Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Resistance" Is Not a Bad Thing


Often in the dysfunctional relationships from my past I'd been told that I was "making" someone angry, sad, disappointed...and so on.

In other words...

I was somehow responsible for making others feel ok about themselves

by changing who I was...

what I thought


or did

in order for them to be ok...

and for me to feel safe.

I Didn't Know That I Didn't Know I was Abused is a post I wrote last year on learning to recognize that my "normal" - was not normal.

And as I entered the mental health system and having left it behind me...

I realized that those who needed me to fit the role of "ill"...

sick, disordered, diseased and so on...said similar things to me.

"You are resistant, difficult, lacking insight..." and so on.

In other words - I was responsible for why their "therapies"were ineffective. In order to make them, their position and their "treatments" somehow more valid...I had to learn to accept responsibility for their failure to find and apply effective therapies.

I was required to embrace the way they defined me - instead of them as the professional finding effective ways to meet me where I was and help me find my way to where they thought I should be.

What I have since come to understand...

is that this "resistance"

saved my life

and set me free

from being manipulated, controlled, shamed, shaped and defined by those who have not yet defined themselves and confirmed that they needed to define me

in order to validate themselves and justify the failures of their "treatments".

Power and control is never ok.


is not futile.


May is "Mental Health Awareness Month". Join the resistance; say "NO" to abusive and manipulative "therapies" and "treatments". If you have experienced oppression or abuse in your own therapy relationships the first thing is to understand it is not your "fault" that a therapy model or therapeutic relationship did not work well for you. 

It is only in no longer accepting this as "normal" in our healing journeys that it will ever be considered "not normal" by society. If your therapist or treatment provider has ever used a "power play" to enforce your compliance to therapies or treatments I'd like to hear your story. You can write to me at: 

There is a difference between being resistant to change and being resistant to being forced to accept that you are defective or somehow at fault for a therapeutic failure. We all learn in different ways and it is wrong for anyone to attempt to shame you into accepting their process as valid over your own. An ethical therapist will never discount you.

We are all capable to create and live our best life; no one is broken forever. 

Don't let anyone tell you any differently.

Especially if they have credentials behind their name. 

Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Photo Credit


Patricia Singleton said...

Susan, if I had not resisted being labeled by doctors, I would now be minus a healthy uterus and both breasts.

If I had gone to a different psychiatist than I did in my early 40's, I probably would have slept through my life on antidepressants instead of doing the necessary grieving of being an incest survivor and would still be living a life as a victim rather than working to become a survivor with peace and joy and overcoming challenges that I have today.

Susan said...

Patricia; your story is a great example of standing up for oneself and thank you for sharing it.

It can be scary to stand up to those who wear the white coats and have the college degree that says they are the professional. It is vital that this issue be brought up instead of it being so others who have experienced it can see that it is ok to say "no" to those who say they know better for us than we do for ourselves.

I'm so glad you resisted and did not fall victim to being defined by others. Thank you for sharing your story of victory every day!

Susan said... bring up the major point of the healing is in the grieving of the life lost to our trauma experiences that we find healing.

Thank you again for sharing your truth:)

Tara said...

I am currently resisting a long-time family label and facing many messages telling me I'll only be okay if I "change back." It's hard, but I understand that it is necessary in order to heal.

Susan said...

Tara; what you describe is a path that most survivors face - that of learning to let go in order to continue to grow and find our wings and strength. I'm terrible sorry this is where you are at today. The family issues can be some of the most difficult to resist.

It becomes even more confusing if the "professionals" are validating what our families tell us about ourselves....although you didn't say that was the case and I don't want to make that assumption but its common and oh so difficult and can be very painful.

Thank you for your note and if you are interested here is a link to another post on family issues and in it are a few other links if you care to take a look.

Stay strong. :)

Susan said...

I'm sorry is the link:


Duane Sherry, M.S. said...


A beautfilly-written post.

I think it's fair to say that you speak for many who have been injured by conventional psychiatric "treatments."

Keep up the great work!

Duane Sherry, M.S.

bapesaurus said...

Hi Susan,

Again, thank you soooo much for this. My last counsellor told me that he shared in my frustration that my PTSD seemed untreatable. He also told me that I was too vulnerable and had too many current crises ongoing to deal with the trauma. I argued that was circular logic - because of the PTSD I couldn't deal with the current things, and because of the current things I couldn't deal with the trauma. After a year he told me that it was just too big for me and that I needed to go on meds. Because my PTSD is related to a Dr. there was no way in hell that was going to happen. I felt the resistance. He told me to ignore it. I asked how I would ever learn about myself if I was to ignore that little protective voice in my head in this case, but not in others? He said I was too clever and was over thinking it. He said my education was working against me (I have two psych degrees, you see). He said I was suffering unnecessarily. He blamed my resistance (ie. me) for why I wasn't getting better. As I tumbled further into depression something told me not to give in. Through a series of terrible events we stopped working together. As much as he abandoned me in my greatest hour of need, it was a blessing.

Thank you so much. Since I also have no idea what normal is, some sort of reassurance that I'm not hopeless is so nice :0)


Susan said...

Duane; thank you for your comment and your support. From my daily interactions with psych survivors around the world I know that this is an issue.

From my own psych abuse I know the price we can pay for blindly following these kinds of lies perpetrated by those who require our submission to validate their abuse and control over our minds and our lives.

Unfortunately, it is also an issue that those who are content with their own treatments often see as a criticism of their choices and path. Persons who view themselves and identify as providers steer clear of the issue for whatever reason, so thank you for going against the norm and entering this discussion.

The bottom line is that silence, secrecy and shame are the things these sorts of perpetrators thrive on.

This is not an "anti" psych or pharma issue. This is an anti abuse issue. It is only by taking it out of the closet that it will even begin to be a social or civil rights issue.

I'm familiar with your blog and encourage anyone seeking information and insight on psych (psychiatric and mental health relationships abuse) to visit it.

copy and paste to your browser:

Susan said...

B - I'm really sorry to hear that this person abused your trust in this way. In my experience when these persons who identify as mh providers make the kinds of statements you've shared, it is because they do not have a clue of how to actually help us. They are not "bad" but I think need to make us responsible for their "therapeutic" failure in order to tolerate their own feelings of inadequacy.

Very often, survivors who have been shamed and controlled in other relationships are often the most vulnerable and end up getting lost in a never ending cycle of unhelpful therapy relationships that can go on for years.

But - that is just my opinion, experience and observations so take what fits and leave the rest. :)

On the other side of the coin - our intellect is what can help us heal as we engage in a learning process of learning to identify our issues, what we want our lives to look like and the steps to get there. And this is what this blog is about - the journey I've been on and the ways I've found my power and learned to live beyond the pain of the past to live the life I choose each day.

I"m glad you are feeling validated. It is completely possible to learn to live beyond the normal human stress response and the pain of past trauma experiences. As long as we don't give up - we will win:)