Therapy: Session #33

The session was really interesting. We worked with schema therapy cards. They show pictures of people in all kinds of situations and moods and my task was to select all cards that trigger any emotion. With the dozen cards I chose we made little groups – situations and feelings that have (had) a connection, things I could use as goals etc.
It would be very difficult to explain how moving the cards, talking about past experiences and finding connections slowly made us realize things – in order to do that I would have to describe every single picture and many things from my past that would just go too far here.
Anyway, to cut a long story short we realized the purpose that self-harm originally had for me and the purpose it has now. My experience seems to be that I have needs and worries that were regarded as less serious than the challenges people around me had to face. As a child I patiently waited for my “peanuts” to get some attention if only I could help the grown-ups solve their problems first. Later, as a teenager, I started getting really angry as it seemed that it was never the right time or place for my stuff but as even little “mistakes” made me feel like I was burdening everyone further I started feeling guilty eventually. And in order to cope with that, self-harm started. My therapist thinks that my anger was justified in most cases and could have been useful – for instance in order to scream for once “You can all kiss my ass, now it’s MY turn and I don’t want to do this anymore!”. I don’t know how often she has already explained that I need anger in order to set boundaries but yesterday when I saw all these cards with situations I went through I realized that it’s true for the first time. Unfortunately my head seems to think that anger is not useful anyway because it’s either not taken seriously or viewed as a burden. Therefore the consequence of anger is a mixture of resignation and feelings of guilt and this mixture is something that strongly drives me towards self-harm in order to “endure” it.
We will keep working on this but I definitely found it extreeeeeeeeeeemely interesting how such connections can be discovered using the cards and how my opinion about getting angry has changed slightly 🙂

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