Archive for the ‘Abuse and Addiction’ Category

DOES MY CLIENT HAVE TO DIE?

August 31, 2014

I have been invited to be on a panel when the American Criminology Society conference meets here in San Francisco the middle of November.  The panel’s title is Empowerment: The Resilience of Women in Various Crisis Situations.    I’ll be speaking about my client who is a domestic violence survivor.  She has not only survived the violence perpetrated on her by her now ex-spouse, she has also survived the emotional and mental  violence perpetrated on her by the very government agencies which are supposed to help and protect her. The actions of these agencies has caused her to constantly relapse into her PTSD symptoms as well as her Battered Wife Syndrome.

I’m sure that my client is not the only one to be suffering in this way.  I would be honored to hear from any of you who are willing to share your similar stories. or who have ideas on some of the actions needed to correct these egregious injustices.  There is power in numbers. Please call me at 415-474-6707 or email me at zkolkeymft@therapywithzora.com.

Warmly

Zora

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An Addict in the Family

July 1, 2014

As someone who has treated people with alcohol and drug problems, as well as other issues, I never dreamed that I would one day have an addict in my family. The addict in my family is my dog, Dafka. If you’ve looked at my web site, you’ll know that he is my co-therapist. He is addicted to his soccer ball.  It used to be his kong, and now it’s the ball.  He can keep playing with it for hours.  You can see him on YouTube playing soccer. I realized that he was addicted to it one day when I let him out and I was carrying the ball. He sat and started to shake all over before I gave it to him. It was kind of funny, seeing this big black dog so totally and absolutely focused on this black and white round thing in my hand. He never concentrated on anything else, except the kong, in that way. If he is offered a treat, he totally ignores it if he has the ball. The ball comes before eating. The biggest surprise was discovering that the ball came before a walk. Previously, when he heard his leash, he would be all excited and come running. Now, if he has the ball, he’ll stop and consider which is more fun.

When I started to write this, I thought that it would be kind of a cute story. I came to realize that it is actually an almost perfect metaphor for someone with an addiction, and it is neither funny nor cute. As anyone who has dealt with addiction in any form knows, whether it be drug or process, whatever the addiction, feeding the addiction comes before anything else–family, friends, work, play, sex, health, food–you name it.

An integral part of addiction includes the ritual involved in obtaining the coveted item. A person with an addiction may or may not include others in her/his ritual. I, of course, am an inseparable part of Dafka’s addiction ritual. He cannot get his beloved ball without me, and we do have a ritual. When he gets up, he has to go outside without the ball; come back in when he’s ready and eat. When he is finished eating, he comes into the kitchen and sits and stares at the backdoor waiting for me to let him out. He absolutely does not move anything except his rib cage as he is breathing. When I finally open the door, he dashes down the stairs to get his beloved ball.  I guess that you could say that I’m being codependent, and enabling him.

If you see yourself in any of this, either as  someone suffering from addiction or as a codependent, I would strongly urge you to find someone to talk with. You deserve to take care of yourself. I have worked with addicts and alcoholics for many years. Please call me at 415-474-6707, or email me at zkolkeymft@therapywithzora.com. I would be honored to accompany you on your healing journey. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmly,
Zora

Zora L. Kolkey, MFT
License #MFC 23012
Web Site: http://www.BayAreaCounselingWithZora.com

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AN ADDICT IN THE FAMILY

July 5, 2011

As someone who has treated people with alcohol and drug problems, as well as other issues, I never dreamed that I would one day have an addict in my family. The addict in my family is my dog, Dafka.  If you’ve looked at my web site, you’ll know that he is my co-therapist.  He is addicted to his kong. For those of you who don’t know what a kong is, it is round, three-tiered and pyramid-shaped. It is made of very heavy rubber which is puncture resistant, very bouncy and chewer friendly. He can keep playing with it for hours. I realized that he was addicted to it one day when I let him out and I was carrying the kong. He sat and started to shake all over before I gave it to him. It was kind of funny, seeing this big black dog so totally and absolutely focused on this little red rubber thing in my hand. He never concentrated on anything else in that way. If he is offered a treat, he totally ignores it if he has the kong. The kong comes before eating. The biggest surprise was discovering that the kong came before a walk. Previously, when he heard his leash, he would be all excited and come running. Now, if he has the kong, forget about the walk.

When I started to write this, I thought that it would be kind of a cute story. I came to realize that it is actually an almost perfect metaphor for someone with an addiction, and it is neither funny nor cute. As anyone who has dealt with addiction in any form knows, whether it be drug or process, whatever the addiction, feeding the addiction comes before anything else–family, friends, work, play, sex, health, food–you name it.

An integral part of addiction includes the ritual involved in obtaining the coveted item. A person with an addiction may or may not include others in her/his ritual. I, of course, am an inseparable part of Dafka’s addiction ritual. He cannot get his beloved kong without me, and we do have a ritual. When he gets up, he has to go outside without the kong; come back in when he’s ready and eat. When he is finished eating, he comes into the kitchen and just stares at the kong on the kitchen counter. He absolutely does not move anything except his rib cage as he is breathing. When I finally pick up the kong, we go to the back door. I open it. He has to sit quietly (very hard for him to do as he is already shaking), no barking, and I give him the kong. I guess that you could say that I’m being codependent, and enabling him.

If you see yourself in any of this, either as as someone suffering from addiction or as a codependent, I would strongly urge you to find someone to talk with.  You deserve to take care of yourself.  I have worked with addicts and alcoholics for many years.  Please call me at 415-474-6707.  I would be honored to accompany you on your healing journey.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmly,
Zora

Zora L. Kolkey, MFT
License #MFC 23012
Web Site: http://www.therapywithzora.com

A DAY OF REMEMBERANCE: September 11, 2001

September 8, 2010

September 11, 2001.  It was a little after 6:00 am on Tuesday morning.  Do you remember where you were?  Who were you with, if anyone?  What were you doing?

I remember very clearly what I was doing.  My roommate’s door, at the end of the hall, was open.  The television was on, and it did not appear to be the usual morning news.  Just the fact that my roommate was up at that hour was unusual, let alone having his door open.  I hadn’t yet had my morning coffee so I was not fully awake.  I sort of shuffled down the hall, glanced at his TV, and saw a plane flying into a very tall building.  I turned and went into the bathroom wondering to myself why in the world he was watching such a trashy movie at that hour of the morning.  He called to me and told me to really come and look;  that this was really happening;  it wasn’t a movie;  a plane was actually flying into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.  I was shocked and  full of disbelief, almost immobilized.  The image of that plane flying into that tower is engraved in my memory and implanted in my body.

Nine years have now passed since that horrendous event, and as its anniversary approaches, that image is just as clear in my memory and held in my body as if I were looking at it right now.  This is a normal reaction to an overwhelming event.  It may also be happening to you.  However, for me, it feels less threatening now than it did then.  I can remember it and not react to it.

That’s what trauma does.  It affects every part of our being.  It becomes locked and held in our bodies unless we get treatment.  It causes us to feel anxious, fearful, full of stress.  It can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with its many symptoms.  All of these concerns can prevent us from living full and meaningful lives.

If you have suffered from accidents, natural disasters, physical, mental or emotional abuse, war-related injuries (both physical and/or emotional). or any one of the myriad blows that befall us everyday, find someone to talk to.  You do not have to endure these torments alone.  I am available to speak with you.  Please call me at 415-474-6707, and/or email me at zkolkeymft@lmi.net.  I would be honored to have you share with me so that you become empowered to live your life fully, the way that you want it to be.

Victory Over Sexual Abuse: A Client’s Story

August 4, 2010

I was so moved by a note that I received from a former client that I asked and received permission from her to share her story.  She stated that if hearing her story helps someone else, she’s all for it.  I am, of course, changing the details so that she won’t be identified, and the basic facts are true.

It has been ten (10) years since Chloe (fictitious name) started treatment with me.  We worked together for approximately two (2) years.  She had been referred to me by another client.

Chloe was a very attractive young woman in her early thirties.  She was very bright and extremely creative.  She had her own successful business, designing, making and selling beautiful handmade, expensive, usable items.

Chloe came to see me because she was having a “nervous breakdown” as a result of finding out that her sister had been molested by their father.   

Her story was heartbreaking.  She had been sexually abused by her father from the age of seven (7) until she was in her teens.  At the age of ten (10), she started to think about suicide.  She started drinking regularly and using drugs occasionally.  She was in a major freeway accident in her early twenties, and hadn’t driven since.  She felt she just couldn’t continue living the way that she had been.  She wanted much more from her life than she was getting.  She picked very unsatisfactory men and her relationships were unhealthy.  She often deliberately cut herself.  She knew that she had to do something.  She couldn’t go on living feeling as though she were damaged goods, and that she would never find love.

Chloe had both male and female siblings.  As we worked together and I heard her story, I knew that I had to report her father.  She did not want me to do that.  I was very concerned because she had another sister at home.  We made a contract that if she found out that he had sexually abused her youngest sister, she would give me the information I needed to report him.  She never would give me that information.  I took what little I had and reported him.  She was very angry and left treatment with me.

Before that happened, however, she met a man with whom she fell in love.  Although still not totally sure that she really deserved love, after our work together, she allowed herself to at least test whether or not she could accept his love and caring.  The last picture I have in my mind of her was the two of them, holding hands and walking away.

I thought about Chloe often over the years and wondered how she was doing.  Suddenly, a week or so ago, I received a note from her that brought tears to my eyes.  She thanked me for the work that I did with her, although  she is the one who actually did the work.  Since we last met, she wrote that  she had closed her business and is thinking about opening a new one.  She reported her father and is facing and coping with the consequences of her family’s wrath against her.  She is with the man whom she loves and he loves her deeply and she has the most gorgeous little girl.

To quote her, “In a nutshell I have to say that I no longer feel like the abuse I endured defines me. I had to shed those shackles in order to get past it and be happy being me.”

Hearing from Chloe and learning how happy and content she is–this is what makes me so passionate about this work and so grateful to my clients for letting me accompany them on these extremely painful journeys.

BLESS ALL OF YOU!

If any of you reading this have any comments or questions, please feel free to get in touch with me either by phone, 415-474-6707, or email to zkolkeymft@lmi.net.