How To Find The Right Therapist After Experiencing Trauma

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The last time I saw a counselor, he turned out to be one of the men who were at the party when I was gang-raped. So I mean first and foremost the next time I go to see a registered therapist, I plan to use a private detective to make sure they are not abusive sociopaths.

Straight up, I found him on Google, and I honestly had no idea for months, until the wall in my brain broke down and I suddenly started to remember all the shit that I had DELIBERATELY chosen to forget.

The psych nurse and the psychiatrist I have are absolutely wonderful, but they aren’t trained in the kind of trauma that I deal with on a daily basis. They see a lot of clients who have a variety of issues, but I….kind of am a bit different in that I approach healing very differently.

I prefer to do it alone, and I get rather annoyed when people push me in directions that I don’t want to go and that is absolutely a trauma response. It’s not “stubbornness”, it’s a need to have control because for soo long I did not have control.

Forgiveness is GIVING up the hope that the PAST could have been any different.”
― Oprah Winfrey

I have looked at my past from every single angle, and it wasn’t because I wanted to, it was because the only way to move forward is to move all the crap out of your way, and if you don’t know what the crap is then you might get rid of the good stuff.

I got rid of a lot of good stuff, keeping only the crap, because I was scared to hold onto the good stuff, because I was afraid people would ruin it.

For years I believed that I had to forgive and make excuses for the men who abused me, I remember talking to a cop one day because I’d decided that I was done dealing with the bullshit that I was expected to deal with, simply because I had breasts and a vagina, instead of a chest and a penis.

It was a short and sweet conversation about who one would speak to if they were ready to escape gang life. This is a police officer who I respected and deeply loved, one of the kindest, sweetest, and most honorable men I had ever met. But he couldn’t help me. No one could back then.

He lives most of his life in a wheelchair now, due to a heart attack. I remember it was the day after I had seen him arresting someone at Safeway. I wanted to say hello, but I didn’t want to interrupt him on the job. He and his partner, and the person they were arresting were all smiling and laughing, and that told me all I needed to know about this particular cop.

When I compare him to the men that were in my life, I realize that the kind of men that I was spending time with were not the kind of them that I wanted to marry, or have babies with, or live with, because I’d known men like them all my life.

Damaged, broken, insecure, afraid, and mean for the sake of choosing to be mean because it was easier than stepping back being a man and offering a hand instead of a fist.

When I finally left I figured and was told, that I had to forgive the men who hurt me, “in order to move on,” I tried that, desperately, and it did not work in any way shape or form.

Then a student of a friend of mine wrote an essay about how they did NOT have to forgive the men that abused them and I thought “well why the hell do I?

I swear t the Gods, that although I am trying my absolute best to do to forgive them, but it didn’t work. It didn’t work because what happened literally did not have to happen. I have looked at the last 37 years from all angles, and I have seen every decision that I made, and weighed them against the decisions my enemies made.

I remember after I was gang rape, the man who said he ordered it kissed me, pointed to a room full of strangers in a strip club and said “this is our family,” when he walked away I laughed and said “yeah I think the fuck not

My family comes from all over the world because we are gypsy’s, we are actors, writers, dancers, singers, RAPPERS, artists, and teachers. Scientists, mathematicians, doctors, and philosophers, and we are deeply and spiritually connected to each other.

When I am in the search for a therapist now, I have to weigh what I know they are learning about in school, with what my personal experience is, and sometimes the two do not always balance each other out.

It’s one thing to hear about girls being raped and gang raped in school, but it’s another thing entirely to MEET a young girl who has been turned into a child bride. It’s like seeing a tiger in the wild for the first time, or like walking into a cave and finding a pack of wild boars.

We are not for everyone, those of us who have escaped near death, we are certainly not something that everyone can handle teaching, loving, supporting, or being around. We have very definitive needs, and we don’t always know how to define what those needs are.

Because we don’t always know how to define our needs, that sometimes means that we also don’t know how to tell OTHER people what we need, or what we want.

I asked some of my Twitter friends like @BecauseIMatter, @wendyevaK @Maahokgit, and @TiarSlashA, what they thought, and here are some ideas we came up with:

Prepare a list f what your goals are. Knowing what you want to accomplish in therapy will go a long way to providing your healthcare provider with vital information that will help them, help you.

Research your potential therapist, (I didn’t do a very good job last time.) check their ratings online, listen to the reviews, and make sure you are spending good money to HEAL, you deserve to have the best.

At the end of the day, you are hiring this person to do a job, which in a way makes them your boss. If they can’t protect your mental health while teaching YU how to protect their mental health, they are not doing their job. So make sure before you dig into the details, you get to know them and their story, learn their methods, and ask questions about what to expect.

If what they SAY they are going to, does not match up, with what they ACTUALLY do, then get the fuck out, ASAP.

You do not owe anyone your story, and healing should be about doing things differently, than you did them when you were being abused and traumatized. The problem though is that what the Doctors and psychiatrists might tell you will work for you might definitely not work for you.

The years of people telling me who to be, how t be, and why to be, sent me reeling and running away from long term relationships and friendships out f sheer terror because I didn’t have the energy to tell people too back the fuck off.

When we g into therapy situations, we often think that we have t d things exactly as our practitioner thinks we should, in order to heal, and when we don’t, they get frustrated with us and the relationship deteriorates.

Only if we are lucky, will we have someone here physically, t hold us and hug us when the shit hits the fan, and the terrors return. That means you need to find someone who has access to tools that actually work.

When you are legit paralyzed by trauma, when you’re curled up and screaming, going and putting water on your face isn’t going to help if you are physically incapable f moving to get t the sink.

Getting your make up done, after being raped, is certainly not going to help.

“…at some point in a woman’s life, she just gets TIRED of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is FREE to become whoever she truly is.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls

Book based education only goes so far, and if you are struck paralyzed by trauma, you don’t always have the ability to get up and put water on your face. That is good advice, when you’re able to do it, but what do you do when you’re completely immobile?

I sing a song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and I run my finger down my nose like Siddha Lee did in the Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood. I scream, when I hear a thought that I don’t like, or when I get pulled back to a memory that I don’t want to be in.

IF you can afford it, try different kinds of therapy:

  • Working out works for some people
  • Art works for others.
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Get a Tattoo from a guy or gal who isn’t a total tool
  • Meditate when you can
  • Cleaning is a from of meditation (for some people)
  • Smoke a joint, OR don’t.

When I am paralyzed though, it’s absolutely not an act, it’s a complete and total loss of everything that makes Devon J Hall, Devon J Hall.

Finding someone who can take what you tell them, and then alternatively translate that into helpful information that pushes you in the direction you want to go is incredibly difficult.

When you have been conditioned to believe the absolute worst of yourself, it’s hard to remember that you don’t have to keep believing the lies that people tell abut you, it’s even harder t find someone willing to go through the minefield with you who will help you dodge the mental health bombs that are destroying your life.

Yes, it’s okay too spend time processing what you have been through, and yes it’s okay too take time finding someone to help you, it’s okay to ask questions, and to make sure that the person you’re working with has the skills you need to achieve your goals, and dreams. But you HAVE to actually try.

If you can’t find someone to help you, perhaps try joining groups that are focused on the goals that you want t accomplish, and go from there. In 2021 there is no excuse to refuse the help that is offered, UNLESS, you are not ready to start processing what you have been through.

When you are ready to get help, the search might be overwhelming, but the goal of finding someone who cares enough about your inner little self to help, is not impossible to achieve, at the end of the day it starts with your adult self deciding that your childhood self deserves better, and then it continues with making sure your adult self gets what your childhood self did not.

If all else fails, there is a list on this website, of helplines from around the world run and organized by people who GENUINELY care and want to be a part of your healing tree. Give them a try, and see what information they can provide that might help. Help IS out there, I promise.

It is uncomfortable sharing your story with strangers, even strangers who claim too want too help, so if you’re going to do it, you may as well take the time to make sure that the people you are sharing your story and your trauma with are people who actually know what the fuck they are doing.

Sending all my love, and my Angels,

Devon J Hall

Author: Devon J Hall

Devon J Hall is a thirty-eight-year-old Writer and Author from Surrey, British Columbia by way of Calgary Alberta. She lives with three cats, one mother, and is addicted to coffee, cigarettes, and weed, not necessarily in that order.

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