A Trauma Counselor and the Black Ball

About two weeks ago I called a counselor I saw before for about a year.  I went to him at the time as I was so paralyzed with anxiety that I couldn’t move forward anymore and empty of hope for my life.  I had a sense in me that everything in my life needs to change for me to go on, and to this day I still have a feeling that things are gong to continue to change in me.

At the time I was seeing him I didn’t have the concepts of scapegoating in my mind, that is, I didn’t have the unification of all the symptoms of maladjustment under one category.  I was still in the mode of piecemealing my reason for seeing any one counselor/therapist or another over my life.  I went to one for my abusive husband and another later for my abusive live-in boyfriend, I went to one or two for depression and suicidal feelings, etc.  All of them I would mention my abusive childhood but I didn’t know to put everything into one bucket and add in my hyper-vigilance, high level of general anxiety, and disassociation.

Now that I have a new confident way of expressing what my issues are, as well as feeling the pressure of all the changes I’m going through and needing someone to help me navigate this, I’ve decided to see him again.

I saw him yesterday for the first time in six months.  I was able to express the scapegoating and that, as I’ve said, I’ve been expressing my issues in a piecemeal fashion.  I mentioned to him the black ball I feel inside me that seems to be panic and annihilation.  He wants to go through EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) with me as he’s recognized the trauma I went through.  I don’t think he readily saw it before because I never went into it deep with him the last times I saw him because I wanted to concentrate on what I’m going through NOW and not the past, not knowing just how impossible that is.

Today I looked up his name online because I was curious if he is in the therapist or counselor, something I never looked or asked to be sure before as I guess it wasn’t that important to me.  He is a counselor, as I assumed, but I also saw that he specializes in trauma, with a personal interest in childhood trauma and how it affects a person.  Huh.  It’s funny how all that got missed, although he must have suspected because he did do one session of EMDR with me before.

I will be seeing him in a week so I’m off to look further into EMDR and how it’s supposed to work. I’ve already told him I don’t go messing with that black ball as it sent me into a blackout disassociation once before but maybe the EMDR is supposed to help with that.  I’ll see how this goes and I will write more about it as I go along.

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20 thoughts on “A Trauma Counselor and the Black Ball

  1. I look forward to your reports about this and progress. I thought of that adage when you are ready, the teacher comes. Maybe this is the teacher and you are ready.
    I’ve looked at the constellations of my own issues too always before in a piecemeal fashion and was deeply hindered in coming to understanding by truly incompetent therapists that never saw the whole picture either. Piecemeal is like stumbling around in the dark looking for a light switch. And the black ball is good to leave alone until it looks you know its ready. I’ve been pushed when I wasn’t ready only to completely de-compensate. You can ask yourself if you are ready, there is a part of you that has always known.
    A billing code in a book which was nothing but a coffin for me and it was inaccurate thus the confusion from treatment that never seemed to fix anything. One of the most helpful therapists I ever had, and she was brief because she moved away said “what does your heart tell you you need,? She said she believed that in all of us was a still small voice that knows our own answers. Learning to hear it is the challenge.
    I don’t rule out the possibility a therapist could be helpful, but, without a deep understanding about the psychological impacts of narc abuse I believe they can do more harm. I’ve yet to find one that really understands this but perhaps they exist, so I wait to hear how it goes for you Prayers are with you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You hit on some points that were already concerning me. I’m not ready to go there with the “black ball”, which I’ve recognized on my own so far is a black, dark panic and fear that I’m about to be obliterated. Yeah, I’m not going there. I blacked out for a reason when I tried before. I’m not excited to try this. It’s one thing to use it with PTSD when the incident is remembered for the most part, but mine is not remembered and doesn’t want to be.

      I’ve actually get so much out of reading other blogs and writing out my thoughts on these issues. I will remind myself to be careful to see if this is all I really need to be doing right now. He is a counselor though and not a therapist so I think he’s supposed to show ongoing client-professed progress to those he reports to. I think he looks for results, not a patient mining of the client’s inner being. I haven’t determined if this is good or bad for what I need yet.

      I will keep asking myself what I need, and keep asking God to continue guiding me through this. That was great advice. I know that writing has helped me tremendously already.

      Liked by 2 people

      • yes dear one about letting what you know about yourself guide you. The counselor I had tried to do regression therapy, there was a part of me that knew that wall was up for a reason. I got extremely sick emotionally and had to be hospitalized for a month (because I knew that thing needed to be left alone) That counselor violated a part of my soul that had a sign up saying “do not go here” The timing wasn’t right, I was still in an abusive relationship with young children and trying to function because I had to function….

        Its only now 25 years later that it is unraveling itself, that profound well of rejection and its not unraveling because of a therapist but because I am finding a healing place through art, writing, the bible, sermons insight gained from hearing good teaching and lots of walks on the beach nearby me.

        I am not sure things that don’t spontaneously make themselves clear should be excavated. I had a promise about this found in Isaiah 54 where God promises to lay a new foundation in the life of the rejected wife. He promises to rebuilt the walls out of precious stones after excavating. I will probably blog about this, the rebuilding of a life in which God tears up the old foundation based on rejection and plants a new foundation based on love….. Yes God will guide you and even as you write you are writing your own healing answers!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I love your comments – they help me so much.

    I’m finding I’m seeing new ways to look at things at a deeper level at a gentle, non-invasive manner on my own. I think if he’s to help I’ll keep it at more surface issues, like memories that I DO remember that I may want to think through more clearly and integrate them in a healthier way. I have to remember that it may be his office but I’m in charge of my own healing and I will need to redirect where the focus is if I feel I need to. I can also not return if I don’t feel it’s going the way I think is helpful. I’m writing this because It might help to remind me when I’m in his office,

    The sign that says “do not go there” lol That’s what I got with the black ball, and I feel really okay about it. It’s come up as a subject in my writing because It’s come up to me on its own. So, I think it wants to be thought of slowly and around the edges, like just giving it quick glances here and there to see if it has anything new to tell me. Like me describing it as black panic of being annihilated. Describing it as “black panic” is new and those words came to me to describe it only in the last few days. It may be time to look at it but I need to do it on my own as I have been. That’s not why I went to him. I mentioned to him that I found new ways of expressing what I went through with my family and that I was looking into the “black ball”, but I actually came to him to help me with my fears from my decision to go no-contact with my family and help have some clear thoughts on where I want to go from here.

    I need to be more clear about that with him. I also told him I was afraid to do the EMDR on that subject. I should have known that I was telling MYSELF that I was afraid to do the EMDR on it, and that should be the final answer to me.

    Thanks for helping me think through what I was already feeling iffy about.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had a few sessions of EMDR a couple of years ago. For me, it was very exhausting, every time. I did not seem to get much help from it, but maybe I just wasn’t ready. Or it could have been the therapist. I was his very first EMDR patient and it seemed to me like he really didn’t know what he was doing.

      My husband, was has PTSD from combat as a Vietnam war veteran, is now doing EMDR with this same therapist. My husband says it is helping him.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A good therapist will take his or her time with you. They will not push you to explore deep pain that you are not ready to face. They know it will take time to build up a foundation of safety within which deep, deep trauma can be explored and unpacked. Its a process and it can take years.
    It is difficult at the start or even a little way a long to know what we need, what is good for us, who is safe (our souls do KNOW what we need on one level) but if we have been invalidated in the past we may not be allowed to know what we want and need, even though deep in our soul we do know it.
    I can only wish you well, encourage you to trust yourself and your own timing. That said we also have to face if and when our self protective defences push back when it is necessary that they surrender at the right time, to the right person.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for all those thoughts and I will be carefully considering what you’re saying – you and Katie are giving basically the same advice and it matches what I was feeling inside about this.

    I will look more into EMDR as it seems kind of a fad to me, a fad that many therapists/counselors that haven’t gone through childhood trauma are too quick to employ.

    There’s an old saying that if a person has friends then he doesn’t need a therapist. Because talking and others seeing where you’re coming from as you work it out yourself is the best way for soul healing. I’m already a little skeptical of this new fad that seems to bypass the healing that comes from sharing. I’ll look more into it.

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  5. By the way, my cousin, who turned fifty this month and has been a therapist for over twenty years, told me a couple of months ago that for most of his life he did not know I existed. He is the only son of my mother’s only sibling. He knows all of my six brothers and sisters. But for most of his life he had never even heard of me, my mother’s first born and the firstborn grandchild on both sides of my family.

    This is how thoroughly my narcissistic mother has managed to erase my existence, ever since she threw me away at the age of fourteen. (My cousin was born when I was thirteen.)

    Back then, when I was just barely thirteen, my dad attempted to sexually molest me one day. I managed to fight him off. Then my dad apparently told his wife and my mother some kind of crazy story about me flaunting my sexuality at him! Which was absolutely untrue, I was very modest, shy, and inhibited, and he was my DAD!! But apparently these idiot women believed my dad’s insane story! This, despite the fact that my dad had nearly murdered my mother when I was twelve. He came so close to killing her that night that I had believed at first that she was dead. It was horrible, worse than any nightmare. My dad was arrested the next morning, then taken from jail to a hospital because he was a severe diabetic and was going into shock. From the emergency room my dad there he put on the psych ward. While there, he was initially diagnosed with schizophrenia, although I was told a few years later that his diagnosis was changed to multiple personality disorder. Which definitely described him better than schizophrenia.

    The woman my dad married about a year later, before the ink was dry on my parents’ divorce papers, was the head nurse of that psych ward. He met her when he was a patient there, while he had a traumatized wife and a bunch of young children living in the house that was being foreclosed on. How unethical is that? It was after he got out of the hospital and moved to an apartment across town, that my mother got all dolled up one night and went over to his place intending to get back with him, because financially she could not make it on her own, with four preschool kids still at home. That night my mother discovered that my dad was involved with the psych nurse, and it was right after that, when my mother tried to gas us all to death.

    Fast forward a few months, and one night, after my dad’s marriage to the psych nurse, he came to visit us kids and tried to molest me in the bathroom and I was able to fight him off. Then he left in a rage, he knocked a hole in our front door, and he peeled rubber going around and around our block for about an hour, then he went home and, after awhile, the phone rang. After my mother hung up the phone she told me that it was my dad’s wife calling. She said that my dad had told his wife “all about what just happened”.

    Stupid me, after the many hard beatings my dad had given me over the years for lying, or because he even suspected I was lying, it never occurred to my thirteen year old severely traumatized mind to ask WHAT EXACTLY my dad had told tell his wife! Stupid naive me, I assumed that my dad had told his wife the truth! After all, he had recently told me that the only reason he had married her, aside from her good income, was because as a psychiatric nurse she could help him with his problems!

    I was far too traumatized to speak of what had just happened between my dad and me in the bathroom, and my mother was apparently too ignorant to tell me dad’s version, or to ask me for my version. She just left at that: “your dad went home and told his wife what happened, and she just called and told me all about it”. I remember feeling relieved that my mother knew and I didn’t have to actually say the words!!

    Then a couple of nights later, when my dad’s wife came over to our house very drunk and screamed at me that I was ruining her marriage, I had No Idea what she was talking about. And when my mom started telling me to stay away from her new boyfriend, and saying things like “no house is big enough for two women” — and I was only thirteen!! — again, I had no clue. Then, a few months after my pregnant mother married her new boyfriend when I was fourteen, she got rid of me for good by locking me in an institution. And she threw out everything I owned, because she did not expect or intend for me to ever come back. And she justified locking me up to her new husband and to my upset little siblings and to my grandparents and to my aunt, with a bunch of evil projecting scapegoating lies.

    But I never figured out what probably started my mother’s vicious hate campaign against me, until almost fifty years later, when I began reading survivors blogs. That was when I started coming across stories about incest victims whose perpetrators, when caught, would lie and say that the child had flaunted her body to them, or had in some way “asked for it”.

    Yeah, right, my dad “went home and told his wife all about what just happened”. He went home and told her LIES. That’s why she and my mother reacted the way they did!! And those STUPID, utterly SELF CENTERED women, my own mother and my dad’s wife, the psycho nurse, were stupid enough to BELIEVE his sick twisted story??? Not once did either of them ask me for my version of what happened. Not once did they tell me my dad’s version of that night, to see what I would say!!!

    Sorry I got on a rant but, oh my God… oh my God. My life was ruined over a pack of projecting, scapegoating lies, told by BOTH of my parents!! And now I am in my sixties, just now finally figuring all this out!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny (not funny) how much we carry on seeing things from the eyes of our childhood, it never crossing our minds to re-look at a memory through different eyes. Why would we? If you think you already know how something went down, why would it occur to you to reevaluate it out of the blue? That’s why it’s a near miracle that we ARE thinking of reevaluating things from our past. It’s like God’s tapping us on the shoulder saying it’s time to heal and to look again at what has occurred in our past now that we have the maturity and life experience to deal with it.

      I’m angry at how you were treated. It really shows me from those in my family and from the stories from others that there are those who are on the side of death (“deathers” I call them) and those who are on the side of life. It shows how, as Jesus pointed out, that one could be a murderer in their heart even if they’ve never had the opportunity to actually be able to carry out a murder. The fact that they haven’t murdered someone isn’t a point of righteousness, it’s just that they haven’t had the opportunity or it didn’t pan out.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear wonderful Prairie Girl, you couldn’t have given a better answer to my intensely emotional long-winded rant. Thank you, thank you, for being so precious and wise and caring.

    My mother’s new husband was so upset by my mom locking me in an institution, that he told me he went to a lawyer to try to stop her, but the lawyer told him told he unfortunately had no parental rights. My much younger sisters and brothers, who all looked up to their care-taker “big sissy,” cried and begged and rebelled against our mother for locking me up, which she did against my doctor’s advice. My grandparents were also upset. (I was told all of this after the fact.) So, after I had been in the institution for a few months, with my siblings and stepfather and grandparents all still mad at her for locking me up, and my mother was afraid that her new husband might leave her because of it, she came up with the idea of projecting what she had tried to do, onto me.

    You see, when I was twelve, my mother told me one day that she needed to get something off her chest, and then she confessed that the pilot light on the gas furnace kept going out at night, and the thermostat kept being turned all the way up, because she was trying to gas us all to death while we slept in our beds. She said she had brought us kids into the world and therefore she had the right to take us out of the world. She also said she would be doing us a favor, since life was so hard. But the furnace had a safety shut off, she finally figured out, which she tried to over ride or break, but she could not. So now, she said, she was trying to find a cliff high enough that she could drive us off of and kill us that way, but where we lived in Missouri, she did not know of any cliffs that high that she could get a run at in the car.

    Then my mother told me not to tell anyone what she had confessed, or else she would go to prison for life and the five of us kids then living would go to five separate foster homes and never see each other again. Which to me, as much as I loved my little sisters and brothers, was a fate almost worse than death. I was an only child until the year I turned seven, when my mother had twin girls, then she had a crippled boy fifteen months later, and another boy a couple of years after that. I had been very lonely as an only child and prayed fervently for a baby sister or brother, and I believed God had given me two of each in answer to my prayers, to show me how much He loved me. They were all born, after my mother’s doctor had told her she could not have any more children due to a condition called endometriosis.

    So I did like my mother said, and did not tell anyone a word about what she had confessed to me. Which was very wrong and stupid of me! All I can figure is that I was so severely traumatized at that point, that I could not bring myself to say the words to anyone! But even so, I worried constantly, day and night, that she would find a way to kill us. I lay awake in bed, listening for the heat to come on, and I sat up front beside her when she drove, hyper watchful and on guard, ready to grab the wheel if she should start to steer us into a crash, which thankfully she never did!

    But after she got pregnant and married my stable and kind stepfather, I felt I could relax at last, that we were longer in danger of being murdered by our mother. And that was when, no longer needing to be hyper vigilant, I began having PTSD symptoms. But PTSD wasn’t an official known diagnosis until 1980, and this happened in 1967.

    So then, although my behavior was in no way out of control and I was not ever threatening to anyone, not even to myself, my mother jumped at the chance to lock her “crazy daughter” up in the most notorious insane asylum in the state.

    And when my family kept asking her how she could do that to me, she told them an evil projecting LIE FROM HELL. She told them that she had to lock me up, because she had discovered that I was planning to kill the whole family!

    God knows there isn’t a shred of truth in that. God knows it was my mother who actually had tried several times to gas us all to death, all those nights when the heat stopped coming on and the house got cold and I got up to turn up the thermostat, only to find it as high as it would go, and the pilot light gone out.

    And still today, nearly fifty years later, with the sole exception of my aunt, my mother’s younger sister who was also abused by my mother, my whole family believes my mother’s evil lies about me. At least, I assume they do, judging by the way they treat me.

    Yes, it is a kind of murder, you are exactly right. This is why I have decided to name my book Soul Murder, Memoir of a Scapegoat.

    For years I dreamed of writing my story and then giving a copy to each of my siblings and after they read it, they would believe me at last. But I have finally faced the reality that this is never going to happen. And, even if they did believe me, it would be too little, too late, at this point. The reality is that I have had no family since 1967, with the exception of my aunt, who began to believe me about five years ago, because of something my mother did then that opened her eyes.

    Now that I have given up hope of ever winning back my family, my purpose for writing my book is for people like you and Katie and Lucky Otter. I want to tell my fellow scapegoat survivors, the sons and daughters of tyrannical abusive malignant soul murdering narcissists, that they are not alone. My story may be more extreme than most. But of all the traumas I have ever lived through, my number one trauma, by far, is this: not being loved, not being wanted, not being valued, and not being believed, by my family of origin.

    Whew, I got on another roll. Time to go walk the dogs, then rest, then write in my book, not in comments. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to bring me up to speed with your family background. I had a thought when reading this that she could have just as easily said she tampered with the gas and got the same result of terrifying you than if she actually did do it.

      Like I said, I count her as a murderess regardless of her not actually following through with her death wish on you, because the Word says that God knows her heart and would see her that way. I am so glad she failed in her intentions. I pray you have all the healing that comes your way and that as an overcomer of evil you shine brightly for others.

      Liked by 1 person

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