Let me add to your enormous self understanding, in a loving way with some of my own comprehension. What I am about to share with you is MY belief system. It may not be ultimate truth, but in my world, I try to live and treat others by it.
At an early age our parents attempted to protect themselves from their own pain and dishonesty by taking us away from our selves. They took us away from our own inner self balancing, immaculate knowledge of life and its subversive forces. In short, they attempted to invalidate our feelings.
Thus, we split off from ourselves, and built our false self to feel safe. The necessity to feel safe overroad our deepest knowledge of ourselves and our world.
We become the lie.
Now while one lives the lie there are two things which stand out:
First, there is the ever-growing pain of the invalidating psychological "assault" upon us by those whom we trusted. The pain in us grew and grew with every passing day.
At the same time, our mind/body axis grew to meet this trauma with more and more "strength" to maintain the "lies" we learned to live by, which in turn allowed us to fit in. Finally, we are a house of cards, glued together in perfect dishonesty by our "strength."
Thus, we face the world and make our passage through it in mutually validating collusion with everyone around us. The glue usually holds and we travel from birth to death in "one glued piece."
Second, there is the ever growing pain of maintaining our "lie." (Our denial of our feelings).
The mind hates untruth and has to work very, very hard to maintain it in the face of reality. The ever more complexly growing untruth constitutes an inner tragedy against which we must defend or face what appears to be a state of numbness not unlike death itself.
If anyone can show us the lie, we feel ourselves to be in extreme jeopardy, and terror rises up in us in its most extreme form. This is what seems to have happened to you. Someone showed you too much truth too quickly and seeing the edge of this precipice without the necessary time and support, plunged you into life-long extreme fear with all its terrible consequences.
A word more about extreme anxiety.
When we approach the enormous pain that is buried within us, the brain immediately erects a warning sign. It erects a wall of extreme fear. It does not want to feel the pain which will seemingly overwhelm it and bring death to the ego.
In addition, we erect the wall of extreme fear to avert the loss of all the falseness that we have grown to trust. All the false responses we have built have come to be seen as the only arms and legs we have. We fear that we will become . . . completely impotent. . . completely vulnerable . . . leading only to our death.
To handle the fear of removing the only arms and legs we have ever known, until new ones grow, requires a very special kind of healing.
To handle the fear of feeling the deep pain, requires a very special kind of healing.
What does it require?
It requires a return to truth. It requires honoring on the most microscopic level, every single organic knowing that someone has suppressed and continues to suppress.
It requires a strong loving presence to replace the disordered parenting that was originally taken in.
It requires a strong loving presence, to "hold" the terrified self as it disassembles itself and regrows anew.
Hence your profoundly true intuition that to heal you must be met fully where you are. You must be completely known and completely loved. You must receive the honesty, you never had, from a person who is relentlessly honest. Anything less than this will not suffice.
Your journey, will be to slowly introduce yourself to your pain in digestible sized chunks, and to externalize it over time and thus reintegrate and reclaim your whole mind/body axis.
I don't know any therapists who, if pushed hard enough and far enough, do not become dishonest. Unfortunately this subverts the therapy they give.
I do not know any therapists who are willing to "merge in total honesty with their clients," in such a way, that healing rather than symbiosis occurs, although for a period, something very close to symbiosis may be needed.
It is here that therapists do what parents do. They run screaming in the other direction, and their screams of fear, take the form of quoting therapeutic dictums which are designed to keep their own terror at bay.
The sign of this terror is the "therapeutically detached helper," immaculate in his or her psychodynamic understanding and basically unable to be deeply present for their clients due to their own fears.
I do not know any therapists, who even if they can offer this level of support, aren't themselves crazy and doing it out of displaced primal need.
I do not know of any therapy that even considers attempting to handle these issues directly in intimate, risk-taking personal presence.
To offer this type of presence requires a strange blend of personal strength, profound humility, relentless ongoing honesty, and extreme intuitive ability.
The relentless humility and personal honesty is required because we are all flawed. Every single last one of us is flawed. The only way to heal at this level, given a basic therapeutic expertise, is to validate the client continuously, by showing one's own ignorance and one's own lies, every time they are unearthed within the therapy, or anywhere else. This lights the path and creates trust at the level necessary to do the work.
What I find is that therapists are profoundly and unconsciously defensive of their own selves. At every deep turn, this takes the form of therapeutic coolness and of beliefs that protect them from themselves and from their clients.
For example, the notion that a growth trellis is not necessary for therapy keeps surfacing around the world in discussions. How very conveniently this protects therapists from having to be fully present both physically when needed, and with their own truths when requested.
It is in this very place of therapist terror that we receive from our therapists where the very same subversion which we earlier received from our parents is repeated.
Is it any wonder that we don't heal?
Given these necessities, can any therapist really heal at this "regrowing the client" level? Can therapy itself, ever hope to do the job with its so called "clean and objective hands?" I don't know.
Is it possible that such healing could take place within a love relationship between a man and a woman given all the prerequisite skills?
I don't know.
I am inclined to think, however, that it might actually require such a relationship. Rather than viewing it as an abomination to attempt such a fearful intimacy, it may in fact be a necessity.
Certainly any healing which therapists offer requires an involvement whose art we can only now begin to infer.
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