Coffee is therapy. Read along as I continue my story of the January 9th trigger and I relate and offer affirmation to the struggles of living with Complex PTSD over my morning coffee.
As I read back through the last few weeks, I am amazed at the avoidance in my first couple days as emotions began to flow more intensely, manifesting into triggers as I attached them to things in my real time life.
Day 3 Post Trigger
I met with my counselor for the first time in three weeks due to the holidays. It is the only time of year that I go this long between appointments. As always, during our last appointment she reassured me that she was available and even asked if I wanted a weekend appointment to get me in sooner than yesterday.
I declined and embarked on a three week test of my resilience and coping skills.
During these three weeks I have dreamt about my good grandpa for the first time since he passed away 22 years ago and my dream was present day. I had a trigger episode with my husband that sent me to bed angry but I still managed it the next day properly.
I also received heartbreaking family news, reconnected with my adult child, and battled with a weird sense of disconnect that I call functioning survival mode – all in all, I went “through it” the last few weeks but I made it to the other side. A little tired but okay.
When I started to get down on myself about how I couldn’t pull myself out of the trigger episode (because the worst thing in the world is to be aware you’re triggered and unable to correct your responses in the moment) she held space and then validated what I did accomplish while assuring me I will eventually gain more control.
At the end of my session, I thanked her. My counselor is the reason I understand what trauma is. Prior to her, I thought I had “depression” which I did – but it was so much more. My counselor has given me more space to heal then I have ever had in my entire life. She has taught me the importance of this space for healing. She has taught me to leave my judgement at the door and to be patient with myself while I am in it.
Be patient with yourself too. This journey has no time limit, no set itinerary – healing Complex PTSD is a personal journey and it will take as long as you need it too.