If you are glaring at the posts list: yes, you are correct, I’m not exactly running off at the keyboard.
It also won’t be surprizing to note that my previous entry to this was about 3 weeks into therapy. Since I’m going weekly, I’m getting more intensive figuring-shit-out than scribbling-shit-out provides. Then there’s a few other issues: the ongoing lawsuit over the social workers incident (I’m self-representing) and my parents’ attempt to get access to my kids via the courts (didn’t happen). I may talk about those later.
Therapy has been interesting. Naturally, most of it has been devoted to biography, with the occasional forays into some critical current stressor. In some cases, just being able to talk about what happened has lessened the impact – something I learned more about here. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/all-in-the-family-part-1-1.3523111
But no real surprises at first. I already knew I was depressed and anxious and had complex PTSD. I knew some of that was being the son of a narcissist mother, some from a mildly abusive father, some from interactions with my father’s family, and some from 13 years of being bullied. Put that in a blender and you’ll get someone messed up.
Therapy helped me talk about something that I hadn’t considered in years: metaphysical problems. In particular, how do I know what is real? I learned Descartes’ “I think therefore I am” very young, probably before I started school. It made sense, proper sense, to me and probably prevented me from becoming more damaged. When you live under psychological torture, particularly gaslighting, it is very hard to reconcile what is in your head with what you are told. Descartes gave me a tool – I knew I existed but could not say the same for anyone else. Later, this evolved into a very complex belief that I was moving about multiverses in which every decision was both taken and not. That way, what I remembered could be as valid as what I was told happened.
The metaphysical issues get more complex from there. However, I did find a measure of peace that way. It also lead to my holding tightly to my core identity, so I would always be me wherever I happened to wind up. I distinctly remember having a breakthrough of sorts in my teens. I was having problems discerning what was reality and what was, say, dream. Starting from Descartes again, I concluded that it didn’t matter if there was some independent viewpoint which could tell the difference. Einstein said that, due to the nature of relativity, someone inside the system can never know which viewpoint is true. Applied to my life, I concluded that it really didn’t matter what was real, I was still going to have to deal with it as best I could at the time. And the only way I could manage that was to make sure I was consistent across all frames of reference.
And then I stopped worrying about that.
I had some encounters with friends in later years, where I attempted to expound upon that, but either I wasn’t eloquent enough, or they were upset at being told they might not exist, either way, few understood. And those that understood refused to agree. Whatever, didn’t matter. Like I said, they may not exist.
Of course, once therapy started, that whole box of worm shaped noodles got dumped on the floor. Unpacking my fundamental identity required it. So early on, when explaining this, I told my therapist that it didn’t matter if she existed or not. She was there to guide me. And if she turned into a purple octopus, fine. I was happy to work with a purple octopus so long as the beastie made sense. Not sure if I offended her, but she’s continued to work with me.
The metaphysical questions are interesting to delve into; I suspect that’s what started me down that road early on. I’ve often said there’s at least 3 solutions to every problem: the right one, the wrong one, and the different one. Being good at finding the Different One has helped in in various jobs. The Different One was the means of reconciling what I remembered with what I was told. I’ve been poking around online for the past couple years. While there are many sites about gaslighting, and being the child of a narcissist, I haven’t seen anything yet where metaphysics comes into play. Then again, I’m not sure Internet people are real, or just an advanced form of talking to myself.
For more about metaphysics, watch this gem from John Carpenter’s first film: