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Bearing Through It >> Share Your Story >> Need to share this - *might trigger*

Message started by Petal on Dec 14th, 2008 at 12:51pm

Title: Need to share this - *might trigger*
Post by Petal on Dec 14th, 2008 at 12:51pm
I am writing this under a psydonum username for BTI and am an existing member.  I am writing under this name to keep my identity from those that know me as my usual username external to BTI.  For those friends of mine here at BTI I would like you to know who I am and have been giving consideration as to how I can let you know my identity; I have thought of this and come up with that “Mandi once sent me flowers many years ago when I was in hospital.”

I have been and can function on a level where I accept what happened to me in the past, can support others, etc.  I am still in therapy with my one and only T who I have been with for many years.  We have a good relationship and I trust her intently.  Only on one occassion have we experienced a ‘disruption’ during therapy and a second one occurred two weeks ago.  This session itself I experienced as very painful and the time since, I have had time to reflect on what happened to where I am now, writing about my fright of how I experience myself before I see my T again this week.

During my last session, I was unintentionally triggered into bad feelings about myself by my T.  From there things are a bit of a blur.  I remember focusing on the bottom of a cupboard in her room and don’t know how long for.  I recall her asking to look into her eyes and feel nothing.  I couldn’t let her in.

Thinking about it now, I see myself dissociating on an extreme level to protect myself.  Yet deep down, I was screaming for my T to connect with me and at the same time had the presence of someone taking over me and not allowing me close to my T.

During the session, I was shaking and needing to cut and having to mask this from my T.  I wanted to run out of her room and feared being chased, caught and hit for getting it wrong.

I did leave this session with the ability to drive.  I pulled over on the way home on the grass verge, reached for my bag.  All I remember then is a warm feeling running through my body and blood coming from my inner arm.  I don’t remember doing it; I remember the pleasure from it and the shock of what had happened.

This is where I would like to free all that is in my head right now as I am very frightened.  The “switch” in that therapy session was so quick, a switch to someone that isn’t me.  I become someone that won’t let anyone close and needs to punish me for any disclosure of feeling of badness.  I have constant chatter in my head, conversations that I want to share with my T, yet when I get there, I clam up.  This chatter now constantly keeps me awake at night and I can’t find peace.  I have had migranes with blurred vision for the past five weeks and generally don’t feel myself.  I have experienced headaches in the past, but not to this extent.  I am an individual who notices any differences or things out of place to normality; even a new clock in my T’s room is the first thing I notice.

* Am I becoming aware of different personalities to me; ones which take over me fully with my thoughts, feelings and behaviours?
* Does my T know this and hasn’t told me?  Did she notice me dissociating in our last session?
* How do I bring this up with my T at our next session?

I am very frightened as she also mentioned in our last session of learning to accept the darker aspect to me.  I asked her how do you do that when all you hear in your head are the words “I hate you” (in respect of I hate myself and not my T).  How can you accept an aspect you believe will kill you one day?

I am frightened because of what happened after my last session on the grass verge on the way home .... I don’t remember doing it.

Please know  that I can still come across to others in the real world as ‘normal’ and function whilst being hidden.  What I have written about are my deepest thoughts to share with those I truly trust here.  I am not looking for any diagnosis, I am simply afraid and know if I tried to say these words out loud, I would be stopped.  These are my verbal words written down, so no-one inside can stop me.

Title: Re: Need to share this - *might trigger*
Post by revenna on Dec 17th, 2008 at 12:25pm
Hello. Petal!

Thank you for writing.  I know who you are.  I read your post a couple of days ago and have been thinking about what to say.

I'm sorry things are so difficult for you right now.  I find it terribly difficult when there are changes in the way we respond to life.  It is sometimes very frightening.  Once I woke up talking like someone else. Even my voice was different.  This came at a time when I was processing some very intense feelings.  It scared me.  So I know what you're talking about.

I would just encourage you to be honest with your T.  It sounds like you have a very good relationship with her.  I think these triggerings that you talk about with your T are to be expected.  I've discovered, looking back, that I've spent most of my life reliving my abuse in some form or another.  I projected a lot of my feelings onto my T.  Believe it or not, she could have been my sister's twin in terms of physical characteristics!  Therapy is such an intense time and I do believe we are triggered, not only in the session itself, but afterwards.  

I guess I would just recommend that you be honest and tell your T what you've been experiencing.  I also think it's okay to ask her any questions you have, such as whether she noticed you dissociating in your last session.

I'm sorry for all you are experiencing just now.  I know how frightening it can be.  But I also know you are a very strong survivor and you will get through this.  Please feel free to share more if you need to.


Title: Re: Need to share this - *might trigger*
Post by Petal on Dec 18th, 2008 at 5:59am
Hi Rev,

I am so grateful for your reply.  I know the board can be quiet at times and *thought* I was prepared for the silence if I posted this, yet in reality it has been difficult and did ask Ty to have it deleted.  That was the same day you replied.

I did go to therapy yesterday in hand with pages of writing I had done on different days since our previous session where I was triggered.  I had texted the day before to say that I was frightened of seeing her and she had replied saying all was ok and that she was looking forward to seeing me.
My latest piece of writing was written from a very honest aspect and was shaking when reading it out.  I was honest  about what I had done after our last session, my thoughts of different aspects to me.  During the session she had asked me to draw how I saw myself.  I’m creative with writing, making things and ideas, yet for pencil to paper, I don’t do that, so couldn’t during the session.

During the night last night though, I’ve been busy with making something to represent me at this moment and time of year along with an accompanying story.  I’ve made a Christmas bauble representing me.
This bauble is made of thickened glass and coloured orange/yellow.  It comes out each Christmas and is hung on the tree.  This bauble has a history within the air trapped inside of it, yet when others look at it on the tree they cannot see its history.

For the past two years the bauble hangs on the tree which is in a living area downstairs, directly under the bathroom upstairs.  Last year the air trapped inside got heavier and weighed down on the branch of the tree.  December went and it was wrapped up and packed away for another year.  This year it is in the same place of the tree, but the air was released from the bauble shortly after it was hung on the tree.  Now the air has been released, the bauble has fallen from the branch to the floor and broken into fragments.  Each fragment represents a part to me.  

This is where I am at this moment in time not knowing how to put this bauble back together again without using super-glue where cracks can emerge again in the future.  What do I need to do to mend it with a clear, smooth surface where the air inside is fresh and not stale?  If the bauble were to fall again when it is brought out again, how can I ensure if it falls, that it doesn’t fall into fragments and to ensure that it rolls as a complete bauble working together to stay together?

At the end of November a very young part of me disclosed in full details her experiences of a memory which has taken me many years to discuss.  That session was one which was handled by my T very delicately and I felt safe with her.  With my normal sessions that have been spread out whilst I’ve been coping, I have not had the opportunity to follow this through in therapy and this is the representation in the above passages of the bauble falling from the tree and breaking into fragments; one fragment is that very young girl now lying naked and alone as a fragment on the floor and another is a fragment that at the time absorbed the pain and now needs to feel physical pain to cope all over again.  Without the pain, I don’t know how to cope.

My T has asked me to see her again before Christmas and we have a session planned.  I feel safe knowing this and will be taking my bauble story with my homemade bauble and the broken version and its fragments and what they represent in with me.

The past week after posting this initial entry has been an experience for me.  Silence is as torturous to me as being shouted at and hit and sends me into a space where I feel emotions of being very bad.  I have learnt from this to bear through the uncomfortable feelings as there is always someone out there who understands and supports.  Thank you Ty for your support and for Rev for your reply and to those who have read and allowed me to share.


Title: Re: Need to share this - *might trigger*
Post by revenna on Dec 18th, 2008 at 11:54am

It was good to hear back from you.  I'm sorry I was slow to respond.  I can relate to your feelings about silence.  Silence, to me, means not being heard.  And not being heard triggers all my memories of trying to get someone to stop the abuse and feeling that no one was listening.  I'm sorry silence is so painful for you, but I think it's a real sign of your health and strength that you are able to sit with your feelings, knowing there are people who do care about you and will respond when they can.  I do care about you, Petal, and I want you to always know and feel that.

I'm glad you were able to share with your T.  I hope your next session is beneficial, too.

I think the idea of the bauble is a great representation of all survivors.  I, too, feel fragmented.  There was the part of me molested as a young child (by one group of men), and the part of me molested as a teenager by another group of men -- and all sorts of experiences inbetween!  How do we find ways to function and do we ever experience wholeness?  I sometimes wonder if the wholeness we survivors expect to achieve will always be different than that of people who have never been abused.  I think our worlds will always be different.

I appreciate the ideas you have shared here, Petal.  You put into words the things I have swirling around in my brain!  Thank you.

Please feel free to share again.  I will be around during the holidays.


Title: Re: Need to share this - *might trigger*
Post by Petal on Dec 23rd, 2008 at 2:26pm
Hi Rev,

Thanks again for your continued support.

I have been to therapy again and am in the strangest place.  "Self-awareness" after 6 years in therapy has hit me and such openess with my T is a little bit intense.  I don't regret one moment and as I have said (or thought before) that things happen for a reason and that destructive part hurting me parked on the side of the road off my T's house has been my 'awakening' call where things have all slotted into place.

A part of me is full of embarrasement and shame, a part is relieved, a part yearns to be protected and trust her T and the destructive part feels it has to hurt me before my T gets rid of it.  One comment from my T yesterday was that she knows there is a part that cares.  I can't get that comment out of my head - that I could possibly care?  I'm now thinking about what I do care for and they are my children and my old and new dog.

After all these years in therapy, each year gets deeper and touches deeper regions.  I sense the coming year of 2009 is going to be at a new level in T and I am calm that things are all out in the open now and embrase working with my T in a different, open honest way with new ideas of what different aspects of me needs in T and how to do it instead of the 'sitting opposite and talking' traditional methods.

My aim is by the end of 2009 I can look back and reflect on the destructive part also caring for me.


Title: Re: Need to share this - *might trigger*
Post by ciaro on Dec 27th, 2008 at 11:29am
Hi Petal,
I'm glad you were able to come here and share your struggles.  That takes a lot of courage.  I'm sorry that you have been struggling and that the quietness of bti has caused you distress.  I read your post shortly after you posted, but was not in a place to be able to respond at that time.  
I can totally relate to you 'switching' to another person.  I often do that ( and have been doing it a lot recently).  It is a very disconcerting feeling and I too am often frightened by it.  I tend to lose time when this happens.  For me, it happens mosre frequently when I am under distress.  
I'm so glad you were able to share with your therapist and that it was helpful.  Throughout your recent posts, your courage to heal shines through, even through your distress Petal.  I hope that with the help of your therapist you can learn to care for each fragment of yourself, even your 'dark side'.  It is a hard lesson to learn and one I struggle with also.  
Know that as always, I am here to listen and support you, even in my silence.

journeying with you

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