This speaks to me today

​The past does not define you.

Inform you, yes.

Define you, no.

At least it doesn’t have to.

So many of us get stuck there.

Stuck in a story of what happened,

how hurt we feel,

what we wish had gone differently, etc…

and we use it to explain our behaviors,

our way of being now.

Now, let me be clear,

I value story tremendously.

Much of what I share is story,

when I meet new people

I want to know their stories.

This is one of the most beautiful ways

we can get to know another,

really drop into their world

and connect deeply.

I haven’t met a person that I didn’t love more

when I heard their story.

AND I caution against living there.

You are what you choose to become

I have met people who have triumphed

after truly remarkable odds,

after extreme tragedy and abuse.

I know it is hard.

But if you had a challenging past,

if you endured great suffering,

my hope – my offering is

that you do not give more of your life

to that which has already taken so much of you.

As difficult as it may be,

learn to let the past be the past.

Do the work,

get the help you need

to assure that what happened to you –

does not rob you of who you wish to become.

You can be changed by what has happened to you,

in fact I would be surprised if you are not.

But do not allow yourself to be reduced by it.

You are what you choose to become

This is something no one can ever take from you.

You get to decide how the story ends. 
💜 Emily Rosen

#couragemylove #justwakingup #secretkeepers

Therapy Rules

MT ( my therapist) and I had a good laugh together on Wednesday, even when I was on the midst of anguish, because I started off a sentence with, I can’t….only to catch a look on MT’s face, and roll my eyes, and groan, I can’t say I can’t….only to have MT dissolve in laughter, and point out, you just said you can’t say you can’t….and it started me off on, I shouldn’t say I shouldn’t and I can’t say I should but I can’t say I can’t and what if I say what if?  You just say, well, what if?  So I can’t say what if and I can’t say I can’t.  And I can’t sit on my hands and I can’t glare at you and I can’t do all sorts of things, but I cant say I can’t or I shouldn’t or I’m not supposed to.  Oh, and I can’t say I’m trying, because either you are or you aren’t, but I can say I’ve done it and I’m still working on getting it right.  I was laughing so hard by this point, and so was MT.  I declared, there are just too many verbal landmines in this office.  MT smiled, and said, but focusing on language has been very important, right?  Yup, it has been.

Therapy, Last Week, Wednesday

Monday night, I had lots of nightmares, some about the cat memory, lots about trying to get to a therapy session, and really wanting to see MT, but having all sorts of crazy things happen that went on and on, and never getting to my session.  Tuesday, I had a crazy number of flashbacks.  More than usual.  Lots of the cat incident, and a fair number of my last therapist being emotionally abusive to me.  When, I went to therapy on Wednesday, I told MT that I had figured out that the feeling I had on Monday when I couldn’t stop crying was anguish.  I had been in severe emotional distress and my tears were the way it was pouring out of me.  MT asked what I was anguished about.  I told her it was about the cat flashback and being scared of being angry.  MT asked again, what’s been helpful with repeating flashbacks?  I said talking about them and talking to the younger me.  MT said, well, then, talk to the younger you.  I yelled, I can’t.  I don’t know what to say.  And no matter what, I can’t get rid of this Fucking flashback, and even if I do, another will come to take its place.  I can’t make the Fucking flashbacks stop and I dissolved into tears.  MT said, well, then I guess you’re not ready to do this work, because if you can’t, then you’re not going to even try, and that essentially means you won’t.  I growled, I’m ready to do the work.  I’ve been doing it.  So, MT asked me if I think I’m doing better since I’ve started seeing her.  I said, yes.  She said, how?  I said, I don’t know, I just am.  Then she asked if my flashbacks have improved, and I said that I didn’t know.  MT reused that she thought they were and I agreed with her.  She asked how they were better, and I said that they were not all over the place anymore and that I could get myself out of a flashback faster and actually still have good days even when I had flashbacks that day.  MT asked what I had done to make my flashbacks better.  I said talking about them and taking to the younger me in that flashback.  MT went on to say that almost every seminar, conference, and workshop she goes to touches on trauma, and that each presenter, while having favorite techniques, also talks about the choices that trauma survivors have to make.  Choices like mindfulness, doing the work, trying until they find what works best, choosing to go on in spite of losing the path or falling off cliffs, choosing to present themselves as trauma victims or as survivors or….we spoke more about these choices and I said I had some thinking to do.  So, I’m thinking.  I do know one thing for sure, I’ve got to get back on this path to becoming a warrior queen.  And I need to lose the sense of hopelessness that I’ve allowed to envelope me for a few weeks now.

Therapy Last Week, Monday

Last week, I had therapy on Monday and Wednesday.  When I arrived on Monday, I sat down and right away started talking about how anxiety ridden I had been over my anger throughout the weekend.  MT (my therapist) stopped me and said that she wanted to talk about an email I sent her on Friday telling her I wanted to eat and self harm to get rid of my anger and anxiety and pain.  She didn’t answer that email until the next day and said she couldn’t say much by email.  Really, I had not been expecting an answer, I just wanted her to know how I was feeling.  So, in the beginning of Monday’s session, MT started telling me about why she had not answered me until the next day.  I made a what the heck face at her and held up my hands in a questioning manner.  MT told me to let her finish. Then she proceeded to tell me that her reasons for taking a week off were not up for discussion.  I just crossed my arms and glared at her.  MT asked me what was going on.  I continued glaring at her.  MT said that we should really talk about what was happening for me.  I said that we couldn’t and she asked why. I told her that I had not come to session angry at her but now I was angry.  MT said so let’s talk about that.  Once again, all I could do was glare at her.  My eyes were filling up with tears.  MT said that it would probably be helpful to talk about what was going on with me. The tears overflowed.  I said that I couldn’t talk about what was happening because she had just told me that her going away was not up for discussion. She said the reasons were not up for discussion, but that we could definitely talk about my feelings.  I honestly felt trapped, because in the past trying to do this kind of stuff had resulted in very scary ruptures.  I told her I couldn’t talk about my feelings because when I’ve tried to do it before in the same circumstances, it ended badly and terrified me.  She said that after two and a half years together, that if I couldn’t trust her not to leave me, then we had a problem.  I was sobbing by now, and shaking.  I was going through at least 4 tissues a minute.  I think MT needs to take out stock in Kleenex.  So. I told her that I was really furious with her because I’d come to therapy not even angry about her going away and then she had to bring it up again and that made me angry and now here we were talking about me being angry with her and I was terrified.  MT replied that she felt we really had not completed our conversation on Friday and that she thought there was some leftover feelings and that I really needed to learn how to talk about my anger so let’s practice now.  I took a deep breath and said well, I was most angry that it seemed like my healing was not on my time line, but on her time line.  MT replied that I know what to do when she is not around.  I said that’s true  but I can’t do all of my healing by myself, that I actually needed her for some of it, like EMDR, and talking about what was going on for me and processing feelings.  We talked some more about my anger with her, and it was scary, but okay.  Then, I started crying very hard again, and I said, I don’t even know why I’m crying.  She asked me what I thought the reason might be, and I told her that I really did not know.  After a few minutes, I was able to stop.  Then our time was nearly up, and I asked about when our appointments would be next week.  MT replied that she still did not know for sure when she was going away, and I rolled my eyes and sighed loudly.  I said that I was supposed to travel to another state sometime next week to pick my mother-in-law up for a visit, and I needed to plan when I was going to do that.  MT said, well don’t worry about me, just choose a day.  I replied, in a very low voice, trying to keep from shouting and crying, well, that’s the thing.  My healing is very important to me and meeting with you is a big part of my healing, so I really don’t want to miss sessions I don’t have to.  Ugh.  I left and went to the Ladies room and stood in the stall, with my back supported by a wall, muttering under my breath, you Fucking bitch.  She doesn’t want to be an attachment therapist and I don’t want her to be either, but sometimes, I think her aversion to attachment therapy gets in her way of understanding that her presence is really vital to her clients.  I think if I said those words to MT, she’d deny it, but, I’m pretty sure I’m right.  I know she’s the right guide for me, but I also know, that I can clearly see some things that MT can’t.

Therapy 9/8/2016

I had therapy on Friday which is unusual because usually I see MT (my therapist) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but things were a little different this week due to MT attending a conference and both of us having kids starting school.  When I arrived at therapy, MT was busy lighting the candle and changing her calendar.  She asked me what I wanted to work on and I told her that it seemed that we should finish EMDR around waiting for my mother to come home, but that I was really distracted by the cat memory and I wasn’t sure I could concentrate on the other stuff.  MT turned from her candle and asked if I was saying we shoukd do EMDR around the cat.  She went on to say that the cat thing was a memory that could give anybody PTSD all by itself, and that she felt like it would take way too long to process for the time we had and that she did not want to leave me inow a difficult place for the weekend.  I replied that it would not be for as long as usual because today was Friday and, then MT said and I’ll see you Monday.  I said what?  My heart started beating really fast and I felt like I might die, because I wasn’t sure of what kind of schedule change was coming and if I’d be available.  It turned out that I could come on Monday and that it worked out okay for me, but now I was on edge.  I said well, then, there are only two days between today and Monday, thinking maybe we could try to start EMDR around this memory.  MT started asking me how this memory was coming back to me and I talked about it being mainly emotions and body memories, and some flashes.  Them MT asked if I’d ever heard of propanolol for nightmares and flashbacks.  We talked about that and how it was probably contraindicated for me as my blood pressure has gotten really low with my weight loss and already causes me dizziness.  Then we went back to taking about EMDR.  MT said tfat she would like to do this memory in two hour sessions and I agreed, and,said,when?  MT said, well not right away because in 2 or 3 weeks,I’m going away for a week.  I just shut down.  I know she has her own life but I was really pissed off that it felt like my healing was on hold due to her changing schedules.  Then MT told me that I should talk to the younger me.  My tears spilled over and I said I can’t.  MT asked what was going on.  I said I don’t know.  Then MT said something just happened.  I told her how I was feeling about her going away and changing her schedule.  We got through that conversation without it turning bad, then we went back to talking to the younger me.  MT asked me what I would say to the younger me and I saI’d I would tell her to leave me alone.  MT said that obviously would not be helpful and asked what else I could say.  I said I don’t know.  MT and I have an agreement that instead of saying I don’t know, I’ll think about it and say/do the hard stuff…do she said that I can’t and I don’t know were sounding like maybe I was not in my adult self.  I replied that I most certainly was my adult self, so MT asked me again, well, what do you think you need to say to the younger you?  I yelled, I need to tell her to Fucking leave me alone and get over that stuff because it wasn’t ever going to happen again.  MT said, wow, you sound angry.  I actually laughed and told her that was a classic therapist statement.  Then I said yes, I’m angry.  MT asked me who I was angry at.  I told her I was angry at the Fucking abusers.  And I started sobbing.  MT asked me what was going on.  I told her that being angry was too scary and that I did not want to be like the abusers.  She replied that the abusers did what they did because they were sick, not because they were angry.  I said that the cat died because they were angry because I wouldn’t do what they told me to.  MT once again said that was not anger it was a manipulative way to control me.  She asked what else I was angry about.  I said I was angry because they killed my cat, and because I was 50 years old and still dealing with this crap, and because it still haunted me, and I was angry because they made me think they were going to kill me next.  And then I started shaking.  MT asked why I was shaking.  I said that I was scared and anxious.  MT talked to me about embracing my anger instead of denying it.  She said my anger was powerful.  I couldn’t stop crying.  I told her I was scared.  Then our session time was up.  I left more anxious than I started with.

I am angry and I am scared.  I feel frozen in place, and I think that’s an old feeling of shock from seeing the cat killed.  I’m angry because I thought they were going to kill me after that so I acquiesced to their demands…a demand that I lie about how I was pregnant to the doctor who would abort the life that they could not beat out of me.  I’m angry because they didn’t kill me.  They could have.  They almost did.  I wouldn’t be trying to deal with this stuff now if they had killed me then.  I don’t have a death wish now.  Dying is not an option now, but, it could have been then.  I’m angry that I did what they wanted me to.  I’m angry that they had such power over me.  I’m angry that I still often feel like my life is controlled by this stuff.  And the anger makes me crazy anxious.  I still want to claw my skin off.  I won’t, but it feels like it could be a relief.  I  really just want to figure out how to put this stuff to rest.  And I still want to tell the younger me, it’s Fucking over, so scram.