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Messages - Elphanigh

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1
Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: October 14, 2021, 07:16:58 PM »
Both of you just made me tear up some  :'( In a good an healthy way I promise :grouphug:

San, It means a lot to hear that you see the maturity in the way I see my care but also that of my clients. I do strive to have a healthy look at both of those things. Trying to be the kind of clinician I know you and my therapist would be but also my own type of clinician as well.

I adore your take on my "what if". I think you are right. If I am honest, I know you are because I feel it deeply. I didn't ever think to not choose differently. Letting others get hurt was never an option because I was already protective and compassionate by nature. I wish that I had not been made to be a human shield by being placed in that situation but I also now know I would not change myself. There was a time I hated that part of me, and blamed myself for putting myself in danger.. but not now. I love the part o fme that is compassionate, kind, and protective by nature. It makes me a good human. I just got put in impossible situations that took that innate tendency and used it to manipulate me. That manipulation and the actions of others hurt me, my personality didn't do the hurt. Thank you for your words that made me think that through.

Armee, I am so grateful for your words too. It means a lot to read them and have reassurance that these things aren't just a trauma response. I would be kind and compassionate without my trauma. I think you are right that you would be too. I am hopeful those words continue to speak to you as well as they do me.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: October 14, 2021, 03:12:10 PM »
Thank you, Armee. It was good to read those words.

I really wish that I had not had to become a human shield either. Often, I wonder what sort of person I would have become without having done that. Would I still be the compassionate, kind, and giving person that I am? I would like to think I still would be, that those traits are part of who I am innately without the abuse. I do think I am learning to use them in a way that doesn't pull me into the abuse cycle or the negative self-worth cycle anymore. I think I have a decent grasp on my worth and the importance of my own well being. Not a perfect, 100%, kind of grasp but one that allows me to recognize that I am important and valuable by just being a person. It has taken me years and loads of emotional work to get to this point. It still takes a lot of effort sometimes, especially in my line of work. I have to work hard in some moments to remember my job is not to save people.. it is to help guide them, to be a compassionate witness, and encourage them to save themselves so they learn self-efficacy and self-compassion. Sometimes, especially with kids, I want to save them but I know I can't serve that role. I played that role in my life for so long, and that is not a healthy role to play.

I have spent a fair amount of time this week just sitting in the sadness and betrayal feelings I have had. I think it has been important to give myself the ability and space to feel those things. I have therapy today and will give more space and voice to those feelings as well. It is a process and one that is kind of exhausting. I am glad to do it though because I know it brings progress with it.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: October 11, 2021, 08:57:16 PM »
Beekeeper, I am so grateful to know that writing about my journey is also helpful for you. I :hug:

San, sending  :hug:  :hug: and love your way. It has been a lot to handle these realizations but I know taking apart the layers gets me a little farther in my journey every day.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: October 10, 2021, 12:59:15 AM »
 :grouphug:

Thank you both, sending hugs back!

I did take on so much in protecting other people. I have been recognizing how much I became a human shield in my life. I took on massive amounts of physical and emotional pain for years to shield others from it. I learned that the only thing that matter was the safety of the people I was protecting. I never mattered to myself during that time.. and if I did.. I mattered less than everyone else.

With that said, I know I would never change that. I would never allow someone else to get hurt in my place. That has never been a part of my instinct or who I am as a person.

I used to think I never fought back (or at least very little). However, I really fought back a lot. I fought for other people.. I worked to change situations and take power in a way that saved others. I didn't fight for myself but I did fight a lot for others. I was the fiercest protector anyone could have ever had. I was willing to take so much pain to ensure no one else experienced it.

I know that I needed and deserved someone to protect me. Not in the self-sacrificing way that I did it for others.. but in a way that saved me from having to make those sacrifices. I learned to be a human shield by the time I was 6.. I should never have needed to. Again, I would never choose differently but I wish I had a protector back then. I am learning to be a healthy protector for my inner children now, but I wish someone had been there before. There is a lot of grief that goes with that. It is a lot to take on and see. But at least now I see that I did fight and that I was so strong.. I just did it for others and not myself. My fight didn't look like it would typically look in a person and that is okay.

I definitely have more processing and tears ahead of me but it feels like progress to even be able to write all of this.

5
Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: October 08, 2021, 11:05:22 PM »
Sending love and compassion right back at you  :hug:

I did get the rest of the second repressed memory back yesterday during therapy. It is tough but I am able to handle it. This weekend is pretty busy for me, lots of commitments with a wedding and such to attend. I am hopeful to be able to hold the emotional load and enjoy the things I have planned.

The memories that have come up are all about control, violence, and challenge my role in the past. It is an important set of things but my goodness it is heavy. I managed to cry last night with the help of a movie. I needed to cry and had not yet managed to do that. I sat last night crying because I know I deserved someone to protect me as much as I protected others. That was a thing that I never got and have to grieve even more than I already have. Also coming more to terms with the limits of my influence and control at the time.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: October 07, 2021, 06:56:20 PM »
Hugs are definitely welcome, Armee.  :hug:

Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I am managing everything the best I can. I am grateful for the strong support system I have that makes it possible to do all of it. It means a lot to hear you would rather have a therapist who knows directly how tough this stuff is.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: October 04, 2021, 07:54:27 PM »
Last week added to the list of repressed memories that have resurfaced recently. I am managing this one a lot more effectively than I did the first one. I think partially because I remember how I worked through the one two weeks ago. Also, just that  I do not have all the details around this one yet. It helps to not know the whole thing yet. The part I know is painful but also more manageable because of all of the healing I have done over the years. It stings but I know I am capable of processing it.

I feel a great deal of grief around the memory. If I let myself, it is also possible to slip into guilt around this memory. I started talking about the guilt with my therapist last week so that is not super strong but it is still sort of lingering. I know my emotions will process through the guilt and catch up with what I know mentally. It will just take a bit of time. There is a part of me that also sort of thinks "of course that happened. you couldn't have been perfect and present all of the time". That part of me is more logical and is a bit of acceptance for the reality of my life. Hopefully that piece will grow stronger as I deal with the emotions and whatever pieces of that memory I continue to get back.

I hope one day there are not other things I do not know I don't know. Repressed memories are so tough because they are the things I don't know that I didn't know. Things I have no way of predicting or being aware of. I had hoped I was already clear of those but I am also not surprised that isn't the case.

For now, I manage the hurt and validate feelings while also living the rest of my life. It is a complicated balance as a therapist and human. I am dating again (that's a whole story, but it is healthy right now and I want to enjoy it even though this stuff is hard). I am enjoying my job, although my first time having a full case load feels like a lot. I am learning what it takes to self-care and manage everything I hear as well as the paperwork part of it. I find I can remain hopeful most days, despite the challenges which feels like progress.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: September 25, 2021, 07:37:09 PM »
Well, it has been a couple of weeks. Last was really tough if I am honest. Sometimes this stuff can still hit hard and send me spinning for a bit. I am always so grateful for my therapist who is so helpful and willing to get into the work with me. There were multiple sessions we spent sitting on the floor of her office because it was better for my ability to connect with what needed to be done. She continues to show me safety when my mind struggles with it. For the first time ever, I was able to voice a memory with all of the details fully through. In the 8 ish years I have been healing, I have never been able to voice all of the details of a memory. I have always skipped the details of the sexual abuse and sometimes skipped some of the worst of the physical abuse. This time I did neither.. having someone sitting on the floor with me just holding that space made it possible (that and lots of years of healing). I am not sure if I will share more of them all the way through, I might or might not. For now, celebrating that as a victory for me. Nothing bad happened, the world did not implode, and my therapist still looks at me the same way she ever has. Good has come out of it, instead of the bad that I always feared.

I had a new repressed memory come up in a therapy session (many of us know how difficult those can be). It sent me spinning for about four days, three of which my therapist saw me to help. I then spent another three days processing on my own while being a full-time therapist (somehow I am still capable of both). All of that said, I feel like myself again and we did some powerful work during my normally scheduled session this week. I am so grateful to have a therapist who is so willing to help and shows me the kind of therapist I want to be.

I am back to feeling like myself, able to do clinical work with clients this week, help host a charity event, have a date (yes, I have been dating for about a month and am so glad to be having some fun in my personal life), and do my normal volunteering. It feels like a lot some days but I know even a few years ago I would not be back to my baseline so quickly. I also think I realize that my baseline was closer to the survival mode I spent those four days in for a long time. My baseline is no longer survival mode and those moments remind me of how far I have come. They also humble me... reminding me that I am not invincible and being a therapist doesn't magically mean nothing will ever send me spinning again. I knew that but sometimes a reminder happens anyways.

With lots of inner child work, somatic therapy, and emdr we turned a very violent and aggressive memory into one I can look at and not be overwhelmed by. It still makes me sad but I think this stuff will probably always make me sad..

9
Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: September 11, 2021, 07:28:00 PM »
Awe, the reminder of EMS is always so wonderful. Lilies are my favorite  :hug:

There is certainly never a dull day, hardly a dull moment. It is an adventure to always been learning and sort of piecing together puzzles along the way.

I am always so glad that you are part of my journey in all of this. Sending so much love my dear.  :hug: :hug:

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: September 11, 2021, 06:06:29 PM »
 :hug: Thank you for pointing that out. I am so glad it is positive and inspiring. I realize that I could have never envisioned where I would manage to go in my healing journey. I had no concept of what was possible.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: September 10, 2021, 04:23:22 PM »
Thank you both  :grouphug:

I am grateful to say my covid test came back negative so I am just normal sick, not covid sick. Today is not as rough as the last fwe have been. I seem to have a bit more energy and ability to focus than I have. This is probably helped by the fact I was able to eat more food than I have been.

Getting my sea legs as a clinician is certainly a learning curve. Honestly, I am quickly finding there is a lot of learning on the job that gets done because each client I see comes in with something entirely different. Often, this early in my career, it is something new to me. This challenges me to learn new things and to also learn how the skills I do have fit into those situations. Thankfully, I was taught that the ability to create safe relationships is one of the most important aspects of therapy so it allows me to be patient as I learn. I know that I am good at the relationship and safety building part of my job and that other things can be learned and explored as I need to. I am also reminded by my own therapist that I came into this field with more training and knowledge than many therapists do (i.e. EMDR, play therapy, trauma theory, somatic therapies, etc. ). I just hope to be the best clinician I can in any given moment.


Seeing my progress over the last years has been so helpful. I have taken time to truly reflect on how far I have come and it reminds me how good things are now. It also serves to remind me how far I could still go. The territory I am in with my healing journey is relatively uncertain and uncharted for me because I don't have a vision for what comes next. I reached the point that I thought would be as good as it could get quite a long time ago and continued to go past it. So I am creating new paths and spending time discovering what is possible for me. That does not mean things are always rainbows and butterflies, far from it, but it does mean there is something new almost every day. I am grateful to have the chance to explore this part of life and recovery so young in life. I know I have a lot ahead of me and it is fun to guess about what that could be.

Anyways, back to work I go. Thanks for always being a place where I can come even as my journey is so different than it was 5 or 6 years ago when I first found this place.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: September 10, 2021, 02:21:04 AM »
Woodsgnome, I so greatly apprecaite the kind words and the gentle boost  :hug: . I am managing the jolts so much better than I used to and seeing that progress helps a lot in managing them honestly. Currently, I am waiting on covid test results for myself (have had mild to moderate symptoms since Monday). 6 months ago I would have been very panicky and not handling well but I am glad to report I am pretty even keel about it. Hoping for a negative test result of course but not panicked about it like I would have been. It does mean doing a bit of everything extra tired and not feeling great but I have granted myself a lot of rest.

I have been doing some good trauma processing and also adapting to my role as a clinician. Then have also started to expand my personal life a little. Finding balance in all things I think. It is not perfect but it is growth.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: September 09, 2021, 03:01:18 PM »
Thank you so much  :hug:

My grandma does seem to be making a good recovery, which I am very grateful for. I do not know a whole lot about the specifics but I do know she is okay and recovering at home.

Honestly, I do not have many updates to put here this week other than life has been pretty hectic but in a much more positive way than it was a few weeks ago.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: August 30, 2021, 02:11:33 PM »
Thank you dear friend  :hug:

Last I head she was going to be okay, but that was late last night. I am choosing to believe that and hope for the best.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: August 30, 2021, 01:00:00 AM »
Thank you for taking the time to read and respond, San. I always love hearing from you  :hug:

Today has been tough as I had a stressful doctor's visit and then found out my GM was in the hospital from having a stroke (I just lost m aunt to a covid related stroke last week, so it makes me even more nervous than it already would have). What I know right now, about 4 hours down the road, is that she is stable and they are keeping her in the ICU tonight to be able to monitor any potential aftermath. Both the losses I have had recently would not compare to what losing her would feel like. I am choosing to be hopeful for her recovery and to not think the worst because I do not need to right now.

Anyways, I truly have next to no emotional or physical energy so I am going to sign off for the night and find some rest when I can.  :hug:

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