Therapy Dump #2 – Emergency Session

I’ve been seeing my therapist for over three years, every week. During this pandemic, via telehealth. In this series come along with me through each appointment as I reflect on the session and my progress. 


Yesterday I had an emergency session mid-week with my therapist for the first time in three years. Events the last few days caused such overwhelming trauma responses that I called. I need a little bit of extra help this week.

This is part of my self-care.

The Situation

After standing up for myself and my family, I was terminated from my position as a General Manager of an Optical Store last week. All I did was request to negotiate my time back from lay off in these early stages of reopening. I want to mitigate the risk to myself and my family from exposure. I live in a state with no reopening plan, it’s more the herd immunity mentality.

I work in optics which means with faces. Even with PPE, I cannot distance effectively. This pandemic has exacerbated anxieties already present from my trauma. My re-entry into society will take longer than others.

This termination is one in a line of professional situations that have ended badly for me in recent years. All situations that I believe most people would realize were not my fault intentionally – yet they all still happened.

Presenting Symptoms

This session was filled to the brim with anxiety, sadness, feelings of worthlessness, and anger. My physical symptoms have been off the charts: nausea and pensive fear in the pit of my stomach, uncontrollable tears, negative thoughts of self, and wandering thoughts searching for moral justice.

I presented as a big ball of emotional overwhelm.

It feels like I keep finding myself in continuous repeat negative behavioral patterns. Patterns that have impacted myself and my family in stressful and challenging ways.

I can’t help but look at myself as the common denominator, the only constant in all these crash and burn situations. It is ingrained in me to feel defective and not good enough. There must be something wrong with me.

Gaining Insight

In true fashion, as she always does – my therapist used very few words in the space she gave me while still guiding me back to center. She reminded me that this situation is extenuating, pointing out that had this pandemic not happened things would be much different right now. I would still be comfortably working. She made sure I heard her when she said this is not the same as past instances.

She listened as I rambled out all of my feelings and worked through my process, dropping pieces of calm and logic into my lap with precision timing.

I realized as we talked that I felt powerlessness in this situation. Feelings that are tethered to a childhood of betrayals that feel reminiscent, but this hasn’t hindered my path as much as it feels like it has. It’s just thrown some curve balls.

Then we went over the literal steps that I can take next week to aid in my immediate financial crisis as my family and I struggle to figure out how to pay our upcoming bills. This empowered me, helping me develop a sense of control over the things in my power.

The Take-Away

  • This situation is not the same as past instances.
  • It is okay, even necessary for me to feel my feelings right now.
  • I have control over a lot more than I think
  • I have responsibilities to take care of on Tuesday.
  • I am learning how to manage my trauma responses and that is something to celebrate.

Stay tuned for next week’s post.  

Related posts: read last week’s post, or browse through my previous Therapy Dumps.


Closing Comments

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10 thoughts on “Therapy Dump #2 – Emergency Session

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  1. I would have felt the same way! (Symptoms and all) It’s so difficult sometimes to remain objective, especially when the situations lines up with those old feelings of helplessness. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That’s horribly unfair about your job! No one should be expected to jeopardize their safety for work.

    I’m glad the emergency session went so well, and that’s an awesome take-away.

  3. I don’t know your past situations to compare, but I can definitely say this situation is not your fault. It is completely mind-boggling to me how much of the country is throwing open the doors again with barely more testing capacity then when this all started, no plan for a second wave and without even the basic courtesy to wear a mask to protect the vulnerable. It is not at all okay on *their* part to force employees to choose between economic security and health security. And it is not okay that the U.S. didn’t do what most of the rest of the world did during lockdown and create longer-term economic supports for all residents to avoid self-imposed economic disaster later. This one is absolutely not on you, but on our very broken, inequitable and thus traumatic for too many economic ‘system.’

  4. Your job situation is incredibly unfair and infuriating. I’m sorry to read that result.
    Thank you for sharing your process and the helpfulness of your emergency therapy session. It is so rattling when current events, heavy enough on their own, can also stir up old wounds.

  5. Thank you for sharing and being willing to be vulnerable in this space. I love the realness of your post, just know many would have felt the same. You are strong!

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