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Re: Is it right to disclose abuse?
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Published: 11 years ago
This is a reply to # 1,095,244

Re: Is it right to disclose abuse?

Sparque, I'm sorry that you're having so much difficulty - it's one of the prices of choosing to help others, unfortunately. And, rest assured, you aren't the first counselor to ever have to cope with this type of experience.

I don't understand why you were prescribed medication, though. Feeling anxiety over what you've been privy to is not cause for chemical alteration - we ARE supposed to feel and empathize! If it were me, I would use serious caution with respect to the use of ANY prescribed medication or "recreational" self-medication, at this time. The suggestion of talk therapy is definitely more sound than the use of meds. And, you'll want to find a COUNSELOR/THERAPIST (not a psychiatrist, but a psychologist) who specializes in abuse to help you hone your tools, sort your emotions, and take back control of this situation. Psychiatry is not the same discipline as psychology, though it often seems that the two intertwine.

As for boundaries, my training was quite different in that we were all taught that opening up our personal experiences could really throw some monkey wrenches into what we were trying to accomplish - getting women (mostly women) away from their abusers. One volunteer counselor had to take a good, long break from her work because she had opened up her Self (Self is that Life's Spark that makes us unique) to a client who then used the counselor's mistakes/decisions in an attempt to justify and rationalize HER actions: i.e., "YOU did the same thing, and everything worked out for YOU!" This went on and on until the client left the shelter with her kids, went back to her abuser, was beaten sufficient enough to keep her hospitalized for 2 weeks, and the counselor took the whole thing as a personal failure. With that in mind, it is often difficult to keep our mouths shut in reference to sharing with our clients - it seems like such a good idea at the time to let a client know that we've experienced something similar. "I understand how you feel," sounds sort of hollow without backing up the statement without providing an example of a personal experience. I began saying, "I can't imagine how that would feel," even though I knew precisely how they felt. That simple statement opened the door for MANY women to start pouring out the venom of their experiences. And, yes, I sure did cry with some of them - there's nothing wrong with sharing emotion! But, sharing Self is a delicate, dicey proposition. A good psychologist will be able to help you to sort all of this out.

Best of wishes to you!

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