As I mention that therapy didn’t work for me quite often I thought it might be a good thing to explain properly what happened. My therapy ended due to a combination of financial and timing wise issues and the loss of confidence that followed. But if I had been happy with my therapy before, I wouldn’t have given up so easily. So what went wrong?
First of all, it’s very difficult to get a therapy place and you have to wait very long if you don’t have the money to pay for it yourself. Additionally, many therapists refuse to treat people with BPD in the first place. So when I found a therapist who agreed to treat me I didn’t feel in the position to question if I wanted to go there. I didn’t inform myself about the method, I just was relieved because I had something to hold on to. My therapist knew a lot about BPD and never tried to sedate me with meds, that was good enough for me. Maybe I was naive but who knows where I would be without the help I got.
In the beginning everything was just easier by having a name for my being different all the time and somebody who explained it to me. Someone who told me it was okay to feel bad, that it was actually “normal” and that I wasn’t just a wimp. That way, my therapist helped me a lot with accepting myself for what I am.
In our first session she explained that her method (individual psychology) worked in a way where I had to lie on a couch and she was sitting behind me. I knew that from movies and jokes about Freud but it still felt weird. She said I would get used to it and that was true to a certain extent…but even if it was good not to see her judging me (I guess that’s the point here), having somebody in my back has never felt good for me.
It never felt like two equals talking but rather like I was a kid and she was the all-knowing primary school teacher. Sometimes I was praised for tiny little things but then again something that was huge and awesome for me (like my new job) was dismissed as with a disdainful gesture. And because she was all-knowing and because I didn’t have any other option of getting a therpist I never felt in the position to tell her this.
All in all one could say that therapy was a situation where I had to tell someone about my life in an honest way whom I couldn’t tell how I felt with her in an equally honest way and all that so that she could judge me without even having to look me in the eye.
And I haven’t even talked about the content yet: The method was about me defining the topics. When I had something acute to talk about, that wasn’t a problem at all. But sooner or later I didn’t have anything to say anymore – I felt as if I had told her about every single potentially traumatizing event and I kept repeating the same stories over and over again. Someone who knows me just by written stuff will not believe this but I am not good at just firing away about my condition. I wanted my therapist to ask something, I longed for her to give me a clue about what I was supposed to tell her. Instead she told me in a very accusing tone that she couldn’t help me if I didn’t bring any material. I racked my brains, I really, really tried. I looked for answers to questions she refused to ask. At some point, we were silent. Then she wanted more money. Then I left.
That doesn’t sound like a success but if I hadn’t been in therapy I know I would’ve had to go to a clinic sooner or later. My therapist gave me support and a way to see myself at least a little. And a lot of courage. I try to see that and not what happened then. Maybe I wasn’t at the point where I could do it, maybe it was the wrong method for me. In any case, it was still an experience I am grateful for.