Friday, February 12, 2021

Analyzing Good and Bad Therapy

The above statement has a little generalizing to it, but there's good warnings there as well. Some therapists are good, some are bad and some are middling. I really needed a therapist a few years ago but was priced out of the running. Mental health care is far harder to come by in America. So when I couldn't afford therapists anymore,  I went into a peer group for around 5 years, I volunteered with them too. Sadly the good directors of the group moved away and while some of us tried to keep it going, it did end at a certain point. This group was a positive part of my life and gave me the strength to change things to begin with.

I still am interested in therapy now but with huge bills like our impending taxes and the price of food having doubled around here, it's still been put off. Part of me thinks, "What will the therapists do?" They can't fix the world. CPTSD/PTSD is a bad mixture with Covid. One thing that worries me about people is everyone has to act like everything is okay. I feel repressed everywhere. Like sometimes I want to talk about how crazy everything has become but there's no one to do this with. The Midwest is full of stiff upper lip types, where not everyone blends in with this. The world is burning but suck it up!

 Many friends have their own problems. People who have to go slog at some essential job probably envy someone on disability who can never leave the house. It's sad but outside of my husband, I am talking more to strangers online about life, than any friends. People are withdrawing, from depression and the rest. How many are becoming homeless or can't pay their bills?  I expect everything to collapse. Does this shock anyone here? At this point I do. I suppose it's on a slower slog then I dreamed. They will grind us down. One year of Covid, everyone's depressed, Two years of Covid? Who knows if we will have minds left. 

Therapy is really expensive. Even someone insured like me, has to come up with 70-100 dollars a session. The state run therapy place were I live is so overwhelmed unless you are ending up hospitalized or hallucinating on a daily basis, they don't have the resources to help. When I was younger therapy was far more accessible. Even in Chicago during the 1990s, I only had to pay a small fee based on a sliding fee scale. Mental health care was more widely available.

Pre-Covid, I felt like I had finally gotten a handle on my life long depression, leaving Christianity definitely helped with this.  Life was looking bright despite my health problems. The anxiety stuff is still a problem and worsened after Covid, but never has returned to the levels it was pre-no contact. It was ironic, that the year I finally was getting a grip on what could be called happiness, everything kind of fell apart. It's not good to get old and think well my life didn't turn out.

We even got a better car where we could finally take some day trips after years of being so limited with an older van I didn't dare take out of the county but Covid ended those plans. While I still didn't have any close local friends outside of my online ones, and so many friendships ended based on ACON recovery, deconversion and politics, I had cobbled together a life of sorts. I was involved with my community and groups that made me happy, this included a yearly art class, visits to a local art museum, local events from parades to shows,  zine conferences, stamp club and auctions, politics and protests, visits to the park book clubs, the gym, and most importantly of all my Unitarian Universalist fellowship. I still had my disabilities to deal with but with my husband, I was trying to make our life as rich and full as possible on very little money and with my limitations to deal with. 

I enjoy what I can in here, but the misery quotient for everyone now is so high, it's changed the world in some really bad ways. America had a serious enough mental health crisis going before all this. One thing that helps me with Covid, is telling myself, "You didn't choose this". I'm not sure what to think now. It's easier to deal to deal with the philosophy "Shit happens on this decaying rock" then "God has a plan" because then I would be crying over God wanting to drink more of my tears. Buddhist "acceptance" works far better for sanity than "God's punishing me yet again!"

Covid in general has not been good for anyone's mental health. How many people are cracking up? I joked to my husband maybe I am protected in the way that so much bad stuff has happened how does this compare? Singles and other are under the solitary confinement gun. Middle class people have seen careers, small businesses and dreams destroyed. Some people have lost loved ones, I know several people who had a family member or friend die of Covid.

I personally know poverty and impending homelessness are very bad for mental health. How many are in that boat? Some friends have withdrawn and gone quiet. I've gone more inward too. With CFS, I could sleep the day away easy though in my case I have to get up to stay alive and mobile. Medically life is on a required regiment. However sleep remains a nice escape especially in winter. I'm always exhausted enough to fall asleep whenever I want. Unlike some disabled insomniacs from pain, pain doesn't keep me awake. Then there's substance abuse. I suspect those problems have to be skyrocketing too.  In my case, I can't drink due to allergies, haven't touched the stuff in 30 years however that has to be getting worse as people seek an escape from the worry and trauma.

When I was in therapy on and off, some therapists found my life story to be an unusual one. I have definitely talked about some crazy stuff on this blog, but I shared enough of life with sociopaths and narcissists, that there were times, I did surprise the therapists.

Once one of them told me, "I just can't take it!" That was weird, where one's life was so messed up, a therapist was ready to chuck it in. At last three told me I had the most severe emotional abuse of any child they heard of. No broken bones or "Child called It" stuff, but my long time readers on this blog probably can guess at what freaked them out.  Contrary to my haters, I never got diagnosed with any personality disorders, my diagnoses centered around severe anxiety disorders. There was some time my hormonal disorders were added into the diagnostic fray. I connected with some therapists better than others. Some loved me almost like some my favorite professors, but some didn't like me either.

For some my weight was a major issue they couldn't see beyond. One therapist did think due to my fast weight gain history that I had a pituitary tumor or other medical problem and even had me talk to a psychiatrist about it. One thing complicating things, was because my weight was so severe and 50 more pounds could take me into immobility, anti-depressants were not as much of an option as they were for others. I had seen thin people turned easily into 300 pound people from antidepressants. One friend was even an ex-model who became fat for many years though she was able to later lose weight. A doctor warned me I was on so many physical meds, that I could be tipped over into problems just from being on too many medications. I know my complex medical problems were not easy for therapists to deal with.

In one online discussion group I am in we were talking about therapists. There was one therapist I hadn't thought about in years. These memories came up to me and I was talking about it with that group. She is the therapist I had back around 1999/2000 after escaping Chicago. We had strong rapport so much so we discussed befriending each other once my therapy was over, but I think she made the decision this would cross boundaries so we never did, though we would smile and say hello in my then small rural town.

She told me about Aspergers and I read books about it and she thought it described my problems and this was later backed up by two other therapists and a psychologist, so on that score she did improve my life quite a bit. However one thing she did do that led me on a 14 year journey to nowhere, is she sold "Christianity" to me as the answer for my problems. She was an evangelical working in a secular therapy office. She meant well, she was a kind person who meant no ill intent, and what would she say to me today if I had her before me telling me how the Christianity turned out? Chances are that she is no longer with us, as she was well into her 60s when I saw her 20 years ago.

I remember her giving me a book on Jesus to read, wish I remembered the title, and her telling me the Unitarian Universalist church was a spiritual dead end and that they taught "false things". My new rural town was a hundred miles from the closest UU church at that time.  

I am in the position now, if I am able to afford a therapist, that I would have to be clear to the counseling office, no Christians and no conservatives, this may offend a few people, but with the depth of religious issues and others, I would only offend most Christians except the most liberal ones. It's a boundary I would have to establish. 

 Even Catholic therapists can be a problem. One was offended when I spoke of leaving the Catholic church. Another one who was my husband's main therapist in a secular office and where we had joint counseling years ago, tried to convert him to Catholicism. The conservative Republicanism didn't help either. His office was plastered in pictures of the Virgin Mary. We live in a very conservative area, and our old town was even more conservative, so some may be shocked given that the view of most therapists is that the majority are liberals. Many here are very Christian, and two counseling offices in my area advertise themselves as "Christian counseling" centers. In fact if you are destitute and can't afford counseling, and don't qualify for the state run counseling center to take you, you will be referred to a local Christian college to their free student counselors. 

This therapist who led me to Christianity also while she admitted my abuse was some of the most severe she ever had heard, and diagnosed me with PTSD too, also gave me the message to reconcile and "forgive" abusers too. Obviously I would go down a ill-fated forgiveness journey that just opened the door to more abuses. Therapists who taught this weren't trying to harm us though harm was done from it. They were taught in their counseling classes to "improve relationships".

One thing you hear all over the place out there, is that too many therapists are failing ex-scapegoats or those who have faced narcissistic abuse, or even trauma in general. The therapeutic themes of reconciliation or that focus on "reuniting families" a la John Bradshaw were in vogue during most of my years in therapy from the last 90s into the mid 2000s. I hope things have changed for the better especially as ACONs are concerned. However in talking with people online, it seems ACONs are still facing some difficulties in therapist offices. Some have problems being believed, some therapists don't seem to understand how NPD works in family systems. We definitely need more therapists out there trained in how scapegoating works, and how to deal with abuse victims. Soon to be ex-scapegoats who are trying to escape the narcissistic pit, need a lot of support.

The misdirection into reconciliation, forgiveness and the Christian religion did not serve me well. I have the feeling it's probably done a lot of harm to others. If I was to look for a therapist now, how would I find one that knows enough about trauma/abuse, extreme health problems, a fundie past, religious trauma and won't try to push Christianity down my throat? How many offices will I offend saying NO CHRISTIANS? Some would find it a strange request.

One of the best therapists I had, was a young secular one, in 2011 or so, who I could only afford for two sessions, who announced to me, "You are trying your best". She taught the art of self compassion. That helped clear my head and actually was a positive moment for my life. After years of judgment and being told, "you are not enough", that therapist paved the way for me to know I was enough. 

Class issues can be a big thing when it comes to therapy. I definitely hope more therapists are being taught about class consciousness or what life is truly like for the poor or low income when they see more impoverished clients. Some class factors can impact therapy. I live in a very conservative region of the country where we do have some "bootstrap" types in the counseling office. They can do more damage than good.

If you offer clients advice where it takes money to get things done where said money does not exist, than that is a dead end. I also hope things have changed for the better too, as I am an older person and some of my experiences took place in the 1990s. I don't want anyone to forgo therapy just to be cautious of the quality and outlook of their therapist. I don't know if this is true anymore but I encountered some therapists who were influenced by New Age teachings, and affirmations to make things come true too. I think we should let people know what to expect in therapists, so they know the dangers out there and pitfalls.

Finding a "woke" therapist may not be easy. I know in my case, the ones who understand poverty and injustice and admitted they existed, were definitely easier to deal with. There is privilege in telling people to "be positive" and then their dreams will come true. Some have more serious problems to be dealt with and "inner work" definitely is an asset but having a therapist that understands systemic effects is important. People need to be given practical tools and coping mechanisms that deal with life as it is, not given fantasy or religious based answers to problems. Some therapists excelled at this of course.

Reality based therapists or ones who focused on coping mechanisms helped me the most. Here too I think of Christianity where there is privilege in telling people "God has a plan" and that their lives will "work out for the best". Christianity failed for me because it simply provided no guidance for my real life and why bad things happened. It's explanations simply didn't work in the real world. As one guy online I talked to said, "Chinese slaves on the railroad were definitely anxious and depressed." I met many people who had lives so much on the hard setting, where nothing worked out, that the religious descriptions of reality simply failed.

One thing that mentally helped me was jumping off the blame and shame train. The narcissists taught me to blame myself for everything bad that happened. Sadly religion backed this up too, insisting I pray all the time for "good" things to happen, and that if bad things happened, it was due to my lack of faith or spiritual errors. Learning other philosophies and coping mechanisms to deal with the "bad stuff" that happened helped me a lot. I am glad I deconverted prior to Covid happening.

American self-help culture has influenced therapy too. The self help world often taught that everything was under the control of the individual. What has Covid taught us but how much is beyond our control? The best therapists also analyze what needs are not being met. There's times I think the mental health world is full of people who simply need friends and someone to care about and love them. I have a loving husband but the world is full of many Eleanor Rigbys. "All the lonely people"..... Even before Covid, while I and my husband have plenty of online and faraway friends, I told him, we have to become less isolated we need to make local friends too. Covid increasing social isolation and disconnection definitely is not going to help people's mental health. Loneliness prior to Covid was an epidemic. What's going to happen now? I'm starting to feel funny from the isolation as a bookworm Aspie so what about the extroverts of the world?

I am not a therapist just a lay person making remarks on my experience, mental health is a complicated area, I can't claim to know everything about but these were just some ideas I wanted to explore. I do think Covid is massively impacting mental health and the therapists very much have their work cut out for them. Anyone who is a consumer of mental health resources, needs to be mindful of what kind of therapists are out there and some of the pitfalls. We definitely need more access to mental health care in the United States.


  1. Hi Peeps,

    I decided to visit your blog to see what you were up to, and I'm sorry you are feeling so blue.

    On therapy: in New York, if you go to the domestic violence center, you can get free therapy. They can also help you to find a therapist who is willing to work on a sliding scale fee.

    The other thing they can do is to suggest trauma therapists (which is about dealing with PTSD). It sounds like you are away from your abusers, so maybe trauma therapy is more the thing to do? There are a lot of useful tools for dealing with the high anxiety that comes with having PTSD. One of many is highly repetitive art and crafts: repeating designs, knitting, weaving, practicing a song or a dance move over and over again. But there are many.

    Does your state offer free counseling or referrals at your local domestic violence center?

    As for how I have been coping with lockdowns and quarantine ... I figure if I'm going to be a prisoner of my house, my house is going to look fabulous. So, I have been painting doors, cabinets, furniture, making curtains, etc. I've been using gesso, and then I paint detailed designs with Liquitex Basic Acrylics, and then put a furniture water soluble poly on top. None of it is very expensive. Focusing on the home is what people did in the Middle Ages and Renaissance when pandemics were more dangerous and more of a way of life. Just an idea for you ...

  2. Hi Lise,

    Thanks I appreciate it.
    I am glad they have some free therapists there and the local DV provides referrals. The only free therapy program I know here is they send people to local very conservative Christian college. I know that would not work for me now. We do have a state place but it's over-run. I wouldn't mind seeing a therapist that specializes in trauma, etc. I really wanted but couldn't afford one during the earlier years of no contact. I know I used the now defunct peer group to fill in some of the gaps.

    I am away from all the abusers--have kept my NC complete. I think Covid is hard because it is reactivating the PTSD problems. I needed the world to stay safe for a few minutes but it didn't happen. LOL So yeah trauma therapy would be good. I do use ASMR, and some art to keep anxiety away, some little water colors--painting abstracts, nature things recently, and some mindfulness activities. I am supposed to go to a Zoom tommorow and writing something for the UUs this week, short lecture.

    We don't have free counseling outside the Christian schools stuff though someone told me there's a few hotlines to call.
    Wow your house probably looks great now. :)

    Well I am in apartment but I did used to do the rearrange the place and put magazine pictures on the wall when I was young. It did help. I agree with the concept. I did like to go to thrift stores and mix things up a bit. However maybe I can change things up in here somehow. I am trying to work a few paintings this week too. I have noticed my apt is far more jam packed then most in this entire building, not hoarders level but more interesting to look at then most. We bought a lot of books since Covid started. LOL I also really got into finding graphic novels at cheap prices and starting a bigger collection of those. I did get a friend's picture put up on the wall and the UU art I did a year ago that was framed.

    Maybe I am due for a rearrangement. I wouldn't mind some fabrics to jazz this place up. I was going to get more framed art work for the walls. That is an idea. I do live very domestic, in some ways. I made chicken biriyani over the weekend, supposed to cook something here soon. I agree with you in making home life better, I mean if we are going to be in here it's best to do. Was bing watching Star Trek Discovery first season, have two more to go.

    Yeah with therapists, I need to see what is available more on Zoom. One issue I wanted to cover with a therapist was coping with the extreme hearing loss and being deaf. I am near identifying as being "deaf", there's a little hearing left, but word recognition is very low. I know the masks of "covid" basically did make me functionally deaf though my transcribe phone has done a lot to fill the gaps.

    I have some plans for art shows if this ends. Oh I am trying to put together a Peep Zine electronically, the comics of a few years ago but with more writing. I have 160 pages put together and scanned. :p So stay busy for being in here among all the medical junk.

    Covid has me freaked out because not sure what to think. I need to talk to a therapist about recovering from conspiracy and religion and then having this happen.

  3. Yea, I think it is possible to find therapists on Zoom. I know that Judy Rosenberg's Psychological Healing Center has group therapy for ACONs, and I think I remember hearing it was possible to Zoom too.

    But I also think there comes a time when we don't need ACON therapy any more, and just need to find a way to live in peace in our own heads and emotions afterwards, following years of growing up in situations where our stress hormones were always activated. Then there's the hypervigilance, which is the added stress of what will happen tomorrow, i.e. "what will they try to do to me next?" Then there's the triggers on top of that ... We don't have enough tools to know how to de-stress since stress was always what was called upon us to experience (as scapegoats). So it is almost like re-wiring the brain, and some of it involves manipulation of our eyes.

    People who are not stressed, for instance, tend to see a lot more peripherally, whereas stressed people seem to focus on something ahead. If you make yourself focus on the peripheral, you can actually calm yourself, and experience more of what the general population feels (those who are relaxed and at peace, that is). - I used to use this technique when I experienced nightmares (which was just about every night). I would wake up from the nightmare and focus on the peripheral - going all the way to where my hair falls on the side of my face and really focus on that for fifteen minutes, sweeping thoughts out of my mind as they rolled in. When I finally felt calm, I'd go back to sleep. It seemed to work in terms of the second part of the night being free of nightmares.

    There are little tricks like that that you learn in trauma therapy. All the tricks can help with keeping more healthy too, as PTSD effects the heart, the arteries, the adrenal glands, the stomach, the lungs, the head (in terms of headaches) and the immune system (auto-immune diseases are prevalent among child abuse victims).

    Anyway, I just saw your photography! I love the one with the birds! So relevant to being free of narcissistic abuse. I think you have a calling there.

    1. Thanks, I am going to look for therapists on Zoom, thanks for the group therapy suggestions.
      Yeah I agree with you about ACON therapy, Lisa. I've been gone so long, that there's a lot I already processed, very little new information to be gathered about scapegoating, etc. However the hypervigilance remains difficult.
      Most of the new therapy I desire is for going deaf, yes some of the PTSD stuff related to Covid, and some issues related to aging--autism/ADHD and the CFS, some of it is harder times focusing, can't cloak anymore--deafness complicating this. Dealing with autism can be harder as one ages. I spent so many years cloaking to 'fit' in socially, it's gotten harder to do. Some Aspie friends and I online were discussing some social stresses taken off our backs which was ironic, but Zoom can be hard to process too or keep up with.

      I had embarrassing moment on Zoom today going into too deep of detail about a sensitive topic [not something personal but something controversial related to autism].

      Yeah I have the feeling that the other shoe is going to drop all the time, Covid threw me off a more calm place I finally got to. [like returning to sanity from religion and extreme conspiracy]. I was around healthier people in the UU, and well, having that taken away has been hard.

      EMDR is the one with the eyes,always had an interest in that but never was able to take a class in it or learn it. My brain finally was calming down and this huge event happened. Seriously I just wanted some years of peace and quiet, rather than fight or flight. Lise, did you see the articles where I was begging to leave the country to husband....He is more calm rational type.

      I had worked hard to build a more "calming life".
      By peripheral do you mean things that are occurring on that day or focusing on small things. Yeah general population people I notice are far more calm than I am. There's some days I kind of pace in here. As fat as I am, most would be shocked at how much I stim, fidge, and pace around. This last week was agitated from taxes, medical related things, etc. Hopefully can calm down a little soon. LOL.

      These are good suggestions thanks. One thing too with me, I never get insomnia, when a day is over even if I am in pain, I crash and burn into sleep fast.

      Yeah nightmares suck. Hope yours don't get too bad anymore. I actually used some lucid dreaming to deal with dream life, aka coming out on top in dreams LOL but this was only possible in less deep sleep stages.

      I have done some meditation and ASMR stuff, got hooked on ASMR for awhile big time. Mindfulness, to put one in the moment, can help. Another thing I do is decide not to worry about something or make a time for it.

      Yeah being able to sweep thoughts out and to get rid of bad nightmares is a good idea. I can still get an occasional one but yeah for years they were bad. Mine were always the you know whos chasing me down and trying to do harm to me. Glad you felt better.

      Trauma therapy is a good thing. Those sound like good techniques. Yeah PTSD does take a toll on the body, the heart, etc, I have all the autoimmune issues. I know stress increases the inflammation and cortisol like gangbusters. Reading all the ACE scores stuff is of interest.

      Hey glad you like my photography. Thanks. I was using that as a Zoom background last few days LOL. Oh the new transcribe phone happens to have the best camera. Did you see the puddle picture, I have that on here too from some time back.

      I have a deepening interest in photography. If world reopens up I may take a digital photography class. One reason I want to get out more is having that camera. I've taken a few photos the last couple months when I have gotten out.

      Hope all your techniques keep helping you too. Thanks Lise.

    2. Hi Peep,

      Sorry to have not responded. I should have. I didn't see this until now.

      You asked: "By peripheral do you mean things that are occurring on that day or focusing on small things." No. It's just with your eyes. Like focusing on the furniture in your peripheral vision. Or just putting your hands up and to the side and focusing on them via peripheral vision instead of what is right in front of you. Your eyes are still directed to what is in front of you, but your focus is on something that is unmoving in your peripheral vision. People who are relaxed have a much more panoramic vision style than PTSD sufferers who tend to focus intently on one or a couple of things ahead. So by forcing yourself to focus on what is on the sides for 10 minutes or so, you can calm yourself.

      And you get an idea of how other people "see".

      It's a good strategy after you have had nightmares too (nightmares and PTSD go together, and it is a good way to calm yourself afterwards so that you don't have further nightmares).

    3. Wow, I didn't know about peripheral vision like that. I wonder if I have the PTSD vision thing going, I tend to focus on one thing ahead though obviously art will take me out of that. So this is a technique for calming? Hey I will try it. Right now I have isolation and ASMR to calm me down. Anything like that would help. Someone suggestion also naming 5 items and focusing on them and drawing them too. It is interesting if other people "see" that way to me. My nightmares aren't as bad as they were years ago but anything to stop those too would be welcome. Thanks Lise. Oh I have to go read your new article too. :)

    4. Peeps, It's interesting that you mention focusing on one thing ("obviously art will take me out of that."). The interesting thing is that so many abuse survivors make a living at one of the arts, or they make it a serious hobby. And it may be PTSD related because of the penchant to see directly and intensely in a direction instead of having more panorama in our vision.
      When you focus more on the peripheral it is calming, especially if you take long breaths with it. Taking short breaths is obviously something we do when we are tense, so it is important to do long breaths with this exercise.
      Also, PTSD tends to get worse as a person ages (traumas turn into triggers: you see or hear something that reminds you of a trauma you endured and you get re-traumatized by the memories). I call them "daymares", which can turn into nightmares and an inability to sleep. This is when the calming exercises are best implemented. Your brain eventually learns that when you get triggers, you become calm instead of hypervigilant (hypervigilance manifests as racing heart, sweating, panting, adrenalin, the whole sympathetic nervous system getting activated).
      The other part of this is choosing people who are empathetic, peaceful and validating, and non-stressful non-confrontational work environments, because PTSD episodes tend to naturally wind down when certain life ingredients like that can be met.

    5. I know I ran to art for survival, I think you are right about the direct vision thing and details. I think I do go through the world zeroed in. Even photography I am centered on detail or way certain light hits. I have many untaken photos or art work, some of small details. Maybe art is an escape then, you draw a picture to take solace in it. You have to look at details and get away from the "regular world". Almost like tunnel vision, starting straight ahead, to avoid triggers and things to freak you out.

      Thanks for reminding me about breathing correctly.

      I wonder about PTSD worsening. I really really needed the world to stay sane and safe for a time. One thing about fearfulness, I get the feeling others don't like it, makes you unpopular. LOL I had to learn to not be vulnerable now I have to figure out hiding fear or showing some confidence at least.

      I hope for reincarnation to a better make up for this lifetime.

      Yeah daymares can suck, they've happened to me, even mind wondering off to some strange places, or being reminded of traumatic events or triggers. At least Im not as severe as a combat vet shaking under a table, but I can be sitting somewhere acting normal remembering someone beating me up, or being "reminded" of stuff if the right trigger is there.

      Who we are around definitely impacts things, I think going no contact with abusers is necessary to deal with PTSD, contact with kind people and jobs where there is less stress and confrontation, definitely would be imperative. There's no healing if you have to watch your back with who you are around.

      The other part of this is choosing people who are empathetic, peaceful and validating, and non-stressful non-confrontational work environments, because PTSD episodes tend to naturally wind down when certain life ingredients like that can be met.

    6. I agree.

      You said: "At least Im not as severe as a combat vet shaking under a table" - I have seen three child abuse victims like that. One didn't want to go anywhere either. She would act out (refuse to walk, sit down in the middle of a sidewalk, or in the parking lot where the bus was picking us up, or hold on to the door frame as everyone was leaving, and scream bloody murder with tears running down her face) if she was being asked to go any where but the school and her new home (new home was with foster parents).

      That has to do with self-isolation, and only wanting to be with the familiar, another PTSD symptom.

      Really heartbreaking.

    7. Yeah those people sound very severe. I had much more severe anxiety years ago. I deal with extreme panic attacks generalized anxiety disorder, aspie melt-downs etc, but yeah some abuse is so bad, people and young people get afraid to go anyhere, deal with agoraphobia, other phobias. I still have phobias of elevators, and a few other things. I learned to control it with age and necessity. I also learned to hide anxiety knowing it could bring anger out in others. Autistics are threatened by the non familiar, wonder if she was on the spectrum. It's an issue for me. You want exact routines and to know exactly what is going to happen. I feel for those who have gone through severe abuse, and go into self isolation. The extreme anxiety for children is the worse especially if they are not in a safe place. Too many judge "acting out" and punish kids like this when they are basically having a severe panic attack and in absolute terror :(

  4. Hi Peeps,
    I don't often comment, but you are one of the five places I visit on the internet daily. I enjoy and appreciate all the effort you put into your blog, so thank you. Reading the things you have touched on here, and the comments made between you and Lise, I wondered if you were aware of all the youtube videos being done by Sam Vaknin as a result of the pandemic and his considersble free time spent at home? You might recall Lisette use to recommend that we all read his book on narcissism. I just wanted to recommend this one video in particular, where he speaks about betrayal trama on both inter-personal and institutional levels. If you go on Google and type in, "An important video on CPTSD by Sam Vaknin," you will find it. It's just over an hour, and his speech is provided in word form, so this should help with your hearing difficulties. Also it will lead you to many more of his videos, which I myself am finding informative and useful. Hope you do too. Would love to hear your thoughts down the line as you get into it, if you do. Hope your enjoying some positivity to your day.

    1. Thanks I will check those out. I am cautious of Sam V because he is a self admitted narc, but I did learn some decent information years ago so have no problem going to see this new stuff. I always did want to read his book on narcissism, never have, but still open to it. Betrayal trauma sounds like an interesting topic. With all my collapsing relationships from religion politics and the ones I ended years ago due to narcissism, I probably need to read up on some of that stuff. Maybe I just want people around me who have a decent level of empathy. [There's some of course] Glad to hear his videos are CCed. Yeah I have to watch videos with CC on them. I have had a good day today and gone to a Zoom art and mindfulness class and making a vegetarian lunch. Hope you are having a good day too. Thanks :)