This post is a peek behind the couch if you like. Stories from the therapy of real people. No names are used. The detail is kept vague in certain places and only altered slightly in other cases. All stories as told to me by a practicing therapist.
The man who is in his 50’s says his father always said he would never amount to much. He turned up in a designer suit, BMW and earning hundreds of thousands a year. He was in therapy because he was going through a divorce. He would also blame himself if other bad things happened to him in life like an underpayment on a gas bill or something.
The sisters who as children watched their very sick youngest sister being looked after in hospital. They saw her being lavished with attention and being bought gifts all the time. When then as adults she marries a man who has a very good job they become resentful because their husbands are either criminals and in and out of jail or just “ordinary”. The youngest has a nice house and goes on nice holidays. They have the feeling now that the youngest sister was spoilt and always gets what she wants.
These two examples above are really about perception aren’t they? The man who thought he had made nothing of his life was very wealthy and was just blaming himself for his marriage breaking down. He no doubt at the age of 50 had had many years of happy marriage. His father had long since died and he was now the one beating himself up, it was no longer his father.
The two sisters failed to see that their youngest sister was very ill and I’m sure would have preferred her health over repeated hospital stays and gifts. Who she choose to marry would have been pure chance. We all make decisions to a certain extent about who we pick as a partner. Rather than blame their sister for their husbands being jail birds perhaps the fault was closer to home?
The women who was afraid of dogs. She would walk down the road and see a dog then run home. She became agoraphobic she was so afraid to leave the house. She had been bitten as a child. When regressed she recalled the incident but she was mistaken. The dog had ran out of a house and knocked the pram she was pushing, with a doll in, over. The dog then nuzzled the doll with its nose and the head popped off the doll. Upon being told her memory of events were inaccurate she immediately lost her fear of dogs.
No real detail on this one but a soldier who fought in Afghanistan that was being called to go back and was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The woman who had been diagnosed by multiple doctors as being bi-polar. In reality she wasn’t but she grew up with a mother who was and had adopted some of the survival traits of her mother. Apparently it was a huge relief to be told this.
These last two are very different and while I feel sympathy for the soldier it really is the woman who must have been going out of her mind with worry. You would like to think the army would provide support for this man. Imagine being told by multiple doctors that you are bi-polar but not responding to the medication and becoming increasingly frustrated? Frankly I’d rather the war zone.