Further Adventures of Elpha

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Elphanigh

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Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: July 24, 2020, 11:53:50 PM »
HI everyone,

I know this is primarialy for me but I know I have not been around in a while and wanted to start as a greeting for all the old faces here that I care for so deeply.

Honestly, I feel drawn to write here but am not exactly certain what I will write. I think I just feel comfortable, seen, and known in this space. It is a comfort to always be able to come back here, be seen for who I am, an allowed the space to heal without any pressures to be or do anything.

I guess update is a good start. Grad school is phenomenal (and super stressful). I am more than halfway done with my program and so much closer to becoming a licensed social worker and therapist. The road has taken me through so many wonderful and crazy turns. I would not change it for the world but my goodness the expectations are huge. It gives me hope though for all of the trauma informed practitioners that will come out of my generation. I have such a deeper understanding of helping others and will continue to gain that. I have so many colleagues, friends, and mentors that take into account trauma in a way that is tremendous to behold. They do exist and man the mission is strong as ever, even if it is slow growing. I am constantly in awe and so grateful to be studying among people that care so much and are so open to new ideas. I learn from them and from all of you (plus my clients of course). I think my mind and abilities are always being challenged but I am rocking it and cannot wait to have my license

On the personal front things have come so far but also be so difficult. I guess I always come here in times of change and difficulty, which maybe is unfair? Right now is a little more challenging. I am finding a greater depth of grief, change, and attempted forgiveness right now. It is like refacing a deeper level of my demons. A bunch of my worst nightmare memories and sexual traumas. I know I am capable but it is a really painful time on that front and I have to remember all of the progress I have made. I know it is apparent in my self-compassion and love, even jus tin the way I am writing here but I can still forget sometimes. A new round of nightmares and anxiety sometimes blurs that progress. I don't really have words for all of the feelings, or at least now ones that I feel explain them to the full extent. Language is limited sometimes.

I will probably allow younger me to type in here some too, since it is more difficult for her to voice things in my day to day. Not right now as I think I will leave this as it is and begin more of a deep dive later.

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rainydiary

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 12:43:44 AM »
Iím glad to have the chance to hear/read your story.  I think it is cool what you are studying in school and am glad you will do that work. 

Thank you for sharing.

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woodsgnome

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 12:50:01 AM »
Hi again, Elpha -- it's great to hear how you're doing.  :cheer:

Reading about the steps you've taken and those that you are looking ahead to has been both satisfying and encouraging. It's such an enormous thing, when thought about. Choosing your path was hazardous given your struggles. Yet even aware of what might come up for you, your resolve and strength in having turned this corner is refreshing.

Thanks for sharing it. And all the best as you venture forward.
 
:hug:

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Three Roses

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 04:38:41 PM »
Hey, great to hear from you!

Quote
I am rocking it
:cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

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I guess I always come here in times of change and difficulty, which maybe is unfair?
Nope! Not unfair at all. It's like coming home, or returning to base camp for supplies, or to a comforting spot where you found rest and rejuvenation.

It's inspiring to see how far you've come! You're going to be an AWESOME therapist.  :hug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2020, 07:41:04 PM »
It is so wonderful to hear from you three, thank you  :hug:

Woodsgnome, it feels like it has been so long! It is good to see you are still here and I hope all is well. I am glad this can be encouraging to you, and I hope it continues to me. My path is certainly hazardous but honestly I find that even when stuff comes up for me I am gaining a deeper understanding. It is certainly difficult at times, kind of like the last few weeks, but I am learning not only how to help others but also getting such a deeper knowledge of myself too. It is not easy but I am grateful for my ability to keep perspective or for the people that help me gain perspective when I lose it.

Three Roses, I have missed you as well. I feel like you have watched so much of my journey over the last three or so years (wow it has been that long?). I am glad it is not unfair, it does feel like coming home or to a base camp for supplies. I can be open here and feel that extra bit of support when I need it most, which as much as I have not gone into any details yet here I do need it more recently.

I am hopeful and excited for the type of therapist I will get to be/ This time next year I will have had my license for over 2 months and hopefully have been practicing in that time. I get to do play therapy with kids this year and am super stoked for that opportunity. I also am continuing work with survivors as well as other adult clients through some part time work. It is a great step in the direction of my career.


Stuff has been great but man it has be hard. School is 50-60 hours a week during a pandemic with trauma stuff coming up. I saw my FOO in early June and feel like since I got back my trauma has really been kicking me in the tail. I saw abusers that week (not intended) along with my family who I already and working through some emotions about. My relationship with my M in particular is challenging and constantly growing or changing. Many of you know that has been a long road and I think will continue to be so. I am glad I went because I gained a great deal from the trip but it has led to processing of grief like I have never felt before. I am currently confronting some of my scariest demons and more of the deep interwoven guilt that goes into my grief and how complicated that is. There was some truly heartbreaking and crazy making incidents in my life and I am just grappling with another layer of work on them. While being in school studying trauma for that 60 hours a week... it is a great deal to do but I am managing as I always do.

All of that of course placed in a pandemic.. where I am working and fearful for my well being and those around me pretty constantly. Then of course my grandfather having a stroke last week and my great grandmother's dementia really taking a toll... my sister and nice moving (this is a good thing just change), my brother leaving the military (medical leave atm), and just other conflict going on there. I am privy to a lot with my FOO that is maybe important for me to know but not helpful for me as far as sanity goes.


Anyways, I have learned to take downtime and not feel guilty for self-care so much. I have a greater ability to have self-compassion for what I am going through even if I cannot always act on it because of school and work commitments. I am stoked for things to come but need to honor the pain of the past and where I am now. It is complex as this stuff always is.

I am not sure how much I will be here but it is a comfort to write here and have this space. I cannot explain what it is like to have a space that i can reliably go back to when I need it. I always feel a little conflicted because there is a practitioner/therapist part of me and then the survivor part of me and the needs are at odds sometimes. so this this nice.

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Blueberry

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2020, 08:04:00 PM »
Hi Elpha,
It's good to read your update  :hug:

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notalone

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2020, 09:03:15 PM »
It is great to hear from you. I think of you away at school. I'm glad to have an update.
Anyways, I have learned to take downtime and not feel guilty for self-care so much. I have a greater ability to have self-compassion for what I am going through even if I cannot always act on it because of school and work commitments. I am stoked for things to come but need to honor the pain of the past and where I am now. It is complex as this stuff always is.
Having time for self-care and compassion toward yourself is wonderful and so important. As a person you are worthy of care and kindness, as a therapist, you will be better able to care for your clients when you are taking care of yourself.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 08:37:36 PM »
Good to hear from you both  :hug: :hug: I think of everyone here often, even though I do not come and write frequently. Life is just super crazy and has taken so many turns.

That being said I will have a couple heavy therapy sessions this week and will likely try to write more as I process.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2020, 07:37:14 PM »
So writing here knowing at some point it will likely make me cry again and I will pause. 4 hours of therapy in two days is so much for anyone, even me.. I have such a high tolerance for this junk but it has wiped me pretty fully. That being said I would not change it. I have had two therapists for a while now, with one just as a sort of place to check in when I needed a little bit of extra support. This of course makes a part of me feel guilty because I do not always believe myself deserving of that much caring, support, and unconditional positive regard. Therapy session number one on Monday night was nearly three hours long and full of intense trauma processing with inner children and super tough memories. AFterwards I felt better in the sense that stuff was getting processed but emotionally tapped out.  Therapy session two was this morning and almost more emotionally charged if that is even possible... (side note, only got one paragraph in before tearing up.. sigh  :disappear:)


Anyways, that session was with the newer therapist that I got after the start of the new year. I adore her and she really is wonderful, but with covid it is so hard to build the same sort of relationship that I have with my other therapist who has now known me for like 4 years. It amounted to just swapping them rolls which is fine. My old therapist is going to do the heavy lifting of trauma work with me and the newer one is going to be the one I check in with occasionally about life stuff. It is what will work best for my healing right now and says nothing about either of them or me really. IT was a difficult conversation to have though because it brought so many tears on my part. Old wounds of worrying I would hurt or disappoint someone no matter what I chose, or that I would overburden one of them, or that I would choose wrong... Fears from a younger me in losing the people that care for me and are almost essential to my ability to do what I do.  It is a younger part of me so afraid to hurt people or lose people or make them mad at me. People did used to leave when things got hard or when I couldn't share enough with them.. or if I shared too much. I lost people that cared time and time again for both things.

On the flip side, I am emotional because I don't feel like I truly deserve either of them... let alone both. They both genuinely want what is best for me, what will mean I am the healthiest and happiest I can be. Niether of them are self-interested in the least and just want me to heal and succeed at all the things I want. That unconditional positive regard and caring is a lot to take in. I have had it in my life for a while but sometimes it is still foreign and overwhelming in its own way.

Okay, that is as much as my emotions can handle  :fallingbricks: I know it doesn't sound like much but it makes me cry.. like just overly sensitive to everything today.. Kinda like I unlocked those tears today so everything makes them fall.. positive or negative. It is a lot.  :stars:

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Three Roses

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2020, 11:17:26 PM »
 :hug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 12:30:15 AM »
 :hug:

That is exactly what I needed Three Roses, thank you.  :hug:

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Three Roses

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 12:31:38 AM »
You are so very welcome!

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 12:42:02 AM »
There have been tons of tears today, but there has been a shower and a nap since then. I am hopeful there will be no more tears but not exactly a likely outcome.

Today has just kind of hurt and processing this junk is so hard.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 03:57:27 AM »
my dear sweet el, handing you all the tissues you need to wipe up the tears being shed, and a warm blanket of comfort and care to wrap you up with.  you are going to be an amazing therapist - i've always known that - and your light is shining brighter all the time. 

i wish you didn't have to be working right now, especially when it's not fully safe, just so you could have more time to rest while you're processing everything.  i know i can't have everything i wish for, but just want you to know i'm thinking of you, your health and well-being.

and, i agree - there's nothing unfair at all about writing here, no matter what it might be.  if it helps, that's all we care about.  we care about you, and so glad you're doing what's best for you. 

as far as deserving both your therapists - think about it for when you're the therapist and you've got someone you're working with, how you think about them, how you care about them, what they mean to you.  reverse it, and that's how it's happening for both your therapists with you.  i'm so happy to hear your other t is on board for the trauma processing - she's been there all the way with you, and the two of you have done some marvelous work.

thanks for being here, for sharing, for being you.  you're wonderful!  much love always! :hug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2020, 01:14:13 PM »
Thank you, San for all of those tissues  :hug: It was a lot but I am glad I could release them. I still feel pretty worn out today but the emotional impact has mostly subsided. I will wrap that blanket around my shoulders today and allow it to help me recover from the last few days.

I wish I didn't have work and school on top of this junk right now but that's okay. I am not working a ton so it is manageable. I appreciate you caring for my health and well-being <3

Me thinking as a therapist helps realize more fully what they may both feel towards all of this. They have both told me as much too. It is always strange how the therapist part of menunderstands so much but the survivor part of me doesn't have the same knowledge because it is always clouded by bigger emotions and such. It is a dynamic both of them have faced and still do so at least I am not alone in that. I am glad to be doing trauma work with my oldest yherapist as well, we have done a lot of work and it feels easier to accomplish more with her right now. I am lesrning to know that is okay and both of them are super pro-elpha so whatever is best for me I will get.

Thank you for always believing in me and mg ability to become a good therapist. I am hopeful for the type of therapist I will be when school is done. Ten months from now I may be sitting in my own office getting ready for my clients for that day. It feels a little surreal but I cannot wait.