Last week with TM, the concept of feeling like a fraud my whole life came up. I was explaining that I know I have these accomplishments and education, but when I’m not in an intellectual space, I don’t connect to any of them. I can look at my resume and my degree and see my name, know I was there, understand that I knew this stuff at one time, but it all feels so removed.
A few sentences later, she called me by a title I never internalized; she called me a therapist. I visibly balked when she said this. I don’t identify with it at all. Yes, I have education towards it, and yes I was in that role at one time, but I only ever considered myself an intern or trainee. I never finished my schooling. I didn’t hold that job for more than a year… Yes, I had individual & group clients. Yes, I was the person they talked to about their “stuff”. Yes, we did “therapy” things, but I never felt like a therapist.
Therapists have their shit together. They don’t fall apart at the slightest trigger. They know how to handle stress. They are good about their self care. They stay working…
So no, I don’t consider myself a therapist. It’s something I’d like to get to some day, but most days I don’t consider myself a very good adult, forget the responsibility that goes along with the title of “therapist”… I hope I don’t ever come off as knowing more than I do. I don’t mean to.
Ever have a day where you feel like shit? You’re thoughts would generally be along the lines of “I feel like shit today” Well, that would likely be your thought if you were not dealing with depression or PTSD or Bipolar or some other fun diagnosis… My thought would go something like “I am shit” and it wouldn’t be limited to today either… My self-esteem has been so low as to even categorize myself as less-than-shit for many years… It’s all in how you formulate your sentence, and the words you chose for it (consciously or unconsciously). You can take the meaning of a negative thought and ascribe it to the day, or to your whole being… It’s like Hiccup’s conversation his mentor in How to Train Your Dragon, only it’s all within myself:
See, now this right here is what I am talking about. If you ever want to get out to fight dragons… you need to stop all… this!
But you just pointed to all of me!
The dissatisfaction with myself can be huge and overwhelming… I think it’s a problem for a lot of people… It’s quite sad. Though I do not know what is worse: being dissatisfied with yourself and hating your core; or having everyone else be dissatisfied with you for who you are.
I read a post on a forum today where a woman asked if PTSD was commonly treated by advocating for a complete change in person: changing name and “killing” the person you once were… I have not heard of it as a treatment for PTSD, but I can see it as a way to cope with hating yourself as a result of the trauma. This person was one who had been deployed several times. I am guessing he participated in some acts that went so against his image of himself, that he felt the need to obliterate that person… I think I could see needing to completely change if I had killed innocent people, or participated in a war… It goes so against who I see myself being that I don’t think I could reconcile that with the actuality of having done it. While I would be more likely to make a less conscious split (ie: fall headlong into DID) than to consciously legally change my name and act like someone else, I could see it happening. When you see yourself as something so fundamentally different from the reality of the situation, I can’t imagine having to know that and live with it every day… I’m actually a bit surprised more veterans don’t come away with a DID diagnosis or go ahead and change their identity all together… but then again, I would never volunteer for “service”…