A break

Don’t worry, I’m not taking a break from blogging.

I am, however, taking a bit of a break from trauma therapy.  I’ll still be going to therapy as usual, but my therapist thinks it’s best to stop any trauma-related work for the time being.

I’ve been very off since my appointment on Monday.  It’s been difficult to turn off that “evil child” mentality that was activated as old memories were rehashed and I experienced that flashback during Monday’s session.  I’ve been extremely low and it’s been difficult to bring myself back up.  I also ended up dissociating and injuring myself in the same way my mother injured me as a child.  I re-enacted the same traumatic event.  Why?  I don’t understand it.

I didn’t even want to tell my therapist what happened.  I didn’t even want to go to therapy today.  But I went.  And I was in so much pain just sitting there that my facial expressions started to give my secret away.  She started asking if I was in pain and I tried to shut her out.  But she was (and always is) persistent.  Eventually I told her what I had done, and after a brief discussion, she came to the conclusion that it was best to take a break from the trauma for a while.

I felt like a therapy failure.  I asked her, “doesn’t this mean I’m weak?  I can’t even handle therapy.”  She tried to convince me that it actually took strength to admit what I did and that these things take time.  It’s not worth being re-traumatized.  I lived through this shit for 25 years, I can’t expect to jump into recovery in just two months.  I guess she is right, it was just not something I wanted to hear.

Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am, and how great I am doing.  All I can think is how weak I am and how close I am to failing.  A strong person doesn’t feel like dying on the inside.  A strong person doesn’t hurt themselves because some part of them still feels like they are an evil child that needs to be punished.  A strong person doesn’t need to take a break from trauma therapy.  Where’s this strength people see?  I’m having trouble finding it.  Sometimes I feel like I am so close to drowning.  I’m doing these things that people think are great, and I guess they are – but a part of me is dying, and nothing can stop that.  I can do all the great things in the world, but that won’t change who I am and what happened to me.

My therapist brought up my strong part.  I’ve talked briefly about her in therapy before, but not much.  I believe she is the part that got me through my escape.  My therapist started to ask me questions about that part and I shut down.  I don’t really know enough about her.  She doesn’t come out very often.  My therapist mentioned if I was self-sabotaging myself by not letting that part out more or getting to know that part.  I don’t know.  I feel that Charlie runs the show and doesn’t really let anyone else have a say, so it’s difficult for me to really know any of my other parts.  Maybe Charlie needs an Ativan.  Or a timeout.

I don’t know where therapy will go from here.  I’m just going to have to trust that it’s the right decision.

5 thoughts on “A break

  1. I see healing from trauma like needing multiple surgeries. You can’t just keep operating non stop, the patient’s body needs to recover to be well enough for the next operation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A ‘strong’ person may very well feel like dying in her insides, but just keeps going anyway.
    And that ‘dying’ feeling? May be the grief of letting go of the illusion or desperate wish that things were a different way than what they are. Grieving a loss, then moving on.
    and…there is no ‘failing’ at therapy. Going is a choice. And one a lot of people shy away from completely. And you can stop at any time. Go back. It’s your choice of what you need and when.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trauma therapy is generally done in a progressive way – where you move into more challenging material ONLY when the client is safe. Engaging in repetition of trauma is common, but a sign that you need to focus on stabilizing and staying safe. This is not a failure at all! And it’s a very good sign that your therapist knows to back off and let you do some other work while you do that.

    Liked by 1 person

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