I am always conscious that it is very hard for people who I have worked with to be open about their experiences with others, and I am very grateful that several of my clients have been brave enough to share their stories here on the blog in order to help others.
I am hoping that, by the open nature of these case studies, if their stories resonate in some way shape or form with you, you might make that crucial step towards seeking help and advice.
Thank you for your brave, uplifting words.
Case Study: Self Esteem
I am 55 years of age and work as an Administrator / Coordinator.
As a child, I came from a troubled relationship with my father and his friend. Over many years I had counselling to help me deal with the past. I have always been a victim and if anything was going to happen, it was going to happen to me. And did. I had bad experiences with men, one of which was someone who took all my money the other was a date in which I was drugged and do not remember anything about. This man was known to the police. I wouldn’t go to court as I thought they would say I deserved it. I then fell in love with a man I had not met only to find out that he didn’t exist and was a con man who had taken on a dead man’s identity and was preying on lonely ladies.
So, life for me was very much about worrying what people were thinking or saying; I felt everyone knew and I was ashamed.
I never cried. I never had any feelings at all. I felt nothing. No emotions at all.
My mother was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in my early 20s and the doctor very kindly told me this was hereditary and I was going to get this too. This has stayed with me for 20 years.
Daily I would remember aspects of my past. See something on TV or out and about and it would take me straight back to an incident that had happened in my life.
One of the main things was that I had put my life on hold. My mother was diagnosed at 57 years old, so in my mind once I got to that age my life was over.
I wouldn’t mix with people, kept myself to myself, I felt ‘dead’ behind my eyes.
Having said all that, I was to everyone else a lively, loving, very friendly person and would do anything for anyone person. I would never say no. It wasn’t apparent that I felt like I did to anyone else.
I felt life was passing me by and I was just waiting to die or for the next calamity to happen.
My boss introduced me to his friend. He was always going on about me not having a boyfriend/partner. It came out in conversation about the man who had drugged me and I said I couldn’t even go on a date, I was so scared. This friend of his had had issues in the past and mentioned that she had been to Lorna, and it had turned her life around. I took her number but had no intention of calling.
But one day, I felt so desperate I gave her a call.
It is really hard to describe how Lorna has helped me and what she did.
We would talk, but not counsel.
We did a few little surveys to find out a bit about me and about what I thought about myself.
I had no self esteem.
She gave me ‘homework’ and that was to write down all the good things I do. Like…..I am a good grandmother, I help my children, I am a good cook. All positive things.
This was really hard to do for someone who was so hard on herself. I did find it hard and this was something we spoke about each week.
We spoke about the inner voice that we have, the one that would tell you to have another drink, or to poke your tongue out to that old lady. I thought I was the only one who had an inner voice.
There were other tasks set, more homework.
Mostly, it was about understanding that the past is past and is behind me, I am unable to change anything. Dwelling on it is not helping me at all.
Lorna also believed that people can do anything, if they put their mind to it i.e. give up smoking or drinking or dieting.
I had already given up smoking, I was now going to cut down on my drinking at home.
Initially, I would have one day off. I planned to go out somewhere where I had to drive, therefore no drink.
I started with one day a week, then went to two days a week.
What Lorna taught me is that WE CAN DO ANYTHING. We just need to believe in ourselves and tell our inner voice that we are going to do it.
My life now has completely changed. I am six weeks in to not drinking at all.
I am a wonderful person, who loves everyone and will do anything to help anyone.
I am no longer ‘dead’ behind the eyes
I am in charge of my own life and destiny.
I do not and have not thought of my past.
If my mind starts to wander and I think of something I do not want to think about – I can now tell my inner voice to SHUT UP, and I do and Ii does.
I am in complete control.
I am happy, confident, full of life and looking forward to the future.
No bad dreams, No nightmares, No staying home alone and drinking, No woe is me.
This is me, the New Jan.