I am hoping that you could all offer me some guidance.
I recently started going to see a therapist to help me deal with some issues from my past. I will clarify that I have not been diagnosed with a mental illness.
I was very unsure about if I should enter therapy - I felt like in a way I was betraying God - saying that His help is not good enough.
I have been going for over a month now - as I have been stripping away the layers of pain inside, I am finding new pains and new hurts that I have burred so deep inside me. I am a mess and emotionally drained.
I have continued to go to almost-daily mass and adoration when I can - but I sometimes feel as though God has abandoned me. I have spent so much time pleading and begging God to help me - to take this burden from me. But so far - nothing. If anything - I have slipped further into my emotional anguish. It makes me so angry as I think that maybe God has already been healing me…but I am so trapped inside my own head that I cannot see it and I continue my inner turmoil. I am fighting my temptation to be angry with God…angry for all of the things that happened to me and for all of those times other people hurt me. Why does God allow bad things to happen like that?
Has my going to therapy betrayed God? Should I have relied only on Him?
No anger could ever hurt God. So the best way we can do is SURRENDER everything of ourselves to Him. Allow Him to conquer our entire being and do whatever He wants of us. Just trust Him in His ways for us.
You mentioned that you had not been diagnosed with a mental illness. Even if you had or will be it doesn’t make you any less of a good person/Catholic than you are now.
Mental illness has a lot of stigma attached to it. Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances, schizophrenia may have some basis in genetics.
I can’t answer your question about therapy. I believe it can be helpful to people and if you find that it is helping you deal with past hurts than I would continue.
God gives each of us the knowledge we need to help others. Let your therapist help you.
If you were diagnosed with cancer, would you feel that going to a doctor was betraying God? Of course not! God’s healing comes through the doctor. God’s healing can also come through a therapist, a priest, a friend, or someone else. Rest easy.
God is giving you therapy, thereby you are relying on Him by going to therapy. He gives us many ways to heal, too, not just one: therapy, meditation (especially on the Passion of Christ), frequent Confession, spiritual direction, fasting, friends and family, etc. So don’t worry, and give thanks in all circumstances.
I think the fact that you are only a month into your therapy helps to explain why you are experiencing such pain and anguish. That’s part of the healing process in most cases. Getting therapy and depending on God are not mutually exclusive. Most likely, God is using the therapy process to heal you. It’s just a painful process. Keep doing what you’re doing with the therapy, the Mass and the Adoration, and eventually you’ll notice the healing that’s going on.
Good therapy can be beneficial (I think!!)… but the difficult thing is finding good therapy. To me good therapy is with someone like a priest or nun who is really committed to Christ and his ways… (not all are, unfortunately)…
anyway, I’ve faced this same issue. I have a lot of “issues” from my past and have felt very angry at God (still do soemtiems)… so i understand… I have chosen not to go to therapy because, well, for one, i don’t like people delving into my life and knowing things about me… it is not that i am ashamed or anythign like that (tho used to be)… because i know that God forgives and if people can’t forgive that’s their problem… Actually, i don’t even know the reason i dont’ want people knowing me too well… or thinking they do, i should say… No one ever really knows another person… except the God who made him… but in any case…i guess i just don’t want my privacy invaded. Maybe its because in my past, my privacy WAS invaded something terrible… & i felt violated…like i was RAPED even… Very long story what all happened but anyway, i dont’ trust people anymore and have post traumatic stress and a few other “disorders”… I feel that i do best being alone with JEsus (Real Presence / the Mass, etc)… but i don’t know what is best for anyone else… all i know is that Jesus knows more than humans do (psychologists)… and He cares far more… and is far more capable of helping… YEs, its true that he often seems to be distant… until we are in His Presence… but usually, the more distant we feel from Him, the more sin there is in our lives that causes the separation… I am not trying to imply you are a great sinner… just that the consequences of sin, even sins of long ago… can really mess up a person… Just having our minds on the circumstances/relatioships, etc… of our lives can push JEsus out of our minds/hearts/souls… so even things that are not always thought of as sin can separate us from Him (attachments… to people, etc…)… I’ve found that other people’s sin in my life separates me from Jesus because, for one thing, i am somehwat focused on their behavior… (tho not as much as in the past…).
Anyway… I’m wondering, for one… if you pray the rosary on a regular basis?
The rosary is good for helping (me anyway) sort out thoughts/feelings, etc… It conjurs up the Holy Spirit… as it were…
I do like my therapist - as he is a Catholic therapist that I met while on a retreat. I feel as though he would not lead me astray - so to speak.
I agree that sometimes healing can be very painful - and hopefully that is what I am experiencing.
I recently came back to the Church after a 7 year absense. Since being back - I go to confession often - every 2-4 weeks. But I am feeling especially the need to go right now and have an appointment set up with my priest for early next week. I also plan to use that time to ask his opinion and guidance on some of these issues.
I could pray the rosary more - I definitely don’t do it enough - probably 0-2 times per week.
…Remember an infected wound needs to be opened up and cleaned out before it can heal…trust God got you to the therapist and has stepped back a little to give you time to reflect on it all…remember He’s carrying you when it’s too hard to walk on your own through all this…you might not be able to see Him- but His “footprints” are all around you…know you are loved-get healthy…(((hugs)))) God Bless