Exposure therapy

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Not Alone

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2019, 08:52:37 PM »
Deep Blue, that is a big risk to open up to someone. You didn't write about the friend's response, so I trust it was accepting and caring. I couldn't do this without my friends. Sometimes it is as simple as a text saying I'm having a hard time and them texting back telling me they care. It makes a difference.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #61 on: November 21, 2019, 02:44:21 PM »
verge of freaking out today

Today the plan is for my T and I to move the couch in her office.  She thinks I need to get into the position on the couch where much of my abuse took place.

Iím so scared you guys. Iíve never dreaded therapy as much as today.  Maybe she will forget? Maybe we wonít do it after all. 

Whatís gonna happen? Am I gonna be ok?

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Snowdrop

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #62 on: November 21, 2019, 02:51:19 PM »
My heart goes out to you, Deep Blue. Being scared is completely understandable, but remember what Three Roses said to you: you are stronger than you know. Your therapist will be with you, and I'm sure she'll make sure you are safe. :hug:

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Three Roses

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #63 on: November 21, 2019, 04:16:10 PM »
In addition to what Snowdrop says, remember that you are in the driver's seat. You can always tell your t it's too much too soon. That doesn't mean you won't do it, it just means you won't do it right now.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #64 on: November 22, 2019, 12:36:45 AM »
Iím ok I think,
Yep... I took the wheel and made a hard left! I didnít do the exposure today.  I just couldnít.... it seemed too big... too scary today.

I still fought off a couple flashbacks while  I was in there so Iím worried about sleeping tonight.

Does anyone else do that??? Like the world gets fuzzy? And I know the flashback is coming and I force it down... shake my head a little and kinda shake it off.

I dunno  :Idunno:

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Not Alone

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2019, 01:09:04 AM »
Deep Blue,
remember that you are in the driver's seat. You can always tell your t it's too much too soon. That doesn't mean you won't do it, it just means you won't do it right now.
:yeahthat:   Good that you let her know that today was not the day. It is your choice. Flashbacks are awful.  :hug:

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Snowdrop

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2019, 08:57:12 AM »
I hope you slept OK, Deep Blue. Well done for recognising that yesterday was not the right day, and for doing something about it. Good awareness. :yes:

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sanmagic7

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2019, 03:10:34 PM »
i'm with the others, db.  you know when the time is right.

is there any way to break this down into smaller pieces?  something that might be manageable, do the exposure thing w/ that until it's tolerable, then move on to the next phase?  just a thought.

right beside you!  love and a hug filled w/ self-knowledge and confidence in it. :hug:

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Deep Blue

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #68 on: November 27, 2019, 12:49:04 PM »
Back to therapy today,
My T keeps telling me that Iím stronger than I think. 

I just donít believe that.  I know this may be my inner critic but I donít think surviving trauma means Iím strong.  I think it just means learned how to roll over and play dead.

Well last week I didnít do the exposure... it was too big and scary. I like the idea of taking it slowly today.  I wonder though??? I have no idea if standing next to a couch, or even seeing someone else bent over a couch will elicit any reaction from me.  Is there a way of knowing?

Started a new thing to help bring me back down and ground when I wake up from panic attack at night.  Texting uses a different part of the brain.  So I started typing out my grounding on my phone when Iím having trouble coming back down from the panic attack.  Hoping it will serve me well... so far so good

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Snowdrop

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #69 on: November 27, 2019, 04:51:27 PM »
Thinking of you, Deep Blue.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #70 on: November 28, 2019, 04:12:39 PM »
hey, db,

i don't think there's a way of knowing till you actually do it.  if it doesn't elicit a neg. response, perhaps you can take it a step further, lean a bit further, move toward the position until you feel a neg. response.  that, then, might be your starting point.   does that make sense? just a thought.

the idea of surviving our traumas, getting thru them and still be physically alive, and mentally sane, takes great strength.  i just saw someone tell a battered woman, who was afraid to get out of the relationship because she wasn't strong enough, that it takes someone strong to have gone thru what she did.  inside, we were fighting to keep our 'selves' intact, even while we were being denied, demeaned, diminished in so many horrific ways.  that fight, tho we may have succumbed to their demands at the time, that fight was still in us, still working to keep us alive and sane.  that takes strength.

and, i'm not judging anyone who hasn't made it out of their abuse.  sometimes it's just too much.  too much pain, too much fear.  i can't ever say someone was weak cuz they went in a different direction.  but, i can say that every single one of us here is a very strong person, usually stronger than we believe.  we did what we had to do, even if it meant rolling over and pretending to be dead - that's what was needed to stay alive.

and stay alive you did.  thru everything, you did what was needed to be here today.  that takes brute strength.  you have that within you.  it may not seem like it, but it's definitely there.  all the exposure stuff you've already gone thru, wow!  i don't know if i'd have the strength for that!  but, cutting it into tinier pieces might be more manageable.  you're quite vulnerable at this time w/ all this, which feels like weakness.  honestly, it's not.  even the most fragile china cup can hold the hottest tea and not shatter.

i'm really glad you found something that helps during the night.  great idea.  something else you didn't know would work or help till you tried it.  you're getting there!  and, we've got you, won't let go.  sending love and warm, supportive hugs. :grouphug:

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Deep Blue

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2019, 05:05:06 PM »
Thanks San,
Itís weird that I agree with you for everyone else except me...

I look at all the stories of people on the forum, all the awful trauma, and I think to myself... wow they are so strong.

But... I donít/canít recognize it in myself.

By body did hold up during all the PA... itís just my mind that feels very damaged... and my heart  :Idunno:

Standing next to the couch didn't elicit a reaction from me. My T leaned over the couch and I felt my heart begin to pound... my cheeks got red and I found myself pacing her office.

No flashback, no panic attack... just that feeling that I wanted to escape...

Last night I got nailed with nightmares.  I did self care last night before bed and did type out the grounding in the middle of the night.

Iím here today, Iím safe today, Iím cooking today (a favorite distraction)

Thanks for all of you

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sanmagic7

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2019, 06:14:23 PM »
well, i think that's progress, db.  you now know where the beginning of your anxiety kicks in.  that might be enough exposure to begin with.  that piece.  maybe until you get that piece to be manageable, it's far enough.  when you don't get such a reaction from seeing that, you might be able to add another small piece.  how does that sound.

i know it's difficult to see in ourselves what we see in others.  i've heard that we can't see in others what we don't have in ourselves.  don't know if that's true.  i do know that i see your strength and courage, and i admire you for them both.

i do believe that as you continue with your healing, things will become clearer for you.  maybe ICr stuff is getting in the way of you seeing this for yourself.  what do you think?

and, yeah, it would make sense that your mind and heart were more terribly damaged than your body.  those wounds run deep.  they may be more fragile than your body, but, as the example about the broken vase, they can be repaired in a way to make them even more beautiful.  hang tough, ok?

love and hugs! :hug:

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Jdog

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2019, 02:30:02 AM »
 :cheer:

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Deep Blue

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Re: Exposure therapy
« Reply #74 on: December 31, 2019, 03:40:21 PM »
Please let me find the strength to fight some of these triggers...

I have not done exposure in weeks and Iím still really struggling with the nightmares piece.  Iíve fallen into old bad habits of SH to deal with the sadness I feel and the terror that strikes me when I sleep.

Last night I was crippled with nightmares, body memories and an earth shattering panic attack... can the cptsd gods please cut me some slack?