Friday, 2 July 2010
Dealing with fear.
I've been blogging for three years now and have had three changes of name in that time.
I love blogging it is the place where I do my own therapy. Which may sound a little conceited, but I have worked as a therapist in doctors practises and privately for the last 25 years. I'm not a very normal therapist, I'm not nice and soft and gentle. I can be, but because of my own life experiences I tend not to be.
The people, who are sent to see me by the docs only have a limited number of free sessions, and I am of the opinion that the best thing I can do for them is to educate them as to why they are feeling a certain feeling, and giving them the tools to then change it.
So this is how I am as a person. I know how to do therapy. I know that when the stuff builds up inside me then I use writing it down as a way to crack open the walls, so I can cry or scream or swear, whatever it is that the internal experience inside me needs to let it go and move on.
I advise all my clients to do this, to keep a stress journal and tell it their secrets. I advise them to buy punch bags, to belt their anger out on, I expect them to swear like troopers in their sessions with me, as they let out their anger. I advice that when they need listening to, they need a friend,one who will listen endlessly and mop up their tears and return their hugs, I advise for this reason that they all need a teddy bear.
What matters is getting the words out of our heads, and it doesn't matter how we do it, as long as we don't take it out on other people. So whether beating hell out of a cushion, crying into a teddy or writing it down, it is all good.
So this is what I use my blog for. I don't have the support network most people have. I no longer have any parents or a partner. I do have a wonderful sister and fabulous friends, but as I've said before here it sometimes takes me a while to ask for help.
But here I write my heart out. I write when I'm sad or happy or anything in between. And always when I've finished writing I feel better if it's a negative feeling I have. It is the catalyst for helping me to let go.
I have a massive knowledge of what makes people tick. Knowing that if I feel it so do other people, although our stories will be different the emotions of sadness/fear/loneliness/ anger will all be the same. I haven't had to be abused to know how desperate an abusive victim is when they start their therapeutic journey to health.
What what I have had is breast cancer, and those few people who have been here for three years have seen the photograph I put up here of my body after having had a mastectomy.
Now I am quite okay with how my body is, it's what's kept me alive having my breast removed. Although I do have issues with the 14lbs I've put on as a result of taking Tamoxifen over the last few years. But I am on the home straight, in that come January I will have been in remission for five years and seen as cured and can come of the drugs.
If you wondering where this post is going I am getting slowly to the point....
I get referred anyone and everyone by the docs I work for and apart from drug or alcohol dependency issues I will see anyone for anything. I will work my magic and make everyone on the whole feel heard. And then help give them their own power back so that they can move on emotionally.
In the work I do I am more than capable of keeping ME out of someone elses therapy session. I may make use personal examples if I think it will help illustrate a point that someone is stuck on, without this impinging on my stuff.
BUT, and this is the point. I have been referred a woman who has had breast cancer, who has finished having Tamoxifen and therefore also finished with the regular follow on care from the oncologist as she is seen as cured. And she is not dealing with her fear of it coming back.
Yeah right, neither am I.
I do not think I will ever stop being frightened of cancer coming back. If not breast cancer then I tie myself up in knots with the idea of lung or bone cancer on a regular basis.
I know there is no logic to fear,and that fear can be crippling. So I work hard at keeping on top of my fear.
But how the fucking hell am I supposed to do therapy for a woman who is fearing what I fear. It just isn't going to happen. I cannot remain impassive and professional talking to this woman about how she deals with her fears. I cannot tell her that she is not being logical and there is no reason to believe that she will ever get cancer again. It's all bollocks.
So whether right or wrong I've decided when she comes to tell her about me. That I've had cancer, that I'm scared and that is the legacy of having to deal with the stronger than average chance of dying back then that will never leave me.
That every time I have a mammogram coming up I cry with fear. That I get hooked into all my other nonsensical fears.
She won't have come to hear that, she will be wanting a professional counselling service. But under these circumstances my need to protect myself is bigger than my giving unconditionally to a client.
I'm hoping that hearing another woman talk about her own fears will help her, so that she can share in this horrid uncertain place that cancers sufferers inhabit. I know this cause there are a total of four of us at work who've had breast cancer in the last six years of varying degrees and we talk to each other about it.
I'll even offer another support session, but I won't be offering her therapy under any circumstance, and will tell her referring doctor exactly why.