Further Adventures of Elpha

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Armadillo

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #225 on: May 12, 2021, 11:23:44 PM »
This is so exciting!  :grouphug:

Great job on the grades too despite all the circumstantial challenges! That's amazing!

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #226 on: May 17, 2021, 05:33:38 PM »
Well, I started my new job today. It is just the usual orientation meetings and such but it is a first step into this new chapter. It is very real and tangible now, although there are pieces that still feel surreal.

I am not doing much deep trauma work at the moment to be able to rest as much as zi can as I settle into the massive amount of change. It is all positive change but that is a lot for anyone so most of my therapy and emotional work is just ensuring this transition is manageable and healthy.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #227 on: May 20, 2021, 10:55:23 PM »
Last thing has been accomplished! My licensure exam was passed this morning and now I am officially a licensed therapist. It is still not completely real somehow. Like this doesn't feel like my real life yet, but I know it will eventually.

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Armadillo

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #228 on: May 21, 2021, 12:09:08 AM »
Congratulations!!!!! You are going to be a very good therapist. A GREAT therapist. I found a really old post of yours the other day scrolling thru some of the stuff on the PA board and I wanted to give you a big old hug and felt so sad you were questioning your experiences....then I realized who's post I was reading and that you have come so far and are now moving on to help others from a place of real empathy and I felt so happy. For you, for your future clients.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #229 on: May 21, 2021, 05:37:54 PM »
Thank you Armadillo! I am truly hopeful that I am even half the therapist that everyone believes I will be. I do feel like I am in the right field and have found my calling for the moment. Regarding my old post, I have been around for 4 years (on this forum anyways) and man that feels like a truly long time. I am certain the version of me that wrote that old post (whenever in the 4 years it was written) was much different than the person currently responding to you. I have done massive amounts of healing work in these four years. I am grateful that I don't question my experiences anymore (or at least very rarely) and am less affected by everything I went through.

I feel a little sappy and reflective thinking about that version of myself to be honest. 4 years ago I would not have believed that place I am at was possible for me. I would have never envisioned being done with my master's program and becoming a therapist. I would not have believed that it was possible to be and feel as stable, well-regulated, and hopeful as I am now. Where I sit today would have felt like a dream to that version of me, and honestly is still does sort of feel like a dream to me. Not everything is always sunshine and butterflies but it doesn't need to be. I know who I am and have really grown to love myself in a way that makes the ups and downs more doable. Anyways, that was a tangent I did not intend to get into but reflecting back, life is majorly different. I redid my treatment plan with my therapist this week as well and my goals have changed massively, I am not longer writing goals to manage symptoms, instead am writing them to progress in other areas. I also no longer have high levels of anxiety, depression, or ptsd symptoms. Those things all spike occasionally but on the regular I feel so much more level than I used to. I have work to do but it feels much less overwhelming than it was before.


On a different tangent: my M has been a super supportive and loving person in my life over the last few months. This was further demonstrated when she came for my graduation a few weeks ago. M has really started to value who I am as an adult and show up consistently in my life as a positive person. I am grateful for the change, although it is a bit confusing. I am able to accept the positive though and embrace the growing relationship. There was a time I would have laughed at anyone who said I would have a good relationship with her one day, but I am glad I am growing one now. It has been a process over the last two years really and it seems to be coming to fruition the more her and I grow. She has been doing her work and so have I so we are both more able to hold a healthy relationship. I am still not sure if I will ever share more of my past with her, but I know even if I don't that I can have a good relationship with her built from a foundation in my adult life rather than the one that was broken in my childhood. HAving a relationship with her now does not negate all of that bad but it does come with an acceptance of what was. She could have saved me from a lot and I wish she had been more present for me when I was a kid and I accept that is how things were and the pain that comes with that. I have, I think, accepted it enough that I can now have a relationship with her that is not constantly clouded by the old wishes or animosity. I wish she had been there but I also know she is human and humans change, she has changed and for me that is enough right now.

Okay, this has been long. Goodness knows there is plenty more since I have not typed much here recently, but this is enough for now.

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Blueberry

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #230 on: May 21, 2021, 05:59:00 PM »
Last thing has been accomplished! My licensure exam was passed this morning and now I am officially a licensed therapist.

 :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

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woodsgnome

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #231 on: May 22, 2021, 07:28:59 PM »
Hey, Elpha ... reading your current post has solidified what I've slowly been realizing about my own takeaways from your story over these last however many years.

Those takeaways are multiple but I think they mostly boil down to the notion that there somehow is always a kernel of hope (even if sometimes invisible  :disappear:). It's the sort of hope that allows growth and stability to grow, as well as faith that yes, real change is possible. None of this comes without the dust of the old story still lurking about -- but that's sure better than dominating our entire beings.

Loved your statement that ..."Not everything is sunshine and butterflies, but it doesn't need to be. I know who I am and have really grown to love myself in a way that makes the ups and downs more doable." You spoke of altering goals and what you said here fits into the alterations I feel I need as well.

Thank you for those inspirations, Elpha -- let me leave you with this -- :hug: -- as a token of thanks for sharing your path of self-realization and as a sign of support for your continuing journey. May your inner strength never cease to be a base from which you will grow further as you shift from within your own recovery process to assisting those who come to you seeking their own way beyond the pain and frustration they've had to endure.

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Armadillo

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #232 on: May 22, 2021, 08:30:40 PM »
Wow that's really inspiring. All if it. I am also awed your mom is able to do some growth along with you to start repairing that relationship a little based on present instead of past. I hope that continues to work.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #233 on: May 22, 2021, 10:02:30 PM »
Woodsgnome, your words are always so insightful and meaningful to me. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I definitely agree with everything boiling down to there being a small kernel of hope that exists even when we can't see it. That hope is what has allowed me to keep healing and growing. I was not always able to hold the hope for myself but have been grateful to have others that could hold hope for me in those moments (including people here). I wish to be able to hold hope for others when they need it. I know there will be times that I will likely need someone else to hold that hope for me again but I know it does not happen as often or for as long as it used to.

Regarding altering goals: I am glad that also resonated with you. It is an odd space to be. I found it difficult to work on creating goals from a place that was once the goal. It is different to be forming goals around something other than lowering/managing symptoms. I am curious to keep creating those goals as I learn what this feels like.

Thank you for the  :hug:, I am sending one right back. Self-realization is truly the most perfect word for all of this. It is a powerful thing to know who I am and be comfortable with who that person is. I have worked tirelessly to survive years of terrible abuse and then to heal enough to be here. I deserve to get to feel comfortable with and love the person that has resulted from that work. I will never stop growing but I have such an appreciation for where I am because of where I have been. Hopefully, that helps me assist others in their journeys. My own journey has taught me how powerful our capacity to heal is and makes me believe even more in the capacity every person has to heal. I want to convey to both my clients and the people whom I am close with. I appreciate the beautiful sentiment at the end of that Woodsgnome and don't truly have any better words to express that.  :hug:


Armadillo, I am glad that it is inspiring. Although, I don't think I will ever get used to being a source of inspiration for anyone. It is something I am still working on embracing in my life. As far as my mom, I am glad for her ability to grow as well. It gives me hope for having her in my adult life in a way that is continually positive and supportive.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #234 on: May 24, 2021, 06:16:29 PM »
So I felt like coming here and reflecting a bit in my day. I am still searching for how to make goals right now. I know there are many options but it feels slightly wrong of me to want anymore than I have gotten. Like, this point has always been the goal... to not be ruled by my symptoms, like who I am, and have a professional life that is fulfilling. I have all of those right now and I cannot imagine asking for or deserving more than that. It makes it difficult to make goals because I am not sure what is next past where I have gotten. I know there is but it is difficult to plan for that and ask for that. That in itself is a thing I can work on. I do not want to be too greedy, to ask for more than is meant for me. I know in theory I deserve all the peace and happiness I can get but there is a piece of me that doesn't want to ask or try for more than this moment, it feels wrong somehow. Like I need not take more than my share of stability. Maybe because so much of my identity has been wrapped around being a survivor and the idea that I can plan and set goals past things that circle around that is scary. I know myself out of my trauma now, at least some, and I want to know that version of me more but to keep stepping forward is scary especially when right now I feel like I have more than I could ask for. It is not all perfect but it never will be. This was the dream and I feel like I cant risk losing that just by wanting to see if I can do even more.

I guess that and the imposter syndrome I have are the things to tackle next. I don't know how to do either of those things but I have a bomb therapist who will likely be able to help with that. I just need to be brave enough to keep stepping forward.

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Kizzie

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #235 on: May 24, 2021, 06:25:11 PM »
Just read that you are a licensed therapist now Elph. Good job you!  Wish we could have a real F2F party, hope this will do:

:phoot:  CONGRATS ELPH!  :party:

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Armadillo

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #236 on: May 24, 2021, 08:44:09 PM »
It's not selfish at all Elphanigh! Quite contrary! When you are able to reach new goals and have more satisfaction that is going to go right back to the loved ones in your life and your clients! Keep reaching for what you want!

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #237 on: May 24, 2021, 08:54:34 PM »
Kizzie, I would love a F2F celebration as well but I love the enthusiasm of that response. Thank you so much for celebrating that accomplishment with me. It feel like yesterday that I chose to start that path and here I am at the end of it and the beginning of yet another.  :grouphug:

Armadillo, that perspective is wonderful. I greatly appreciate the reminder that all of this also benefits my loved ones and my clients. It is good to remember that the fuller my cup the more I have to give as well. It keeps me healthy enough to do what I love which is help others. I am curious as to what this next chapter will bring with it, I am not sure how to imagine it but I will figure that out.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #238 on: May 25, 2021, 03:41:01 PM »
Therapy last night was the deepest work I have done in months. I was worried about diving in and not sure what would come up but I think we are going a good direction. We started targeting the imposter syndrome I have utilizing somatic experiencing methods which allowed me to go back into what was connecting to the body feelings that come up when I feel into my imposter syndrome feelings. It brought up stuff connected to the past (not surprising at all) as well as some from the more recent past. These are pretty painful things but manageable ones. I decided to go the more difficult route because it felt like it resonated most strongly with the work I needed done. Most of it boiled down to people having told me in different variations that I didn't deserve anything good, or that I hadn't done anything to deserve what I had. Those are pretty painful things to face but ones that I know are wrong so I can challenge them now and work through the left over reminders of them.

Some of that meant last night allowing a younger part of me to confront a version of one of my abusers. That version of me was able to go through which punching a paper cardboard version of him and then start to say some words to him. This came with some massive feelings to feel out. My therapist was able to say some things that brought more forward and helped me to start to express them. It did get a bit overwhelming so we stopped and recentered before ending the session. I was glad to have started the work and feeling like I am going in a good direction with it that will target more present day challenges.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #239 on: May 27, 2021, 12:11:54 AM »
I wanted to come here to write about a feeling I could finally name. I realized sort of what I have been feeling is a sense of being free for possible the first time in my whole life. I am not fighting at the moment and I am not certain I have ever not been fighting for something/someone at any point in my life. My whole life I fought to protect others at the expense of myself, then when I got out of that situation I fought for the approval of those around me while fighting symptoms from my trauma. When I wasn't doing those things I was fighting myself because I could not embrace good and peace yet because I was not ready too. I was still too hypervigiliant, shameful, and full of guilt.

For the first time in my life, I am not fighting myself or my trauma. I am not fighting for someone's approval or to get something to attain some sort of stability. So for the first time in my life I can accept this feeling of freedom and stability in my own right. I am not fighting myself or my trauma. I like who I am beyond what I thought was possible and my trauma, while present, no longer rules my life. I don't choose out of fear or protective needs anymore.. I choose for me and those I love. I can choose things that make me happy and help me grow into the person I am loving to become. That is the freeest I think I can ever imagine feeling.

I am free to choose peace and happiness instead of needing to fight for everything I have. All my life, I have fought for every bit of good that I have.. thought I had to in order to be deserving of it. Honestly, I had to fight to just be alive and was lucky that some good came with that fight. I no longer need to fight to have good or be deserving of this. I never should have had to fight so hard for it, but I know that it makes this sort of moment impactful in a way that it would be otherwise. I both feel the grief of needing to fight for every ounce I had and the joy of knowing I can embrace the good I have. I can embrace it and keep choosing it now.