Exposure therapy and the belt TW

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Deep Blue

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Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« on: March 10, 2018, 11:24:12 PM »
I have not been ok since Thursday.  Iím supposed to be writing, reading, and talking about one of my biggest triggers... belts

It wasnít until Thursdayís therapy session that I realized I wrote about it, but never used the word ďbeltĒ. It was like I had used distancing language to make it easier on myself.

I hate belts. The trigger is oddly specific. The belt has to be lying on the ground, or it has to be somewhere i donít expect to see one. They have to be leather and dark in color.  The jingling sound makes me swallow my heart. 
She used to wrap it around her hand... once, twice while holding the buckle. I knew the drill. I lifted my shirt, leaned over the back of the couch, bit my lip and would receive blows to my lower back. Usually I was given a number.

Once I got used to this punishment I got better at dissociating. I would stare at the wall, dig my nails into my hand and force my mind to go elsewhere.  I still get flashbacks even though it was 15 years ago. 

Iím still raw from Thursdayís therapy. I feel like I have depersonalized.  Iím not any emotion. Iím not mad, sad, scared... just numb. 

I tried to self harm to feel again... still numb.  I just mostly feel sick to my stomach and exhausted. The world is fuzzy and has been since Thursday.

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Three Roses

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 12:14:18 AM »
I'm sorry you're going through this. Is it okay if I offer :hug: ?

The sound a leather belt makes when being quickly withdrawn from belt loops is triggering for me, too.

Have you read anything about how to manage emotional flashbacks? http://pete-walker.com/flashbackManagement.htm

Hope you're feeling better soon.

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Three Roses

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 04:44:46 PM »
How are you feeling now, DB? I'm surprised no one else had weighed in on this thread!

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Elphanigh

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2018, 04:55:51 PM »
Deep Blue, I hopw you are doing better, I know this post has been here a long while.

The sound of a belt isn't triggering to me but I understand because the sound of a cabinet door slamming, or even just a wooden drawer slamming loudly makes me react the way you described.

You are definitely not alone in this. Sending hugs if that is okay  :hug:

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Kizzie

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 06:34:56 PM »
 I didn't endure much PA so I don't have triggers like this, but I can well understand how this would trigger you.  :hug:

I don't know if this will be of any help but what about getting a belt, cutting it up and burning it or throwing it in the garbage where it belongs so you send your inner child a msge? 

When I had cancer and had my hair shaved because it was falling out, I saved some and my H and I burned it in our chiminea on a starry night.  It was just so powerful.  I was taking some control and chasing away the cancer cells that had invaded my body.  The whole shaving was done in a cancer friendly hair studio and was followed by a lovely head massage with quiet music to make it into a bit of a ceremony and a more positive experience. My H and I then headed up into the mountains and had lunch in a favourite restaurant overlooking a valley and some amazing scenery. 

Maybe something like this would help you reduce the trigger you have from belts  :Idunno: 

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Deep Blue

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2018, 08:30:04 PM »
Three Roses,
Thanks for checking.  Iím having a really rough week.  My T and I agreed to put this particular trigger aside for awhile.  That is why I hadnít touched this post in awhile.  Maybe when this weekend is over I will feel more like myself and start some mild exposure therapy again.  Right now it is just not gonna happen!

Kizzie,
Thatís a really good idea about cutting one up.  I will ask my T about it when I feel more stable.

Elphanigh,
Thanks for ďgetting itĒ.  Iím sure you understand that feeling. Thinking about it makes me jump out of my skin, and I read that you were punished for being scared.  I know that all too well.  Punished for being scared, for whining, and of course punished if I cried out in pain... i still lock it up.  Some things never change...

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Elphanigh

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 09:09:22 PM »
Deep Blue, that is all too familiar... but we will both get through it. We have thankfully survived the worst of it

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LilyITV

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2018, 02:19:46 PM »
 :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:  I know this is old, but wish you well in your healing journey. 

I am so sorry you went through this and I can just imagine how triggering this is for you.  I can relate because my father used to beat me with a belt too and the sound of a jingling belt sends chills down my spine too.  My dad also gave me a "number", but he'd make me hold out my hand and told me not to move it until he had given me the number of blows.  Of course, it is humanly impossible to hold your hand out for something so painful, so then when I'd withdraw my hand he'd start beating me all over my body. 

I come from a culture where corporal punishment is accepted so I often hear people openly defending the practice or belitting the pain of children who have to experience this barbaric practice.   Some even are proud of the beatings they gave their children and make jokes.    I have just begun my therapy, but I hope as time goes on, I am able to become assertive enough to tell these people off.  Do they understand that this is basically torture??  I have always felt too timid to call it "abuse", but I see the day coming where I am going to tell these people point blank that it is and that it is wrong. 


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Kizzie

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2018, 05:00:03 PM »
Quote
I see the day coming where I am going to tell these people point blank that it is and that it is wrong.

 :thumbup:    :cheer:    :applause:

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Deep Blue

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2018, 02:07:48 AM »
If Iím being honest, even revisiting my own post here is triggering for me.

I wonder if I will ever be free of this particular trigger. 

Iít is a long road ahead and Iím back to saying ďit triggers meĒ canít even bring myself to type it tonight... heavy sigh
 :Idunno:

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woodsgnome

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 03:53:59 AM »
I'm saddened to see how this is affecting you. That this is re-triggering so much of your inner torment without recourse to deal with the perpetrators--that's one of the hardest parts of this. Not in a revenge sense but in a sense of regaining your own power over your own life.

I did note the Kizzie suggestion of burning a belt and nodded. I've done little rituals like that regarding remnants of some memories that still trigger me. Even writing a note about the memory and burning it creates a visual sense of transforming the pain into feeling some relief. If cutting up an actual belt is too much to want to deal with, just using a note or other symbolic substitute might help. Mind you, there will likely be triggering after that, as strong emotions need time to clear the system; but you've at least set the stage for slowly bringing relief into your mind.

Whatever, I hope you can turn a corner with this soon. Wishing you the best  :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2018, 04:39:33 PM »
If Iím being honest, even revisiting my own post here is triggering for me.

I wonder if I will ever be free of this particular trigger. 

I didn't respond further up thread, not having this particular trigger. There was some CPA in FOO but far milder than you experienced, Deep Blue.

I do really understand how revisiting your own post can be triggering. There's a particular type of abuse I endured - just thinking about it, like now when I'm not even in the memory, but still there are physical reactions going on. So I'm leaving the topic now and the thread. My empathy to you beforehand.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2018, 05:29:45 PM »
Woodsgnome,
So well spoken and you speak to my heart.  :hug:  I tried writing about and it and burning what I wrote awhile ago.  It helped for an hour or so.  I wish it was more of a permanent solution.  Maybe if I can visualize the PA scars leaving me that would help.

Thanks blueberry, even though our abuse was different, itís effects us each today.  It allows us to still empathize with each other  :hug:

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Kizzie

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Re: Exposure therapy and the belt TW
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2018, 06:12:57 PM »
Just sending a big warm cyber hug Deep Blue, we're here to listen and support you if/when you want to post more about this trigger.   :hug: