You Won’t Make Me You

by Kristi on February 6, 2014

This is a guest post from one of our readers, Michelle A. Mallon, MSW, LSW.

The true strength of a person is measured in forgiveness. It is so easy to endure hardship at the hands of another and never be able to move on from it or worse, move on from it forever broken, vowing never to trust again. The desire to take that horrendous experience and use it to try and “protect” ourselves can overpower the gentle temperament of compassion, love, patience and kindness that gave us the power and strength to trust so deeply in the first place. The anger we might feel at ourselves for allowing our own eyes to deceive us is unfair at best, a lifelong prison at worst. We cannot always know or understand the dark reasons why our heroes fall from grace, why those we look up to fail us so miserably. In fact, they themselves may not know either. Perhaps, they too were victims of misguided trust that went horribly wrong and their response, their choice in how to understand this pain was to allow the experience to change them forever- in ways that left them scarred and broken. I will not make that choice. I still remember the bright-eyed, compassionate, strong, young woman who once inhabited this body. She is still in here, somewhere, searching for the way back to the place she knows she should be. I will not give up on her, though at times I had believed she had given up her fight. I see now that she had not given up. She had merely stopped for a moment to rest.  During that pause, she would reflect on how much this very journey has given her the tools she will need to love more deeply, trust more completely and understand more fully when she reaches her destination.  When she arrives, she will embrace the world around her with open arms and say:

“There is no man so horrible, so wretched, who possesses the power to convince me that my life is better lived in anger, fear, resentment and darkness–at least  not without my consent.  And because I can see what that choice has done to him, I will choose the path he was not strong enough to choose for himself. Perhaps someday he too will see that he is strong enough to make that same choice. Maybe he too will find that the fighter in him has never given up. His inner fighter had just stopped for a longer pause because he had waited so long to stop to rest. In fact, he was so close to his destination but assumed because his journey had been so long that he might never reach it. Once he opens his eyes he will how close he is and will finally gather up the strength he needs for the last leg of his journey. Perhaps… But that is his battle, not mine.”

-Michelle A. Mallon, MSW, LSW
Survivor

Michelle Mallon earned her Master’s degree in Social Work in 1999 from Ohio State University. She worked as a medical social worker at St. Ann’s Hospital, primarily on the Palliative Care Unit, for 14 years and has taught (and continues to teach) in the Computer Science & Engineering Department at the Ohio State University for 16 years. Her understanding of therapist abuse came after she was emotionally abused by a psychologist to whom she had taken her two young children for counseling. The therapist lured her in and referred the children out. She endured nearly two years of extensive predatory grooming followed by horrific emotional abuse. She recalls that the last time she ever saw this therapist (in June 2012) he was yelling and cursing at her and throwing things in his office.

One of the most painful and challenging parts of this journey to recovering her life has been overcoming the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that developed as a direct result of the abuse. It has not been an easy process, but she is finally reclaiming her identity, passion and enthusiasm for all of the thing she held so dear prior to the abusive relationship. Now, she devotes much of her time to reaching out to other victims of emotional abuse, not only victims of therapist abuse, to help them in finding the currently hidden path to recovering from such insidious emotional abuse. Her interests include malignant Narcissistic abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to this type of abuse. One of the most important books she has read in her own journey to healing has been “Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion Of Identity” by Marie-France Hirigoyen.

Michelle says, “Without the detailed explanation of the intentional and manipulative aspects of the abuse that I was able to come to recognize from reading this book, I would still be reliving the events over and over again trying to understand what I missed that could have prevented the destruction of a malignant relationship that I had been deceptively led to believe was a supportive, helpful one. This book held the keys to open the prison door behind which this abusive therapist had locked me.”

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Escape from the Emotional Black Hole

by Kristi on February 4, 2014

This is a guest post from one of our readers, Michelle A. Mallon, MSW, LSW.

August 2012:

Looking back, it was as if I went through months of someone telling me there wasn’t a massive black hole sucking me in. It felt as if he was telling me “Everything is fine. Keep walking. In fact, walk faster. Just trust me. Do you trust me?”

Even as the wind picked up, and I couldn’t see anymore as I got further in, he still kept reassuring me, “Pay no mind to the feeling of being out of control. That is normal. You MUST go through this to feel better.”

When I would turn to ask again if it was really safe to do this or make a plea to try and run out, I would find the exits blocked by threats. I would hear him say “If you run out, you will be personally hurting me and it will cause immediate harm to your family and people you love. They might get sucked into a real black hole. You wouldn’t want that now, would you? All you have to do is try harder, and keep walking. You just have to trust me. Don’t you trust me?”

 I had to trust him that the black hole wasn’t going to destroy me in the process. Even though I know that all black holes destroy everything in their paths, I was being reassured that this one would not. Though it made no sense to me at all and was completely contrary to what my gut was screaming at me to do, I felt as if I had no choice but to keep going, knowing full well that it was going to rip me apart in the process. I was essentially choosing my own death. I remember being consciously aware that no matter what I did, I was going to be annihilated.

-Michelle A. Mallon, MSW, LSW

Michelle Mallon earned her Master’s degree in Social Work in 1999 from Ohio State University. She worked as a medical social worker at St. Ann’s Hospital, primarily on the Palliative Care Unit, for 14 years and has taught (and continues to teach) in the Computer Science & Engineering Department at the Ohio State University for 16 years. Her understanding of therapist abuse came after she was emotionally abused by a psychologist to whom she had taken her two young children for counseling. The therapist lured her in and referred the children out. She endured nearly two years of extensive predatory grooming followed by horrific emotional abuse. She recalls that the last time she ever saw this therapist (in June 2012) he was yelling and cursing at her and throwing things in his office.

One of the most painful and challenging parts of this journey to recovering her life has been overcoming the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that developed as a direct result of the abuse. It has not been an easy process, but she is finally reclaiming her identity, passion and enthusiasm for all of the thing she held so dear prior to the abusive relationship. Now, she devotes much of her time to reaching out to other victims of emotional abuse, not only victims of therapist abuse, to help them in finding the currently hidden path to recovering from such insidious emotional abuse. Her interests include malignant Narcissistic abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to this type of abuse. One of the most important books she has read in her own journey to healing has been “Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion Of Identity” by Marie-France Hirigoyen.

Michelle says, “Without the detailed explanation of the intentional and manipulative aspects of the abuse that I was able to come to recognize from reading this book, I would still be reliving the events over and over again trying to understand what I missed that could have prevented the destruction of a malignant relationship that I had been deceptively led to believe was a supportive, helpful one. This book held the keys to open the prison door behind which this abusive therapist had locked me.”

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Survivor Poetry – Come into my Parlour, Said the Spider to the Fly

January 8, 2014

I am excited to share with you a wonderful poem written by one of our readers. I am sure you will enjoy this creative and moving piece, which can also be found on the Survivor Creativity page. ~Kristi * * * Sue McDonald writes: Although my abuse was not sexual, I feel emotionally raped by […]

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Please Support this Website!

December 10, 2013

Do you value the content and resources on the Surviving Therapist Abuse website? Consider making a donation to support the site. Currently, the web-hosting and domain name fees for the site run approximately $125-$150 per year. While this may not seem like a large amount, it is money that must be paid in order to keep […]

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Your Stories

December 3, 2013

I want to let you know that I have added a page called Your Stories where you can post your own story of therapist abuse or professional misconduct as a comment on the page. You can find the page link in the menu above and also in the sidebar. Thank you for being willing to […]

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Requesting Your Feedback

November 7, 2013

Since I first launched this website, a few people have suggested to me that I write a book. I recently got another nudge in that direction, thanks to a long-time reader. While I have no interest in revisiting or regurgitating what happened with Dr. T, I have wondered about putting together an e-book of articles […]

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Therapist Abuse Resources

October 31, 2013

Thanks to one of our readers for this great list of resources! She found them very helpful in her own process and wanted to share them with the community. Some of these you may have already found on the site, but it’s wonderful to have them in one place. (All content below is reader-submitted.) 1. […]

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“Chewed Up” – A Survivor’s Poem

October 30, 2013

Thanks to one of our readers for submitting this poem! Chewed Up You chewed me up like a piece of gum Using me until you sucked out all of my flavor Plucking me out of your mouth when you determined That I no longer served you And now I find myself on the bottom of […]

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Write for the Blog!

October 24, 2013

Do you have a story about therapist abuse you’d like to tell? Some information or resources you’d like to share? A creative voice you’d like to express? We are currently accepting submissions for the blog. Pieces should be related to the topic of therapist abuse, trauma, or recovery and preferably no longer than 1500 words. […]

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A Resource on PsychCentral.com for Clients Abused by their Therapists

September 19, 2013

Recently, a reader contacted me to let me know about a resource that some of you may find valuable: a forum on PsychCentral dedicated to those who have been abused by their therapists. Because I have not participated in this group myself I cannot personally recommend it; it’ll be up to each of you individually […]

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