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Topics - notalone

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1
Symptoms - Other / Hard to form words
« on: October 02, 2020, 10:10:07 PM »
Sometimes I have trouble coming up with words or even just speaking. This is especially true when I'm in a therapy session talking about a trauma. Others had mentioned similar experiences so I want to share a portion of this article. The whole article is worth reading.

There is another area of the brain that is relevant here, called Broca’s area. It is concerned with language and speech – with words. Like the hippocampus, it is also shut down when the smoke alarm is sounding. That is why in a state of terror, like a flashback of trauma, it is so difficult to get our words out. In a situation such as public speaking, at the moment that we most need to speak fluently, our mind goes blank and we literally cannot think of anything to say. This isn’t some random occurrence – it is caused by Broca’s area having reduced bloodflow in moments of high stress and so being ‘turned off’. It’s what Judith Lewis Herman calls the “wordless terror” of trauma.

But the flipside is that if we can get ourselves talking, or focusing on words such as through puzzles like wordsearches or crosswords, or by reading or journaling, we will be coaxing our brain to restore its bloodflow back to Broca’s area again. And by doing that, it will start to turn on the front brain as a whole again. When a therapist gets you to talk about the weather, or football, or what you had for tea last night, it’s not because they can’t cope with your flashback or re-experience of your trauma – they’re getting you out of a back-brain, triggered state by turning your front brain back on again. Some therapists are smarter than they look!


https://www.carolynspring.com/blog/managing-triggers-part-one-why-triggers-are-nothing-to-be-ashamed-of/

When I read this article, it brought to mind a time when my former therapist asked me what kind of car I drive. Now I know what he was doing. (BTW, I wasn't able to answer him in that moment.  :Idunno:)

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Checking Out / Less time on OOTS
« on: August 05, 2020, 02:06:14 AM »
For the last few weeks I have found my ability to respond to others' posts to be fairly limited. I have been unable to write anything in my own journal. I will drop in as able through August, but will not be here as often as in the past though the month of August.

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Books & Articles / Unshame, by Carolyn Spring (book)
« on: July 13, 2020, 03:03:17 AM »
I just received and read the book, Unshame by Carolyn Spring. I haven't read a whole lot of books on trauma and recovery. I start reading then I'm so triggered that I can't go on. Sometimes I go back weeks or months later, other books remain on my shelf, unfinished. Unshame was a book that I read in almost one day. I wouldn't say that I wasn't triggered at all, but it wasn't bad.

Carolyn Spring is a trauma survivor and has DID. In this book she brings us into her therapy sessions as she struggles through the issue of shame. My biggest feeling right now from reading it is feeling less alone. Sometimes when she shared what was going on in her head during session, I thought, wow, my mind goes there too. Her chapter Dealing with Denial sounded very much like sessions I have had with therapist.

If you would like to check out her web site, it is https://www.carolynspring.com/.

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Letters of Recovery / "Bucking" Grandpa TW
« on: June 26, 2020, 10:20:00 PM »
My Grandfather was a violent, evil man. The terror and trauma that I carry from him has lasted long after he took his last breath. Many months ago, I spoke to a relative in an effort to try to put some of the puzzle pieces together. Relative stated, "People didn't buck him."

Today I wrote a "bucking grandpa" letter. The page is surrounded by a thick black wall and by barbed wire so that he can't hurt me or anyone else. I decided to share the 'letter' here. (I should also note that I think several ages of me contributed to the 'letter.')


You are a very, very bad person. You are MEAN and cruel. You are nasty. You are bad. You are evil. You are full of hate. You are full of black inside. You are BAD. Evil. Icky. Yucky. Disgusting. Gross. You are morally weak--empty. You get joy out of evil and pain and others' humiliation. Your soul is dark. You think you have power, but Satan OWNS you. Evil. You are evil.


Thank you for reading this.

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Sexual Abuse / Told
« on: June 18, 2020, 11:00:25 PM »
I told.
I told someone.
I told and he BELIEVED me.

Someone KNOWS.
I told someone and he believed me. He knows. He knows. He is going to help me.

(from 12-year-old Part)

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Good article about what happens when we are triggered. Includes information about the brain, etc.

Armed with this new knowledge, I stopped beating myself up when I got triggered. It didn’t prevent me from being triggered, but it diverted the backlash afterwards, the tornado of critical thoughts and
accusations that would make a bad situation even worse. And gradually I realised too that this self-blame, this tirade of self-denigration, was in itself triggering – that my own abusiveness, even though it was only ever voiced in my head, also smelled ‘smoky’ to my amygdala. So I was triggering myself with my own self-hatred – and that in itself had been spinning me time and again into a vicious circle of being triggered and then triggered again by my own disgust at having been triggered.

PART SIX: UNDERSTANDING TRIGGERS
Understanding that being triggered is automatic and not my fault therefore helped me to become kinder towards myself, and by soothing myself and speaking kindly to myself after a triggering incident, I improved my ‘recovery time’.


https://www.carolynspring.com/blog/managing-triggers-part-one-why-triggers-are-nothing-to-be-ashamed-of/


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Recovery Journals / journal disappeared
« on: May 01, 2020, 01:07:41 AM »
My journal has disappeared!  :aaauuugh:

Bach, regarding your response, I also feel guilty for having a hard time when so many people are suffering. My therapist told me that the waiting and feeling there's no way out is a reenactment of childhood. There was more I was writing when everything disappeared.

Snowdrop & San, thank you for the lovely thought of angels catching me.

8
General / To Kizzie
« on: March 27, 2020, 02:59:12 PM »
Kizzie,

I want to tell you how much I appreciate OOTS and all you do (which I'm sure is much more than I can imagine) to keep it going. The wonderful people on OOTS are an important part of my support system.

I've noticed that when you respond to others, you often share ideas; "maybe this would work, or would it help to try?. . ." I love your creativity in finding help/solutions to problems. Even more, I applaud your courage in sharing your ideas with others.

Thank you, Kizzie!

:cheer: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :cheer:

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General Discussion / Falling. Trying to grab a limb.
« on: March 22, 2020, 12:23:52 AM »
This may be a bit rambling because I am falling. Trying to grab branches (talk to myself rationally), then the branch breaks.   :fallingbricks:

Therapist is now (until at least April 7) doing video chat sessions or phone sessions. I knew this might happen. I talked to myself about it before hand. I talked to one of the Littles about it. Yet, when he sent the emailing stating it, I felt that falling feeling. Grasping at logic, trying to stop the descent. Logic isn't strong enough to stop the fall.

Will write why I am falling and if I have any logic or reassurances will also write those.


>This is not safe. There are people in my house and even though they wouldn't intentionally listen, they might hear me.

>It is not safe to talk about the bad things while NOT with T.

>Hope (5 years old) has been dreading and waiting for the time to share her experience. Waiting for when we start having therapy 2x/week consistently. Waiting for the day when we have therapy that I don't have to go to work the next day. Now she has to wait. It has been hard to wait. Now it is put off. Don't even know for sure how long.

>I AM WASTING TIME. Been trying to catch up in therapy with new therapist. That already feels like  :fallingbricks: Now I am being pushed back further. Trying to make progress and pushed back, pushed back. Useless.

>Feel not safe and somewhat abandoned. Not quite.

>I am not good at technology and might not even be able to connect.


I also feel selfish that all this awfulness is going on in the entire world; people are losing jobs, really sick, and even dying; and I'm complaining about having to do video therapy instead of face to face. I am pitiful.

So much for the logic and reassurance.

10
Sleep Issues / Trouble Sleeping, Resource
« on: March 08, 2020, 07:19:16 PM »
https://www.beautyafterbruises.org/blog/nighttime101

"Getting Some Rest as a Complex Trauma Survivor
  It’s no secret that survivors of trauma often have an incredibly difficult time with sleep. Whether that's due to experiencing terrible nightmares, night terrors or sleep paralysis; having a racing mind that won’t turn off; only feeling safe to sleep during the daytime; or wrestling with any of the countless complications surrounding bedtime — we know that the time of day most really look forward to can be one that fills many survivors with dread.  We have accumulated, used and witnessed the success of many different tools and strategies over the years - tools that are designed to help trauma survivors not only get to sleep, but do so safely and stay asleep peacefully.
"

Discusses: Routine, Journaling, Internal Parts (DID), Medication.

Like many of you, there are nights where I get very little sleep. This article compassionately addresses possible solutions to the difficulty sleeping that trauma survivors can experience.

For myself, I think I will try to somehow be intentional about putting the Littles to bed (DID) or at least asking and listening to them when I have trouble sleeping. Also, I am anxious about sharing a memory with my T tomorrow. Based on past experience, I can picture a restless night ahead. When I was reading the section on journaling, I pictured drawing a bag with the memory inside, to be opened in the T's office.

Good night! :bigwink:

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Recovery Journals / Not Alone: Reduced Visibility; One Step at a Time
« on: February 03, 2020, 11:23:51 PM »
I decided to start a recovery journey. It's a new year----well, yes it is February. I am starting with a new therapist. T E R R I F I E D.

Ever since I started therapy to deal with CSA, I have envisioned it as a journey into rugged mountainous terrain. There have been deep crevices, dangerous cliffs, and consuming mud. And fog. Lots and lots of fog, blinding me to the next part of the journey and often blocking my vision of my next step. Now I am going to another part of the land (there never has been a trail), that seems really dark and even more unknown.

Starting with where I am now, what are my resources?
    Jesus is still with me.
    Friends who are more informed and a greater support.
    Skills I have learned: grounding, etc.
    OOTS
    I have been heard and cared for.
    I am getting better at self-kindness.
Sometimes I can't see, hear, or sense anyone around me; but it is important for me to remember: I am not alone.

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Therapy / New Therapist
« on: January 28, 2020, 02:38:12 AM »
I have been seeing my therapist for individual therapy for 20 months. He is not in my insurance network so I have been paying 100%. Got a part time job to pay for therapy. Every time I thought about seeing someone who was in insurance network, the Littles freaked out with visions of going to a new therapist, who would end up hurting them. When I write that, it almost seems silly, but the depth and intensity of the fear is enormous.

About six weeks ago I fell apart in marriage therapy (different therapist). I already talked about it in another post, so won't go into details. The therapist showed compassion, understanding, calm and knowledge. Marriage therapist is in network, so I've been thinking about switching to having individual therapy with him.

Today talked to my T about the possibility of switching. He understood and was very supportive. (The two men know each other.) Next Monday I have my regular session and then a session (alone) with marriage therapist, to interview him about being my T.

I started today's session in tears. I am pretty sure I will be making the change. My T knows so much about me, has been such an anchor and support, has shown the Littles and myself such compassion and acceptance. It is really hard to do this, but I think in the long run, it is a wise decision. When I talked to T today, I said that I think I will be doing this (therapy) for quite awhile. He affirmed that. If we were talking about months, it would be different, but reality is, we are probably talking about years. Financially, I could have three sessions with marriage therapist for the same amount of money that I pay out of pocket for one session with current therapist.

For those who have followed my other post regarding therapist issues, I wanted to have my relationship with my therapist resolved/healed before I switched. The issue is resolved. Any lingering hurt regarding that, I believe connects with past pain.

If things go as I anticipate, I will see my T two more times. I will also see "new" therapist those two weeks.

This is so hard and painful, but I believe it is a wise decision.

14
General Discussion / self care
« on: January 23, 2020, 02:42:12 AM »
Many ideas for self-care. I printed these 101 ideas so that I have more tools.

"Treating your body, mind, and spirit with love and kindness gives you a chance to feel the very things you were denied or didn’t know you needed. YOU have a chance to be in control and to be the benefactor of that gift — what a remarkable shift in dynamics from what you’ve always known. Self-care is active defiance against all who hurt you or trained you to hurt yourself. With every positive affirmation, loving touch, and self-protective act, you strongly reject and defy everything they drilled into you and hoped you’d feel forever. Reclaim your worth. It’s YOURS, not theirs."

https://www.beautyafterbruises.org/blog


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General Discussion / BOOK: Internal Family Systems Therapy
« on: January 17, 2020, 08:34:12 PM »
First, thank you to Snowdrop for sharing your journey in IFS. When you first started sharing, I wanted to support you, but found myself unable to read your posts. Then I got to the point of being able to skim what you wrote. More recently, I have been able to read your posts in full.

Our marriage therapist recommended Internal Family Systems Therapy by Schwartz and Sweezy to my husband to help him to understand my DID (dissociative identity disorder). Between his recommendation and Snowdrop's and others' sharing, I decided to buy the book.

It came yesterday. A part, who is very against this whole thing, wanted to burn the book before I even opened it. It is an expensive book, so no way that is going to happen! I know at least some of the reasons why she is resistant, although I don't feel at liberty to share those yet. I did start reading it. I'm putting an X by the parts that seem dangerous to her. Also saying to the parts that I'm just reading the book right now. That does mean I'm under any obligation to put any of it into practice.

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