When I think about what CBT/ DBT methods have done for me personally, I remember a cat that my family of origin used to have. As usual in my household, my parents were incredibly irresponsible. The cat was allowed out any old time and was not spayed. Of course she got knocked up, though she was nearly still a kitten really. I remember when she had her kittens. She had the first two and then the third one got stuck. She had no competent human help and after a time she got up and just started walking around like that with the kitten half in and half out. It seemed to me that she could not expel the last kitten and she just got tired of trying. So, trapped in her situation with no help, she decided to just go on about her business as if nothing were wrong. She walked around the house like that all day as if it were nothing. Of course she was slowed, pained and dulled by her burden, but she seemed to carry the family status quo and decided to ignore it. I keenly remember that we had an electrician, plumber or some such come to the house that day. I remember my father wanted the cat out of sight. He truly resented the fact that she was walking the house in plain sight. He was embarrassed by her. He seemed angry, even. What would someone think to have to see such an unsavory thing walking around, right? No one cared that the cat was in a terrible mess, they only cared that someone might notice such a horror. Such has been the story of my life. And so I drag my burden and try to shut up and act normal even though it kills me slowly. Sometimes I look for a place to lay down my burden, but I know no deep sense of safety.
I used to function better than I do now. Yes, I was a mess on the inside, but I still functioned better. I had two sets of competing thoughts. One of them was practical and kept me going, the other set matched (and tried to explain) my terrible feelings. I don't remember those thoughts anymore. Therapy strengthened the practical set and pushed the set that matched my feelings way back into my unconscious. Now that set has been transformed and it torments me with hypochondria, flashbacks and nightmares than run my life no matter how badly I don't want them to.
Eventually, Precious the cat offloaded her dead burden outdoors somewhere. I am sure that kitten must have died. I wonder where she left it. I picture her as having left it in some barren and forsaken place. Some terrible wasteland, perhaps the only place that accepts such unwanted embarrassments -- a dumping ground for shame. I know that place well and I often long to get out of there, but I don't know how anymore. I used to know, but then I got 'help'. Now when people want to help me, I just automatically take my burden to the wasteland because that's what I've been trained to do. The humans keep hurting me and I don't know where else to go.