Approximately six weeks after my baby was born, I woke up one morning and could not get out of bed.
One day I was a healthy mother of a lively brood of young children, and the next day I was completely incapacitated. My body felt as though it weighed as much as a ton of bricks. My head felt so heavy I couldnt stand upright without holding it in my hands. I was dizzy to the point of being unable to walk without support.
We were forced to get someone to take of our kids, and I spent my days, together with my husband going from doctor to doctor in the hopes of finding out what was wrong with me.
After 6 months of testing every part of my body, a neurologist in NYU told me that physically I was in perfect health, but I was suffering from high anxiety and he recommended psychotherapy.
My husband and I were stunned. After months of believing that I had an incurable disease such as MS or a brain tumor- all I needed now was some therapy? It made no sense to us. At that point I had not remembered my father's sexual abuse, and I believed that I was past M's abuse during my first marriage.
I could not imagine how therapy was going to cure these terrifying symptoms I was experiencing. But at that point I did not have many choices- in fact the only choice I was being offered was therapy.
And so I began seeing a therapist once a week. I told her that I really had no issues and that I was coming to her because of physical symptoms. She asked about my childhood which I assured her was uneventful. About four months into therapy I came to the realization that my mother was not the woman I thought she was. And that I had experienced severe emotional neglect to the point where I dissociated my feelings about her and my childhood. As I became more in touch with old feelings, I began to feel suicidal. In retrospect my work in therapy created a nightmare for me and my family. It opened up things I could never have imagined and It created havoc to my once quiet life. Having said that, therapy helped me become a real person instead of a ghost.
I prefer the real me even with all the pain and hurt, as opposed to the ghost who had no feelings or awareness of the world around her.
Pain is almost always better than no feelings at all.
I used therapy very well and through transference I became very attached to my therapist. It eventually became an unhealthy attachment and I suffered a lot of pain, hurt feelings and rejection.
Whenever she would go away for yom tov or on vacation I threatened to kill myself.
For me the feelings were very real. I believed that because she was away for a few weeks it meant that I would never see her again, and that she had abandoned me because she didnt care enough.
We both suffered tremendously.
She had to endure threats of suicide every time she went away, and I had to endure feeling suicidal when she went away.
It was not fun.
I found this paper which I wrote in 2006 when my therapist went away.
When I read it I cannot believe how far I have come, and how independent I am emotionally.
It feels good to know that through hard work and courage things can change.