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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3493
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
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You helped me before - I have been in therapy now for 5/6

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You helped me before - I have been in therapy now for 5/6 weeks. I have had some post traumatic stress symptoms along the way but the therapist is very skilled and I'm feeling that it is going well. As a result of this it has been suggested that I find out facts about the event - for example I didnt even know the date. I knew that a neighbour had rescued my sister and so I found the old newspaper article and I managed to find him and thank him. He told me that my parents physically fought on the street outside our burning home while my sister was still trapped inside. His wife and neighbours tried to stop him, saying no one could survive the inferno, but he said he still needed to get her. I also found out by asking my other sister how she got out - that she was left to jump out of her window, while my father smashed down our front door, where I was standing surrounded by fire, as he had thrown me down the stairs. She also told me that my father had sexually abused her. With all this information and very painful memories of my mums cold harsh treatment of us - I felt I could not be in contact with her for a while - I mailed her what I was going through - I admit I did not miss and hit the wall - I made it clear that I had suffered as a result of having scars on my face from 6 years old and my older sisters anguish affected me greatly. I Still told her that I loved her and would be in contact when I could - her reply devastated me - she said "if I cause you that much pain I will stay out of your life, I did not talk of the fire because of the pain and trauma it caused us all. You could have asked. (what for an apology that has never materialised?!) she said she would leave the past in the past. That I had "broken her heart" and that I would never hurt HER again. She was livid with me - i am very familiar with this part of her, hence being in therapy now. I cried like a child sobs for hours. No remorse, no apology, no empathy, and I have hurt her. What do I do now?
CoachJenK :

Welcome back. I am thrilled to hear of your therapy and the progress you have made.

CoachJenK :

I am glad you got some clarification over what happened but not so surprised by your moms response. I am sure she carries her own guilt and remorse and has not been able to handle it in any way that can provide you comfort which you need and deserve.

CoachJenK :

I would still take the time on your own to sort it out as these interactions are very painful for you and the work you are doing is so very important.

CoachJenK :

And in your therapy you will continue to gain understanding into your mother's limitations where they won't hurt you as much is it hurts now and when you were a child.

CoachJenK :

I truly commend all of the hard work you are doing.

Customer: Thank you - it's very scary that she cannot just say sorry! I feel anxious because of her refusal to face what ha
Customer: Happened! I have tried to be a good daughter to her
Customer: How can she not say - of course, you suffered so much, you we're in hospital for 5 months, I'm so proud of the woman you have become?
CoachJenK :

Yes I can understand all of that and in those moments of terrible anxiety I want you to remember your strength and confidence in your survival now. Although it would be wonderful to get that apology it is not tied to you getting stronger and feeling safe in the world.

CoachJenK :

why she cant say that? her limitations and self focus prevent that...but the good thing is you can see how damaging that is and that is not the woman you have become.

Customer: Is is my two degrees, my beautiful home, my beautiful children who I adore, my many friends my lovely husband that make me break her heart?
Customer: i thought that parents say that to their children when they do something awful?
CoachJenK :

it is her self centerdness that causes that feeling from within her and nothing that you do

CoachJenK :

you are a fighter and a survivor...never forget that no matter what she does or does not do.

Customer: Thank you
Customer: I can see her selfishness and I'm scared that she is seriously damaged
CoachJenK :

I also never want you to feel like you cant do your work and healing if she doesnt give that can absolutely heal.

Customer: Im scared the only way forward way forward will be no contact
CoachJenK :

and what scares you about that?

Customer: I've worked so hard to have good loving relationships and I want to forgive her, but I can't if she doesnt even acknowledge the harm
Customer: I'm also scared at this part of her
CoachJenK :

I understand that feeling now and that is where you are may not always be that way, but there is no right or wrong way

Customer: Its the part that was unmoved by our distress
Customer: It makes me feel very anxious
CoachJenK :

yes and that is scary to see but again that is not who you are and look at who you have become in spite of it.

Customer: Well for now I need no contact so that is what I will do
Customer: I just wished she could have understood
CoachJenK :

and has your therapist given you some grounding techniques so that in those very scary and anxious moments you can feel less anxious.

Customer: My God - we went through hell
CoachJenK :

yes you did!

Customer: Has she got a heart
Customer: Ah yes she did
Customer: I forgot - a safe place in my mind
CoachJenK :

Probably but I think that maybe she is so devastated inside that she cannot give over to that feeling as maybe she has fear of becoming shattered.

Customer: Its my wedding day - my children's births
Customer: My home
Customer: And being on a cliff in Cornwall on my own once, I felt totally at peace
Customer: Yes I agree
Customer: I think you are right
Customer: Its too much for her
CoachJenK :

yes perfect and so in those moments I want you to go to that place and see and hear and feel it all.

Customer: How could it not be?
CoachJenK :

that is not excusing her at all, it just may shed some light for you.

Customer: Her children scarred for life
Customer: Who could hold that
CoachJenK :

very hard

Customer: I couldnt bear it
Customer: Yes you are right - I've always known that really - maybe the mail was a mustake
CoachJenK :

exactly and it is easier for her to have the wall of non emotion than take it all in and know how deeply hurt you have been.

CoachJenK :

nothing you have done is wrong or a mistake.

CoachJenK :

you are totally okay to take that time for yourself as this is about YOU now and your healing and not about her and it gave you insight that she cannot give you what you need around this so you must do the work on your own and are doing so great already.

Customer: Thank you - Linda my therapist is lovely
Customer: Going over it caused me nightmares and flashbacks
CoachJenK :

just like your relationships with your children and your husband.

CoachJenK :

I am so happy to hear is in that connection that healing and safety come

CoachJenK :

yes and as scary as it is that is normal but so necessary so you can move through it and feel better over time.

Customer: I knew right away she could 'handle it' so to speak and I feel very safe with her - I showed her my scars on my body last week - also since this I have been going to bed without a t-shirt ( v happy hubby!)
Customer: As normally I hate him touching my scar
CoachJenK :

I am smiling from ear to ear....I truly am so proud! You are a beautiful human being and those scars can never take that from you!!!!

Customer: I also have a photo of me as a child that I hated - I looked so awful to me
Customer: But I have it on my mirror nw
Customer: And I am smiling in it -in my eyes too - and I didn't see that before
CoachJenK :

such great strides....this safety you feel with Linda will go a long way in you continuing to heal, feel safe and less anxious.

Customer: And it's not as hard to look at it - actually my scars have faded loads
Customer: On my face and people say its not the first thing they notice -
CoachJenK :

that last perfect because they have faded in many ways!

Customer: Thank you - talking to you makes me realise my mum is so unwell
Customer: And that I am allowed to deal with this
Customer: I do deserve it
Customer: I hope that she gets to deal with this too
CoachJenK :

amen! of course you deserve it.

CoachJenK :

yes she has her scars as well and unfortunatley they get in the way of her being able to tend to you now AND then!

Customer: I know - as Debbie - my sister says - it was awful, dark, painful in so many ways - but we had each other
Customer: And she is very supportive
CoachJenK :

it doesnt sound like she has the internal fortitude that you do and copes with things by becoming distant and cold.

CoachJenK :

yes and I believe that is what got you both thru it....more of a testament to your strength

Customer: Well to be honest - I pray loads
CoachJenK :

praying is a wonderful thing.

Customer: So that helps too
Customer: Im praying for my parents
Customer: Thank you for all your help
Customer: I have reread your answer before lots
CoachJenK :

shows how loving and giving you are....and that will be healing for you too as you will see those failings and know that they cant hurt or impact you anymore. you are not the 5 year old girl who was in the are strong and healthy

Customer: Its so calming
CoachJenK :

I am so glad to hear that.!

CoachJenK :

and capable. a agreat mom to 5 kids and a loving wife.

Customer: Yes - I'm lucky too
CoachJenK :

You are doing such great work in your therap

y but sometime sin these scary moments you need abit of hand holding and I am here.

CoachJenK :

As I said the first time, you can come to me anytime. I am always here to support you and help you feel calm.

CoachJenK :

luck is created by YOU

Customer: Thank you loads
CoachJenK :

my pleasure.

Customer: If I need to chat again while I go through this it helps to know I can come here
Customer: And you know the story
Customer: Im feeling better -
CoachJenK :

you absolutely can. I am so glad you requested me again...not only do I know the "story" but I have a great sense of who you are as a woman.

Customer: Now that made me cry in a good way!
CoachJenK :

keep doing the great work which I know is hard but you will continue to heal.

Customer: Big smile x
TherapistJen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

My computer froze and I couldn't respond. No need to respond back, I just wanted you to know I did not run out on you.

Thank you for the very positive rating. I am here when you need.