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Arundhati
Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 256
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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Hi, I have been seeing a therapist for 8 months to help

Customer Question

Hi,

I have been seeing a therapist for 8 months to help resolve re-occuring depression i have had for the last 12 years and discovered i suffered emotional abuse whilst growing up and still to a degree today from my parents (mainly mother). It has been very hard accepting this and i have had to make steps to make some space between my folks and i which has made me feel isolated because of my previous enmeshment. My Mums mother died 2 weeks ago and i am worried that my mum will again use me again to help her feelings by old habits of controlling me and making me feel guilty which will hamper my progress now that she doesn't have to attend to my Grandma every day. I have had 22 sessions with the therapist but cant see her again until i have seen a psychiatrist (private health scheme request), so feel quite alone again. I have been going to my local church and attended a spiritualist one too a few times which has helped but i am feeling very low. What would you recommend i do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

From what you describe it sounds like you've made excellent progress with your therapist. You sound very self-aware of the issue you're dealing with and that's a clear sign of progress.

I understand where you are coming from. You are worried that you could be sucked into the same patterns that you've been working to get out of, now that your grandmother has passed away.

Since you are going to be away from therapy sessions I'd encourage you to develop a plan for yourself. This goal plan to so speak needs to contain the possible manipulative behaviors that your mother might engage in and how you will address them. For example, the behavior could be - calling consistently or making you feel guilty and how you will address it could be: "listening to her but staying aware of what she is doing and choosing not to fall in the trap of feeling guilty.".

In this way - a goal plan will help you stay conscious and alert as to the behaviors that your mother might engage in to pull you back into an enmeshed relationship.

A very effective technique to help you stay conscious and aware is called mindfulness. You might have already heard about it but if you haven't here is an introductory CD that provides lots of consciousness raising techniques to help you get started.

I hope this was helpful.

Please do let me know if you have questions/thoughts to what I wrote above.

Kind Regards,

Arundhati
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your reply Arundhati much appreciated. I am pleased with the progress i am making with my therapist but finding it hard to deal with the emotional realisation that my parents have been emotionally abusive to me and hold responsibility for my underlying depression all be it without intention to hurt but to help them deal with their own issues especially my mother.Is there any resource you could suggest to help me deal with my emotions in this regard?

My question is that a friend has pointed me in the direction of Buddha-ness which tallies with your advice. Would you recommend that i learn how to meditate properly?
Expert:  Arundhati replied 3 years ago.
Hi there,

Thank you for your reply.

I can certainly understand the complex feelings that might be experiencing after realizing that you were emotionally abused. It might feel like a big betrayal of sorts even though you know that they didn't do it intentionally.

The key now would be to deal with it diplomatically so that you can carve out your own space but at the same time not alienate your mother. One way to do that would be to listen to your mother, stay supportive but not give in to what she wants you to do. The roots of this goes back to assertive communication techniques. There's one book that's especially effective and arms you with many communication tools to stand your ground and yet not hurt the other person. You can take a look at the book here.

An effective way to deal with your own emotions can actually be mindfulness. Mindfulness is not just about meditation but a specific technique of meditation which has proved very effective with a lot of people. You can certainly give it a try. The Audio CD will be able to guide you through the techniques.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions/thoughts.

Also, if this was helpful will you please consider clicking on "Accept" as experts are not credited for their time or service otherwise.

You are welcome to continue the conversation even after clicking on "Accept".

Kind regards,

Arundhati
Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 256
Experience: Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
Arundhati and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Arundhati,

Thanks for your previous words of advice and recommended reading, i have bought 2 books and they have both been very helpful.

I noticed i have £16 credit so would like to ask a couple of new questions if thats ok? Firstly, i have uncertainty about sharing my feelings with family members and unsure of its merits. I do not feel i need to confront my parents for validation of my childhood experience because i accept thats its very unlikely they will agree with my thoughts however unsure about telling my brother?? my instinct is not to do it because he's childhood was quite different to mine and fear he will just join forces with my folks. He had much more control than i did dominating our play time together and leaving home at 16 to become a footballer. Also, he is naturally not a reflective person and someone that analyses his or others feelings.

I have made a small step in confidence to share some information with my uncles partner because she has a similar spiritual personality to myself and is a very empathatic person who has experienced periods of depression in her life, do you think this has been a wise move given that my uncle(mums brother) will be aware of our conversations?

My second question is around spirituality. I am concerned that i have been attending both a Christian and Spiritualist church where philosophies differ. When i was very low 2-3 weeks ago i arranged to meet the Christian Vicar and we talked about the differences and he wasn't keen about my dual attendances. I like to go to the Christian church because i can worship God and there are people my age there that i would like to get closer to however i am worried as i get deeper in the group(bible readings in small groups outside services) that i will be hiding my interest in spirituality. I am convinced i have latent talents in mediumship verified when i have been involved in their small groups and it feels right for me. My parents do not like me attending the Spiritualist church and my girlfriend is very cautious about it worried that the people are taking advantage of people. I do not want to be secretive about things but confused about what to do???

Thanks

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Arundhati
Arundhati
Mental Health Professional
256 Satisfied Customers
Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author