Further Adventures of Elpha

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #150 on: December 04, 2020, 09:40:45 PM »
Thank you Hope  :hug: I have gotten a lot of rest the last few days. I got to take the splint off today and see my incision. It is a bit over an inch long and by wrist is pretty bruised but it is not too bad.

I don't have much use or movement of my right hand but it is overall okay. I will get it back in doses in the coming weeks. Recovery just takes time.

My nightmares have all stopped thankfully and the inner children have been quiet but okay. I am grateful for the peace and downtime.

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notalone

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #151 on: December 05, 2020, 01:39:50 AM »
Glad your surgery went well and that your nightmares have stopped.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #152 on: December 11, 2020, 05:49:56 PM »
This is more of a life writing than a trauma writing. Surgery recovery is going better than I imagined it would. It isn't fun but I am more functional and able than I assumed I would be.

Today is day one of five of my EMDR Training! It is mindblowing to be sitting in a 5 day intensive training as a clinician after having spent years being the client for EMDR. It is a long day but I am thrilled to be able to have a deeper understanding and be able to use emdr with clients after next Tuesday! School and training is going by so quickly and  I am in awe of it sometimes. It does not always feel real that I get to do all of these things and that I will be a full blown therapist in less than 5 months. Even more so that I get to start that journey with 100s of hours of training and experience in play therapy and being fully EMDR trained. Not to mention my training in addiction, sensorimotor, IFS, etc.. I have hope that I will be a truly effective therapist for my clients one day, to be who I needed and give people the things I wish I had and in some cases was given later in my own life (I know in reality I got those relatively early compared to a lot of people, for which I am grateful).

The nightmares and trauma stuff have been so much less since I had surgery and classes paused. It is amazing what removing stress from life does for those things. I am target planning with my therapist to dig deep into things I feel like I need to cover before going out on my own as a therapist. Not that I will ever not have a therapist of my own but there are things I really want to cover before I am a full fledged therapist. It will be some tough work but I am prepped to tackle it head on like I always do.

Also, I am taking more hours with the cptsd foundation as a group leader in the coming weeks. It is great to fully be employed in mental health and truly have that being all I do in my professional life right now. It is an organization that is so close to my heart and my own healing journey and I am honored by how much the founder is trusting in my abilities and how much that instills faith in me.

Anyways I need to go back to training but I am glad to update here. More to come as I do dive into that therapy work and during my visit with my FOO in a few weeks.  :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #153 on: December 13, 2020, 02:13:53 PM »
Yay Elpha! My head is fuzzy so just  :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :hug: :hug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #154 on: December 14, 2020, 01:06:55 PM »
Thank you Blueberry!  :hug:

I had some big trauma stuff come up Friday night and I have reflected on it. I haven't had time to write about it because of the ongoing training. I am hopeful to be able to talk about it here in a few days when my training is done.

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Hope67

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #155 on: December 21, 2020, 07:43:30 PM »
Hi Elpha,

I hope your training goes ok.  Sending you a supportive hug   :hug:- I know you had that big trauma stuff come up Friday, and I hope that you're able to get plenty of time to do whatever you need or want to do. 

Hope  :)

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #156 on: December 22, 2020, 03:42:34 PM »
Hope, thank you for the well wishes  :hug: My training did go well, I finished it last Tuesday (11th - 15th). It was long and kind of exhausting but good. I am glad to be trained in EMDR before leaving school.

As far as the trauma stuff goes, I had some pretty big lightbulbs go off and they have continued to process out. Several of the memories I processed previously in EMDR with my therapist had started to come back up, along with other csa memories. I was also having some big feelings about my relationship with my M. I realized with the memories that were coming back up that the way I had processed them before was targeted at truly seeing that I was not to blame and there was no guilt to carry. Through that process I learned that none of my past was my fault.. that the abuse I endured had nothing to do with how good or bad or worthwhile I was.. It was fully to do with the people who chose to hurt me. That took a long time to learn and to fully feel in my being. Now, that I have learned and fully feel that truth in the depths of my being, those memories are coming back because I need to process how powerless I was.. because if it wasn't my fault (which I now know) then I had no power in those moments. Powerlessness is a whole different thing to process and is, I think, the next layer to processing my abuse (especially my csa and pa).

My relationship with my M is ever evolving and growing. As she heals and becomes healthier, I let her in a little more and I start to trust a little bit. It has been a long several year process that I have written here about before. I have come to realize I do truly want to have a good relationship with her as long as that is healthy for me. So far it is, but I will always keep a watch on that. I am not ready to leap to discussing my past with her but I know one day that is a conversation I want to have. If I want to build and honest and good relationship with myM I need to be able to talk about what she missed when I was a kid and how it has shaped me into the adult I am. Tomorrow, I leave to travel home to see my FOO. I look forward to most of it, but there are always bits of it that don't feel 100% good or safe but that is the nature of the beast. I choose to travel for me, not for them. I know in my heart that I do still want to see my family because I care and most of them also care. They are trying to be better and mostly succeeding, so for myself I visit them and hope to build stronger adult relationships with them. Also, I get to see my siblings and my niece who are some of my favorite people on the planet.

Any trip home always brings feelings but this one is particularly powerful. My GGM has dementia and won't know who I am this year. We don't expect her to live to see next Christmas or even my graduation really so I am flying mainly because I know it could be the last chance I get to see her. I didn't grow up super close to her but the memories I have of her are kind and loving and I wouldn't be okay with myself if I didn't get to see her while I could. Even if she thinks I am someone else I know. Truly, I have been avoiding thinking about what that will feel like for me but I know it will be painful. Avoiding it until I have to deal with it has been how I managed to get everything else done recently. I know that time to deal with it is coming unfortunately. I know that at least around my family it will be a little easier to hold those emotions closer to my heart and not let them visibly out but it is still difficult. Knowing that goodbye is likely goodbye forever akes it a lot more difficult

Update on surgery: My hand is healing well. I can still only lift two pounds and have to be careful about what I do and don't do but it gets a little better everyday I think. I started physical therapy last week and will continue it for a month or so until my hand is more healed.  Hopefully pain free as well.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #157 on: December 23, 2020, 06:18:03 PM »
CONGRATULATIONS!   :cheer: :yourock: :waveline:  welcome to the emdr family!  well done, el :thumbup:

how wonderful for you that you can now feel the fact that the abuse was not your fault.  what a huge step.  it's a measure, to my mind, how hard you've been working at this, how determined you've been to heal, and how persistent has been your will, how strong has been your spirit, to get yourself through all you've been through.  dang - the light brightens!

i'm glad your rehab on your hand is coming along.

i wondered if possibly going thru the emdr training encouraged some of those realizations and lightbulbs for you.  at any rate, they certainly sound like they were helpful and led you to another layer. i'm so happy for you!

5 more months and the therapeutic community will have a bright star in its midst.  i have no doubt anyone who is your client will deem themselves lucky and grateful.  much love always   :bighug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #158 on: December 24, 2020, 04:02:01 PM »
Thank you so much dear  :hug: It is so good to be part of the emdr family and to be so close to graduation!!

The training definitely encouraged some of my realizations faster than I would have gotten them otherwise. Often that is the case with good trainings.

I am currently home visiting family so I don't have a lot of reflection this morning but there will be more to come I imagine.

Sending you lots of love, San  :hug: :hug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #159 on: January 31, 2021, 02:53:28 PM »
So, it has been over a month since I came and wrote here. I am not exactly sure why the gap but I always come and go here. I used to be on here every day, multiple times a day and man that has changed.

The last month has been a roller coaster of good, bad, and everything in between. I made some huge wins when visiting my family and actually enjoyed my time there. I have been processing old csa in EMDR (although that is not what I am here to talk about), I got new clients, adjusted to new job responsibilities, healed (partially) from surgery, watched the world go in so many directions, did more trainings, and all the other numerous things that come with life right now. I started my last semester of classes last week, completed my first consultation for EMDR, and began truly applying for jobs as a therapist. It is all so exciting and scary at the same time. I feel like so much is going well but man it is a lot at once.

Despite all of the good, I am still processing deep trauma in therapy. My nightmares have come back full force and are showing no sign of letting up. This week there has only been one night without them... I am doing all I can to rid myself of them at least some so hopefully they will begin to let up. Right now, they are the worst of my trauma related stuff. I can't really figure out why they are there but I am sure there will be clarity on that soon enough. With clarity comes the chance to actually do something about them, so hopefully it comes sooner rather than later.

For now, I am finding the balance of self-care, giving to my clients, keeping up with school, handling the pandemic, job-searching, and studying for licensure... it is no small task. Finding a balance between myself and the energy I give others has a steep learning curve since I have taken on more direct clients at my practicum and with my new job responsibilities.. It is a lot but I am glad to be learning how to balance that now instead of when I am out there with a full-time job. I am learning to not absorb the stuff people tell me, but still, be present with them because otherwise it can affect me so deeply.. and that is not sustainable. I find that my trauma makes me great at my job but it also makes it much more dangerous for me. I have to be constantly aware of my own being to ensure I am not taking it in. Being a clinician who struggles with her own trauma is a tough road some days but is beyond worth it. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life at this point. This is where I am meant to be and I will find the balance. I think it is a skill like anything else.

Trauma stuff has been heavy but mostly manageable. Still getting into the stronger csa stuff with some of my littles. It is tough work but I have had a lot of progress with emdr. It feels slow but I know slow and steady is important so I am not overwhelmed, especially while in school. I have less than 100 days left and I need to be able to do both.

I think that is all the words I have for now, but it feels like I will come here a little more often for a while. I wish I could respond to everyone's threads but it would be way too much to try to do right now. So sending kindness and compassion from here.  :grouphug:



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sanmagic7

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #160 on: January 31, 2021, 09:15:32 PM »
as you reminded me, el, EMS is with you through all this. you are never alone, and she will help guide you if you need her to.  that's so much you've got on your plate, so i hope you can give yourself breaks and just breathe at times.

sending much love always, and a hug filled with the good stuff!  :hug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #161 on: January 31, 2021, 11:29:08 PM »
So grateful for that reminder tonight, my dear friend.  :hug: I do need EMS badly tonight. After I wrote here I ended up having some giant realizations and then a pretty big trigger that followed. I would share about them but I have to lead a group in an hour and a half and I need to be a functional therapist so grounding and shaking it off for now. I will surround myself with EMS and focus on her warmth and wisdom for a while. I think it is what I need to be the person I need to be in an hour or so. I could sit in that warmth forever I think,

San, I promise I will take breaks and breathe as much as I can. I try to find lightness in my day and give myself a bit of peace every moment I can.  :hug:

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notalone

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #162 on: February 01, 2021, 01:25:49 AM »
It is all so exciting and scary at the same time. I feel like so much is going well but man it is a lot at once.

Wow! It sure is a lot. I'm cheering for you.  :cheer:

Sorry you are having nightmares. It is so hard to deal with CSA (not to mention everything else you are juggling). When the memories assault at night and we aren't sleeping well, it adds to the pain.

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #163 on: February 01, 2021, 04:21:20 PM »
Thanks for cheering for me notalone!  :hug:

You are right, it is a lot to deal with CSA even without the nightmares reminding me of it all the time. I am hoping to get a reprieve from them soon.. It is difficult to not sleep well and just feel a low level of exhaustion constantly.

Yesterday kind of sucks, as far as yesterday evening. I bit off more than I could chew as far as visualization and body work. I am okay to do bits of it on my own since I have been doing so much of it in therapy for so long. However, it went a little farther than I expected it to and I stopped when I realized it was a place that would be too much to go to alone but it still did some damage.

The first part was okay, because I realize the nightmares have been coming from stuff I absorb from others around me. My new job responsibilities mean I am being exposed to so much more trauma and I underestimated how careful I would need to be with that. It feels true to me that the nightmares are coming from what I am absorbing from that because it has to go somewhere... The nightmares have been awful and strange. They began being much different than what I am used to having about 3 weeks ago which is about the time I started having more exposure..  so I think that is what is fueling them. I am going to work to find a way to better protect myself from the things I hear and also to better shake it off when I do inevitably absorb things. Being a survivor makes me great at what I do but it also makes it more dangerous to my well being.

I went to do a container exercise for the stuff I had been absorbing (sort of like a container you would use at the end of a therapy session). Came up with one and got most of the stuff in there but other stuff came with it. The visualization was odd and is hard to describe without feeling really weird about it. I will give a little bit to get it out of my brain and into here but giving a warning ahead of time.


**Trigger Warning** (mention of CSA and somatic symptoms)

Okay with that given, the image was that the stuff I was absorbing had essentially been this green poisonous liquid that needed to be out of my body. Which was fine and worked. However, with that came a black liquid that was much thicker and literally physically painful to me. I realized that black poison felt like it was pieces of my abusers still left in my body. Trying to put it in said container didn't work it felt like the black burned the palms of my hand and my body had a viceral reaction to it. I realized that about then this was going to be a place I could not go alone. Before, I could stop it I had the memory set or thought about times where there was a more literal sense of them leaving a part of them behind because some of the males did.. and I wouldn't have words for that back then but it did happen and my body sadly remembers that in a lot of ways. I really wanted the black to move out of my body but it was going to be painful and take more time and emotion than I knew I could tolerate by myself. I have therapy tonight and know that it will be intense but I am going to try to work with it some.. and to figure out ways to stop absorbing so much stuff from other people. Both will be quite the task I imagine.


**End triger**

Okay that wasn't bad but I always like to be cautious for anyone that reads. It is a long day because I am extra tired from the content that was brought up for me. It is really tough seeing clients this morning but I am only here half a day on Monday so it isn't long thankfully

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Elphanigh

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Re: Further Adventures of Elpha
« Reply #164 on: February 02, 2021, 10:33:17 PM »
I wanted to update you here as it has been a long 24 hours for me. The best thing I did for myself was granting myself today off before I even went to bed last night.  Monday is usually when I have trauma therapy, which after the visualizations from Sunday was bound to be intense. We ended up doing nearly 5 hours of processing work yesterday. That is obviously a really intense amount of work that would completely exhaust anyone. It certainly exhausted me in every way imaginable. We did a ton of EMDR, Somatic processing, and Inner Child Work. All of which are extremely tough for extended periods. I am glad we dove in but man it is taking all of today and probably some of tomorrow to truly recover from that, even then I think the emotional impact will be around for a while.

I thought I was going to come here and give a run down of some of the major themes, but as I type I realize I do not have the energy for that right now. There are young parts of me that did so much hard work last night and still just need the rest. I got to watch a few of my youngest littles have some joy today, even after so much processing of horrific things. I am always amazed by what some love and compassion will do for those parts of myself. For now, I guess I want to honor that and to keep them protected a little while longer. They have so much to be hurt over and are somehow still finding ways to have joy today and I honestly cried a lot at it when it first happened this afternoon. One of those parts never got to play or feel joy in her life so this is a first for her. She deserves to enjoy that as long as she can, and I deserve the rest that comes with not digging in right now.

Well, that was a completely different direction that I assumed it would go but for now I am glad for the dose of self-compassion. In real life I am grateful for the warm cat on my lap and ability to rest that I have. I will return at some point and talk about it, or maybe let younger me write a little but for now I guess rest has won out.