After my rape, I started a relationship with a psychologist. You’d think I struck it rich: at the darkest time of my life, I stumbled on the most qualified person to support me.
I was so, so wrong.
Without the boundaries that come with therapy, he had access to my fucked up psyche 16 hours a day. He could tinker and meddle to his heart’s content before sex, after breakfast, and the second we woke up in the morning. If you’ve ever tried to heal a scab that you won’t stop scratching, you’ll have an idea of what that did for my recovery. I felt like a scab that was being picked at constantly.
He worked on my “therapy” all day, every day. In small quantities, that might have been just dandy, but the constant drip drip drip of it felt more like judgment than help. His self-serving bias as my partner didn’t help any. Needless to say, we never survived it, and not because he was a bad therapist. He was a gifted one. He just didn’t see the importance of boundaries.
After that, I got involved with a top who had a degree in psychology. He drew out my trauma in the hope that ‘exposure therapy’ would cure me. He didn’t understand my brand of PTSD, so he didn’t know that dissociative patients often get worse from exposure, not better. He froze me in my trauma for years because he loved me but didn’t realise his knowledge was inadequate.
That’s why I’m opposed to therapy-by-dominant. There’s no way to create the necessary boundaries in a romantic relationship, and wannabe therapists are usually walking examples of Dunning-Kruger effect. It’s also why I rarely give advice to people who ask for it here on Fet. I trip over my own tongue at times, but I do my best. That I’ve been through a few mental health issues doesn’t qualify me to treat them. I am a layperson.
Doling out advice would be doing people a disservice because I would be tinkering with a machine that I don’t know a single thing about. I’m just someone who was stupid enough to get up after I fell a bunch of times and who was stubborn enough to be resourceful. I don’t have special knowledge about fixing anorexia or PTSD or any damn thing.
I never understood how powerful proper care would be until I got it. Having a competent therapist was like having 50 boulders lifted from my shoulders. My entire life changed. I do my best to steer people towards professionals who might be able to achieve that because everyone deserves it.