I’ve been seeing my therapist for over three years, every week. During this pandemic we meet via telehealth. In this series come along with me through each appointment as I reflect on the session and my progress.
I had a relatively uneventful week leading up to therapy this week so other than the incident on Sunday, I didn’t have anything super pressing to talk about.
I am still however working to manage some lingering trigger responses from that event a few days ago which caused our conversation to take a turn I wasn’t really expecting.
Fight, Flight, Freeze
As I explained to her how the event took place and my resulting emotional overwhelm she asked me: “If I had employed grounding techniques before I even went to the customer’s house, could that have helped me?”
I explained that I didn’t think so at the time because I didn’t feel “triggered” at the time. I just felt uncomfortable seeing this person due to her treatment. It was her false report of me that got me going.
It was at this point we explored my new level of flight mode. It wasn’t as heightened as I am used to because I am getting better at managing stuff.
I missed it and it set the stage for the overwhelming trigger to come.
I took the customer personally which caused me anxiety regarding an in-person confrontation. Because I was running on avoidance/flight mode I wanted to drop the delivery and go. In doing so, I was hurried and I forgot crucial steps in the process to protect myself from her malicious report.
Now I am faced with recognizing a new, lesser level of flight mode as I move through my healing. I don’t want to set myself up again.
Finishing up Goals
After we do the trauma screening (which we did last week) we always go through my goals to assess how I feel I am doing. Last week we left two to go over this week.
Work on my Marriage
One of my goals is to focus in on and resolve some issues I have with intimacy (sadly a big problem in relationships for many trauma survivors), and my internalization of how he and our daughter interact.
I was happy to report that I believe he and I are making moderate progress. We are talking more about my trauma and how it affects me, he seems more in-tuned to understanding the best ways to respond to me – all things that are building a new form of safe space in our marriage.
It has been hard, this journey as a team – because my healing is so personal, yet it affects him almost completely.
We are building new normals as we grow and get to know new versions of each other. It is challenging work, and I am grateful to have such a genuine and committed partner by my side.
My Inner Child
This one is still a tough spot for me. One day at a time, right? I’ve been trying to explore some of my new childhood memories in respect to their space in my timeline to see if I can come up with how I was feeling as a kid in those moments of my life.
It just isn’t happening. I mean, I remember the stuff – and I do feel a connection to the memories, but I just can’t quite touch myself on the inside as a child. Wow did I lock that stuff up tight.
I left my session feeling apprehensive of this new flight mode that I didn’t catch but understanding that this is a sign of progress. I have lowered how intensely some things affect me through boundaries and healing – which caused me to not recognize it. I’m a work in progress.
I was happy as I reflected on the progress of my marriage; unsure how exactly to connect to my inner child; and suddenly reflective of the situation with my adult son which filled me with sadness as I learn acceptance.
Breaking codependent habits is not easy.
Sometimes therapy can unlock some uncomfortable.
Read more from the Therapy Dump Series.
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