I always want to be transparent with my readers and I want to tell you guys that I started therapy.
I’m actually in a really good place. Anxiety is minimal, intrusive thoughts (almost all stemming from past trauma) are infrequent and I’m really happy.
I thought it was the perfect time to start therapy. Here’s why.
For those of you who don’t know, I had a less than conventional childhood. My mother was a physically, verbally and mentally abusive drug addict. In my first therapy session, when the doctor was asking basic questions about my life, I found myself recounting some of the following:
- everyone in my immediate family is/was a drug addict
- I often went hungry as a child
- I was neglected, abused and shown next to no love
- I overdosed twice as a teen on pills my mother gave me
- she started kicking me out of the house at 14, then calling the cops and telling them I was suicidal so they’d embarrass me and drag me out of friends’ houses
- she had me locked in a children’s psych ward at 17
- she set our house on fire when I was 16 for insurance money
And that was just some stuff from one session. It’s only the tip of the iceberg.
My childhood was by no means the worst, I acknowledge that it could have been much, much worse. But once I had kids, I realized how bad it really was.
In my twenties, I tried not to acknowledge it. I dealt with the anxiety, although sometimes it was downright horrible.
But once Everett was born, and then Storm, I had to acknowledge that my own childhood was severely abnormal. I couldn’t imagine doing the things to my children that my own mother did to me.
And I’m in a good place, I’m not angry or anxious, depressed or overwhelmed.
What better time to work through it than now?
So that’s why I’ve started therapy.
My goal with therapy is to better understand myself, my triggers, my past and my trauma. To let go of anger I have toward my mother, to work through the very real grief I’ve felt since having children, the grief of not ever having a normal, loving family on my side.
My goal is to feel safe, so know I’m safe and to live my happiest, healthiest life. I often feel unsafe and am constantly hyperalert, looking out for potential dangers even when they don’t exist. So my biggest goal is to fix that.
My therapist and I discussed how I always had to be worried, be on alert as a child, as many children of addictive, violent parents are. I never learned how to feel safe, even though I’m perfectly safe now.
So in a nutshell, this is why I’m starting therapy.
I hope that if you aren’t feeling your best, you’re overwhelmed, anxious, unsure, depressed – that you will reach out for help. Therapy is not an admittance of defeat, it’s not weak or wrong.
In fact I think seeking help is quite brave, you’re ready to work through it, you’re ready to put in the work to feel better and be your best self.
How to find a practioner
I recently found out about a therapist search on Psychology Today. You put in your area, your insurance and you can add any modalities you’d like your therapist to practice or any topics they specialize in.
I have very specific moments of trauma and terror in my life, so I wanted a therapist that was well rounded, could deal with trauma and anxiety and also practiced EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). The latter is an interesting practice that can help make pasta trauma not so scary and upsetting.
One of the reasons I didn’t seek out help in the past is because it was tough to find a good practioner that accepted insurance. I was so happy to find the therapist locator because you can find a therapist in your area, that accepts insurance and has the specific healing modalities that appeal to you. This isn’t even sponsored, I just thought it was a really great tool!
Please reach out if you have any questions or want to chat!