Recently, someone was talking about me and said “I think the therapist needs a therapist!” This person meant it as an insult, but I wasn’t insulted at all because she was right – I do need a therapist. Personally, I believe everyone needs a therapist – at least once in their lives – because no one gets through this life unscathed. We were all born into this world loving and trusting everyone, but then someone came along and hurt us. Maybe you were told (either directly by words or more subtly by actions) you were too much, not enough, be quiet, you’re weird, go away, no one likes you, no one wants to play with you, you’re ugly, you’re stupid, you’ll never amount to anything, you’re just like your mother, you’re a loser like your father, you’re ______________ (fill in the blank). The comments, rejections, hurts, and emotional scars are endless. Pretty soon, that innocent baby learns that not all people can be trusted and if you’re not _____________ or you don’t _____________, you’ll be ridiculed or rejected. Those hurts don’t just go away. You don’t just “get over it”.
The saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is stupid!!! Of course words hurt! People wouldn’t say them if they didn’t hurt! Physical abuse is horrible, but eventually the psychical damage will heal. The damaged caused by verbal and emotional abuse never completely heals. When children are betrayed, abused, rejected, and/or abandoned by the ones who are supposed to protect them, they learn no one can be trusted. How can you tell if someone is trustworthy or not? You can’t! If someone says to your “trust me” or “believe me” – RUN!!!! If they were truly trustworthy or believable, you’d know by their actions and wouldn’t need to tell you to trust or believe them.
Puppies, like human babies, are born loving and trusting. If a puppy is fed, loved, and protected, it will generally grow up to be loving and faithful. If a puppy is beaten, abused, and/or neglected, it will generally grow up to be scared or aggressive. These puppies learned early on that humans can’t be trusted so they either hide from people to protect themselves or act aggressively to try and scare people off. Both of these reactions are their ways of trying to protect themselves. Humans aren’t any different. Babies that were abused and/or neglected generally grow up scared or aggressive. While people often understand why puppies grow up to be scared or aggressive, they don’t always understand why humans do.
I’ve had my share of hurts, disappointments, abuse, and rejection – more than some but less than others. What I’ve gone through has shaped me into the person I am today – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am not a victim of my past (I don’t use my past as an excuse for bad behavior); instead, I’m a product of my past. If I had been treated differently by the people who’ve come and gone throughout the last 55 years, I would be a different person – not necessarily better or worse – just different.
So to the person who said I need a therapist, I completely agree!!! We all need someone to talk to and vent to from time to time. An objective outsider can help me see things in my life that I don’t see. They can say things to me that I need to hear that my family members or friends either don’t know to say or don’t want to say for fear of hurting my feelings. Having someone to talk to who won’t judge me for being me, who won’t gossip about me to others, who is trained to see through my defenses and see the real me or the real problems, and who genuinely wants what is best for me and wants me to succeed in life is something everyone needs.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I have problems. I’m not perfect and I never will be, but who is perfect? NO ONE! If we were to all let down our defenses, take off our masks, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other, we’d see that we’re all imperfect, we’re all broken and messed up to some degree, we all have problems, and we all need each other more than we are often willing to admit.
I have depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and ADHD – predominately hyperactive type – what’s your problem?