I’ve been relatively quiet–for me. But alas, there’s always more… The more time passes, the clearer I become. Though I have been generally moving on with life.
I am thinking today of boundaries. At Haven living without boundaries is considered virtuous. Reveal all. Never question. Leaders/counsellors have no physical, sexual, or emotional boundaries. They may hold you one moment, flirt another, then insult. This is actually considered counselling. I remember being held and rocked when I was 15–adults I barely knew touching every part of my body–I wanted to scream. I was a kid and they were authority figures–no didn’t exist in my vocabulary. We had to say who we were most sexually attracted to, who we didn’t trust… “Nothing left unsaid” was a common theme. You can say no but then you merely aren’t “willing” or “evolved.” Call me old-fashioned but I believe in boundaries. ESPECIALLY in the role of counsellor. I actually stopped knowing the difference between “counselling” and general socializing-they were treated exactly the same. And thus, the client naturally becomes a sort of puppet. They handed out meds to me, even rashioned out vodka… Reported abuse to the abuser. Yes, you read that correctly. Confidentiality, or lack thereof, is another minefield. “Because we care and you aren’t being responsible” is their go-to answer if you dare question.
It operates like traditional grooming in that I was told things like “we wouldn’t do this for anyone else” or “I only see clients that I like.” There’s nothing that a leader wouldn’t do for me–if I were being young, cute, unable and kept “no” out of my vocabulary. Being agreeable was more important than being able.
Whether or not I was attractive often came up-more so than it has anywhere (almost anywhere) else. It is not only superficial but sexist. I’m so pleased that today I can talk about literature and art and philosophy rather than my weight, whether or not someone feels “close or distant” because my socks don’t match, etc. That feeling I had when I was 15 never left–I just got so used to it over a lifetime that it never occurred to me to seek out something else. Seek out boundaries.
Frankly, not everything needs to be said. They view it as their job to live out their personal projections as psychodramas with clients. As if we don’t have enough of our own baggage! I really stopped knowing what counselling was. I’m still not sure for I don’t dare re-enter that world.
People who’ve experienced trauma have over-reactive amygdalas. The point is to re-train the brain using meditation and ownership of one’s own life–not to train it to stay in overdrive and be saved by the leader. Indeed by even watching porn in a group. I got addicted to trauma.
I’m disclosing things that they say should not be disclosed. Participants aren’t supposed to know what they’re getting into–it’s supposed to be a “surprise.” This is also unethical. There can be no informed consent and no one can effectively evaluate what occurs. It’s taken me over a year to understand and I haven’t reached the end of my understanding. Without a counter-will or effective boundaries and ethics–groupthink blinds even the most critical of us. I basically sold myself for a place to belong. That was what I had always done.
So no, I did not want to be held, flirted with, insulted, wear a leash… I just wanted to be. I didn’t know I could. I tried and every time I tried, was beat down further.
In the beginning I tried so hard to give Haven the benefit. Partly I knew no one would listen otherwise. Partly I didn’t want to access the full truth–access the feeling of being grabbed by a group.
Nothing left unsaid is also huge hypocrisy when they don’t want me to say–no! I am a human not a prop! Not want me to say basically anything I have said… I lived in your psychodramas (often overly sexualized and secret) for long enough.
They actually consider people being driven to a psychotic break as something expectable and a sign of success. Because everything is a “choice” the system itself cannot be criticized. It should therefore follow that the system cannot get credit…
Now sometimes I think I must be on drugs only to realize, no, this is what it feels like to not be in fight/flight/freeze. Normal people don’t need drugs to feel this way.
This is healing.