I spent 7+ (yes, 7!) years in talk therapy. First, I was terrified of being seen. I made all sorts of excuses about it: I didn’t want anyone to worry about me. I was afraid I’d lose something because all I’d seen “vulnerability” rewarded with was the loss of esteem and opportunity. I didn’t want anyone to think I was “crazy.” I didn’t want to tell the truth about my childhood and change anyone’s opinions about people I love and respect deeply. I didn’t want a diagnosis. I didn’t want to have experienced the dysfunction I’d experienced. And I didn’t want to remember much of anything.
Second, I didn’t want to “fail.” I didn’t want those incredible talk therapists who'd spent so much time with me to know that I struggled to apply, that I felt stagnant, that I felt out of control, and that their efforts didn’t seem to be working. (Hint: I wasn’t available for it to work and I didn’t fully do the work.) I often knew exactly what to do but I “couldn’t.” Sometimes I didn’t know what to do, but I was too scared to ask for clarification for fear of not being “smart.” So much of my identity had been built on people not having to worry about me, which qualifies children for sainthood amidst dysfunction.
I just wanted to be ok.
I started to get older and force of will stopped working. I had already started studying neuroscience, psychology, and memory history and realized we were woefully underequipped for so much. Somewhere down the line, I realized “ok” simply isn’t enough. Which meant I had to get real. I had to allow myself to be seen and I had to tell the truth. “What if they find out?” Find out what? Reality? Who I actually am? The payoff from hiding dwindled and dwindled while the cost grew and grew.
I was eventually diagnosed with ADHD, which explained quite a bit of the difficulty I’d had — from the struggle to integrate and apply to experiencing Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (“What if they find out?”). The trauma was piling up and I had yet to feel in my soul any of it was truly resolved. I got too fed up remaining in stagnancy, so I did more work. It still wasn’t working, so I went further afield.
I dove deeper into myself and took my spirituality seriously. I pursued Reiki, which I’d heard about but feared/avoided because didn’t want to seem not “smart.” (Note: cynicism and limited thinking aren’t "smart.") Then hypnosis found me. I FINALLY began to bypass the battle with my conscious mind. All of a sudden there was this elimination of resistance. So much changed so quickly, and while it still required work, I could do it because the conflict was gone. I had no intention of doing any of these things professionally, but I needed to know why they worked.
So, 6 years later, here I am. For many of those years, I was selective about who I told any of these things. I learned very quickly the average person's reaction is dismissiveness or fear (usually both). I have this accidental totally intentional practice that touches people across 6 continents. (If anyone knows any Antarctica-based folks, please let me know.) So many pieces of myself were on the other side of my fear. I rejected my fear of me to become more of myself. Anyone can.