I have to leave for group soon. I don’t really feel very well. But I know its important for me to be there right now. My therapist wanted me to take a break because things got a little to much to fast. So she wanted me to have the break and yet still get support during the week. I respect that but I am uncomfortable being there. I hope today goes better. I will write more later when I get back. I have to leave cause now I’m running late.
I started group on Tuesday and its three times a week for three hours a day. It can be incredibly exhausting. The therapist’s are all nice. It seems sometimes that there is a lot of people but we are all broken down into thee smaller groups. Its good like this because everyone is given a chance to talk and vent about what is bothering them and what they need out of the this intensive program. Each individual situation is addressed in these groups. We have to be patient with others and allow them to have their time to speak and it will come around to us again. Sometimes an especially troubling issue is brought up and time is taken to be sure that this patient is safe from any sort of self- harm. It could be cutting, alcohol drugs and worst of all suicide. It is a scary subject to talk about but its important so that anyone in the group who is thinking of escaping from life will get help and we all take the time that is needed as a group to help this person. Life can be wonderful and it can also be devastating.
It’s important to show respect to a person in need…. being very careful what we say. When someone is suicidal they are very sensitive and it only takes just a few thoughtless words to tip them over the edge. I have found myself in that situation from time to time over the years. Our healing journey can take us down many different roads. Scary roads into our past. Also roads that lead us to the waiting place……..the place where it seems that we are just exisiting but not really living. Its import to find a way to break free from that waiting place and move forward to something better. It may happen that we end up in a program like I am in just to get a little exta support to go out in life again and fight yet another day. We might even have to be hospitalized for a time and there is no shame in that. The most important thing we need to remember when dealing with a difficult history is that safety comes first because with all we’ve been through we deserve to stay alive and have a better life. It takes great courage when we have to go down the most difficult path of all and that is the history of our childhood. It’s those of us who have survived some of the worst atrocities that come out of it with our heads held high. We deserve to be heard. We have a right to get our story out and to be validated for what we went through as children. Because anything less means the perpetrator wins. We are survivors, we are winners. Sometimes we may have to go backwards for a time and then start to go forward again. It may seem frustrating at times but the end result is worth it.
Survivors sometimes speak of how they got through the trauma by pretending that their mind and spirit had gone to a safer place, leaving the body behind to endure the abuse. I know that I did that for sure. There were times when I was thinking of a painful memory and could see it happening from above. I know its a strange concept for people who have not suffered abuse but ask any survivor and I bet they know exactly what I mean.
Abused children often abandon reality, they might use the imagination that all kids have. Its by this dissociating from what frightening thing is happening that children can imagine they are some place else like a park or the movies etc. Even a relatively minor trauma can provoke dissociation until a person is later able to integrate the experience. “Later”, in the case of chronic abuse, these children have little to no support. It may mean years later. Sadly most children grow into adulthood with those memory’s somewhere in the back of their minds until such day that the brain begins to release these memory’s. Then it demands our attention.
Sometimes the actual memory of the abuse goes into deep freeze. An incident in the present may trigger strong feelings that really belong to an incident in the past .Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. My abuse went on for years without any support available to me. We survivors may become, devastated when others are momentarily sad, panicked when others are just worried.
Sometimes only the feelings get blocked. Some survivors have perfect, excruciating detailed recall of the abuse itself, but are numb to their feelings. This is so true for me. I had no problem stating the facts of what happened but my feelings were just not connected.
Many survivors ask, “If I don’t remember the trauma, or if I don’t have strong feelings about it, isn’t that better?” Dissociation eventually takes more effort than it is worth. The more we try not to, the more feelings and thoughts assert themselves, unconsciously demanding attention. .In my therapy with EMDR(eye movement desentization and reprocessing.), I am being told that all that trauma is stored as body memory. Its at the cellular level. In other words the trauma gets into every cell of our bodies. It is so important to release this because if we don’t it zapps our energy for today. So trauma is energy that needs release for the body as a hole to function better in our lives today.
I’ve been going to the IOP group these past two days. Its been difficult because I know I am just there to take a break from my work with the EMDR. I don’t really want to talk about the trauma there at the group. That would be very difficult. However, there seems to be an expectation to talk about what is on my mind and what has got me so over-whelmed that I need to take a break. But I am not going there. Or at least I am going to try to not go there. Its too hard. Unfortunately how I feel is usually written all over my face and then an observant therapist calls me out on it. I don’t like being put on the spot to answer a difficult question. But I am always the good girl and answer what I am asked. Now it is to my understand that I am there to get stronger emotionally so that I can go back and work some more on the trauma with my therapist one on one. If that means disclosing some of the trauma work and how I feel about myself then I will do what ever it takes to feel better to be happier and grow emotionally so that I can get on with my life finally and once and for all leave the past behind me.
I just got off the phone with my therapist about taking a break. I will be going into an IOP program. Its three times a week and three hours a day. I really did not want to. I looked at it as a failure in my quest to move forward in my life. She reassured me that it is just a part of my journey. I need to acknowledge where I am at this point in my life and be ok with it. If I don’t then I will just fall apart. I have come to far to fall apart now. I agreed to accept this temporary suggestion from my Psychiatrist. She has my best interest at heart. I like her a lot. I really like my therapist as well. She is very kind and nurturing. This is something I so desperately needed for a long time. She does not just treat the whole person but instead sees all the aspects of personality. She especially treats my inner child. The one so damaged and left hidden for so long. Ignored by some and even by myself. The only one that can heal that very fragile part of me is me! I want to but it is so scary to go back in time. Its not so much that I am constantly dredging up the past but instead its about healing that part of me. By doing this I will be able to face the wrong perceptions of myself and replace them with positive ones. Then I can heal that painful fractured part of me and it is only then that I can realize my true identity and my true potential in life.