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Topics - Sasha

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1
Therapy / Letter advocating for myself to my counsellor
« on: July 31, 2021, 11:52:09 AM »
I just sent this to the counsellor I致e been working with and feel really proud of myself for advocating for myself and my needs. Wanted to share

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Dear XXXX,

I am writing to let you know that I wish to finish our sessions together. As someone who has experience trauma over prolonged periods I am keen to work with a therapy treatment that focuses more specifically on this.

Recently we had a session where you asked me about CPTSD and what it means, and I found this frustrating. At this stage in my journey I am seeking to open up in a space with a practitioner understands more about trauma and it痴 effects (CPTSD / PTSD) than I do, so that I can learn more about this from them. It was very hard to stop working with [Previous therapist ] as she seemed to have a strong understanding of this. I did re-specify to [Service] this before we were introduced, and therefore I am sorry if you were put in a position where maybe you did not know how specific I had been in requesting this.

In case it helps to explain more, the effect of experiencing trauma in my early and adult life has been relentless and exhausting and as I seek healing I feel I have no more energy to explain or justify this. My main aim at this point is to work only with trauma-centred therapies so that I can get to the heart of how toast adverse experiences unfortunately continue to manifest in my present life as flashbacks, negative mental health and physical symptoms, resulting in very 礎ad days and sometimes weeks on end where I struggle to operate at a functional level. 

There is a free service in XXXX that provides EMDR therapy and I have self-referred to this, with a phone assessment on Monday. I am uncertain of the waiting time for treatment to start, that is if I am accepted.

If you would like to have one or two final sessions together to discuss any of this and to say farewell I would like that as I have enjoyed meeting and working with you, and find you a lovely person to open up to and explore with.

Best wishes

2
Inner Child Work / Things I can do for my inner child
« on: April 02, 2020, 06:01:19 PM »
My little girl. How can I give her the things she needs to feel secure, safe, wanted and for her to rest within this security?

Things we can start to do or do more:

Making music
We have always loved playing musical instruments and singing. It turned into a career for us (despite wanting to be a teacher or politician!) and the nature of this joy morphed into work, validation, new pressures. Years ago I stopped the gig hunt and decided to focus on a new career. Now I have made the space and enviroment for us to relate to music with joy and playfulness again. It means unblocking that feeling of pressure, but my adult self can keep working on this to give my inner child what she loves.

Drawing and painting
She adored drawing, painting and colouring in. It was her escape. She would find a spot and settle for hours, bringing colour to pages and pages. She carried on drawing in our teenage years, and a few years ago I picked it up in the form of illustration. It felt like a great way to journal and I drew how I felt, which was a great release. I put it down again but I can give this to her again now. It has always a private, peaceful and safe place for us.

Bubble baths!
It is odd to admit this, but baths scare us a bit. We never had one, and in adverse overcrowded conditions privacy and private bathroom time was not available. For some years now we have been finding baths are lovely when we have them. We like to fill them up with so many bubbles and put a movie on. We would quite like to get some bath toys, so we can enjoy this time even more and allow us to feel safe, private and relaxed as we clean and unwind in a secure space.

Reading
She used to read and read and read. It was life, it was everything. I miss that feeling. Somewhere along the way life became urgent and books became slow. Screens have lulled us into another mode, but the books are so grounding and we love to smell them and hold them in our hands, and fall asleep with them on us. I want to give that to her again.

Things I am already doing and will keep doing:

Story time
Me and my inner child love soft stories like the story tape ones we fell asleep to years ago, The Fire Bird, Lorna Doone, The Secret Garden. I have an app on my phone that plays sleep stories. I LOVE IT!

Rain sounds
The same app plays rains and other textural and natural sounds. It's called Calm.... It reminds us of when we went camping, and when we slept in the back of dads van, cosy in blankets amongst wood and tools, coming back from the woods. Ah, I just went there. I love my dad. I wish we had had more of him.

Gentle movies
Period dramas, disney, rom coms... We like to feel and see love, laughter and hope. We love the skill and colour, vibrancy and being taken on a journey, when we can relax and explore someone elses world. It is a restful place for us.

What things do you do?

3
Successes, Progress? / Alone is truth. Loneliness, a lie.
« on: April 02, 2020, 05:11:14 PM »
I have been circling around and around. I have wanted others to feel the way I feel, since I was very young. I didn't want my life, I wanted to be someone else. As a young child I wanted to be rescued. I knew it was wrong, and it never went away. No-one came.

But someone did come. I did. All the time, I came and I showed up. I advocated for myself throughout childhood, I kept myself as safe as I could and I made good friends, and developed bonds with great people that helped me and who I am still good friends with. Through all the pain and trauma and hurt I battled to be a good person, and I chose paths that aligned with my truth. I am proud to have worked personally and professionally to help others. I still do.

Boundaries and needs that I could never hear have now been identified and found, unearthed and built through reading, learning, talking, seeking help, having faith and following the belief that things can be better. I went to libraries and sat reading through psychology books. I decided to pay for therapy. I joined this forum. I moved to a new place and made myself a home with animals who love me and who I love, with plants and safety and comfort.

I tried my very best, at every turn, and I still do. Despite setbacks and more pain, I have worked again and again to find resolve. I am resilient and it is paying off. Sitting here now I feel safe in my own presence. I hold all of this and I want to be who I am. There is still regular pain, and it frightens me, but I feel so proud of who I am and how I handle this.

Years ago in a haze of trauma response with so many tears I could barely see to walk down the road, I took a left turn into a tattoo shop. I knew that I could no longer carry on worshipping the bold bright functioning self and despising the scared traumatised self, and I marked it on my body that my strengths and my weaknesses are equal, they both need my love. The strong in me must help the weak in me. I have two love hearts tattoed, one on each wrist.

I realised my inner child. I committed to loving her and I will never break that commitment. She is beautiful and she is so worthy of my love. She is my child, my responsibility. I will never abandon her. I will show up for her forever and ever and ever. She is the centre of my world. I will play with her and listen to what she needs, I will make it so she can rest. She will know that I have her, always have, always will.

Where I have sought the parents I never had in friends, lovers, partners, I now allow myself to grieve. I have provided the safety for me to do so. This is the truth. This is the aloneness that was real, that often feels so painful, and this is my work. I will not give this to anyone to fix or solve, or rescue. I will hold this, for my child, I will direct towards the truth and not look to others to become something that cannot be.

When I feel abandoned and swallowed in lonely dispair I will come for me again, I will show up. Every time. I will for eternity soothe the loneliness and pain. I always have had and always will have my self. My loving, strong, resilient, resourceful, brave, kind, truthful, wise self. 

Thank you for reading  :grouphug:

4
I did an online test as feel like I want to work out my attachment style. Reoccurring problems with my partner seem to me like they could be due to us having different styles.

The results are:
35% anxious preoccupied
29% secure
29% fearful avoidant
6% dismissive avoidant

What on earth does this mean?

How can I be all of these at the same time?

Baffled!

5
Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Everything is falling apart
« on: March 14, 2020, 01:03:17 AM »
My partner wanted time to himself. This triggered me. I have neglect and abandonment trauma from childhood. The trauma response was and still is strong.

I tried to deal with it and focus on the present world, that my partner needs time for his own mental health, but a day extra got added on to our time apart when I wasn稚 expecting it.

I feel like I have fallen into a severe depression and ongoing trauma response state. I can稚 feel warmth or love. I feel everything has ended, is ending and it痴 just happening in slow motion.

My partner is frustrated and hurt, because I can稚 recognise him. He keeps telling me that what I am experiencing isn稚 real, that 粗verything is ok and I feel angrier and angrier, and like I知 going insane, because it feels real to me. I feel like he is gone, like he left me, and I feel dead inside.

I can稚 stop crying and I haven稚 been looking after myself very well this week. I feel frightened and out of control. I also can稚 advise my partner what to do at the moment. I feel very lost.

6
General Discussion / If not my parent... who are others?
« on: February 23, 2020, 11:21:18 AM »
This might sound like such an odd question, but I feel muddled over the past few days, trying to understand who other people are in my life to me and in context to my healing and journey of recovery.

My therapist said to me last week that I may need to grieve for the loss of a parent that I didn稚 have, as well as a childhood I didn稚 have (Maybe that is why I致e felt so incredibly rubbish all week) and with this has come a sense of disorientation in my understanding of the people around me.

For instance, if I grieve the loss of parent in my life then who, or what, is a partner - if not a rescuer, or a fixer or a 叢arent?

Being blurred on this before now might explain why I have had problems in long term relationships, when I start to trigger and everything becomes incredibly convoluted and unclear between me and a partner. Maybe I am seeking a parent? Therefore unresolved grief gets worked out via the partner, which suddenly seems so unfair on them and also impossible.

And friends. I have sought a level of nurture at times that could also be me seeking parenting, and I am aware that people have at times stopped messaging back, probably because the need is overwhelming. I do feel embarrassed to admit that, although, I can understand why I would have done this and I feel compassion for myself as someone throughout life looking for a family and parenting.

However, in accepting the lack of parent, it means there is so much room for new types of relationships, and possibly protecting my relationships from that pressured dynamic and 創arrative resolution role play...

I壇 be really interested to hear other people痴 views on what they see as a healthy relationship with a partner, a friend and maybe even a therapist.

And does anyone else have experience of this kind of mental shift, in regards to how grieving having a parent can redefine relationships?

7
I feel stuck in bed. I put myself here yesterday to try to rest and recover after days of trauma response following trigger 5 days ago.

This morning I feel so low. I don稚 know what to do or why I would do it. I致e messaged a few friends but I don稚 know what I知 seeking.

Feel dead and depressed and dissociated.


8
General Discussion / Herbal remedies
« on: February 21, 2020, 01:34:46 PM »
Hi all. I’m wondering whether anyone does or has successfully use herbal and natural remedies to manage their CPTSD symptoms? If so, please can you tell me what you use and what symptoms they help?

Last night, on day 3 of major symptoms following a trigger and concurrent breakdown of functioning, I drank a herb tea mix with: Passion flower, lime flower and chamomile. It seemed to take the edge off and I felt relaxed afterwards, and pleasantly sleepy. Which makes a change from the twitchy overtired kind of exhausted I’ve been for days.

I used to make herb tea mixtures years ago, and am going to go to the herb shop later to buy some ingredients.

Am thinking to create specific treatment strategies for the different stages of my trauma response symptoms:

• shock (straight after trigger)
• dissociation, disorientation, de-realisation
• confusion and cognitive fogginess
• exhaustion and over-tiredness
• hyper-vigilance and anxiety
• tension headaches and occular migraines
• aching body (usually from where I’ve been hunched up and very still for days)

Sending my thoughts to everyone affected by trauma x

9
Inner Child Work / Is it healthy to want help when I feel regressed?
« on: February 20, 2020, 07:55:07 PM »
Today I have thought that I go into a regressed state when I get triggered. I can’t pinpoint how old I am, and don’t know how I would work this out tbh, as I don’t actually remember feeling this extreme state of despondency very much when I was younger, despite experiencing trauma from 0-18yrs old (plus into adulthood). I guess I was a good problem solver, and was also busy caring for and parenting others.

It’s like the re-experiencing of trauma in adulthood causes a reaction where I can quite suddenly no longer make all my (forced) self-parent choices. I lose my self-parent. Today I felt clearly that I lose my autonomy.

I have to wait for quite a while as I tend to extreme basics, sometimes over days very slowly, before I regain my autonomous, skilled self-parent.

In intimate relationships, people who address this regressed state in a parental way have been very soothing for me. I struggle to identify my needs, even my need for food and water becomes distorted. I usually can’t make choices and decisions and don’t know how I feel. A lot of thoughts swim around and I feel stuck, frozen and frightened.

I have a few friends who have laid me down with a blanket, given me water and told me to rest. Some have helped me with basic tasks, tidying or making me food. I find this so incredibly healing.

Is it unhealthy to feel so helped by this, and to want this sort of help?

10
General Discussion / PTSD as well?
« on: January 08, 2020, 08:41:30 PM »
In my recover I am wondering... Is it worth exploring whether I have PTSD from recent trauma in last two years, experiencing violence and threat as an adult, as well as CPTSD from childhood events?

Does anyone have experience of or any information about the co-occurring and how fresh trauma can impact CPTSD?

11
Eating Issues / Overeating
« on: November 09, 2019, 06:29:26 PM »
I got to a better place with food and lost weight in the last year. Felt really good.

Things have been hard recently and I am eating so much. I don稚 like feeling so out of control. It is clearly an attempt to feel in control, to put something into me that I know will taste a certain way. 擢ood never lets me down. There痴 a whole heap of stuff.

But it is letting me down. It痴 not making me feel better. It is a fallacy. And I feel bloated and have put on about 1.5 stone, undoing my hard work.

I just want to feel better  :fallingbricks:

12
Successes, Progress? / Gentle ideas for celebrating?
« on: November 09, 2019, 12:48:30 PM »
Hi all,

I have had some very good news as I have accepted a new job that I am very excited about. It comes during a difficut patch... I am amazed that I attended the interview! And then to get the job... well, I feel chuffed.

I also feel vulnerable, as the tricky time and symptoms are still very real.

Do people have ideas of how I could celebrate that are safe, stable, secure, peaceful, caring, gentle and restorative?

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts!

Thank you,
Sasha

 :fireworks:

13
Going Low/No Contact with Abusers / Family member who is incredibly unwell
« on: November 02, 2019, 06:16:33 PM »
NC/LC... how do I know if this is the right thing when a family member is incredibly mentally ill? They have extreme mania and psychosis. They have been aggressive and violent to me and others. They are currently trying to get help. Two other family members have gone NC with this person. How do I know what the right thing to do is? They are so ill. I feel fear and do not want to be harmed, or have my life destabilised, but I feel guilt as they need treatment and I have been advocating for them for many years, only recently stopping. Do I stop for good? Do I walk away for good? Or go LC? If so... How?

14
The Cafe / I am enjoying dreaming
« on: November 01, 2019, 08:14:42 PM »
I find myself dreaming more as I progress in my recovery. Feel like the dreaming is just the warmest feeling, and is such a beautiful thing. My favourite dreams are free from the inner critic and outer critic, and often directly defy their messages.

I dream about having a garden, and growing rose and flowers.

I dream about being old and having grandchildren.

I dream about having a child one day.

I dream about owning a house.

I dream about working in a supportive job doing something I love.

15
Recovery Journals / Sasha is not my real name
« on: November 01, 2019, 05:22:26 PM »
Starting a new journal.

Today has been tiring. I have emailed six therapists in my area, had a phone assessment and subsequent rejection for short-term counselling, and redirected back to doctor. Obviously  :thumbup:

What do I want? Peace
When do I want it? Um... now?

Have some aches and pains, physical symptoms maybe. Cognition has been foggy. Couldn't quite see earlier. Managed to get some work done though!

Phone assessor said, what is one word to describe your mum when you were younger? I said 'depressed'. And the word to describe my dad was 'drunk'.

Have cancelled plans tonight. Need to rest.

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