Tag Archives: rape

Therapy – It came and went

Therapy – It came and it went.

I was terrified about going today.  After dealing with a family reunion that made me face relationships and past issues that had hurt me I was not looking forward to even thinking about therapy, and yet I was also looking forward to it because I wanted to talk about it.

My problem is simple though — I want to talk about things, and then I get to therapy, and no words come out.  I have all these words in my head, but I can’t form them into sentences.  I don’t know how to say them, I don’t want to say them, I don’t want to hear them out loud.  Occasionally I have been able to say certain things here and there though.  So I was hoping that perhaps some of it would just come out today.  Opening up to people is incredibly hard.  Even once I have built up trust with my therapist I find it hard.  I completely trust her, but for some reason, talking just seems almost impossible even though I want to do it so bad.  Does anyone else have this problem?

The session actually did not go horribly.  I did go into a bit of a flashback though and ended up completely breaking down crying.  We were talking about something, I don’t even remember now, and I simply just went out of the moment, the next thing I knew I was just crying cause I was having so much pain and emotion about what had happened.  But thankfully I was with my therapist and she could walk me through it.  I wish I had a professional therapist on my shoulder 24/hrs a day for when that type of thing happens!  It calms me down so much quicker than I can do on my own!

I cannot wait until I work through all of these past traumas.  I can tell I am stronger than I was from when I started though.  And while things might get harder, I will only grow from this in the end.

Alarm set for Friday next week to begin again!

Therapy Tomorrow

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Tomorrow I see my therapist.  My bipolar and borderline personality disorder have been fairly stable over the last year.  Since August 2013 though I began working with a therapist who specializes in trauma therapy.  I never talked about my past history of abuse/sexual assault.  It wasn’t even until these past few months that I truly began opening up to my therapist though, which has made things incredibly hard for me.  Nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks have been almost a daily part of my life.

In one way, I am looking forward to seeing her tomorrow because I feel like I really need talk about things.  I was able to talk to my brother prior to our family reunion about some of our childhood growing up and it really brought up even more memories that hurt me.

It is amazing how the brain works with post traumatic stress disorder.  For so long I thought I could just block all of it out of my mind.  But the more I did it, the harder it hit me when it came back up.

Once I get past this though, hopefully I can get rid of the numbness, guilt, shame, nightmares, flashbacks, anger, hopelessness, self-destruction, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and bad memories.

I am getting closer and closer to coming to terms with my past though.  It is hard now, but my future is going to be so much better for it.

Everyone Has a Story

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Having PTSD has made my life extremely hard. Waking up from nightmares, going into panic attacks in the middle of the day, suddenly having a flashback, having horrible social anxiety as if people can just tell about my past and are judging me, guilt about things that happened, and even the awful thoughts about suicide.

While many tend to relate PTSD to veterans that have come back from war, often PTSD is related to other traumas that civilians have experienced – such as childhood abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, natural disasters, or violent crime (anything that might have caused physical harm or the threat of physical harm).

There are three stages of PTSD. You can experience one stage at a time or multiple stages at a time:

1: Re-experiencing
-Nightmares
-Flashbacks

2. Avoidance
-Staying away from places, events, things that are reminders
-Numbing your emotions
-Having trouble remembering the event

3. Hyperarousal
-Being easily startled
-Being on edge

I did not understand how I easily got through life from 8th grade – 12th grade without having any problems despite being sexually abused and then suddenly fell apart after my rape and other issues in college. Upon talking to my therapist I realized I had been in the avoidance stage at those times and so I had numbed myself and avoided things that reminded me of the situation so I wouldn’t have to face it.

Children will deal with PTSD in similar stages, but they will also have slightly different symptoms as well. Bedwetting, acting out, and being clingy might also occur.

There are different treatments for PTSD:

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Talk Therapy

Group Therapy

Family Therapy

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I currently am working with a therapist at a crisis center that specialized in trauma therapy. We are doing talk therapy at the moment, but focusing on different techniques to help me process through the trauma – rewind techniques, collages, etc. I couldn’t talk at first, but slowly as I have begun to trust her more, I have opened up more. It has been extremely hard, but I know that it is for the best.

As easy as it might be to try and forget that it never happened, eventually the trauma might come up and haunt you eventually. Some people can work through it on their own, but many cannot. It is always good to work with a trained professional and talk through it with them. Let them help you process through your thoughts and feelings about what happened and how you are dealing with it. Having a good support system will also help you out a lot. I did not have therapy as a child and I avoided talking about my traumas with anyone until I completely broke down. Twelve years after my first trauma and 8 years after my second trauma, I am finally facing them. Even though it has been incredibly hard, I know it is the best decision I have ever made because it is going to pay off in the long run for my mental health.