What Drives A Person To Go To Therapy?

pink suitLamari stated she was curious about time I spent in therapy on the Organized Abuse thread. I’m surprised I made it to therapy. I don’t think I’d have thought of it on my own.

I left home when I was fifteen years old and had quite a time the first year or so. It was harrowing. But I had things pretty well in hand by the time I was 17 years old. This is when I met my (now) husband.  I told him I was 19; legal age to work in a bar… which is what I was doing at the time. I had a job and an apartment (with a roommate).  I even had a savings account!  I appeared to a completely normal girl, outside of the mouth on me, which has always been epic.

I didn’t see myself as an abused person, a poor person, or anything like that. I had wanted to leave home for years. I felt like I’d made it. I’d won the game. I had skills of all kinds. Weird skills, that I got to actually use.  Seriously, I’d been champing on my bit since I was ten years old, at least. Ready and wanting to go live life on my own terms. I have an adventure gene. I was into and interested in everything and everyone I ran across.

I gained more and more traction over the years.  I took care of my mother for many years; people knew this about me and I guess they were curious, but mostly talked amongst themselves? I thought I was “normal”, outside of the other things I thought, like I was great and lucky and things like that.  Even when I found myself in not-so-great circumstances, I thought it was a small price to pay for having such a great life, with nothing but open road ahead of me. I felt like someone who wanted something for a long time and then got it.  To this day, I’m baffled by people who see me as disadvantaged. I wonder how they can be so blind.

Therapy? My sister started going to therapy in her 20’s; it must have been when she approached her Saturn return.  That was the first I’d heard of it.  It was totally out of my realm. I wasn’t even sure what therapy was.  But my sister was getting more and more invested in it. She chatted about her therapist, Martha this and Martha that.  I don’t specifically recall, but I probably rolled my eyes, behind my poker face.  But then something happened.

I started having these horrific dreams. Night terrors, I guess.  The hallmark of these dreams, was that I was in motion, in my sleep and it was violent.  My God, it was terrifying. I thought I was on some ride at the fair, swinging one way and then the next; huge, violent swings – I could got get off the ride or out of the dream.  These dreams were more like episodes. They did not last as long as they seemed to last but they were truly horrible. They were so bad, I knew from the first experience; it was hard core, bad. I’m saying, I knew it wasn’t a fluke, right away.

Years later, I would realize I was reliving beatings in my sleep. Getting thrown around. This was not apparent to me at the time, at all. It was more like some kind of demon had me.  It only happened a few times, but I’m telling you, it was intolerable.  It was not something that could be overlooked and when I mentioned it to my sister – THERAPY!

K. was a lesbian therapist and she really wanted to help me.  She did help me, initially. She did her job, which was to keep me there beyond the first hour. I liked her but she became enamored with me… hey, I can understand this. I am one hell of a specimen, with my cluelessness and all.  So I saw her for some months but then it got too weird.

The feelings she developed degraded her effectiveness.  She was trying to wean me off men and hey!  Fat chance of that.  My sister said she had on crush me and I think she did, but what actually made me quit her was her initials.  They triggered me!

ItalianHer initials were KKK.  Whatever you think of that, when I found out she used this monogram, I just couldn’t continue. I am not saying she was a racist. I have no idea.  But my father had some interaction with that group at one time and this sent me near an edge.

To be clear here, my father was not in the KKK. We’re Italian and they hate us too.  But psychopaths network; or at least, Aquarian-types do. My sister’s and my own therapy had begun to weave together at this point. We were going over this time where my father intersected with that group.  I’d called my oldest sister about this, to see what she had to say.

“Elsa!  Why are you asking me this? Is this call being recorded?” Then she hung up.

Um… okay. Now I’m nervous!

So at this particular time, I did not want a therapist who had KKK embroidered on her towels.

How do I know she had these towels? I asked!

“Your initials are KKK.”

“Well I guess you don’t have monogrammed towels, then.”

“Yes, I do.”

“You have towels in your house that say, KKK?”

“Yes, I do, actually.”

“Your towels say, KKK?”

“Yes, those are my initials…”

I quit shortly after that conversation and got, Barbie, PhD, for a therapist. This gal was incredible. She was a very beautiful blonde, who wore hot pink suits. I walked in and saw her; I’m sure I had my poker face in tact.  I was not ready to take 110 pound, Barbie, seriously, but she won me all the way over, the first hour session.

We were in a tiny desert town. I have no earthly idea how she landed there but she was truly brilliant.  Sometimes you get a killer doctor.   She was like this. My back surgeon is like this. You find someone like this and you just know, they’re going to get you through. In hindsight, I don’t think she made a single error or made even the slightest misstep, dealing with me.

In whatever case, this began a period where my sister and I, Martha and Barbie, really started to work through this stuff. We wound up going to the cops and then some. The Sherriff, the police, the FBI and the CID.

We were involved in this for about six months. I know this isn’t believable, but I saved all their business cards, so yeah. It’s real.

What drove you to therapy?

16 thoughts on “What Drives A Person To Go To Therapy?”

  1. What drove me to therapy was that I got stuck in an abusive marriage. Even though I did not go to one-on-one therapy long, I did attend the different support groups that dealt with my issues. These were helpful, but of course my abusive husband at the time try to put an end to my attending. It’s so sad how an abusive childhood and family dysfunction can screw up one’s life, even generations. By the time I tried to end the cycle of abuse it was too late.

    1. Yes, so much generational trauma or dysfunction in many families and a few have the task of cleaning up the whole mess.

  2. Avatar
    Shimmering Light

    Multiple and simultaneous transits: Chiron had had its first conjunction to my Moon, Uranus and Saturn where opposing my Moon and Pluto was conjunct my Sun-Mercury. I thought I was going insane. Therapy only lasted a few months as therapist relocated but it saved me.

  3. pluto transited my descendant. my unrequited love/fling got me super depressed to the point of not functioning. i knew this was an illogical overreaction connected to something else in my personality. its also what got me hooked on astrology-what a texbook event!i am still unraveling that thread but now i think the people around me should have been the ones going to therapy not me!

    1. Been here, understand it all. Didn’t go to therapy. Never have been but it might have been a good idea! Had the same transit. Gross transit. Long. Hated it. Going through the squares… here we go….. wheeeeeee

  4. Thank you Elsa. I love reading what you write and I love reading other people’s stories about tough times and upbringing, and going through, and coming out the other end. I don’t have any person let alone a group to relate with in this sense, I mean in physical life, so I read.
    What drove me to begin getting help was living by myself for the first time. And I credit pluto transiting 12th.
    I’d love to read more.

      1. No, it made me begin realizing and understanding some things about myself, hidden to my awareness before that. Until then I lived with someone and most of my attention went to them, not me.

  5. The first time was for general depression but the therapist was just not on the level i needed. Years later again for drinking but the guy thought i was hilarious (he was a pisces as am i) which i am but the sense of humor is very obviously a defense mechanism and he offered no real insight. The third time was mandated by my work because i was a hot drunk mess (unrequitedly in love) and bless them they wanted to help. I wasnt paying so i dont feel bad saying she was an idiot who would eat her lunch while i was sobbing about my mother. No thanks! I want to go back now years later because i need help with interpersonal skills… ive changed my perspective on it bc it feels like a hooker/john relationship to me…but going in with a specific problen to work on i think would be beneficial. It is very expensive tho…with no promise of helping at all…hard to find a smart non-social worker/NP in my area as well.

    A major hurdle has been my entire worldview is colored by astrology. How could i explain my problems with the gemini coworker when they have no basis of understanding why that makes sense with the jekyll/hyde dynamic i struggled with. An astrologer would be like “say no more” lol. Idk i have a lot of of virgo so im in my head 100% of the time, and i hate to say this but i sort of have the idea im “too smart” for therapy….and struggle with philosophical issues that have stumped humanity since the dawn of time. And also suspect i dont really want to be healed or even try. Im megapisces after all…suffering is just so much more romantic.

    1. I was once where you are now.

      You are not ready to go to therapy, not from how you describe your situation in the above.

      Until you get to a point where the “The Whys” become uninteresting to answer, and the feelings behind the Why’s takes up the main space or focus, there is no need to seek therapy.

      Every avoidant of pain goes through this process. Until something happens, that forces us to feel the emotions,…. Which, in turn, send us into anxiety, because no one taught us how to feel the feels while we were young/a child. That’s why we became avoidant. We closed off our feelings. We learned to be in our head spaces instead, closed off from our soul, heart and relationships.

      The head space is control. “The Why’s” (even if it comes from astrology ) is a means to that end. It’s a fake control, but it’s the only one we have.

      I had to let go of the why’s and learn to feel anxious, to feel panic, to feel sorrow, abused, like someone had once taken a fork and ripped through my psyche with it.

      This takes courage. It creates anxiety. Until you are forced to do it. One day your body will start to be Impacted by all the stuff you are surpressing with unexplained pains, sores and difficulties in all sort of places. It’s because your soul has not evolved.

      The left side of the body is related to the feminine/the mother.

      The right side to the father.

      I have had a LOT of pains and aches and bad teeth in my right side. A lot of sprained right ankles.. a lot of toothachea which has always been worst in my right side.

      You don’t have to do anything, don’t have to go to therapy. You are in control.
      Your body won’t be, but your head will be.

      You don’t have to feel anything, unless you need to. That’s all up to you.

      1. I mean, I think I have a great handle on “the whys” just no access to anyone on the level that can help me process my feelings in a way that makes sense for me. I know allll about the whys and am so sick of them. It is so boring but I lack the perspective to get past them on my own. I’m also confused as to how I could possibly feel MORE feelings that I already do (four planets in pisces). I’m just surrounded by idiots and have no money or self-worth. Why help or try to improve that which I loathe? Perhaps intelligent and thoughtful integration of the mind and body. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

  6. My first therapy was astrology. That made some great insights, and for a 12-year old with an verbally and emotionally abusive, alcoholic dad this was sorely needed. Even if it was only learnings from books.
    The second was the book shelf in the library in the section of “self development” between 14 and 18 year old.

    Then, I began telling people about him and what REALLY went on at home. Some didn’t believe me. They thought I was biased. It couldn’t possibly be that bad. I didn’t care, I kept on telling my story. That in itself was very cathartic, as the lies and secrets a child must keep when growing up, is so damaging to its health and brain development.

    So, when I got depressed around the financial crisis (Pluto hitting Capricorn, answering to my 4 Scorpio placements), I got into therapy. That woman sent me on a healing path and I tried to find something like her during my second period of therapy in my early 30s.
    No luck.

    Then, in 2019, it had all became so bad, that I was desperate.
    And then I found someone, who was not only experienced in the life with alcohol abuse as me, she had also done her own therapeutic work on herself, so there was almost no projection onto me from her own issues.

    She healed so many things in me. I am who I am today, partly because of her.

    Then, Corona came and my anxiety got so bad, I went into the classic process of going into the psychiatrist assessment. In the end, I ended up being in almost non-stop therapy from 2019 to 2022.

    It was also during this that Pluto squared my Natal Pluto in Libra from his 12th house transit, but also Saturn, as I have the Saturn/Pluto in Libra….

    Ugh. Cleaning out the closet, por favor.
    My mom and I reunited, I tried to do my best with my dad (they are divorced), but his alcohol abuse and dementia left me empty and devoid of love for him, so I have finally taken to cut him off FOR GOOD for the rest of my life.

    Sometimes you find an angel in your quest for healing. I’ve been lucky enough to find two and I am a better human being because of it.

    1. I have to add, that both times I found the two therapists who made the biggest difference, I felt my insides resist it. As if I knew at some level, they were going to be transformative for myself. I resisted it.

      In the end they were the best that could have happened. So, in my case at least, I learned discomfort is a very important sign I should give it a shot.

      (I am not recommending people to do this in general… It has worked for me, but normally your gut tells you to avoid things for a reason…
      This happens to me as well, but the felling is different when my gut tells me to “Avoid this person/thing, they are bad. You gotta learn to distinguish between the way it feels in your gut/heart etc. And that’s not always the easiest thing!)

  7. Nearly three decades ago, I was part of a Senior Staff at a company. The staff was made up of eight men and one woman (me). Went to an off-site meeting a small room and the rest is history. I arrived, settled in , all ready for the brainstorming meeting off-site.
    Then an epiphany “shouted to me”, what are you doing in this small room, with all men, and how do you handle yourself? It seemed as my entire abuse history came crashing in on me. I don’t remember how I got through the day. I do know I was out of my body the entire time. It was a bit terrifying for me. Somehow I got through the day. Got on the phone and found three therapist to interview. Spoke with two and so detracted by their phone noises I called the third one. I really hit the jackpot with her. Worked with her for a number of years. She sent me on hiking trips being out in nature was going to be an excellent path for my healing.
    Left out a lot of details but space is limited.
    But I still like to continue with personal growth groups because I know at times I can still get a trigger.

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