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Topics - Sasha

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1
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?

2
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:

3
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!

4
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 wasnít expecting it.

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

My partner is frustrated and hurt, because I canít recognise him. He keeps telling me that what I am experiencing isnít real, that Ďeverything is okí and I feel angrier and angrier, and like Iím going insane, because it feels real to me. I feel like he is gone, like he left me, and I feel dead inside.

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

5
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 didnít have, as well as a childhood I didnít have (Maybe that is why Iíve 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 Ďparentí?

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 Ďnarrative resolution role playí...

Iíd be really interested to hear other peopleís 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?

6
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 donít know what to do or why I would do it. Iíve messaged a few friends but I donít know what Iím seeking.

Feel dead and depressed and dissociated.


7
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

8
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?

9
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?

10
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 donít 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. ďFood never lets me downĒ. Thereís a whole heap of stuff.

But it is letting me down. Itís 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:

11
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:

12
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?

13
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.

14
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.

15
Employment / Advice plz: How to respond to this...
« on: October 14, 2019, 11:35:25 AM »
I work part time in a cafe. No one has a contract, everyone is ‘self-employed’. It is a stop gap for me but I have been enjoying it, and felt very friendly with the staff, including the manager, who is also not on a contract and works on the same terms as us.

Recently we have been discussing deeper things and a couple of weeks I spent the best part of one of my days off responding to texts from the manager as she was worried about a the well-being of a member of staff. Things at work had felt safe and caring, with all staff, and I have never felt that any staff member wouldn’t help another out or would complain if someone was sick and they had to cover. I know I wouldn’t!

This week I’ve had one of my worst CPTSD times in a while, and have been in and out of EF’s that have lasted days, with migraines, dissociation and disorientation. I cancelled work last Thursday, early in the morning, and the manager said she could cover. Yesterday I was due to go in and was trying to get ready however I was in the midst of a flashback, was crying, could barely see and operate let alone think clearly. My partner said I shouldn’t go in, and not to worry as my health takes priority and he called the manager and told her I was sick.

Later in the evening, after a lot of rest, I felt better and I sent a text to explain. This is the text I sent, and then this morning I got the response that follows:

From me:
“Hey [manager name], I'm sorry about today. I hope it was manageable and sorry for the inconvenience caused. I don't know how much to say but I have PTSD. It doesn't flare up too often but when it does it really kicks the * out of me. Has been going on all week, have had to cancel a lot of other work not just [cafe name], and today I was preparing to come in, but was in such a bad way that my partner thought it best I stay home and he called you. Hope you can understand, and hopefully I'll be a lot better tomorrow and in time for Wednesday, as resting today has certainly helped. Sorry again, and I hope you're okay as understand you had a lot going on yourself last week. Best, x”

Reply from the manager:
“I do understand, but really it was too late to be calling in, that decision needed to have been made before then (and on Thursday too). I was meant to be finishing early and had made plans. So [staff name] has to cover short notice again, and I was late with what I was meant to be doing. Everyone gets ill and has stuff going on, I get that. But calling in sick needs to be done with as much notice as possible when we're such a small team and you're relied on to be here so we can be open
You're meant to be working Thursday, not Wednesday, are you able to do that?”

I feel a lot of things about this response, and I am unsure of what to do next. Here are some of the emotions and feelings I can place:

• Anger with myself that I have disclosed information about having a serious condition to someone who seems to have shown very little empathy or understanding.

• Upset at being spoken to like this after I have sent a follow up text to apologise and explain. I am a manager myself in my other part time job and I would NEVER speak to a staff member in this way. Ever!

• Anger that managers speak to staff like this so regularly. I cannot stand it and I won’t stay in a workplace where the consideration I extend to others is not shown to me.

• Worried as I feel I can’t work here anymore, and need to find new work. Again.

• Worried that I have told this person private information and I do not feel like I can trust this person to respect me personally now, due to their reaction, which I find aggressive and quite cold.

• Wary that this person may have little actual control over their staff and their own role due to lack of contracts, and therefore this way of behaving maybe an attempt to control their surroundings. I don’t like feeling controlled.

• Disbelief at the level of inconvenience that the manager has described. I know that sickness and cancellation causes issues however I also know that the staff member who covered has been keen for more hours and I am so sure that if that staff member knew that I was sick they would not be upset to cancel.

• Worried to go in to work again. Following a heavy week I don’t want to be spoken to or treated like this.

It’s been over over two hours since I read the reply. I have crafted a few responses but decided to delete them and sit on it, as they are way too empathetic and understanding, and apologetic. I realised I felt anxious upset and then I decided to get in touch with my feelings and write to you guys here.

Mainly right now I feel like I want to text her back asking her to consider her tone and the way she is speaking to me. I actually feel quite furious at this way of being treated after such a disclosure, and I feel like I want to alert her to her position of responsibility. That probably won’t work, or may create more drama, as she is clearly already stressed.

In the mean time I feel like I should apply for new jobs where I could be safer working in jobs where sickness policy is clear and where there is a work culture of empathy and progressive practice around mental health.

After such a horrible week this really is a foul thing to experience. I just wish people would think more and be kinder, especially when it is needed most. I don’t want to have to defend myself, or take someone’s scolding tone on top of dealing with everything else. It makes me feel so angry and upset to have to deal with this right now.

Any advice welcome! Thank you in advance.

Best, Sasha x

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