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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: Elphanigh on July 24, 2020, 11:53:50 PM

Title: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 24, 2020, 11:53:50 PM
HI everyone,

I know this is primarialy for me but I know I have not been around in a while and wanted to start as a greeting for all the old faces here that I care for so deeply.

Honestly, I feel drawn to write here but am not exactly certain what I will write. I think I just feel comfortable, seen, and known in this space. It is a comfort to always be able to come back here, be seen for who I am, an allowed the space to heal without any pressures to be or do anything.

I guess update is a good start. Grad school is phenomenal (and super stressful). I am more than halfway done with my program and so much closer to becoming a licensed social worker and therapist. The road has taken me through so many wonderful and crazy turns. I would not change it for the world but my goodness the expectations are huge. It gives me hope though for all of the trauma informed practitioners that will come out of my generation. I have such a deeper understanding of helping others and will continue to gain that. I have so many colleagues, friends, and mentors that take into account trauma in a way that is tremendous to behold. They do exist and man the mission is strong as ever, even if it is slow growing. I am constantly in awe and so grateful to be studying among people that care so much and are so open to new ideas. I learn from them and from all of you (plus my clients of course). I think my mind and abilities are always being challenged but I am rocking it and cannot wait to have my license

On the personal front things have come so far but also be so difficult. I guess I always come here in times of change and difficulty, which maybe is unfair? Right now is a little more challenging. I am finding a greater depth of grief, change, and attempted forgiveness right now. It is like refacing a deeper level of my demons. A bunch of my worst nightmare memories and sexual traumas. I know I am capable but it is a really painful time on that front and I have to remember all of the progress I have made. I know it is apparent in my self-compassion and love, even jus tin the way I am writing here but I can still forget sometimes. A new round of nightmares and anxiety sometimes blurs that progress. I don't really have words for all of the feelings, or at least now ones that I feel explain them to the full extent. Language is limited sometimes.

I will probably allow younger me to type in here some too, since it is more difficult for her to voice things in my day to day. Not right now as I think I will leave this as it is and begin more of a deep dive later.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: rainydiary on July 25, 2020, 12:43:44 AM
Iím glad to have the chance to hear/read your story.  I think it is cool what you are studying in school and am glad you will do that work. 

Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on July 25, 2020, 12:50:01 AM
Hi again, Elpha -- it's great to hear how you're doing.  :cheer:

Reading about the steps you've taken and those that you are looking ahead to has been both satisfying and encouraging. It's such an enormous thing, when thought about. Choosing your path was hazardous given your struggles. Yet even aware of what might come up for you, your resolve and strength in having turned this corner is refreshing.

Thanks for sharing it. And all the best as you venture forward.
 
:hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Three Roses on July 25, 2020, 04:38:41 PM
Hey, great to hear from you!

Quote
I am rocking it
:cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

Quote
I guess I always come here in times of change and difficulty, which maybe is unfair?
Nope! Not unfair at all. It's like coming home, or returning to base camp for supplies, or to a comforting spot where you found rest and rejuvenation.

It's inspiring to see how far you've come! You're going to be an AWESOME therapist.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 25, 2020, 07:41:04 PM
It is so wonderful to hear from you three, thank you  :hug:

Woodsgnome, it feels like it has been so long! It is good to see you are still here and I hope all is well. I am glad this can be encouraging to you, and I hope it continues to me. My path is certainly hazardous but honestly I find that even when stuff comes up for me I am gaining a deeper understanding. It is certainly difficult at times, kind of like the last few weeks, but I am learning not only how to help others but also getting such a deeper knowledge of myself too. It is not easy but I am grateful for my ability to keep perspective or for the people that help me gain perspective when I lose it.

Three Roses, I have missed you as well. I feel like you have watched so much of my journey over the last three or so years (wow it has been that long?). I am glad it is not unfair, it does feel like coming home or to a base camp for supplies. I can be open here and feel that extra bit of support when I need it most, which as much as I have not gone into any details yet here I do need it more recently.

I am hopeful and excited for the type of therapist I will get to be/ This time next year I will have had my license for over 2 months and hopefully have been practicing in that time. I get to do play therapy with kids this year and am super stoked for that opportunity. I also am continuing work with survivors as well as other adult clients through some part time work. It is a great step in the direction of my career.


Stuff has been great but man it has be hard. School is 50-60 hours a week during a pandemic with trauma stuff coming up. I saw my FOO in early June and feel like since I got back my trauma has really been kicking me in the tail. I saw abusers that week (not intended) along with my family who I already and working through some emotions about. My relationship with my M in particular is challenging and constantly growing or changing. Many of you know that has been a long road and I think will continue to be so. I am glad I went because I gained a great deal from the trip but it has led to processing of grief like I have never felt before. I am currently confronting some of my scariest demons and more of the deep interwoven guilt that goes into my grief and how complicated that is. There was some truly heartbreaking and crazy making incidents in my life and I am just grappling with another layer of work on them. While being in school studying trauma for that 60 hours a week... it is a great deal to do but I am managing as I always do.

All of that of course placed in a pandemic.. where I am working and fearful for my well being and those around me pretty constantly. Then of course my grandfather having a stroke last week and my great grandmother's dementia really taking a toll... my sister and nice moving (this is a good thing just change), my brother leaving the military (medical leave atm), and just other conflict going on there. I am privy to a lot with my FOO that is maybe important for me to know but not helpful for me as far as sanity goes.


Anyways, I have learned to take downtime and not feel guilty for self-care so much. I have a greater ability to have self-compassion for what I am going through even if I cannot always act on it because of school and work commitments. I am stoked for things to come but need to honor the pain of the past and where I am now. It is complex as this stuff always is.

I am not sure how much I will be here but it is a comfort to write here and have this space. I cannot explain what it is like to have a space that i can reliably go back to when I need it. I always feel a little conflicted because there is a practitioner/therapist part of me and then the survivor part of me and the needs are at odds sometimes. so this this nice.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on July 25, 2020, 08:04:00 PM
Hi Elpha,
It's good to read your update  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on July 25, 2020, 09:03:15 PM
It is great to hear from you. I think of you away at school. I'm glad to have an update.
Anyways, I have learned to take downtime and not feel guilty for self-care so much. I have a greater ability to have self-compassion for what I am going through even if I cannot always act on it because of school and work commitments. I am stoked for things to come but need to honor the pain of the past and where I am now. It is complex as this stuff always is.
Having time for self-care and compassion toward yourself is wonderful and so important. As a person you are worthy of care and kindness, as a therapist, you will be better able to care for your clients when you are taking care of yourself.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 26, 2020, 08:37:36 PM
Good to hear from you both  :hug: :hug: I think of everyone here often, even though I do not come and write frequently. Life is just super crazy and has taken so many turns.

That being said I will have a couple heavy therapy sessions this week and will likely try to write more as I process.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 28, 2020, 07:37:14 PM
So writing here knowing at some point it will likely make me cry again and I will pause. 4 hours of therapy in two days is so much for anyone, even me.. I have such a high tolerance for this junk but it has wiped me pretty fully. That being said I would not change it. I have had two therapists for a while now, with one just as a sort of place to check in when I needed a little bit of extra support. This of course makes a part of me feel guilty because I do not always believe myself deserving of that much caring, support, and unconditional positive regard. Therapy session number one on Monday night was nearly three hours long and full of intense trauma processing with inner children and super tough memories. AFterwards I felt better in the sense that stuff was getting processed but emotionally tapped out.  Therapy session two was this morning and almost more emotionally charged if that is even possible... (side note, only got one paragraph in before tearing up.. sigh  :disappear:)


Anyways, that session was with the newer therapist that I got after the start of the new year. I adore her and she really is wonderful, but with covid it is so hard to build the same sort of relationship that I have with my other therapist who has now known me for like 4 years. It amounted to just swapping them rolls which is fine. My old therapist is going to do the heavy lifting of trauma work with me and the newer one is going to be the one I check in with occasionally about life stuff. It is what will work best for my healing right now and says nothing about either of them or me really. IT was a difficult conversation to have though because it brought so many tears on my part. Old wounds of worrying I would hurt or disappoint someone no matter what I chose, or that I would overburden one of them, or that I would choose wrong... Fears from a younger me in losing the people that care for me and are almost essential to my ability to do what I do.  It is a younger part of me so afraid to hurt people or lose people or make them mad at me. People did used to leave when things got hard or when I couldn't share enough with them.. or if I shared too much. I lost people that cared time and time again for both things.

On the flip side, I am emotional because I don't feel like I truly deserve either of them... let alone both. They both genuinely want what is best for me, what will mean I am the healthiest and happiest I can be. Niether of them are self-interested in the least and just want me to heal and succeed at all the things I want. That unconditional positive regard and caring is a lot to take in. I have had it in my life for a while but sometimes it is still foreign and overwhelming in its own way.

Okay, that is as much as my emotions can handle  :fallingbricks: I know it doesn't sound like much but it makes me cry.. like just overly sensitive to everything today.. Kinda like I unlocked those tears today so everything makes them fall.. positive or negative. It is a lot.  :stars:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Three Roses on July 28, 2020, 11:17:26 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 29, 2020, 12:30:15 AM
 :hug:

That is exactly what I needed Three Roses, thank you.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Three Roses on July 29, 2020, 12:31:38 AM
You are so very welcome!
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 29, 2020, 12:42:02 AM
There have been tons of tears today, but there has been a shower and a nap since then. I am hopeful there will be no more tears but not exactly a likely outcome.

Today has just kind of hurt and processing this junk is so hard.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 29, 2020, 03:57:27 AM
my dear sweet el, handing you all the tissues you need to wipe up the tears being shed, and a warm blanket of comfort and care to wrap you up with.  you are going to be an amazing therapist - i've always known that - and your light is shining brighter all the time. 

i wish you didn't have to be working right now, especially when it's not fully safe, just so you could have more time to rest while you're processing everything.  i know i can't have everything i wish for, but just want you to know i'm thinking of you, your health and well-being.

and, i agree - there's nothing unfair at all about writing here, no matter what it might be.  if it helps, that's all we care about.  we care about you, and so glad you're doing what's best for you. 

as far as deserving both your therapists - think about it for when you're the therapist and you've got someone you're working with, how you think about them, how you care about them, what they mean to you.  reverse it, and that's how it's happening for both your therapists with you.  i'm so happy to hear your other t is on board for the trauma processing - she's been there all the way with you, and the two of you have done some marvelous work.

thanks for being here, for sharing, for being you.  you're wonderful!  much love always! :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 29, 2020, 01:14:13 PM
Thank you, San for all of those tissues  :hug: It was a lot but I am glad I could release them. I still feel pretty worn out today but the emotional impact has mostly subsided. I will wrap that blanket around my shoulders today and allow it to help me recover from the last few days.

I wish I didn't have work and school on top of this junk right now but that's okay. I am not working a ton so it is manageable. I appreciate you caring for my health and well-being <3

Me thinking as a therapist helps realize more fully what they may both feel towards all of this. They have both told me as much too. It is always strange how the therapist part of menunderstands so much but the survivor part of me doesn't have the same knowledge because it is always clouded by bigger emotions and such. It is a dynamic both of them have faced and still do so at least I am not alone in that. I am glad to be doing trauma work with my oldest yherapist as well, we have done a lot of work and it feels easier to accomplish more with her right now. I am lesrning to know that is okay and both of them are super pro-elpha so whatever is best for me I will get.

Thank you for always believing in me and mg ability to become a good therapist. I am hopeful for the type of therapist I will be when school is done. Ten months from now I may be sitting in my own office getting ready for my clients for that day. It feels a little surreal but I cannot wait.

Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 29, 2020, 01:36:04 PM
i smiled so much at reading what you wrote, my dear.   ;D

i get it about the therapist side and the client side, how the dynamic goes, what you're able to see as a t but not necessarily when you're in the midst of your own issues.  same for me.  i've told my t that when i'm in client mode, i need her to do the therapy thinking for me.  while i'd be able to do it for someone else when i'm in t mode, it just doesn't work the same for myself.  can't think thru the emotional impact.

it's so cool to think of you sitting in your office in a year - wowser!  o my my, what a journey you've made, and how much you've accomplished while on it.  and it's not over yet!  keep taking care of you, ok?  i know it's not always easy, but do the best you can.  much love, and a hug filled with recovery. :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 29, 2020, 04:43:24 PM
Glad you smiled at that. My t explained to me that she has her therapist part go sit in an office she has visualized in her head during her sessions. She has to seperate the part in sessions much like I do. I can't therapize myself and I have to let go of judgment of that otherwise I get stuck. I know so much about traum, the body, how to adjust feelings and patterns but I can't always do that for myself. We need help of others to sort this stuff out so we can sort stuff out for others. I find I can't be in my emotions like I need to be if I am in my therapist brain, at least not in the way I need to be for trauma work on my stuff.

It is a tremendous journey and I have so much more on it. I get to start working with kids in a month and do play therapy (I already have some intense hours of training in it). I am getting my emdr training in the fall and doing some work in IFS and sensorimotor. My classes will be super hands on as well. Plus I have gotten to learn so much about changing systems to be teauma informed and healthy. It is great. I am excited for all thay I can try to absorb. It is super challenging and stressful at times but worth it.

I will keep taking care of me, and always will. It has taken a lot of practice and patience.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 29, 2020, 06:52:30 PM
you are simply amazing! :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 29, 2020, 10:27:51 PM
Thank you dear  :hug: I wish I felt that way today. I guess I felt it for a little while but am not back to hurt and guilty unfortunately. It will pass but I think it will take some processing to do that which just takes time. I went to schedule with my first T for next week so I did not have a gap week between sessions and immediately felt guilty for taking up her time or taking her away from someone else that needs her.. I felt guilty for falling back on that relationship just because it is easier for me. I guess guilty for just taking up space and time even with people who I know want me there..
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on July 29, 2020, 11:46:49 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 30, 2020, 06:04:22 PM
I think all of this is hard because not only am I carrying the new wave of trauma but I am also carrying the weight of feeling like I failed everyone (myself included). I feel like I slipped back and by doing so have failed the people I give hope to and the people that care about me the most. I have known for a while that my PTSD diagnosis is back with a vengence. I will find out a little more fully on Tuesday when I formally redo those assessments, but as a furture clinician I know those scales well and I know what they will say. That feels like failure on my part. It is hard to be the person who exudes hope and possibility when I slide back.. or when I am naive enough to think it was possible not to. It feels like I failed to hold this stuff well enough to not lside back to those symptoms more, like I failed the people who celebrated that win with me.. because I couldn't keep that win. I couldn't be strong enough to hold it all well enough. I become needy and difficult. I need more help and reassurance than usual and I certainly do not exude the little symbol of hope and light that people make me out to be sometimes. I love that I can be that for people but it comes with a great deal of pressure and my trauma tells me I have failed that. It tells me I am not worthy of what others think of me. I carry the extra weight of my trauma telling me I will disappoint people that I don't deserve them because I fell back, because I cannot be that light all the time... because I am not strong enough to be.  I wish I was  :fallingbricks: :disappear:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on July 30, 2020, 07:10:09 PM
Not being a clinician, I don't care too much about what a measurement says. I do know that the progress you made was real and true progress. I continue to celebrate that with you. Part of the beast of trauma is that sometimes it comes at unexpected times and with a vengeance. As much as it feels awful, where you are at is okay. No need to be on a pedestal or to be completely healed (whatever that means). I will speak for myself and say that you don't need to be a symbol of light, you are free to be you, wherever you are at.

I have just started dealing with a heavy issue in therapy. I asked why it was still an issue because decades ago I did ____, _____, ______ to deal with it. My therapist asked me if I had a sense of why. My answer: "Because I failed." As you can imagine, he didn't like that answer.  :rofl: He said that for some reason part of me was needing help and needing to be freed.

I'm sorry you are having to deal with these painful issues, but you are not doing anything wrong by being in a place of hurt and need.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on July 31, 2020, 06:30:26 PM
Notalone, I do not have many words today as I am super worn out but thank you. That meant a lot and was a good source of compassion and support for me yesterday  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 05, 2020, 07:38:55 PM
Now that the semester is done (ended Monday for me) and that my move is well under way I can update a little more here. This week has been super hard but I feel like I am slightly coming out of it. Realizing that people have so much love and hope for me, even if I do feel more of my symptoms right now. I am under immense stress and have had several triggers lately so it makes sense it is a difficulty. I am still getting school work done, moving, and being a friend. I am reminded that the unconditional love I give to others also comes back to me from them. I am lucky to have wonderful people in my life that support me no matter what. People that have supported me from the first time I met them and will continue to. It is easy sometimes to forget those friendships and relationships are not conditional like others I have had in the past. It is difficult sometimes to not be waiting for the other shoe to drop still but I am reminded regularly that I don't need to fear that.

I have been doing a lot of processing work and inner child work recently. There are a few more littles (that is what I call my inner children) that I have met and made connections with. It is always a complicated process but I know it will help. I have also started doing emdr again which is going to help immensely. EMDR always takes a great chunk of energy from me but it is worth the level of processing it allows me to do with the deep feelings. I have bee working through grief, fear, guilt, and anger all at once. Along with some pretty powerful memories it is a challenge and has certainly meant a few truly painful weeks but I am making it and always will.

Even here I am being vague because sometimes it is easier to just give an overview rather than to dive in. I am moving apartments this weekend but have a therapy session tomorrow to work on more processing. I am getting a deep dive during sessions and studying trauma work so I can't always write her as intensely and I don't need to today. Updating feels like enough right now so I am going to listen to that.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 05, 2020, 09:58:51 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 05, 2020, 11:51:48 PM
:bighug:

Thank you dear, a hug is exactly what I need. It is a ton of work even though I know it will be good in the long run.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 06, 2020, 05:45:17 PM
it IS a ton of work.  i've just had to remind myself how much energy that processing takes out of me, even when it seems to go smoothly.  i did 2 emdr rounds in 4 days, and, like you say, altho i know it winds up better in the end, it's still something to get thru, both time and energy wise.

love and hugs to you, sweetie.  you're pullin' a heavy load right now!   :hug: :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on August 07, 2020, 12:47:09 PM
Hi Elpha,
You are doing a ton of work there.  I would like to give you another big hug  :bighug:
I admire all that you're doing, and wish you the best with everything.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 12, 2020, 09:26:53 PM
Thank you both :bighug:

So much has happened since that day and I do not have the energy to write much for now but all is well. I am learning so much and processing it all like crasy. I have moved apartments as well and am soaking that adventure in as I go. Anyways I will update more when I have napped a little bit.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 13, 2020, 08:49:27 PM
The adventure continues and I think I can write a little more here today before going off to unpack boxes.

So much has occurred since Monday (and really over the last month). Monday I explored some new repressed memories, which is always tough. I did better than I was afraid I would and there comes some freedom with knowing and not just guessing them. It is hard and I have a lot of feelings about them but I know I can handle them because I have always handled them as they come. I can see all the support I have in my life and all of my own strength for the first time in a while. I have faith in me, I have missed that.

Today I am still soaking in a lightbulb moment that I had yesterday. I uttered the words "I get to choose" to a friend of mine while talking about this stuff and in saying it something clicked. In the moment I just felt it shift, like a whole new world of sorts. I have known logically that I get to choose so much in my life now but it is different to have the in body experience of it. Like I can trust myself to choose me. I know I will always choose me first never second again. I get to choose safety, love, compassion, acceptance, and so much more in my life. So much of my healing has been coming to terms with the fact I had no choices back then, at least not ones I thought I did. This feels like it takes all of that and accepts it because now I can choose better. I grew up in constant fear and chaos but I no longer live in those two things. I have gotten o choose to heal and to find cultivate such a beautiful life. Nothing gets to take that from me and nothing or anyone is capable of taking that from me. I couldn't choose then but damn I can choose now.

I choose me, every time. I choose to accept the hurt parts of me, to heal them and walk that path even if it is hard. I choose to find safety and peace in my life. Even more I will always choose to bring light and hope into the world where I can. I trust myself to do all of those things and so much more. I know that is not always easy and it probably never will be but for the first time in my life I don't think I fear it because I trust myself, I trust the relationships I have built in my life and the ones I will build. I have come so far from that chaos and built so much for myself. No one or anything can take that progress away.

So I choose me, with every up and down that brings.

I cannot explain how that feels exactly. It is an in body experience that is difficult to name but it is freeing and powerful. Puts me in tears everytime I think to much about it and certainly typing it here. I know I can choose good and that is full of so much power and hope. Dare I say it even brings joy with it? Days after having repressed stuff come up this is not at all what I expected but it is like I have stepped past a wall I have been banging on for months. I have been spinning wheels since June and I needed to get here I think. It just took so much time and now I get to move forward with that knowledge. Choosing to keep healing and growing.

Okay, I am going to go cry now and then unpack boxes
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 19, 2020, 08:44:57 PM
Classes have fully started today (I have 9 hours of class today, am about 4 hours or so into those). 

This week has been a whirlwind of a week. Finishing the move (new apartment is great), having the lightbulb moment and shift that I talked about in my last post. I have those repressed memories come  up, I got more detail the other night as well. I spent time sitting with some pretty horrific sexual abuse memories and details. It is difficult to explain as they are the middle pieces of some of my memories. I normally remember the beginning and end really well and maybe other small moments but a lot of my memories blur the middle part. Like I can tell when I dissociated because there are bits I don't remember well. Those middle pieces tend to be the specific sexual abuse details. I do have many memories where that middle piece is and has always been very detailed but others they do just blur.

So the memories that I sat with were those middle pieces.. some of the hardest and most painful parts of my memories.

I am hating so much that what is coming up and needs processed is sexual trauma. It is something I am capable of processing and holding but it can be extremely heavy. Ecspecially as I am in grad school full time and trying to learn to care for others. I have been spending at least 2 hours a week doing therapy, generally more. I am grateful to be doing those things just also tired from it as well.

In addition to this, I started medication again yesterday. I have not done that in almost 4 years, and they always make me nerous. I am hopeful they will help with sleep and to take the edge off of my anxiety and depression. Although, I do not want it to numb me either. That balance may be hard and it may turn out to be a bad experiment but I am curious and hoping it will help.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 20, 2020, 04:55:09 AM
hoping along with you, dearest el, that your new meds are just what you need.  good luck w/ school - i hope it goes smoothly for you.

my heart's with you, as well as ems, while you're processing those memories.  much love and a hug filled with care :bighug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 20, 2020, 01:58:45 PM
Thank you dear friend  :hug: I am hopeful for meds and school to go smoothly. So far so good but only day two.

I am glad you and ems are right with me as I am processing. This stuff is hard but I keep getting little break through moments so I know it is working. It makes it more possible to know I'm not alone
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 21, 2020, 02:38:06 PM
i feel the same way, about processing this stuff knowing i'm not out there hanging by myself.  keep up the good work, dearie.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 21, 2020, 02:47:51 PM
Glad you feel the same way.

Today has already started off sort of rough. My roommate and I both failed our health checks at work so I am currently not allowed to work, go to school, or my internship until we both come back negative for covid. This morning was the second time I have gotten the test and believe me it does not feel good at all. I have been potentially exposed like 4 or 5 times now and that is only the times I know of.. I feel a bit defeated but am trying to keep the axiety at bay. I am also trying to look at it as an opportunity to take time to unpack and rest at home this weekend since I will not be working this weekend. I should know on Monday or Tuesday at the very latest so I sit at home and hope. I worry because I do have small symptoms of it but know those could be attributed to a million different things. I also have just gotten off too lucky having not had it or had anyone I know directly have it.

Anyways I am going to enjoy some coffee and down time this morning.

I keep getting new layers and break throughs with the processing stuff. Like I was finally able to entertain the idea that it is possible that I will not have to ever go through that type of abuse again. I used to have that belief and it was knocked away a year and a half ago (how on earth has it been that long?). I know I cannot promise it with certainty to myself or the younger parts of self but I can recognize it is possible again. That sounds comforting but it hasn't been because of all the other processing of feelings going on.

Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 21, 2020, 04:53:29 PM
yeah, not only processing all those other feelings, but add the worry and anxiety of being sick on top of it, and you have a heavy load to carry.  so very sorry to hear this, tho.  my hub has gotten thru to the other side of it, and am hoping and praying the same for you.  please rest, be kind and gentle to yourself.  much love and a hug filled with healing :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on August 21, 2020, 07:16:06 PM
Elpha, I have been reading your Journal but not commenting. I think you're doing great! :cheer:  I really hope you don't have covid! I like the way you're turning this weekend into a bit of down time and/or processing time. I'm sure you could do with that, with the amount of things going on healing-wise and otherwise in your life.  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 21, 2020, 08:26:57 PM
Thank you both :bighug:

San, I am not super sick right now and have hopes no matter what the test result is that I will not ever get super sick. I am glad your husband has made it to the other side :hug: It does feel like I am carrying a load too heavy for one person right now and trying to hold it with as much grace and strength as I can.

BB, it is so good to hear from you :hug: I am grateful that you have been reading, it always helps to know that my words are heard. I deeply hope I do not have covid, I am not sure what the outcome of the test will be but I am hopeful. I have spent most of the day resting today and am now doing some unpacking. I am sure this weekend will be down time and processing as needed. There is a ton in my life on all fronts so I am balancing my energy as much as I can.

I wanted to write more here but I find that I do not have a great deal of energy today. So rest where I can and I will write when I have a little more energy
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 22, 2020, 03:31:22 PM
A day and night of rest did me some good. I feel more capable of doing the things I am used to. Things are heavy so sometimes pause is necessary, they feel less heavy today because I took some time away and then to lighten them yesterday. I am processing a great deal of hurt and grief surrounding all f the SA I endured which is a big lift. I know that previously I have addressed some of it but I needed to work past some of the attachment difficulties and the coping mechanisms that came out of it before I could fully get to the core of that hurt. It does feel like I am getting at the core of the hurt. I think this because of the lightbulb moments I have and how I am getting more of my memories and details back. It feels like this is such a deep central wound. I was betting on the wall around it for so long and I am getting somewhere with it. Honestly, this feels worse than banging against that wall because it means feeling the deep ache and learning to live with it as I go through it. I know that it is progress though and that I have a great support system to help me work through it.

My body was used so many times as an object and I in theory have come to terms with that but I think there is left over pain there. I can know that none of that was my fault, that now I have a choice and I didn't then. Unfortuantely, that leaves me with the grief and betrayal to process. When I no longer blame myself or feel guilt, I feel shame and hurt. I will break through both of those with a lot of self-love and compassion. I am finding it requires warmth and kindness rather than my usual stubborn bang on the wall approach. I dive into everything head first generally but this needs so much more of a gentle touch. It reminds me to channel EMS more and to feel frustration at it less. It comes back to choosing acceptance  for myself and finding peace in that. I know that sounds kinda generic and insincere sometimes but from me it is sincere. It goes back to the way I feel when I truly do yoga in a spiritual way and back to the feelings I have when I am able to truly comfort the inner child part of me and give them what they need. There is a warmth and hope in those feelings that are, I think, what will help me heal my shame and grief.

Anyways it helps to write here again. I always have a lot on my mind right now and this is a good space to get them out.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: rainydiary on August 22, 2020, 04:22:23 PM

My body was used so many times as an object

This part of what you wrote really struck me.  I often feel that way too and it is so odd to occupy a body that often doesnít feel like my own.  Thank you for sharing your story here.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 22, 2020, 05:26:12 PM
I am glad what I shared could resonate with you. It is difficult to feel that way.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 22, 2020, 06:52:52 PM
that same thought struck a chord with me as well, rainy, but it was my mind and heart being used and abused, rather than my body.  some major differences, true, but the idea of being used as a tool for someone else's pleasure or purpose rang a bell for me. :hug:

el, i'm just glad you have this place to write some of this out, get it out of you and leave it here.  kindness and patience, my friend.  please, continue to rest and take time for healing if you're sick.  so very sorry you're going thru so much at the moment.  love and hugs, my dear :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 22, 2020, 09:34:13 PM
San, sending hugs  :hug: I can understand it from the mind and heart standpoint as well. There are differences but those both cause painful wounds. I am glsd this rings a bell although wish it didn't.

I do have good news on that front we got our tests back much earlier than expect and they are negative so I am Covid free. I am still unwell but manageable and I am grateful for a negative test.

It is great to write and leave it here as I need to. Knowing it can be somewhere and I can come back to it when I need to is comforting.  Kindness and patience has become a mantra for me at times.

I have taken time to rest and continue to take things slowly as I need to. Sending love and hugs
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on August 23, 2020, 12:19:07 AM
Thanks for your recent really wise reflections (e.g. noticing the abuse starts/end points but not the middle -- it's the same with lots of my own pain/dissociation patterns).

No grand words, though; my biggest wish for you is simply this:
                               
                                   :zzz: Take care, friend.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 23, 2020, 05:33:08 PM
Woodsgnome, thank you dear friend  :hug:  I am taking good care of myself I promise. It is something I have learned to do much better over the last couple of years. I am glad it is not just my memories that are like that, it felt odd to try to explain it to people who might not get it.

Today feels better. Heavy therapy work always means a few days of intensity and then a little down time before therapy again, not a fun cycle but just part of the healing process I guess. It helps I also am starting to feel less sick today. I start my internship placement on Tuesday and am so excited but nervous. I both feel prepared and completely unready at the same time. They are going to trust me pretty quickly with the well being and mental health of elementary school kids. I will also get the chance to work on emotional intelligence and awareness programming for the school. It is great they are working on teaching kids that in their curriculum and having teachers that are more able to identify students that need the most help from us. I am excited for the new adventure but so nervous to be trusted with someone else's mental health, especially that of young children.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 23, 2020, 10:50:10 PM
so glad your test was neg.  glad you're taking care of you.  my therapy cycle is similar, altho right now i'm working on it 2x/week, so it's kind of jammed up at times.  but, as you say, part of the healing process.  i do want to heal, so i'm willing to go thru the cycle.

much love, many hugs, my dear :grouphug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 24, 2020, 12:45:56 PM
Thank you dear  :grouphug: I have definitely done the two times a week before, it does sort of jam up the process.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on August 24, 2020, 01:07:44 PM
Yay on the negative test!  :cheer: Keep taking care of you.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 25, 2020, 12:02:25 AM
Thanks Blueberry  :hug:


Okay, going to just share here. I hate working on healing sexual trauma, super hate it. It means processing body sensations and blocks in somstic stuff. It means talking about how my body doesn't always feel like my own and how kinda of gross and unsettling it feels. Trying to describe the body feeling of know I was used soooo many times... it makes me have to re-explore things that I have already held as certainty. It makes me more touch sensitive and much more aware of what or who is in close proximity.


It is just also harder to talk about and more uncomfy to try to put words and sensations to. Like I know there is no judgment and nothing I could say that would change that therapuetic relationship but it is where there are more shame filled bits of my experience.

I am reminded how much in my life I just wanted to be normal... and be able to be touched by others or even myself sometimes without wanting to crawl out of my skin.

Oddly my primary love language is physical touch and always has been. It clouds that so much because I can't meet that need and be meeting the needs I have around trauma processing right now. I have to kind of touch starve myself to an extent... sigh.

Anyways I am glad to be doing the work but I hate it so much.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on August 25, 2020, 11:57:28 PM
Elphanigh, what you say touches on an important point -- that yes, the work is meaningful but defies and/or stretches one's comfort zone beyond measure, and really bears no logic either, making it harder to deal with.

There are also limiting factors that are ultra hard to navigate. In my own therapy I've noticed so often that yes, I can delve into sexual trauma on the feeling side, but can slip into panic, horror, anger and rage which I didn't sense (didn't want to) I was still buried in. This could further descend into absolute chaos with regards to anything like trying to be cool and analytic about what was so horrific and, more to the point, totally senseless, shameful, but sadly and deeply absorbed into one's core sense of self. Even finding these words to describe it all boggles the mind, causing me to stop, revise, and try to explain what is very difficult for reasons already touched on.

There truly are no words adequate for it. Our interpersonal communications may be built around words, but often there is no vocabulary that comes close to touching the reality of the unreality of abuse and trauma.

I'm hoping your current experiences will allow you to climb a little further out of the hole into which you were dragged. May you be well and I hope it's alright to share this with you -- a gentle  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 26, 2020, 01:19:23 PM
Thank you Woodsgnome  :hug:  I am glad to know someone gets what this feels like and the difficulties with language limitations. I also greatly appreciate the safe, gentle hug.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 27, 2020, 02:37:17 PM
my dear el,

processing somatic stuff is, i think, exponentially difficult cuz it's hard enough to go thru memories, feelings, thoughts, etc., but then putting bodily sensations on top of it - whew!  i admire your courage as you go thru this.  do you think a break might help?  as in, letting things settle before you do another round of processing?  i've found that helpful at times to just talk to my t for a session, just kind of free-associate to give my mind a little room to heal.  don't know if that pertains to you - just a thought.

in the meantime, with you all the way.  much love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 27, 2020, 07:21:14 PM
Hi dear friend,

Thanks! You hit the nail on the head. I am happy to just keep chugging along for now but will take a break a bit if we need to. I kind of gauge how much I do per week based on how I feel.  Sending lots of hugs  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on August 31, 2020, 02:56:37 PM
Hi Elpha,
Sending you a safe hug,  :hug: 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 31, 2020, 03:21:10 PM
Thank you Hope  :hug: I really needed it. It has been a long few days, and I don't yet have the energy to explain yet. Likely will in a day or two.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 31, 2020, 09:16:30 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on August 31, 2020, 10:42:59 PM
:bighug:

Gonna just sit with ems one more night before trying to write about it. I have spent my day resting and using healthy distraction to help the process.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 31, 2020, 11:08:34 PM
good for you, el.  so very glad to hear it.  it sounds like you're doing exactly what you need to do for you.  yay!  love and hugs, my dear :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 12, 2020, 05:21:31 PM
So I disappeared for a couple of weeks because I have been going through the most intense transition in my healing that I have experienced. I really haven't had the energy or the words to write it here and I still don't have all the words or energy really. I did feel like coming here to write some and check in as well.

I have been digging (both intentionally and not) at some of the deepest most painful wounds I have. It feels like getting to the core of my lifetime full of trauma. This has meant so many realizations, difficult days, memories, and hours of processing. All while being in grad school during a pandemic with two jobs and a nonprofit to help continue to develop. It's a lot to say the least.

A couple nights ago I had several big world view shattering realizations at the core of my being. They are a step in the right direction but they bring so much gut wrenching pain and some anger. It causes me to reevaluate so many memories, relationships with people, and life long thought processes. My therapist said it was basically that I had five or six major revelations kind of domino style. Basically that one of them would have felt like a lot so multiple of them of course felt like it overwhelmed my system because it did and would have for most people.

I have been putting the puzzke pieces of my life together in a way that makes more sense and is more clear than it has ever been. It has meant seeing how events rippled to cause so many other things in my life. Seeing how being born into trauma and into a family that needed me to be perceptive of everyone's needs led to everything else in my life in one form or another. Like a series of events that finally makes some sense.

It means seeing that I was screwed before I met any of my worst abusers.. that in the pivotal moments of my life where things could have been different I didn't see that there was another options because I was never taught there was another option. That I did exactly what I was raised to do. I protected those I cared about and met the needs of everyone at all costs. That cost happened to be myself for many years.

I also have to grieve the fact that nothing that happened was my doing. I can't be to blame for the things I did to survive, for the moments that I wasn't the perfect little savior because I could never have been perfect at it. There were impossible odds and I did everythign I could.. I did more than I should have ever felt the need to do. I have held some level of blame, guilt, shame for so many moments when none of it was mine to hold. I spent years punishing myself both consciously and subconsciously for those things.. i have to grieve the pain that caused me, that I brought on myself as a result..  the things and people that I turned away because I didn't believe I deserved it.. the parts of my life where I didn't value myself and got hurt because of it.. or lost things because of jt..

Then of course comes the fact that I have to recognize the people that were so abusive to me were because they could be.. not because I did anything. It means I have to grapple with the idea there is just evil in the world and I dealt with so much of it when I was young..

Then my parents.. my M loved me very much but she was not strong enough to save me, none of my family was. They were preoccupied with themselves so of course they couldn't see me because they weren't strong enough to deal with what that meant. That was never fair but I as an adult and an empathic sound can have empathy for it even if it makes me angry too.

There is more but I feel like I need to save that for another time. Doses of this  otherwise it becomes overwhelming again  :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on September 12, 2020, 05:58:35 PM
I hear the enormity of what you are going through in your understanding, intense emotions, and life-altering internal shifts. My heart is with you.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on September 12, 2020, 06:57:27 PM
I hear the enormity of what you are going through in your understanding, intense emotions, and life-altering internal shifts. My heart is with you.  :hug:

 :yeahthat: (Thanks for providing words, notalone. I'm at a loss for them atm)

Elpha, I've known you here on the forum for a comparatively long time. I hear that everything is overwhelming rn. otoh I read so much progress, so much healing and also how much courage and also just, idk, ability?? that you have. I know we say "don't compare" but nevertheless you've made such huge progress and managed throughout the time on the forum to apply so much of it to your daily life. That's one of the overall goals to healing, presumably. Whereas I have made a lot of emotional progress but I'm slower at integrating that and applying that in daily life. That's just the way it is, I can't speed it up (my T says that too). Whereas you - I'm in awe of the amount you have managed and how e.g. atm you have all this pain and those realisations and you're still holding down 2 jobs, going to grad school and more. Wow.  :cheer:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 13, 2020, 05:18:02 PM
Thank you both for your words, it means a lot to know people understand and hear what this feels like.  :hug:

Blueberry, thank you for the reminder and seeing my progress. I have worked extremely hard and been very lucky to have some really amazing people to help me over the time I have been on the forum. You are very right we don't compare of compete with any of this. We each heal at our own rates. Honestly I also think mt schooling and work is part of why I have done so much so quickly. My therapist agrees because I have been surrounded and absorbed in mental health and trauma work for a year and half at this point. Learning it professionally also causes me to need to do it emotionally.  Sometimes that is a great thing and other times it feels like now where it is overwhelming to have so much so quickly.

Anyways, I feelt a bit lighter and better today. It goes up and down but I am determined to keep my head up and work as much as I can on itm
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 13, 2020, 05:52:03 PM
sending you a supportive, caring hug and lots of love, el.  you're remarkable. :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 13, 2020, 06:46:44 PM
:bighug:

That means a lot dear friend. Sending hugs your way as well.

You used the word remarkable and it made me think. This is about to deviate into my own thought processes so mostly off topic. Over the last couple of weeks I have been called so many kind things that I still wouldn't fully call myself, kind of like remarkable. I got called one of the strongest and most resilient people I know by a friend.. a hero (that is the most difficult one).. kind and capable etc.. I still don't fully believe the kind words that I get labeled as. It is a process and I am still working on believing them. I guess it isn't bad I don't fully get it but still.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 25, 2020, 01:45:32 AM
Okay, coming here to reflect and pose questions I don't yet have answers to and may never have answers to but I need to express them.

*Trigger Warning* mention of SA (nothing detailed but is the subejct of the post)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

As I have probably previously posted in the forum somewhere (although I am not sure, I ahve bee here like 3 years?  :Idunno: ), I was sexually abused everyday normally mumtiple times a day for the better part of 6 years. I also have things that came before and after that, but are more single incident stuff.  At around 13 or 14 I did the math for the first time (not the last time I would do that number)... I calcualted what would be the best guess for the range of times I was sexually abused, ususally raped in those instances... at a very low ball that puts me at 1500-2000... on the higher end that puts me potentially around 5000... no person should ever survive that. Yet, here I am. I used to question my memory of it so much but I know my truth and unfortuantely that is it..

I have done so much healing since I started my journey nearly 8 years ago.. but now.. now I have hit the point where it is important to start working on the body stuff associated with the sexual traume specifically. I have spent years one the emotional stuff, on the neglect, on the physical abuse side...  working with and around sexual abuse memories because they were always present.. reducing some of the worst without addressing the middle part of the memories.. the part where the sexual trauma occured. Honestly, with all my healing work and all of my clincal studying I am still unsure of where to start with that. How does one go about healing from that much? How do I heal from such insurmountable pain and darkness? How to I heal wounds I will never be able to fully express in words? Is it even truly possible? Me surviving and being functional was a miracle.. Can I really ask for more?

I feel like I can barely conceptualize the entirety of my experience and I am the one that lived it.. but holding all of it at once would have buried me. I wouldn't have survived. So of course I can't because I am not sure anyone ever could truly conceptualize what it feels like or what it was like. I don't think I will ever be able to. I could write several books and never come close to that feeling. How do I heal from something I can't even really capture and voice? It feels almost impossible because I know it should have broken me and really should have killed me but it didn't. Words will never be able to truly convey my experiences.. the feelings.. etc.. Language is far too limited.  :stars: :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Three Roses on September 25, 2020, 05:27:20 AM
I agree 100%. Peter Levine has some wonderful books on the effects of trauma on our bodies, "In An Unspoken Voice" and "Waking The Tiger".
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 25, 2020, 12:23:25 PM
Thank you for that reminder, Three Roses. I have one of his books sitting on my shelf also with some stuff written by Patrick Ogden and other who work in the body. It would probably be good for me to pull one of those out and get reading.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 25, 2020, 01:48:05 PM
hey, el,

it's taken you a lot of time and work to even get to this point.  may i encourage you to be patient with yourself?  i can't imagine how daunting the task must seem when you look at those numbers - they are overwhelming to see!  one step, one minute at a time, ok?  if possible, chip them into as small of pieces as need be, and one by one, that incredibly hurtful and - yep, no words - mosaic will be taken apart and disposed of properly. 

you've come so far, done so much to get yourself to this point where you could even look at something as tangible as numbers.  that's amazing, you're amazing - truly a woman warrior spirit who shines her light on this darkest of the dark.  you are a beacon who others in your field will be attracted to, and those you help will heal all that much more quickly in your glow.

i'm not just saying pretty words, i mean every one.  i've always seen it in you, and you know that, from the beginning.  there's something about you that brings the idea of a light coming from you.  right next to you on all this.  there's a reason you survived, and i'm pleased to be part of your journey.  much love, gentle, caring. healing hug to you, my dear :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 26, 2020, 02:41:25 PM
San, thank you  :hug:

I am choosing patience with myself. It is a skill to give myself grace as I work through it. It is a daunting task, but one I have to have faith I can do. You are right, there was a time I could not have looked at something that tangible and be okay. I am okay though and will continue to be.

As far as your kind words, I believe them. I know you always mean them and I am coming to finally see what everyone else sees in me. That light and hope everyone sees in me. I can start to see and feel it in myself, I have always felt it just could never name it. I guess it is part of why I survived.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 28, 2020, 03:04:18 PM
I have found that over the last few days there have just been moments of immense pain and sadness but there are also moments of great joy. Everything in moderation including feelings I guess. Tonight I have therapy and am not sure what I will say or talk about tbh. I have been trying to decide how far to go into things and what things to go into. Sadly, I know what I need to go into and am not sure I have the strength at the moment to do it. We will see.  It is difficult to express and I know I have some words for it but saying them is vulnerable and painful. I am trying to be resiliant and brave though
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on September 28, 2020, 07:04:23 PM
Hi Elpha,
I just wanted to send you a hug  :hug: 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 29, 2020, 01:59:50 AM
Thank you Hope  :hug:

I did the thing tonight. Truly, the 13 year old part of me did the brave things today.  I could not fully say all of the words but I could type the ones I needed to so my therapist could see them.  Me could then process some, which really turned into processing the fear younger me had about allowing my T to know and hold some of it. Fear that she would be just another person that left, or that it would be too much, or make her look at me like I am less... being able to talk to my T about how that 13 year old feels. Matter of fact she is the one that asked because she knows well and we have talked some before about it. After working through that, which really took her showing up for me and recognizing why it would be hard and truly taking the time to tell me why it is different now. Also never pushing or invalidating the feelings or fears.

It allowed me to share more feeling words and open a bit about my truth. She has known a lot but sharing more of the depth and feelings of it. I know it looks or seems small but it is very big. I know it is such a long road but a t least I have started it.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on September 29, 2020, 10:28:42 AM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 29, 2020, 05:38:04 PM
Thanks Hope  :hug:

I am still really glad that I managed to start to have that conversation last night. It means I am pretty exhausted today but that is rather worth it. Thankfully I spend my Tuesday's at my internship and get to see kids all morning. I honestly am loving the play therapy thing, not sure I will every want to work solely with young kids but I do really enjoy it right now. I was worried I wouln't like it but so far I love it. I am so glad to be able to give kids a safe space, kinda being the person I needed when I was younger. It is weird to be on this side of the equation but I am so glad to be able to use my heart and passions to create safety for these kids. Even if it is just in the play room.

As far as my own stuff, I am coming to recognize that it is big but that I can hold it still. I am capable of holding the pain without it being entirely overwhelming and that is progress. Even a year ago I could not have done that without falling apart. I am not sure I wuold have even tried then. I do hate that I have to do the work becuase it feels unfair but I know I will always choose to do the work to heal. I will likely come back and talk more but for now this is enough
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 29, 2020, 09:28:39 PM
we talk about small steps a lot here, but i do believe that, even if they feel small to us, they truly are large.  anything the moves us in the direction we want to go can be huge.  getting one word out really is a big deal, cuz it opens that door to let more and more out.  you're doing great, el.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 29, 2020, 11:35:22 PM
Thank you for validating this step as a big one  :hug: I am sharing as I can muster up the bravery. I know I have seen her for years and that I regularly share difficult things but every new layer requires a bit of tip toeing for a bit. This one is because my 13 year old self is the one allowing the vulnerability and opening up. She has always exuded anger and protective energy. We have worked with her slowly and she has finally started sharing her hurt and emotions. Inner child work is complicated sometimes and may sound strange but it works. It does feel like a part of me is finally trying to feel and trust. It is so painful and takes more strength or courage than surviving ever did.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on September 30, 2020, 02:37:48 AM
I know that everything I share, even relatively small things, is a risk. Even when your 13 year old self shows anger, it is a brave and risky thing to do. It is  a very big thing that the 13 year old shared what she did. If I could see the 13 year old IRL, I would want to do something comforting for her; a soft blanket or lovely smelling lotion.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on September 30, 2020, 02:58:39 AM
Thank you for seeing that :hug: Anger was such a big step when it happened, I had forgotten that. This vulnerability is a whole different adventure, or so it seems.

13 year old me would love a nice warm blanket, thank you for sharing ❤
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on October 01, 2020, 01:42:38 AM
 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 06, 2020, 03:54:17 AM
I wanted to give a short update here, and hopefully a more full one later. I need to get to bed though, it is late here and I work with my clients starting at 8am...  :stars:

That being said I am doing the things and starting to feel stronger and better as a whole. I still have really difficult days and moments but by far I am doing so very well. Tonight I was finally able to start addressing my shame around my sexual abuse. It was a long discussion of body sensations, things that aren't 'normal' about the sexual part of my being because of it and the shame I hold around that. 13 year old me was able to talk about how hard it was growing up being scared of what is natural development in preteens and teenagers.. I grew up scared that those meant I was like my perpetrators and having to pretend around my friends that I wasn't different (add that to having to fake not being gay...). I got to talk about how unfair and confusing all of that was. How more than anything I wished and still do wish I could just be 'normal'. I shared how parts of me still fear that others will see me as broken or used because of my long history of sexual abuse that will always have some affect on me. I got to talk about how unpredictable my mind and body are.. that sometimes intimate things are okay and others they aren't. How I feel like that has gotten worse over the last few years, but having my T point out that it is likely because I am less numb and more aware of my body sensations and body memories than I was before. I shared a lot of things I have felt shame over and never shared with anyone but that I am ready to try and face. I am as ready to face this stuff as I ever will be.

I also sat here tonight, realizing how much love and caring I have cultivated in my life. I get to be surrounded by people that accept me and my truth without expecting me to change or hide it. I have people in my life that love me the same amount at my lowest moments as they do my victorious ones. I have people that will celebrate the fact I could finally be vulnerable and know how big that is for me even if they have never had to do it themselves. People that love me for just me and not for the things I accomplish or do. It is more than I could have ever dreamed of or wished for as a kid. I could have never imagined it this way. It makes it possible to go on this journey. I could not do it without it tbh. Even bigger, I realize I do deserve all of that love and good; I have always deserved it even though it was not given to me. I get to have the no strings attached type of love and caring now. I also finally know I love myself in that way too. I love all of me, not perfectly, but I do truly love myself. All of me, not just the over achiever put together part of me. I love all of my hurt younger selves and my heart at the darkest of my moments. I can embrace both now, that will never be perfect but I can do it.

I would have never been able to do or feel any of the above several years ago. Diving into this stuff is so painful and terrifying at times but I wouldn't change it. I will also always choose healing. I will always choose the hard road of working on myself because I deserve that.

For now, sleep. I feel a serious vulnerability hangover happening and was up late doing homework tonight. Off to cry some tears of pain and love all at once.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 06, 2020, 02:26:07 PM
you are amazing, el.  simply amazing.  i remember you a few years ago, the relationships you had, just beginning to recover and heal from all the horrors in your life. you've come so far, and to now be able to address the shame piece of everything you've gone thru speaks to your strength, determination, and perseverance.  i can't say enough pos. things to you about you.  i'm just so happy to know you, be part of your life (even if only virtually) to have been able to witness this transformation.

thanks for continuing to share this progress.  you inspire people to keep going, no matter how difficult it may seem, no matter how frightening.  i'm just so glad for you!  ;D

much love and a hug filled with wonderful for you :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 06, 2020, 02:38:48 PM
Thank you dear friend  :hug: I am so glad you are part of my journey and share in the good and the bad.

Honestly, all of that knocked me out pretty hard. It is good but man it meant no sleep, nightmares, and needing a day off. I recognize that even though so much of yesterday was good that it was still a lot of really big things and that can take a lot out of me. I am choosing to be self compassionate and rest when I need to. It's okay to need to recover from even those good moments.

I know what you say is true. I have come so far in several years. Also, I do try to inspire people with by sharing my journey and my hope. If I can do that I have gotten to bring something good from some awful things.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on October 06, 2020, 05:31:45 PM
I know what you say is true. I have come so far in several years. Also, I do try to inspire people with by sharing my journey and my hope.

 :yeahthat: :yeahthat: You have come really far in such a short time and you do inspire others too.

Elpha, I haven't read your post above because I saw reference to CSA or SA and I'm worried about being triggered atm. However, I agree with san that you have come amazingly far in an amazingly short period of time. In fact recently I was reading way, way back in Three Good Things A Day and saw that in those early threads some of your Good Things were similar to mine (being able to get out of bed in the morning e.g.) and you're way beyond that now. And just other things you mentioned in 3 Good Things, I thought to myself: Wow, Elphanigh now - like a whole new person! If that sounds depersonalising or something, then let's say: a difference like night and day. :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 06, 2020, 05:37:12 PM
 :hug:

That means a lot to hear Blueberry. It is like a whole new Elpha. I feel like there have been a few new versions of me over the years here. Each of them a little stronger and a little braver.

I haven't got back in those threads forever. It was sometimes such a difficulty to just get up and moving at all. Now, even after long nights I feel like that isn't the case. Thank you for sharing what you read and noticed  :hug:

I thought about going back and reading bits of old journals but can't bring myself to yet. I have a lot of work left to do and feel a lot of things but thay version of me is so different than where I am now. I couldn't have envisioned the difference a few years woild make.

Also, glad you didn't read it if you are worried about getting triggered. I didn't think to add a warning as it is small but maybe I should.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on October 06, 2020, 05:39:31 PM
no worries about TW in your own journal! I think it's up to me to not read a post out if I'm worried. It probably would'v been fine to read but I simply decided to not read.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 06, 2020, 06:14:44 PM
Good to know Blueberry, thank you  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on October 07, 2020, 01:41:45 AM
My mind is not coming up with words, so I'll just send a hug to you.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 07, 2020, 02:25:30 AM
Thank you  :grouphug:

It ended up being a really hard day today so the hug is super helpful  :hug: I can't explain the bad day yet but that's okay. Maybe tomorrow.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 07, 2020, 01:51:47 PM
So it has been a rather rough 24 - 36 hours or so. I am getting there but goodness progress comes with a price sometimes.... I have had nightmares every night for basically a week now and they got vastly worse after my appointment Monday and then again after last night's processing. I need to write them out and sort of process them some in words so I am going to put them here knowing they are safe. That being said they are really difficult to hear/read about so I will be pretty vague but still giving a warning to anyone who may be more easily triggered by mention of SA even if it was just my nightmares. I will also try to give and end of trigger warning note if I write past them.

**Trigger Warning**


Nightmare from  the night before last: It was almost like several of my memories growing up but it was jumbled and wrong. In it I played the roll of one of my female abusers at about age 17, and my biggest abuser was in the role of the 5 year old child.. It was like living that set of memories and feelings from the other side... I woke up panicked because of it. I know I am nothing like my abusers and am truly not capable of ever doing any harm, certainly not like that. However, stepping away from my judgment and fear around that nightmare, I know that young kids often retaliate by hurting the person the same way they were hurt. If a 2 or 4 year old is hit they hit back etc.. so of course the younger parts of my subconscious retaliate in the way they were hurt.. The parts of me that need so badly to take control and power back from the things I went through showed in that nightmare. It and the things under it scared all of my littles and myself and caused a need to process some really difficult memories and body feelings.

I had to address my two year old's feeling of being cold and scared as a small kid... and the feelings of trauma in my hands when I wanted to run but couldn't because I was being held down or pulled.. or the feeling of having to clench my hands to get through so much but never getting to use that fist to hit someone and get away because I couldn't.

Nightmare from last night was entirely different... I was a doctor in this one which is okay but instead of doing surgery which is how the dream started I got pulled away to an emergency (was the only one to go see what it was)... Ended up getting brutally murdered (except I was still breathing). I won't describe how I was almost murdered... When he thought I was dead, he carved a mark with a scalpel behind my ear which I stayed quite and dead seeming through.. but he then decided to sexually abuse what he thought was a dead body... which of course meant I tensed up and made a noise in the dream so he realized I was still alive... Which meant him pushing onto the mark he had cut into my skin and making the other pain worse... I only woke up when my body would have passed out from the level of physical pain in the dream.

When I woke up.. I made some sort of noise as both my cats came running very concerned like. I was also in actual physical pain in the two spots he was hurting at the end of my dream.. The pain that would have caused me to pass out in the dream. It took me a while to recover and I am not certain that I fully have tbh.

*End Trigger*




Okay, so no more triggering things. I just hate that progress also means my subconscious gets to run rampant and ruin my sleep. I take medicine to  help my nightmares and it is obviously not doing anything for these because my mind is just so wired and over run with stuff it needs to process. I am exhausted because of school and work.. and trauma work.. put on top of that I am not sleeping well because of these and I am doing all I can to get the bare minimum done and not just look exhausted all day, every day. I know they will subside but man I need them to do so quickly.  :fallingbricks: :spooked:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on October 07, 2020, 03:14:20 PM
This one I read - go figure - but thanks for the TW here.

OMG, those are horrendous nightmares. Sending support  :hug: :grouphug:  also support and comfort to little 2yo Elpha. I'm glad your cats are so sensitive to your emotions.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 07, 2020, 04:15:33 PM
Yeah, this was probably the harder of the two posts to read.. Glad I put the TW there. Thank you for reading though.

They are very horrendous and are difficult to shake off. Even 7 hours later the one from last night still occasionally comes back like an intrusive memory would. :hug: :hug: I super appreciate the support as does 2yo me. She is very happy to take in the comfort from you. My cats are great for that even if it is not as bad as me waking up gasping/squealing... I can tell when I have had a rough night because I will wake up with them next to me or on top of me just kind of watching over me. It probably helps even when I am not awake to have that presence.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on October 08, 2020, 12:35:07 AM
I'm sorry you are having such horrible dreams. I can see where the distress of those would stay with you a long time. I hope and pray that tonight you get a break and are able to sleep peacefully and soundly.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 08, 2020, 01:38:19 PM
Thank you, Notalone  :hug:

I got a little bit less of a nightmare last night and some sleep. Not a lot but I feel like I am doing everything I can for it.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 09, 2020, 10:33:25 PM
glad the nightmares are subsiding.  they can be rough and exhausting.

sending love and a hug filled with restful sleep.  you've been thru a lot. :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 10, 2020, 05:46:09 PM
Thank you dear  :hug: they definitely were exhausting  and I am starting to sort of catch up on sleep. It has been a process. Inknow my mind is just trying to process alot through my subconscious. I do feel like I have been through the ringer lately but I am healing a lot and have to have faith it will get better.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on October 11, 2020, 03:14:43 PM
At least now you've made it through a few 'ringers' and come out the other side. Now you have some substance to the faith you're speaking of.

Kudos, yes; but the best part is establishing some solid footing as you enter the next phase of a life of meaning and self-realization.

Thanks for stopping and sharing -- we need stories such as yours to point to and say -- yes, me too. Sure it's all baby steps, still there's endless possibility when each one follows on a fresh and invigorating series of previous strides, all of them taken even against great odds.

                                       :grouphug:

Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 11, 2020, 07:36:11 PM
Woodsgnome, your words always bring such wisdom and great reminders to me. It has been a bit harder to have the faith that I would get through this one and begin taking those steps towards more healing. As I am starting to feel better, and have kind words such as yours, I am reminded I have gotten through so much worse and always come out the other side.

I have taken hundreds of baby steps and continue to do so.

It is me working to that new start. I graduate in May and life will change so much. I will get to start a new career and path. I hope to do so from a healthy spot in my life  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 12, 2020, 04:57:03 PM
I feel a little stronger and more capable every day. Sleep and a bit of time off do great wonders. I have been able to sleep without nightmares since Thursday night (4 nights in a row  :cheer:). Yesterday, I took the day completely off and it was spectacular. I needed time to just breathe and to not feel guilty about doing so. The only thing I really did was to clean my room some and finish setting up my yoga space. It was super necessary to just breathe and I am better off for it. Being in grad school and doing all the things I do, I rarely get the chance for an actual day off. I don't think I know when the last time I got to do that was.

Little me is doing a lot better than she was. I think time off and a ew nightmare free nights really help. I do have therapy tonight and that understandably makes that part of me nervous because it is difficult to want to go into those feelings when they have just truly started to subside. I still get moments where I remember or my body starts to feel but generally I can remind myself those are just memories and move on with my day. Today with the kids I see for play therapy everything has gone smoothly and I haven't noted any triggers, which I was concerned about and am super glad to not have. I know there is always a chance of it so it feels good not to have that today at least.

Anyways back to working hard but it is good to step in here and share. I might come back after therapy today or tomorrow if I need to just check in a process more.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 12, 2020, 08:32:49 PM
holy moley, el, i can't believe you're almost done!  may!  seems like you just started!  dang, you're amazing.

i echo wg, in that your story is one of inspiration and light for others to follow.  keep up the good work - but i'm especially glad you had a day to breathe.  those are so important.  much love, and a hug filled with continued strength. :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 12, 2020, 10:34:15 PM
Time has gone by so quickly! I am sure May will be here before we know it. It is crazy to think how far I have come. Like I spent my day just being a play therapist and sort of rocking it. I have a lot to learn but I feel like that is coming along well. I see clients by myself and get good reviews from professors on me as a clinician. It is mind boggling! Also I am getting my EMDR training part one and two in exactly 2 months! *insert happy dance* not sure when I became cool enough to get that.


As far as my story being inspiring to others. I am so glad that it is but also always so in awe of that. I don't regularly see it as such because I am often in the thick of it and am just doing what I feel is needed for me. It doesn't normally feel particularly special. I am grateful and honored to be any sort of inspiration to others. All that makes me sound like I need a Ted talk one day lol (I really do not..)

Lots of hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 13, 2020, 03:02:32 PM
wowser!  your emdr training starts in 2 months!  colleague, indeed!   :cheer:  i'm so excited for you, have loved seeing this played out.  you go, girl!  love and hugs, el. :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 13, 2020, 04:39:16 PM
It is crazy to be almost truly colleague status I look forward to the EMDR training! I also realize that have have over 100 hours in play therapy training and hands-on play therapy sessions or supervision. Putting in those hours so as soon as I have my independent license (which of course takes two years after I graduate) I can get my RPT.  Thank you for always encouraging this journey San. Lots of love!  :hug: :hug:

Today feels good as well. Therapy was light yesterday, we decided it was the best choice to make sure I got the chance to breathe and give myself another week to feel truly stable. I am grateful that is the decision I went with. I can enjoy feeling stable and continue to rest. Also to play catch up with school and clients before needing to dive back into my trauma work fully. I think having this week will make me more able to tackle it and be okay in the process.

Anyways this has primarily been a life update and less about my recovery but living life is part of the process too as I have found.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on October 15, 2020, 06:51:05 PM
Hi Elpha,
Living life is part of the process, that sounds really positive.  Really great that your training is going so well, and I can sense your enthusiasm for it, it is great.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 19, 2020, 01:20:21 PM
Thank you Hope  :hug:

Living life is definitely part of the process and a super important one at that. I got to do that a lot this week which felt good. I had some difficult and sad moments regarding trauma stuff but overall a much better week than I have been having.

On a different note, I found out on Thursday that I need surgery on my hand and wrist. They hope to do it over my Christmas break from school so I do not have to wait until May to get it done. As much as I do not want to have surgery, I know it is the next logical option and that I truly do not want to wait until May to do something about it. I know it would get worse between now and then and it is already rather bad (seeing as they want to do surgery and it affects me all the time).. This has been stressful and scary knowledge. Certianly a huge decision but one that is easier than I thought it would be. I know what I need to do to ensure I feel better and can use my hand in the ways I want to. The recovery will suck, not having my dominant hand for a bit will be a challenge but I know I need to do something for it.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 20, 2020, 04:43:24 PM
I am feeling pretty solid today, even after doing EMDR yesterday. I am so used to being exhausted the day after sessions. We started processing one of the memories that were/are creating body memories for me. It was a weird combination of narrative therapy and EMDR in a way that worked really well. I started to tell the story and we processed small moments because the story has multiple parts to process through. I hate that it will probably take several sessions to finish just that memory but I am also so glad to be much better off after a session for once.  It was difficult to begin telling a story of csa, I immediately started to have shame feelings. My T, who thankfully saw that start to occur, spent the time to reassure me that nothing I told her would make her think differently of me. That no matter what happened to me there was no judgment or shame because it is what was done to me. I am still trying to learn that, to confront shame by being able to speak about the things that happened to me. It is scary but if I trust anyone with that it is my T. We have talked about stories before but I have only shared one or two in my time with her (almost 4 years), and I did so in less detail than I am attempting to do this.

I also recognize, the first time I had a T she had me recount the worst memory I could think of aloud several times. She also wanted me to practice saying the word rape because she believe it would give me back some power. That word is still difficult at times, but I did learn to say it. All that to say though that she was super retraumitzing for me. I was not ready to talk about it and tell specific memories to anyone yet. I felt like I needed to because that is what she could help me with.

It is different now though. I am ready to try to talk about them. We also do so slowly and I can choose what I do share. I also get to do it in small chunks spending time processing emotions and body sensations through emdr and movement as I go. It feels a little painstakingly slow but it is healthy and not retraumatizing like it was the last time I tried to do this. It feels different and I feel much braver than I used to be.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 27, 2020, 03:18:15 PM
Well, it has been a long week and I could really use some good thoughts and such.I started getting sick on Thursday and have now been sick for 6 days. I went to the doctor on Saturday because my symptoms were getting worse and felt kind of like bronchitis which I have had many times. However, there were a few symptoms that were not consistent with my usual illness. I got tested for Covid, of course. I am still waiting for the test results which I hope will be back today and hopefully be negative.  It has been a sort of difficult roller coaster, feeling well for a bit and then waking up feeling awful again the next day. Today seems like my symptoms are consistently better but my body is still exhausted and hurting from being sick for so long.  I have been quarantining away from my roommate mostly just in case because the nurse who has had covid before told me she was concerned because it sounded similar to her sickness. I will likely be okay either way but it is nerve wracking because it is a big deal especially for the people I have been around the last few weeks.

I have found triggers I did not know I had over the last few days. Especially around food and dependency on someone else. We had to modify how I was quarantining for the sake of my mental health otherwise I would not have been able to cope really. Hopefully I will get cleared today and not need to worry about that further but for now I just wait not so patiently for my phone to ring.  :stars:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on October 27, 2020, 06:56:44 PM
 :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 27, 2020, 07:58:22 PM
Thank you Blueberry  :hug: I am just antsy to know
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 27, 2020, 08:21:11 PM
i would be antsy, too.  here's hoping!  much love and a hug filled w/ anti-covid energy! :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on October 28, 2020, 03:09:12 AM
 :bighug:  ...
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on October 28, 2020, 03:19:32 AM
Waiting for that test result would be stressful. I know there is no good time to be sick, but you are balancing so much in your life right now, it must be even more difficult.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 28, 2020, 03:15:56 PM
Thank you all  :grouphug:

I am grateful to say my test results came back negative last night. It is good to be just normal sick because I can focus on just healing myself physically. The emotional toll was massive not knowing. I found triggers I didn't know I had. Now I can recover from it.

Here's to rest while trying to catch up on homework....
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on October 28, 2020, 04:14:12 PM
Hi Elpha,
I am so glad to hear your result was ok.  Sending you another hug, and hope you enjoy some rest, as well as catching up with your homework.   :bighug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 28, 2020, 07:42:52 PM
Thank you Hope  :hug:

I have elected to skip my 6 hours of class today so that I can rest and do homework rather than lose any chance of rest that I have for the day. My body and emotions both need me to rest and take the time to feel better. I can watch the recorded lectures this weekend when I feel stronger.

Honestly, I not only have to recover physically from being sick (still very much ill today) but also from the emotional toll it took. I found triggers I didn't know I had and found ones I knew I had are stronger than I realized. When faced with some of this I was so triggered and afraid.. It was so emotionally painful and exhausting on top of my physical exhaustion.

One I found but did not know I had was a strong trigger surrounding access to food. Originally I was going to quarantine more fully from my roommate and have her bring me food and such. That was, within the first two hours, super triggering and not okay. I could not mentally handle it. Like being a little kid who had no control over anything. I knew I had food issues but man that brought them out so strongly.... I trust my roommate with everything but apparently that was too much. We altered how I was quarantining to make sure I did not have to contend with that at least. It was still difficult as I did not feel like I could or wanted to eat much while sick (I still don't because my body is still just doing its best. Lots of soup and liquids).

The one I found was stronger than I thought was being reminded how it feels to have the well-being and life of others on my shoulders. I spent so much of my life being told my actions and obedience made sure that the people I loved and cared for were safe. If I didn't do or act as needed those around me could have gotten hurt or been killed.. at least I was told that and did a couple of times witness people getting hurt after I didn't do as asked. So I spent my life with that weight on my shoulders... with that fear.. _I was triggered right back to that because of all of this. Feeling like because I potentially had covid and could hurt those around me just by existing was terrifying and guilt creating... I cried so many tears over this because I so deeply needed connection but felt so bad for just existing in my own home.

Now I find that I need to take what control I can find in my life right now. I have felt so out of control for a week that I need to claim back what I can. Right now, that is focusing on getting caught up on school and choosing to rest as well. I can control (mostly) my ability to heal physically from being ill. I can also control that I am slowly working on my school work to try to eventually get caught up. Hoping for the understanding of my professors and trying to give myself as much grace as I can. I am a little worried I will need to take an incomplete for one of my classes this semester. It is not a huge deal as we have two months of winter break and I could probably do the work in about two weeks. However, the professor that teaches the class leaves at the semesters end so I am not sure how or who would grade the left over work. I imagine the department head or someone close to the professor. I have never once taken an incomplete in a class.. so I am not exactly sure how it works either but I know it would not be the end of the world.

I got this.. it just feels like a lot when my body still just wants to sleep.  :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 30, 2020, 07:21:10 PM
 :bighug:  for you my darling friend.  lots of love, too with healing vibes heading your way.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 30, 2020, 08:39:00 PM
Thank you dear  :hug: I am beginning to feel better. I am on day 9 of being sick but primarily an obnoxious cough and sore throat now. Emotioanlly I have a ways to go but it will just take time. I will write more soon. Lots of love you you San  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 31, 2020, 01:37:41 AM
Okay, I feel like I can write more. Today has been good because I chose to rest instead of push myself. My body and mind have both needed rest. I deserve rest and self-care even when I have obligations. This semester seems to have been one rough thing after another but I am about 3 weeks from the end of it. Rest today and the last 9 days will hopefully mean I can finish these three weeks out strong.

Now for the emotional stuff...

It is harder to talk about how much it sucks to have felt like I did this week. I have not felt like having that much of a breakdown in a while. I remembered what it felt like to be that scared little girl this week and I hated it... Honestly, as a kid I don't think I ever fully felt that because I couldn't. It was not safe to feel like a scared little girl so I learned to tuck all of those into the back of my mind and hide them. I have learned to feel them in therapy and slowly process through inner child work and emdr etc.. Getting triggered into them is vastly different and I never want to feel that way again. I don't think I get a choice in the matter though.

It scares me to feel like that again... to have to quarantine by myself and feel that scared. Now that those feelings have been triggered it isn't as if they just disappear because the danger is gone. I know they exist and now fear them some. I never want to feel that small and terrified again. I know it is a valid feeling and important to feel through it so it heals... but man it is terrifying. I am so brave in my healing journey, facing my darkest demons and daring to share the unshareable.. but I still hesitate and stumble when it is big feelings that are truly uncomfortable.

Feeling through fear has always been one of the most difficult things to do in healing for me. I grew up seeing fear as my greatest weakness; it never served me. My fears made things worse or harder. I have this little 5 year old part of me that is fearless. Her job was to do the hard things and make the hard decisions that none of the other parts of me could. She was my fearless part. The part of me that could step in when I needed to not be afraid, no matter what I was faced with. She was/is the part of me that could stop my fears and endure even the most horrific of things. She kept me and others alive. That is a giant job for a 5 year old and it was learned from my abusers truly. She learned their voices, habits, expectations, etc.. and performed all of them to a tee. Without that I would never have survived.

Under that though, is this little 4 year old who is terrified of everything. Who is a reminder of how scary my life was and how scary it still can be sometimes. She is  the reminder to be cautious because so much harm can come to me and others. She needs nurtured and protected because she carries my fear and no one should ever have to hold of that.

Anyways... I did not have long to type because I have a call but is good to type some of this out.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: rainydiary on October 31, 2020, 03:04:05 AM
I appreciate you sharing and teaching me how to walk my journey.  I hope you find some ease and that the rest of your semester goes as smooth as it can.   :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on October 31, 2020, 03:26:58 AM
Rainydiary, I am so glad that sharing my journey helps you along yours. It is honestly a big hope of mine that sharing my journey helps others with theirs.  I really hope I find that ease as well, thank you  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 31, 2020, 04:10:43 PM
dearest el, it is amazing to me how those fears can pop up, then be assigned to something that happened so long ago.  i don't exactly know when i became fearless, but it lasted thru most of my life.  well done, you, for acknowledging it and tracing it back to where it belongs.  these are survival mechanisms, indeed.  so very glad you made it thru. ;D

and it's so hard to realize you only have a few weeks to go, but even then, congrats to you for taking that time off to rest your body and mind. :applause: i, too, have discovered that when i do the same, the benefits are tenfold.  really makes a difference. so, we keep learning, getting better at how to process this and take care of ourselves, and you are a shining example of the phrase 'from surviving to thriving'.   :cheer:

much love, my dear.  i'm so very happy for you, my heart is smiling right now.   :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 01, 2020, 07:12:17 PM
San your words always bring me joy and warmth, thank you  :hug:  It is difficult to trace it back, the feelings that is. I never became fearless but I learned to shove it away and not feel it. My fear got tucked into the little back corner of my mind and it has slowly been showing itself and allowing me to feel it. I know that means it is safe and I am strong enough for it, but man it is difficult. I do not like to be reminded of the fear that comes with feeling powerless. I have claimed so much power in my adult life by choosing for myself things I love. I have drawn boundaries, taken chances, started growing a career that is mine, and created a home in myself. I took my choice and my power back. However, there is still, and always will be, things in this life I have no control over. Things that will be scary and cause fear. I just have to learn to have a healthier relationship with fear. Not sure how to do that yet  :Idunno: I am determined to figure it out though.

Unfortunately, I am on day 11 of being sick. It is primarily a cough and some sinus symptoms now. I feel like it has morphed between several different illnesses and I am just running the course of all of them. It feels more manageable today though. I have given my body a lot of time to rest but now I need to get work done. After I type this I am off to work on homework as much as my mind and body can manage today. It will be a long week but I am determined. YOu are very right when you said that the time off to rest gives benefits in tenfold. I know that to be true. I am not sure how much I am "thriving" but I know that is just because I am in the thick of the end of the semester during a global pandemic right before a pivotal election... so I feel the stress more than the thriving part.

Sending you so much love my dear friend  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on November 01, 2020, 10:43:24 PM
So glad the test turned out negative! :thumbup: I wish you a good recovery from whatever it is you have atm :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 02, 2020, 07:06:08 PM
Thank you so much Blueberry  :hug: I am back to my internship today with all of the kids. It is an intense day but I am very glad to be back. I do feel like my body is slowly recovering. Today feels stronger than I have so that is a plus.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on November 02, 2020, 10:26:50 PM
Just something I want to say, Elphanigh.

I'm a bit tired right now to try and search out the exact quote, but I recall that you recently wrote something hinting that if sharing any parts of your story here has encouraged others, you hope it's been for good, that your story might prove useful to others feeling trapped in the horror movie that is c-ptsd.

No question, that 'if' part is inoperative -- your story has  touched others on this forum. How do I know? I'm one of those 'others' you've touched and in the process planted the idea that hope exists, even in the darkest of times.

Thank you.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 03, 2020, 02:26:44 PM
Woodsgnome, thank you for taking the time to tell me that. It makes a world of difference to know my story has already touched people. I love to inspire hope in others because hope is such a powerful feeling. It opens so many doors and keeps us going.  I forget that just by being me I bring hope to others. It does not always feel like it because I do not always believe I do anything particularly special or different. I just work hard to heal and to help others where I can. It is just part of who I am and not something I necessarily think about as special or different because it never occurred to me to do any differently.

At times, I have also felt pressure from it because I know how human I am. I have awful days, weeks, and even months. Times where I don't feel hopeful and even feel a little lost sometimes. I am starting to realize being authentic in those moments is just as important and powerful as the times I am able to be authentically hopeful and on top of my game. It shows my humanness and strength to be authentic at the times it is hardest.


Okay, change of subject because I need to put these thoughts somewhere. If you don't want to read worries about the state of the US or politics today tune out now. I just have a lot of worries and fears attached to the outcome of today and to the following weeks.


I have not yet voted because I was unable to early vote or get a mail-in ballot so I am going this afternoon when I get done with clients. There is a part of me that fears what may or may not take place at polling sites this year. I know how much division and violence there has already been so it worries a piece of me. Not only for myself but for those around me an even more those who I care deeply about that are in bigger, more populace places than myself. I also worry about what is to come. No matter which side wins there will be an uproar and it scares me to think what that will look like. After seeing the protests and violence this summer it is scary to think about what is coming after this. I of course know where I want the results to fall but I do believe either way things are not going to be pretty for several weeks at very least. It is scary to think about. There is some real basis to that fear and knowledge that it is not just my anxiety or hypervigilance or catasrophizing..

To add to that, my rights and the rights of people I care deeply about are on that ballot today... and tomorrow they will be in the supreme court which wants to take them away. I am scared to watch as my rights and the rights of others could get stripped away simply because we are different... because we don't fit their picture of what people should be and act like. I am scared that I will lose my right to marry, to safely get healthcare, to rent or buy apartments, to adopt, and even to work.... I am scared for people that will be even more affected that I am. I recognize I do have a few privileged positions in my life and that I will not be as deeply impacted as others so I am scared for them... for the division that just seems to be growing stronger. It scares me to think how much fighting we will have to do no matter what happens today...

So here I am, trying to go about my day with clients. Trying to manage my own anxieties and fears and overwhelm to keep benefiting the kids I see today. KNowing that I cannot watch the results too closely as the day goes or I will create unnecessary anxiety for myself and potentially for my clients. It will all be okay at some point but I don't know how long it will be until it is. I just have to have hop in the goodness in people that I want to believe is in all of us somewhere. I have to believe that kindness and compassion will win out at some point. That fear and anger will not always be what dominates the world's decisions.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on November 03, 2020, 03:40:40 PM
Thinking of you and hoping in the goodness of people too. I'm not checking any news either today though I am much, much less impacted than you.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 03, 2020, 03:46:25 PM
Thank you Blueberry  :hug: I am glad to know you are not checking the news much today either. It will be a tough few days of new reading for sure. I am intent on focusing on school and self care through this time.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 09, 2020, 05:59:28 PM
So I feel a lot of things about life right now. It is a lot of things but mainly I am going to type about the difficulties with the doctors and such right now. I confirmed last week that I did need surgery and this morning I picked a date for it. I am scheduled for surgery on December 1st (less than a month!), and the pre-op stuff is scheduled even earlier than that. I know that surgery is going to help in the long run but man it is scary to go through. It will be okay and it will mean a lot of good things in the long run but it is difficult to cope with it at this moment. I got the call while I was in between clients this morning and just instantly felt anxious and nauseous. That has mostly passed as I have seen 4 clients since but still sort of stressful. I have known I needed it for a while but having a date feels very real. It feeling real can be really scary.

Then of course I am due for a yearly physical anyways.. there is a female-specific part of that physical that I have always avoided because of my history and I am trying to go through with it this time because I need to. It is really scary for me, like super triggering, but I will make it through and it will be again good for me in the long run.

Doctors have never been my favorite and I have spent so much time with them this year it is awful... I know it is me taking care of myself and that is healthy but man I am over it...

Anyways, I need to leave it at that as I do have clients and this is my lunch break...  :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 10, 2020, 11:52:43 PM
I processed some really heavy stuff in therapy while doing EMDR last night. It is good to be processing stuff and not just doing crisis management in a session. I think the last few months have just been one awful thing to another that has made each session just crisis management of some sort.

I was doing EMDR on the feeling of fear that 4 year old me carries. Her image of fear was her sitting in a completely black room, surrounded by nothingness (not so much as a piece of furniture in the room), and she was curled up against a wall completely alone. The beliefs were "I am alone" and "I am worthless", they connected so we went with two instead of just one. As processing occurred, ash began to fall in that picture (kind of watching it evolve and move like a tv), that ash felt like it represented loss for me. It made a blanket of ash on the floor with me just stuck there. 4 year old me told me it was really hard because the darkness felt like it had so many people in it but they just came crushing in on her and she was alone with all of it.. that she felt like that normally growing up. It was, and still is, very heavy. The little 4 year old in the picture was still stuck in it when I finished my session but the feelings were much less intense. It did seem that the little one was stuck in the picture and unable to move because she didn't see that she was capable of getting out or that she deserved to.. it is difficult to know even a 4 year old version of myself did not feel like I deserved to not feel that way and couldn't see a way out. I have seen a way out now and know that I never deserved those feelings.

This all begun with the fears around me getting sick again and the feelings that came up when I had to quarantine away from everyone. That was obviously a super triggering thing for me and has shown me fears I didn't know I still had. I know I will process them and do all I can to help the younger parts of me. It can just be heavy.

Work with clients can also be heavy. I think I am learning how to not take and carry some of the weight or the chaotic energy that my child clients bring to session with them. It takes practice to hold those feelings for them and to not take even a tiny piece with me. I am learning what works fo me to shake that off and only carry my own stuff. Ever an evolving process of being a professional. I even called myself a play therapist aloud today, like just kind of slipped out. It is weird to realize I kind of am that. I see my clients on my own right now and have hundreds of hours of training and practice in play therapy (not to mention the training and hours I have in just normal therapy skills). I am accomplished as far as training goes for someone that is still in school. 6 months from now I will fully be a professional and it blows my mind still..

Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on November 11, 2020, 02:09:58 AM
Elpha, I have warm, caring feelings for the four year old. I know that in time you will find a way for her to be in a bright, safe place.



Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: rainydiary on November 11, 2020, 02:48:07 AM
Elpha, my 4 year self experienced similar darkness and loneliness.  I send your 4 year old self light and comfort. 
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 11, 2020, 01:59:11 PM
Thank you both  :grouphug: My 4 year old really appreciate the light and comfort, Rainy. I am really hopeful I will find a way for her to be in a bright and warm place, notalone. I know she needs to process that dark place before she fully can be so I will be with that 4 year old as she feels through it.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 19, 2020, 12:42:05 AM
I haven't been back to type in about a week, and what a week it has been. It is essentially finals week right now, only we also have three days next week. I believe that being perpetually exhausted is becoming a personality trait of mine  :doh:

Hoenstly, I am proud of how I am managing all of the school work, clients, medical stuff, and survivor stuff. It is not perfect but I have found that I am handling this in a more healthy way than I would have previously. I am able to prioritize me trying to sleep, self-care (in small doses), and enjoy some fun activities. This is by no means perfect, there are moments I choose work over self-care and start to feel overwhelmed (even though I know if I focus on one piece at a time I am calmer and more efficient). I have to still give myself credit for doing better than I used to and having learned to choose my own well being over things like my grades and the perceptions of those around me. That being said I am maintaining my grades and the people around me praise me but I care less about those things than I do about my own well being.

My trauma stuff has been pretty heavy. I am worried about medical stuff which is always triggering for me. I have had a few small triggers and of course I had all of the months of stuff that is built up from the last few months of difficulties and progress. It has been such an exhausting semester to manage my trauma and everything else but I have managed it and will finish it soon.

I am currently working on processing some control difficulties. I have a few things that have been triggered due to feeling like I have or will have a lack of control in ways that remind me of other times in my life. I have had to face a ton of csa memories and feelings... I will likely continue to do so but hoping I can work a little deeper over my Christmas break to feel more solid for next semester.

I know none of this is detailed but for now it is all I have the energy to type. I have much more in my head but that is for a later moment. I am off to finish a paper and a presentation in the next 5 hours...then for surgery pre-op stuff in the morning... :stars:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on November 19, 2020, 04:14:29 AM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 19, 2020, 04:39:06 AM
 :grouphug:

Thank you, Notalone. I needed that hug more than anything else recently.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 25, 2020, 05:54:59 PM
So things are a roller coaster right now. There is so much good and excitement but there is also many things that are hard, painful, or scary. On the good side, only 4 pages of writing stand between me and the end of this semester (yes, I am pausing to write here instead but it is my lunch break), I then only have one semester of grad school left and a licensure test to allow me to be a therapist, I enjoy being a play therapist and am constantly receiving great feedback, I have EMDR training in just less than 3 weeks  :cheer: , and I do really feel like I have found my calling. I am also finding ways to get self-care and rest in the busy schedule which is a long earned skill.  On the more difficult side, is knowing I need to work on my trauma stuff as much as I can over break, knowing I am unemployed until January which I was not financially planning, I have surgery in 6 days on my dominant hand and it will be several weeks before I can use it for even basic things like typing, cooking etc, my M was supposed to try to come out to help and can't so I have to learn to depend a bit more on the people around me but it does also save me some complicated feelings of her being here, but surgery and recovery is scary especially amid a pandemic where going to medical places gives me more risk.. but the outcomes of this surgery means I could go back to doing so many things I love without pain finally. I have missed playing music and being able to draw or even just handwrite.. I just have to let it get worse before it gets better.

Anyways, I know most of that was not trauma or cptsd related but for  now that is what I needed. Trauma stuff gets to wait for me to finish this final paper and honestly as much as I can I would like for it to at least be low level so I can focus on physical health before and after my surgery. I know that is not likely but it would be nice. Well, now it is lunch time and then to write a beautiful 4 pages elsewhere.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 25, 2020, 11:17:54 PM
sounds like you not only have a lot on your plate right now, but in the near future as well.  you're doing magnificently, my dear el, and i'm so proud of you.  the finish line is in sight, and your new trauma training is right around the corner.  i have no doubt all will be well.  you're one of the best jugglers i know!   :yes:  much love and a hug full of encouragement and support. :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 26, 2020, 12:44:22 AM
San, you are very right. I have a lot on my plate and continue to have a lot. Honestly as busy as it sounds the next two months are the biggest break I have gotten in a long time. I am super stoked to be able to see the finish line and to get my EMDR training done. It will be a great tool to have in my belt. Thank you for always have faith I can do it and juggle all the things. It is a talent mostly. For now, I am going to try to focus on prepping for surgery and enjoying a bit of time now that the semester is over.

Sending you lots of love  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on November 28, 2020, 09:16:30 PM
sounds like you not only have a lot on your plate right now, but in the near future as well.  you're doing magnificently

 :yeahthat: :yeahthat: It's great to hear that you think you've found your calling :thumbup: :thumbup: I'm really happy for you. :hug:

Good luck with the operation!
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on November 28, 2020, 10:51:17 PM
I'm proud of you for your diligence in pursuing your career and for your continued personal growth and healing.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 29, 2020, 04:02:51 AM
Thank you both  :hug:

Surgery is Tuesday, so basically 3 days from now. It is scary  :aaauuugh: but I am ready to be on the other side of it. I know it will be very difficult to not have to dominate hand for a while but I will make it. On the other side of this is (hopefully) a pain free hand with the ability to do the things I love with out having to worry about it. Even just the ability to handwrote without pain will be amazing.

All that being said, I do have many fears and nerves. The anticipatory anxiety is probably the worst part of this. It will likely be easier once I have gotten on the other side. So for now I clean my house, do some things iz won't be able to for who knows how long, and manage the anxiety in the best ways I know how.

Not a lot of trauma stuff right now because I have been enjoying down time from school, work, and clients. I have been focusing on rest and recovering from the semester. I will work on trauma stuff over break, prepping for the work to be done next semester. We learn to do processing work with clients and in order to learn we experience it. So I am have to prep what sort of stuff from my past is safe to do that in a class setting. Also to just be as level as possible after months of getting hit with on trauma thing after another.

I would also like to solve my nightmares. They have started pretty full force the last three weeks, despite taking a med for them. I think end of semester stress and surgery anxiety. Hopefully, they will pass once surgery occurs on Tuesday afternoon.

Anyways, on the note of rest I should go do that.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on November 30, 2020, 01:43:50 AM
I'd just like to share this --  :hug: along with best wishes that the surgery goes well.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on November 30, 2020, 02:57:29 AM
 :hug: I really appreciate that woodsgnome. I am nervous and a bit scared but I know the reward is worth the risk. I will let everyone know how it goes as soon as I can
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on December 01, 2020, 05:02:50 PM
Today's the day and I am nervous but managing. The hardest part is not getting to eat or drink water for 14.5 hours before surgery. I am excited to have it done with if for no other reason than to get food and water. Also to finally be on the side of this where healing happens rather than just anticipatory anxiety...

The younger parts of me have been pretty scared but I have them as taken care of as I can today.

Anyways, I have 40 ish minutes before I leave my house and 3.5 hours until surgery starts
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Snowdrop on December 01, 2020, 06:49:26 PM
I hope it goes well, Elpha. Thinking of you, and sending gentle hugs. :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: marta1234 on December 01, 2020, 07:47:25 PM
Sending you support and healing energy your way, Elpha. :) Hope it all goes well  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on December 02, 2020, 12:10:33 AM
Thank you both. Just stopping by to say it went well and I am resting at home. 
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on December 02, 2020, 12:20:11 AM
I'm glad it went well  :hug: Hope it continues to heal well and you get lots of rest  :zzz: :zzz:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on December 02, 2020, 03:16:48 AM
Thanks! It's really sore but it should heal with time and rest.   :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on December 04, 2020, 03:07:43 PM
Dear Elpha,
I hope you're getting plenty of rest, and recuperating well.   :hug:
Take care,
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on December 04, 2020, 09:40:45 PM
Thank you Hope  :hug: I have gotten a lot of rest the last few days. I got to take the splint off today and see my incision. It is a bit over an inch long and by wrist is pretty bruised but it is not too bad.

I don't have much use or movement of my right hand but it is overall okay. I will get it back in doses in the coming weeks. Recovery just takes time.

My nightmares have all stopped thankfully and the inner children have been quiet but okay. I am grateful for the peace and downtime.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on December 05, 2020, 01:39:50 AM
Glad your surgery went well and that your nightmares have stopped.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on December 11, 2020, 05:49:56 PM
This is more of a life writing than a trauma writing. Surgery recovery is going better than I imagined it would. It isn't fun but I am more functional and able than I assumed I would be.

Today is day one of five of my EMDR Training! It is mindblowing to be sitting in a 5 day intensive training as a clinician after having spent years being the client for EMDR. It is a long day but I am thrilled to be able to have a deeper understanding and be able to use emdr with clients after next Tuesday! School and training is going by so quickly and  I am in awe of it sometimes. It does not always feel real that I get to do all of these things and that I will be a full blown therapist in less than 5 months. Even more so that I get to start that journey with 100s of hours of training and experience in play therapy and being fully EMDR trained. Not to mention my training in addiction, sensorimotor, IFS, etc.. I have hope that I will be a truly effective therapist for my clients one day, to be who I needed and give people the things I wish I had and in some cases was given later in my own life (I know in reality I got those relatively early compared to a lot of people, for which I am grateful).

The nightmares and trauma stuff have been so much less since I had surgery and classes paused. It is amazing what removing stress from life does for those things. I am target planning with my therapist to dig deep into things I feel like I need to cover before going out on my own as a therapist. Not that I will ever not have a therapist of my own but there are things I really want to cover before I am a full fledged therapist. It will be some tough work but I am prepped to tackle it head on like I always do.

Also, I am taking more hours with the cptsd foundation as a group leader in the coming weeks. It is great to fully be employed in mental health and truly have that being all I do in my professional life right now. It is an organization that is so close to my heart and my own healing journey and I am honored by how much the founder is trusting in my abilities and how much that instills faith in me.

Anyways I need to go back to training but I am glad to update here. More to come as I do dive into that therapy work and during my visit with my FOO in a few weeks.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on December 13, 2020, 02:13:53 PM
Yay Elpha! My head is fuzzy so just  :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on December 14, 2020, 01:06:55 PM
Thank you Blueberry!  :hug:

I had some big trauma stuff come up Friday night and I have reflected on it. I haven't had time to write about it because of the ongoing training. I am hopeful to be able to talk about it here in a few days when my training is done.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on December 21, 2020, 07:43:30 PM
Hi Elpha,

I hope your training goes ok.  Sending you a supportive hug   :hug:- I know you had that big trauma stuff come up Friday, and I hope that you're able to get plenty of time to do whatever you need or want to do. 

Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on December 22, 2020, 03:42:34 PM
Hope, thank you for the well wishes  :hug: My training did go well, I finished it last Tuesday (11th - 15th). It was long and kind of exhausting but good. I am glad to be trained in EMDR before leaving school.

As far as the trauma stuff goes, I had some pretty big lightbulbs go off and they have continued to process out. Several of the memories I processed previously in EMDR with my therapist had started to come back up, along with other csa memories. I was also having some big feelings about my relationship with my M. I realized with the memories that were coming back up that the way I had processed them before was targeted at truly seeing that I was not to blame and there was no guilt to carry. Through that process I learned that none of my past was my fault.. that the abuse I endured had nothing to do with how good or bad or worthwhile I was.. It was fully to do with the people who chose to hurt me. That took a long time to learn and to fully feel in my being. Now, that I have learned and fully feel that truth in the depths of my being, those memories are coming back because I need to process how powerless I was.. because if it wasn't my fault (which I now know) then I had no power in those moments. Powerlessness is a whole different thing to process and is, I think, the next layer to processing my abuse (especially my csa and pa).

My relationship with my M is ever evolving and growing. As she heals and becomes healthier, I let her in a little more and I start to trust a little bit. It has been a long several year process that I have written here about before. I have come to realize I do truly want to have a good relationship with her as long as that is healthy for me. So far it is, but I will always keep a watch on that. I am not ready to leap to discussing my past with her but I know one day that is a conversation I want to have. If I want to build and honest and good relationship with myM I need to be able to talk about what she missed when I was a kid and how it has shaped me into the adult I am. Tomorrow, I leave to travel home to see my FOO. I look forward to most of it, but there are always bits of it that don't feel 100% good or safe but that is the nature of the beast. I choose to travel for me, not for them. I know in my heart that I do still want to see my family because I care and most of them also care. They are trying to be better and mostly succeeding, so for myself I visit them and hope to build stronger adult relationships with them. Also, I get to see my siblings and my niece who are some of my favorite people on the planet.

Any trip home always brings feelings but this one is particularly powerful. My GGM has dementia and won't know who I am this year. We don't expect her to live to see next Christmas or even my graduation really so I am flying mainly because I know it could be the last chance I get to see her. I didn't grow up super close to her but the memories I have of her are kind and loving and I wouldn't be okay with myself if I didn't get to see her while I could. Even if she thinks I am someone else I know. Truly, I have been avoiding thinking about what that will feel like for me but I know it will be painful. Avoiding it until I have to deal with it has been how I managed to get everything else done recently. I know that time to deal with it is coming unfortunately. I know that at least around my family it will be a little easier to hold those emotions closer to my heart and not let them visibly out but it is still difficult. Knowing that goodbye is likely goodbye forever akes it a lot more difficult

Update on surgery: My hand is healing well. I can still only lift two pounds and have to be careful about what I do and don't do but it gets a little better everyday I think. I started physical therapy last week and will continue it for a month or so until my hand is more healed.  Hopefully pain free as well.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on December 23, 2020, 06:18:03 PM
CONGRATULATIONS!   :cheer: :yourock: :waveline:  welcome to the emdr family!  well done, el :thumbup:

how wonderful for you that you can now feel the fact that the abuse was not your fault.  what a huge step.  it's a measure, to my mind, how hard you've been working at this, how determined you've been to heal, and how persistent has been your will, how strong has been your spirit, to get yourself through all you've been through.  dang - the light brightens!

i'm glad your rehab on your hand is coming along.

i wondered if possibly going thru the emdr training encouraged some of those realizations and lightbulbs for you.  at any rate, they certainly sound like they were helpful and led you to another layer. i'm so happy for you!

5 more months and the therapeutic community will have a bright star in its midst.  i have no doubt anyone who is your client will deem themselves lucky and grateful.  much love always   :bighug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on December 24, 2020, 04:02:01 PM
Thank you so much dear  :hug: It is so good to be part of the emdr family and to be so close to graduation!!

The training definitely encouraged some of my realizations faster than I would have gotten them otherwise. Often that is the case with good trainings.

I am currently home visiting family so I don't have a lot of reflection this morning but there will be more to come I imagine.

Sending you lots of love, San  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on January 31, 2021, 02:53:28 PM
So, it has been over a month since I came and wrote here. I am not exactly sure why the gap but I always come and go here. I used to be on here every day, multiple times a day and man that has changed.

The last month has been a roller coaster of good, bad, and everything in between. I made some huge wins when visiting my family and actually enjoyed my time there. I have been processing old csa in EMDR (although that is not what I am here to talk about), I got new clients, adjusted to new job responsibilities, healed (partially) from surgery, watched the world go in so many directions, did more trainings, and all the other numerous things that come with life right now. I started my last semester of classes last week, completed my first consultation for EMDR, and began truly applying for jobs as a therapist. It is all so exciting and scary at the same time. I feel like so much is going well but man it is a lot at once.

Despite all of the good, I am still processing deep trauma in therapy. My nightmares have come back full force and are showing no sign of letting up. This week there has only been one night without them... I am doing all I can to rid myself of them at least some so hopefully they will begin to let up. Right now, they are the worst of my trauma related stuff. I can't really figure out why they are there but I am sure there will be clarity on that soon enough. With clarity comes the chance to actually do something about them, so hopefully it comes sooner rather than later.

For now, I am finding the balance of self-care, giving to my clients, keeping up with school, handling the pandemic, job-searching, and studying for licensure... it is no small task. Finding a balance between myself and the energy I give others has a steep learning curve since I have taken on more direct clients at my practicum and with my new job responsibilities.. It is a lot but I am glad to be learning how to balance that now instead of when I am out there with a full-time job. I am learning to not absorb the stuff people tell me, but still, be present with them because otherwise it can affect me so deeply.. and that is not sustainable. I find that my trauma makes me great at my job but it also makes it much more dangerous for me. I have to be constantly aware of my own being to ensure I am not taking it in. Being a clinician who struggles with her own trauma is a tough road some days but is beyond worth it. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life at this point. This is where I am meant to be and I will find the balance. I think it is a skill like anything else.

Trauma stuff has been heavy but mostly manageable. Still getting into the stronger csa stuff with some of my littles. It is tough work but I have had a lot of progress with emdr. It feels slow but I know slow and steady is important so I am not overwhelmed, especially while in school. I have less than 100 days left and I need to be able to do both.

I think that is all the words I have for now, but it feels like I will come here a little more often for a while. I wish I could respond to everyone's threads but it would be way too much to try to do right now. So sending kindness and compassion from here.  :grouphug:


Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 31, 2021, 09:15:32 PM
as you reminded me, el, EMS is with you through all this. you are never alone, and she will help guide you if you need her to.  that's so much you've got on your plate, so i hope you can give yourself breaks and just breathe at times.

sending much love always, and a hug filled with the good stuff!  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on January 31, 2021, 11:29:08 PM
So grateful for that reminder tonight, my dear friend.  :hug: I do need EMS badly tonight. After I wrote here I ended up having some giant realizations and then a pretty big trigger that followed. I would share about them but I have to lead a group in an hour and a half and I need to be a functional therapist so grounding and shaking it off for now. I will surround myself with EMS and focus on her warmth and wisdom for a while. I think it is what I need to be the person I need to be in an hour or so. I could sit in that warmth forever I think,

San, I promise I will take breaks and breathe as much as I can. I try to find lightness in my day and give myself a bit of peace every moment I can.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on February 01, 2021, 01:25:49 AM
It is all so exciting and scary at the same time. I feel like so much is going well but man it is a lot at once.

Wow! It sure is a lot. I'm cheering for you.  :cheer:

Sorry you are having nightmares. It is so hard to deal with CSA (not to mention everything else you are juggling). When the memories assault at night and we aren't sleeping well, it adds to the pain.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 01, 2021, 04:21:20 PM
Thanks for cheering for me notalone!  :hug:

You are right, it is a lot to deal with CSA even without the nightmares reminding me of it all the time. I am hoping to get a reprieve from them soon.. It is difficult to not sleep well and just feel a low level of exhaustion constantly.

Yesterday kind of sucks, as far as yesterday evening. I bit off more than I could chew as far as visualization and body work. I am okay to do bits of it on my own since I have been doing so much of it in therapy for so long. However, it went a little farther than I expected it to and I stopped when I realized it was a place that would be too much to go to alone but it still did some damage.

The first part was okay, because I realize the nightmares have been coming from stuff I absorb from others around me. My new job responsibilities mean I am being exposed to so much more trauma and I underestimated how careful I would need to be with that. It feels true to me that the nightmares are coming from what I am absorbing from that because it has to go somewhere... The nightmares have been awful and strange. They began being much different than what I am used to having about 3 weeks ago which is about the time I started having more exposure..  so I think that is what is fueling them. I am going to work to find a way to better protect myself from the things I hear and also to better shake it off when I do inevitably absorb things. Being a survivor makes me great at what I do but it also makes it more dangerous to my well being.

I went to do a container exercise for the stuff I had been absorbing (sort of like a container you would use at the end of a therapy session). Came up with one and got most of the stuff in there but other stuff came with it. The visualization was odd and is hard to describe without feeling really weird about it. I will give a little bit to get it out of my brain and into here but giving a warning ahead of time.


**Trigger Warning** (mention of CSA and somatic symptoms)

Okay with that given, the image was that the stuff I was absorbing had essentially been this green poisonous liquid that needed to be out of my body. Which was fine and worked. However, with that came a black liquid that was much thicker and literally physically painful to me. I realized that black poison felt like it was pieces of my abusers still left in my body. Trying to put it in said container didn't work it felt like the black burned the palms of my hand and my body had a viceral reaction to it. I realized that about then this was going to be a place I could not go alone. Before, I could stop it I had the memory set or thought about times where there was a more literal sense of them leaving a part of them behind because some of the males did.. and I wouldn't have words for that back then but it did happen and my body sadly remembers that in a lot of ways. I really wanted the black to move out of my body but it was going to be painful and take more time and emotion than I knew I could tolerate by myself. I have therapy tonight and know that it will be intense but I am going to try to work with it some.. and to figure out ways to stop absorbing so much stuff from other people. Both will be quite the task I imagine.


**End triger**

Okay that wasn't bad but I always like to be cautious for anyone that reads. It is a long day because I am extra tired from the content that was brought up for me. It is really tough seeing clients this morning but I am only here half a day on Monday so it isn't long thankfully
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 02, 2021, 10:33:17 PM
I wanted to update you here as it has been a long 24 hours for me. The best thing I did for myself was granting myself today off before I even went to bed last night.  Monday is usually when I have trauma therapy, which after the visualizations from Sunday was bound to be intense. We ended up doing nearly 5 hours of processing work yesterday. That is obviously a really intense amount of work that would completely exhaust anyone. It certainly exhausted me in every way imaginable. We did a ton of EMDR, Somatic processing, and Inner Child Work. All of which are extremely tough for extended periods. I am glad we dove in but man it is taking all of today and probably some of tomorrow to truly recover from that, even then I think the emotional impact will be around for a while.

I thought I was going to come here and give a run down of some of the major themes, but as I type I realize I do not have the energy for that right now. There are young parts of me that did so much hard work last night and still just need the rest. I got to watch a few of my youngest littles have some joy today, even after so much processing of horrific things. I am always amazed by what some love and compassion will do for those parts of myself. For now, I guess I want to honor that and to keep them protected a little while longer. They have so much to be hurt over and are somehow still finding ways to have joy today and I honestly cried a lot at it when it first happened this afternoon. One of those parts never got to play or feel joy in her life so this is a first for her. She deserves to enjoy that as long as she can, and I deserve the rest that comes with not digging in right now.

Well, that was a completely different direction that I assumed it would go but for now I am glad for the dose of self-compassion. In real life I am grateful for the warm cat on my lap and ability to rest that I have. I will return at some point and talk about it, or maybe let younger me write a little but for now I guess rest has won out.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 03, 2021, 07:12:34 PM
Okay, today is better. I took all day yesterday to rest, self-care, and process through what needed to be done. I didn't have nightmares and actually slept mostly well for the first time in weeks. There have been some powerful things with my littles the last several days. My little 5 year old self has learned to accept some love and compassion from me and my other littles. I got to surround her with the things she never allowed herself and slowly show her that it is okay to have those things. She deserves it so much and is finally getting to take it in. Last night I got to envision her playing with the other littles and actually feeling some semblance of joy which is the most powerful thing that could happen for her. I can't quite explain what that feels like.

I was processing a great deal with my littles that are 5 and 8 especially (I have others). Both of them were holding onto something that is so deeply painful and heavy. It is still there, we haven't yet shaken it, but we have lightened it a little. We did get to the point where it feel like maybe it was okay to let it go but that is a scary process that will probably be painful and at the time I was tired and had put myself and them through way too much in one night. So we left it there but surrounded by good and warm feelings that make it more possible to carry without feeling the full burden.

The black poison I mentioned a few posts ago has been stuck in 8 year old me and feels more heavy and painful that I think I could describe. Orginally it was 5 that held it but 8 had taken it from her to lighten 5's load basically. I am not sure when that occurred but it had. 5 was still really afraid to let go of it because it reminded her and 8 why we needed to be scared and represented a past that is seemingly impossible to let go of. So getting anywhere near the idea that it might be okay to let it go is amazing progress. Especially considering I hadn't realized it was there until Sunday. It was a painful and sad realization to have.. to know what it represents and that it is still there. I have done years of work but I still have a lot of work left to do. I am capable of doing that work now though, I know I would not have been able to handle this even a year ago. My long history of csa and some of the worst moments attached to it is nothing to take lightly, and I know that. I have processed a lot but it comes in layers and this one is deeper and new.. It feels like it encompasses new things and more of the experiences as a whole rather than the individual memories. Outside of course the few things that 5 shared with me about our worst moments.


Oh, that reminds me. I learned more about 5-year-olds role in life. She has always worked to keep everyone in line to help us stay safe (this I knew). She also was basically a container for the worst moments in my life, both literally and metaphorically. She was the part of me who could stand and bear anything.. In moments where many other people would have screamed she was able to bear in silence to protect everyone she could. The scariest, most violent, most gut-wrenching moments she took over so the rest of my littles didn't have to. She didn't accept love or warmth because she knew if she did it would make her too soft to do what needed to be done. She had to be unbreakable because no one else was.. because breaking wasn't an option in my life. Breaking either got me hurt worse or others around me hurt and that was not a risk I could take.. breaking also meant possibly not surviving and that was never an option for her. She was also the part that when given impossible options was there to make the decisions required of me (even though I know now those weren't decisions. I was between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to go, except to choose what form of torture I preferred. I know she could take the worst torture and be functioning and seem okay to keep others safe. There were times where I would go through some of the worst things a person can experience and 5 minutes later have to be talking to my parents or playing with my siblings as if nothing happened to me. I can't even imagine trying to do that as an adult, let alone as a small child. So I both appreciate all the sacrifices she made for everyone and for being a part that allowed me to survive things... But I also hurt so deeply for her, and for me, because no one should ever have to go through anything I did. No 5 year old should ever have to be that strong or fight so hard. (I know many of us here had to, unfortunately).

So giving her the chance to feel some love and experience some happiness is the least I could do for her. I know processing and letting go will be hard but both of them deserve it. I deserve it.

Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on February 03, 2021, 09:54:15 PM
Elphanigh wrote: "I know processing and letting go will be hard but both of them deserve it. I deserve it."

So true, those statements. And from my perspective, I'm appreciating how this process of self-discovery simultaneous while starting to experience the nuts-and-bolts of your entry into the professional side of things is quite impressive.

I hope this bodes well for times to come. That despite the accumulation of 'expertise', you'll always be able to go within to see what's coming up for you while still functioning as a compassionate caregiver for others.

May your journey continue along these lines. The world also deserves this; so many seem a bit jaded or maybe just tired. Your continued progress in diving in, even to painful areas, gives me hope that your vision retains its freshness, for yourself as well as all of those you're touching.

 :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on February 04, 2021, 01:08:21 AM
I feel a lot of compassion for you and your Littles. It is a beautiful and miraculous thing when a Little, whose only experience is abuse and darkness, is able to feel even a little bit of care and joy. I am experiencing that also. 
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on February 06, 2021, 12:12:00 PM
Hi Elpha,

I haven't read your last few posts in detail but I am aware that you are going through difficult things and doing really hard work as well.  :cheer:  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 06, 2021, 02:58:36 PM
Thank you all  :grouphug: I appreciate them so much.

Woodsgnome, it can be tricky to go deep into this stuff given the 'expertise' I now have professionally. My knowledge helps my healing some because I am aware of things that could help that I would not otherwise know. I do often have to turn off my therapist part of allow the rest of me to heal and go through what I need to go through.  I do also hope my vision stays fresh for those I am serving, and intend to never become truly jaded because my clients deserve much more than that.

Notalone, it can be such a beautiful thing for our littles. I am grateful to be giving them those feelings as much as I can.

Blueberry, thank you  :hug: I really appreciate the hugs and encouragement!



Okay, so it has been a long week with some triggers and lots of processing. I am pretty exhausted but I feel like I have started to feel better again. It is a rollercoaster at this point but that is okay. I am just taking care of me the best I can.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 09, 2021, 02:59:40 PM
Figured I would come here and share a win. I was able to release a really big piece of hurt yesterday. I had described it as black poison when I envisioned it last week. It felt like it was a piece of my abusers that was left in my body as sort of a forgein reminder of a lot of awful pain and fear. So last night I got to do a visualization with the littles that were involved (mostly 5 and 8). They were both okay and ready to let it go, so I visualized allowing it to drip onto paper like ink or paint would. That took a bit but was less painful than I thought. Then I was able to hold a sort of ceremony and burn the paper to destroy the black poison because it was not enough to contain it, we really wanted to destroy it so we did. This allowed my body to feel so much better than it has in a few weeks. I feel lighter and a little freer. I am hoping to be able to keep that lightness a little as I move forward this week. Next week we will start to tackle some of the body memories and fear that came along with the trigger on Wednesday night.

On an entirely different note, I have started applying for therapist jobs and am hopeful to eventually hear back from some. It would be really great to be able to find something and have a committed contract in the next few months so I can plan for moving and know I have a place to go when I graduate.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on February 10, 2021, 01:09:37 AM
 :grouphug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 23, 2021, 02:40:55 PM
Tomorrow is a tough anniversary for me  :fallingbricks:

I am honestly handling pretty well all things considered though. Therapy has been super heavy lately but I feel like we are making progress. My nightmares have mostly stopped and I have been able to process some truly horrific things. I also had to make my first dhs report for a child.. It was rather scary and intimidating but I am glad I am trustworthy enough for the child to trust me. It is a tough part of the job and better to learn it now than 3 months from now when I am out on my own as a therapist somewhere. Speaking of that I have been applying for jobs and just hoping to hear back from some soon.

As far as the anniversary goes.. It is the two year anniversary of me being revictimized while I was traveling to visit schools. It is a tough one but I have so much positive surrounding me right now that I know I can handle it. I have class tomorrow so it will mean I have a pretty full evening of distractions. I am just hoping that is enough. I figure I will be functional but whether or not I will truly be okay is different. I feel a little sad today and have been a little extra on edge the last few days but nothing major so maybe it will pass without too much problem. I wish I knew what to do tomorrow.. some sort of way to symbolically let it go on that day but I am not sure what. So for now I will plan self care and just let the day be what I need it to be.


Edit: I got a call for a job interview a few hours after I wrote this. I am thrilled to have my first interview as a therapist! :cheer:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on February 24, 2021, 07:33:56 PM
I recall reading your entries around the incident you felt so awful about, remembered too the panic and fear you were filled with about it. Then felt cheered when you reported that you'd survived and were able to bypass letting the incident take over your life and destroy the progress you were making.

You said you've been wondering about somehow observing that anniversary. Just my opinion, but perhaps you've already done a proper observation by expressing your feelings about it here. There may be other ways to go, but as you noted the truly important part is the self-care, in whatever form that takes, that will further highlight and solidify the progress your life's path took at that point. It may have felt a bit of a downer at the time, but  you put in some admirable self-care despite the fears that also came up about what happened.

I'm just saying it's very heartening to see the self-care you've been incorporating all along, however that gets symbolized (or if it does so at all).

Meanwhile, here's best wishes for your interview process.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 24, 2021, 08:42:47 PM
Woodsgnome, I love your perspective on how to observe this anniversary. You are right, self-care in the way that I choose to do it now is part of that. It is amazing you remember some of what I was feeling and expressing back then. I remember it feeling like it was almost breaking me in half. I did almost break fully and give up on school etc. I didn't give up though. You are right I did not let it destroy my life and I have made a lot of progress in two years.

I feel a lot of grief today. Last year, I was anxious, triggered, and frozen. This year I feel hurt and can grieve the things I feel like I lost then. Before it happened, I had started to truly believe that I could go the rest of my life without having abuse like that happen again. I lost faith in that two years ago. That mindset got shattered in a matter of moments... I think I am slowly beginning to believe it again but I do not think that I will ever feel that it is so fully a fact as I used to. I am not sure I will ever get to feel it that much again. MAybe one day but for now it is a thing to grieve.

I also grieve my ability to enjoy my major life transitions again... It seems every time I have a major life change that something awful happens.. and two years ago felt like the universe just repeating the pattern again. I  am about to have another major life change, in three months I will be a licensed  therapist, starting my career, and living in a new place. With that I am hopeful and excited but there is always going to be a fear and a worry that something awful will happen again. I want to be able to have hope and excitement without the fear of the awful thing... I deserve to get to have that and I feel like l lost that two years ago too.

So I feel grief.. I wish that it hadn't happened. That I had stayed in my hotel that room and read my book that night. I know that I didn't do anything wrong and that I had no way to know but that I wish I could go back and change just one moment that day. To have gotten to start this chapter of my life on a high note. I can't do that and I need to feel my grief. It will get less over time, like everything else has.

For today, I am sitting in class (on zoom) and trying to hold both pieces of my life. I need to hold space for my grief and for my classes today.


Also thank you, I am excited for the interview and really appreciate the good wishes :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on February 24, 2021, 10:30:16 PM
I remember when that happened two years ago and the enormous anguish that you experienced. I want to send care as you are now feeling grief.  :hug:

Best wishes for your interview.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 24, 2021, 11:53:15 PM
:hug: Thank you, notalone.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on February 25, 2021, 06:49:21 PM
I remember too. Sending care :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 25, 2021, 07:10:46 PM
 :hug: :hug: I really appreciate that Blueberry.


I did okay yesterday. It was heavy and I felt a lot of grief surrounding it all. I wasn't overwhelmed or super triggered by it this year, I just hurt a lot. I ended up shedding a lot of tears and allowing myself to express the hurt I needed to feel. I don't often allow myself time to fall apart but I did yesterday and am grateful that I did. Today feels like a recovery, those feelings still exist but are lesser and I am able to let them slowly work out of my system as well. I feel like I am slowly processing and releasing the pain and trauma surrounding it. I know that the grief from that moment is connected to a lifetime of things to grieve so it is powerful to know that I can hold space for that grief and allow it to work through without consuming me. I am tired today, drained from the emotions yesterday but I am ultimately okay.

I have more to write, but for now, this is enough. I dealt with a lot yesterday and having just some time to reflect and rest today is important.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 25, 2021, 11:52:28 PM
I ended up going for a walk outside today (it is finally above freezing this week). My logic was to go to a paved walking trail, thinking it would have melted off much like some of the sidewalks in town had. When I got there it was still covered in a fair bit of snow, but I realized that the place was an important one to me. Somehow its significance did not register until I parked my car. The walking trail was one I visited two springs ago. I walked there on my second trip to this state, just a few months after I experienced a new trauma. I was yet again alone in this place and worried about how it would feel. I got bored that day (after looking at apartments and hanging out in my hotel room), and I decided to go to the nearest walking trail because it was beautiful out. On that walk, I met a woman with a young Siberian husky who came up to me looking to play. I ended up talking and walking with this woman for 10 or 15 minutes, just talking about why I was visiting and how her experience living here was. It was the biggest kindness that day and I know that woman will never know how much it meant to me. That day, a few months after a horrific trauma, I decided it was okay to still go to school here and to embrace the good here. That kindness was the sign I needed to carry on with my plans and to give me a bit of faith it would be okay here.

So ending up there by happenstance today was sort of meant to be I guess. I was reminded of that kindness. I hadn't thought about it in so long but I needed it today. It was a good perspective to get after yesterday's anniversary grief. I know, that so much kindness and joy has happened after that moment two years ago. That I love what I do and I am so grateful for the beautiful souls I have gotten to meet and call friends here. I have found so much of myself and learned how much this work fills my heart. I can't imagine life any different.. but without meeting that woman that day I am not sure what I would have chosen. That 15 minutes of kindness and connection probably changed the course of life at the time. She will never know that but I wish I could tell her.

That place reminds me that the awful night was just a moment as well. It is a glaringly painful and awful moment, but it is just a moment. That perspective doesn't make it hurt less but it does allow me to see it in perspective with all of the other moments that have happened. I didn't allow that moment to change my life, I didn't let that moment break me as much as I thought it would at times. If anything was going to break me it would have been that night, but it didn't. I have had so many more moments since then and will have so many more. As I sit here writing, I am tearing up again but that is okay. I have been crying a lot of cleansing tears in the last 24 hours or so. It is like shedding some of the pain.. I have lost so much and been hurt too many times to count in my life; there is a seemingly endless list of things that deserve tears and grief. I deserve to get to let them fall and take some of the hurt with them. It is not fun or easy but it is cleansing and for that I am glad. I also know I can hold that grief and the joy I have about other things. It makes me stronger and more able to allow the grief without fear of falling into it forever. I know that I won't fall into it forever because I haven't because I have so much joy and love to draw on in my life now that outweigh that grief.  So I can let the tears and the hurt exist fully for maybe the first time in my life.

Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on February 27, 2021, 03:51:08 PM
Job update: for those of you that want to know, the interview went well. I have one more person on staff to talk to and if they like me likely I will be offered the position. It is a lot to digest and decide so I am glad I have some time to do so.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on March 02, 2021, 02:57:32 PM
Figured I would come here again. I have almost written here several times and just not found the words I wanted to find. I will probably still not find them but words at all is a good thing. I have realized even if I am offered the job on the coast I will likely tell them no. I miss being where I lived two years ago because that place is home and I think it is okay to want that for now. It is scary to know that a place feels like home and that I am so attached to it but I cannot deny that truth just because I am scared of it. I am starting to focus my job search there for now because it feels like the right move for me right now. I just needed to find that out through feeling it in a big way.

I also still feel like I have a lot of grief to work through. I got a lot of it out on Wed/Thurs but I know there is a deep well of grief in my life and it will take some time to work through it. I know I grieve the things attached to that anniversary but I also grieve many things in my life. Grief is cumulative and I have a lifetime full of it sitting there. I know I won't grieve it all at once but for now, I feel like that is where I am in my healing.

None of this feels particularly sufficient to express the feelings I have but it is the best way I can put them for now. Almost everything is still very much in my body and there are less words for those types of feelings.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on March 10, 2021, 10:56:10 PM
There is plenty I could talk about but I do not have the time tonight to be honest. I did want to celebrate that I have an unofficial job offer and should have the official paperwork within the next two weeks (their HR department has a week off next week or it would be quicker). I am glad to have the time to think about it but I may have found my job for next year which is great.

Anyways I will come and write more about other things just wanted to put this here since all of you have been such huge supporters.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on March 10, 2021, 11:48:53 PM
 :applause:   :cheer:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on March 12, 2021, 06:31:33 PM
Thank you, notalone!

I did verbally accept the offer today and will sign the paperwork next week. I have a start date and everything  :cheer:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Snowdrop on March 12, 2021, 06:42:30 PM
That's great news! Congratulations! :cheer:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Alter-eg0 on March 12, 2021, 07:07:17 PM
Woop woop!
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on March 13, 2021, 03:24:20 AM
 :cheer:   :applause: :applause: :applause:  :cheer:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on April 16, 2021, 06:16:40 PM
Well, this month has been a whirlwind. I officially accepted a different position than the one I originally talked about here. I start much earlier and will be in a more private-practice style environment, which will mean I have a larger variety of clients ranging from kids to adults. This one feels like a better fit for me personally and I am excited

There is a lot of other stuff like my M visiting and finishing school I could talk about but I don't have a lot of extra energy or words for much right now.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on April 17, 2021, 02:47:09 AM
Not having words or energy, Elphanigh, is very understandable. So I'll just add further congrats as you set sail on an adventure that seemed so unlikely only a couple of years back.

You've describe well the many ins/outs, perils and triumphs of the journey so far. They're inspiring, to say the least. So I'll leave it at that, only adding one little big thing --  :bighug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on April 17, 2021, 03:13:45 PM
Hi Elpha,
I also wanted to send you a hug and say Congratulations on all you've achieved.   :hug:  Hope you're able to get some rest and time to enjoy things.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on April 17, 2021, 06:43:34 PM
Thank you both so much :grouphug:

I am taking time to rest where I can and just soaking it all in. There is a lot to do so it is easy to rush through it and get overwhelmed if I don't remember to stop, breathe, and enjoy. Overall, things are amazing they just feel like they are going at lightning speed right now.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on April 26, 2021, 01:32:34 PM
I am struggling today because I believe I will lose my GGM somewhere in the next 12 hours. She is having surgery today that she has less than a 25 percent chance of surviving and I know on some level she does not want to survive it. I respect that and want nothing but peace for her. For me, I have chosen to see clients this morning since I am only here for 4 hours on Mondays and I cannot do anything more from here. Normalcy is important for me today and this is the best way I can give that to myself. I have 11 days until I graduate with my masters degree and that comes with a lot of work to do. I could not do any of it last night due to having just found out the situation and being asked my thoughts on whether or not to have her have the surgery or to let her stay how she is until she slips away. I needed the night to cry and feel but I cannot do that for a full day today. Especially because there is a small chance she survives, I want to not grieve too much before I know.

Anyways, I have 11 days until I graduate and I have friends that get into town tomorrow. I want to be able to celebrate but right now I am just in pain and want to cry. I know it will pass and I am capable of doing school and this.. I have to.

My littles are struggling given she is the last person in my FOO that was not abusive or connected to the abuse in anyway.. losing her is that last piece of the safe space that was.. One of few places that was safe for me... so it is tough but I am going to keep on moving because I need to.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on April 26, 2021, 02:01:28 PM
Hi Elpha,
Sending you a hug of support at this time  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on April 26, 2021, 02:49:37 PM
Thank you, Hope  :hug: I definitely needed the hug.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on April 26, 2021, 06:46:52 PM
Sending  :hug: :hug: to you Elpha and strength 
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Armadillo on April 26, 2021, 07:25:28 PM
Oh I feel that distress of you and your littles over this potential loss. Wishing you strength to get thru today.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on April 26, 2021, 07:42:19 PM
 :hug: :hug:

Thank you both. I am waiting to hear at this point. No news is good news I guess. I am working on just focusing on work which mostly functions for now.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on April 26, 2021, 10:48:58 PM
Sending you and your Littles lots of love and hugs.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on April 27, 2021, 02:13:39 AM
Thank you Notalone  :hug:

I figured I would come and say she did survive surgery. I have needed to rest a lot and to just honor the mass of feelings that I have had over the last day and a half. It was a lot and overwhelming. Things are not fully in the clear but at least for now it is okay.

I honored my Littles by doing some art tonight. It makes sense given on of my favorite memories with her surrounds fireflies. I am putting it here mainly because younger me feels like sharing it with others who might appreciate it.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Kizzie on April 29, 2021, 03:42:28 PM
I love that you take good care of your little ones, tk you and them for sharing your lovely art   :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on April 30, 2021, 09:46:25 PM
Thank you Kizzie  :hug:

Taking care of my Littles can be super challenging sometimes but I know I am better off when I do.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Armadillo on May 01, 2021, 12:04:04 AM
Yay I'm so happy for you. And your art is so beautiful! You are very talented!
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 02, 2021, 04:23:44 PM
hey, el,

your artwork is so beautiful.  thank you for sharing it with us.

i'm glad the worst seems to be over, but sorry you had to go thru any of it. 

i thought of you and EMS the other day.  i suspect she holds us up at times so we don't drown in our emotions.

keep taking care of you.  love and hugs :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Kizzie on May 02, 2021, 04:29:17 PM
How is your GGM doing Elph? And you?  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on May 02, 2021, 11:12:56 PM
Thanks to you and your Littles for sharing your beautiful, uplifting artwork.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on May 04, 2021, 01:21:45 AM
Thank you everyone  :grouphug:

San, you are so right about ems. I know she has been helping during this time.

Kizzie, I have not heard much news about my ggm. I think at this point everyone is trying to keep me our of the stress because of graduation. That being said, I think no news may be good news as well. I am doing well, still sort of recovering in moments but I have gratefully been able to work on finishing school and enjoy the process.

Overall, I am about 4 days from graduation. This time Friday I will have walked across the stage and gotten my masters degree and I cannot even believe it.

Not alone, so glad the artwork can be uplifting. I ended up giving the piece to a close friend of mine who had such a deep love of it.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Armadillo on May 04, 2021, 01:43:05 AM
Graduation!!!!! Yeah!!!! Early congratulations! That is awesome.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on May 04, 2021, 11:39:30 AM
Thank you, Armadillo! I appreciate the early congrats  ;D
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Kizzie on May 04, 2021, 04:17:14 PM
Congrats re achieving your Masters Elph, well done!  :cheer:   :applause:     
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on May 04, 2021, 06:15:14 PM
 :applause:  :applause:  :applause:  :bighug:

Your walk across the stage seems to include two important steps -- one concluding your progress through all the pain and grief of the now 'old' story, and your giant first step into the 'new' path.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 04, 2021, 09:06:02 PM
dearest el,

having known you from the beginning of this incredible journey you chose, i am in awe and full of joy for you.  you have been such an inspiration to others along the way, and i have no doubt you will continue to be for your clients as you move forward.  you have defined the phrase 'from surviving to thriving'.  i couldn't be prouder.  when you walk across that stage, we'll be right beside you, enjoying your glory.  well done!!! :thumbup:  you have so earned this!   :applause:  this is me in the crowd applauding your achievement.  much love always and hugs galore! :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on May 05, 2021, 06:14:34 PM
Thank you do much everyone!!  :grouphug:

It has been such a journey and I cannot wait to cross the stage. I am all done with my school work so basically just sitting on the finish line until I can cross it on Friday. You have all been such a huge part of my journey and I can feel you there with me as San kind of said in her message.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Kizzie on May 06, 2021, 04:35:19 PM
We will be there in spirit Elph - so happy for you  :grouphug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Blueberry on May 06, 2021, 07:49:10 PM
This time Friday I will have walked across the stage and gotten my masters degree and I cannot even believe it.

 :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: You have worked so hard to get it!  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on May 07, 2021, 11:19:48 AM
Thank you both  :hug: :cheer: It means so much to have actually finished this. It has been a intense two years. I will be glad for it to be over but will also miss it a lot.
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Hope67 on May 07, 2021, 02:03:38 PM
Congratulations and enjoy your graduation -  :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Armadillo on May 07, 2021, 02:08:31 PM
 :phoot: :party: :phoot: :udaman: :worship: :yourock: :fireworks:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: notalone on May 07, 2021, 06:38:25 PM
I'm with you in spirit for that standing ovation. I'm proud of you.
 :cheer:      :party:      :waveline:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on May 08, 2021, 02:45:40 AM
Thank you all!!! I now am officially an MSW!!!  :cheer:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: sanmagic7 on May 08, 2021, 05:14:02 AM
i can't say enough good things about you and your accomplishment.  enjoy the celebration!!!

 :party: :waveline: :yourock: :fireworks: :yahoo:

much love and a big hug filled with dreams coming true!   :bighug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on May 08, 2021, 01:46:12 PM
Thank you so much, San  :cheer: :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Armadillo on May 08, 2021, 03:39:05 PM
Congratulations!  :cheer:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: woodsgnome on May 08, 2021, 06:18:12 PM
 :cheer:    :bigwink:    :grouphug:

As happens so many times, there are no adequate words to cover all the bases of your accomplishment marking, as it were, the dramatic turning point you find yourself at. Like I said, no words do it justice ... now is the moment to enjoy. Thanks for sharing it all with us.

                                         :yourock:

                                                 :fireworks:
     
                             
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Elphanigh on May 12, 2021, 10:04:01 PM
Thank you, everyone  :grouphug:

Woodsgnome it is truly beyond words, I have had a lot of difficulty explaining the feelings that go with all of this. I know they are good but it is tricky to describe.

I got my official final grades today and got to graduate with a 3.97 (meaning I had one A- my whole master's degree) which is unnecessary but feels like a big accomplishment especially given a global pandemic and everything else that has occurred.

I start my new job as a therapist on Monday morning! It is just the training but that is day one of this new career which I cannot even begin to comprehend, to be honest. I know it is real but it does not fully feel real yet. I take my licensure exam next Thursday and then maybe it will feel more real. That is the last step to being a full-fledged therapist so I am excited to be done with it. I am nervous but know that I have been doing everything I can to prep for it. While also enjoying the accomplishments I have made recently.

It feels as if I get yet another new start in my journey, one that I am thrilled for. I am grateful I can share some of this with all of you. I wish I had more words but this is what I have for now.  :hug:
Title: Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
Post by: Armadillo on May 12, 2021, 11:23:44 PM
This is so exciting!  :grouphug:

Great job on the grades too despite all the circumstantial challenges! That's amazing!