Activity 1 w/your Therapist "Your reactions to discussing the abuse with others"

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C.

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Reminder: In order to honor our group process we ask that only current members post and respond here please.  Thank you.

Note:  Your recovery is unique to you.  These topics and activities are suggestions.  Please feel free to do and respond to those that work for you at this time.      

Note 2: I'm adding the activity to do w/your therapist this week if you'd like.  I thought someone might like to discuss your conversation(s) with your T related to our group or Step 4.

1.   In your work with your therapist, explore your reactions to talking about the abuse.  How do you find yourself expecting your therapist to react?  How do you feel after disclosing especially personal segments of your story?  Do you feel less ashamed of what happened now that you have shared it with someone else?  Are you able to talk more easily with other people about your abuse and your work in recovery?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 08:24:47 PM by C. »

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VeryFoggy

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This one I am willing to talk about.  I first experienced a recall of the exact behavior that pushed me over the edge into CPTSD July 8, 2014.  I was reading a John Gray Book called Mars and Venus Starting Over.  And John expressed an idea that 90% of our present pain was caused by past pains likely from childhood.  I was going through an intensely painful break up, and was willing to try ANYTHING to get through the pain. He invited us, the readers to explore that idea.  So I did.  I found the memory that I learned to call. "How I Was Taught To Hate My Face."  It was something that was done to me over and over for a period of about 6 years.  By the end of 6 years, I simply gave up.  There was no way out, and I had completely turned against myself.  Not even my own face was on my side anymore. It was hopeless, no way out, nothing I could do.

My sister happened to come over to visit me that day I remembered, and I was so excited that I had this memory, but when I told her about it, it fell flat.  She just said it was a weird thing to be thinking about and she didn't get it at all.  I did not care,  I was elated.  I had found the source of my pain, and I was going to help that kid, me, get better. So I started going back in my mind and hugging her and holding her, and telling her that I knew she was a good girl, and that I knew she was sad and hurting and not angry.  I told her I forgave her, and that I loved her.  I dried her tears, and held her, and comforted her.  She had been accused of being angry after a beating.  And she had been told her face looked angry.  And that if she did not get that angry look off her face, she would be beaten again.  But she knew, the kid knew, that she was only infinitely sad, and scared and lonely, and felt unloved and unforgiven. Inside she knew, that she was not angry, but her face, according to her father was telling him she was angry. But eventually she did get angry with her own face and starting hating her own face for not telling him the truth.  So she ended up hating herself. There was no other choice in her mind, her little child mind.

When I told my therapist this story she told me, "That will be the title of your first book." She was so compassionate and showed so much empathy and belief in me and my ability to whip this thing.  It was a very healing moment. And I know I can heal her. My child, me. I am trying every day to take very good care of her and whenever she is scared?  That is when I, the big me I am today is going to step in and make it right for her.  With my adult skills and abilities.

I just have to start sticking up for her and taking better care of her. When people are cruel and mean to her now (to me now) I must take care of her and defend her, because no one ever did before now. Because even though I have not taken good enough care of me?  I WILL take care of that child.  She is important me, and it is important to me to help her feel good and happy and safe.   And that is how I am getting better.

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C.

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What you've written is very inspiring and poignant.  Thank you.  It's making me feel like I can do this on my own when sometimes the task seems too daunting...

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Kizzie

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Great recovery work Very Foggy!!   :cheer:

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Kizzie

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I was going to a drumming group that I really enjoyed until a few weeks ago I walked in and there was my addictions counsellor who had joined the group.  I had stopped seeing him as I wasn't having any problems with drinking and I really liked him and he me.  We hugged and had a good catch up chat and ........ I never went back. 

So as much progress as I have made I still have trust issues even with a counsellor. Seeing him in public was really unsettling.  I made a bunch of excuses as to why I wasn't going any more but in reflecting on this thread I realized how vulnerable and exposed it felt to see him outside of counselling.  He was a great guy and I felt like I trusted him but only to a certain extent I guess. 

Now the good thing in all of this is that through this group I am being more open and honest about things like this and that's great.   Yay!   

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C.

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Yes, honesty.  I find myself simply withholding information and thinking that's normal when really honesty is not just about telling truths, it's about finding them...

Kizzie very interesting point about your experience w/drumming and with this group.  I find it so enlightening how awareness pops up in unexpected places and ways.  I have friends who work in the addictions field and they aren't supposed to socialize for a minimum of two years after providing treatment to a person, also acknowledging a person in a public setting is left up to the "client."  Those rules might be different though where you live.  I had a bad counselor who acknowledged me in public settings and it was quite uncomfortable for me, now I understand why.  It's awkward to explain to others how you know one another and to know the depth of knowledge that they have about you.  No wonder it was uncomfortable for you.  I think my point is that although this person was friendly and likely appropriate with you, he also understands the challenge that might present to you.  So if one day you decide to return or have a conversation with him about that I bet he would understand and be supportive.

Oh Kizzie. I'm sorry to hear that.  :hug:  I can absolutely see why that might have freaked you out. In such a situation, I'd probably have felt like clawing my way up the drapes. WHY couldn't that guy take up playing the piccolo flute?!

My reactions to discussing the abuse with others... hm. The only times this went well was here, on Out of the Storm. The previous times went like this.

Me: "Mom, I found something out recently. I was diagnosed with PTSD."
Her: "Oh, you know, I wouldn't put too much store in psychological stuff if I were you."

Or the time I told my three best friends that I was having trouble to adjust to life in a HUGE city in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language and didn't have a job, or friends. I called it "hard". My friend said: "...you know, having cancer, that's hard. What you're experiencing, that isn't hard." Another of them said: "I was this close to feeling sorry for you, but then I remembered that it's you, so I don't." She wasn't even being snide. This was simply how she felt. One of those friends later tried to reconnect with me, telling me about her own psychological issues, then asking how I was. I thought: "Okay, I'll do a litmus test." I told her about my PTSD, with no expectation that she'd support me, but simply because I was fed up with the pattern our friendship had taken: with me as the functioning, caring one and my friends as the ones who came to me for sympathy and hot dinners. So I told her. I knew she'd not reply, and I was right.

Or the time, many years later, that I told another friend about my PTSD. She ended our friendship since (she said) God heals all those who pray, so if you have something and you're not healed, it's best to just break ties with them.

I'm bad at picking friends.  :sadno:   Or just good at befriending narcissists.

Nowadays, I'd probably deal with those situations very differently. I'm rather better at boundary-setting now. But my reactions at the time are probably predictable. I was shocked, completely taken aback, had no idea what was even happening, and felt absolutely rejected, devalued, and broken-hearted. I completely lost my ability to trust in anyone. And the fact that I'm starting to be able to trust again now is mostly because of the enormous amount of kindness I've found here on Out Of The Storm, and because of the information I got here on CPTSD and on narcs.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 07:49:36 AM by schrödinger's cat »

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Kizzie

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Tks C and Cat - It was disappointing as my IC was having so much fun there, but I do recognize that it would be awkward for most people in that situation.  This person is wonderful and would definitely understand my discomfort, still he has seen me 'naked' so to speak and that was unsettling enough that I did not want to experience that every time I went to a class that was supposed to be fun and carefree.  Now in the new city my H's job is in there will undoubtedly be a lot of drumming groups and other fun things for my IC.  The other good news is that I was searching T's there last night and there are quite a few who treat trauma - huzzah!
 
C- I love what you said about honesty not just being about telling truths, but finding them - well put!  CPTSD does come with its own kind of fog and it can be a struggle (perhaps it's the struggle) to find and let ourselves see our truths, to reach past the veil of mist and pull them into the light of day.   Each time I do though I feel I have just taken another small step forward.      Just added - I was just thinking about the fact thatI did not say anything earlier about this incident and realized how much of a habit it is to keep quiet, but now I have a safe, understanding place where I can speak my truths - finally. 

Cat - How invalidating those experiences were for you, that awful, stomach sinking, broken hearted feeling. :hug:  I too am grateful for now having a place I can say just about anything and receive validation and kindness and compassion - it's huge in my recovery. I am not certain I feel the need to even seek validation from friends and family anymore as CPTSD is a hard one to grasp, especially covert emotional abuse.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 05:44:56 PM by Kizzie »