From an Episode of House, MD: Episode 3-12, One Day, One Room
In case you haven’t seen it, a girl has been raped and refuses to talk about the trauma. These are the last lines of the episode.
CUDDY: She’s gonna be okay.
HOUSE: Yeah, it’s that simple.
CUDDY: She’s talking about what happened. That’s huge. You did good.
HOUSE: Everyone will tell you… that that’s what we gotta make her do. We have to help her, right? Except we can’t. We drag out her story. Tell each other that it’ll help her heal. Feel real good about ourselves. But all we’ve done is make a girl cry.
WILSON: Then why did you…?
HOUSE: Because I don’t know.
Doesn’t this sound like the promise of therapy? That if you show up and talk about stuff that sucks, you’ll be okay? That’s at least the initial illusion that I had (similar to my inpatient treatment illusion — that you go away for a couple of months and come back okay).
So I went and I talked and I cried and I did not leave feeling okay. In fact I left feeling worse than before, and it took months (maybe years) to get back to my beginning neutral (apathetic) state. And I’ll admit that I had more insight than I began with, but if anything that just made some things in life harder for me (i.e.: particular relationships).
And then, after grieving my loss of hope that I would someday get over this, I moved onto accepting that “I just can’t be helped” (is that progress? probably not). It wasn’t really a “this is hopeless, there is not point in trying for the rest of my life,” defeat-like acceptance, though… but more of a “I am never going to work through this so I need to do my best to just ignore it” acceptance.
And that worked okay, because I finished school and formed meaningful relationships and functioned as a self-sufficient adult. But… then I went back and found a therapist. Why?
Well…. I don’t know. Because things weren’t quite right and I didn’t have any better ideas.