Why not to trust therapists

Ugh. One of the worst take-downs I experienced was from a therapist. Not nice at all, but I did learn from that–not to trust therapists. There is a reason why I call myself a historically predisposed shamanism and why I say some psychological problems are not reducible, because they are political. The typical therapist will not understand the political or historical background of a person who comes to see them, unless it turns out to be remarkably similar to their own. Who could have guessed I was haboring a lot of my father’s anxieties about whether he could make it or would fail in the world, which he was pushing onto me (quite forcefully I might add). Even once this is explained (which was the largest part of self-therapy I had to do on myself) people will still not understand it unless they have lived under very similar circumstances. It’s hard to express the tension build-up to someone whose emotional range has been pretty much defined by the limits of suburbia. I had dynamite in me about to explode, which I had to defuse on my own. But from the typical suburbanite’s perspective, there was no reason for it to be there, since one does not have any problems in suburbia and most things are automatically intelligible in suburbia and so on. So you get all this incomprehension and judgement. Or at the very best, just incomprehension. I had to learn what was in my on my own before I took it to anybody else, as I found. The alternative is to receive bewilderment and aggression from others — because I had this rage in me through being stamped on too often. Also one loses everything — identity, life, wilderness, environment, meaning — and this leads to deeply buried rage. But Lord help a psychologist who wants to deal with this. I must say Marechera’s writing was exactly the antidote I needed, and above all because he wears himself out trying to fight against very similar but invisible forces. It’s so realistic and touching to see himself wear himself out in that way, that one is automatically much cured after going through him with his antics and his fight against dark forces of political and historical oppression. At the end of all of this (in Black Sunlight) it seems he faces death, with blood coming from his wrists, his bones exposed, overwhelmed by the rain coming in through the roof of his own head, and the supercharged state of meaning. Facing death is the gateway out of this whole historically engendered trauma.

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