every single test. They are good at doing it so slow that you don't notice. So I HATE when people bush it off like I didn't know better. Oh I fucking knew, but I was groomed to fucking stay. I felt such an intense level of responsibility and shame that I couldn't leave. It's really hard to leave when someone has made you care for them and they threaten to kill their self. It's like being held hostage. I'm so fucking glad that I guess 'I know better'. I mean I could have probably just walked out there, it was largely my 'not knowing any better', that got me to stay rather than fear, shame, and guilt. /sarcasm Piss off.


This is exactly why I NEVER talk about it.

I'm gonna offer up this: (which can be of course changed, because I am not always great with the words.)


"You were tricked. It's not your fault. It was a trap. It was a trap that was perfectly designed. This time you know what that trap could look like, because you've seen a variation of it, and if you see it again, you will know to get out because you got out once. You survived."


Oh ya, that was the other bad thing. My mom outed me to my Dad about my ex. My cousin is dating a similar breed of awful person. Which my Dad confided he didn't understand why he [my cousin] was crying or still seeing her. He didn't understand and he asked what he should have said. I said "You tell him to get out."

My mom said I dated the same thing.

My dad smiled and asked "why didn't you find a river and drown the son of a bitch?"


(Yup, same smile I use when I say things that upset me.)

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