mental illness &amp; cults
Date: January 09, 2004 04:20AM
I just want to throw this idea into the mix.
I grew up in a trauma-laden abusive environment, so i speak from personal experience.
I had an excellent REBT therapist years ago, who was highly recommended, and who's books i had read and enjoyed.
After outlining my symptoms to him in detail, at one point i exclaimed, "how long will i have to live with this anxiety, and other problems????"
He said to me, very carefully, and after qualifying it,
"How long do you want to live with them?"
Because i had studied CBT-REBT at that moment i knew what he was talking about. It was up to ME to manage my own Thoughts, Behaviors, and Feelings, and it was up to me to manage how i perceived my past, and its effects on me.
See, we can get STUCK. Especially if we harbor hatred, or self-derision, or believe what has happened to us has permanently damaged us, etc.
So what i would say is that yes, a reasonable timeline can be set for recovery. If it is going on for years and years, then in my view, it is not being addressed properly, or it might be more on the level of "personality adjustment" issues, which do take a lot of time.
NOTE: i am not referring to the culty pop-psych idea that we can cure ourselves in a weekend seminar forever! I am referring to the basic idea that we are able to manage our own recovery, and setting a reasonable timeline is VERY healthy.
This is a very tricky subject. For if we believe we lack control, then we will experience that lack of control. On the other hand, attempting to exert over-control is not healthy either, and leads to problems.
I have not expressed myself clearly here, but let me just say, that what i mean is that we can PROFOUNDLY influence the speed of our healing, and we can also make it 100x worse as well.
Healing can happen, and it doesn't have to take forever.
If something is hanging on for many years, then what we are doing is not the best thing to be doing. We don't want to undertreat things, or DENY them, yet if we over-focus on them, that creates problems as well.
Over time, healing should be occuring. If it isn't, then in my view, we are stuck. Denial makes us stuck. Over-Obsessing makes us stuck.
"Identifying" ourself as a "victim" doesn't help either. That's why people use the term Survivor. How we perceive our Self is CRITICAL. (easy folks, i know this sounds like Landmark, but how i mean it is very different!!!!!!!!!!).
At this point, my perception is that the Adversities i faced have made me a "better person". This seems to be a fact to me. (that is, I believe it).
Its like grief. If we don't grieve a death, it can haunt us for years. But if we grieve, and process it, and over time heal the grief naturally, then we can feel the wound heal over time.
(this is a subtle line of argument here!)