Friday, June 6, 2014

My thoughts on Professionals and their meddling impacts on my personal journey of growth

I decided to write about my experiences with various professionals over the years and I have seen several. I have had good experiences, bad experiences and downright traumatic experiences. I think it is important for me to write about them. I am hoping sharing my experiences will help others to be careful when it comes to choosing the right professional for themselves. Some professionals really are not necessarily helpful or supportive, which is unfortunate given their position and the fact they are meant to be helping people and working with people, not against.

I have generalised my experiences and this is not about any one professional but a summary of what I have experienced over the years of therapy that I have had. 

They have:

Invalidated my life's journey and experience

Ignored my self-knowledge and how self-aware I am (I'm not bragging or being arrogant). I really am quite self-aware and open to learning ways of improving myself but at my pace and in a way that suits me.

Told me I'm making up issues to get attention and that I don't need counselling.

Told me I can't possibly be depressed because I'm smiling, laughing and being social in the first appointment. Which I now realise is due to inappropriate effect.

Taken advantage of my naivety and vulnerability which is due to me not being able to read faces, unsaid rules and body language. I take people at face value - how they present themselves is how I think they are. So when they do the opposite of how they present themselves (their good side) to me. I'm shocked, hurt and traumatised. It is incredibly difficult for me to comprehend and understand why a person (any person, not just professionals) would do this.

Don't really listen to me.

Think they know better than I do.

Pushed me into doing things I'm not ready to do. Didn't give me time to think about it and process it.

Thankfully, not professionals all are like this. Some are really good and have helped me in my life's journey.

My ideal therapist would be someone who sees me as the professional of my own life and that their job is to guide me by asking me the right questions to expand my thinking and self-awareness.

Narrative therapy is what I believe is best for me. I intend to find a good narrative therapist when I am ready. 

My GP told me that I'm very smart, self-aware and will work things out for myself in a way that suits me. She agrees with me that I don't need to see a therapist right now. I did try to organise seeing a psychologist but I found the whole process of organizing to see one too triggering, stressful and upsetting. I've decided that I am far better off not seeing one right now. I have found that they tend to disrupt my process of healing, growing and learning.

I find I have to heal and recover from the damage some professional have caused me by how they treated me or let me down. Some of the experiences have been very painful and traumatic for me, which is very unfortunate.

I am happy with who I am, finally. My diagnosis gave me a new understanding of myself which in turn gave me permission to accept myself. Prior to that I hated myself and all the things I thought were wrong with me. I became obsessed with trying to be normal. I nearly lost who I was as a result. I do not want to ever go back to what I was like pre-understanding of who I really was. I've finally accepted myself with my imperfections. I'm happy figuring things out for myself, at my pace and in my own way. I've done this most of my life. It's how I work best.

My mum and GP support my choice to heal, grow and learn at my pace. I'm incredibly grateful for their support and understanding.

An example of me figuring something out on my own.

E.g. I recently read about Emotional freedom techniques 
I have heard of it but I didn't know much about it. I must have been ready to learn more about it as I read about it and had a light bulb moment. It seems to me to be a mix of meditation (repeating a phrase) and stimming (repetitively rubbing pressure points). Perhaps it could be considered advanced stimming. That's my opinion.

I've been trying EFT when I'm triggered by flashbacks of bad experiences, emotionally over loaded or anxious and it helps me calm down. I rub the pressure point between my thumb and index finger, focus on my breath and repeat 'All shall be well.' I was able to calm down easily and get on with my day. I'm very grateful that I read about EFT and decided to give it a try.

Ideally I would like to have a group of autistic women of various ages meet in person and online to support, guide and mentor each other without a professional present. I think that is the best way for Autistic women to learn and grow together. We understand each other and tend to have a deep empathetic respect for each other and our individual journeys. 

Note: I am not saying don't see professionals as there are definitely good ones out there. I have come to realise that this decision is best for me. It may not work for others. I encourage others to be mindful of the professionals that they do see. 
Check them out, ask them questions 
Find out if they have knowledge and understanding of Autistic adults. 
Remember you are paying the professional to support and help you. If you don't feel that they are helping you then you have a right to stop seeing them and find another professional who is more suited to what you need. You are after all paying them to do their job, if you feel that they aren't doing their job, then you have a right to walk away. It's your life, your money and your mental health that is most important. If they aren't helping you overall then find another. It's that simple.


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